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Category archives for Biodiversity

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

The Value of Tiny Islands

Tiny rock stacks around the world have critical value for conservation but are often neglected. Yesterday I visited a number of such small rock stacks in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf to check on their status.

Dodging a Heavy Bough, Fleeing Angry Wasps — Another day in Yasuni Rain Forest

I have now reached the final push in deploying cameras in the canopy. I’m sitting at in the library of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station near Yasuní National Park after placing cameras in six Ficus trees spread across the trails near the research facility. I’ve also got cameras running at the Yasuní Research Station, two hours up the river, where I’ll return to set up a few more cameras later this week.

The past few days have involved a lot of climbing, most of which has been in trees I had never climbed before. The canopy habitat is dynamic, changing frequently as storms weaken structures and animals move in and out of their homes. Because of this, even on familiar trees, every climb is new to some extent, but I tend to find the first ascent of a new tree holds the most surprises, delightful or otherwise.

Saving Endangered Species and Our Planet

By Brian Sheth Conservation has always been a major part of my life. Growing up I revered leaders like famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and conservationist Jane Goodall, and I dreamed of becoming a marine biologist one day. Some of my fondest memories are of exploring the forests of New England with my childhood friend, Wes…

So You Want to Fly Drones for Conservation?

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. In the recent past, drones have exploded into the public eye. A subject of constant controversy, they summon debates about personal privacy, the dynamics of political…

Te Araroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

1Frame4Nature | The Search for Lost Species

In early 2010 I pulled together a poster of the ten “Most Wanted” amphibians that led to a global search for frogs and salamanders lost to science. A little battle-weary from the unabated extinction of frogs and their kin, and seeking hope in the face of despair, I was buoyed by the improbable reappearance in Costa Rica of the Variable Harlequin Frog and inspired to wonder: what else might be out there?

Scientists Successfully Collar Three More Wild Snow Leopards in Mongolia

Post submitted by Matthias Fiechter.  GPS collars will allow Snow Leopard Trust researchers to better understand the elusive species. In a remarkably successful expedition, three more snow leopards have been equipped with GPS collars in the Tost Nature Reserve in Mongolia’s South Gobi province this April. Two of them are male, and one is female. They’re…

The Report Is In: 30 Percent of Shops in Nine Countries Include Endangered Turtleshell Gifts

After a three-month survey across 600 souvenir shops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and Colombia, researchers from 12 conservation organizations discovered that 30 percent of the establishments sold products made from endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Gifts ranged from $1 bracelets and rings to $200 for an intricate comb. Of the…

Are we coming or going? Stakeholder engagement in the four corners

Post submitted by Lise Hanssen, Project Coordinator of Kwando Carnivore Project If there was checklist for setting up a lion conflict mitigation project in rural Namibia (or anywhere else I would imagine), first on the list would be engaging with the affected community.  In the case of the Chobe floodplains, this means seven conservancies with…

Resource Extraction and American Indians: The Invisible History of America

The recent American Indian protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging resource extraction, encouraged me to reach out to my American Indian friends.  The blood of the Cherokee Nation flows in the veins of my own family members.  I wanted to draw out their stories and to report on…

Exploring the use of five types of puma vocalizations

Post submitted by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin Communication is an important component of animal behavior, but is difficult to study in the wild. This is especially true for cryptic wildlife species, such as carnivores, that are difficult to observe. Recent advances in the technology of motion-triggered video cameras now enable researchers to remotely…

The Lion and the Cow: Conservation, Pastoralism, and Conflict

The recurring thought of lions and cows keeps interrupting my focus on a humid evening as I sit down to dinner outside a small hotel overlooking the din of downtown Kampala. I’m conversing with a Dodoth gentleman of the Karamojong tribe in the northeastern region of Uganda—a place with little infrastructure and an abundance of wildlife. Loupa Pius is a project…

A Win for Both Nature and Fishermen in Mauritius

Last year, the Mauritian government, in partnership with local NGOs and Smartfish, led the first national octopus fishing closure for two months of the year. It went … swimmingly.

Wake Up, This Is Your Kea Alarm

Easter provided an opportunity to hike in the mountainous Southern Alps of New Zealand and to seek out some of the less common birds of New Zealand. We were not disappointed with sightings of some of the endemic residents of the mountains such as rock wren and kea.