Tag Archives: ecology

Monarch Butterflies and Malaria Fever

In the language of medicine, symptoms of a problem or disease are often what help professionals diagnose the root cause.  If a person has malaria,  he or she will exhibit symptoms like a fever, the chills, and feeling achey.  Of course, many of us have experienced those signs and we just have the flu.  Context is also crucial: malaria is only found in certain areas of the world, and only carried by certain mosquito species.  Symptoms can point a doctor in the right direction, but a closer examination like an MRI, X-ray, or blood test usually provides the definitive proof of the problem.

So what in the world do monarchs have to do with malaria fever?

Migration map of monarch butterflies. Chris Brackley/Canadian Geographic

In the United States, Continue reading

“Be Fruitful and Multiply–Everybody

This is a cross-posting from our good friends and fellow creation care laborers at the A Rocha USA blog.  

By Tom Rowley, A Rocha USA Executive Director

American bison. CC License.

Last Wednesday, PBS launched a terrific new television series: EARTH A New Wild. Done in collaboration with Conservation International and Nature Conservancy (both of whom have partnered with A Rocha in the USA and abroad), the show focuses on the inextricable link between humans and nature. We are part of nature. We are mutually dependent. And neglect of one hurts the other.

All of which is a bit Continue reading

Research to Watch: How do humans affect wildlife?

Calvin of Bill Watterson’s famous comic has a few iconic lines, such as “It’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!” This is exactly how I picture scientific research, especially in the field of ecology.  Our home is so immense, so complex, and there’s so much to discover!  The more we know, the more we marvel at God’s handiwork.

Madison County, Montana. Shared under the Creative Commons license.

A recent study from the Wildlife Conservation Society compared how songbirds in two very different habitats, the Adirondack forest region of New York and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana, respond to human development going on around them.  Human development of a rural area means that the habitat will be changed structurally–a house replaces trees, et cetera.

The scientists asked the question, “do songbirds in different habitats respond in Continue reading