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Category archives for Wild Birds

Re-wilding an Island

Last week I bore witness to the re-wilding of an entire island ecosystem. Invasive mammalian predators were eradicated from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) in 2014, and the original predators and keystone species are now returning naturally.

Enhancing Our Dedication to the World Around Us: An Introduction to Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team

The following is a blog post by Tim Binder, executive vice president of animal care, Shedd Aquarium. When zoos and aquariums first opened, we thought of ourselves as modern Noah’s arks – protecting wildlife from the approaching “flood” of species extinction. Now, we have a broader focus on proactive, in-the-field research aimed at habitat preservation and…

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.

Polynesian Rats Don’t Come From Polynesia

The Polynesian rat is distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean and is found on most islands. Early European naturalists thought that because the rat was already present it must be native to each island.

Where an Owl Egg Is Worth More Than Ivory or Rhino Horn

The exact beliefs surrounding the use of owl eggs are not well known, but calls I received generally came from well-educated individuals seeking to cure a relative of cancer or HIV-Aids.

Seabirds Take a Long Time to Forget

Seabirds have incredibly high site fidelity, which means they typically return to the same breeding colony, often where they were born, time and time again. But at the same time they are also amazingly long-distance dispersers to colonise the remotest islands of the world. I was reminded of this paradox this evening barely a few…

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.

Book saves bird’s life: The story of Albie the Albatross

Co-authored by Erica Cirino About a year and a half ago, Melissa Ursey was riding in the car as her husband Jerry drove across the Southern California desert back to their home in Rancho Mirage from their friends’ house in Desert Springs. As the car cruised through the town of Palm Desert, Jerry noticed something…

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Optimizing Rapid Eradication Assessment

Biological invasions can happen quickly and the best response is a rapidly confirmed eradication. Models combining data on the population dynamics of the invasive species with a given level of monitoring effort allow managers to quantify the probability that eradication has successfully been achieved.

An Arctic gift-wrapped in plastic?

Let’s hope not. But—. All of us who’ve traveled long and far have seen the amount of plastic on beaches increase incredibly in our lifetime. And it isn’t slowing anytime soon. The worst plastic accumulations I’ve seen are in the tropics, near where most of the people are. A lot of it comes to the…

Spectacularity—While it lasts

The high Arctic is—well, it’s cold. It’s the Arctic after all. And we are very far north. Far north of Iceland, way up at 78º N and way north of Norway, in the waters around an astonishing group of rock-and-ice islands known as Svalbard. Greenpeace has invited me to join them for a while on…

Abyssinian Owl Remains Elusive Amidst Beauty and Hardship on Mt Kenya

Mount Kenya is equal parts beautiful and brutal.  Amidst the moorlands, Lobelias rise like skyscrapers, and lacking competition from the other odd-ball assortment of plants in this “Planet of the Apes” landscape, they protrude like beacons marking your slow progress one agonizing step at a time. At nearly 12,000 ft (3650 m), the only things…

The Safina Center celebrates World Oceans Day

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Oceans are essential to life on Earth: They cover more than two-thirds of the planet and contain 97 percent of its water. They absorb carbon from the atmosphere, helping regulate our climate. They provide humans with food and transportation routes for trade and travel. And best of all, they’re filled with…

Why Protecting Canada’s Boreal Forest is This Century’s Great Conservation Idea

A hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty helped shape North America’s conservation ethic. Today, new initiatives in Canada offer hope for a sound environmental future. Historians would not consider 1916 a good year for the planet. The largest war the world had ever seen was raging in Europe, with millions of people killed and…