Friday, August 07, 2020

Loose Feathers #761

Saltmarsh Sparrow / USFWS Photo
Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and conservation

  • Poorly-designed culverts reduce the breeding habitat for migratory fish by blocking their migration. Better design would mimic natural streambeds.
  • Two more dams were removed on the Pilchuck River in Washington, which will open 37 miles of breeding habitat for salmon.
  • Media coverage of Asian Giant Hornets, a.k.a. "murder hornets," misleads the public and puts other insects in danger
  • Researchers recently found a rare Mindo Glassfrog while doing a breeding survey of the rare Tandayapa Andes Toad in the new Río Manduriacu Reserve, which is threatened by pollution from mining.
  • The berries of Viburnum shrubs appear blue because of structural color rather than pigment. Blue attracts birds that eat the berries and spread their seeds.
  • With 13,634 plants, New Guinea has the highest plant diversity of any island. That includes 2,800 orchids and 3,900 trees. Many of the plants are endemic, and botanists think that 4,000 more species could be discovered in the next few decades.

Climate change and environmental politics