News Round-Up

COVID-19 is eroding scientific field work – and our knowledge of how the world is changing


For the first time in 50 years, ornithologists at the Manomet nature observatory in Plymouth, Massachusetts are not opening their mist nets every weekday at dawn to catch, measure and band migrating songbirds. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the centre has essentially canceled its spring field season and will be doing only very limited sampling. Going forward, its long-term banding data will contain only a fraction of the usual information on songbird migrations during the spring of 2020.

Across the world, field stations, nature centres and universities have shut down long-term research to protect scientists, staff, students and volunteers from COVID-19. There’s good reason for this step, but it comes at a cost. MORE

Header image: Marking snowmelt plots at the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research site in Colorado. Credit: E. Zambello/LTER Network.