Northern Ireland’s recovering pine marten population benefits red squirrels

The recovery of pine marten in Ireland and Britain is reversing native red squirrel replacement by invasive grey squirrels, according to new research presented at the British Ecological Society’s annual meeting in Belfast today. Researchers at Queens University, Belfast and National Museums Northern Ireland have found red squirrels are responding positively to the increased presence … Read more Northern Ireland’s recovering pine marten population benefits red squirrels

Mountain goats’ air conditioning is failing, study says

A new study in the journal PLOS One says Glacier National Park’s iconic mountain goats are in dire need of air conditioning. Researchers from the University of Montana, Glacier National Park, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found that mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) in Glacier National Park seek out patches of snow in the summertime to reduce heat … Read more Mountain goats’ air conditioning is failing, study says

Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

As the climate changes, myriad animal populations are being impacted. In particular, Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land – but why? A new study in … Read more Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

Close friends help macaques survive

Close friendships improve the survival chances of rhesus macaques, new research shows. University of Exeter scientists studied the social lives of female macaques on “Monkey Island” (Cayo Santiago, off Puerto Rico). Data spanning seven years revealed that females with the strongest social connection to a another macaque – measured by factors including time spent together … Read more Close friends help macaques survive

Killer whale grandmothers boost survival of calves

Post-menopausal killer whale grandmothers improve the chances of survival for their grand-calves, new research has found. The study found that grandmothers who were no longer able to reproduce had the biggest beneficial impact on the survival chances of their grand-offspring. This may be because grandmothers without calves of their own are free to focus time … Read more Killer whale grandmothers boost survival of calves

Whales stop being socialites when boats are about

The noise and presence of boats can harm humpback whales’ ability to communicate and socialise, in some cases reducing their communication range by a factor of four. The discovery was made by Dr Rebecca Dunlop from The University of Queensland’s Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory, who monitored the acoustics and social behaviour of humpback whales … Read more Whales stop being socialites when boats are about

Health care in baboons

Sexually transmitted diseases are widespread among animals and humans. Humans, however, know a multitude of protective and hygienic measures to protect themselves from infection. An international research team led by scientists at the German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research has investigated whether our closest relatives, the primates, change their sexual behavior … Read more Health care in baboons

Untangling the branches in the mammal tree of life

The mammal tree of life is a real leaner. Some branches are weighed down with thousands of species – we’re looking at you, rodents and bats – while others hold just a few species. Now we may have a better idea why. In a new study published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers at Yale University … Read more Untangling the branches in the mammal tree of life

Deer and elk can help young Douglas-fir trees under some conditions

Long considered pests by forest managers, deer and elk can help Douglas-fir seedlings thrive under certain vegetation management conditions, a five-year study by Oregon State University shows. The research, published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology, is important because global demand for forest products continues to rise and because wildlife conservation is often viewed as … Read more Deer and elk can help young Douglas-fir trees under some conditions

Through the eyes of animals

Humans are now closer to seeing through the eyes of animals, thanks to an innovative software framework developed by researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter. PhD candidate Cedric van den Berg from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences said that, until now, it has been difficult to understand how animals really … Read more Through the eyes of animals