Showing posts from September 3, 2020

Animal behaviour: Leading the young: older male elephants prove they are "up to the tusk!"

Journal: Scientific Reports Male elephants socialising along the Boteti River. Credit: Connie Allen. Older male elephants may have important roles to play as experienced leaders to younger males when navigating unknown or risky environments, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.  In long-lived species, such as elephants and whales, older individuals often respond more appropriately to complex, changing environments, which may benefit younger group members. However, research in this area has tended to focus on females. Connie Allen and colleagues investigated grouping behaviour and patterns of leadership in 1,264 male African savannah elephants travelling on elephant pathways to and from the Boteti River in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park (MPNP), Botswana.  Male African elephants congregate along hotspots of social activity on the Boteti River. Credit: Connie Allen. The authors found that lone elephants accounted for 20.8% (263 elephants) of sightings

Mining for renewable energy could worsen threats to biodiversity

Nature Communications A University of Queensland photo. Threats to biodiversity could increase in the future as more mines target materials used for renewable energy production, suggests a study in Nature Communications. Renewable energy production is necessary to mitigate climate change. However, only 17% of current global energy consumption is achieved through renewable energies. Generating the required technologies and infrastructure will lead to an increase in the production of many metals, which may create potential threats for biodiversity. Laura Sonter and colleagues mapped mining areas globally and assessed their coincidence with biodiversity conservation sites. The authors found that mining potentially influences approximately 50 million km2 of the Earth’s land surface with 82% of mining areas targeting materials used in renewable energy production. When looking at the spatial overlap between mining areas and conservation sites, they found that 8% of mining areas c