Seeds on Loan, Solar Windows & At-Risk (and Way Cool) Birds

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines. It is considered one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the world's rarest and certainly among its most critical endangered vertebrate species. Photo credit: (c) Voltaire Malazarte/ Flickr through a Creative Commons license

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines. It is considered one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the world’s rarest and certainly among its most critically endangered vertebrate species. Photo credit: © Voltaire Malazarte/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.


By Marty Downs,  Bob Lalasz, Matt Miller, Lisa Feldkamp and Cara Byington of the TNC Science Communications team

We find tons of cool conservation and conservation science stuff every week on the Internets — now we’re sharing some of the best with you every week in The Cooler:


Soon you could be checking out seeds from your local library. Be sure to return some seeds from the plants that grow. (Quest Science)

Could golf courses be good for conservation? (Conservation Magazine)

Same jobs; different players. Soil fungi vary by site, but carry out the same key functions everywhere. (Stanford University News Office)

10 most endangered (and distinctive) birds of the world? Now there’s a listicle for that. (Running Ponies/Scientific American)


Parrots name their chicks, and they may not be the only non-human animals to use names. (Krulwich Wonders)

In case you were wondering: What it’s like to walk into a rattlesnake den. (Rich Landers)

Survivors: survey reveals large population of chimpanzees surviving in Liberia. (Wildlife Extra)

No, not a jailbird: Rare northern gannett sighted on Alcatraz Island. (SFGate)

New Research

Solar windows could bring light to your living room and energy to your home. The future of quantum dots. (Science Daily)

Why red? Pitcher plants’ color, long thought to be a lure or camouflage, is neither; the function remains a mystery. (Biology Letters)

Forest fragmentation reduces mutualism more than predation. (Conservation Biology)

Nanosensors track plant hormones. (EurekAlert!)

Move over mammoths: bees in La Brea’s tar pits connect California’s past to the present. (Laelaps)

Climate Change

Water, water everywhere…may be as good as oil. Tropical islands generate energy from the temperature difference in surrounding ocean through ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).  (SciDevNet)

See the massive sea of warmth that made March the fourth warmest on record. (ImaGeo/Discover)

Nature News

Moab’s economy has swung from natural resource extraction to tourism…and now back to resource extraction again? (High Country News)

Angling for attention: NOAA (finally) recognizes saltwater sport fishers as a conservation constituency. (Field & Stream)

Conservation Tactics

Pharrell would be proud. More green space linked with better mood – across economic differences. (University of Wisconsin via Science)

Chop a juniper tree, save a sage grouse. If you do it right. (Sage Grouse Initiative)

Science Communications

TED: the path to academic stardom and world enlightenment? Or cheetos for the brain? (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Speaking of TED talks: Paper or plastic? A great example of environmental folklore. (TED)

How do you start a science blog? 10 tips from the science editor of Buzzfeed UK. (Guardian)

This & That

Intuition is overrated, says Terry McGlynn, whether we’re talking bot flies or chemistry exams. (Small Pond Science)

Are we running out of scientific discoveries to make? John Horgan, author of “The End of Science,” says probably. (The Daily Caller)

Have suggestions for next week’s Cooler? Send them to mdowns[at]

Opinions expressed on Cool Green Science and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

Posted In: The Cooler

Marty joined the Nature Conservancy in January 2014 to write about TNC research and manage the Science Impact Project. She started her career in ecosystem ecology and climate impact research, but has focused on science communications since 1999. She’s now doing what she likes best – writing about cool science and helping scientists find and communicate what’s exciting about their work.

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