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Bhutan: Ecological Heart of the Eastern Himalaya

For a region as rich in biodiversity as the Eastern Himalaya, Bhutan’s healthy population of wild cats, including snow leopard in the north and tiger elsewhere, can serve to repopulate adjoining landscapes as long as the habitats are protected. Bhutan can function as the ecological heart of the Eastern Himalaya, sustaining rural people as well as unique species of wild cats in this large mountainous landscape. For these reasons, investing in Bhutan’s conservation efforts is beneficial to the world!

The battle for the survival of the forest elephant can be won

In Gabon’s Minkébé National Park, forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) declined by approximately 80 percent between 2004 and 2014, as reported in a recent publication supported in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Both savanna and forest elephants are declining across most of the African continent driven primarily by Asia’s demand for ivory. What is happening in Minkébé National Park is particularly alarming, as this area was once home to the highest densities of forest elephants in Central Africa and was established as a stronghold and sanctuary for the species. What do these findings tell us about the future of forest elephants more broadly, and how should we prioritize efforts to save the species? Dr. Richard Ruggiero, chief of the Service’s Division of International Conservation, shares his thoughts.

Discovery of breeding area for rare blue-throated macaw raises hopes for survival in the wild

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.

Kruger Park Finds Early Success in new System to Detect and Intercept Rhino Poachers at Night

A new mobile electronic detection system has been deployed at ground zero in the poaching onslaught on South Africa’s rhinos. Funded by Postcode Lottery charities in Europe, and developed by South African scientists, the system enables the Kruger Park’s counter-poaching unit to monitor the park in the dark, receiving alerts and a night-vision feed to track and intercept intruders before a rhino is taken. Several rhinos have already been saved, thanks to rangers being able to detect and safely intercept poachers by surprise.

Nomadic Herders Take Their Toll on Central Africa’s Dwindling Wildlife

We were cruising along through the bush and suddenly I thought I heard voices to the west. We stopped and could see two guys walking along at a rather fast clip with 4 burros with small loads and a single very skinny cow. They didn’t see us and we waited untill they got real close to greet them: “Assalama ou aleekum,” Yaya said. “Aleekum salum”, I think they didn’t realize yet we were not fellow herders. Then they saw us and veered off.

Sudan Border Walk Team Member Rehydrates; Baboons Move in for Closer Look at Us

Today was short because I didn’t want to take any chances with Herve. I have been pumping him full of salt and sugar for the past 36 hours and he has gone from looking like death warmed over to just about his old self. It is amazing how dehydration can kill you real fast if you don’t get the electrolytes back in the system.

The Last Climb in Borneo

Sometimes things are hardest right before you reach the finish line. Then you remember that it’s not actually the finish line, it’s just the halfway point. This is an account of my last climb in Malaysian Borneo, but I’ve got many more to come in the Ecuadorean Amazon. There are times when it feels like…

TNR Is Dangerous Both to Cats and to Other Animals

People who consider themselves “cat lovers,” including proponents of trap-neuter-release (TNR) —programs that sterilize but then abandon domestic cats and so should more aptly be called “trap-neuter-abandon”—don’t mean to consign cats to ghastly fates, but in leaving them outside to fend for themselves, they do.

Borneo’s Gliding Giants

Just as the sun sets a whiskered nose pokes out of a hole 15 stories above the forest floor. As the light dims a furry head, body, and massive tail follow. Crawling on a branch it isn’t unstable, just a bit awkward and perhaps overburdened, like when you have to delicately shuffle your way over…

Will Africa’s Big Five become extinct in the wild?

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.

Are We the Last Generation to See Polar Bears 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.

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

What does diversity mean to you? Is it important?

Asia’s Last Cheetahs

The cheetah’s speed is legendary. As possibly the swiftest mammal that has ever lived (extinct relatives of the cheetah were likely not as speedy), there is nothing on earth it cannot out-run. Nothing in nature, that is. Unfortunately, for all its extraordinary high-speed adaptations, the cheetah has no evolutionary solution for modern traffic. Among the many dangers faced by cheetahs, collisions with vehicles rank among the top threats to an especially endangered population: the unique Asiatic cheetahs of Iran.

A Ray of Hope for Lions

Simply by creating the right conditions for existing protected areas in Africa, we could yield a massive recovery in lions, and a host of other wildlife species.

Cheetah Matchmaking: Helping Big Cats Find a Mate

You may not have had “cheetah matchmaker” featured at your high school career fair, but that’s just what Vincent van der Merwe’s business card may as well read. But trying to repopulate the highly vulnerable species can be as dangerous as it is exciting. Watch the video to see what happens when van der Merwe tries to translocate a very unhappy cheetah across South Africa.