The Conversation: Old, goopy museum specimens can tell fascinating stories of wildlife history. Finally, we can read them

The Conversation: Old, goopy museum specimens can tell fascinating stories of wildlife history. Finally, we can read them. “In response to the extinction crisis, the call is out to scour Australia’s collections for data to fill knowledge gaps. For many species, however, recovering historical genetic data has been severely impeded, not by a lack of specimens but by the methods used to preserve them. This is where my new research comes in. Our paper shows how natural history collections around the world can squeeze every last drop of historical genetic data out of their specimens, from dried iridescent wings of butterflies to platypus bills floating in alcohol.”

UC Santa Barbara: Sharing Seaweed

UC Santa Barbara: Sharing Seaweed. “UC Santa Barbara hosts a large and historic seaweed collection archived for long-term preservation. Unfortunately, this wealth is largely hidden from public view. Scientists at the university’s Vernon and Mary Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) were determined to make this valuable data freely available through a recently funded digitization program.”

The Star (Malaysia): Singapore using ‘virtual twins’ of land and sea to monitor activities and plan projects

The Star (Malaysia): Singapore using ‘virtual twins’ of land and sea to monitor activities and plan projects. “GeoSpace-Sea stores and presents data from 11 government agencies, including national water agency PUB and the Housing Board. For example, if the National Parks Board (NParks) wants to study marine biodiversity, it can use the virtual twin to access marine life data, or the distribution of corals and sea grass. GeoSpace-Sea allows users to view and analyse the seabed with three-dimensional images as well.”

Earth .com: Museum collections reflect species abundance in the wild

Earth .com: Museum collections reflect species abundance in the wild. “New research published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution compared museum collection specimens to abundance in the wild. The research was the collaboration of 19 scientists from the United States and Europe. The researchers analyzed 1.4 million field observations and 73,000 museum records, comprising more than 22,000 species. Surprisingly, the study showed that museum collections, despite almost never being standardized, are a good measure of species abundance in the wild.”

Art and the watershed: Learning about what’s here and how to preserve it (Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Cowichan Valley Citizen: Art and the watershed: Learning about what’s here and how to preserve it. “Soon after the pandemic upended daily lives for many people last year, Genevieve Singleton started posting a message on Facebook every day. Not the usual family updates or look-at-what-I-ate-for-dinner photos you might expect see on social media. Instead, she uses her page to draw attention to the natural world in the Cowichan Valley.”

SNAPSHOT USA: First-ever nationwide mammal survey published (EurekAlert)

EurekAlert: SNAPSHOT USA: First-ever nationwide mammal survey published. “How are the squirrels doing this year? The bears? The armadillos? How would you know? A new paper published June 8 sets up the framework for answering these questions across the United States by releasing the data from the first national mammal survey made up of 1,509 motion-activated camera traps from 110 sites located across all 50 states.”

ScienceDaily: Researchers create map of potential undiscovered life

ScienceDaily: Researchers create map of potential undiscovered life. “According to conservative scientific estimates, only some 10 to 20 percent of species on earth have been formally described. In an effort to help find some of these missing species, [Professor Mario] Moura and [Professor Walter] Jetz compiled exhaustive data that included the location, geographical range, historical discovery dates, and other environmental and biological characteristics of about 32,000 known terrestrial vertebrates. Their analysis allowed them to extrapolate where and what kinds of unknown species of the four main vertebrate groups are most likely to yet be identified.”

Wyoming Public Media: University Of Wyoming Team Creates Database Of Worldwide Vegetation

Wyoming Public Media: University Of Wyoming Team Creates Database Of Worldwide Vegetation. “When University of Wyoming Department of Botany Associate Professor Daniel Laughlin realized he would have to teach ecology online for the fall semester, he started searching for a resource to show his students landscapes from afar. When he didn’t find what he was looking for, Laughlin and his graduate students designed the Global Vegetation Project.”

BirdLife International: Want to discover world’s top wildlife habitats? This website has them all

BirdLife International: Want to discover world’s top wildlife habitats? This website has them all. “Where can you find out about the world’s most important sites for nature, and the reasons for their significance? The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership is delighted to announce the launch of its new website, containing everything you need to know about all 16,000 sites.”

Center for Biological Diversity: Nation’s First Public Database Launched Featuring Research on Links Between Human Population Growth, Extinction Crisis

Center for Biological Diversity: Nation’s First Public Database Launched Featuring Research on Links Between Human Population Growth, Extinction Crisis. “The Center for Biological Diversity today launched the nation’s first public database featuring research documenting the links between human population growth and the escalating wildlife extinction crisis. Crowded Planet is a compilation of studies, reports and reviews detailing how human population growth and its associated pressures are driving habitat destruction and other threats to wildlife. The database also features research on effective, human rights-based solutions and the barriers to population advocacy.”

Taipei Times: Taiwan’s wildlife database the second-largest in Asia

Taipei Times: Taiwan’s wildlife database the second-largest in Asia . “A database on biodiversity in Taiwan has compiled records of almost 10 million wildlife sightings, making it the second-largest wildlife index in Asia, with the vast majority of data coming from volunteers, the Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute said. The Taiwan Biodiversity Network, which was launched in 2007, has recorded 9.87 million animal and plant sightings, Ko Chih-jen (柯智仁), an assistant researcher at the institute, said… adding that India maintains Asia’s largest database with up to 19 million recorded sightings.”

Universiteit Leiden: New database brings structure to global fungal diversity

Universiteit Leiden: New database brings structure to global fungal diversity. “An organized overview of the current global fungal diversity, that is what Irene Martorelli and colleagues try to achieve with the new MycoDiversity Database (MDDB) she builds in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new database will make it easier and quicker to observe which fungi are known and how they are distributed over the globe. This may lead to discovery of new fungal species.”