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Rainfall in Desert

Desert Blooms: Understanding Unpredictable Rainfall in Arid Australia

In the dry lands of central Australia, rainfall is rare and unpredictable, resulting in a unique ecosystem which transforms in response to irregular climate changes, rather than the steady march of the seasons. A special issue of Austral Ecology, Greening of arid Australia, explores these decadal-scale changes, from sudden flooding, to the impact on desert […]

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Snow Leopard Conservation – How Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries Can Save Them

The range of the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncial) covers several central Asian countries, including Chinese provinces on the Tibetan Plateau. A team of Chinese conservationists claim that isolated Buddhist monasteries, spread across 80% of snow leopard territory, could play a central role in the species’ conservation. The team surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan […]

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Breast is Best: Good Bacteria Arrive From Mum’s Gut via Breast Milk

Scientists have discovered that important ‘good’ bacteria arrive in babies’ digestive systems from their mother’s gut via breast milk. Although this does confirm that when it comes to early establishment of gut and immune health, ‘breast is best’, a greater understanding of how babies acquire a population of good bacteria can also help to develop […]

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The Alluring Smell of Dung: How Flowers Mimic Smells to Lure Insects

Flowering plants mimic the smell of decaying animals or even feces to attract insects which are searching for sites to lays eggs. New research in Ecology Letters explores the chemical signals behind this smelly deception and presents the first large scale study of these evolved emissions. The results revealed a range of fake smells from […]

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To Shoot or Protect: Is it Time for Federal Wildlife Control to be Reformed?

For over a century, the U.S. government has used lethal controls of native wildlife, firstly to protect livestock and more recently to control the ecosystem. Since 2000, the Wildlife Services department has spent millions of dollars to kill, intentionally and unintentionally, up to 2 million native mammals. Unfortunately this has included 11 federally endangered or […]

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