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News stories tagged with "ecology"

Perhaps the most unusual bird on the count was a leucistic black-capped Chickadee at a Bloomingdale feeder (photo: Larry Master)
Perhaps the most unusual bird on the count was a leucistic black-capped Chickadee at a Bloomingdale feeder (photo: Larry Master)

Volunteers flock to annual bird count

For the 108th year, volunteer birders fanned out across the country for the annual birding census earlier this winter. The all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Society started the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 as an alternative to a Victorian-era holiday hunting tradition of shooting the greatest number of birds. Today, data collected during the Christmas Bird Count helps researchers monitor bird behavior and bird conservation. You could call it bird watching with a benefit. Todd Moe tagged along with some Adirondack bird enthusiasts who began their avian adventure at first light.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Complex Connections

Why does St. John's Wort do better when there are fish in the pond? What does the sea otter population have to do with the quality of surfing? Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley follow some of the thinner strands of the web of life.  Go to full article
Paul Smiths College students pull sample from Adirondack peat bog.  (Source:  Curt Stager, PSC)
Paul Smiths College students pull sample from Adirondack peat bog. (Source: Curt Stager, PSC)

Heard Up North: 7,000 Years Inside a Peat Bog

Dr. Curt Stager talks with Martha Foley every week about the natural world -- on Natural Selections. This week, Brian Mann caught Dr. Curt at his day job - and brought back a sample.  Go to full article

NYPA Acquarium Fund Shifted

Ten million dollars from the New York Power Authority that was to have gone to a failed effort to build an aquarium and ecological center on the St. Lawrence River will now be used for economic development in the North Country. The Power Authority asked Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University, to pull community leaders together to explore how the money could be used. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Up Close and Personal with a Prairie Fire

Some natural areas need fire. A number of prairie plants and pine trees must have fire for their seeds to pop open or germinate. But burning a natural area can quickly turn into a wildfire without a team to keep it under control. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mark Brush spent a day with a burn crew, and brings us this audio postcard.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: In Brief?Rainforests and Avalanches

The distribution of plant and animal species can be shaped by many factors. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at the ways trees distribute themselves in the rainforest, and how avalanches affect the ranging habits of bear.  Go to full article
Passenger Pigeon
Passenger Pigeon

Natural Selections: The Effects of Extinction

Extinction of a species can influence the survival of others species within the same habitat. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager weigh the possible impact.  Go to full article

Taking the Planet's Pulse

In the wake of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, there's been a lot of talk about how to balance human needs with the health of the planet. Ecologists have been trying to measure the impact of humans on the environment for a number of years, with some sobering results. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Daniel Grosssman went to the New York Botanical Garden recently to take the pulse of the planet.  Go to full article

Earthworms Alter Forest Ecology

Most of us think of earthworms as beneficial creatures. Gardeners are always happy to spot a worm in the flowerbed because they add fertilizer to the soil. And many anglers say they're the best thing for catching fish. But scientists are beginning to learn worms aren't so friendly to Great Lakes forests. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Stephanie Hemphill reports.  Go to full article

Trumpeter Swans' Comeback?

Efforts to reintroduce the trumpeter swan in the Great Lakes region are exceeding expectations. In fact, officials in one state are trying to find out if the swan population can now grow on its own. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium?s Mike Simonson reports.  Go to full article

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