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Category archives for Animals

Reflections by a Conservationist Watching the Burning of 100 Tonnes of Ivory

“As the smoke rises and the flames crackle, it is hard not to be swept away by the mixed emotions this spectre creates. It is hard not to think about the thousands of elephants that died to make this fire. It is hard not to wonder if there isn’t a better way to honor their…

Tracking Tigers Is Just As Dangerous As It Sounds

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

Ascension: Halfway to the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve

    By Charles Clover, Executive Director, Blue Marine Foundation     On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2016, the world woke to the news that the British government was proposing to create a “marine reserve nearly the size of the United Kingdom” in the tropical Atlantic around the island of Ascension. It was a…

Common Land, Common Ground

By Justin Adams, Global Managing Director for Lands at The Nature Conservancy. Edward Loure and The Nature Conservancy have a common story. The story is one of reducing conflict by finding common ground—in this case both literally and metaphorically. All over the world – in fact, for 2.5 billion people – lives depend on land…

Wetland Revival: Using impact investment to restore nature

 Conservation interests and agencies gathered along the Murray River in Australia earlier this month to witness the return of water to a wetland system that now rarely receives floodwater from the river, due to construction of large water-storage reservoirs built upstream that capture the river’s flow and sends it to irrigated farms.   With the twist…

In Jakarta, a Piece of Paradise in Every Home.

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Walking into Banteng Square one Sunday morning in December, music from a sea of songbirds filled the air. All along the pathways, under every tree, and lounging in the grass, were men and their birds. It was lovely, odd, and soon to be unsettling. Birdsong soon gave way to the yells and screams of men.…

Gaining a better understanding of the seas through citizen science

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Twice a day, every day, Kera Mathes hops aboard a ship that sets off from Long Beach Harbor in California. As education specialist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, she helps visitors aboard the ship identify the animals they see. Mathes also supervises the aquarium’s interns (college students and…

Wolf – Caribou Detente? Clues Hidden on Lake Superior Islands

Qalipu, it’s called by Canada’s Mi’kmaq people. To others, it’s the elusive gray ghost of the far northern forest. Most know it simply as caribou. Woodland caribou are medium-sized members of the deer family. In Canadian provinces such as Ontario, these shadows in the forest are listed as threatened – quickly vanishing. Non-migratory woodland caribou…

A New Milestone for the Urban Caracal Project

Post by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin, Madison The Urban Caracal Project on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa recently captured and GPS-collared its 25th caracal in its quest to understand how these mid-sized African carnivores make their living in urban environments. The newest caracal was a male nicknamed “Titan” for his impressive size.…

Weaving Science With Storytelling on the American Prairie Reserve

Standing in the lee of some hills as other more industrious crew members retrieve data from a wildlife trapping camera, I wonder if the coyotes are howling today for the pronghorn that ducked under the fence not a few miles back. This hole in my knowledge—why do coyotes howl and for whom?—tugs a little at my anxious heart.

Uncharted Arctic waters: A new opportunity for exploitation, or conservation?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When thick sheets of sea ice began melting in the Arctic waters around Svalbard, Norway, a few years ago, a new expanse of sparkling blue sea opened up. As climate change continues to drive ice melt here on the previously untouched waters of the North Barents Sea, what many ocean conservationists…

The Recovery of Tromelin Island

Islands can have strange histories but few are more obscure than that of Tromelin Island of the Îles Éparses in the Western Indian Ocean.

Best Job Ever: Lion First Responder Team

Paola Bouley is on call as a first responder for lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and the director and co-founder of Projecto Leões da Gorongosa. It’s the first ever lion research project in the history of the park. Bouley and her team work to…

Saving Sharks with Satellites

In the past I have blogged about how the use of electronic tagging and tracking can support the conservation of marine animals. I have also addressed some misconceptions about shark tagging studies and discussed the value of such research for conservation. Building off these topics, I would like to share the results of two recently…