(Chesapeake Bay Program) Near a swampy forest littered with trash, two biologists went searching for insects. A chance of rain had dampened their morning prospects, but with the temperature climbing, the mild afternoon in March held the chance that their target species would be active: ground-nesting bees and tiger beetles. “Sand habitats are a cornerstone of where we go to look for rare things, but also should be the cornerstone of conservation.”
(The Niche, pg. 10) Despite urgent need, monitoring insect pollinators, especially wild bees and hover flies, has often been considered too expensive to implement at a national scale. A research team is studying how to improve pollinator monitoring in the UK in a cost-effective manner. This research examines hidden benefits of monitoring schemes. By pooling data and expertise from a wide range of resources, the costs of schemes have been estimated to be between £5,600 ($6,900) for a small volunteer-led scheme collecting basic data and £2.8 million ($3.5 million) per year for professional monitoring of both pollinating insects and pollination to the UK’s crops. Overall, for every £1 invested in pollinator monitoring schemes, at least £1.50 can be saved from costly, independent research projects.
(EurekAlert/Cell Press) Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Microsoft are using a kind of machine learning known as sentiment analysis to assess the successes and failures of wildlife conservation over time. In their study, the researchers assessed the abstracts of more than 4,000 studies of species reintroduction across four decades and found that, generally speaking, we’re getting better and better at reintroducing species to the wild. They say that machine learning could be used in this field and others to identify the best techniques and solutions from among the ever-growing volume of scientific research.
(Utah State University) Conservation biologist Joseph Wilson and illustrator Jonny VanOrman have published a new whimsical children’s book about bee diversity and broadening one’s horizons. “If we want to conserve bees, teaching our rising generation may be the best strategy.”
(ScienceDaily/Pensoft Publishers) Many cities are introducing green areas to protect their fauna. Among such measures are flower strips, which provide support to flower-visiting insects. According to the first quantitative assessment of the speed and distance over which urban flower strips attract wild bees, scientists from the University of Munich found that one-year-old flower strips attracted a third of the 232 species recorded from Munich since 1997.
(Tufts University) Using more than 30 years of earth satellite images, scientists at Tufts University and Defenders of Wildlife have discovered that habitat loss for imperiled vertebrate species in the U.S. during that period was more than twice as great on non-protected private lands than on federally protected lands.
(Wheen Bee Foundation) ANZ Seeds of Renewal, a grant program that helps build sustainable rural communities in Australia, recently presented a $15,000 check to the Foundation. The funds will help save the endangered green carpenter bee population on Kangaroo Island.
(Highland Canine Training) There are three ways to find bumble bee nests. You can walk around and look for them. You can get volunteers to walk around and look for them. Or you can use a conservation detection dog. Meet Darwin, the conservation dog searching for Alpine bumble bee nests.