📰 EwA News Digest: 23 Species Extinct, Foliage Season Delayed, and Scat Detective Method

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sherry yan

Oct 15, 2021, 3:28:41 PM10/15/21
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Hi everyone!

Sherry here, an EwA fall intern. I am excited to bring my first news digest to you!

To start off with some sad news about biodiversity, 23 species have been declared extinct by the US government because they have not been spotted in the wild for a long time. The 23 species include 8 types of freshwater mussels as well as 10 types of bats and birds, including the ivory-billed woodpecker. Read more about these species at the Guardian.

Fortunately, communities are fostering the resilience of their ecosystems in other parts of the world. In Mexico, many communities manage their local forests and perform traditional sustainable logging. By taking care of their own forests, these Mexican communities have successfully stopped deforestation and helped conserve local biodiversity. Community-led management of forests has also reduced local poverty rates. Learn how the communities protects their forests here.

Water is vital to all forms of life, but too much of it can make things worse. The U.S. Southwest has been experiencing an abnormal monsoon pattern over the past 2 years. This year’s monsoon is the third-wettest ever in Tucson, with 12.80 inches of rainfall, whereas last year there was only less than 2 inches, a “dry” monsoon. Climate change is making monsoon rain more extreme and unpredictable, causing natural disasters such as flash flooding, dust storms, and high winds. Discover how climate change impacts the monsoon pattern at
 the conversation.

A warmer and wetter summer can not only affect the water cycle but also impact leaf phenology. With record-breaking rain and warmth in the summer, this year’s New England foliage season is delayed. The color changing is also predicted to be shorter and less vibrant. Read more about this year's foliage season at MassLive.


Even though New England is having a weird foliage pattern, some foreign bugs still “love to come visit” and even make this place their new home. This fall, a breeding population of invasive spotted lanternfly was spotted in Massachusetts for the first time. These pests attack native trees including maples and walnuts, as well as shrubs and vines, and can damage agricultural products, including apples, peaches, and grapes. Learn more about this invasive insect at boston.com.


Looking on the bright side, a new DNA-based method is able to detect high-resolution prey information from wolf scats. This molecular method allows researchers to better understand predators’ food habits and population patterns. It also provides a less intrusive way to study wild animals as an alternative of the traditional capture-and-release approach. Find out more about this new molecular method here.

That is all for October. Hope you enjoyed reading my selection of articles. Stay tuned for next month’s update!


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