Boots On The Ground Conservation

Newsroom

  • Photo of the Week – October 17, 2014

    Who could be mad at these big beautiful brown eyes?

    A differential grasshopper (that's its name, not its demeanor) on stiff goldenrod.

    A differential grasshopper (that’s its name, not its demeanor) on stiff goldenrod.

  • Fall is Here

    Hisako TANAKA/Flickr, See the original on Flickr »

  • Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures

    Diverse plant communities are more successful and enable higher crop yields than pure monocultures, a research team has discovered. The scientists are convinced that the cultivation of crop mixtures in agriculture and forestry will play a key role in food safety in the future.
  • Crop Wild Relatives

    Allium pskemense B. Fedtsch, a wild perennial related to the common onion. Photo Credit: Crop Wild Relatives Global Portal.

    Allium pskemense, a perennial related to the common onion. Crop Wild Relatives Global Portal.

    Conservationists love talking about the role we can play in food security. And with good reason – there is no more basic or universal need. Be it increased fish production in MPAs, water availability for household gardens, or grass cover during times of drought, conservation has a range of plausible ways to influence food security. But I often get the sense that when talking about food security we’re grasping a little bit, trying to fill a role for which we are not a perfect fit.

    Well, there is a much overlooked role we can play, and one that conservation clearly possess the best tools and expertise to do the job: in situ conservation of crop wild relatives (CWRs).

  • So Similar, Yet So Different

    It’s wrong to assume that successful restoration or management tactics from one prairie will work in another.  Instead, every prairie has its own “personality” and responds accordingly.  The key to success is experimentation and adaptive management.

    James Trager (Shaw Nature Reserve) and Nelson Winkel (TNC Platte River Prairies) look over a restored prairie at Nachusa Grasslands.  This prairie was relatively unique in that it had a fair amount of indiangrass in it.  Most of the seed mixtures have none, or very little, seed from big grasses such as indiangrass and big bluestem.

  • Compost Scene Investigation

    A coyote approaches a compost pile. Photo by Flickr user circulating through a Creative Commons license.

    Residential composting has become a popular, and environmentally friendly, method of disposing of food waste. But that food also serves as a critter buffet. How does the local wildlife behave around the compost heap?

    Wildlife CSI (Compost Scene Investigation) is on the case, and you could be one of their investigators, joining a crack team of sleuths that includes crowbots. Yes, crowbots.

  • The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

    Charles Darwin conceived of evolution by natural selection without knowing that genes exist. Currently, mainstream evolutionary theory has come to focus almost exclusively on genetic inheritance and processes that change gene frequencies.

    But now comes a new, broader perspective...

  • Quagga: Can an Extinct Animal be Bred Back into Existence?

    One of the last quaggas, photographed in a London Zoo. Photo: Frederick York

    One of the last quaggas, photographed in a London Zoo. Photo: Frederick York

  • On Top of the World

    Gerald Berliner/Flickr, See the original on Flickr »

  • Photo of the Week – October 10, 2014

    For the second time in two weeks, I got to travel west into drier, shorter prairie.  This week, our crew attended the Nebraska Natural Legacy Conference in Gering, Nebraska – at the far western end of the state.  

    As the sun turned the sky pink to the east, the moon was dropping in the west.  Scotts Bluff National Monument.