Conservation

Coffee Glut Brews Crisis for Farmers, Wildlife

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 24, 2003   View Article

For many people a coffee crisis occurs when there are no beans left in the kitchen to brew a pot of the morning elixir, forcing a half-awake stumble to the nearest coffee shop on a quest for a jolt of caffeine.

On a global scale the crisis is the opposite: There are too many beans.

Leatherback Turtles Near Extinction, Experts Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 24, 2003   View Article

They are the longest-living marine species to ever ply the world’s oceans. They survived catastrophic asteroid impacts and outlived the dinosaurs. But the leatherback sea turtle, the largest turtle in the world, is on the brink of extinction, and scientists question whether the animal will survive into the next decade.

“Over the last 22 years their numbers have declined in excess of 95 percent,” said Larry Crowder, a marine scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Crowder detailed the plight of the turtle during last week’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver, Colorado.

Muck Is Last Frontier of Biodiversity, Experts Argue

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 6, 2003   View Article

“Biodiversity” evokes lush, tropical forests teeming with animals and carpeted with vibrant vegetation. But for many scientists and soil specialists, biodiversity signifies the wet, clammy muck beneath the forest floor.

That muck, they say, is the last frontier in the science of biodiversity, and it deserves international conservation focus.

Brazil Bug Study May Aid Farmland Preservation

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 3, 2002   View Article

Overturn a wet rock or poke into a pile of damp leaf litter, and you may send a mass of tiny creatures known as Collembola jumping for cover.

The world’s most abundant insect (although taxonomists debate if they are true insects), Collembola have been around for at least 400 million years and exist in as many as 100,000 varieties.

Save the Scales? – Experts Push for Snake Protection

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 5, 2002   View Article

Snakes—the dry and scaly reptiles who strike fear in the human soul—may be slithering unnoticed toward extinction, warns a team of scientists. The researchers say more funding for basic snake ecology research is imperative if we want to conserve the species.

“Historically, reptiles get the short end of the conservation stick—they aren’t furry or feathery and thus tend to not engender much public sympathy,” said Robert Reed, a research associate at the Savannah River Ecology Lab in Aiken, South Carolina. “Snakes are especially reviled in much of the Western world.”

A Reason to Give Thanks: The Return of the Wild Turkey

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 21, 2001   View Article

As millions of Americans gather around the table with family and friends on Thursday, wild turkeys may be the ones with the most thanks to give. A century ago, with a population of only 30,000, the large birds were on the road to extinction. Today, they number 5.4 million.

“The recovery of the wild turkey is definitely a success story,” said Bart Semcer, chair of the Sierra Club’s National Wildlife and Endangered Species Committee in Washington, D.C. “They are part of America’s heritage, and the American people came together to recover the species.”

Satellites Aid Sustainable Land Use in Amazon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 31, 2001   View Article

Computers and satellites are being successfully harnessed to the problem of biodiversity conservation in the Amazon rain forest.

Scientists believe that at least half of the world’s animal, plant, and insect species reside in the rain forest, an area half the size of the continental United States.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach