Alluring Boomslang, Scaly Pangolin and Disappearing Aspen

Sun flickers through a grove of aspens at Kenosha Pass, Colorado. These iconic trees have been disappearing around the west. Photo credit: Flickr user Pat Gaines via Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Sun flickers through a grove of aspens at Kenosha Pass, Colorado. These iconic trees have been disappearing across the Western U.S. Photo credit: Flickr user Pat Gaines via Creative Commons 2.0 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 on the Internets — and share the best of it with you every week in The Cooler:

Biodiversity & Wildlife

Know before they go: modeling suggests that 64% of data deficient species may be at risk for extinction. (Conservation Biology)

…and many of those data deficient species are South American crayfishes. What do we know and where do they stand? (Aquatic Conservation)

The snake’s bite makes you bleed from every orifice. And then you die. (Scientific American’s Running Ponies)

The disappearing pangolin: being eaten out of existence. (Wildlife Extra)

Sharknado for real? Whale and shark numbers way up in NY waters. (The Guardian)

New Research

 A citizen science time machine? FloatingForests documents the history of kelp from space! (Deep Sea News)

Archaeobotanists use ancient grains to map drought. (

Dust (and the microbes hitching rides on it) influences rain and climate. (EurekAlert)

Climate Change

Who is our best hope for fighting climate change? Eve Andrews highlights the central role of indigenous women. (Grist)

Where, oh where, does your garden …or your soybeans…grow?  Being selective about where to expand agriculture could save $1 trillion worth of carbon storage. (PNAS)

I can breathe again! Climate change will mean better oxygenated tropical waters. (University of Washington)

Nature News

A movement afoot: Resurrecting and renewing the 270 miles of trails that once criss-crossed Acadia National Park.

Shark Weak? Scientists angry about their appearances on the popular Discovery series. (Why Sharks Matter)

Iconic aspen trees disappearing around the West. Can the trend be stopped? (Idaho Statesman)

Going deep: How recent live cast explorations might mean protection for the mid-Atlantic’s deep sea canyons. (Baltimore Sun)

Red Tide in Florida 90 miles long and 60 miles wide. (Los Angeles Times)

Conservation Tactics

Biodiversity surveys, are we doing them wrong? Asking locals could save time and money. (Mongabay)

Citizen scientists take on plastic waste. COASST documents marine debris to target clean-up efforts. (NSF)

Would some protected forests be better off in the hands of communities? A recent study says yes. (Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog)

Tackling bird/window collisions: Audubon Society asks Minnesota Vikings not to use so much clear glass on stadium. (Audubon)

Nets that save fish. (Ensia)

Old and new growth: Mixing science and traditional knowledge to boost forest community livelihoods. (

Science Communications

Science and the social network: Nature surveys scientists on what they use — for what. (Nature)

This and That

Small potatoes: Does ecology ignore the big issues? (Conservation Bytes)

Uh and Um:  “As people get older, they have less trouble deciding what to say (because they know more stuff), and more trouble deciding how to say it.”  (The Atlantic)

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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