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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.

Swimming 130 Miles to New York City to Prove Importance of Healthy Rivers

Clean Water Advocate and New York Native Christopher Swain has already swum the entire lengths of the Hudson River, the Gowanus Canal, and Newtown Creek. Now the 48-year-old father of two plans to swim more than 130 miles from the easternmost tip of Long Island, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  His route includes the entire lengths of…

Environmental Forensics: Drones and Advanced Technologies to Track Eco-criminals

Professor Massimiliano Lega has a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, and is currently a professor on the Environmental Engineering themes and director of the Environmental Engineering Forensic Lab at the University of Naples Parthenope – Italy. He is also an Associate Researcher on the Italian National Research Council (CNR), President of Technical/Scientific Advisory Committee of Campania Sea/Coasts Observatory and Technical Consultant for several Italian Government Bodies/Agencies. In this introductory post for Voices he talks about his work and his recent meetings and discussions with research collaborators at U.S. institutions.

Barbary Macaques Could Gain Protection from Pet Trade

The barbary macaque is the most frequently seized, live, CITES-listed mammal in the European Union. Ever heard of it? It’s a monkey found in Gibraltar and the northern African countries of Morocco and Algeria—the only primate (besides humans) that lives north of the Sahara and the only macaque found outside of Asia. Here at CITES…

Fighting Wildlife Crime: Communities Work to Turn Away Poachers (Video)

Every single living organism on Earth has a role to play for the ecosystem to be balanced, says Fominyam Njoh Christopher, Conservator for Kimbi-Fungom National Park, Cameroon.

A challange for the new national park in the West African country is to find ways “through [a] participatory approach” to win the support and cooperation of the people who live in the villages around the park. “We try to win them on our side, get their confidence, ask them to collaborate with us, and make them understand the benefit of having that wildlife in there,” he explains in this video.

Biotherm & Mission Blue to Collaborate on Hope Spot Expedition in Balearic Islands

Since 2012, Biotherm Water Lovers has donated more than €700,000 toward furthering the protection of Mission Blue Hope Spots Today Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue Expedition Team join French luxury skincare company Biotherm in Mallorca, Spain to highlight their partnership and announce an upcoming joint expedition to the Balearic Islands Hope Spot. Since…

Surveying Canopy Wildlife: A Brief Look at Looking Up

There is more to come in the way of introductions, but here is a quick first look at my project, Looking Up: A Canopy Wildlife Expedition. Throughout the year, I’ll be conducting wildlife surveys in forest canopies of Malaysia and Ecuador. As a scientist, I’m excited to expand my work to new research sites. Camera trapping…

Shark Fins on Display at CITES

Shark fins and gill plates of devil and manta rays are both hot commodities on the international black market. In Asia some people use the fins to make soup, considered a delicacy. The gill plates, which help the rays filter plankton from the water, are dried and used in traditional medicine. The Pew Charitable Trusts, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, has a booth at this year’s meeting in Johannesburg of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), where they showcase real fins and gill plates from various species and explain the differences between them.

New Elephant Estimate Documents Major Decline

The International Union for Conservation of Nature released its 2016 African Elephant Status Report this morning, and the results are sobering: Africa has approximately 415,000 elephants, a net decline of more than 110,000 from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2015.

Islanders Trying To Save Ancestors’ Eternal Resting Place

Residents of North Carolina’s slender, sandy Outer Banks have been wrestling with the sea for centuries. And they know that the sea–the Atlantic Ocean to the east and large sounds to the west–eventually gets its way. About the best they can usually hope for is figuring out a way to accommodate the inevitable. Sometimes, however,…

World Wildlife Convention Kicks Off in Johannesburg

One of the world’s most important conservation events kicked off today in Johannesburg, South Africa—the triennial meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), the international treaty that regulates the wildlife trade. Every three years CITES representatives meet to vote on proposals to restrict or loosen trade in…

Fighting Wildlife Crime: “Poaching Is Stealing From All of Us” (Video)

“We do get captivated by media, by the attention drawn to other countries, to the big animals that are being slaughtered by poachers. And we do forget that we have the same problems going on in our backyards.” Those are the words of Shelley Hammonds, Regional Law Enforcement Coordinator, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, spoken in this video interview.

California bans orca breeding and entertainment, SeaWorld feels the bite of public opinion

A new law passed in California supports the idea that the captivity of orcas and other cetaceans is abusive and unnecessary.

Fighting Wildlife Crime: Rangers Face Serious Dangers (Video)

There are many challenges rangers face, says Fyson Suwedi, in this video. A Senior Assistant Parks and Wildlife Officer in Malawi’s Lengwe National Park, he should know. “Poachers look at rangers as obstacles. They can do anything to make sure they get what they want. They can kill the rangers,” he says. The video is part of a series featuring voices of those fighting against organized wildlife crime.

Emerging Explorer Manu Prakash Receives MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’

Manu Prakash, a physical biologist applying his expertise in soft-matter physics to illuminate often easy to observe but hard to explain phenomena in biological and physical contexts and to invent solutions to difficult problems in global health, science education, and ecological surveillance, is one of 23 extraordinary individuals named 2016 “Genius Grant” winners, the MacArthur Foundation announced this week. Prakash was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2015. (Read a National Geographic interview with him).