Warm weather is on its way back to the Northern Hemisphere, and with it, flock upon flock of migratory birds. The birds’ journey is not without risks, including some we’ve created, but there’s also a lot we can do to help, as the Sierra Club explains.
Cats remain the biggest killer of American birds, but colliding with buildings is a close second, killing between 100 million and 1 billion birds each year as they crash into stationary objects. The collisions are often the result of light pollution, which can disorient night-flying birds, and shiny building materials that reflect the sky. Because crashes are common during migrations, these periods are a great time for researchers to collect data on how, where, and why the accidents happen.
To do that, they need people power. Bird lovers across the country are turning up in droves to their…
Life on Earth is likely facing its sixth mass extinction. The UN Environment Programme estimates that 150 to 200 species of plant, insect, bird or mammal become extinct every day – about 1,000 times the “natural rate,” according to some biologists.
So how can we stop extinction?
One solution scientists have been developing for decades is de-extinction — the process of resurrecting extinct species through genetic engineering. The idea was made popular when an ancient mosquito with a bellyful of dinosaur DNA enabled the resurrection of a Tyrannosaurus rex in 1993’s Jurassic Park. But now that de-extinction could soon be a viable option for biodiversity conservation, some researchers are saying it could threaten extant endangered species.
“On one hand, we can bring back the dead and right past wrongs,” study co-author Joseph Bennett, a conservation biologist at Carleton University in Canada, said to Popular Science. “On the other hand, there are many species going extinct every year, and our resources to help save them are severely limited.”
The study predicts how much money it would take to conserve a handful of resurrected species by looking at the real conservation costs of similar endangered species in New Zealand and New South Wales. Even though the estimates didn’t factor in the costs of actually resurrecting the species, the study found that conserving resurrected species would be significantly more expensive than conserving endangered species.