Category Archives: Conservation

Vultures: Ecosystem Guardians

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1 September marks International Vulture Awareness Day.  Although sometimes regarded as ugly and gross, vultures play a most important role in keeping ecosystems healthy.  They serve both a biological and cultural significance.  Unfortunately, several species are under threat of extinction due to humans.  And please believe me when I say, this is not a species that we can live without…. Read more »

Emerging Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife

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Outbreaks of infectious disease make headlines around the globe almost daily.  Viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and parasites have the potential to affect both humans and animals alike.  A variety of infectious diseases can also be categorized as being zoonotic meaning they can be transmitted to other species.  As reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health… Read more »

The Future of Our Oceans and Beaches

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Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel across the southern gulf coast of the United States.  The anticipation of visiting new shorelines and wildlife inhabiting these areas was almost too much.  However, what we actually found was dismal and sad.  It appears that humans have left their mark on the beaches in the form of refuse.  Plastic… Read more »

Timber Rattlesnake Survey

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This year, 2012, has been an exciting time for the Timber rattlesnake population and reproductive assessment survey research. The driving force behind this project was to better understand how human presence in the north eastern part of their range has affected overall rattlesnake numbers and breeding success compared to previous data. In addition, we wanted to learn more about Timber… Read more »

Can Hunting be an Effective Conservation Tool?

Throughout the world hunting has been used as a way to harvest animals for human consumption.  In more cases then not, hunting has been managed sustainably to ensure long term availability of protein.  In order to have healthy wildlife populations, a balanced ecosystem has to be maintained and preserved.  Recently much attention has been given to hunting as a possible… Read more »

Dr. Tina Dow Inspires University Students to Help Wildlife

New WVU Student Group Supports Chimp Haven   Animal Awareness and Conservation, a new student group at West Virginia University, is turning its organizational interests into action with its first major service activity. Students from the group will be collecting items for Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Caddo Parish, La. It’s an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide… Read more »

Bee Aware

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Spring has long since sprung in the northern hemisphere and summer has unofficially begun.  Insect activity is in full swing as the race to pollinate is full on.  Until recently I did not know very much about one particular pollinator, the honey bee.  A chance encounter from a hive on the move was all it took to develop a deeper… Read more »

Animal Extinctions: What Can We Learn From Past Mistakes

Across the globe animal species are going extinct.  From such contributing factors such as disease, persecution, poaching, displacement, and habitat destruction, we are losing some of our most amazing creatures at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, species extinctions are nothing new.  But can we learn from past mistakes to ensure more magnificent animals do not do the way of the dodo?… Read more »

Making Everyday Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day!  Initiated in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event encouraging people around the world to make their lives a little more greener.  By doing so, people conserve resources and help ensure that what we have today will be here tomorrow.  With hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas that can help to reduce our footprint, what will you… Read more »

Chrysosporium in the Massasauga Rattlesnake

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A deadly threat has been identified in a Southern Illinois population of Massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus).  In 2008, biologists found 3 eastern massasaugas with disfiguring lesions on and around their head.  In addition, the snakes had multiple growths and ulcers, and experienced swelling that extended throughout the skin and skeletal muscle.  Another massasauga with a similar condition was documented in… Read more »