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Conservation

This category contains 83 posts

A long history of tool use in marine mammals? You otter believe it!

The use of tools by animals has been documented in a wide range of species, from birds to invertebrates, encompassing land animals and marine animals. Animals use tools to help shelter themselves as well as find their next meal. By investigating animals on a genetic level it’s possible to determine whether tool use is specific to a population and how long ago this ability evolved. Recently, scientists investigated the genetics of a fan favorite, the sea otter, to try and pinpoint how long they’ve been using tools and what they’ve been using them for. Read on to find out more!

How just 3% saves 50%: Small expansions of protected areas in “shark hot spots” could save HALF of currently endangered Sharks, Skates, and Rays

The old adage of, “work smarter, not harder” even applies to shark conservation…read on to learn how targeted expansion of marine protected areas could better protect more than 50% of imperiled shark species around the globe.

Marine Protected Areas need more than just a name

It is no secret that the Earth’s oceans are in trouble. Every day there is a new article on rising temperatures, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and species extinction, to name just a few. Luckily, governments are taking notice and policies are being enacted to curb the loss of this delicate, and essential ecosystem. However, deciding to take action does not always guarantee that the necessary measures will follow. Continue reading to see how one team of researchers have quantified the effectiveness of some of these policies, and what needs to happen to ensure they are moving forward.

Shark attack prevention: what works, what doesn’t?

We aren’t going to need a bigger boat to prevent shark attacks…read this review article to get an idea what shark attack prevention strategies are best for both humans and sharks!

Protecting Our Fish and Birds by Protecting Their Wetland Homes

Wetlands are the link between land and water, and are some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They need our protection, for the commercial fisheries we depend upon, for the recreational opportunities they provide us, and for the benefit of the species that use them.

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!

‘The conservationist is ready to see you’: triaging marine ecosystems in times of climate change

Climate change affects ecosystems worldwide, but how do conservationists decide which of planet earth’s ecosystems are most in need?

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

Like a champion Casanova in the sky

After migrating thousands of miles from their southern wintering grounds, males of a certain species of shorebird log thousands more miles scouring the summer territories for fertile females. It’s pretty nuts.

Fisheries and Food Security

Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations?

Hard Coral or Macroalgae? Coral Reefs May Have Another Option

Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

Paradise Loss: How humans are impacting coastal reef communities

Humans are drawn to beautiful beaches and warm water, and with us come the conveniences of modern day civilization. While life may be flourishing in the shops, restaurants and luxury hotels, this development is taking its toll on the fragile reef community just off shore. Although reefs may appear healthy to the naked eye, researchers have discovered coastal development impacts their biological diversity, and this may be an indication of more serious, long-term damage.

Ain’t no killing the killifish (for now): on the virtues of genetic diversity

Atlantic killifish are spared extinction in the face of pollution thanks to their remarkable genetic diversity.

Mangrove Takeover Impacting Salt Marshes

Mangroves are encroaching on salt marsh habitats worldwide, but what does this change in plant community mean for the plants, ecosystem processes, and other inhabitants of these areas? Find out a bit of the answer to that question in today’s oceanbites!

A mercurial tug o’ war in Antarctic sea ice

DNA from bacteria living in Antarctic sea ice provides a clue to the mysterious origins of methyl mercury in seawater in the Southern Ocean.

Giving Thanks for the Ocean: The gratitude of the writers

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, but I think the spirit of gratitude should live on. Many of the other writers wanted to share their gratitude for the ocean. Some waxed poetic, some pragmatic, but all spoke from a personal place. Yet the gratitude we feel for the ocean unifies all of us—not just the writers here at oceanbites but also the larger us, aka humans.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

The long and winding Eel migration

A glimpse of the thousands’ mile migration of the European eel shows it’s anything but straightforward.

Big animals face big trouble in our oceans

Many believe we are in the midst of another mass extinction both on land and in the ocean. What marine animals are most at risk of extinction? Using current and past extinction data, researchers were able to pinpoint the most vulnerable types of marine animals.

Do algal blooms kill whales?

Since 2005, southern right whale calves have been found dead in historic numbers off the Patagonian coast in Argentina. Scientists investigate whether harmful algal blooms may be to blame.

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