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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.

More than 80 percent of Gabon’s Rare Forest Elephant Species Taken by Poachers

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.

The “Goldilocks” Sparrow That’s Shielding the Everglades

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?

Species Introductions Accelerating

A study released this month has illustrated that the rate of species introductions to locations outside their native range is increasing faster than ever.

#WorldPangolinDay 2017 Observed With a Portrait From National Geographic Photo Ark

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…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Mend Them

Even blue-throated macaws and radiated tortoises sometimes need a doctor. Veterinarian Laurie Hess catalogued her decades spent treating unusual creatures in her new book Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor. Recently, she spoke with Nexus Media about exotic animals — which to adopt, which to avoid and which are most threatened by humans. This…

Saving Ugandan Lions One Radio Collar at a Time

Tagging along with Dr. Ludwig Siefert, team leader of the Uganda Carnivore Program, in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, I learn what it takes to manage and care for wild lions in a region undergoing tremendous socio-economic change.

Carnivore Conservation: Preserving Africa’s Disappearing Lion Population

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Thandiwe Mweetwa on a mission to track down lions. This carnivore conservationist has dedicated her life to preserving Africa’s disappearing lion population.

Journey to the Sea: Turtles Unite the Choroni + Chuao Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist February marks the beginning of sea turtle nesting season on the Venezuelan coastline. For anyone who has witnessed sea turtle hatchlings find their way to the ocean, you know these little marine creatures are up to an enormous challenge. Not only do they have to conquer several meters of…

Reserva Monte Mojino: Conservation on the Slopes of the Sierra Madre

A cactus flower blooming next to a lush fig tree, a desert tortoise resting beneath an elegant trogon perched in a mesquite: I first encountered these strange bedfellows when I visited the forest near Alamos in Sonora, Mexico, during the summer monsoon. It is here, along the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental, that one…

Rescuing a Fierce Leopard: See What It Takes

What would you do if you came face-to-face with a 175 pound, agitated leopard? If you’re conservation power-couple Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren, you’ve been on the receiving end of such a scenario about 112 times.