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.


14 May 2017. Spring asynchrony in migratory birds – Migratory birds synchronise their travel from non-breeding to breeding quarters with the seasonal conditions optimal for reproduction. Above all, they decide when to migrate on the basis of the climate of their wintering areas while they are there. As climate change involves earlier springs in the Arctic but not in the wintering areas, there is […]

8 May 2017. Who are the healthiest people in the world? – Apologies for the little gap in my regular posts — I am in the fortunate position of having spent the last three weeks in the beautiful Villa Serbelloni in the village of Bellagio on the shores of Lake Como (northern Italy) engaged in writing a new book with my good friend and colleague, Professor Paul […]

26 April 2017. Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss XLI – Number 41 of my semi-regular instalment of biodiversity cartoons, and the first for 2017. See full stock of previous ‘Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss’ compendia here. —         Filed under: cartoon, conservation, environmental policy, science Tagged: Anthropocene, biodiversity, climate change, deforestation, denialism, Endangered species, extinction, Global warming, Holocene, oil palm, palm oil, science, tropical

17 April 2017. Noses baffled by ocean acidification – Smell is like noise, the more scents we breathe in one sniff, the more difficult it is to distinguish them to the point of olfactory saturation. Experimental work with clownfish reveals that the increase in dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater, mimicking ocean acidification, alters olfactory physiology, with potential cascading effects on the demography of species. […]

13 April 2017. Job: Research Fellow in Palaeo-Ecological Modelling – I have another postdoctoral fellowship to advertise! All the details you need for applying are below. — KEY PURPOSE  Scientific data such as fossil and archaeological records used as proxy to reconstruct past environments and biological communities (including humans) are sparse, often ambiguous or contradictory when establishing any consensus on timing or routes of initial […]

7 April 2017. Future of conservation – Last year I posted about a paper that attempted to gauge the opinions of modern-day conservationists about the perceived role of conservation biology today and in the near future. My main point was that it’s not a dichotomy (or trichotomy, etc.), and that the complexity of the modern discipline means that many different approaches and philosophies must […]

5 April 2017. Not 100% renewable, but 0% carbon – Anyone familiar with this blog and our work on energy issues will not be surprised by my sincere support of nuclear power as the only realistic solution to climate change in the electricity (and possibly transport and industrial heat) arena. I’ve laid my cards on the table in the peer-reviewed literature (e.g., see here, here, […]

27 March 2017. Limited nursery replenishment in coral reefs – Coral reef fishes are wonderfully diverse in size, form, and function, as well as their need for different habitats throughout the life cycle. Some species spend all of their life in the same kind of coral habitat, while others need different places to breed and feed. Fishes requiring different habitats as they progress through life […]

15 March 2017. Credit for reviewing & editing — it’s about bloody time – As have many other scientists, I’ve whinged before about the exploitative nature of scientific publishing. What other industry obtains its primary material for free (submitted articles), has its construction and quality control done for free (reviewing & editing), and then sells its final products for immense profit back to the very people who started the […]

8 March 2017. Singin’ in the heat – Frog songs are species-specific and highly useful for the study of tropical communities, which host the highest amphibian diversities globally. The auditory system of females and the vocal system of males have co-evolved to facilitate reproductive encounters, but global warming might be disrupting the frequency of sound-based encounters in some species.