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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 Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer After centuries of overhunting, beavers may receive new protections in the Beaver State. Two bills have been introduced to the Oregon Legislative Assembly that would ban the killing of beavers on federally managed public land and exclude beavers from being classified as predatory animals. Experts hope that protected beaver populations will improve the health of their entire […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the Guardian reported, California is now in its second year of drought after a winter with little precipitation and it is the state’s fourth-driest year on record, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Because of drought conditions, the […]
By Azzedine Downes In 1965, the Canadian government asked then 30-year-old Brian Davies to join a group of consultants to visit the annual seal “hunt” taking place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Eastern Canada. The government sought feedback on how to make the hunt more humane. What Davies saw was there would change […]
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