UF researcher: Online tool helps make neighborhoods more bird-friendly

Read the full story from the University of Florida.

When it comes to urban planning, sometimes a bird in hand is not worth two in the bush. Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have created an online tool to help planners strategically conserve forest fragments and tree canopy that will attract more birds and enhance future biodiversity.

The Building for Birds web tool predicts how the distribution of trees and tree patches in a new development will impact resident and migrating bird habitat. Users can test different arrangements to see how they can optimize habitat for different development scenarios.

Urban jungle: saving city wildlife with trees, green roofs and pools

Read the full story in The Guardian.

From brush turkeys to powerful owls, Australia’s rarest wildlife lives in cities –protecting it has benefits for humans too.

Manatee population rebounds: is it ready to come off the endangered species list?

Read the full story in the Christian Science Monitor.

A recent survey found a record 6,620 manatees in Florida, but opinion remains divided as to whether the species has truly made a comeback.

Lead Ammunition Poisons Wildlife But Too Expensive To Change, Hunters Say

Read the full story from NPR.

Just before leaving office, the Obama administration banned the use of lead ammunition on federal land. Some hunters want President Trump to reverse the ban.

Can New DNA Science Help Keep Our Fish Safe?

Read the full story at NPR.

Scientists are experimenting with species’ environmental DNA to find out how far and how fast it travels in streams. The technology is starting to revolutionize how we protect native animals.

New Maps Show How Our Consumption Affects Wildlife Thousands of Miles Away

Read the full story from Pacific Standard.

Global trade has made it easier to buy things. But our consumption habits often fuel threats to biodiversity — such as deforestation, overhunting, and overfishing — thousands of miles away.

Now, scientists have mapped how major consuming countries drive threats to endangered species elsewhere. Such maps could be useful for finding the most efficient ways to protect critical areas important for biodiversity, the researchers suggest in a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Final EPA/USGS Technical Report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration Documents

Download the document.

This report presents a literature review of natural flow and a description of the potential effects of flow alteration on aquatic life, as well as examples of water quality criteria that some states have developed to support natural flow and maintain healthy aquatic life. The report also describes a flexible technical and scientific framework that state water managers can consider if they are interested in developing narrative or numeric targets for flow that are protective of aquatic life.

This scientific and technical report is non-regulatory and does not affect or constrain state or tribal discretion.

Hydrologic alteration can include an increase or decrease in water volume, seasonal flow disruption, and dramatic variation in water temperature. Hydrologic alteration can affect aquatic species’ ability to spawn, gather nutrients from the stream system, access high-quality habitat, and more. Hydrologic alteration may be further exacerbated through climate change. Recent climate trends have included the change in frequency and duration of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which can have an impact on flow and affect aquatic life. Maintaining flow targets may help increase a stream’s resilience to climate change by reducing or avoiding intensification of existing stressors.