Conservation Bytes

A feed from Consercation Bytes, a site dedicated to highlighting, discussing and critiquing the science of conservation that has demonstrated measurable, positive effects for global biodiversity.


17 January 2018. When devils and thylacines went extinct – We’ve just published an analysis of new radiocarbon dates showing that thylacines (Tasmanian ‘tigers’, Thylacinus cynocephalus) and Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisi) went extinct on the Australian mainland at the same time — some 3200 years ago. For many years, we’ve been uncertain about when thylacines and devils went extinct in mainland Australia (of course, devils […]

7 January 2018. To share, or not to share, is no longer the question – An edited version of a snippet from my upcoming book, The Effective Scientist (due out in March 2018). — I tend to assume tacitly that my collaborators are indeed entirely fine with the idea of having their hard-won data spread across the internet, and that anyone can access and use them. In reality, many are probably […]

26 December 2017. Influential conservation ecology papers of 2017 – As I have done for the last four years (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013), here’s another retrospective list of the top 20 influential conservation papers of 2017 as assessed by experts in F1000 Prime. More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas — … document[s] the devastating loss of flying insects […]

20 December 2017. Tiny, symbiotic organisms protect corals from predation and disease – Corals could have some unexpected allies to cope with the multi-faceted threats posed by climate change. In a new study published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Montano and colleagues show how tiny hydrozoans smaller than 1 mm and commonly found in dense colonies on the surface of hard corals (see above photo) […]

12 December 2017. Giving a monkey’s about primate conservation – Saving primates is a complicated business. Primates are intelligent, social animals that have complex needs. They come into conflict with humans when they raid rubbish bins and crops, chew power cables, and in some cases become aggressive towards people. Humans, however, have the upper hand. While 60% of non-human primate species are threatened, humans grow […]

10 December 2017. Research in Translation – Do you enjoy the challenge of communicating complex scientific ideas and conservation issues to the general public? Current Conservation is looking for submissions of reader-friendly summaries of recently published research papers in conservation science! Current Conservation is a quarterly magazine that communicates conservation science in an accessible manner to a wide audience. Our magazine combines […]

6 December 2017. Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss XLV – The last set of biodiversity cartoons for 2017. See full stock of previous ‘Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss’ compendia here. —    

21 November 2017. Microclimates: thermal shields against global warming for small herps – Thermal microhabitats are often uncoupled from above-ground air temperatures. A study focused on small frogs and lizards from the Philippines demonstrates that the structural complexity of tropical forests hosts a diversity of microhabitats that can reduce the exposure of many cold-blooded animals to anthropogenic climate warming.

16 November 2017. Ecologists are gender-biased – I normally don’t do this, but this is an extra-ordinary circumstance. As many of you are already aware, Franck Courchamp and I published a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution on Monday that ranked high-profile ecology papers. I won’t go into any details about the list here, because you can read the paper and the […]

13 November 2017. 100 papers that every ecologist should read – How do you objectively identify the 'classic' papers in ecology? Here we tell you how, and provide the list