Category Archives: conservation

What was the animal that inspired Dr. Seuss’s lorax? Biologists suggest a hypothesis

The New York Times from two days ago has an article about one of Dr. Seuss’s most famous books, The Lorax (you can see a preview of the book’s contents at the Amazon site). Here’s the article: And the book at issue: The book’s plot involves a man called the Once-ler visiting a beautiful forest […]

Bat rescue: Kali the flying fox

Make sure you enlarge and turn the sound up on this video, which I purloined from Facebook. It’s the story of how an endangered fruit bat (“flying fox”) named Kali was rescued by keepers at the Oregon Zoo. As the video notes, Kali is a Rodrigues flying fox (Pteropus rodricensis), endemic to the 108 km² […]

Should we bring wolves back to Scotland? A video and a questionnaire

by Matthew Cobb It used to be standard practice for final year science students to do a lab-based research project. At the University of Manchester we have broadened the choice of final-year projects so that biology students can also choose to do a Science Media Project. This involves creating a portfolio of writing and other […]

New panda movie opens in April

Yes, I’m a sucker for cute animals, and everyone—save my friend Melissa Chen, who hates pandas and thinks they should be allowed to go extinct—thinks the panda is among the Top Five Cutest Animals.  On April 6, Warner Brothers will release the IMAX movie “Pandas”, which follows the life of  Qian Qian, a panda born […]

Biologist argues that we don’t need to save endangered species because extinction is “natural”

UPDATE: Apparently Pyron has rethought his position, saying that he “failed to make his views sufficiently clear and coherent” and “succumbed to a temptation to sensationalize parts of my argument.” He also faults himself for not running the piece by his George Washington University colleagues, which is pretty much inexcusable given its message. His mea […]

Count birds, save birds! Citizen science needs you! #Autumnwatch

by Matthew Cobb The BBC TV programme Autumnwatch has teamed up with Zooniverse to analyse photographic records of seabirds on cliffs from around the UK. This is something that machines are very poor at, and humans can do easily. The idea is to calculate how many of different birds are based on cliffs around the […]

Ajax, the kea conservation dog

Reader Mike Hannah, a professor of paleontology and evolution at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, sent me a link to this short (3½ minute) film about a man named Corey and his dog Ajax, who’s been trained to sniff out underground kea nests (he wears a muzzle). It’s all in the cause of conservation, […]

Theresa May scraps Tory pledge to ban sales of ivory in the UK

I’ve had people defend Prime Minister Theresa May on this site when I called her “odious”. That was in reference to her plan to bring back the filthy sport of fox hunting in Britain. Okay, if you don’t think that’s odious, how about her new scrapping of a Tory pledge to ban ivory trade in the UK? […]

EPA advisory panel gutted of scientists, to be replaced by people from regulated industries

This is the kind of stuff the Science March was designed to prevent. As yesterday’s New York Times reported, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, whose name encapsulates its mission, has just dismissed five or more members of its scientific review board, the Board of Science Counselors (BSC). The BSC’s job is to review and vet […]

The link between evolution and conservation: the case of the bumblebee

by Matthew Cobb This brief animated video was made by my final year student, Izzy Taylor, as part of her Zoology degree. It’s all her own work. She needs comments from viewers, so I’d be very grateful if you could spend 7 minutes having a quick look, and then posting your views – suggestions, criticisms, plaudits […]