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Geography in the News: Tragic Deaths of Amphibians

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Dying Frogs, Salamanders, and Other Amphibians A deadly fungus is attacking Earth’s amphibian species. Unfortunately, the disease seems to be winning and its price may be the extinction of frogs, toads and salamanders. The disease, called chytridiomycosis, or chytrid for short, has been decimating…

February 23, 2014: Cycling to the South Pole, Saving India’s Killer Tigers and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they endure a 750-mile bike ride from Antarctica’s coast to the South Pole, explore the sonic wonders of the world, explain the Yukon’s modern-day gold rush, fly south for the winter with snowy owls, empower Bolivia’s rural citizens to protect their corner of the world, kayak the length of the Colorado and Green Rivers, recover from unpleasant tropical parasites, advocate for tigers and humans when species clash in India, track Turkey’s bears by cellphone.

5 Animals With Spectacular Sniffers

Dogs aren’t the only creatures with outstanding sniffers: Fruit flies, honeybees, and even rats can detect disease in people.

Geography in the News: Malaria

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM  Malaria: The Geography of a Debilitating Disease Malaria has been a longtime scourge upon many countries of the world. Malaria was wiped out in the  U.S. South in the 1930′s, confirming epidemiologists’ and the medical community’s belief that this disease could be eradicated in…

Geography in the News: The Black Plague

Black Plague Gravesites Uncovered Excavations in the spring of 2013 for London’s Crossrail, a large railway project under constructions in the city, uncovered a series of graves from the 14th century thought to be people who died of the Black plague. This terrible disease ravaged the cities of Europe during this periodic killing an estimated…

The Struggle for Sustainability on Africa’s Little Green Jewel

In Madagascar, environmentalism can often take a back seat to practicality and even survival.

Return to the Eighth Continent

Young Explorer Cara Brook is in Madagascar studying the impact of human land development on biodiversity and how it could potentially spread infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to people…diseases like the bubonic plague.

Geography in the News: Dengue Fever Threat Much Greater

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com DENGUE FEVER Reports of dengue fever were rare in Florida until 2009 when physicians began diagnosing cases around Key West in individuals who had not traveled outside the state. National Public Radio recently reported that, with mosquito season under way in 2011,…

Geography in the News: A Flu Diffusion Model

This post describes where influenza viruses originate, how they are transmitted between animals and humans, and how a geographic diffusion model for the flu virus can help reduce its spread.

Saving Newborns Across Hostile Borders

A massive study seeks to find the source of newborn deaths in South Asia. It’s as broad as it is deep, stretching more than 1,500 miles and two unfriendly borders across sites in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

A “Doomsday Virus” for Endangered Parrots?

Every time we test blood from new endangered parrot species with small, isolated wild populations, we find Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) virus, a particularly nasty airborne circovirus that destroys the skin and feathers while opening large, painful fissures in the beak that eventually breaks it apart. Cape parrots, black-cheeked lovebirds, Carnaby’s cockatoos, New Caledonian parakeets,…

Top Predator on the Plains: Wolf, Bear or Human?

Looking back in time, who was the top predator of the American prairie ecosystem? Wolves, grizzly bears… humans? As I continue my research of historic wildlife populations in northeastern Montana (read my first post here), it is important to consider how changes in human populations were affecting the ecology of this area. There was a…

Disease-Spreading Ticks on the Move as Climate Changes

One more reason to be nervous about climate change: Tick species are on the march. The blood-sucking, disease-spreading parasites are expanding into new territories as wildlife populations, forest habitats and weather patterns change across North America, biologists have found. “This year’s mild winter and early spring were a bonanza for tick populations in the eastern…

Uncontacted Tribe Discovered in Brazilian Amazon

Officials from Brazil’s Indian affairs agency, FUNAI, say they have confirmed the existence of a previously unknown indigenous group in the rugged folds of the western Amazon, believed to number as many as 200 people.

Malaria-transmitting mosquito splitting into two species, researchers find

The war against the No. 1 human killer disease, malaria, may be facing complications from evolution. Researchers funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that the major malaria-transmitting mosquito species, Anopheles gambiae, is evolving into two separate species with different traits, “a development that could both complicate malaria control efforts and…