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Monogamous animals may be more likely to die out

New research reveals a surprising risk factor for extinction: monogamy. Large mammals that live in pairs or have small harems are far more likely to die out than those with big harems in reserves in Ghana. “In avoiding extinction, it pays to be promiscuous,” says Justin Brashares of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who presents this work in the June issue of Conservation Biology. “This study is the first to show a strong link between social behavior and risk of extinction in mammals.”

Forest fragmentation may increase lyme disease risk

Having a patch of woods in your backyard may boost your spirits but could threaten your health. New research shows that small forest fragments in New York have more Lyme disease-carrying ticks, which could increase peoples’ risk of the disease. “These results suggest that…habitat fragmentation can influence human health,” say Felicia Keesing of Bard College in Annandale, New York; Brian Allan of Rutgers University in New Jersey; and Richard Ostfeld of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, in the February issue of Conservation Biology.