Swift Fox, Robot Fish, Mycelium Cards and More in This Week’s Optimism for Earth | Smithsonian Voices

Save the swift fox

One of my favorite stories of the year is the return of the swift fox to its historic Montana habitat. Swift Fox habitat has declined to less than half of its historic range, but in September a small population was reintroduced. This ongoing project is a collaborative effort between researchers at the Smithsonian and the Indian community of Fort Belknap with additional support from other conservation organizations. Read more about this project and watch a video from Colorado Parks and Wildlife on their key contribution – foxes! CPW helps Native American and Smithsonian tribes restore swift fox to Montana prairie.

Fear the robot fish!

An invasive fish species is about to wake up abruptly, thanks to a team of researchers from Western Australia. They have developed a robot that mimics the main predator of the incredibly invasive oriental mosquito, the largemouth bass. “We made their worst nightmare come true,” says a team member. Like something out of a horror movie made for fish, the Robot Bass terrifies invaders so badly that they won’t spawn again and may eventually disappear. Learn more about this nightmare robot in Robotic fish scare off invasive species so much they can’t reproduce of the new scientist.

Protect nature for humans

This week at Yale Environment 360, author and environmentalist Carl Safina delves into the social pieces of the “Half-Earth” puzzle in Protecting the Earth: If “nature needs half”, what do people need?. It’s a welcome reflection on the value of these conservation efforts when they take human factors more closely in mind. He reminds us that “a plan to protect half the world must take into account that landscape conservation has an unpleasant history to atone.” Indigenous land rights and environmental equity must be recognized and valued in planet conservation campaigns for everyone.

Mycelium mapping

Fungi are the often overlooked subterranean superorganisms. They support soil health and sequester carbon, but don’t get the same light as trees and the ocean for their role in climate health. Researchers are undertaking a large-scale project to map mycelium, underground fungal networks, with the aim of identifying hot spots and providing information on land use and conservation. Read Scientists on a quest to map the global network of fungi beneath our feet to Mongabay to learn more about the project.

Need more optimism for Earth? follow us on Twitter and read past weekly roundups here.

Previous December 17, 2021 - Official website of the Government of Arlington County in Virginia
Next Drug addiction relapse motivated by addiction