Boots On The Ground Conservation

Newsroom

  • Diversify Your Species

    The great tinamou is a evolutionarily distinct bird that thrives in tropical rainforest, but declines in farmland. © Patrick Coin/flickr

    The great tinamou is an evolutionarily distinct bird, representing a very early branch on the avian family tree. These birds, which retain primitive characteristics including reptilian-like blood proteins and palate structure, thrive in tropical rainforest, but decline in farmland. © Patrick Coin/flickr

    By Cara Byington

    First, the depressing news: humanity is driving half of all life on Earth to extinction, mainly through land conversion for agriculture. Now, the encouraging news: a recent study published in Science suggests that farmers have the power to prevent a lot of these extinctions—and the loss of millions of years of evolutionary history (called phylogenetic diversity) that these species represent—simply by adopting changes in their practices like crop diversification and maintaining habitat near their fields.

  • Successful GRN workshop held at Nachusa Grasslands

    GRN Saxton tour 2 by MS

    Oak regeneration tour by Saxton and Goldblum.

    Nachusa Grasslands hosted the annual workshop of the Grassland Restoration Network from September 9, 10 and 11, 2014. We had 90 people register and about 110 with Nachusa stewards and crew on hand to run things. Participants came mostly from Illinois but there were staff from Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Nebraska.

  • Photo of the Week – September 12, 2014

    It’s grasshopper season!

    Vehicles driving through the prairie on a late summer morning are quickly covered with dew, grass pollen, and GRASSHOPPERS.

    Vehicles driving through the prairie on a late summer morning are quickly covered with dew, grass pollen, and GRASSHOPPERS.

  • Green roofs are Now

     
    Green roofs are now commonly included in the design of new public and private infrastructure, bolstered by energy savings, environmental recognition and certification, bylaw compliance, and in some cases tax or other direct monetary incentives (e.g., here).  While green roofs clearly provide local environmental benefits, such as reduced albedo (sunlight reflectance), storm water retention, CO2sequestration, etc., green roof proponents also frequently cite biodiversity and conservation enhancement as a benefit. This last claim has not been broadly tested, but existing data was assessed by Nicholas Williams and colleagues in a recent article published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
     
  • Whale Pelvises, Pigeon Toes and Bee Belly Bacteria

    Bacteria from honey bees' second honey stomach churn out novel antimicrobial compounds. Image creadit: Flickr user Smudge9000 via Creative Commons 2.0 license.

    Bacteria from honey bees’ second honey stomachs churn out novel anti-microbial compounds.

  • Down Under

    Flickr User: alexcoitus

    See the original on Flickr »

  • Pesticides more toxic for soil organisms in dry soil, at enhanced temperatures

    Soil organisms react more sensitive to marketable pesticides when exposed in dry soil and at enhanced temperatures. Both conditions may occur more often in the future due to climate change. Singularly and combined these factors lower the toxicity threshold of fungicides for springtails.
  • Schaefer Prairie Preserve Citizen Science

    Morning dew on asters (Aster) at Schaefer Prairie. Photo © Chris Anderson/TNC.

    Morning dew on asters (Aster) at Schaefer Prairie. Photo © Chris Anderson/TNC.

  • Moving Waters

    Flickr User: Martijn de Valk

    See the original on Flickr »

  • U.S. cityscapes show consistent patterns of 'urban evolution'

    Scientists studying urban ecosystems say U.S. urban landscapes are remarkably similar geologically and biochemically, share certain traits that can function as markers for urbanization, and evolve along similar pathways. The authors propose the concept of 'urban evolution.'