Breaking News
October 15, 2018 - Research reveals how the inner ear processes speech
October 15, 2018 - Many parents still skeptical about safety and effectiveness of flu shot, survey finds
October 15, 2018 - Payer Policies May Discourage Non-Pharma Tx for Low Back Pain
October 15, 2018 - Exercise may delay cognitive decline in people with rare Alzheimer’s disease
October 15, 2018 - Researchers modify CRISPR to reorganize genome | News Center
October 15, 2018 - Innovative brain tumor operation set to tailor to patients’ needs
October 15, 2018 - Findings offer new insight into early changes that occur during AD pathology
October 15, 2018 - Neurons regulating reproductive hormone release have different activity in epileptic mice
October 15, 2018 - More parents are concerned about taking babies swimming in public pools
October 15, 2018 - Health Tip: Know the Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
October 15, 2018 - Study shows cigarillo flavors enhanced by high-intensity sweeteners
October 15, 2018 - Study traces hospital-acquired bloodstream infections to patients’ own bodies | News Center
October 15, 2018 - Abnormal vision in childhood can affect development of brain areas responsible for attention
October 15, 2018 - Color-changing contact lens could help doctors to monitor eye disease medications
October 15, 2018 - Tobacco heating products cause less staining to teeth than conventional cigarettes
October 15, 2018 - Young adults who are obese can expect to lose up to 10 years in life expectancy
October 15, 2018 - Scientists uncover how proteins meet on the cell membrane
October 15, 2018 - Affordable housing with supportive social services for senior citizens can reduce hospital use
October 15, 2018 - The latest ECG device from Schiller
October 15, 2018 - Following a Tissue Sample
October 15, 2018 - Prisoners need drug and alcohol treatments but AA programs aren’t the answer
October 15, 2018 - Andrea Califano and Jordan Orange Elected to National Academy of Medicine
October 15, 2018 - The impending risk of African Swine Fever Virus
October 15, 2018 - Breastfeeding reduces the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in infant gut
October 15, 2018 - Researchers develop comprehensive molecular atlas of postnatal mouse heart development
October 15, 2018 - ObsEva SA Presents Clinical Data from Phase III IMPLANT 2 Trial of Nolasiban in IVF at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Annual Meeting
October 15, 2018 - Engineering teratoma-derived fibroblasts to enhance osteogenesis
October 15, 2018 - Lab study shows effectiveness of potential therapy for treatment-resistant hypothyroidism
October 15, 2018 - JCU study firms up association between diet and depression
October 15, 2018 - Researchers to study the use of CRISPR on human liver on-a-chip platform
October 15, 2018 - Sub-concussive impacts not associated with decline in neurocognitive function
October 15, 2018 - Researchers find potential treatment to halt premature labor and birth
October 15, 2018 - As U.S. suicides rates rise, Hispanics show relative immunity
October 15, 2018 - FDA Issues a Complete Response Letter to Acacia Pharma for Barhemsys
October 15, 2018 - Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
October 15, 2018 - Increasing vigorous exercise reduces risk factors of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease in children
October 15, 2018 - First-of-its-kind study to test a personalized vaccine in cancer patient
October 15, 2018 - Extension trial assesses benefit of switching from flash monitoring to RT-CGM for hypoglycemia
October 15, 2018 - Half of parents say young children are afraid of doctor’s visits
October 15, 2018 - Study shows how fingerprint-based drug screening works on the living and deceased
October 15, 2018 - Study reveals potential to monitor progression of Alzheimer’s disease by measuring brain antioxidant levels
October 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Xarelto to Reduce the Risk of Major Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Chronic Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
October 15, 2018 - Promising new therapeutic approach against Ebola virus identified
October 15, 2018 - Study unravels how cancer stem cells use normal genes in abnormal ways
October 15, 2018 - Healthcare systems fail to deliver at affordable prices finds report
October 15, 2018 - Intensive BP Therapy in Diabetes May Lower Risk for CV Events
October 15, 2018 - Muscle relaxants increase risk of respiratory complications
October 15, 2018 - Female birds become more promiscuous after hatchings fail in the first breeding attempt
October 15, 2018 - Humans occupied Madagascar thousands of years later than previously thought
October 15, 2018 - Is Kidney Dialysis Always Needed When Septic Shock Strikes?
October 15, 2018 - Study shows invasive lung cancer surgery can lead to long-term opioid use
October 15, 2018 - Sugar, a “sweet” tool to understand brain injuries
October 14, 2018 - King’s commemorates activities and research on World Arthritis Day
October 14, 2018 - Humana and VFW NY team up on Stop 22 initiative to increase awareness of veterans committing suicide
October 14, 2018 - Water fluoridation contributes to urinary fluoride levels in pregnant women in Canada
October 14, 2018 - Study of children in Romanian orphanages tells cautionary tale about family separation
October 14, 2018 - Previous Endologix AFX Safety Notice classified by FDA as Class I recall
October 14, 2018 - Legal scholars sound alarm on academies’ report about returning research results to participants
October 14, 2018 - UNIST selects six extraordinary scholars to be induced as ‘Rising-star Distinguished Professor’
October 14, 2018 - Scientists find new way to help asthmatics breathe more easily
October 14, 2018 - New ‘gag rule’ may adversely impact health care of pregnant women
October 14, 2018 - Rosacea – Genetics Home Reference
October 14, 2018 - When the fighting crosses the line
October 14, 2018 - New findings could benefit patients with triple-negative breast cancer
October 14, 2018 - UK Biobank provides wealth of information for further genetic studies
October 14, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Falling premiums and rising political tensions
October 14, 2018 - Duvelisib Promising for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, SLL
October 14, 2018 - Tailored drug cocktails offer hope to kids with aggressive brain tumors
October 14, 2018 - Common gene variants linked to migraine risk in African-American children
October 14, 2018 - Funding requests are being accepted by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust
October 14, 2018 - Using pulsed electric fields in cancer therapy
October 14, 2018 - Major Childbirth Complications More Likely for Black Women
October 14, 2018 - Young cancer survivors at greater risk of mental health disorders
October 14, 2018 - Common herbicide compound could help fight hospital-acquired fungal infections
October 14, 2018 - Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development
October 14, 2018 - New patient-centric website launched in Europe to empower people with chronic conditions
October 14, 2018 - Antimicrobial signaling molecule has lower activity against hepatitis C virus in most humans
October 14, 2018 - Genomic dark matter activity connects Parkinson’s and psychiatric diseases
October 14, 2018 - Cornell dots equipped with antibody fragments offer a new cancer weapon
October 14, 2018 - Addressing social and cultural factors is key to reducing burden of type 2 diabetes
Conservation biologist tracks disappearing species in remote and icy locations

Conservation biologist tracks disappearing species in remote and icy locations

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Colorado State University Professor Joel Berger chases winter, year-round. Unlike the surfers in the 1966 movie, “The Endless Summer,” he isn’t in pursuit of the perfect wave around the world. He’s tracking disappearing species in remote and often icy locations.

This past July and August, he was in search of the huemul, Chile’s national mammal, at the Patagonia ice fields between Chile and Argentina. Next spring, his research will take him back to the Arctic Yukon in Alaska, where he’ll continue his studies of muskoxen, the Arctic’s largest land mammal.

For his last field work, he spent one day in a plane, then two days driving on a dirt road over the Andes, and another day in a boat before arriving at Patagonia’s ice fields, where he and a team of researchers hoped to catch a glimpse of the huemul, the rarest deer in either the Americas.

“Ninety-nine percent of their range is gone,” said Berger, a professor in the CSU Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology who is also a senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

He and his research team are trying to understand how, or what, is causing the decline of the huemul. Some theories they’re exploring is that the medium-sized deer have been killed by dogs or by diseases transmitted by cattle. Habitat fragmentation is an issue, too.

The scientists are working across four different study sites that stretch from the Pacific Ocean, where there is more than 30 feet of rain a year, to the east side of the Andes.

Berger said he spotted a few deer last year in Patagonia. “This year we got lucky and found a bunch,” he said, with a smile.

Huemul resemble a mix of a kangaroo and a mountain goat in a deer’s body. There are about 2,000 of these animals left in the world, far less than the estimated 25,000 polar bears in existence.

“The world knows polar bears,” Berger said. “And the world knows Patagonia, but they don’t know the national mammal of Chile.”

How climate change affects animals

Berger’s research includes studying the effects of climate change on mammals that live in extremely cold places. In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports in January 2018, he detailed previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation and ice tidal surges on muskoxen.

Among the findings, the scientist found that the warming climate is stressing mothers and their young. Rain-on-snow events and unusually dry conditions in the winter — when muskoxen gestate — have also led to underdeveloped skeletal growth in juveniles.

He and his team documented a one-time extreme ice event that led to a sobering discovery: the death of dozens of muskoxen. In February 2011, an historically high tidal surge resulted in at least 52 animals drowning and being entombed in ice at the northern coast of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve peninsula.

“There’s so much despair with climate change, and there should be,” he said.

Even so, Berger added that there are positive stories from the field, including findings in Alaska and Canada, where wildlife at the edges of ice fields and other northern realms are on the rise. There are more cougars, elk and deer in parts of the southern Yukon, he noted, and cougars have been spotted in Alaska.

“Of course, there are challenges, but it’s not unilaterally a doom and a gloom,” he said.

Berger counts the sighting of the huemul in southern South America — on the largest sub-polar ice fields in the southern hemisphere — as a bright spot. The Chilean and Argentine governments are investing in conservation efforts, to do what they can to protect the deer.

Glowing reviews for Extreme Conservation

Berger documented his journeys around the globe in his recent book, Extreme Conservation, which was published in August by The University of Chicago Press. It is not his first; he has authored six other conservation-related titles. But this one has garnered the most rave reviews and accolades.

Science writer David Quammen compared Berger to the likes of Jane Goodall, who began studying wild chimpanzees in Tanzania at the age of 26, and George Schaller, a German-born American conservationist and author who is recognized as the world’s preeminent field biologist.

“Field biology is a tough, lonely profession requiring patience and grit and smarts, and if you add conservation concerns (which you must), a deep steady heart,” Quammen said.

“Extreme Conservation is a must-read for all conservation biologists and for all people who care about the state of our magnificent planet and how numerous and diverse animal species and their homes are being ravaged ‘in the name of humans,'” wrote Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Berger is one of the most productive, traveled, and influential scientists of our time.”

In the New York Review of Books, Tim Flannery described Berger as “a hero of biology who deserves the highest honors that science can bestow.”

Berger said, with a laugh and display of modesty, that the reason behind the book’s popularity is that it’s got a pithy title.

There’s charisma that’s associated with field work,” he explained. “So much of science is modeling, and the models are essential to look ahead and to see where we’ve been. But people are passionate about animals, and animals in the wild and keeping them there.”

He also continues to embrace his role as an advocate for lesser-known species.

“There are a lot of voices for elephants, lions, tigers and whales, and they deserve it,” he said. “The public can relate. But there are a lot of other silent species that don’t have the same visibility and the same voice, but yet have lots of challenges. They certainly don’t have the kind of financial backing so that we can raise the bar on their conservation. Well, we should!”

Source:

Conservation biologist goes to ends of the earth to save little-known species

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles