Friday, December 10, 2004

In the news: Corals, birds, tigers, orang-utans

"Coral reefs may grow with global warming."
By Kate Ravilious. New Scientist News, 8th December 2004.

"Rising levels of greenhouse gases may not be quite as bad for coral reefs
as was previously thought. A team of Australian scientists say that the
damage done by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the oceans will be
offset by warmer waters, which will make coral grow faster. But other
researchers counter that warming will do more harm than good." Link.

"Birds of a feather not related to each other."
By Anna Gosline. New Scientist News, 8th December 2004.

"If it walks like a flamingo and looks like a flamingo, it is not necessarily a flamingo - or even a close relative. A controversial genetic study suggests we have completely misunderstood how the majority of birds are related, and that some species that look almost identical are not related at all." Link.

Shu-Jin Luo et al., 2004. "Phylogeography and Genetic Ancestry of Tigers (Panthera tigris)." Plos Biology, 2 (12). Published December 7, 2004. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020442 Link.

Eight traditional subspecies of tiger (Panthera tigris), of which three recently became extinct, are commonly recognized on the basis of geographic isolation and morphological characteristics.

In this paper, the authors indicate that population genetic structure would suggest recognition of six taxonomic units or subspecies:
(1) Amur tiger P. t. altaica;
(2) northern Indochinese tiger P. t. corbetti;
(3) South China tiger P. t. amoyensis;
(4) Malayan tiger P. t. jacksoni, named for the tiger conservationist Peter
(5) Sumatran tiger P. t. sumatrae; and
(6) Bengal tiger P. t. tigris.

Ancrenaz at al., 2004. "Aerial Surveys Give New Estimates for Orangutans in Sabah, Malaysia." PLoS Biology 3(1). Published December 7, 2004. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030003

The number of orangutan nests detected during aerial surveys in Sabah were directly related to the estimated true animal density. The helicopter is an efficient tool to provide robust estimates of orangutan numbers.

There is an estimated population size of about 11,000 individuals in Sabah and more than 60% occur outside protected areas, in production forests that have been through several rounds of logging extraction and are still exploited for timber. The role of exploited forests clearly merits further investigation for orangutan conservation in Sabah.

1 comment:

Monkey said...

considering that im doing a biogeography paper on wallace's line, the tiger article should be useful :)