Every year in wintertime, scores of migrating monarch butterflies settle in Mexico at the culmination of their long southerly flight, alighting together like flickering orange fires on fir trees in a mountaintop forest. But this year marks the sixth year in the last seven that the event has diminished from a powerful blaze to a dwindling flame. Researchers say the famed migration is on a downward turn due to agricultural shifts and climate warming that some fear could spell the end of the butterflies’ yearly passage.!--/end tags-->
Hope for Ash Trees? For the First Time, Scientists Successfully Use Wasps to Locate a New Infestation of Destructive Beetles
Photo: Michael Bohne US FS
Scientists employing a technique called biosurveillance, which uses one species to find another, recently discovered an invasive beetle called the emerald ash borer in Connecticut, where it was previously undocumented. Although the discovery was unsurprising – there is a known infestation in neighboring New York State–it marks the first time that biosurveillance has detected the beetle in a new state.!--/end tags-->
In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, researchers found that the pale grass blue butterflies that are commonly found around Fukushima have been affected by the radiation released from the nearby nuclear power plant.!--/end tags-->
Bee guys are a rough-around-the-edges bunch, solitary souls who prefer their buzzing wards to other humans, characters who place their fate and livelihood on honeybees’ wings and nature’s whims.
“There are fewer and fewer of them,” writes journalist Hannah Nordhaus, “and they tend to a breed…that is literally dying. Yet they persist, against all logic and pecuniary sense because beekeepers—who have, after all, chosen careers involving stinging insects—are not terribly rational people.”!--/end tags-->
The beloved—or hated, depending whom you ask—Valentine’s Day is just a week away. Still looking for that something special to give your Valentine? Maybe you’re trying to impress that darling you hope will be your love for good? Look no further than the Bronx Zoo, with its, um, unique gift any girl would treasure. Introducing roaches, two ways (one of them edible).!--/end tags-->
The Papuan forest dragon pictured above is just one of the captivating creatures scientist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki has captured in his new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine. Naskrecki traveled the globe in search of creatures and habitats that have persisted, nearly untouched, for hundreds of millions of years. The result is a book packed with stunning images and fascinating information.
Relics—and a print of your choice—could be yours. We've teamed up with the University of Chicago Press to give away 10 copies. Click here to enter the giveaway, see more images from the book, and learn more about it. All you have to do is leave a comment and be sure to include a viable email address (it won't show up on the page). Good luck!
Here at Audubon, we appreciate a good Internet sensation as much as anyone (if Honey Honey Badger Don’t Care, we certainly do). From snowboarding crows to cute kittens, animals consistently creep into our inboxes and on our Facebook feeds. When these images and videos are posted, blogged, and altered enough to be considered part of the web’s consciousness, they become memes. Animal memes can be silly, offensive, or even insightful – and these are some of the greatest, with explainations of their origins according to Know Your Meme.!--/end tags-->