nature

People around the world are reporting that birds are much louder these days.

But Sue Anne Zollinger, an ornithologist from Manchester Metropolitan University, cautions: Don't believe everything you hear.

With the decrease in traffic, there's less noise pollution. That means birds have less noise to compete with, she says. (Scroll down to the end of this story to listen for yourself.)

AGU / YouTube

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET on Jan. 31

People in northern climes have long gazed at the wonder that is the aurora borealis: the northern lights.

It was a lifesaving mission as dramatic as any in the months-long battle against the wildfires that have torn through the Australian bush.

But instead of a race to save humans or animals, a specialized team of Australian firefighters was bent on saving invaluable plant life: hidden groves of the Wollemi pine, a prehistoric tree species that has outlived the dinosaurs.

Source: Palm Beach County website

Planned burning for Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach started Monday.

The prescribed burning season will run through the end of May for the Okeeheelee Park Natural Area and through the end of October for Okeeheelee Park South – seven months and nearly a full year, respectively.

Greg Atkinson, Palm Beach County’s parks operations superintendent, said that long period is normal, and doesn’t mean residents should expect nonstop flames and smoke – park officials typically conduct fewer than 10 burns, lasting six to eight hours each, per year.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

A massive ash plume rising from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused authorities to issue a red alert for airplanes in the region for the first time since the mountain suddenly ramped up its activity nearly two weeks ago.

What scientists refer to as "vog" — a combination of volcanic gas and ash — reached 12,000 feet into the sky above Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.

NPR

A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.

The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.

Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.

“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”

Michal Kranz/WLRN

Everyone knows that being in the great outdoors is good for you, but could nature be prescribed just like medicine? Absolutely, say some doctors in South Florida. One study is doing just that to find out how time spent in nature affects patients.

Barbara Licari, a retiree living in Broward County, says she frequently takes walks in her local park with her grandchildren. She says she feels better after even a short nature stroll.

 

“It’s preferable to medications,” she said.

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve sits in the middle of St. Petersburg as an oasis of sorts.

Many nights, night air fills the park with sounds of chirping crickets and rustling leaves, as trees sway in the wayward wind. But one night last month, five local experimental musicians positioned at various points along the hiking trail joined in, creating soundscapes inspired by the landscape.

Researchers at a South Florida botanic garden want to return the state's orchids to their former glory.

When railroads first came to Florida in the late 1800s, the plants were among the first resources exploited. Millions of orchids were plucked and sent north as potted plants. Now, after more than a century of logging and harvesting, it's rare to find them growing in the wild here.

But if researchers at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden succeed with their Million Orchid Project, the flowers will soon bloom amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

It's Nature Night! Camels, Iraq And Mountains

Jan 10, 2014

Monday nights on WLRN are the wildest nights of the week. For lovers of natural history documentaries, this is a night you don't want to miss. It starts with the award-winning PBS series Nature and follows up with some of the best wildlife films from the BBC and elsewhere. 

This coming Monday, January 13, WLRN Channel 17 presents the following line-up of beautiful films about wild animals from breath-taking  locations around the world:

I didn’t see it at first. 

I was just getting into my car in the WLRN parking lot when I heard the warbling.  It seemed the bird song was carried along on the air in surround sound, with a resonance that my colleagues inside the building would envy.

I kept scanning the electrical poles and wires above the parking lot to see if I could spot it.  It had to be there, because he was a born performer, this bird.  What a ham!  Despite the ruckus I was making settling into my driver seat, he just kept singing away.

Public Usage And Protection Of National Park Resources

Dec 5, 2013
www.nps.gov/bisc / National Park Service

12/05/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with Biscayne National Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom.  The park will hold hearings to consider the delicate balance between public usage and protection of national resources.

“When you contaminate the water, you contaminate yourself,” explains science teacher Bertha Vazquez to her students at Miami’s George Washington Carver Middle School. “You’re part of an ecosystem.”

Since 1991, Vazquez has taught students what they can do to save the planet through an integrated curriculum that weaves together science, human behavior and facts about climate change.

City Life....Raccoon Style!

Apr 1, 2013

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