extinction

It’s Time to Talk About Bugs

White-lined sphinx moth from Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that insects take up the most space on the taxonomic web of life? Did you know that about 75% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects? You might have also heard that insect biodiversity is on the decline. Sadly, what you may have hear is right. In a paper published in the Journal ‘Biological Conservation’lead authors Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys state “almost half of insect species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction”.

Can you imagine a world without insects? To some it may sound like a dream come true but insects are integral to the functioning of our world! From the food we eat to the waste we excrete, we have insects to thanks (we would literally be swimming in detritus if not for decomposers!). Tune into this episode where we show these important little creatures some well-deserved attention!

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Checking out bugs with Peter Heule: Q&A with the Royal Alberta Museum’s live animal supervisor

Terra Informer Olivia deBourcier interviewed Peter Heule, a live animals supervisor at the Royal Alberta Museum, about bugs. Originally aired on The Gateway Presents, we’ll hear about butterfly migration, what animal science is all about, how kids understand bugs better than grown ups think, and what a wild world there is left to discover!

The Good News: The Big Bee!

In light of the bad news about insect populations, there is hope! Recently, the world’s BIGGEST BEE, thought extinct for 38 years, has been found alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee this dinosaur of a bee continues to be threatened, particularly by deforestation for agriculture, but the very fact that it persists suggests that extinction is not inevitable! Hannah Cunningham explains in this ecobabble the ways that we can all help pollinators keep on keeping on!

From planning what you plant, building bee hotels (a simple DIY bee hotel) to reducing your use of pesticides, there are many ways you can make your world more pollinator friendly

Related Links

National Geographic

The Guardian

De-Extinction: Should We Resurrect Extinct Animal Species?

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Giant Tortoise in Floreana Island’s breeding program (photo courtesy of galapagos.org).

What if we could bring extinct animal species back from the dead? This week, Terra Informer Sofia Osborne brings us a story about de-extinction: the use of selective breeding, cloning, and genetic engineering to “resurrect” extinct species. This technology poses a lot of moral and ethical questions—would these “de-extincted” animal species be authentic? Could they ever be wild? Do we owe it to the species we’ve driven to extinction to bring them back? And who should decide whether we use this technology? Listen now to dive into these questions and more.

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Reading List: Looking for more information on de-extinction? Check out these reads:

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Zoological illustration of Passenger Pigeons from 1907 (Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download program log here.