Identify Anything, Anywhere, Instantly (Well, Almost) With the Newest iNaturalist Release

Read the full story in Bay Nature.

A new version of the California Academy of Sciences’ iNaturalist app uses artificial intelligence to offer immediate identifications for photos of any kind of wildlife. You can observe anywhere and ask the computer anything. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it seems like it mostly works. It is completely astonishing.

Should Genetic Engineering Be Used as a Tool for Conservation?

Read the full story from e360.

Researchers are considering ways to use synthetic biology for such conservation goals as eradicating invasive species or strengthening endangered coral. But environmentalists are worried about the ethical questions and unwanted consequences of this new gene-altering technology.

Funding: Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Program Grants

Applications due Sep 30, 2017
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289863

The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Coastal Program staff coordinate with project partners, stakeholders and other Service programs to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas.

Geographic focus areas are where the Coastal Program directs resources to conserve habitat for federal trust species. Project work plans are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from Service field staff. Projects must advance our mission, promote biological diversity, and be based upon sound scientific biological principles. Program strategic plans inform the types of projects funded under this opportunity.

Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding.Authorizing statues include Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 742a-c, 747e-742j; and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958, 16 U.S.C. 661 667(e).

Applications for Tribal Wildlife Grants program now being accepted

Applications due September 1, 2017.
For more information, visit https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/grants.html

The goal of the Tribal Wildlife Grant Program is to provide a competitive funding opportunity for Federally recognized Tribal governments to develop and implement programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished.

Tribal Wildlife Grants are used to provide technical and financial assistance to Tribes for the development and implementation of programs that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. Activities may include, but are not limited to, planning for wildlife and habitat conservation, fish and wildlife conservation and management actions, fish and wildlife related laboratory and field research, natural history studies, habitat mapping, field surveys and population monitoring, habitat preservation, conservation easements, and public education that is relevant to the project. The funds may be used for salaries, equipment, consultant services, subcontracts, acquisitions and travel.

 

Land Conservation in a Changing Climate: Stewardship Science and Financing

Download the document.

The purpose of the 2016 Berkley Workshop was to explore some of the ways that land conservation groups might best respond to our changing climate, with particular emphasis on the science and finance guiding and enabling the stewardship of natural areas.

Among the major themes were the following:

  • While increasing numbers of land trusts are incorporating the changing climate into their work, important issues arise around how useful traditional tools will be, as well as whether many land trusts have the capacity to engage in the more active management of conserved lands that is likely to be required.
  • There are many ways that the stewardship of conserved lands may help address aspects of climate change, from storing carbon to mitigating flooding or heat waves. Capturing those benefits will require more systematic efforts to demonstrate that natural areas can provide those services in ways that fit infrastructure owners’ and investors’ decision-making contexts and criteria.
  • Sources of funding for conservation projects with climate benefits continue to expand in number and quantity. However, the site specificity of such projects raises real questions about how the volume of replicable investment opportunities that large investors are seeking can best be generated from such projects.
  • In addition to science and finance, the participants felt it was also critically important to engage on the social aspects of these topics–in particular, the need to expand the range of human communities that benefit from the climate and other services provided by conserved lands. Meeting this need will require new collaborations among conservation organizations and others working on topics from renewable energy to climate justice.

The Beaver Restoration Guidebook: Working with Beaver to Restore Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains Version 2.0

Download the document.

This guidebook provides a practical synthesis of the best available science for using beaver to improve ecosystem functions. If you are a restoration practitioner, land manager, landowner, restoration funder, project developer, regulator, or other interested cooperator, this guidebook is for you.

Our overall goal is to provide an accessible, useful resource for those involved in using beaver to restore streams, floodplains, wetlands, and riparian ecosystems. Although the guidebook summarizes current information about how to use beaver in restoration and conservation, the knowledge base on this subject is rapidly expanding. This means that not all of the information provided has been peer-reviewed in scientific journals; some of it is instead based on the real-life experience of restoration practitioners who are conducting ongoing experiments on using beaver to restore habitat. Thus the guidebook is a compilation of the current best available science, and we expect to update it regularly as the science progresses, readers provide information from their ongoing restoration experiments, or from restoration efforts of which we are currently unaware. See Table 1 for the different types of data presented in this document and the relative ranking we used for assessing scientific credibility.

Much of the information presented here is applicable across the beaver’s range, but the guidebook focuses on beaver restoration in the western United States. Much of the interest in beaver restoration is occurring in the context of restoring habitat for declining populations of Pacific salmon and trout while
simultaneously improving stream flows, particularly in drought-prone regions.

No Offense, American Bees, But Your Sperm Isn’t Cutting It

Read the full story from NPR.

Since 2008, Cobey has done her share of bee abdomen rubbing as part of a research team from Washington State University traveling through Europe and Asia. They’ve collected sperm from native honeybees in Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Georgia – countries where honeybees have favorable genetic traits, like resistance to the varroa mite. The deadly parasite has been cited as a major factor in bee deaths, along with genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure, according to a major report from the USDA and EPA in 2013.