kenya elephants

Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem loses 1500 elephants in 3 years

The provisional results of the aerial survey of elephants in the Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem released today show that there is an elephant population of about 11,000.  That is a reduction of about 1,500 on the population from the last survey about 3 years ago. Considering the surge in global elephant poaching the ecosystem is currently holding…
bat survey

European bat populations surge

Bat populations in Europe have surged according to a new study recently released. Between 1993 and 2011 bat numbers increased by 42% according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) survey. New conservation treaties and actions have started to have the desired effect as bat populations start to rebound. “It is extremely encouraging to see bat populations…
elephant

Microsoft billionaire to fund Pan African elephant survey

One of the founders of Microsoft, Paul Allen, has expressed his grave concern for the fate of Africa’s elephants by adding his financial weight to their protection. He announced today [Dec 4] that his family trust will fund an Africa-wide survey to establish how many elephants remain. This follows on an agreement by the Clinton…
tiger

Tigers of Panna survived the poachers

It was devastating news in 2009 after a tiger census of Panna Tiger Reserve. It was declared that there were no tigers and it was suspected that they had all been killed by poachers. New evidence suggests that at least 1 tiger survived the poachers. After the census plans were put in place to repopulate the reserve…
A new citizen science project has been launched to discover the secrets of plankton.

Take part in a deep ocean survey

The latest citizen science crowd-sourcing project has been launched. The Plankton Portal aims to let interested volunteers take part in a deep ocean survey of the base of the food chain in the marine environment. While not the easiest of crowd-sourcing surveys it is certainly one of the most fun to do. Participants need to…
Researchers estimated abundance of Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) using photo-identification surveillance of identifiable adults (photo credit: Rob Williams)

Humpback whale population doubles in 8 years

A recent survey of humpback whales off the coast of British Columbia has revealed some good news. Between 2004 and 2011 the population has doubled with an estimated 2011 population of 137 whales. The survey was undertaken by researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews and colleagues from other…
tigers

National Tiger census set for October

A new national tiger census for India is due to begin in October.  Despite there having been 225 known tiger deaths since the last national census in 2010 hopes are high that numbers will have increased. Staff training for the nationwide tiger survey is expected to begin next month and it is thought that 40,000 forest department…
Fin whale

Nuisance noise becomes important whale study

Noise from earthquake sensors is being used to study the fin whale. The fin whale is one of the least studied and understood of the whales species and the ability to use earthquake sensors to track the whales could open up a small window to their mysterious world. The fin whale makes calls in the…
red headed cardinal beetle

Natural England boosts citizen science wildlife studies

Natural England has joined with the Field Studies Council (FSC) to try and address a rising shortage of volunteer wildlife surveyors. With support from Defra’s Fund for Biodiversity in the Voluntary Sector, FSC and Natural England have created ‘Biodiversity Fellows’, a new programme to train and retain wildlife recorders as volunteer experts. The new scheme has…
jaguar

A jaguar becomes one in a million

Scientists from the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network have released a camera trap photo of a jaguar as they pass the milestone of 1 million images of wildlife captured as part of their research. The animal to make the landmark image was a jaguar in the Manu National Park, Peru. TEAM is a…
whales

A new message in a bottle

Sending a message in a bottle is a bit of a folklore for getting rescued from deserted islands but now marine scientists could use a simple bottle of sea water to determine what’s living locally. By using the latest DNA techniques a half litre of sea water can reveal the species of fish and whales…
bird song surveying

New real time bird diversity monitoring now possible

Bird surveys can be labour extensive and often need willing volunteers who are not just prepared to sit it out for a few hours but are also skilled enough to recognise the birds or their bird songs. This means trying to keep and up to date record of local bird diversity and health can be…
tiger

A night of wildlife viewing – 99 tigers in one night

It must put any Planet Earth Live viewer into a state of frustration as the annual waterhole wildlife count in Maharashtra, India got under-way. While the BBC flagship wildlife programme has become legendary before even the series has finished for the opening night of 2 white blobs presumed to be buffalo –  as its live wildlife contribution…
leeches

Are leeches a new tool for conservationists?

It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie but it looks like the common leech could become a major new tool for wildlife researchers and conservationists. A new study by Copenhagen Zoo and the University of Copenhagen used blood that leeches sucked up to determine the biodiversity of a Vietnam forest. The results of the…
oil beetle

The oil beetle survey results are now available

Those of you who signed up for last Spring’s oil beetle hunt run by Buglife can now head over to their website to find out the results. 750 citizen scientists across the UK took part in the survey and submitted nearly 1500 new records for the national database. The quality of the records submitted to…