Ecology | St. Louis Public Radio

Ecology

St. Louis Wildlife Project

There are roughly 2.8 million people living in greater St. Louis, many of whom would be surprised to know that they share the space with a good variety of wildlife.

The St. Louis Wildlife Project now has four seasons of data that they hope will give insight into how wildlife occupy and utilize the region’s urban spaces. For the past year, they’ve collected images from 34 motion-activated cameras planted in parks and green spaces across St. Louis. They’ve spotted foxes, turkeys, river otters and even a couple bobcats. 

The fossa is one of the mammals that scientists are studying in Madagascar.
Fidisoa Rasambainarivo

For nearly three decades, the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis has bestowed its World Ecology Award on prominent biodiversity-minded individuals ranging from John Denver to E.O. Wilson. But this year the center is instead honoring a pair of world-class local institutions — the Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo — for their critical research and conservation work in Madagascar.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with the center’s interim director, Patty Parker, and with a Malagasy scientist, Fidisoa Rasambainarivo, who is in St. Louis to speak at an upcoming gala where the zoo and garden are being honored.

Leticia Colón de Mejias thinks no problem is insurmountable if Americans come together.

“Sometimes we take these subjects and we make them so big and scary that people feel we can’t take action,” said Colón, 42, a Connecticut entrepreneur, environmentalist and mother of seven. “Climate change seems terrifying. And everyone’s like, it’s too big.”

While part of the St. Louis Box Turtle Project, Georgette survived a serious bacterial infection and an animal attack. She died during the polar vortex at approximately age 15.
Jamie Palmer | St. Louis Zoo Institute of Conservation Medicine

For those who knew her, Georgette was a feisty drifter who lived and died in Forest Park.

She was also somewhat of a local celebrity.

The three-toed box turtle was one of the oldest subjects in the St. Louis Box Turtle Project, a study designed to understand the health and movement of urban turtles. Even among her armored prehistoric kin, Georgette was particularly tenacious. In 2014, she survived a serious bacterial infection, and a few months later, lost her front leg in an animal attack.

A forest fire ignited by scientists at Camp Whispering Pines, Louisiana.
C.E. Timothy Paine

Before the end of March, scientists from Washington University in St. Louis plan to burn parts of an Ozark forest about 30 miles outside of St. Louis. 

Research has shown that repeated burning of forests can help increase the variety of plants that live in a forest. That's particularly the case for plants that live under the forest canopy, said Jonathan Myers, a Wash U biology professor and a member of the Tyson Research Center in Eureka. Having more kinds of  wildflowers can attract native insects that pollinate plants that animals eat.

St. Louis interfaith gathering to focus on environment

Aug 26, 2012
(Wallpaperstock.net)

People from a range of religious traditions and faiths will be gathering this afternoon to talk about environmental sustainability.

St. Louis EcoFaith co-organizer Steve Lawler says the goal is to build an interfaith network that can support environmental awareness and action.

Himself an Episcopal priest, Lawler says concern for the environment is integral to many different religions, from Buddhism to Islam.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 12, 2010 - Kermit, it's getting lots easier to be green.

On a perfect spring weekend in Forest Park, the second annual Eco Expo, presented by the St. Louis Science Center and EcoLifeSTL.com, educated and entertained visitors interested in a more sustainable lifestyle.

On Science: Your own personal ecosystem

Dec 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 17, 2008 - Scientists who study ecology view the world as a patchwork quilt of different environments, all bordering on and interacting with one another.

Consider for a moment a patch of Missouri forest, the sort of place a deer or turkey might live. Ecologists call the collection of creatures that live in a particular place a community — all the animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms that live together in a Missouri forest, for example, are the forest community. Ecologists call the place where a community lives its habitat — the soil, and the water flowing through it, are key components of the forest habitat. The sum of these two, community and habitat, is an ecological system, or ecosystem.