Hydropower has been widely considered a “green” energy source. However, a new study from India examines the wide ranging and severe impacts that small hydropower projects can have on the environment – and the consequences of not evaluating these impacts before a project starts.
To protect endangered frogs from disease, scientists sometimes capture and breed them in zoos to keep the species alive while it goes extinct in the wild. But new research has shown that captive-bred frogs have significantly fewer and less diverse skin bacteria than their wild counterparts, casting doubt on the possibility of using captive-bred frogs in re-introduction conservation programs.
Humans are changing the environment in ways that are causing extreme loss of amphibian species. Amphibians thrive in forests, but when those forests are cut down, amphibians can disappear on a massive scale. New research also shows that when forests change, amphibians that are unique on an evolutionary level are more likely to become locally extinct. Losing these distinct amphibian species could have devastating effects on future forest ecosystems.
Farmers in rural areas must engage with surrounding wildlife to protect their livelihoods. Development and human-wildlife conflict threaten large predators living near human settlements. In a study from a national park in Bhutan, researchers found that tigers in forested areas near farmlands can have large-scale impacts in the ecosystem that lead to fewer agricultural losses. The indirect benefits tigers bring to farmers could have important wildlife conservation implications.