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Category archives for Reptiles and Amphibians

Gallopin’ Gargoyles! New Stone-Like Frog Species Discovered

The discovery of the stone leaf-litter frog is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the unknown biodiversity of these forests. It’s a race against time to discover the creatures that live in these mysterious forests and to ensure that they still have their forest homes in the future.

One More Threat for the East Pacific Leatherback

By Lauren Hackney Upon arrival for my second field season with The Leatherback Trust in Costa Rica, I was eager to return to Playa Grande for its unique biodiversity. Playa Grande’s pristine white sand beach hosts nesting leatherbacks, the same species who swam our oceans 110 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Now…

Drone Captures Leatherback Sea Turtle Returning to Ocean, Swimming Away

By Jenell Black and Christian Díaz Chuquisengo This year, as Field Manager at The Leatherback Trust, I was lucky enough to witness an extraordinary event in Las Baulas National Park (Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas) on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Leatherbacks typically nest under the cover of darkness, but once in a rare while our…

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…

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.

Protecting the Brilliant Psychedelic Rock Gecko

It’s got orange feet and an orange tail; a blue-grey body; and a lime green head. The psychedelic rock gecko, a small reptile native to only one island smalls off the coast of southern Vietnam, is endangered. It was only described for the first time in scientific literature in 2010, but it has already made…

Best Job Ever: Hunting for the Bones of a Loch Ness-Like Monster

Aubrey Jane Roberts is a National Geographic Young Explorers grantee and a professional dinosaur hunter (aka paleontologist).

Learning to See the Forest for the Bees at Olympic National Park

“How many species of bees do you think there are?” I realize at this moment that I can only think of about three, which is clearly the wrong answer. JD Herndon and Houston Guy, entomologists who have come up to Washington State from Utah, wait patiently with little grins on their faces. They know most…

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…

An Island Icon Threatened with Extinction

The icon of Fernando de Noronha, the tropic bird, emblazoned on tourism material, is gradually going extinct. The red-billed tropic bird (Phaethon aethereus) is nearly extinct at less than ten individuals. The white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) is relegated to a second class citizen on offshore rock stacks, as are other avian citizens such as masked boobies (Sula dactylatra).

Q&A With National Geographic Museum’s ‘Croc Keeper’

Last week, National Geographic Museum opened a new exhibit featuring live crocodiles. Thankfully these new guests came with a chaperone.

The Curious History of Curieuse Island, Seychelles

Curieuse Island in the Seychelles is steeped in all kinds of history. Lying just a kilometre off the coast of Praslin this 286 hectare island lies in its own marine national park and is named after the French ship La Curieuse, which arrived along with the ship La Digue

Salamanders Lost, Found and Saved

An expedition to find species missing for decades in the remote cloud forests of northwest Guatemala leads to a new sanctuary for rare and elusive salamanders.

Smuggled Iguanas Tell Larger Tale of Animal Trafficking

The two Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas (Cyclura cychlura) that arrived recently to Shedd Aquarium are familiar faces to me. I’ve dedicated more than 20 years of my life studying the three types (i.e. subspecies) of this species in The Bahamas. During this time, I have been fortunate to work with dedicated individuals and organizations, such…

Three Levels of Arctic Sea Monster Fossils Revealed

This year’s field season up in the Svalbard archipelago is revealing marine reptile fossils of different kinds spanning millions of years.