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WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS: Nisqually River, Washington State

Birthed in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington from glacier melt on the southern slope of Mount Rainier, I flow seventy-eight miles into the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and on into Puget Sound, a fast and galloping ride from 14,000 feet down to sea level. I leave the glacier as melt water, with a milky cloudiness made from small particles of rock, minerals, and organic matter picked up and carried in my swift current.

Colorful Close-Ups From a Remote Coral Reef

Kike Ballesteros reveals some of his most colorful and finely detailed images yet of the strange and beautiful creatures that call the bottom of the ocean home.

To save African elephants, scientists say ivory sales must stop

While that “regulated” ivory sale idea might sound nice on paper, experts say it has now been officially debunked.

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

How Climate Change Is Fueling a Food Crisis in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria

The frontline of global warming is on farms. But the story is about much more than hunger. The village of Nowcaca is nestled in the verdant hills of northwestern Mozambique, some 600 miles north of the coastal capital Maputo. A footpath winds through a sea of shoulder-high grasses, leading from a two-lane highway back to…

Sea Turtles Can Save Themselves If We Clean Up Our Act

Sea turtles have been swimming in our oceans ever since the time of the dinosaurs, enduring meteor collisions, ice ages, and the shifting of the continents. Yet human activity has recently brought many sea turtle populations to the brink of extinction. Even the largest of the sea turtles – the leatherback turtle, a prehistoric giant that can grow to over 2 meters in length – is rapidly vanishing from the East Pacific Ocean. This population has now declined by more than 98% in the past 25 years. In the hope of seeing populations recover, countless conservationists and volunteers work tirelessly day and night. But lest we forget, these people do not work alone, sea turtles themselves are also working hard in this struggle.

Clean Power Plan Goes to Court

What was scheduled to be about 3.5 hours turned into nearly seven on Tuesday as 10 judges heard oral arguments in a rare “en banc” review of the Clean Power Plan in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The controversial Clean Power Plan, based on Section 111(d) of the Clean…

How Forensic Technology Can Help Fight the Ivory Trade

Here at the CITES conference in Johannesburg, almost anyone can tell you that African elephants are being slaughtered at a rate of tens of thousands per year. There are lots of approaches on how to solve the problem: reducing demand for ivory, providing alternative livelihoods for would-be poachers, training anti-poaching units—and forensics.

Sam Wasser of the University of Washington uses DNA testing to identify where the ivory confiscated in major seizures comes from. This makes it easier to know where law enforcement and anti-poaching efforts should be concentrated.

Cracking Down on the Pet Cheetah Trade

Cheetahs on cars. Cheetahs in boats. Cheetahs in mansions. The growing cheetah pet trade, spurred on by social media posts of wealthy owners posing in photos with their exotic pets, has gained the attention of the international community. Cheetahs face major threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, but the exotic pet trade in the last…

WCS Cheers Adoption of CITES CoP17 Corruption Resolution

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) today saw passage of the resolution: Prohibiting, Preventing and Countering Corruption-Facilitating Activities Conducted in Violation of the Convention. This historic resolution marks the first time CITES Parties have addressed this issue. To mark the resolution’s adoption, this statement was released by the Wildlife Conservation Society on behalf of Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS VP of International Policy and head of the WCS CITES Cop17 delegation.

The Expedition to Niue Sets Sail

The waters surrounding the world’s largest raised coral atoll are about to get their biggest close-up yet.

Pangolins On The Brink

My focus in particular is the pangolin: a small, scaly, creature, rather like an armadillo, with an innocent nature, despite its resemblance to a four-footed, flightless dragon. It is also the world’s most highly-traded mammal, with more than a million being poached from the wild over the last decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The organization says a pangolin is taken from the wild, either to be killed or sold, every five minutes.

Inaugural Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on Astronomy Challenges Students to Make a Positive Impression

The Governor’s Institutes are some of the best educational opportunities for Vermont teenagers in the summer. This year they launched their first Institute on Astronomy in partnership with the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation, Lyndon State College, and the Vermont Space Grant Consortium. Their hope was to expose the 25 students who attended to astronomy…

Native Americans and Conservationists Collaborate to Return Vital Flow to the Rio Grande

The first time I saw the channel of the Rio Grande completely dry, I was stunned. Here was the second largest river in the Southwest, which flows through three U.S. states and Mexico, and instead of water between its banks there were tire tracks. And I wasn’t standing at the tail end of the river,…

World Governments Vote to Ban International Trade in Barbary Macaques

A proposal to ban the international trade in barbary macaques sailed through a committee meeting Wednesday here in Johannesburg, South Africa, where government representatives belonging to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES) have come together to set wildlife trade policy.