Armchair Naturalist

While there's no replacement for experiencing nature in real life, our new Armchair Naturalist corner is a place for kids to read about the latest news and stories about the fascinating world of wildlife and nature.

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The Wildlife Society | September 18, 2020 In a new study published in Global Ecology and Conservation, researchers in China found that Eurasian tree sparrows show reduced fear responses to people wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. during the study, researchers approached the sparrows and recorded how close the humans could get before the birds took...
The Guardian |  September 16, 2020 Weather events in the southwestern states of the US including dry conditions, wildfires and a cold snap may have all had devastating effects on thousands of migrating birds including flycatchers, swallows and warblers.  For the past few weeks, these species have been literally “falling out of the sky” as...
Alexandra Harvey, The Guardian |  September 14, 2020 Spirit bears are white-coated black bears that inherit their pale fur from a rare recessive gene. Spirit bears are sacred to the Indigenous people who live in the Great Bear Rainforest in central and northern British Columbia. Researchers spent eight years combing the rainforest to map out...
WWF  |   Sept 13, 2020 A new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reveals that population sizes of “mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish” are down by 68 percent since 1970, amounting to an “unprecedented” rate of destruction of Earth’s diverse range of species. The authors cite a number of reasons for the massive...
Forbes |  July 6, 2020 The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) announced that Wai-iti Recreational Reserve and Tunnicliff Forest at the northern end of the South Island in New Zealand has been certified as a Dark Sky Park, ensuring light pollution management and protection of the high-quality dark skies above the natural area. New Zealand...
National Wildlife Federation |  June 24, 2020 The City of Toronto passed a Pollinator Protection Strategy that has been incredibly successful in sustaining and improving pollinator diversity, and is a model for urban pollinator conservation strategies around the globe. Some of the actions that stand out include the commitment to creating “pollinator patches” in city-managed community...
The Guardian|  May 16, 2020 Out of a desire to reduce the number of fruit, seeds and pods falling to the ground, urban planners in the U.S. have been planting male trees for decades—and it’s made things worse for allergy sufferers as it has increased pollen in the air. Read more
Hakai |  May 22, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has constrained vessel traffic around the world, probably to the benefit of whales. Ship strikes can kill or injure, while underwater engine noise and a vessel’s physical presence can disrupt whales’ ability to feed, rest, socialize, navigate, and communicate. While the pandemic is giving whales some respite...
MNN |  May 7, 2020 Although the origins of the new coronavirus leading to COVID-19 is still not understood, many experts believe the virus likely began in bats. While bats are a source of some dangerous viruses — including SARS-like coronaviruses and Ebola — there is nothing special about bats that makes their viruses more likely to...
Justin McCurry, The Guardian  |   May 1, 2020 Garden eels in an aquarium in Tokyo are growing more fearful of humans amid the coronavirus pandemic,  disappearing into the sand and hiding every time the keepers pass by. Aquarium officials have explained that this new behavior is making it difficult to monitor their health. Concerned that...