URBANA, Ill. — A new conservation tool from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is helping protect lions across Africa, where populations have plummeted in recent decades due to poaching and other factors.
URBANA, Ill. — Artificial roosts for bats come in many forms — bat boxes, condos, bark mimics, clay roosts, and cinder block structures, to name a few — but a new conservation practice and policy article from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign<
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS – No matter how many times I do this, I always get nervous. I am demonstrating the proper use of a chainsaw to fell a tree and I want it to go well. After choosing the right tree, a medium-sized box elder, I walk through the steps out loud so that everyone in the class can hear me: One must assess any hazards, determine which way the tree is leaning and whether it might be rotten in the middle, find a safe escape route for when the tree starts falling.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new DNA-collection approach allows scientists to capture genetic information from elephants without disturbing the animals or putting their own safety in jeopardy. The protocol, tested on elephant dung, yielded enough DNA to sequence whole genomes not only of the elephants but also of the associated microbes, plants, parasites and other organisms – at a fraction of the cost of current approaches.
The researchers report their findings in the journal Frontiers in Genetics.
URBANA, Ill. – Forest managers cut down trees, but their ultimate goal is to keep forests healthy and growing. Bats might help with that, according to recent University of Illinois research, thanks to their appetite for bugs that could otherwise destroy tree seedlings.
URBANA, Ill. – How do we bring threatened and endangered animals back from the brink? The task is never easy or simple, but one thing is undeniably true: If we don’t understand these animals and what they need to survive, we have little chance of success.
Saving bats, then, is arguably a trickier endeavor than for other species. After all, the cryptic critters only emerge at night and are highly mobile, making it difficult to track their movements and behavior.
URBANA, Ill. – Humans aren’t the only ones suffering through unprecedented heatwaves in a warming climate. Consider the humble minnow. These tiny fish represent the all-important base of the food chain in many freshwater ecosystems. And like all fish, minnows adjust their body temperature to match their surroundings. As climate change turns up the heat, could minnows cook?
When most people are just getting home from their workdays, I’m about to start mine. I am a researcher studying the breeding behavior of the Eastern whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus), a cryptic bird that is primarily active after sunset as it forages on the wing for moths. So – for the summer, at least – I also am nocturnal.
URBANA, Ill. – Imagine if you had to catch every bite of your dinner with your mouth, while flying, in the dark. You’d be exhausted, and probably pretty hungry. Though some bats go for sedentary insects, most catch their food on the wing every single night. Let that sink in.
URBANA, Ill. – Deep in a Panamanian rain forest, bird populations have been quietly declining for 44 years. A new University of Illinois-led study shows a whopping 70% of understory bird species declined in the forest between 1977 and 2020. And the vast majority of those are down by half or more.