Ecology

The Panamanian golden frog is now extinct in the wild due to a disease caused by a fungus known as Bd or chytrid

Amphibian Plague Led to Malaria Surge in Humans

A new study marks the first time the frog pandemic has been linked to human health

Ants have several key roles in keeping their environments in balance, including aerating the soil, dispersing seeds, decomposing organic material and serving as a food source. 

An Estimated 20 Quadrillion Ants Live on Earth

The weight of the world’s ants exceeds that of all wild birds and mammals combined

Burls are bark-covered growths that can protrude from a tree’s trunk. They contain unsprouted bud tissue, and produce a wood that’s valued for its unique grain and smooth workability.

What Is the Financial Value of an Old-Growth Tree?

In setting fines for timber poaching, experts are looking at different ways to calculate the worth of trees

Lions in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park are feared by many different prey animals, which will run away as soon as they hear a lion growl.

How Animals Survive in a Savanna Full of Predators

Ecologists have documented a hierarchy of fear in the South African grassland, and the king of beasts is at the top

Donkeys often trample plants in the deserts of the southwestern United States, including in Death Valley National Park in California.

Cougars Are Killing Feral Donkeys, and That’s Good for Wetlands

Mountain lions play an important role in the Death Valley ecosystem by preying on the introduced species

Spotless starling chicks use a bright yellow oil to enhance the color of their mouth, which scientists verified by rubbing a cotton swab over the area.

The Done-Up Bird Gets the Worm

Starling chicks apply their preening oil as a lipstick to get more food from their parents

Forests are grappling with wildfires, insect infestations, extreme weather events, invasive species and other challenges.

U.S. Will Plant One Billion Trees to Combat Climate Change

The Forest Service plans to tackle a reforestation backlog of 4.1 million acres

The crustacean Idotea balthica can pollinate red seaweed.

These Pollinating Crustaceans Are the Bees of the Sea

Small, bug-like creatures can transfer pollen to red seaweed underwater

Moths are seeking nectar at night, long after bees have turned in for the evening.

Moths Are the Unsung Heroes of Pollination

New research suggests the insects play a more important role in pollinating red clover than scientists previously thought

Struvite is a nuisance for wastewater treatment plants, as it can clog pipes and lines. But the crystal, which is high in phosphorous, nitrogen, and magnesium, makes an excellent slow-release fertilizer for seagrass.

Human Pee Might Just Be the Key to Saving Seagrass

Treating wastewater creates struvite—a nutrient-rich crystal that bolsters struggling seagrass beds

A frog-eating bat

Wild Bats Can Recognize a Phone’s Ringtone Four Years Later

The findings could help researchers understand more about the advantages and disadvantages of long-term memory in animals

Participants in First Nature Tours help mitigate damages from wildfires in Central Oregon.

Regenerative Tourism Invites Travelers to Get Their Hands Dirty

Vacations that allow tourists to participate in conservation activities, such as habitat restoration, are growing in popularity

Recreational fishers have discovered a new way to scout for fish and cast a line.

Is Fishing With a Drone the Way of the Future?

Not everyone is on board. The technology is dividing the fishing community and drawing the ire of some politicians and scientists

Whale sharks are the largest fish on Earth.

Cargo Ships Are Killing Whale Sharks

New research shows these gentle giants are often on a collision course with large ocean vessels

Aseel Rawashdeh's innovation won sixth place in this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's most prestigious and oldest science and math competition for promising young scientists in their senior year.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Found a Way to Control Mosquitoes Using Essential Oils and Baker's Yeast

Aseel Rawashdeh's inexpensive larvicide kills disease-spreading species and spares beneficial ones

As the climate changes, polar bears are increasingly coming into contact with people.

Researchers Develop a 'Bear-Dar' That Warns Humans of Approaching Polar Bears

The artificial intelligence-powered radar system is needed as climate change brings the animals closer to towns

This mural outside of an outfitter's office illustrates the snaking mouth of Mosquito Bay.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bays Are Brighter Than Ever

The nightly light shows have rebounded from Hurricane Maria's devastating blow

Acid-spewing tawny crazy ants, formerly called raspberry crazy ants, have been spreading through the gulf coast in recent years.

A Killer Fungus Is Annihilating Invasive 'Crazy Ants' in the United States

Entomologists are hopeful the pathogen could slow the insects' spread through the country

A rare sighting of a northern spring salamander on migration night. These nocturnal creatures spend their days hiding under logs and stones.

Planet Positive

Why Did the Salamander Cross the Road?

To reproduce, of course. And a band of volunteers gathers at night to help it—and countless other amphibians—get to the other side

When corals are stressed, they will expel their algal partner in a process called coral bleaching.

Mass Coral Bleaching Hits Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Unusually warm waters are stressing sensitive corals, causing the fourth major bleaching event in the last seven years

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