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Category archives for Animals

Colorful Close-Ups From a Remote Coral Reef

Kike Ballesteros reveals some of his most colorful and finely detailed images yet of the strange and beautiful creatures that call the bottom of the ocean home.

To save African elephants, scientists say ivory sales must stop

While that “regulated” ivory sale idea might sound nice on paper, experts say it has now been officially debunked.

How Forensic Technology Can Help Fight the Ivory Trade

Here at the CITES conference in Johannesburg, almost anyone can tell you that African elephants are being slaughtered at a rate of tens of thousands per year. There are lots of approaches on how to solve the problem: reducing demand for ivory, providing alternative livelihoods for would-be poachers, training anti-poaching units—and forensics.

Sam Wasser of the University of Washington uses DNA testing to identify where the ivory confiscated in major seizures comes from. This makes it easier to know where law enforcement and anti-poaching efforts should be concentrated.

Cracking Down on the Pet Cheetah Trade

Cheetahs on cars. Cheetahs in boats. Cheetahs in mansions. The growing cheetah pet trade, spurred on by social media posts of wealthy owners posing in photos with their exotic pets, has gained the attention of the international community. Cheetahs face major threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, but the exotic pet trade in the last…

The Expedition to Niue Sets Sail

The waters surrounding the world’s largest raised coral atoll are about to get their biggest close-up yet.

Pangolins On The Brink

My focus in particular is the pangolin: a small, scaly, creature, rather like an armadillo, with an innocent nature, despite its resemblance to a four-footed, flightless dragon. It is also the world’s most highly-traded mammal, with more than a million being poached from the wild over the last decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The organization says a pangolin is taken from the wild, either to be killed or sold, every five minutes.

Artist Uses Body Paint to Transform Three Women Into Elephant

Italian artist Johannes Stoetter is famous for using body paint to transform humans into animals. Here at CITES, he teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about the decline of elephants with a new work, “Coming Together for Elephants.” Can you spot the three women in the elephant? “While a canvas lasts…

Process for Establishing Future Ivory Trade Rejected at CITES Conference

For the last nine years, CITES parties have been negotiating a “decision-making mechanism,” (DMM), which would establish a process for a future trade in ivory. Today, the parties of CITES voted to end the long-running discussion.

Biotherm & Mission Blue to Collaborate on Hope Spot Expedition in Balearic Islands

Since 2012, Biotherm Water Lovers has donated more than €700,000 toward furthering the protection of Mission Blue Hope Spots Today Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue Expedition Team join French luxury skincare company Biotherm in Mallorca, Spain to highlight their partnership and announce an upcoming joint expedition to the Balearic Islands Hope Spot. Since…

Surveying Canopy Wildlife: A Brief Look at Looking Up

There is more to come in the way of introductions, but here is a quick first look at my project, Looking Up: A Canopy Wildlife Expedition. Throughout the year, I’ll be conducting wildlife surveys in forest canopies of Malaysia and Ecuador. As a scientist, I’m excited to expand my work to new research sites. Camera trapping…

New Elephant Estimate Documents Major Decline

The International Union for Conservation of Nature released its 2016 African Elephant Status Report this morning, and the results are sobering: Africa has approximately 415,000 elephants, a net decline of more than 110,000 from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2015.

California bans orca breeding and entertainment, SeaWorld feels the bite of public opinion

A new law passed in California supports the idea that the captivity of orcas and other cetaceans is abusive and unnecessary.

Letter-writers make history: President Obama declares first Atlantic Ocean National Monument

Moving forward, it’s important to continue vouching for the environment if we want to continue seeing positive change. And, every action—no matter how small it seems—matters.

Bear Family Gives Explorers an Unexpected Wake Up Call

Imagine arriving at one of the last places on Earth, where, as Bertie Gregory puts it, “wild land meets wild ocean.” It would take two planes, multiple car rides, and a ferry just to begin the journey. There is no access to the Internet and no phone signal. Then imagine a surprise visit in the middle of the night from two unexpected and adorable guests.

Devil rays in distress: Protecting the “mini mantas”

Why devil rays, or “mini mantas,” need our help!