近親繁殖仍能存活

鴞鸚鵡是極度瀕危物種,1995年全球只餘下約50隻生活於新西蘭的斯圖爾特島上,現今有約200隻。科學家一直擔心牠們群族太小,會會因近親繁殖導致基因的有害突變越來越多而出現遺傳疾病。但最近研究發現,牠們基因裡的有害突變比預期的要少,而且有些原有的有害突變亦消失了。

Kakapo is a critically endangered species; there were only around 50 of them left living on Stewart Island of New Zealand in 1995, and now there are around 200 of them on the island. Scientists worry the population of kakapo is too small and inbreeding will cause more harmful mutations and lead to genetic diseases. However, a recent study found that there are actually fewer harmful mutation in their genes than scientists expected, some original harmful mutations have disappeared as well. 

https://www.earth.com/news/inbreeding-has-led-to-genetic-advantages-in-flightless-parrots

https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/interbreeding-might-actually-have-saved-the-kakapo-a-rare-waddling-parrot-from-extinction/

放寬封鎖揭棄養潮

於肺炎封鎖期間不少地區的領養數字上升,但英國於七月放寬封鎖後,有慈善機構表示棄養率及查詢棄養的數字明顯上升,並擔心會出現棄養潮。

during the coronavirus lockdown, the adoptions rate increased in many areas. however, the number of people giving up their pet dogs has raised since UK lifted the restrictions in July. Charity said the inquiries about abandonments increased and they are worried about there will be an abandonment boom.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/sep/10/number-of-dog-owners-thinking-about-giving-up-pet-surges-charity-reports

北遷蜻蜓或成威脅

英國最近的蜻蜓研究發現,自1970年起有40%的蜻蜓品種有增加,11%數量下降。 現時英國的蜻蜓當中,有六種是因氣候變化往北遷到英國範圍,有專家擔心新物種或會與原生物種競爭資源及造成威脅,而類似情況亦有在加拿大及美國發生。

A recent Bristish dragonfly study discovered since 1970, around 40% of the species increased in numbers, while 11% decreased. Among all dragonfly species in UK, six of them moved north to UK due to climate change. Experts worry these species may compete with native species for resources and create threats. Similar trends was observed in Canada and US as well. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/how-climate-change-is-affecting-dragonflies-in-canada-and-around-the-world-1.5578224

20噸死魚被沖上岸

於西班牙東南部的馬爾梅諾潟湖,近日有近20噸魚及甲殼動物屍體被沖到岸邊。當區是西班牙主要農業生產地區之一,因大量含氮、磷等化學肥料的農業污染物流入潟湖,引致大量藻類繁殖,令水中氧氣量降低,海洋生物因而窒息。大量群眾聚集抗議要求展開調查,當局計劃收緊管制使用化肥。

20 tons of dead fish and crustacean were washed ashore recently in Mar Menor lagoon in southeastern Spain. That region is one of the major agricultural production area. Large amount of pollutants that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and other chemical fertilizers entered the lagoon, causing algae blooms which consume oxygen in water and lead to suffocation on marine creatures. the public gathered to protest and urge for investigations on the problem; Spanish authorities are going to tighten a ban on the use of harmful fertilizers. 

https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-08-30/some-70000-people-form-human-chain-to-protest-environmental-crisis-at-mar-menor.html

捐血獵犬退休了

英國一隻格雷伊獵犬於過去六年捐血了22次,幫助了約88隻狗隻,但近來因達九歲,屬超齡捐血而不能再繼續。陰性血液可提供給任可狗隻使用,約有30%的狗隻有陰性血液,而這隻格雷伊獵犬是其中之一。

In UK, a greyhound donated its blood 22 times in the past six years and helped around 88 dogs. But it has recently reached the age of 9 and has to retire as donation is only taken from dog aged from one to eight. Negative blood can be given to any dog but only around 30% of the dogs has this blood type; and this greyhound is one of them. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-58354825

靠海豚尋獲失蹤男子

一名男子在愛爾蘭游泳失踪了近 12 個小時,海岸拯救隊搜索多時仍未能成功。最後團隊發現了一群海豚,牠們正圍著這名失蹤男子!救援人員認為這些海豚可能嘗試幫助男子回到岸邊,因為牠們並沒有攻擊性。男子最後成功獲救並送往醫院。

In Ireland, a swimmer was missing for almost 12 hours, and the rescue team were out searching for him. After hours of searching, the team spotted a group of dolphins and they were surrounding the lost swimmer! The rescuers believed the dolphins were trying to help the swimmer to reach the shore as they were not aggressive. The swimmer was rescued and transported to the hospital. 

https://www.firstpost.com/world/irish-swimmer-found-surrounded-by-dolphins-after-being-stranded-at-sea-for-12-hours-9915591.html

復修泥炭地改善生態

英國的霍爾科姆沼澤,過去150年來受污染、火災及過度放牧等破壞而變得乾旱,形成了植被。為了恢復泥炭地,英國國民信託花了半年建了3500個扇貝形的泥炭坑,讓水份能留在沼澤中減少流失及儲存更多碳,希望改善泥碳地的健康能吸引更多野生動物棲息,及減少下游受洪水影響。

Peatland at Holcombe Moor in UK has dried out because of pollutions, fires and overgrazing in the past 1Peatland at Holcombe Moor in UK has dried out because of pollutions, fires and overgrazing in the past 150years. To restore the peatland, 3500 scallop-shaped bunds were installed by National Trust to help trap water to keep the peatland wet as well as absorbing CO2. This project hopes by improving the health of the peatland, it can boost biodiversity can be boosted to attract more wildlife to inhabit and prevent flooding.

https://e-info.org.tw/node/231947

從空氣採集DNA

英國及丹麥研究團隊研發出從空氣採集DNA的方法,並於動物園內進行測試。他們成功採集到各種動物的DNA,包括哺乳類、鳥類、爬行類甚至池裡的魚類。雖然未能探測到DNA釋放的時間,亦未能計算於空氣中的存活期,但相信這技術能在更有彈性及減少干擾的情況下採集動物DNA。

British and Danish research groups discovered a way to detect DNA from the air and tested it in a zoo. They were able to found DNA of different animals including mammals, birds, reptiles and even fish in the pond. Even though they are not able to detect the releasing time of the DNA, and not able to know how long it survives in the air, but this discover will help to detect animal presence in a more flexible and less disturbing way. 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/aug/08/dna-from-thin-air-a-new-way-to-detect-rare-wildlife-in-hostile-environments

有比較更吸引

研究發現,果蝠在覓食時也會像人類一樣做出非理性的選擇。 當研究員給果蝠成熟的木瓜及成熟的香蕉去選擇時,牠們對兩者都沒有特別的偏好; 但當加入未成熟的香蕉作第三種選擇時,牠們會更喜歡成熟的香蕉。 這表示添加誘餌作對比後會改變牠們的行為。

A study found that fruit bats will make irrational choices when picking on food similar to human behavior. When a fruit bat is offered a ripe papaya and ripe banana, they don’t have a strong preference for either; but when a unripe banana is added in as a third option, they would prefer the ripe banana. This shows that adding the decoy has changed their behavior. 

https://www.treehugger.com/bats-make-irrational-food-choices-5197075#citation-1

海豚被遊客騷擾

近日在蘇格蘭北部的馬里河口灣,遊客對海豚的騷擾有明顯增加。 不少駕著帆船或使用獨木舟等的遊客故意追逐及騷擾海豚,而這些行為對海豚造成壓力、影響牠們捕食及會導致牠們受傷。

The harassment of dolphins, seals and whales are increasing in the Moray Firth in northern Scotland. people with sailing boats and kayaks are cashing and harassing dolphins intentionally. These actions are creating stress, affecting their feeding behaviours and can cause injuries to these dolphins.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-57982738