Tag Archives: comeback | Nature

South Africa: Low Levels of Genetic Diversity Are Putting Great White Sharks At Risk

By Sara Andreotti, Stellenbosch University | 29 November 2015 Despite international protection, great white sharks face several threats. These include reduction of their food supply, pollution, baited hooks and lethal gill nets used as beach protection measures. The cryptic nature of white sharks makes them challenging to study. And it is difficult to protect a species we don’t know much about. But new research has now added another piece of the puzzle towards understanding these …

Discovery of long-sought biological compass claimed

By David Cyranoski | November 16, 2015 Protein complex offers explanation for how animals sense Earth’s magnetic pull. In the cells of fruit flies, Chinese scientists say that they have found a biological compass needle: a rod-shaped complex of proteins that can align with Earth’s weak magnetic field. The biocompass — whose constituent proteins exist in related forms in other species, including humans — could explain a long-standing puzzle: how animals such as birds and insects …

Farmers hold key to survival of threatened bird species, says RSPB 

By WMNPBowern | Ocober 29, 2015 Farmers hold the key to saving the Westcountry’s most threatened bird species, Britain’s biggest conservation charity said today. The RSPB said farmers had stepped in before to make special efforts to ensure the survival of at-risk birds – and they could do so again. The charity’s spokesman in the South West, Tony Whitehead, was responding to a report from the government into the state of farmland birds – and to international research into UK species at …

Predator Defenses Backfired: Poisonous Frogs Face Higher Risk Of Extinction, Researchers Say 

By Samantha Mathewson | October 20, 2015 Sometimes, being the most poisonous in the bunch isn’t the best defense, it seems. In order to escape predation, many species have evolved to use special defenses that include camouflaging themselves, mimicking other species or using chemicals. For some amphibians that use toxins to protect themselves, the self-defense plan has backfired. Researchers from the University of Liverpool recently discovered that this predatory defense puts animals such …