Inspired Living Omaha: Sparrow or house wren? New online resource helps you identify those birds in your feeder. “Feeding the birds is a popular hobby. As many as 53 Americans take part each year. Most people can identify a cardinal or a woodpecker. But it can be frustrating if you don’t know the other species of birds in your feeder. A new website makes it easier for birders to learn about the birds that inhabit Nebraska.”
Mental Floss: Animal Welfare Groups Are Building a Database of Every Cat in Washington, D.C.. “There are a lot of cats in Washington, D.C. They live in parks, backyards, side streets, and people’s homes. Exactly how many there are is the question a new conservation project wants to answer. DC Cat Count, a collaboration between Humane Rescue Alliance, the Humane Society, PetSmart Charities, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, aims to tally every cat in the city—even house pets, The New York Times reports.”
National Parks Conservation Association: Eliminating Species Act: Senate Legislation Threatens Wildlife and Wild Lands. “Senator John Barrasso hosted a hearing today in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) on his draft Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018 legislation. The draft bill proposes to radically weaken the Endangered Species Act, which has been the nation’s most effective law protecting wildlife in danger of extinction. The legislation undermines reliance on best available science and reduces public involvement in the process of adding ESA protections to species. The more than 500 plant and animal species with habitat in our national parks are chronicled in a new online database, launched this week by National Parks Conservation Association.”
New-to-Me: ZooScope — a database of animals in movies. From the About page: “Animals have played a crucial role in the development of film as an artistic medium, from the literal use of animal products in film stock to the capturing of animal movement as a driver of stop-motion, wide-screen and CGI film technology. In terms of content and form, the wish to picture animals’ lives, whether naturalistically or playfully, has led to the establishment of key genres such as wildlife film and animation. ZooScope looks at and beyond these major aspects of animals in film, and entries can consider, inter alia: animals’ role in film genres and styles from arthouse to documentary to horror; the range of literal and symbolic ways animals appear in film; animals in the film star- system; animal lives and the ethics of film-making; adaptation and the different challenges of filmic and literary representation of animals.” I think the site does not desire to be as wide as it is deep; it did not have the 1973 animated version of Charlotte’s Web but did have the 2006 version with an extensive article.
American Veterinarian: Online Database of Canine Inherited Genetic Disorders Now Available. “In the largest canine genetics study to date, researchers from Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories examined the prevalence of 152 genetic diseases in more than 100,000 mixed-breed and purebred dogs. This study—the first of its kind to show the genetic diseases that both mixed-breed and purebred dogs are most likely to develop—has enabled the creation of My Breed Data, an online respository about inherited genetic disorders that will enable veterinary practitioners to make more informed decisions for their patients.”
Times of Oman: Research centre collects data on over 7,000 species native to Oman. “The Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) said it gathered data on at least 7,303 species native to Oman. The research body revealed the final number of species was actually higher and the numbers were still being collated…. The data collated by the organisation includes 1,400 Omani plant species, 2,600 animals, 2,500 marine species and 803 species of fungi and bacteria.”
Natural History Museum (UK): Malaysian insects digitised in international collaboration. “Museum digitisation specialists are working with Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY). The team is aiming to digitise representative specimens for 5,000 species across a range of taxonomic groups. The focus will be on insects such as damselflies, dragonflies, praying mantids, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, stick insects, moths and beetles. Data will be available to download via the Museum’s Data Portal, and a copy will also be stored in Malaysia.”