Everything you wanted to know about wildland forest fires but were afraid to ask

Regrowth after a high-severity forest fire. The past three decades of science that has found fires, including large high-severity fires, are an ecologically essential part of forest ecosystems and create highly biodiverse wildlife habitat.

A team of fire ecologists released a report this week titled “Everything You Wanted To Know About Wildland Fires” summarizing the state of knowledge about forest fires on public lands. This report comes just days after the US Congress passed the Wildfire Suppression Funding and Forest Management Activities Act as part of the federal omnibus … Read more

Giraffe Skin Disease Linked to Soil Fertility

Giraffe in Tarangire National Park

Giraffe Skin Disease is a disorder of the skin that is characterized by crusty lesions on the back side of the front legs of adult Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) the only subspecies in Tanzania. Lesions such as the ones shown in this picture on the forelimbs indicate Giraffe Skin Disease. Giraffe Skin Disease was first … Read more

Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Tanzania Yields Ecological Success

Dik-diks in Randilen WIldlife Management Area, Tanzania, East Africa. Dik-diks were among the wildlife species that benefitted from the community-based wildlife conservation area.

Good news about the environment is rare these days, but in Tanzania there are signs that local wildlife conservation efforts can effectively protect the natural resources that provide the lion’s share of revenue for the economy. Eco-tourism is Tanzania’s largest economic sector and biggest dollar earner for this developing nation, but wildlife populations have suffered … Read more

Post-fire Logging, But Not Severe Fire, Harms Spotted Owls

Spotted Owl in a severely burned forest.

Wildlife ecologists studying the rare spotted owl in the forests of California have discovered that large, intense wildfires are not responsible for abandonment of breeding territories. Instead, the researchers found that post-fire logging operations, which are common on both private and National Forest lands, most likely caused declines in territory occupancy of this imperiled wildlife … Read more

A Brief History of Field Work on Giraffe before the Year 2000

Anne Dagg, Canadian zoologist, biologist, feminist, and author of numerous books.

Today, I am featuring a guest post by Anne Innis Dagg, a Canadian zoologist, biologist, feminist, and author of numerous books. She has been referred to as “the Jane Goodall of giraffes” and has made a significant contribution to giraffes worldwide in an unprecedented way. Dagg went to Africa in the mid-1950s to study giraffes, … Read more

New Documentary Gives Smokey Bear A New, Positive Message About Forest Fire

A black-backed woddpecker emerges from his nest cavity in a severely-burned forest patch created by the Sugarloaf Fire of California.

A new video documentary released this week describes the important positive ecological effects of high-severity forest fires. High-severity forest fires, also called stand-replacing or crown fires, create rare and important wildlife habitat, and many species of plants and animals reach their highest abundances only in these blackened ‘snag forests’. Fear of high-severity forest fires is … Read more