Biology focuses on a single living organism at a time, examining the life stages, reproduction, morphology and range. In the case of fauna, there is considerable attention to the motor and social behavior of each species. For both animals and plants, biologists examine carefully the relationship of organisms to nutrient sources. Subject species may be microscopic as small as bacteria, or include the largest creatures ever known, such as present day cetaceans or extinct dinosaurs. Some biology studies focus on the reconstruction of events deep back into prehistory, while other research is preoccupied with events that are happening today and forward into the future.
Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately...
Windward Islands dry forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-23 17:04:52The Windward Islands dry forests ecoregion is sparsely distributed among the Windward Island Group of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. It is typically found as an intermediate gradient between the more mesichabitat characterized by moderate soil moisture, high-elevation forests and the xeric, coastal areas. Much of this ecoregion has been substantially altered by shifting cultivation. Many areas that were once dry evergreen or semi-evergreen seasonal forest, are now cultivated and dominated by farms, rural villages, roads, pastures and banana tree patches. This ecoregion shares flora and fauna with adjacent moist forests and, in some areas, with species native to coastal habitats. Arid coastal areas and inaccessible interior mountains put a disproportionate amount of human-related pressures (i.e., agricultural expansion, roads, buildings) on this ecoregion. Consequently,... More »
California Central Valley grasslandsLast Updated on 2014-04-22 15:33:33The California Central Valley grasslands extends approximately 430 miles in central California, paralleling the Sierra Nevada Range to the east and the coastal ranges to the west (averaging 75 miles in longitudinal extent), and stopping abruptly at the Tehachapi Range in the south. Two rivers flow from opposite ends and join around the middle of the valley to form the extensive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that flows into San Francisco Bay. The ecoregion is an element of the Temperate Grasslands, Shrublands Savannas biome.
Desert grasslands occur in the southern end of the valley due to increasing aridity. The valley is ringed by oak woodlands and chaparral of the California interior chaparral and woodland ecoregion. Faunal biodiversity of the California Central Valley grasslands is relatively modest, especially given the habitat destruction wrought upon this region by man's... More »
Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 18:33:35The Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rainforests cover the transition zone from continental dry evergreen forests common in the north to semi-evergreen rainforests to the south. As a consequence, this ecoregion contains some of the highest diversity of both bird and mammal species found in the Indo-Pacific region.
The relatively intact hill and montane forests form some of the best remaining habitat essential to the survival of Asian elephants and tigers in the Indo-Pacific region. However, the lowland forests are heavily degraded, and many lowland specialists such as the endemic Gurney's pitta survive in a few isolated reserves.
This ecoregion encompasses the mountainous, semi-evergreen rain forests of the southern portion of the Tenasserim Range, which separates Thailand and Myanmar, and the numerous small ranges of peninsular Thailand.
This ecoregion also... More »
Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:22:36The Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforests ecoregion, with 195 mammal species, has the second most mammal species in the Indo-Pacific, behind the Borneo lowland rainforests. Yet most of the wide-ranging or top carnivore species lead a tenuous existence within these biologically noteworthy forests. The tiger, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan tapir, gaur, and clouded leopard all fall into this category. As in many other tropical forests in this region, habitat loss and poaching are the two primary reasons for the decline in these and other species.
This ecoregion is comprised of the lowland moist forests of Peninsular Malaysia and the extreme southern part of Thailand. There are no clear seasons in peninsular Malaysia, and rainfall is plentiful year-round. Two monsoons punctuate the region. From October to March a northeastern monsoon brings extra rain to the eastern... More »
Palawan rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-17 14:03:23
Palawan represents a bridge between the Sunda Shelf and Philippine bioregions and contains faunal elements from both, as well as it own unique elements. This ecoregion, though more intact than any other region in the Philippines is under great pressure from logging interests.
This ecoregion includes the island Palawan plus Balabac, Ursula Island, and the Calamian Group. Palawan itself is the sixth largest of the Philippine Islands. The climate of the ecoregion is tropical wet. In northwest Palawan, a dry season lasts from November to May while the wet season lasts from June to October; the rest of the island experiences a short, one- to three-month dry season. The east coast becomes progressively drier than the west coast from north to south.
Palawan (along with the Calamianes and the island of Mindoro) was rifted (below water) from the Asian mainland approximately 32 million... More »
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