Georgia Public Radio: Scientists vacuum zoo animals’ DNA out of the air

Georgia Public Radio: Scientists vacuum zoo animals’ DNA out of the air. “A key part of protecting endangered species is figuring out where they’re living. Now researchers say they have found a powerful new tool that could help: vacuuming DNA out of the air. ‘This is a bit of a crazy idea,’ admits Elizabeth Clare, a molecular ecologist at York University in Toronto, Canada. ‘We are literally sucking DNA out of the sky.’ But it works. Clare’s group was one of two to publish papers in the journal Current Biology Thursday showing that dozens of animal species could be detected by simply sampling the air.”

NBC News: Covid is rampant among deer, research shows

NBC News: Covid is rampant among deer, research shows. “The research suggests the coronavirus could be taking hold in a free-ranging species that numbers about 30 million in the United States. No cases of Covid spread from deer to human have been reported, but it’s possible, scientists say. It’s a reminder that human health is intertwined with that of animals and inattention to other species could prolong the pandemic and complicate the quest to control Covid.”

The Mainchi: Friction between humans, crows declines amid pandemic in Japan

The Mainichi: Friction between humans, crows declines amid pandemic in Japan. “The relationship between crows and humans in Japan’s cities has long been a contentious one. For one, it is not uncommon to see the contents of garbage bags strewn across sidewalks on pickup days after the big black birds have had at them, looking for food. But crow-human friction has decreased during the coronavirus pandemic, possibly because people are paying less attention to the birds, one expert says.”

BirdLife International: The new Search for Lost Birds aims to find some of the rarest birds on Earth

BirdLife International: The new Search for Lost Birds aims to find some of the rarest birds on Earth . “A new global search effort is calling on researchers, conservationists and the global birdwatching community to help find 10 rare bird species that have been lost to science. The Search for Lost Birds is a collaboration between Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and BirdLife International, with data support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its eBird platform used by birders around the world.”

North Carolina State University: Wildlife Scientists Are Solving Big Data Problems to Track Animals Around the Globe

North Carolina State University: Wildlife Scientists Are Solving Big Data Problems to Track Animals Around the Globe. “In a new study, [Roland] Kays and researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and other sites around the world published a paper in the journal Methods of Ecology and Evolution on technology they’ve developed to analyze, visualize and store data in the new ‘golden age’ of wildlife tracking. The study describes Movebank, a free set of tools to help researchers address the big data problems of wildlife tracking. Scientists are already using it to manage more than 3 million new data records generated each day.”

Nevada Today: Wild Horses and Burros Documents Available Online

Nevada Today: Wild Horses and Burros Documents Available Online. “The University Libraries recently completed work on a yearlong project to preserve documents collected and scanned by Catherine Barcomb, former administrator of the Nevada Wild Horse Commission. Donated to the Libraries in December 2019 and covering over sixty years of history, these +3,000 documents capture the complex issues that surround wild horses and burros in the American West.”

Straits Times: New online database details rare bird species in Singapore

Straits Times: New online database details rare bird species in Singapore. “As bird-watching takes flight in Singapore, a group of 17 enthusiasts wants to tap the growing network of birdwatchers here by creating an online platform that allows people to submit their sightings of these rarities. The Singapore Birds Project last month published the first edition of its rare species database, featuring over 150 species. A rare bird is one that has been seen three times or fewer in a year, or belongs to a species that has been recorded more often but can be challenging to identify in the field.”

CNET: Comedy Wildlife Photography Award winners highlight animals’ lighter side

CNET: Comedy Wildlife Photography Award winners highlight animals’ lighter side. “If these photos are any proof, animals have their best and worst days too. Raccoons share secrets, fish are awed by their companion’s ability to jump, a pigeon is defeated by a fallen leaf and a prairie dog faces down a bald eagle. There’s a smile for every mood in this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards winners.”

Microsoft News: HRH The Duke of Cambridge visits Microsoft’s UK headquarters to learn about Project SEEKER as part of his work with The Royal Foundation

Microsoft News: HRH The Duke of Cambridge visits Microsoft’s UK headquarters to learn about Project SEEKER as part of his work with The Royal Foundation . “The first-of-its-kind multispecies artificial intelligence model to combat the $23 billion illegal wildlife trafficking industry has been developed by Microsoft. Project SEEKER can be easily installed in luggage and cargo scanners at airports, ports, and borders, and will automatically alert enforcement agencies when it detects an illegal wildlife item. Officials can then seize the objects, which can be used as evidence in criminal proceedings against the smugglers.”

NPR: How SARS-CoV-2 in American deer could alter the course of the global pandemic

NPR: How SARS-CoV-2 in American deer could alter the course of the global pandemic. “Scientists have evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in white-tailed deer and that the virus is widespread in this deer population across the United States. Researchers say the findings are quite concerning and could have vast implications for the long-term course of the coronavirus pandemic.”

World Wildlife Federation: Walrus From Space – Animal Spotters Wanted to Join Mass Survey

World Wildlife Federation: Walrus From Space – Animal Spotters Wanted to Join Mass Survey. “WWF and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are seeking the public’s help to search for walrus in thousands of satellite images taken from space, with the aim of learning more about how walrus will be impacted by the climate crisis. It’s hoped half a million people worldwide will join the new ‘Walrus from Space’ research project, a census of Atlantic walrus and walrus from the Laptev Sea, using satellite images provided by space and intelligence company Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe.”

Google Blog: Bringing new life to Swedish endangered animals using AR

Google Blog: Bringing new life to Swedish endangered animals using AR. “Today, in collaboration with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, and in an effort to raise awareness of endangered animals, we are bringing five new Swedish endangered species to Search in augmented reality. Now, by simply searching for the lynx, arctic fox, white-backed woodpecker, harbour porpoise or moss carder bee in the Google App and tapping ‘View in 3D’, people from all over the world will be able to meet the animals up close in a life-size scale with movement and sound.”

Ubergizmo: Bear Finds Lost GoPro And Shoots A Selfie Video With It

Ubergizmo: Bear Finds Lost GoPro And Shoots A Selfie Video With It. “The footage (see video above) shows the bear hitting the camera around with both of its paws and even carrying it in its mouth. The bear seems to eventually get bored of the GoPro, perhaps after figuring out it isn’t edible, and leaves it on the ground where [Dylan] Schilt eventually stumbles across it himself.”