Revolutionary method could bring us much closer to the description of hyperdiverse faunas

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  • July 25, 2019
  • A novel approach relying on a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen was proposed to greatly accelerate species identification and description, especially when it comes to hyperdiverse taxa, such as parasitic wasps.

    Field research in Turkmenistan’s highest mountain reveals high biological diversity

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  • July 16, 2019
  • New open-access book presents a comprehensive report on the remarkable ecosystems of the Koytendag nature reserve Situated in the extreme south-east of Turkmenistan: on the border with Uzbekistan and close to the border with Afghanistan, Koytendag presents one of the most distinct landscapes in Central Asia. Reaching elevations of up to 3,137 m, this is […]



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    Be prepared: Prioritising invasive species for strategic prevention in Durban, South Africa

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  • June 24, 2019
  • While exploring the way alien species invade cities around the world, South African PhD student Ashlyn L. Padayachee (University of KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN) and her supervisors, Serban Proches (UKZN) and John Wilson (SANBI and Stellenbosch University) remember suddenly being stricken. What they realised was that while cities were gradually starting to prepare for climate change, their responses to […]

    Australian study into how seals react to boats prompts new ecotourism regulations

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  • December 20, 2018
  • Unable to differentiate between a predator and a tourist boat carrying humans curious to view a colony of seals while resting in their natural habitat, pinnipeds are quick to react defensively as soon as they sense what they perceive as a potential life threat. The closer the vessel approaches, the more likely it is for […]

    Wildlife on the highway to hell: Roadkill in the largest wetland, Pantanal region, Brazil

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  • October 23, 2018
  • Scientists provide crucial data to prompt further conservation and safety measures at the notorious BR-262 highway Having systematically monitored wild animals killed on the Brazilian federal highway BR-262, which passes through the Pantanal region, a research team from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, published their data concerning birds and reptiles in the […]

    New light on the controversial question of species abundance and population density

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  • September 17, 2018
  • Inspired by the negative results in the recently published largest-scale analysis of the relation between population density and positions in geographic ranges and environmental niches, Drs Jorge Soberon and Andrew Townsend Peterson of the University of Kansas, USA, teamed up with Luis Osorio-Olvera, National University of Mexico (UNAM), and identified several issues in the methodology used, able to […]

    Pan-European sampling campaign sheds light on the massive diversity of freshwater plankton

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  • January 8, 2018
  • In a major pan-European study, a research team from Germany have successfully extracted environmental DNA (eDNA) from as many as 218 lakes to refute a long-year belief that vital microorganisms do not differ significantly between freshwater bodies and geographic regions the way plants and animals do. Their new-age approach to biodiversity studies resulted in the […]

    Special issue: Natura 2000 appropriate assessment and derogation procedure

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  • December 19, 2017
  • The focus is on the case-law of the European Court of Justice and the German Federal Administrative Court With over 27,500 sites, Natura 2000 is the greatest nature conservation network in the world. It covers more than 18 percent of the land area in the European Union and around 395,000 km2 of its marine territory. Projects and […]

    Lion conservation requires effective international cooperation

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  • September 13, 2017
  • Lions belong to the world’s most charismatic megafauna. However, lion numbers and range have declined alarmingly over the last two decades. “To turn the tide, international cooperation is crucial,” says a team of lawyers, conservation biologists and social scientists. In their recently published review article in the journal Nature Conservation, they assess the current and potential […]

    Conservation and nameless earthworms: Assessors in the dark?

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  • May 22, 2017
  • Species that live exclusively in a single region are at a particular risk of extinction. However, for them to be protected, thorough assessments of the environmental impacts need to be performed. There are more than 100 earthworm species living in the soil and dead wood of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Most of them live exclusively […]