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Pending Deal on Montreal Protocol Amendment Second Only to Paris Agreement

World climate leaders meeting in Vienna have laid the foundation for an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the global treaty that phased out ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The amendment would address climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the refrigerant chemicals that replaced CFCs but that can trap heat in the atmosphere at levels a thousand times higher than…

Research Brief: Red Wolves Are Recent Hybrids of Gray Wolves and Coyotes

By Virginia Morell A study of the complete genomes of 28 canids reveals that despite differences in body size and behavior, North American gray wolves and coyotes are far more closely related than previously believed, and only recently split into two lineages. Furthermore, the endangered red and eastern wolves are not unique lineages with distinct evolutionary…

Poaching of African Elephants Slows, but Serious Threats Remain, CITES Reports

The significant upward trends in elephant poaching have stabilized, but African elephants continue to face serious threats, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) said in a news statement today.

The report is being released in advance of the next major conference of the world’s wildlife trade regulating treaty, in September, when world governments will make crucial decisions on the conservation of elephants and trade in ivory.

Best Job Ever: Hunting for the Bones of a Loch Ness-Like Monster

Aubrey Jane Roberts is a National Geographic Young Explorers grantee and a professional dinosaur hunter (aka paleontologist).

Saving Sharks and Coral Reefs in Malaysian Borneo

Borneo. The name speaks of wildness, of dense rain forests, biodiversity, of elephants and orangutans. Eighteenth century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-theorist of speciation, natural selection and evolution, traveled extensively throughout Malaysia and Indonesia describing terrestrial flora and fauna. His work founded the field of biogeography, and Wallace’s Line describes the separation of species between the ecoregions…

Photo Update: How Technology is Reaching Pakistan’s Children with the Polio Vaccine

In our February story – Cell Coverage: Reaching Pakistan’s Children with the Polio Vaccine – Aziz Memon wrote about Rotary‘s work to replace traditional paper reporting of polio, maternal and newborn health data in Pakistan with more accurate and timely mobile phone-based reporting. This new program is being implemented almost entirely by female health workers, many working…

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

Why Research Matters to Mountain Lions in Wyoming

Mountain lions live like shadows around us, and most people have never seen one. Most never will. Yet on July 8, the Wyoming Game Commission granted these wraiths of forests and mountains a reprieve in several parts of the state, including Unit 2 in the northwest where Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project (TCP) operates. Unit 2…

The Emerging Role of Asia in Wildlife Conservation Practice

The practice of solving conservation problems for wildlife has presented more and varied challenges for researchers and practitioners in Asia, especially over the last quarter century. While human populations have grown, lands available for wildlife have steadily decreased and habitats have been degraded. Yet as conservation practice has matured, researchers are striving to make their science relevant to the issues at hand and practitioners have better tools and information available to implement solutions.

Million Dollar Sharks

I recently got back from diving in the island nation of Palau and its shark enhanced waters.   That’s right, not shark infested- shark enhanced. Sharks are to Palau what Orcas are to SeaWorld only their shark tank is the Pacific Ocean that they’re free to roam in. An economic analysis carried out by the Australian…

Elephants Are Social, Like Humans, and Should Be Treated That Way, Expert Urges

When a comprehensive study released earlier this month showed that social bonding and enrichment activities were more important than enclosure size to elephants in North American zoos, we wondered what Professor Caitlin O’Connell would have to say about the research. One of the foremost authorities on social behavior of elephants in the wild, O’Connell, a National Geographic grantee, has written half a dozen books on this subject.

Cryptic Cannibals: Sea Slugs in the Bahamas

The following is a blog post by Carolyn Belak, sea slug enthusiast and scientific aid at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Andy Kough, postdoctoral research associate at Shedd Aquarium. When one thinks of the Bahamas, they probably picture miles of white sandy beaches, dolphins dancing through crystal blue waters and colorful fish…

Justice for Elephants in Kenya: Ivory Smuggler Jailed for 20 Years

Feisal Mohamed Ali, described by the Kenya Wildlife Service as an ivory smuggling kingpin, has been jailed for 20 years and fined U.S. $200,000 (Ksh20 million) for illegal dealing in, and being in possession of, ivory. Four co-accused and Fuji Motor company were acquitted in the case adjudicated in Mombasa, last Friday, KWS said in a statement on its website. “The guilty…

Palmetto Pipeline: An Eminent Problem

I hop off the boat into a horde of red-white-and-blue-clad 4th of July revelers. Looking back at the mighty Savannah River, I see a half dozen children playing in the water, with two sets of alligator eyeballs cresting the water thirty feet or so beyond. “What’s going on here,” I ask Tonya, my guide and…

Two Arizona Vineyards Give Back to a River through a Voluntary Water Exchange

In an effort to stem the depletion of groundwater and keep Arizona’s prized Verde River flowing, two vineyards are buying water credits through a new exchange designed to balance the basin’s water use for the good of the river and the local economy. Launched last week by the not-for-profit Friends of Verde River Greenway, the…