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The battle for the survival of the forest elephant can be won

In Gabon’s Minkébé National Park, forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) declined by approximately 80 percent between 2004 and 2014, as reported in a recent publication supported in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Both savanna and forest elephants are declining across most of the African continent driven primarily by Asia’s demand for ivory. What is happening in Minkébé National Park is particularly alarming, as this area was once home to the highest densities of forest elephants in Central Africa and was established as a stronghold and sanctuary for the species. What do these findings tell us about the future of forest elephants more broadly, and how should we prioritize efforts to save the species? Dr. Richard Ruggiero, chief of the Service’s Division of International Conservation, shares his thoughts.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #80

Hello, and welcome to the 80th edition of “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week”! Since reviving the blog earlier this year we have been overwhelmed by the influx of incredible photo entries we are receiving on the Facebook page. We are thrilled to see that many of the entries are coming from photographers…

Sudan Border Walk: Eagerness to get home prompts very early start to the day

I heard rustling in the leaves around 01h30. Thought maybe it was red river hogs, so got my headlamp ready to spot them. Then I heard the clang of a pot. Somebody is up? Then I heard murmurs, and by 02h00 the campfire was alive with chatter. It was like Christmas morning; the boys were up in anticipation of the return walk. I resisted until they brought me coffee at 03h00, so I got up. What the heck, I thought, I would take advantage of the excitement and get us out of camp before dawn. Everyone was in good spirits, had eaten well the night before, and Felix, even though still acting strange, looked fine. I told them, dudes, it is 60 km further going back than coming, so don’t burst any seams.

Carbon Tax Not on Agenda for Trump

President Donald Trump is not considering a national carbon tax proposal that a group of Republicans discussed in February. A White House official told GreenWire in an e-mail that although the group of Republican leaders visited the White House to discuss their proposal that “the Trump Administration is not considering a carbon tax.” The plan…

Creation of a National Urban Wildlife Monitoring Network Helps Build Wildlife-Friendly Cities

How close do you think you are to wildlife right now? When I ask people that question, they often contemplate how many miles it is to the nearest national park or forest. Closer to home, maybe they think about a nearby park or stream. Sometimes they tell me about that time a deer walked across…

Discovery of breeding area for rare blue-throated macaw raises hopes for survival in the wild

Blue-throated Macaw has been devastated in the past by the illegal pet trade, habitat loss, and feather use for traditional dances, among other threats. Only 250 to 300 of these birds remain in the wild. But the discovery of a new breeding area for the bird in Bolivia is a major step toward ensuring full protection for the species, American Bird Conservancy said.

Living Shoreline Initiatives Aim to Stem Erosion at the GTM NERR

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. A group of scientists attending a Jacksonville-based living shorelines conference, garbed in knee-high wading boots, walked across a mudflat toward a…

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…

When Kids Learn to Raise Bees, the Future Gets Sweeter

In Kisii, beekeeping is not a hobby. It is an important pillar of the community, not just for the valuable honey it produces, but also the role that bees play in the ecosystem—a role whose function and dynamics are keenly felt by everyone in the region.

Finding No ‘Hunter’s Paradise’, Central African Expedition Heads Home

On the trail walking, you have a lot of time to think. That is one reason why I love to walk; just cruise along, keep focused on the visuals and sounds, but also let your mind explore. Today is a sad day, but also always a bit of relief, because we are on our homeward leg. Sad, because we are not penetrating into the unknown any more, but relieved because we are alive, in good shape and every day we will be closer to the Chinko Project HQ.

We have accomplished our objective out here, get as far as you can from human settlement and see if there any remnants of William Stamps Cherry’s world that he saw.

Lack of Staffing, Funds Prevent Marine Protected Areas from Realizing Full Potential

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an increasingly popular strategy for protecting marine biodiversity, but a new global study demonstrates that widespread lack of personnel and funds are preventing MPAs from reaching their full potential. Only 9 percent of MPAs reported having adequate staff.

The findings are published in the journal Nature on March 22.

Fishing Cats Quietly Slink Out of Existence in Southeast Asia

After extensive camera trap surveys in key habitat failed to reveal a single fishing cat in Java, conservationists fear that the unique water-loving feline may be on the verge of extinction in Indonesia, if not already extirpated there. “If the fishing cat is gone from Indonesia, it is following the extinction of the Bali Tiger…

Top 15 STEM Toys for 2017

As parents we many times feel overwhelmed with all the advertisements and options for buying young kids the best presents. How can you find something that will be fun for kids, while helping them grow in educational and productive ways? As the father of a new baby girl, I’ve realized how difficult these questions can…

World Water Day: Six Trends for Optimism

By Brooke Barton Senior Program Director, Water & Food Programs, Ceres More than half a billion people today lack access to clean water, and with climate change, water pollution and booming population growth, pressures on limited water supplies are ratcheting up. Tackling the water crisis can feel like an uphill battle in the United States, with one…

Sudan Border Walk: Return to the South Because of Lack of Water

We hit the destination creek, having left the Douyou on its northward path. Well, it was bone dry. Like the soil had no indication of moisture. We walked about a kilometer of river bed, no joy. We knew we would run out of water at some point. In fact, some water we used this morning had a real high suspended-solution of gunk and mud. Anyway, no sense in moving forward with no water, so we crossed the river and headed east toward the Douyou.