Seabird poop deserves some respect

Seabird poop deserves some respect

Seabirds reside at the periphery of our notice: numerous, noisy afterthoughts. Interesting, perhaps, often beautiful, sometimes spectacular — cue the Emperor penguin clips — but not major ecological players. And yet the opposite may be true. “Seabirds act as...
The surprisingly sophisticated lives of rats

The surprisingly sophisticated lives of rats

No creatures are so ceaselessly persecuted as Norway rats — scientifically known as Rattus norvegicus, commonly called brown rats, and often referred to with a scream and a call to the exterminator. To people who study them, though, rats are remarkable animals. In...
The unforeseen consequences of killing ‘prize’ animals

The unforeseen consequences of killing ‘prize’ animals

That it’s possible to kill a few select animals without causing much population-level harm is a tenet of wildlife management, guiding everything from trophy hunting to the collection of souvenir beetles. Yet several new studies challenge this conventional wisdom. In a...
Rewilding Reptiles to Eco-Engineer the Anthropocene

Rewilding Reptiles to Eco-Engineer the Anthropocene

In the southeastern United States, burrows dug by gopher tortoises are used for shelter by no fewer than 200 other species of animals, from owls to rabbits and rattlesnakes. Gopher tortoises are exceptional in this regard, but hardly unique: many reptiles dig holes...
Can we speed up the creation of ancient forests?

Can we speed up the creation of ancient forests?

Perhaps one percent of the forests that covered America just a few centuries ago still stand. The same can be said of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Earth in an age of human domination is woefully short of ancient woodlands, and many centuries if not...