Can the Plover Save New York?

Unexpected lessons from an endangered shorebird on Slate

From the category archives:

News

In the first of a series exploring humpback whales and the Endangered Species Act, KCAW reporter Rachel Waldholz and biologist Ellen Chenoweth explain how one of the nation’s most enduring environmental laws emerged from the office of one of its least revered presidents. Listen to Alaska Public Media here.

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Not only can nutrient-rich whale poo help reverse the effects of climate change – it’s a remarkable example that nothing in the natural world occurs in isolation. Read more from George Monbiot in the Guardian here.

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The whaling industry has reduced great whale populations by an estimated 66 to 90 percent. In the past, scientists thought cetaceans such as these were too rare to have much of an affect on the ocean ecosystem. But in a recent paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, conservation biologist Joe Roman says that whales are critical to the stability of their environment. Listen to the interview on Science Friday.

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Our new understanding about the ecological role of cetaceans “warrants a shift in view from whales being positively valued as exploitable goods,” write Roman et al., “to one that recognizes that these animals play key roles in healthy marine ecosystems.” Read more in Science.

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How flocculent fecal plumes can take carbon out of the atmosphere, in The Atlantic‘s CityLab.

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Parlez-vous français ? Read about the impacts of l’urine de baleine on climate change ici.

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Philip Hoare covers the value of whale poop in the Guardian. “Having been at the receiving end of a defecating sperm whale, I can testify to its richly odiferous qualities.”

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For our happy, heavily taxed Danish friends, Christoffer Muusmann covers the value of whales in Weekendavisen.

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A new study suggests that great whales–baleen and sperm whales–have a powerful and positive impact on how the ocean works. Watch it on Voice of America.

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“Gund fellow Joe Roman has this professor gig down! As soon as the bell rang at the end of the semester, Joe began his road show covering three of his pet projects: invasives, nature writing, and marine ecology.” Read more here.
June 2014

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