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Process for Establishing Future Ivory Trade Rejected at CITES Conference

For the last nine years, CITES parties have been negotiating a “decision-making mechanism,” (DMM), which would establish a process for a future trade in ivory. Today, the parties of CITES voted to end the long-running discussion.

Animal Experts Travel to South Africa in Collaborative Effort to Save a Declining Species

By Kylene Plemons and Mike McClure There has been a steady decline of African penguins since the late 1950s when there were around 300,000 individuals in South Africa. In 2001, there were over 100,000 individuals and recently it has been estimated that there are less than 50,000 penguins left in that region. Scientists project an…

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.

Communities Seek Innovative Ways to Contain Elephants in Greater Kruger Park   

As night falls on the Greater Kruger conservation area in northeast South Africa, adventurous elephants investigate the edge of the lengthy fence that holds them out of neighboring croplands. Cleverly and meticulously they probe for weaknesses in the barrier and work their way out. Moving through rugged and unfamiliar territory, they quickly happen upon the R40, a busy arterial road where they encounter speeding traffic, unsuspecting motorists — and the potential threat of serious injury to people and elephants.

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…

Homo naledi: 1,500 Fossils Revolutionize Human Family Tree

Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that scientists have named “Homo naledi.”

Cat Out of the Bag: Trophy Hunting Fuels African Lion Bone Trade in Asia

In the first full research report of its kind, the trophy hunting industry in South Africa has been exposed as the main source of Asia’s rapidly expanding lion bone trade. The implications are that thousands of lions are being raised in South Africa to shot in cages, stoking a market for lion bone medicine that ultimately threatens the last 2,300 wild lions in the country.

Ten Photos of Great White Sharks to Take Your Breath Away

Photographing and watching great white sharks for more than 20 years gives Chris and Monique Fallows front row seats on the amazing behavior, interactions, and secrets of these formidable predators that few people see. In this post they select ten of their favorite photos of great whites of the past two decades, describing the electric moment when each one was made, when all the conditions for a great picture came together as determined predator burst from the water in a violent chase of their agile prey.

South Africans Unite Around Hope Spots

While 12 percent of the land on Earth is protected, less than 3% of the ocean has meaningful protection from fishing, pollution and resource extraction. Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of global initiative Mission Blue, visited South Africa last month in a whirlwind tour of that ravishing marine environment to help generate community support for more…