Latest Population ecology Stories

2009-07-23 09:32:15

In the animal kingdom, everything is not as it seems. Individuals of the same species can look very different from each other - what biologists term 'polymorphism.' Sometimes the number of distinct visible forms - 'exuberant polymorphisms' -- in a single animal population can reach double figures. But why?Scientists at the University of York have developed computer models that may help to explain how this level of variation arises and persists. Their research is reported in the latest issue...

2009-07-08 15:22:00

LOS ANGELES, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a California-based nonprofit organization focused on reducing pet overpopulation through legislation, today reported that the total number of euthanasia of cats and dogs entering California municipal shelters increased 14.6 percent statewide - from 378,445 to 433,512 -between 2004 to 2008 based on recently released figures from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In addition, the total yearly number of...

2009-06-05 14:10:00

Experts warned Congress on Thursday that a mysterious fungus attacking America's bats represents the most serious threat to wildlife in a century and could spread nationwide within years. The condition, known as white-nose syndrome, gets its name from the white fungus speckled amongst the bats, reports the Associated Press. Experts told two House subcommittees on Thursday about discovering caves where bats had been decimated by the disease. "One cave there was turned into a morgue, with bats...

2009-05-02 11:20:00

A fungus, which has reportedly already killed an estimated 500,000 bats, is causing the U.S. Forest Service to close thousands of caves and former mines in national forests in 33 states in an attempt to control the problem. The problem was first noticed in New York and after two years had spread to caves in both Virginia and West Virginia. 99% of the bats infected have died. While there is no reason to believe the fungus poses a threat to humans, bats have been dying at a startling rate from...

2009-03-29 15:26:34

Scientists say they are racing to discover what it is causing a massive die-off of bats in Connecticut before the condition spreads to the U.S. South. As many as 90 percent of Connecticut's bats have died during winter hibernation after being infected by a rare fungus usually only found in Arctic tundra regions, and scientists are working to find a cause before the white-nose syndrome is spread to the large bat populations of the U.S. South, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Sunday. The...

2009-03-02 14:58:00

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologists continue to monitor bat hibernacula, the number of sites where bats have been confirmed infected or dying from White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has risen to six. The sites are two abandoned mines near Carbondale, Lackawanna County; an abandoned mine near Shickshinny, Luzerne County; and the abandoned Shindle Iron Mine, Aitkin Cave and Seawra Cave in Mifflin County. "We continue to receive...

2009-02-03 14:42:00

Stricken bats die in and around their hibernation quarters at two abandoned mines. Game Commission seeks public's help in identifying other sites. HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was written by Joe Kosack, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, Pennsylvania Game Commission: Several hundred little brown bats are dead from White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in Lackawanna County, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking to residents for help uncovering...

2009-01-23 17:33:08

A lethal condition that has been killing bats in New York for two years has spread into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, wildlife authorities said Friday. The discovery of hundreds of dead bats and the expansion of white-nose syndrome has left people with a kind of helpless feeling, Mick Valent, a zoologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, told the Newark Star-Ledger. You can't start treating something when you don't know the cause of it. First detected in New York in early...

2008-10-31 09:15:00

A nasty fungus is killing hundreds of thousands of bats in the northeastern United States, scientists said Thursday. The previously unknown fungus thrives in chilly temperatures. It's a white, powdery-looking organism found on the muzzles, ears and wings of dead and dying bats hibernating in caves in New York, Maine, Vermont and Connecticut. The study was published in the journal Nature. "Essentially, hibernating bats are getting moldy as they hang from their cave ceiling," David Blehert,...

2008-10-17 11:00:00

Streams that once sang with the croaks, chirps and ribbits of dozens of frog species have gone silent. They're victims of a fungus that's decimating amphibian populations worldwide. Such catastrophic declines have been documented for more than a decade, but until recently scientists knew little about how the loss of frogs alters the larger ecosystem. A University of Georgia study that is the first to comprehensively examine an ecosystem before and after an amphibian population decline has...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.