Traditionally, the term wildlife has conjured images of species which are of economic or emotional importance to humans. However wildlife life encompasses a much broader array of life on earth, referring to any undomesticated species, from the European Fire-bellied toad to the Siberian tiger.
As humans have encroached on the natural habitats of the world's wildlife, contaminated the far reaches of earth and hunted or fished some species to extinction, understanding qualities like habitat requirements, lifecycles and nutritional needs for all wildlife species has become a primary focus of many scientists and conservationists.
For many species, their survival depends upon our ability to identify the basic needs for wildlife populations to survive and thrive and act upon that knowledge.
The Indus River dolphin (scientific name: Platanista minor) is fresh water cetacean closely related to the Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica). These two endangered...
Desert birdsLast Updated on 2013-10-29 21:52:31Deserts are challenging environments. Any organism that makes the desert its home must be able to cope with extreme temperatures and a scarce supply of water. Birds have the obvious advantage of flight which allows many of them to be only temporary visitors stopping off along their migrations, or seasonal inhabitants sticking around to breed during the more favorable seasons and leaving when things get too rough. There are a limited number of bird species that can truly call themselves desert dwellers, living primarily or only in such arid environments and not migrating. These birds possess some fascinating adaptations for dealing with life in the desert. (see: Adaptations of desert birds and mammals)
Organisms living in desert environments face several challenges including (1) obtaining and retaining water, (2) regulating their body temperature, and (3) obtaining and conserving... More »
Florida Black BearLast Updated on 2013-10-29 16:30:17When the American black bear (Ursus americanus) in Florida was first scientifically described in 1896 by naturalist C. Hart Merriam, he thought its long skull and highly arched nasal bones distinguished it from black bears in other areas and classified it as a separate species (Ursus floridanus), which he called the Everglades bear. Subsequent analyses around 1960 revised the status of these bears to the Florida black bear (U. a. floridanus), one of 16 recognized subspecies .
Species:-- Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780
Black bears are... More »
Bearded BeggarticksLast Updated on 2013-10-08 22:59:35
Bidens aristosa (Michx.) Britt.
This article was produced by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Staff, Newtown Square, PA. WOW 01-21-05. Invasive Plants website.
Bearded beggarticks, swamp marigold, tickseed sunflower, longbracted beggar-ticks
A naturalized invasive plant of the United States
An upright annual or shortlived perennial in the aster family (Asteraceae) growing to a height of 1-5 feet and having slender, leafy, branched stems bearing several golden yellow, daisy-like flower heads. Leaves are approximately 6 inches long, opposite, pinnately divided, and segments toothed. Flowers head are 1-2 inches wide blooming August-October. Seed-like fruits are flat, ovoid, usually with 2 barbed spines.
Wet meadows, roadside ditches, abandoned fields, low ground, open bottomlands, stream banks, and other damp areas such as ditches.
This species is reported from... More »
Alboran SeaLast Updated on 2013-09-25 00:20:36The Alboran Sea is the western-most part of the Mediterranean Sea between the coast of Spain and the coast of Morocco.
It extends from the The Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the Alboran Island in the northeast where it meets the Balearic Sea. The Alboran Sea extends from between about 35 and 38 degrees N and 6 degrees N and the Equator.
The sardine and anchovy fisheries have historically been the most important pelagic target species; however, overfishing and water pollution threatens the sustainability of these activities; furthermore the use of driftnets is causing ongoing heavy mortality of small cetaceans in the Alboran Sea. Heavy tourism along the Iberian Alboran coast contributes to water pollution that adversely affects many marine organisms in the Alboran Sea.
The Alboran Sea was traversed in the first millennium BC by Phoenician navigators, and subsequently by... More »
Contemporary evolutionLast Updated on 2013-07-18 16:32:36
Rapid environmental change, whether human induced such as fishing and hunting pressures, toxic chemicals, or natural climatic changes resulting in altered food availability have provided opportunities to observe rapid microevolutionary changes in contemporary time, or contemporary evolution. These are population level changes which tend to occur over a few centuries or much less time (depending on the species) and may be observed after only a relatively small number of generation cycles depending on the species. Well known examples of contemporary evolution include pesticide and antibiotic resistance. Yet we now know that animals other than pest species can evolve in response to rapid environmental change (including chemical expsoures).
However distinguishing rapid, adaptive genetic change from phenotypic plasticity (altered phenotypic expression of a single... More »
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