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How protected areas influence their surroundings

In a study recently published in Conservation Biology, Judith Ament, a PhD student at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, investigated how South African national parks influence land-cover loss outside their boundaries.

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Biggest library of bat sounds compiled

The biggest library of bat sounds has been compiled to identify bats from their calls in Mexico – a country which harbours many of the Earth's species and has one of the highest rates of species extinction and habitat loss.

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IPBES and Beyond: A Future Earth Symposium

From the 6th to the 10th of March 2016 a group of more than 70 researchers working on policy, environmental management and conservation met in beautiful Monte Verita, Switzerland to examine data needs and gaps for the upcoming IPBES global and regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sarah Whitmee from CBER attended the meeting, which hosted researchers working across different types of biological systems and brought together data providers alongside some of those charged with conducting the assessments. 

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Alien species, EICAT and the IUCN

In March 2016, a team of invasion biologists and environmental scientists met for a workshop at the Institute of Botany in Průhonice in the Czech Republic, to discuss the implementation of a new methodology to quantify and categorise the impacts of alien species, known as the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT). The workshop was planned and facilitated by Tim Blackburn, Professor of Invasion Biology at CBER. Attendees represented 8 countries from a range of research institutions, and included the Chair of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), Dr Piero Genovesi.

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When is a species as dead as a dodo?

A blog post written by Dr Lizzie Boakes, looks at why it is important to make sure a species is extinct. The blog written for Methods in Ecology and Evolution, which can be found here: Blog post - discusses the importance of sighting endangered animals and how models can predict extinction.  

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Bat Detective partners with British Science Week 2016

Bat Detective, the online citizen science project founded by CBER’s Prof. Kate Jones in collaboration with Zooniverse, have announced a partnership with British Science Week 2016. With the help of online participants, the project is aiming to hit a target of 100,000 new classifications during British Science Week, which runs from Friday 11th March until Sunday 20th March. 

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Reasons to conserve nature

What are the best arguments in favour of nature conservation? Is it sufficient to talk only of the intrinsic value of nature, or should we focus on the services that nature provides for us? 

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Human land use changes the composition of ecological communities

Human activities, especially where they involve habitat loss, are having a profound effect on communities of plants and animals. Even when habitat loss doesn’t cause an overall loss of biodiversity, there may nevertheless be changes in the species of animals and plants. 

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Invasive species and endemic island passerines

By Gwen Maggs. Invasive species are a major threat to island biodiversity causing species decline and extinction globally. Of all invasive species rat are one of the most detrimental having reached around 90% of all islands. 

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CBER Opening

On Tuesday 23rd February, the Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research was officially opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Professor Geraint Rees

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Prof. Mace appointed to DEFRA's Natural Capital Committee

CBER Director Prof Georgina Mace has been appointed by Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, to the new Natural Capital Committee. This independent advisory body will provide advice on the state of English Natural Capital to the Economic Affairs Cabinet Committee, aiding the implementation of the new 25-year Environment Plan.

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Which reptiles are at greatest risk of extinction?

Identifying species that possess extinction-promoting traits allows targeted conservation action before precipitous declines occur. A new study by scientists from UCL and the Zoological Society of London shows that reptiles that are habitat specialists, and which live on land accessible to humans, are at greatest risk of extinction.

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Alien Species as a driver of recent extinctions

A large number of species are being deliberately or accidentally transported and introduced to areas beyond the limits of their natural distributions, where some have significant negative environmental impacts. In a paper published this week, Celine Bellard, Phil Cassey & Tim Blackburn assess how common alien species are as drivers of recent extinctions in plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, using data from the IUCN Red List. 

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