New research from Victoria University of Wellington has revealed the population of the common wasp is amplified by spring weather, with warmer and drier springs often meaning more wasps and wasp stings in summer. Continue reading →
Milder winters have led to earlier growing seasons and noticeable effects on the breeding habits of some predatory birds, according to research by Boise State biologists Shawn Smith and Julie Heath, in collaboration with Karen Steenhof, and The Peregrine Fund’s Christopher McClure. Continue reading →
Showy ornaments used by the male of the species in competition for mates, such as the long tail of a peacock or shaggy mane of a lion, could indicate a species’ risk of decline in a changing climate, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Continue reading →
Increasingly frequent extreme weather events could threaten butterfly populations in the UK and could be the cause of recently reported butterfly population crashes, according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Researchers investigated the impact of Extreme Climatic Events (ECEs) on butterfly populations. The study shows that the impact can be significantly positive and negative, but questions remain as to whether the benefits outweigh the negative effects.
While it is well known that changes to the mean climate can affect ecosystems, little is known about the impact of short-term extreme climatic events (ECEs) such as heatwaves, heavy rainfall or droughts. Continue reading →
Birds of prey let themselves be carried by predictable winds
At the start of autumn, several billion migratory birds take flight for a long, adventurous journey to Africa. How do they manage to complete this difficult journey successfully year after year? To find out, a team of researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) tracked the behaviour of migrating European honey buzzards using small GPS backpacks. They combined GPS data with meteorological models to show how these migratory birds travel via complicated detours to make use of predictable weather patterns. They do so especially over the Sahara Desert, an inhospitable landscape they need to cross as quickly as possible. Continue reading →
Using tags surgically implanted into thousands of juvenile salmon, University of British Colombia researchers have discovered that many fish die within the first few days of migration from their birthplace to the ocean. Continue reading →
Scientists have discovered that the presence of large fish predators can reduce stress on baby fish.
The researchers – from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University and the University of Glasgow- have found that physiological stress on baby fish can be reduced by more than a third if large predatory fish are around to scare off smaller, hungry predators, known as mesopredators. Continue reading →
Animal migration is a spectacular phenomenon that has fascinated humans for a long time. It is widely assumed that appropriate timing of migratory events is crucial for survival, but the causes and consequences of individual variation in timing are poorly understood. New research based on migrating pike in the Baltic Sea and published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology reveals how behaviours such as punctuality, flexibility and fine-tuning influence life expectancy in fish. Continue reading →