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Why this Matters: It’s difficult for scientists to research long-term data trends since they often work in small teams, in small geographic areas. This is even more of a challenge with climate change issues. Allison Salas, a researcher that helped develop the iNaturalist study, told the Guardian. “With increasing changes to climate and rising temperatures, we do not have time to collect the data — things are changing faster than we can keep up with.” Researchers are depending on citizen scientists and bird watchers to collect data to help them understand the effects of climate change on birds. It’s working — citizens have recorded as many as 100 million bird observations per year.
That said, birds are incredibly sensitive to air pollution, so scientists suggest smoke poisoning could be a factor.Birds have a unique, sensitive respiratory system — they inhale and exhale at the same time. As the Guardian explains, “[t]o do this, birds use tube-like structures—parabronchi—which have sacs and capillaries all over them to allow for this simultaneous gas exchange.” Smoke damage can damage those bubbles, making it more difficult for birds to breathe. With citizen scientists and birdwatchers aiding the cause, hopefully scientists will discover the cause of this mass die-off.
What You Can Do:Sign up for iNaturalist, a partnership between the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic, and start uploading what you find. Everyone can help conserve biodiversity! #30×30
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study suggests that baby sharks are being born tiny, tired, and malnourished as a result of rising temperatures in the ocean. Scientists analyzed the effects of warming waters on young epaulette sharks — a small, egg-laying species that lives in the Great Barrier Reef. These researchers examined […]
In a story for the New York Times,Sam Anderson documents the lonely lives of the two beautiful creatures and details what we lose when a species vanishes before one’s eyes — it brings gravity to the extinction process that numbers and statistics just can’t.
Why This Matters: In 2019, the United Nations released a report detailing accelerating extinction rates.
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