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habitat loss

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UN Chief calls for action to protect biodiversity and combat climate change

One million species now under threat, and humanity is to blame, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has warned, in a call to protect the plants, animals, microorganisms and more, that sustain all life on Earth. Pollution, climate chaos, habitat loss and exploitation of nature have pushed a million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction. Guterres called on developed countries to invest in biodiversity and climate action […]

todayMay 23, 2024 17


Africa is full of bats, but their fossils are scarce – why these rare records matter

      By Mariëtte Pretorius, University of the Witwatersrand   Africa is home to more than 20% of the world’s bat population. There are over 200 species to be found on the continent. South Africa is particularly diverse, with 72 bat species. I am a zoologist who has studied bats for many years. Recently, while doing some reading about South Africa’s fossils, I started wondering about bat fossils. Given […]

todayApril 18, 2024 9


Analysis of largest elephant surveys ever shows stable population, but disturbing trends

    By Jim Tan via Mongabay   New research comparing data from the two largest-ever elephant surveys reveals the overall population in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area is stable, but also uncovers some concerning local trends. Elephant numbers in Botswana, home to more elephants than any other country, are stable overall, but declining numbers in areas where hunting is permitted, and increasing numbers in protected areas, suggest underlying […]

todayApril 11, 2024 11


Pangolins in Africa: expert unpacks why millions have been traded illegally and what can be done about it

      By Olajumoke Morenikeji, University of Ibadan   Pangolins are fascinating creatures known for their unique appearance and distinctive scales. They are mammals belonging to the order Pholidota and are native to Africa and Asia. Due to their primary diet of ants and termites, pangolins are often referred to as “scaly anteaters”. The African pangolin species are dispersed throughout southern, western, central and east Africa. Pangolins face rapid […]

todayMarch 22, 2024 23


Nigeria risks losing all its forest elephants – what we found when we went looking for them

    By Rosemary Iriowen Egonmwan, University of Lagos and Bola Oboh, University of Lagos   Nigeria is one of 37 African countries where elephants are found in the wild. Savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) can be found in the north and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in the south. It’s not clear how many elephants there are in Nigeria. Eighteen years ago, the African Elephant Study Report estimated that there were […]

todayMarch 12, 2024 4


Scientists warn of ‘extinction crisis’ stalking Africa’s raptors

An adult secretarybird on a flat-topped tree. Image by LionMountain via Pixabay (Public domain). By Malavika Vyawahare via Mongabay Secretarybirds build their nests high in flat-topped acacia trees to avoid land-bound predators. So when researcher Wesley Gush climbed up those trees to get to their nests, he knew it was a surprise for them. What the nestlings did surprised him too: They played dead, according to Gush. But a new study warns that the […]

todayJanuary 30, 2024 12


From trash to power: how to harness energy from Africa’s garbage dumps – and save billions in future damage

By Nkweauseh Reginald Longfor, Sophia University New research on garbage dumps in 44 sub-Saharan African countries shows that 95% are unregulated. The landfill sites still take in new garbage even when they are filled to capacity. As the waste decomposes, these sites release harmful greenhouse gases. However, using the methane gas to generate energy instead could save the continent billions of dollars. We talk to sustainability scientist and author of […]

todayDecember 12, 2023 1


African dinosaurs and the sixth mass extinction

“It’s really important that we realise we need to take better care of the planet, otherwise we’ll also go the way of the dinosaur,” said Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, palaeobiologist and professor at the University of Cape Town. She was speaking at GroundUp’s final Science for the People seminar for the year, hosted at Bertha House in Cape Town on Friday 1 December. Chinsamy-Turan has a species of Sabre-toothed cat named after her. The topic of […]

todayDecember 5, 2023 7