For more than half a century, biologists studying Antarctica focused their research on understanding how organisms cope with the continent's severe drought and the coldest conditions on the planet. One thing they didn't really factor in, however, was the role played by the nitrogen-rich droppings from colonies of cute penguins and seals - until now.
Human activities have put as many as one million other species at risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive United Nations report on global biodiversity. The report, a summary of which was released on Monday, emphasizes humanity’s devastating impact on the natural world, which is accelerating extinctions at an unprecedented rate in human history.
One of the world's most endangered whale species is experiencing a mini baby boom off the US state of Massachusetts. Researchers at the Center for Coastal Studies have announced they have seen three North Atlantic right whale mother and calf pairs in Cape Cod Bay.
A dead whale with 40 kilograms of plastic in its stomach has been discovered off the coast of the Philippines. Marine biologist Darrell Blatchley was called to recover the 4.7m Cuvier’s beaked whale, which was trapped in the shores of the Mabini Compostela Valley.
In the Uruguayan port of Punta del Este there are a large number of sea lions that are used to people. There is a reason for this: the fishermen in the area have been feeding them for years, so the specimens are used to human presence and also to feed in this way, although it is always recommended not to get too close to these animals on land due their dangerous behavior.
A diver who ended up trapped in the mouth of a massive whale joked that he didn't have a whale of a time but called the unique encounter a very special event. Rainer Schimpf, 51, was diving off the coast of South Africa with a documentary crew in February when the breaching whale reached the surface, its mouth wide open.
Conservationists in the Galapagos Islands have found a giant tortoise from a species thought to have become extinct more than a century ago. The adult female tortoise was found on the island of Fernandina in the west of the Pacific archipelago and is believed to be a Fernandina Giant Tortoise, also known as Chelonoidis phantasticus, a species last sighted in 1906.
Dozens of orcas and beluga whales captured for sale to ocean aquariums have brought Russia's murky trade into the spotlight, but efforts to free them are blocked by government infighting.
Seventeen innovative new projects will receive UK Government funding through the Darwin Plus initiative, to help protect and enhance the environment in the UK Overseas Territories. The seventh round of funding under the initiative, worth around £3.75m, will be shared amongst 17 projects around the globe. The funding will support international nature and help to achieve many of the commitments in the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
Infectious diseases are commonly passed along from humans to animals, but a new study is the first to document human-linked pathogens on the isolated continent of Antarctica. The researchers discovered antibiotic-resistant microbes and other bacterial strains in bird poop, raising new concerns about the health of Antarctic bird colonies.