VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Category archives for Animals

Tracking the World’s Largest Land Crab

Coconut crabs must be handled with extreme care; they have two powerful claws that can easily crush bone. I have previously studied red king crab and snow crab in Alaska, but coconut crabs are in a league of their own in terms of brute strength.

World’s Largest Marine Protected Area Declared in Antarctica

By Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans, The Nature Conservancy I am delighted that after many years of negotiations, delegates from 24 countries and the European Union meeting in Hobart, Australia have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA). Protecting parts of the ocean owned by…

Ross Sea MPA creation means the last pristine place in the ocean is finally protected

The pursuit to establish a marine protected area in Antarctica brought me to the Ross Sea four times. It brought my wife, and eventually my daughter, whom we named after a penguin. – John Weller

Hope in the Face of 10,000 Deaths

When amphibian conservation biologist Arturo Muñoz describes the 2015 die-offs of the Titicaca Water Frog (Telmatobius culeus) on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, the details are grim: Dead frogs floating belly up in the shallow water as gulls pick them off for dinner. The smell of the sulfate pollution dredged up from the bottom…

The Passing of a Titan

Contrary to popular belief, mountain lions are not all the same. They are as distinctive in personality as we are. Some are bold, others stick to the shadows. Some are social, others avoid interactions. Some hunt elk, some prefer smaller fare. Some are productive, successful mothers that rear numerous kittens to young adults, and others…

Release of the Gibbon

With the sounds of gibbon song as the backing track to this picture, Clare is pensive as she admits, “I’m hopeful for the future of gibbons, now that we are bringing them the attention they deserve. But, at the same time, I’m frightened. If we can’t control the illegal trade, or the destruction of their habitat, then these reintroduction efforts become futile.”

The legend of Babakoto

Safina Center Fellow Ben Mirin travels to the rainforests of Andasibe, Madagascar, and learns the legend of Babakoto…the indri lemur.

How One U.S. Zoo is Supporting African Wildlife Conservation

Despite the sensation of  tough gravel, I never expected a rhinoceros to feel so soft around the back of the ears and mouth.  Staff at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York had graciously allowed me to come face to face with Bill, the resident southern white rhinoceros who, funnily enough, was more interested in being petted than…

One Snow Leopard’s Journey

In honor of International Snow Leopard Day, I wanted to share the story of one snow leopard in particular, Shirin, and her incredible journey. Last winter, I received one of those phone calls that never fail to make me tear up: a snow leopard had been illegally captured and sold in the eastern Pamirs of…

Anja on fire

Safina Center Fellow Ben Mirin travels to Anja, Madagascar, to record wild soundscapes. While there he finds a community grappling with how to balance protecting nature with making a living.

Tracking Antarctica

The largest wilderness on Earth – Antarctica is also the most isolated continent. The oceans around Antarctica are some of the most pristine in the world with more than 8,000 marine species, more than half of which are seen nowhere else in the world. However, this epic wonder is under pressure. Parts of the Antarctic…

Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges Requires a Healthy Ocean

Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both the ocean goal (aka Goal 14, “Life Under Water”) and me, as…

Marine Ecotourism: The wealth of the oceans goes well beyond fisheries

Oceans have always been a source of wealth. But our ability to extract resources and dump waste has surpassed the ocean’s capacity to adapt to these impacts. With nets growingly empty, some communities found an opportunity to use the ocean’s resources in a different way: marine ecotourism.

I wonder what’s up there?

Five years ago I met an anteater that changed my life. As a first-year grad student, I was in the midst of my academic identity crisis trying to figure out what exactly I was going to study. I joined a team of researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to survey wildlife in…

Terrestrial Conservation on Tetiaroa

On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.