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The Lesson of Niue: Conservation Relies on Traditional Knowledge

Photos and text: Jon Betz It was a strange thing to wake up this morning on land. It’s easy to get used to the creaks and gentle rocking motion of ship life. In its place today I woke up to an awkward chorus of roosters at 4am. Quite a difference, and it gave me pause…

The Expedition to Niue Sets Sail

The waters surrounding the world’s largest raised coral atoll are about to get their biggest close-up yet.

Uniting Against Organized Wildlife Crime

Law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and business leaders gathered from across the world in Washington this week to share information and expertise and organize a concerted strategy to combat the global scourge of wildlife trafficking.

The unprecedented collaboration was heralded at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters on Tuesday, at an event held against the backdrop of recent news of a catastrophic plunge in the last wild populations of African elephants and other species. The meeting also set the stage for CITES CoP17, a conference in Johannesburg at the end of this month that will bring more than a hundred governments together to review the planet’s biggest wildlife challenges and opportunities.

An Ocean Perspective for a Planet at the Crossroads

A conversation between Ocean Conservancy’s CEO Andreas Merkl and Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and navigator of the iconic Hōkūle‘a, as Hawaiʻi hosts the IUCN World Conservation Congress. With a shared passion for our ocean, Merkl (@AndreasMerkl) and Thompson spoke about experiencing unparalleled beauty on the water, the plague of plastic pollution…

Face-to-Face With Wildlife in Florida’s Hidden Wilderness: #bestjobever

Encounters with massive alligator gars, manatees, and rattlesnakes are all par for the course when National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward embarks on a 1,000 mile, 70 day trek to protect Florida’s hidden wilderness.

Let’s Put Teeth Into Protecting Great Whites, Before We Lose Them Forever

A highly publicized study undertaken by environmental researchers, shark scientists and an ecotourism operation in South Africa has brought the plight of the ocean’s most famous shark, the “Great White,” to the fore. Previously it was thought that over a thousand great white sharks were to be found along the South African coastline, widely regarded…

Engaging Learners From Afar with Shedd Aquarium’s Iguana Field Research

The following is a blog post by Jackie Formoso, Manager of Learning Programs at Shedd Aquarium, about her experience co-leading Shedd’s research on Bahamian rock iguanas in the Exuma Islands. As part of Shedd Aquarium’s ongoing commitment to preserving wildlife for future generations, we have a team of scientists who are working hard to study endangered species,…

Colombia’s Former Guerrillas Need New Jobs. Why Not in Conservation?

Painted flowers of pink and blue grace the nails of two slender hands posed on the trigger and barrel of an assault weapon. Behind the weapon, a hot pink t-shirt serves as backdrop. There is nothing else in the frame. From the moment that I saw this photo last month in The California Sunday Magazine,…

Conch-quest to the Bahamas to Study Vital Local Fishery

The following is a blog post by Dr. Andy Kough, post-doctoral research associate at Shedd Aquarium, about his recent research trip to the Bahamas to study queen conch populations. At the beginning of June, my colleagues at Shedd Aquarium and I completed five weeks of intensive fieldwork to assess queen conch populations within Marine Protected Areas…

Journey Through the Largest Cave in the World

Sơn Đoòng Cave—the largest in the world—wasn’t discovered until 2009. Now, National Geographic grantee and photojournalist Martin Edström, takes us deep inside Sơn Đoòng, as he tries to capture its overwhelming size and beauty in 360 degrees.

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…

Submarine Diving in Deep-Sea Galápagos: #bestjobever

What’s it like to submarine dive a thousand feet underwater to an unexplored region of the Galápagos Islands? Marine conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jessica Cramp takes us on a journey to find out.

Tagging Adorable, Nasty Little Penguins: #bestjobever

The world has had a love affair with penguins for some time now. Their tuxedo-colored feathers, waddling walk, and awkward mannerisms make them easy to adore. But get too close to penguins—chinstrap penguins in particular—and your endearing perception of these birds may be tested, given their penchant for projectile pooping and beating each other up.

Weaving Science With Storytelling on the American Prairie Reserve

Standing in the lee of some hills as other more industrious crew members retrieve data from a wildlife trapping camera, I wonder if the coyotes are howling today for the pronghorn that ducked under the fence not a few miles back. This hole in my knowledge—why do coyotes howl and for whom?—tugs a little at my anxious heart.

So you live near a coral reef: Why experts say that’s not good news for reef conservation

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My favorite beach on Long Island’s North Shore, where I live, is more than 700 miles away from the nearest coral reef (in Bermuda). This distance may be a good thing: Recent research suggests the further a coral reef is from human civilization, the better. (To get close from far away,…