Pollutants & plumage

The state of a bird’s feathers can actually tell us a lot about their physical condition. Being shiny, or iridescent, doesn’t depend only on color-producing molecules like melanin, but also feather structure. This means it could be even more sensitive to poor nutrition or habitat quality. So how does iridescence hold up in polluted environments?

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Can we all just coexist?

We humans going about our daily lives have profound impacts on wildlife. Lots of things we do affect the organisms around us, from pollution, noise, garbage, food waste, hitting things with cars, salting roads for winter, building places for us to live; the list goes on. And on, and on and on. So what can we do about it? Demolishing cities or not expanding them doesn’t seem like a viable option, so researchers are looking at ways we can coexist with wildlife and do the least harm. Our infographic is about a study from New York to see what kind of spaces promoted diversity in environments dominated by humans.

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Cities’ shrinking gene pools

Looking around a city or suburb, you might think that mammals are doing pretty well. There are pizza rats and egg roll squirrels, mice in the basement, rabbits in the garden, raccoons in the garbage bins, woodchucks under the shed, deer bounding over fences, maybe some skunks skulking around the yard. Yeah, mammals have it pretty good.

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