Ecology & environment

Big Boy the cat sitting outside

The cat. The myth. The legend

Big Boy, the unofficial campus cat, thrives thanks to an informal but comprehensive caretaking system.

Anza-Borrego State Park at sunset

UCLA to lead $10 million California conservation project

Scientists will study the DNA of endangered and threatened species and learn which are most vulnerable to climate change.

Joshua Tree National Park with a rainbow

Iconic Joshua trees are facing extinction

The national park would retain just 0.02 percent of its tree habitat if no climate change action is taken.

Coral sea in Southeast Asia

UC Santa Cruz establishes interdisciplinary Southeast Asia research center

The first-of-its-kind SEACoast center will work to protect some of the most diverse ecological zones in the world.

Two bats flying together

‘On the same wavelength’? It's not just a saying

Bats' brains synchronize when they engage in social behaviors like grooming, fighting or sniffing each other.

Sierra Nevada forest dried out

Massive forest die-off in Sierra Nevada caused by multiyear drought

Nearly 80 percent loss at some elevations shows the devastating consequences of abnormally dry conditions.

Gidget the sea otter

Sea otters' low genetic diversity could spell trouble

The furry little creature isn't endangered, but a history of population declines can make extinction more of a risk.

Floodplain near the Mississippi River

Small towns, big flood waters

How do you move an entire town threatened by floods?

A queen bumblebee on a flower

As bumblebee diets narrow, ours could too

Fewer plants cause developmental delays for the pollinators that keep our favorite foods growing.

Ross Ice Shelf

Study uncovers surprising melting patterns beneath Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

Scientists discover an ancient geologic structure under Antarctica’s largest ice shelf and describe the threats it may face.