Tag: Invasive species

Citizen Science Tuesday: NestWatch

Citizen Science Tuesday connects you to projects that benefit conservation. This week: track the reproductive success of birds and improve understanding of challenges they face with NestWatch. Who doesn’t want to spend time watching baby birds?

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Eurasian Collared Dove: Have You Seen This Bird?

Thirty years ago, non-native Eurasian collared doves were starting to show up in South Florida. Today, this species is being documented across North America. How citizen scientists help document the spread of a non-native species.

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Birders: Report Forest Pests During the Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is one of the largest citizen science efforts in the world. Learn how participants can expand their impact by reporting invasive forest pests.

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Insect Soup, Deep Ocean Restoration, Twerking Spiders & More

Also in our weekly best of the web: Why “climate change = impending disaster” doesn’t work; drones search for rare pygmy rabbits; and why scientists should talk to reporters.

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Scuba Divers Provide Non-Chemical Weed Control on Wisconsin Lake

Eurasian watermilfoil, meet your worst enemies: scuba divers and snorkelers. A chemical-free, cost-effective method of aquatic weed control offers promising results on a Wisconsin lake.

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Adirondacks Rapid Response: An Invasives Success Story

Too little, too late: that’s often the narrative of invasive species. Not here. Not in the Adirondacks. Early detection and rapid response is making a difference–before invasive plants have the chance to become established.

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The Cooler: Towards a Deeper Conversation on Invasive Species

You know the story: invasive species are bad, bad, bad. But what if that old story is a bit more…complicated? “Ecological hit men” Jeffrey A. Lockwood and Alexandre V. Latchininsky confront an invasive grasshopper on a remote island. And the more they look, the less clear the picture.

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Cloud Computing: A Key Tool in the Fight Against Invasive Species

iMapInvasives is a cloud-based database and mapping system that tracks and monitors invasive species in real-time. It’s also a great way to get citizen-scientists and conservation volunteers involved in the fight against invasive species. And the use of the tool is spreading fast (much like an invasive species does, you might say).

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Is Your Kitty Cat a Destructive Killer?

Does the loss of bird populations begin with a meow?

When most conservationists think about the biggest human-caused threats to native birds, they list things like oil spills, habitat destruction, invasive species, climate change, collisions with windows, pesticides and wind turbines.

But those threats, serious as they are, pale in comparison to what may be the number one killer of wild birds: Cats.

That’s right. Your beloved Tabby could be a wildlife destroying machine, a genuine conservation threat.

That’s what researchers suggest in a recent paper published in the journal Nature Communications. They found that free-ranging cats killed between 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually.

That research has been widely publicized by birders, and widely ignored by everyone else. Especially cat lovers.

Researchers Scott R. Loss and Peter Marra of the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center and Tom Will of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Birds suggest that feral cats (those not owned by someone) kill the majority of birds. But still, a simple way to save the local fauna is to keep your Siamese or Manx indoors, or on a leash.

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A Rat-Free Palmyra Atoll

Located 1,000 miles south of Hawai’i, Palmyra Atoll is one of the most spectacular marine wilderness areas on Earth. The area includes 25 islets covering 580 acres of land, and 15,000 acres of some of the most diverse and spectacular coral reef systems in the world.

Palmyra Atoll is co-managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. These two partners plus Island Conservation are working together on the Palmyra Atoll Restoration Project, which aims to protect ten nesting seabird species, migratory shorebirds, the rare coconut crab and one of the largest remaining native Pisonia forests in the Pacific Islands.

The first step in this restoration was a big one: removing non-native rats. That project recently completed and appears to be successful.

Alex Wegmann, program director for Island Conservation, recently shared his thoughts on the effort to restore a rat-free island.

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