VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
For the past few days, Cycle Adirondacks participants have seen beautiful biking habitats, rolling hills, green-hued farm fields, and quiet back roads of the Tug Hill Plateau, just west of the Adirondacks.
My sister, Amy, and I stop to admire the quiet vistas and look for loons and other majestic wildlife. As we pedal out of Saranac Lake in upstate New York, I start focusing on the placid waters reflecting puffy clouds rather than thinking of the 68 rolling miles ahead.
By John Calvelli
August 12th has been designated as World Elephant Day, an opportunity for all of us to celebrate this iconic species. Hopefully, it will also serve as a reminder that each of us can make a difference. By supporting the proposed ESA 4(d) rule we will make sure that our voices are being heard and we are playing our part to make sure that there is a future for elephants.
By Lilian Painter
On August 9 the world will commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year the focus is on health and wellbeing. That topic engages me particularly as a conservationist working in the Amazon. The Bolivia program of WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has shown that the interests of indigenous peoples and conservation are not only compatible but also dependent on each other.
On World Ranger Day, we laud the men and women who risk their lives to protect wildlife and wild places around the world.
Dragons have been present in human folklore for centuries, appearing as heroes and villains in the pages of children’s books, Hollywood summer blockbusters, and popular television shows. But to me, dragons are just another part of my day job. As the senior wild animal keeper for the Herpetology Department at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, I am responsible for the care and management of the four Komodo dragons that are currently part of our collection. While these dragons do not breathe fire and have not stolen away princesses, they still possess the beauty, power, and majesty of their fictional brethren.
There’s a new conservation controversy brewing. While carbon offsetting continues to be debated as a response to continuing emissions growth, biodiversity offsetting is increasingly being seized upon as a solution to unabated biodiversity loss. The idea is that damage to biodiversity from development can be neutralized by creating an “ecologically-equivalent” benefit elsewhere – thus achieving “no net loss” of biodiversity. But inappropriate application of offsetting carries its own risk. What if misplaced confidence in offsets means more biodiversity losses are permitted? With many governments actively developing offset policies, strict standards are needed to ensure the approach really does mean better conservation outcomes, rather than simply drawing a thin green veil over habitat destruction.
By Rob Wallace
It’s an idea that was four years in the making: to send a group of Bolivian scientists to investigate fourteen different habitats spanning 6,000 meters – from the Andes down to the Amazon – in what is the most biodiverse protected area on the planet. Identidad Madidi, expected to take a year and a half to complete, is a scientific expedition intended to draw attention to the wonders of Boliva’s Madidi National Park.
This weekend, Americans will spend the 4th of July thinking of the things that make the United States great. Of course, that means independence and freedom, and probably barbecues and fireworks as well. But another of those quintessentially great things about America is the bison, an animal that has for too long gone unrecognized as the national icon that it is.
By Susan Lieberman
What do the Taj Mahal, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Wall of China, and Virunga National Park have in common? They are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, protected by an international convention recognizing that they and another thousand special places around the world are the common heritage of humanity and deserve the highest level of protection.
By Dr. Emily Darling
With colleagues from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), we recently surveyed the first community-led Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Madagascar. These areas provide genuine hope for coral reef conservation and small-scale fisheries management under the shadow of emerging oil and gas development, deforestation, illegal fishing and climate change.
By Jon Forrest Dohlin
You may not think that the words “metropolis and “corals” belong in the same sentence. So you might be rather surprised to hear that beautiful deep-sea coral communities can be found lurking in the deep just a few hours’ boat ride from New York City, one of most urbanized settings in the world.
By Jim Breheny
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) commemorates Endangered Species Day today at all five of our wildlife parks in New York City. It is an opportunity to recognize that we are all stewards of this planet and that the fragile balance of the Earth’s biodiversity is in our hands. Many species are threatened with extinction due to human activities, but there is much that each of us can do in the name of conservation to help save species around the world.
By James Deutsch
Chelsea Clinton is back in Africa because she understands that the successful conservation projects in areas she toured in 2013 – including Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and the Kazungula Landscape, comprising parts of Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Angola – don’t have to be the exception. She and President Clinton, accompanying her on this trip, believe that with sufficient resources and political will, such efforts can be repeated across the continent where elephants, rhinos, and other threatened species continue to be poached.
By John Robinson
Today the Republic of Congo burned its confiscated hardwood timber and the country’s entire stockpile of illegal ivory. With the destruction of 4.7 metric tons of ivory, the Republic of Congo joins a growing list of countries opting to burn or crush ivory stockpiles as a means of sending a global message on the plight of elephants and a warning to would-be traffickers.