Ecocide: why establishing a new international crime would be a step towards interspecies justice

A movement of activists and legal scholars is seeking to make “ecocide” an international crime within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Stop Ecocide Foundation has put together a prestigious international panel of experts that has just proposed a new definition of the term. Heather Alberro, Nottingham Trent University and Luigi Daniele,Continue reading “Ecocide: why establishing a new international crime would be a step towards interspecies justice”

Research: Small room for compromise between oil palm cultivation and primate conservation in Africa

Research by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission found that although oil palm cultivation represents an important source of income for many tropical countries, its future expansion is a primary threat to tropical forests and biodiversity. In this context, and especially in regions where industrial palm oil production is still emerging, identifying “areasContinue reading “Research: Small room for compromise between oil palm cultivation and primate conservation in Africa”

In the Atlantic Forest, the lowland tapir is at risk of extinction

Lowland tapir populations in the Atlantic Forest in South America are at risk of almost complete disappearance, scientists have estimated. Weighing up to 250 kg, the animal can adapt to most habitats in South America—but its populations continue to decline across its range. Today, its survival is seriously threatened: it can be found in justContinue reading “In the Atlantic Forest, the lowland tapir is at risk of extinction”

Species Extinction: just how bad is it and why should we care?

Euan Ritchie, Deakin University “Dad, the world is missing amazing animals. I wish extinction wasn’t forever”. Despite my wife and I working as biologists, our five-year-old son came to make this statement independently. Euan Ritchie, Deakin University He is highlighting what I and many others consider to be society’s biggest challenge, and arguably failure: theContinue reading “Species Extinction: just how bad is it and why should we care?”

Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study

Palm oil plantations have an overall negative impact on biodiversity, according to research released this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, found palm oil plantations are home to fewer insect species than even intensive rubber tree plantations. A forests expert at James Cook University, Bill Laurance, said of the research: “The big message isContinue reading “Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study”

The lengthy childhood of endangered orangutans is written in their teeth

Orangutan populations in the wild are critically endangered, and one of the things that may hamper their survival is the time they take to rear new offspring. An orangutan mother will not give birth again until she’s finished providing milk to her previous offspring. Nursing can take a long time and vary across seasons, asContinue reading “The lengthy childhood of endangered orangutans is written in their teeth”

The Stealth and Beauty of the Clouded Leopard

Every so often here at The Nature Nook, we’ll be posting pictures of animals to see if readers can guess what they are before the answer is revealed below. Our first What Animal Is It? is the clouded leopard, in recognition of the fact that today, August 4, is International Clouded Leopard Day. Found inContinue reading “The Stealth and Beauty of the Clouded Leopard”

African grey parrots help each other in times of need

Désirée Brucks, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and Auguste von Bayern, Max Planck Institute People readily help each other. We donate blood and food or help old people across the street. Among non-human animals this propensity to help is very rare. There are a few observations of helping behaviours in non-human animals. For example,Continue reading “African grey parrots help each other in times of need”

How forest loss has changed biodiversity across the globe over the last 150 years

Maria Dornelas, University of St Andrews; Gergana Daskalova, University of Edinburgh, and Isla Myers-Smith, University of Edinburgh The Earth’s forests have been changing ever since the first tree took root. For 360 million years, trees have grown and been felled through a dynamic mix of hurricanes, fires and natural regeneration. But with the dawn ofContinue reading “How forest loss has changed biodiversity across the globe over the last 150 years”

Gibbon song may be music to the ears of human language students

Nicholas Bannan, University of Western Australia Gibbons and humans have more in common than might immediately seem apparent. Among many behavioural traits shared by our two species is singing. Not just that – the songs of gibbons have the potential to teach us about the origin of our own human capacities. A recent study inContinue reading “Gibbon song may be music to the ears of human language students”

Borneo’s bearded pig, gardener of forests and protector of their inhabitants

Edmond Dounias, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) Borneo – fourth-largest island in the world, home to more than 20 million people – has always aroused the fascination of explorers. The island is dense with forests, waterways and soaring mountains, and its indigenous population have a deep relationship with the forest. A fragile landscapeContinue reading “Borneo’s bearded pig, gardener of forests and protector of their inhabitants”