In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain

Read the full story from Cornell University.

When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they expected to find stressors like changes in land use, geography or insecticides.

Instead, they found a shocker: fungicides, commonly thought to have no impact.

Two Million Wondrous Nature Illustrations Put Online by The Biodiversity Heritage Library

Read the full story at Open Culture.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an “open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives,” has for many years been making it easy for people to connect to nature through nature writing and illustration. In 2012, they announced the “success story” of their Flickr streams, both containing thousands of illustrations and photographs uploaded by the BHL staff and readers from their huge collections of books.

The first stream, currently at 122,281 images, has been carefully curated, and includes searchable galleries and albums divided by book title or subject, such as “Exotic botany illustrated,” “The Birds of Australia v.1,” and “Bats!” The second stream, consisting of over 2 million images, is a massive grab-bag of photos, illustrations from nature, advertisements, and imaginative renderings.

Champaign-Urbana: Paper2Tree, a new University-Community partnership, launches today

Via Smile Politely.

The University of Illinois has teamed up with the community to introduce a new partnership, Paper2Tree, which launches today.

Founded by Mattia Gazzola, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Paper2Tree will connect researchers in the University with members of the community and the environment by encouraging anyone who publishes a scientific paper to plant a tree in one of the participating local parks.

Trees will be associated to the publication reference, geo-localized, and visualized on a map — all data to be made publicly available, along with tree species, scientific area, and associated university department.

Paper2Tree has also partnered with the Champaign Park DistrictUrbana Park District,the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, Champaign and Urbana School districts, along with many university units, including the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, and others.

Crystal clear Great Lakes might not be so healthy

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

At Brighton Beach outside Duluth, the waters of Lake Superior are stunningly clear. Looking into about six feet of water, it’s easy to see smooth rocks at the bottom.

But Lake Superior has lost its long-held title as the clearest of the Great Lakes. A recent study showed that lakes Michigan and Huron have changed drastically.

Instagram is loving nature to death

Read the full story from The Outline.

Five years ago, Horseshoe Bend saw only a thousand visitors in a year. But this year, over 4,000 people a day have come to see the bend, take selfies at the rim, and dangle their feet over the exposed edge. All this traffic has put a lot of strain on the attraction, or at least its parking lot. So on November 6, construction began on new parking amenities and a platform at the canyon’s edge complete with railing and signs to safely handle all the new visitors. Once complete, the bend will be a perfect tourist attraction with great parking, water, and shade. But the wild beauty that brought so many here in the first place will be gone.

Social media gets blamed for everything — but this time, it really is Instagram’s fault. Horseshoe Bend’s home, Glen Canyon Natural Recreation Area, also has the nation’s second tallest dam, boating paradise Lake Powell, and the world’s tallest natural bridge, Rainbow Bridge. It’s also littered with dinosaur fossils. But it is Horseshoe Bend that has captured the tourist hivemind. On IG, #glencanyon has only been used about 26,000 times, whereas #horseshoebend has 226,000 posts. Its geotag had over 200 posts in the last 24 hours as of this writing, while only one person geotagged Glen Canyon. The geotag for Rainbow Bridge hasn’t been used since Halloween.


The New Instagram Feed Spotlighting Mass Extinctions

Read the full story at The News Lens.

Everyone knows the Dodo is extinct. But how many of us know that we are currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction event? To raise awareness about this under-reported story, Brit photographer-filmmaker Sean Gallagher founded Everyday Extinction, a specialized Instagram feed on Oct 1.

How Trump’s proposed budget could harm wildlife conservation

Read the full story at Pacific Standard.

The U.S. reducing funding for global conservation efforts would result in serious ramifications for vulnerable species and communities.