Here are the 4 Nature News Stories You Need to Know About This Month (January).
#1. Raptor-Drone Keeps Airline Passengers Safe
Just after takeoff, on January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of Canada geese (Branta canadensis)—all 155 people onboard survived. The event was later made into a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, which has reignited concerns over bird strikes and passenger safety. Planes and birds do not mix, to the detriment of both the humans onboard and the birds.
This month Tech Crunch wrote about a service provided by Clear Flight Solutions called, “Robird“. Robird is is used to scare off birds that hang out around airfields—a serious menace to air traffic. Read more about this innovative technology here.
#2. Illegally Traded Birds Establish New Populations
According to a story published by the BBC, a new population of yellow crested cockatoo has been established in Hong Kong. The bird species, which is endangered, is thought to have established a naturalized population through additions of individuals that were released on purposed, or lost by their owners.
Citing the scientific paper, Saving two birds with one stone: solving the quandary of introduced, threatened species, the article explains that the secondary populations could alleviate pressures on native populations exploited in the illegal wildlife trade. Read that article on the BBC website.
#3. Climate-Altered Landscapes Impact Migration
Birds that have been following migration patterns and routes for generations could be negatively impacted by climate change. Because climate change impacts migration cues such as plant growth and food abundance, birds might begin to mis-time their trips.
#4. Professor Says Improperly Classified Bird Species Means There Are 18,000 Species
According to a professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, bird species have been improperly classified and there are approximately 18,000 species of birds, rather than the accepted 10,000. This has definitely ruffled a few feathers among ornithologists.
The professor claims that subspecies often have such distinct characteristics that distinguish them from the species that they are classified under and for that reason should be considered a separate species.
Read more about this interesting argument here.
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