Skip to main content

Stories by John R. Platt


Geese May Be Helping to Spread Frog-Killing Chytrid Fungus

The frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been blamed for about 100 amphibian extinctions around the globe since it was first observed in 1998, but clear information on exactly how it spreads has remained a mystery.Now a team of scientists working in Belgium have come up with one potential clue: the chytrid fungus may sometimes be carried to new habitats on the toes of waterfowl such as geese.According to research published April 13 in the journal PLoS One , geese are "potential environmental reservoirs" for the Bd fungus, because waterfowl and amphibians often co-occur in the same habitats...

April 19, 2012 — John R. Platt

Ecotourism Does Not Overly Stress Orangutans, Study Finds

What can poop tell us about orangutans? Well, for one thing, a study of wild orangutan feces has revealed that these great apes, unlike some other species, are not chronically stressed by ecotourism.Scat shows no scare in a study, published March 15 in PLoS One , that analyzed fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGM) levels of Bornean orangutans ( Pongo pygmaeus ) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in in the Malaysian state of Sabah between 2008 and 2009...

March 27, 2012 — John R. Platt

Ted Turner Donates $1 Million to Help Endangered Gorillas

Billionaire media mogul Ted Turner has made a $1 million donation to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International to help support a new initiative to save endangered Grauer's gorillas (also known as eastern lowland gorillas, Gorilla beringei graueri ), a subspecies living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) whose population is on the decline.The donation, the largest the Fossey Fund has ever received, will be used to build field stations from where rangers can protect gorillas from armed groups fighting over natural resources in the war-torn nation...

March 8, 2012 — John R. Platt
Scroll To Top