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The Lion and the Cow: Conservation, Pastoralism, and Conflict

The recurring thought of lions and cows keeps interrupting my focus on a humid evening as I sit down to dinner outside a small hotel overlooking the din of downtown Kampala. I’m conversing with a Dodoth gentleman of the Karamojong tribe in the northeastern region of Uganda—a place with little infrastructure and an abundance of wildlife. Loupa Pius is a project…

Diving for Coral Conservation: Chichiriviche Hope Spot

The town of Chichiriviche de la Costa is a small gem on the Venezuelan coastline, set in a tranquil bay where a freshwater river runs through the mountains and empties into the sea. The locals live in the hills just above the beach, consisting of a few hundred people whose income is derived from fishing and local tourism…

This Earth Day, Let’s Stand Up for Canadian Wildlife

By Gabriel Wildgen, Humane Society International/Canada

Canadians take pride in wild animals as symbols of our country’s deep connection to nature. Images of beavers, caribous, loons and polar bears adorn Canadian coins. Canada’s major airports welcome visitors with murals of breathtaking landscapes, complete with magnificent bears, whales and birds. These same visitors might also be shocked, however, to learn how abysmal many of Canada’s wildlife policies are, and that they’re made all the more glaringly apparent during April, when the world celebrates Earth Day.

The Search for Lost Species

Global Wildlife Conservation today embarks on the first phase of the Search for Lost Species, the largest-ever global quest to find and protect species that have not been seen in the wild in decades. The campaign will work with local partners to send scientific expeditions around the world to some of the most remote and…

Africa’s protected areas missing 75 percent of their savanna elephants

In a study published today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, colleagues and I estimate how many savanna elephants Africa’s protected areas would support if not for widespread poaching. The results are sobering. Collectively, these parks are missing 75 percent of their elephants, nearly three-quarters of a million individuals.

We’ve all heard that elephants are in trouble. Now we know just how much.

Consider the Octopus

Octopuses can taste with their skin, resist a pull 1,000 times their own weight, change color and shape, squirt ink, and inject venom. And even giant Pacifics—the biggest of the 250 octopus species, sometimes weighing 100 pounds—can pour their baggy, boneless bodies through an opening the size of an orange.

What’s more—and this is the most exciting aspect of this sea-dwelling “alien”—an octopus can recognize individual humans and even make friends with them. Octopuses are remarkably smart.

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: Colobus Monkey

Multiple entries in the journal kept by National Geographic explorer J. Michael Fay on his 2014-2017 Expedition Through the Heart of Africa refer to sightings of black-and-white colobus in the forests of the Central African Republic. It is yet one more charismatic species found in Africa’s deepest interior that is not very well known in the more industrialized parts of the world. Fortunately, many of the best zoos feature the colobus in exhibits, and the monkey is also well photographed by Joel Sartore for the National Geographic Photo Ark.

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: Wallace’s Flying Frog

The very cute Wallace’s flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) flits from one tree to another in the rain forest of Southeast Asia, seemingly able to fly. But in reality, the colorful amphibian is more of a glider than a flyer, ably assisted in its ability to travel a decent distance through the air by large webbed feet that act as sails before the wind.

Protecting and Conserving Gopher Tortoises

Video and photo credit: Janet Molchan Monday, April 10 is Gopher Tortoise Day in Florida. State and local wildlife conservation programs note this day with awareness activities relating to the Threatened species’ and its habitat. Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is considered a keystone species because its burrows provide shelter for more than 350 other species living in their habitat.…

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: Ocelot

Listed as an Endangered Species by the United States, the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) numbers fewer than a hundred individuals north of the Rio Grande (in small pockets of southern Texas and Southern Arizona) — and it is likely to be even more disturbed and threatened by an enhanced border wall with Mexico.

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: The Elusive Bongo

When National Geographic explorer J. Michael Fay scours the remote forests of Central Africa, one of the animals he hopes to see is the bongo. One sub-species of this, the largest forest antelope in Africa, is already near extinction. More of its kind are in captivity than there are in the wild. Learn more about the bongo.

From high-tech to the eccentric: Kruger Park pulls out all the stops to combat poaching

Kruger Park rangers are making a valiant effort to combat the scourge of poaching of rhino and other animals in South Africa’s famous wildlife sanctuary.. They have launched a sophisticated multi-prong anti-poaching campaign. Time will tell if their efforts are making a difference. But is their enough time to save the rhinos?

The Conservation Group That’s Working to End Shark Fin Sales and Distribution in the UK by 2023

By Dominique Maingot

It is estimated that over 100 million sharks are killed each year by unsustainable fishing methods, some leading to their entanglement in nets as bycatch or the direct targeting of their fins. Despite the EU’s passing of a regional agreement on shark conservation and management in 2009, and additional species listings under annexes to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), unregulated protections and species-specific management approaches continue to enable loopholes for shark fin trading worldwide.

With the help of its dedicated volunteers and scientists, Fin Fighters, a UK-based conservation organization, is working diligently to understand these issues in areas where data on illegal shark catches and genetic populations remain quite limited.

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.