Every week we share interesting stories about the environment. This is our first edition 🥳.
Bees Use Poop 💩 Against Asian Giant Hornets
Researchers in Vietnam have discovered honeybees coating their hive entrance with animal feces ("fecal spotting") to ward off predators.
Fecal spotting is the first example scientists have found where bees use 'tools.' Researchers have discovered that feces is an effective repellant for the Asian Giant Hornet or Asian Murder Hornet.
Endangered Bald Eagle 🦅 Shows Significant Population Growth
A report from the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) finds American Bald Eagle populations have quadrupled to 316,700 individual birds since 2009.
Bald Eagle populations reached as low as 417 breeding pairs in the 1960s but have recovered to approximately 71,400 breeding pairs. This recovery is a massive achievement for conservation efforts from USFWS and other organizations.
Brazilian Cross-Breeding Hawksbill & Loggerhead Turtles 🐢
Genetic studies in Brazil have revealed around 30-40% of female Hawksbill turtles are a first-generation hybrid species cross-bred from Loggerhead turtles.
This cross-breeding is rare in the animal kingdom, especially since Hawsbills and Loggerhead turtles diverged genetically around 30 million years ago.
"There's evolutionarily an interesting question there: what happens when these genomes meet again?" Dr Sibelle Torres Vilaça, University of Ferrara in Italy.
Montana Introduces New Bill to Help Save the Bees 🐝
The pollinator Protection Act will also encourage the "seeding or planting of native plants friendly to animal pollinators."
Bees & Drones Help Locate Landmines 💣 in Eastern Europe
Researchers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia are testing the use of bees to locate landmines left behind from wars decades ago.
The bees are trained to associate the smell of TNT with food. When the bees are released into the wild, they cluster or swarm around buried mines.
The researchers deploy drones to survey the area and then review the footage using "bee-spotting technology" to locate bee clusters.
The program is still in its testing phase, but initial reports suggest a correlation between where bees cluster and landmine locations.
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