The latest in a regular series of posts to biodiversity-related* items that have caught my attention during the week:
- It’s been a good week for birds: Jerdon’s babbler, a species thought to have been extinct for over 70 years, has been rediscovered in Myanmar, whilst the Blue-bearded helmetcrest, a hummingbird not seen for 69 years, has recently been photographed in Colombia.
- Why are ecological research funding agencies willing to provide large sums of money for short-term projects, but not more modest sums for long-term monitoring research? Ignasi Bartomeus thinks this is an important question, and I very much agree.
- Related to this, prominent ecologist Charley Krebs asks why physical sciences take the largest share of science budgets, given the importance (and urgency) of global environmental problems. Charley’s text books have long been required reading on our undergraduate degrees, including his latest The Ecological World View.
- The known species diversity of the oceans has just been cut by about half. That’s a good thing as it firms up the science behind understanding patterns of marine biodiversity.
- Love beer? Love nature. I love both 🙂
- An opportunity to decide on Britain’s national bird – cast your vote now.
- Finally and close to home, the Northampton Greyfriars Bus Station, widely regarded as one of the ugliest buildings in Britain, was demolished with a set of controlled explosions. What’s that got to do with biodiversity, I hear you ask? Well the area of green space visible as a still before the video starts, and shown later at 0:45 and 1:15, was one of the field sites used by my PhD student Muzafar Hussain during his surveys of urban solitary bees, which I’ve talked about previously, e.g. here and here. That patch of green, a rather neglected area of urban grassland with some scattered trees, was home to at least 17 species of bees. Will they survive the demolition? Hopefully, though the future redevelopment of the area may result in their loss. But that’s been happening to urban bee populations for centuries, and they are adaptable and mobile. I’ll talk more about Muzafar’s work in a post in the near future as the first manuscript from his PhD research has been accepted for publication.
Feel free to recommend links that have caught your eye.