Research: Pollinator habitats could be saved by solar power plants
Researchers at the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are studying solar energy facilities with pollinator habitats on site. Through this effort they hope to rehabilitate declining pollinator populations that play an important role in the agricultural industries. The loss of such species could result in devastating crop production, costs, and nutrition on a global scale.
Currently, pollinators are responsible for pollinating nearly 75% of all crops used for food. However, because of the increase in man-made environmental stressors, their population continues to steeply decline.
The research team has been working on examining the potential benefits of establishing species’ habitat at utility-scale solar energy facilities to resolve the problem.
They have found that the area around solar panels could provide an ideal location for the plants that attract pollinators…
Spring is coming earlier to wildlife refuges, and bird migrations need to catch up
Climate change is bringing spring earlier to three-quarters of the United States’ federal wildlife refuges and nearly all North American flyways used by migratory birds. This is a shift that threatens to leave migrating birds hungry and in a weakened condition as they are preparing to breed, new research shows…
It’s an Ecological Trap: Global warming can turn Monarch Butterflies’ favorite food into poison
“LSU researchers have discovered a new relationship between climate change, monarch butterflies and milkweed plants. It turns out that warming temperatures don’t just affect the monarch, Danaus plexippus, directly, but also affect this butterfly by potentially turning its favorite plant food into a poison.
Bret Elderd, associate professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences, and Mattnew Faldyn, a Ph.D. student in Elderd’s lab from Katy, Texas, published their findings today with coauthor Mark Hunter of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. This study is published in Ecology, a leading journal in this field…”
Making photography tell the stories: If we lose the ice, we lose the entire ecosystem’
You, like Paul, a former marine biologist, can inspire change and help people connect the dots in compelling ways as we face 30 years to slow down climate change in a way that will save the species we love, and the communities as we know them. Why? Because, as Paul notes…
Can ground mounted solar farms be wildlife havens?
“Research suggests that the negative impacts of solar installation and operation relative to traditional power generation are extremely low. In fact, over 80% of the impacts were found to be positive or neutral. Yet, it is clear that if it involves the removal of woodland to make space for solar power this can cause a significant contribution to CO2 emissions, but still far lower than coal-based electricity.”
Solar farms can enhance wildlife habitat (and can be compatible with grazing)…
Beavers—once nearly extinct—could help fight climate change
Many conservationists have been trained to think that dams are bad-news for wildlife. With climate change, droughts, and increasingly extreme weather, we are rethinking that.
For example, on the Puget Sound, beavers are being reintroduced to enhance salmon stocks. Small dams might be something we need to consider, and this article gives some ideas of where to start…
Contribute to Science
Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. We share your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.
Wind energy takes a toll on birds, but now there’s help
Given that entire species will be wiped out with climate change, when it comes to talking about the negative impact that windmills have on birds, it’s a very relative figure—one we have to keep in mind more than ever. Still, if there are ways to reduce the number of birds killed, and that’s a very positive thing.
“Researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, have hit upon what could prove to be a simple way to protect birds from wind turbines. They’ve used the “signatures” of birds that are visible in raw weather radar data to generate bird maps and live migration forecasts designed to alert wind farm operators to the presence of birds at peak times…”
Accelerating extinction risk from climate change
“Current predictions of extinction risks from climate change vary widely depending on the specific assumptions and geographic and taxonomic focus of each study. I synthesized published studies in order to estimate a global mean extinction rate and determine which factors contribute the greatest uncertainty to climate change–induced extinction risks. Results suggest that extinction risks will accelerate with future global temperatures, threatening up to one in six species under current policies…”
Death and Extinction of the Bees. The Role of Monsanto?
‘Scientists have recently reported that mass extinctions of marine animals may soon be occurring at alarmingly rapid rates than previously projected due to pollution, rising water temperatures and loss of habitat. Many land species also face a similar fate for the same reasons. But perhaps the biggest foreboding danger of all facing humans is the loss of the global honeybee population. The consequence of a dying bee population impacts man at the highest levels on our food chain, posing an enormously grave threat to human survival. Since no other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits and vegetables that we humans commonly take for granted yet require near daily to stay alive, the greatest modern scientist Albert Einstein once prophetically remarked, “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”’