177 news posts related to Conservation

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Marine heat waves caused mass seabird die-offs, beach surveys show

Deceased seabirds on the beach

Seabirds, from cormorants to puffins, spend most of their lives at sea. Beloved by birdwatchers, these animals can be hard to study because they spend so much time far from shore. New research led by the University of Washington uses data collected by coastal residents along beaches from central California to Alaska to understand how seabirds have fared in recent decades. 

Read more at UW Today »

Washington Sea Grant receives $1.59 million to boost Puget Sound habitat

Two projects led by Washington Sea Grant (WSG) will receive a total of $1.59 million through the Puget Sound National Estuary Program’s Habitat Strategic Initiative, a partnership between Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Natural Resources. The WSG-led projects will focus on sea level rise vulnerability and on managing invasive European green crab, which will receive $798,785 and $794,789 in funding respectively. 

Read more at Washington Sea Grant »

Permanent daylight saving time would reduce deer-vehicle collisions, study shows

Deer along a highway

In much of the United States, there is a twice-yearly shift in timekeeping between standard time and daylight saving time, or DST, which delays both sunrise and sunset to make mornings darker and evenings brighter. Recently, scientists, policy experts, lawmakers and citizens have debated abandoning the twice-a-year switch and adopting either year-round standard time or DST. A team of researchers at the University of Washington — led by postdoctoral researcher Calum Cunningham and Laura Prugh, an associate professor of quantitative wildlife sciences — have found that one of those options would sharply reduce a hazard common to much of the country: deer-vehicle collisions. 

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Animals in national parks impacted by even just a few people

Brown Bear on Alaskan shore.

People often visit U.S. national parks to catch a glimpse of wildlife. But how does our presence impact the animals we hope to see? National park traffic has grown steadily over the past decade, and popular parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone can easily see over a million visitors a year. In these heavily used areas, one might expect animals to change their behavior to avoid humans. 

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UW Botanic Gardens' Miller Seed Vault preserves some of Washington’s rarest native plants

Miller Seed Vault volunteer

In 2017, nearly half the population of Umtanum Desert buckwheat (Eriogonum codium) was destroyed by a wildfire in Washington’s Hanford Reach National Monument. This unassuming perennial plant is not found anywhere else in the world — meaning catastrophic events such as this could eventually spell extinction for its corner of Washington’s rich biodiversity. How do we protect rare, endemic plants as they come under increasing pressure from intensifying wildfires and habitat disruption? 

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