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People and Wildlife Are Both Casualties of Illicit Mining

Central Africa’s natural treasures are a blessing. They are also a curse.

The vast Congo Basin — spanning six Central African countries – supports more than 10,000 animal and 600 tree species, many of which are unique to this area. The region represents the second largest contiguous moist tropical forest in the world and provides critical habitat to the last populations of several globally important species, including African forest elephants and three of the world’s four species of great apes.

National Geographic Photo Ark Spotlight: The Vulnerable Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle

Native to rivers and lakes in the Amazon and Orinoco river systems in South America, the yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, and is therefore assessed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists the species as Endangered wherever found, in terms of the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Dodging a Heavy Bough, Fleeing Angry Wasps — Another day in Yasuni Rain Forest

I have now reached the final push in deploying cameras in the canopy. I’m sitting at in the library of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station near Yasuní National Park after placing cameras in six Ficus trees spread across the trails near the research facility. I’ve also got cameras running at the Yasuní Research Station, two hours up the river, where I’ll return to set up a few more cameras later this week.

The past few days have involved a lot of climbing, most of which has been in trees I had never climbed before. The canopy habitat is dynamic, changing frequently as storms weaken structures and animals move in and out of their homes. Because of this, even on familiar trees, every climb is new to some extent, but I tend to find the first ascent of a new tree holds the most surprises, delightful or otherwise.

National Geographic Photo Ark Illuminates Endangered Species Day With Stunning Images

National Geographic Photo Ark animals “takeover” of New York’s Times Square and other major U.S. cities today, Endangered Species Day, marks the launch of the #SaveTogether campaign aimed at saving species.

For many species, time is running out. “That’s why on Endangered Species Day, the National Geographic Society and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry, launched a groundbreaking OOH campaign aimed at saving species at risk in the wild, NGS and OAAA say in a news release about the campaign. The key message is: “See what we can #SaveTogether before it’s too late.”

To support that campaign on Endangered Species Day, National Geographic Voices is featuring a selection of photographs from National Geographic Photo Ark, complementing the images that will “take over” Times Square and other venues.

Can rare tropical penguins survive in the Galapagos?

The Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is an endemic species, but that fact doesn’t save it from being threatened with extinction in its environment. Their nests can be found on Isabela, Fernandina, Bartolome and Floreana Islands, but their habitat is shrinking though time due to climate change and other threats.

National Geographic Photo Ark Focus on Mother’s Day

To celebrate Mother’s Day, a few enchanting moments captured by National Geographic Photo Ark photographer Joel Sartore of mothers and their babies.

Interview With Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park

By Scott Ramsay, Love Wild Africa Emmanuel de Merode has one of Africa’s most challenging jobs. As director of the 7,800-square-kilometer [3,000-square-mile, a little smaller than Delaware] Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, he is responsible for the management of Africa’s oldest national park, a World Heritage Site located in one of the…

Rare Parakeets Benefit From Reserve Expansion

In good news for several globally threatened bird species including El Oro Parakeet, the nonprofit conservation group Fundación Jocotoco, with the support of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), World Land Trust (WLT), and other donors, has secured critical habitat and expanded its Buenaventura Reserve in Ecuador.

1,400 eyes keep a close watch on every tourist setting foot on the Galapagos Islands

More than 700 naturalist guides accompany tourists who visit the islands. They enhance the naturalist experience for the visitors and play a major role in monitoring impacts throughout the archipelago.

While you were celebrating Earth Day, the President’s son was out killing a keystone species

On Earth Day 2017 when millions were busy conserving and celebrating nature, President Donald Trump’s son was out killing a keystone species.

Baby Sharks and Ice Cream Make for a Fun Evening in the Galapagos

Successful conservation of sharks in the Galapagos lures thousands of tourists for an evening of sharks, ice-cream and education. Shark-diving tourism generates millions of U.S. dollars for the local economy, making a shark in Galapagos the most valuable on the planet.

A Mysterious Rhino Horn Heist in Vermont

Mystery surrounds the theft of a rhinoceros horn from a natural history collection in the University of Vermont, in Burlington. Nobody knows its origins, or exactly when or why it was stolen.

Tackling the biggest challenge for conservation in Galapagos: legal small-scale fisheries

Small-scale or artisanal fisheries on the Galapagos are legal and impact over 60 species, several of them only found in the Archipelago and at risk of extinction. In particular, the fin-fish fishery shows clear signs of over-exploitation and tends to catch many unintended species.

Why I became a vet for wildlife, and how that gave me power to change the world

Often as veterinarians, we tend to focus on the immediate impact we can have on an individual animal’s health. However, through my journey, I have realized that I did not have to only care for any one animal by providing clinical treatment, performing surgery or preventing it suffered from diseases, but I could also have a bigger impact by working in the field of conservation, saving species populations, restoring their ecosystems, and helping human communities cohabit in balance with nature.

Invasive Parasitic Fly Threatens Future of Unique Galapagos Land Birds

The Galapagos Islands are famous for their spectacular species of birds. They first came to the attention of the world after Charles Darwin first collected specimens on the archipelago in 1835, helping him later by providing clues to develop the theory of evolution. The islands’ birds have captivated the imaginations and inspiration of explorers, sailors, scientists, and tourists ever since. These iconic animals are one of the main reasons many thousands of visitors come to these islands each year. But having evolved into their Galapagos niches over countless generations, the birds of Galapagos are facing a deadly enemy, an invasive insect that preys on chicks in their nests.