Leaves and Twigs: A Weekly Roundup of the Best Sustainability Stories on the WebFebruary 27, 2013
Last week, science and conservation blogs were rife with stories about misleading food labeling; scientists revealed new information about one of our favorite feathered friends; and the Rainforest Alliance discussed the power of sustainable tourism to combat poverty in rural communities. Read on for these and other sustainability stories…
- “Researchers have discovered that young barn owls can be impressively generous toward one another, regularly donating portions of their food to smaller, hungrier siblings—a display of altruism that is thought to be rare among nonhuman animals.” [NY Times]
- A few years ago, Mullak’as Misminay was a forgotten Andean community of 500 families struggling to earn a decent and stable income through farming and textile production. Today, they have become a prime example of the power of community-based rural tourism to lift individuals out of poverty. [Sustainable Trip]
- Researchers at Brown University are taking a cue from da Vinci and examining the anatomy of bat wings in the hopes of finding inspiration for small aircraft design. [Treehugger]
- Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu in the Peruvian rainforest. By encouraging farmers to adopt responsible practices and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce, he is helping to forge a sustainable future for his community. [Frog Blog]
- Is this survival of the fittest in action? “Our results suggest that some individual [species] will exhibit enhanced fertilization in acidified oceans, supporting the concept of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of climate change at an individual level,” explained PhD researcher Peter Schlegel.
- The remains of a new, shark-eating whale species have been found under a California highway expansion project site. Scientists believe that the whale species went extinct five million years ago. [Treehugger]
- “Experts say one of the best ways to preserve the remaining forest is to grant rights to the indigenous people who live there.” They also believe that maps may be a critical conservation tool. [Mongabay]
- Zero Extinction—a network of 88 conservation groups—recently invited the global community to vote on the seven wonders of endangered species. [Fauna & Flora International]
- “A team of University of Melbourne and Monash University researchers is trying to establish how street trees, parks, green roofs and green facades can interact with urban design to reduce temperatures in cities. Their results show that leafy, green streets and irrigated open space areas were much cooler than built up urban areas without green infrastructure. [Phys.org]
- Until recently, almost nothing was known about the mating and reproductive behaviors of the giant armadillo. “For the first time, scientists in the Brazilian Pantanal have documented giant armadillo breeding and the happy outcome: a baby giant armadillo.” [Mongabay]
- Consumer confidence in the food chain continues to waver as the European horsemeat scandal grows. [Treehugger]
Tell us: what stories captivated you?