VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
By Brian Milne It’s Saturday morning in Plympton, Mass., and the sun has yet to dry the dew from the windows at the Mayflower Cranberries farm, but owner Jeff LaFleur is already on a knee in his bog inspecting his crimson bounty in preparation for the fall harvest. “It’s a pretty big berry, as you…
An elephant poacher in Kenya is finally behind bars, thanks to a local magistrate and coordination between the wildlife authority and two conservation partners. In late 2013, community game scouts undertaking an anti-poaching patrol near world-renowned Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya came across a fresh elephant carcass. Not surprisingly, the elephant’s two tusks were…
Those who believe that ecological and moral grounds aren’t sufficient justification to protect elephants and other wildlife in Africa often tout tourism as the most important reason to do so. Examined rationally, this is a narrow and risky premise, with a poor long-term prognosis for the survival of Africa’s wild animals.
National Geographic Young Explorers Grantees Cara Eckholm and Amanda Rivkin have been on the ground in Sarajevo this month. They’re pursing the story of the new urban landscape in Sarajevo, delving into the triumphs and tensions of a city that not long ago was ravaged by war. Through interviews with Sarajevo’s citizens Cara and Amanda are…
Nicknamed “the devil bear” for its fierce disposition, wolverines are tenacious predators. Photographing the animal was a mixture of luck and perseverance for photographer Peter Mather, who spent a month trying to capture an image of one in the Canadian Yukon.
From Alejandro Nadal and Francisco Aguayo: Debate around the policy response to the current elephant poaching crisis has been polarized around the issue of market-based instruments, and as a result a lot of attention has focused on some form of regulated legal trade. We examine first the proposal for legalizing international trade and establishing a high-end market model in China as a means to reduce illegal trade. Second, we analyze the assertion that speculative stockpiling is the core driver of elephant poaching.
By Madeleine May For Santiago Cañedo Flores and other fishermen along the La Paz Bay in Baja California Sur, the solution to depleted fish stocks may lie in harvesting an unconventional product: seaweed. Don Santiago and other fishermen in Baja California Sur are partnering with Olazul, a San Francisco-based organization founded in 2009, to design community-owned…
From Jensi Sartin of the Reef Check Foundation: The beauty of the Caribbean reefs have been a tourist attraction for decades, if not centuries. They teem with life, holding an amazing variety of fantastical fish and other sea creatures. But at the current rate, Caribbean reefs will be lost within 20 years. Worse, the damage is largely the result of our own actions.
This dire news comes from the Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, an extensive report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The report explains that the direct threats from overfishing and land-based pollution are combining dramatically with the longer term effects of climate change to destroy a vital natural resource that lies just a short flight from the United States.
What better way to mark International Octopus Day than with a roundup of some of our favorite octopus videos. Watch as they battle it out with other sea creatures.
A mysterious mammal that waded through South Asian swamps 48 million years ago is a distant cousin of modern rhinoceroses and tapirs, a new study says.
From Katarzyna Nowak: The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos brought together people in 130 cities worldwide (90 more cities than last year) on Saturday, October 4, 2014.
The march in Washington, D.C., assembled at the Lincoln Memorial and set off at noon, along Constitution Avenue, swinging left on 15th street. At E Street, we struck up a rousing chorus: “E is for Elephant, not Extinction!”
Compiled and edited by Katarzyna Nowak
I present comments from 24 authorities who lay out the flaws in pro-trade thinking, as recently elocuted in Daniel Stiles’s essay “Can Elephants Survive a Continued Trade Ban?” written in response to Christina Russo’s article “Can Elephants Survive a Legal Ivory Trade? Debate Is Shifting Against It.” These experts work in diverse fields, from anthropology, ecology, and conservation biology to law, journalism, politics, and economics. They voice their individual opinions, based on personal experience and research. As such, there is no suggestion that the commentators agree with each other, or are otherwise acting jointly.
James Howard “Billy” Williams, the son of a mining engineer from Cornwall, in England, seems to have stepped straight out of the pages of The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling. Employed as a forest manager with a British teak company in colonial Burma, he was captivated by the strength, the intelligence, and even the sense…
By Alex Hofford
It is a little known fact that the blame for the elephant poaching crisis of the 1980s, which resulted in the global ivory ban of 1989, can be laid squarely at the feet of the Hong Kong ivory traders. And now they’re at it again.
By Grace Gabriel, International Fund for Animal Welfare
The ivory trade does not follow a neat economic model, and calls for a regulated legal market are naïve and misguided.