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Category archives for Animals

Industrialization of the oceans: Is it time to dive into the “blue economy”?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When I was a kid, I spent most of my summer days exploring my local Long Island beach. I’d watch birds, build sand castles and—ever the entrepreneur—would dig up quahog clams to sell, for a quarter each, to my neighbors who lay sunbathing on their beach blankets on the shore. Little…

Would You Walk Into a Room With Millions of Bees?

Explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli visited rural Uganda to do a cultural exchange with small-scale farmers. He decided to face his fear of bees by going right into an apiary filled with venomous bees.

The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean

Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks. Fish feed stood out in our Fish 2.0 Market Report research as a huge opportunity for innovation. Most farmed fish need some form of prepared feed…

Invasive Ants Eradicated from Tiritiri Island

Ants are often an unwelcome pest species, particularly on islands, and so its great news this week that one of the world’s worst invasive ant species – the Argentine ant, has been successfully eradicated from Tiritiri Island.

Something Fishy in Washington, D.C.

By Amy Werner Today is World Fish Migration day, a day best celebrated by raising awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish, exactly what Rock Creek Park did at a 2016 BioBlitz fish identification on May 20.  The urban oasis of Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C., is often viewed as containing only…

How street art can help keep waterways clean and clear of trash

Co-authored by Erica Cirino I’m strolling down Main Street in Northport, a nautical, perhaps quintessential, Long Island village that comes complete with bay views and the scent of sea spray in the air. A friend across the street calls my name just as I’m making the difficult decision of whether or not I should enter…

Killer whales pursuing a dolphin off Central California

By Jodi Frediani, with intro by Carl Safina Killer whales are astonishing creatures, extreme by every measure. I (Carl) wrote extensively about them in my recent book Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. Several non-interbreeding “types” which are actually different species exist (though these are not yet formally recognized with different Latin names). And…

Excuse me, waiter, there’s an invasive species in my soup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After a full day looking at dinosaur bones, taxidermy birds and hieroglyphs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, I walked through the streets of New Haven in the rain to into a warm, rustic little Japanese restaurant feeling ravenous, excited and slightly nervous. While my official excuse to travel…

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands from afar. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public access to protect this…

Abandoned fishing nets: The irony of the sea that keeps on catching (and killing)

Co-authored by Erica Cirino It was a cool morning in early spring when a group of volunteer divers jumped off their boat into the calm, turquoise waters off Makronisos Island in Greece. Under the surface lay before them lay a vast reef wonderland, complete with bizarrely shaped corals, colorful fish and even a dilapidated shipwreck.…

The manta in the mirror

By John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs A meeting of minds Chain upon chain of jagged islands jutted up from the sea. Dense vegetation clung to black, pitted rock walls that dropped sharply into cerulean blue lagoons. A Sulfur-crested Cockatoo landed in the top of a tree, its raucous call bouncing around the cliffs before daring out…

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…