VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Blue-throated Macaw has been devastated in the past by the illegal pet trade, habitat loss, and feather use for traditional dances, among other threats. Only 250 to 300 of these birds remain in the wild. But the discovery of a new breeding area for the bird in Bolivia is a major step toward ensuring full protection for the species, American Bird Conservancy said.
All four species of lynx have been photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark project, where they act as ambassadors for an extraordinary medium-size wild cat found across much of the Northern Hemisphere, where they all prey primarily on rabbits. They share more than a preference for rabbit; all of them are challenged by habitat-loss due to human development and climate change.
On World Wildlife Day 2017, a reflection and celebration in photography from the National Geographic Photo Ark of Africa’s Big Five: Lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo. A century ago these species were among the millions of wild animals roaming Africa. But now their numbers are dwindling, leaving us to wonder if a hundred years from now they will be extinct in the wild.
Take a moment this International Polar Bear Day (February 27, #polarbearday) to reflect on this incredible species and how we stand to lose it in the wild by the end of this century.
More horrendous news for the beleaguered elephant: Forest elephants, a sub-species of elephant living in an area that had been considered a sanctuary in the Central African country of Gabon, are rapidly being picked off by illegal poachers, who are primarily coming from the bordering country of Cameroon. More than 80 percent have been taken in a decade–a loss of about 25,000 elephants– Duke University researchers report in the February 20 issue of Current Biology.
How did the little-known Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), a somewhat drab bird found in the wild only at the southern tip of the Everglades National Park, become the pivot in a raging debate about the role of Endangered Species in the protection of wild land?
It is estimated that more than a million pangolins have been snatched from the wild in the past decade, according to the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, an organization leading efforts to save these scaly, ant-eating mammals from poaching and illegal trade. That might just make the pangolin the most trafficked animal in the world, and…
To all you lovebirds out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! As a gift for you and your special other, here are some of our favorite bird photos from the National Geographic Photo Ark, including a couple of real lovebirds.
February 2, 2017 (Groundhog Day)–By tradition today is when the groundhog (aka woodchuck or whistle-pig) awakes from its winter hibernation to check on the weather. If it sees its shadow it can go back to bed; there will be six more weeks of winter.
Bobcats are North America’s most abundant wildcats, with as many as a million living across a wide range of habitat, from forests to semi-deserts, and even the fringes of cities. Twice the size of a domestic cat, bobcats can bring down prey much larger than themselves. But how much do we really know about them? Here’s some information that can help you better understand and appreciate America’s amazing feline.
Habitat loss, civil unrest and illegal hunting are driving a “devastating decline” of the iconic giraffe, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said today. The global giraffe population has plummeted by up to 40 percent over the last 30 years, and the species is now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
An update to the IUCN Red List was released at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13) in Cancun, Mexico. Apart from the giraffe the list also has grim news for birds, wild plants, and Lake Victoria’s freshwater species: Full details in this post.
Found on every continent other than Antartica, the owl is anything but an unexceptional bird. Their piercing gaze, uncanny ability to swivel their heads in the round, and their spooky stealth has long made them the subjects of art, literature, and films. And even those only slightly interested in birdwatching can’t help being thrilled by hearing or seeing an owl in the wild.
More than 200 bird species in six rapidly developing regions are at risk of extinction despite not being included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of at-risk species, research led by Duke University scientists has found.
The study, published today in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, used remote sensing data to map recent land-use changes that are reducing suitable habitat for more than 600 bird species in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Central America, the western Andes of Colombia, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia, Duke said in a news statement. “Of the 600 species, only 108 are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as being at risk of extinction.”
Birds have long fascinated humans, and not only because they can do what we can’t: jump into the air and fly. They are everywhere we have settled on Earth, and in many places we have not. We admire them for their variety of shapes, feathers, and song. But we are also often annoyed and sometimes scared by them. So it is little wonder that birds have inspired so much art, music, and folklore, from the dove that was the harbinger of the end of the great biblical flood to the swallows that signal the onset of summer.