US polar bears mark their territory

More than two years after Alaskan polar bears were given a protection status of “threatened species” by the US Endangered Species Act, the Obama administration set aside on Wednesday 24 November 484,330 sq kilometres — twice the size of the UK — in Alaska as “critical habitat”.

Almost all of the area is offshore sea ice habitat — where polar bears spend most of their time hunting seals, breeding and … Read the rest

Taxonomy in Trouble in Canada

Canada is at risk of losing its taxonomic expertise, according to a report released today.

The report details stagnant research funding, greying experts, a lag in digitization and a lack of support for national collections. This is threatening Canada’s understanding of its biodiversity, and the ecosystem services it provides, the report concludes.

“Canadian contributions to describing new species has dropped from being 6th in the world to 14th in the … Read the rest