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Can an Elephant Called Penelope Petunia Save Her Own Kind?

By Tracy Tullis Adults often say that today’s children will inherit the problems that previous generations have created—especially our degraded environment­—and that it’ll be up to them to find solutions and make things right. Students at PS 107, an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York, are getting a head start. This spring, the fifth graders…

Black Rhino return to Samburu-Land

In the shadow of Mount Kenya lie the hot lowlands of Samburu-land. This vast, beautiful region of rocky ridges, acacia grasslands and doum palm forest is the traditional homeland of the Samburu people, the rare Grevy’s zebra and the Gerenuk antelope. For thousands of years, it was also home to the black rhino, until the…

With Extinction Clock Ticking, White House Proposes New Elephant Protections

By Peter LaFontaine There are millions of elephants in the United States, but you won’t find them roaming Yellowstone. Instead, they spend their days gathering dust in silver cabinets, getting smacked by cues on pool tables, and hanging on walls as trophies from far-flung hunts. We’re talking about ivory, of course, and about hides, hair,…

Ozzie the Unstoppable Elephant

No one informed Ozzie that he’s too young to go into musth. Somehow the dynamics of Mushara’s male elephant society over the past few years have allowed this young bull’s testosterone spikes to slip through the cracks unsuppressed, resulting in an unholy terror. Ozzie in musth has been unstoppable.

Video Trap Catches Genet Hitching a Ride on Back of Rhinoceros

A genet, a small nocturnal animal that resembles a mix between a cat and a mongoose, was caught in a video trap hitching a ride on the back of a critically endangered black rhino in a South African park. It can be seen hunting insects that might have either been disturbed by the rhino, or attracted to it (like a cattle egret or fork-tailed drong would do during the day). A bat, (another potential source of prey for the genet), is also seen cashing in on the insect bounty. It is still unclear whether the genet is also interested in parasites like ticks on the rhino’s skin.

Crime, Corruption, Funds: Tanzania’s Conservation Challenges

By Maraya Cornell

Recently, I interviewed the Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, for National Geographic News, inviting him to respond to charges that Tanzania isn’t doing enough to protect its elephants—charges that have surfaced with renewed urgency in the wake of catastrophic results from last year’s nation-wide elephant census.

Smokey Still Smokin’ In Elephant Country

The wind is howling today in elephant country. Half way through the season and we’ve been lucky to have had only two such days. The wind is making it difficult to concentrate on data management, but after such an active day yesterday, it’s a necessity. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together is best done…

Namibia Says No to Destroying Its Huge Ivory and Rhino Horn Stockpile

By Adam Cruise

Pohamba Shifeta, Namibia’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, said the country will not destroy its stockpile of ivory and rhino horns—a measure adopted by other countries in Africa and elsewhere to combat poaching by raising public awareness and removing the possibility of the products going onto the black market.

Life-size Ivory Elephant Sculpture Unveiled in Botswana

A towering elephant sculpture made entirely from ivory tusks will now greet arrivals at Gaborone’s international airport, in Botswana––a poignant symbol of the country’s commitment to protecting wild elephants. The 2.5-ton sculpture, constructed from the tusks of animals that died of natural causes, was unveiled today by the president of Botswana, Ian Khama, at Sir…

South African Government Taken to Court Over Rhino Horn Trade Moratorium

By Adam Cruise

Two of South Africa’s largest private rhino breeders have taken the South African government to court in an effort to lift a moratorium that bans domestic trade in rhino horn.

South African Government Acknowledges Letter Raising Concerns Over Possible Trade in Rhino Horn

By Katarzyna Nowak

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has formally acknowledged the receipt of an open letter that voices concerns over a possible proposal to reopen international trade in rhino horn.

OPINION: Saving Wildlife From the Specter of Trade

Trading in endangered species such as rhinos and elephants sets them on a path to extinction.

The Great Tuskers of Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park in northern Zimbabwe is one of the few places in Africa where great numbers of elephants still roam.  The 404 square-mile wilderness adjacent to Lake Kariba forms part of a remarkable Tusker gene pool that is linked to Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange National Park. Bordering the Lake on the Zimbabwean side, the area takes…

Drones Can Curb Poaching, But They’re Much Costlier Than Alternatives

Before large amounts of conservation dollars are thrown at drone technologies, another question must be asked: How effective are they at stopping poaching of animals other than iconic megafauna like elephants and rhinos?

Elephant Conservation Outside the Box

First Installment   In December, 1991, my boyfriend and I decided to spend a year traveling in Africa in between graduate degrees. But after being seduced by Africa, we never left. And from there, boyfriend became husband, and elephants the subject of my scientific career. While working for the Namibian government in the Caprivi region…