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News stories tagged with "nature"

<i>Homo floresiensis</i>, left, and <i>Homo Sapiens</i>
Homo floresiensis, left, and Homo Sapiens

Natural Selections: Old "Hobbits"

Dr. Curt Stager and Marth Foley talk about a new hominid species, Homo floresiensis, whose 18,000-year-old remains have been unearthed on an Indonesian island. The diminutive stature of this close relative of modern humans has earned it the nickname "hobbit."  Go to full article
Searching by canoe.
Searching by canoe.

Searching for the ivory-billed woodpecker

Leah Filo is a biologist with the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. She's spent most of her professional life doing field work with migratory songbirds. In January, she joined the search for a ghost among birds, the ivory-billed woodpecker - and she came back a believer. The ivory-billed was long thought to be extinct - but in April 2005, a partnership led by Cornell University's ornithology lab formally announced the rediscovery of the ivory-billed in an area of Arkansas bottom land swamp known as the Big Woods. They cited "visual encounters", a video clip, and sounds linked to ivory-bills. Not everyone believes. Since then, scientists and volunteers have been scouring likely habitat for more sightings. Leah Filo volunteered to help and found herself spending two weeks in the very Big Woods of the 2005 sightings -- along the White River in Arkansas. It was wet and chilly -- nights in the 30s, days in the 40s. It's bottom land forest, mostly deciduous woods that flood frequently. Leah spent most of her time in waders. She kept lots of notes, and kept an audio journal as well. She spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Searching for the elusive eastern cougar

The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to look at whether the Eastern cougar exists. The agency will be looking in 21 states from Maine to Michigan, and down to Tennessee. As Linda Stephan reports, the review could end with a recommendation to remove its endangered status.  Go to full article
Herring doing the deed.
Herring doing the deed.

Natural Selections: Fish Flatulence and Squirrel Alarms

Naturalists have observed telltale bubbles emitted by some fish and have even provided recordings. Others have detected secret alarm sounds in the cries of ground squirrels. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the hidden sounds of nature.  Go to full article
Ottawa's greenbelt
Ottawa's greenbelt

Going wild in Ottawa

The city of Ottawa is encircled by a "greenbelt", an area of natural space protected from heavy development. It was intended to confine urban sprawl. But population growth simply leapt over, spawning homogeneous suburbs, which now ring the greenbelt. The Fletcher Wildlife Garden encompasses nearly 13 acres in the Greenbelt, next to the city's historic Experimental Farm. Besides offering tranquil wilderness trails minutes from Parliament Hill, it also features a scale model demonstrating ways to bring wildlife back into small suburban yards. Sandy Garland is a senior member of the Garden's steering committee. She spoke with Ottawa correspondent Lucy Martin, after presenting a how-to lecture and slide show. As tables and chairs were stacked away, Garland explained that even small steps can add up.  Go to full article

Backyard count captures "real time" snapshot of bird populations

Tens of thousands of people will be outside (or looking out the window), counting birds this weekend. It's the tenth annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The idea is to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent, and how local birds fit into the larger landscape. Anyone can participate - last year participants reported a record-breaking 7.5 million birds of 623 species. Martha Foley talked with Joan Collins of Potsdam, who was watching her feeder as the count began this morning.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: the merlin

The merlin, or pigeon hawk, has long been absent from the North Country. But nesting pairs began to be discovered again beginning in the 1990s. Curt Stager recounts an encounter with the returning hunter to Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Diamonds and Rubies

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about what makes a gemstone instead of a lump. How do high-school chemistry terms such as carbon and aluminum oxide become the stuff dreams--and bling--are made of?  Go to full article
Bust of Neanderthal
Bust of Neanderthal

Natural Selections: Prehistoric Humans

What sort of evolution has taken place in the human species in the last 100,000 years? Is an evolutionary change always beneficial? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about Neanderthal and Cro-magnon Man.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: the Adirondacks in 300 years, part 2

Last week Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discussed the future of Adirondack trees and forests. In part 2, they turn the crystal ball on fauna. The fortunes of the black bear look bad, due to the decline of a main food supply--beechnuts. Migrant songbirds may also decline, in part because of habitat loss elsewhere, and in part due to domestic cats who take an amazing toll of birds each year. It looks good for fish, but better for invasive than native species.  Go to full article

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