Insight & Opinion

'If you can't stand the heat' - how climate change could leave some species stuck in the kitchen

African bird species could struggle to relocate to survive global warming because natural features of the landscape will limit where they can move to, according to new research published in June in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. As the global climate changes, some land bird species will be forced to move to new habitats, expanding and shifting their natural geographical 'range', in order to maintain suitable living conditions.

Diversity in strength in Africa: the big picture

Christina Scott Photo credit: © BIOTA Africa, Professor Norbert Juergens The most remarkable places on earth are filled with a rich diversity of plant, animal and insect life. But too often, specialists only communicate their findings to other experts in the same narrow field. Few people have the grand vision of how soil, water, weather and living creatures - including humans - form this never-ending, always-changing symphony. However, for six years, a successful partnership between African and German scientists has intensively documented this interlinked web of life, from invisible but...

Will the real organic pesticide please stand up?

"Since when are organic pesticides not chemicals?" asks Prof Gerhard Verdoorn, Director of BirdLife SA. The word 'organic' is probably one of the most abused in the English language as far as a chemist is concerned. Consumers lured into believing the promises of so-called organic pesticides, take heed, there is no such thing as an environmentally friendly pesticide, says Verdoorn, they are designed to kill.

Central Africa uses science to recover from war

War-torn central Africa is used to people moving across its borders. Mercenaries, UN peacekeepers, soldiers, refugees and aid groups are among the human traffic crossing the region. But this vast territory will soon have a new type of visitor, as a coordinator from the science initiative launched by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is shortly expected to take up an important post.

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