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Category archives for Science

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…

Lessons on Fish Migration Crucial for Protecting Communities, Livelihoods and Food

By Giulio Boccaletti, Global Managing Director for Water at The Nature Conservancy and Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy One day in 2014 a female eel set off from Nova Scotia on a long and hazardous journey to her spawning grounds. This was no ordinary eel.  Scientists had released her with…

Lust for Loot: Collecting Is Driving the Demand for Plunder

Looting in Egypt doubled in 2009-2010, on the heels of global recession, then doubled again following the Arab Spring. It’s a powerful source of income in times of stress, but it only pays because people will buy.

Searching for the Pure Life in Paradise

Costa Rica is one of the world’s most eco-conscious countries, but it still has issues to deal with. How well can it live up to its motto of supporting a “Pura Vida”?

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…

Solar Power: A Winter Journey

Solar power has long been touted as an answer to the energy needs of rural communities living off-grid across the developing world. Over recent years the technology has advanced rapidly in terms of efficiency and price, finally making it a genuinely viable option, at household level at least. For the very same reasons – including a…

Journey Into Te Bangabanga: The Sacred Caves of Banaba Island

The morning was still dark when the young men arrived with their machetes and flashlights. We were on one of the most remote islands in the world, about to venture into an underground network of sacred caves known as te bangabanga. The land below the surface of Banaba, a Pacific island nearly 200 miles from…

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…

The Beginning of the End: Endangered Invasive Mice

Mice have been on Antipodes Island for a century now, but this month marks the beginning of the end for them. 65 tonnes of bait will be shortly transported to the island for the eradication five years in planning to commence.

Plastic: The big breakup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My dog Foosa and I step onto the beach, and in the first few steps I find—as usual—something made of plastic. This beach is strewn with everything from fiberglass buoys to crumbling Styrofoam cups to poorly disposed “disposable” lighters to plastic bags (use once, throw away, except that “away” is here).…

Challenging conventional wisdom in social innovation

There are no shortage of books on social entrepreneurship and innovation, but are they the books young people need? Do we have the right balance between theory and practice, or mechanics and motivation? Whose voice is dominant? What’s wrong with many of the current books on offer that drove me to publish two of my own? Well,…

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…

Lake Suwa’s Shinto Legend and the Oldest Lake Ice Record on Earth: What It Tells Us About Climate Change and Variability

By Lisa Borre Shinto priests observing an ancient legend recorded ice freeze dates on Lake Suwa in Japan starting in the 15th Century. On the other side of the world, a local merchant began a tradition of recording ice thaw events on the Torne River in Finland in the 17th century. Both traditions continue to…

Celebrate DNA Day with Genographic! Join, Search and Learn

Join us at National Geographic in wishing every past, current, and future Genographic Project participant a Happy DNA Day! Sixty-three years ago today a ground-breaking paper was published that introduced us to the double helix and revealed the structure of DNA, catapulting forward the field of genetics. The scientific world never looked back. Eleven years…