HEC, otherwise known as human elephant conflict, is a centuries-old problem responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of elephants. This ongoing battle between African farmers trying to grow crops and hungry elephants foraging for a meal, has motivated conservationists to find solutions for protecting the largest and one of the most intelligent land animals on the planet. Scientists’ most recent effort — Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), frisbee-sized remote controlled quad-helicopters — may provide the answer that researchers have been looking for.

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The panther chameleon, a lizard prized in the pet trade for its remarkable color changing abilities, may actually represent 11 different species, report researchers writing in the journal Molecular Ecology. Analyzing the genetics of more than 300 individual panther chameleons, Swiss and Malagasy researchers make a case that different color morphs of Furcifer pardalis may be distinct species.

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Cash prizes offered for solutions to wildlife poaching crisis

May 26, 2015

A coalition has launched an initiative, the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge to spark and drive investment in innovative science and technology solutions to help reduce the damage caused by wildlife trafficking. The initiative is backed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC. Go to Source

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Mozambique loses almost 10,000 elephants in just five years

May 26, 2015

Mozambique has lost nearly half of its elephants to relentless, brutal, and highly-organized poaching in just five years, according to a new government survey. In 2010, the country was home to an estimated 20,000 pachyderms, today it houses just 10,300. Go to Source

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Nepal’s rhino population rises by 72% in ten years

May 26, 2015

A new survey in Nepal counted 645 one-horned rhinos, up from 375 animals ten years ago and 534 animals in 2011. This represent a rise of 72 percent over the last ten years, an impressive feat given that the world’s rhinos are facing a savage poaching crisis. Go to Source

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What is the most humane way to kill a cane toad?

May 26, 2015

Like many pests, cane toads are killed in their thousands in Australia every year, especially by community-based ‘toad-busting’ groups. New research has now revealed the most humane way to do it. Go to Source

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For the first time, scientists tag a loggerhead sea turtle off US West Coast

May 25, 2015

Fifty miles out to sea from San Diego, in the middle of April, under a perfectly clear blue sky, fisheries scientists leaned over the side of a rubber inflatable boat and lowered a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle into the water. That turtle was a trailblazer — the first of its kind ever released off the [...]

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What did the first snakes look like?

May 25, 2015

The original snake ancestor was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes, according to new research. Snakes show incredible diversity, with over 3,400 living species found in a wide range of habitats, such as land, water and in trees. But little is known about where and when they evolved, and [...]

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Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes’ quest for fire

May 25, 2015

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has lost 97 percent of its habitat since Europeans first arrived in America. New research demonstrates the critical nature of one element of the diamondback’s home range, pine savanna. For conservationists seeking surrogate habitats for the now-rare species’ dwindling population, the results underscore the need for prescribed fire management to maintain [...]

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Ocean myth busted: ‘Toddler’ sea turtles are very active swimmers

May 25, 2015

It turns out sea turtles, even at a tender 6-18 months of age, are very active swimmers. They don’t just passively drift in ocean currents as researchers once thought. Researchers say it’s an important new clue in the sea turtle ‘lost years’ mystery. Where exactly turtles travel in their first years of life, before returning [...]

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