Author Archive

Raising the status of giraffes

I’ve spent the last week or so looking into ways that we can all contribute to giraffe conservation- it’s true that many of us don’t live near wild giraffe populations, but there are still a number of ways that we can support them, most of which don’t involve travel. One organization was mentioned time and […]

Posted April 23, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Mammals

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Giraffes at home on the range

In my last post I mentioned that giraffe populations have been falling since at least the start of the 20th century, in part due to habitat loss, poaching, and changing climatic conditions. Has the past decade given us clearer insight into the problems facing them and ways to counteract those losses? In some ways things […]

Are giraffes a big conservation story?

Based on what I’ve been reading over the last two weeks, I am not the only person to ask this question, nor is it a recent development. At least as early as 1926, published literature was asking whether African big game populations were declining (Friedmann 1926), and in 1931 an article quoting Major RWG Hingston […]

Getting the long view of giraffes

Perhaps I’ve been overly influenced by recent media events, but I’ve decided to look into giraffe conservation in my next series of posts. Whether or not a baby giraffe is being born at a zoo, there are a number of reasons that focusing on giraffes makes sense right now. There have been concerns about big […]

Posted March 12, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Mammals

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Coming clean with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

In my last post I mentioned that I would look for ways to reduce our exposure to and production of PAHs, and I’ve spent some time searching for specific campaigns, but I haven’t found much that seems like an organized approach. Instead, I found a number of smaller recommendations for individual action. To reduce exposure […]

Posted February 25, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Pollution

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Waiting for the PAH to change

In my last post I mentioned that some researchers have been looking into how we can get rid of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that contaminate water or soil or air. Based on a review by Gan et al. (2009), we have four main avenues for this: solvent extraction; bioremediation; chemical, photo-, and electro- degradation; and […]

Posted February 16, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Mammals

A dynamic relationship with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

In my reading on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of the studies from a few decades ago focused on figuring out where they were coming from and if they posed a risk. Then, in the mid to late 1990s, I saw a shift toward looking for ways to limit exposure. What’s the upshot of that […]

Posted January 28, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Pollution

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There’s something in the air

Some of the reading I’ve been doing lately involves toxins in the environment, and I came across a term that hadn’t really made it onto my radar yet- “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons”. I’m familiar with the idea of hydrocarbons, especially with regard to various fuels we use, but PAHs (as they are abbreviated) I am less […]

Posted January 14, 2017 by Mirka Zapletal in Consumer Products, Pollution

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Growing a moss conservation conversation

I’ve been looking into our options for helping with moss conservation and, honestly, the list is about as long as moss is tall, which suggests that moss conservation really isn’t on many people’s radars at this point. Here’s what I did find- the Irish Peatland Conservation Council recommends gardening without using peat moss the Lancashire […]

If you give a moss a forestry rotation

As I mentioned in my previous post, mosses are very sensitive to changes in microclimate. Forestry practices can, therefore, have a big impact on moss diversity and persistence in any one location. Over the last few years we’ve gotten a better sense of the scale at which those management decisions affect local mosses. Researchers in […]