Friday, November 21, 2014

Loose Feathers #470

Greater Sage-Grouse / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
  • There is speculation that the reintroduction programs for California Condors and Black-footed Ferrets may have driven those endangered species' species-specific parasites to extinction.
  • Scientists investigating the genetic basis for feathers have identified 193 genes that contribute to feather development, and some of them were present in vertebrates long before birds evolved.
  • Fur seals have been recorded sexually harassing penguins and then (in some cases) eating them.
  • New York City has been the entry point for numerous introduced and invasive species, including the ubiquitous House Sparrow and European Starling.
  • Last week, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse was given threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. Whether Greater Sage-Grouse will be listed as well is still undecided.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity