More mammals are becoming nocturnal so they can avoid humans

As Earth's human population expands, it's harder for other mammals to avoid people during the daytime. As a result, some mammals are becoming increasingly nocturnal. Nobody knows how that shift will affect individual species and even entire ecosystems. In a new paper in the journal Science, University of California, Berkeley wildlife ecologist Kaitlyn Gaynor and her colleagues examined data on how 62 species across the world spend their days and night. From Scientific American:

For example, leopards in the Central African nation of Gabon are 46 percent nocturnal in areas without bushmeat hunting, but 93 percent nocturnal where the practice is common. In Poland wild boars go from 48 percent nocturnal in natural forests to 90 percent nocturnal in urban areas. Even activities people consider relatively innocuous, such as hiking and wildlife viewing, strongly affected animals’ daily rhythms. Brown bears in Alaska live 33 percent of the day nocturnally when humans stay away, but that number goes up to 76 percent for bears exposed to wildlife-viewing tourism. “We think that we're leaving no trace often when we’re outdoors, but we can be having lasting consequences on animal behavior,” Gaynor says...

Perhaps even more alarming is the cascade of effects that could occur in the wider ecosystem as animals switch from day to night. “Patterns of competition and predator–prey interactions might change with the nocturnal behavioral changes,” Gaynor says. If one species—say a top predator—starts hunting at night and goes after different types of prey, it will likely have innumerable trickle-down consequences for everything along the food chain.

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Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to be taken off Endangered Species list. Thanks, Trump.

They've been on the Endangered Species list for 42 years. Today, Trump removed the Yellowstone grizzly bear's federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. The reason? A reported population rebound. The U.S. Department of Interior announced their plan to strip the grizzly's protections and return species oversight to the states. Read the rest

A crash course on the three types of mammal births

In this TED-Ed video, Kate Slabosky breaks down the differences between placental, marsupial, and monotreme mammal births. Read the rest

Beaver leads a cow parade

I guess there is a leadership deficit in Cowtown.

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Koala baby won't let go of mom while she undergoes surgery. Both survived being hit by a car.

If your "aww" reflexes don't fire after seeing these images, you should get your heart checked.

Iceland resumes whale hunting, endangered Fin Whale killed

"Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of the the company Hvalur hf." Photo: News of Iceland.

Icelandic news outlets are reporting that an Icelandic whaling company, Hvalur hf, "caught its first fin whale yesterday evening," after sailing out yesterday with two boats, both due back in port today.

Fin whales are the second-largest whale, and are classified as an Endangered species.

From News of Iceland: Read the rest