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Salamanders Are Pretty Awesome…But They may Be in big Trouble

By Doug Parsons, North America Policy Director, Society for Conservation Biology

On recent visit with my two young sons to the National Zoo here in Washington, D.C., I pleaded with them to make a quick detour to look at the pandas. My 11-year-old scoffed, and made a beeline for the Blink and you Miss It exhibit for the Japanese giant salamanders. Slimy, small and cold-blooded as they are, salamanders don’t always evoke the same “warm and fuzzy” response from many zoo-goers as the larger and more charismatic mammal species.

Can Mozambique’s Hidden World—And Its Creatures—Be Saved?

We finish our expedition to Mozambique’s sky islands focused heavily on whether remaining fragments of forest can be conserved. I had expected to find new species and see beautiful forests, but I had not expected the destruction—or my poignant reaction to it.

Lions Confiscated From German Circus Start new Life in African Sanctuary

Maggie and Sonja, two lionesses seized from a circus in Germany, are settling into their new home in South Africa, “where they’ll have a second chance to live out their days in a nurturing and natural environment” at the Born Free Foundation’s Big Cat Rescue and Education Centre at Shamwari Game Reserve, the conservation charity Born Free USA said in a news statement today.

Obama Tackles Climate Change in State of the Union Address

“No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate,” he said, “and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans,…

Get Involved to Protect the African Lion

It is estimated that there are approximately 35,000 wild lions in Africa. This is a large decline in the total population since last estimates in 1980 of about 76,000. The decline is largely due to habitat loss, loss of prey base, and increased human-lion contact. (Related post: Lion Numbers Plunge as African Wilderness Succumbs to…

Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Otter Rock

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand Part 1   Part 2   Part 3 We walk on the ocean floor in Otter Rock Marine Reserve, and we may as well be underwater, the air is so thick with mist. The low tide has exposed a glinting stage of seaweed full of clefts and holes. The…

VIDEO: Young Women Rising to Save Lions in Mozambique

Celina Dias and Domingas Aleixo – featured in the newly released film-short by the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation (EOWBF) – were both born and raised in Villa da Gorongosa, the largest village in the park’s surrounding buffer-zone. Recruited to Projecto Leões da Gorongosa in 2013, they represent the first women from Gorongosa to ever be employed on a Park science project and the first Mozambican women to work directly with lions in the wild, to study and conserve them.

Terrified Baby Impala Becomes Young Cheetahs’ First Hunting Lesson

Professional guide and lodge owner Mikey Carr-Hartly was on safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara, when he witnessed a remarkable encounter between a cheetah family and a young impala. “We were in an area of the southern Mara called Majani ya Chai, not far from Sala’s Camp,” said Mikey. “It’s the ideal habitat for cheetah because…

Pictures: Whale Bone Memorials, by Nature and Humans

In the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), once a major location for whaling, whale bones are all around, layered with history and meaning, and silently communicating their tales.

10 Things I learned at the 2015 National Geographic Seminar

Every year, photographers, editors, storytellers, filmmakers and world travelers gather at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington. Along with the long-awaited annual seminar, National Geographic Creative convenes all its members and the Magazine presents “Works in Progress.” Meetings, dinners, hugs, stories and smiles are shared by the photo community. “As journalists, our worlds can be…

Starting the Search for Underwater Giants in the Solomon Sea

Landing at Gizo Harbour, it was clear to see that we’d picked an ideal venue for our research. The visibility in the aquamarine waters was greater than anywhere we’d ever been scuba diving—it took all of our willpower to keep ourselves from diving right in.

OPINION: Slick “Hunter Proud” Video Uses Bad Ecology to Promote Elephant Culling, Trophy Hunting, and Ivory Trading

By Phyllis Lee, Keith Lindsay, and Katarzyna Nowak

The Elephant and the Pauper: The Ivory Debacle is a recently released 50-minute video by the Hunter Proud Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable public foundation and lobbying organization based in Houston, Texas.

The video was circulated in the first half of January 2015 to members of the IUCN Specialist Groups and to CITES membership, with the specific aim of lobbying for hunting and consumptive use of African wildlife.

The film—whose proposals for gaining revenue from ivory and sport hunting come at a time of unprecedented poaching and killing of elephants across their range, including in Zimbabwe—is risky to the point of irresponsibility.

Flying Over After a Hurricane

Soon after Hurricane Odile roared through Cabo San Lucas and the far end of Baja California with 120 mile-per-hour winds, LightHawk was in the air to document the extensive wind and flood damage left by the Category 3 storm. LightHawk’s Mesoamerica program manager Armando J. Ubeda worked to bring the expedition together quickly. National Geographic…

Don’t Call Them Spiders: A Closer Look at Tiny Harvestmen

It won’t be quick or easy to piece together the histories of these Pacific islands and their faunas, but seeing these animals, certain hypotheses come to mind.

The 2015 Fish 2.0 Competition: A Chance for Seafood Businesses to Build on Investor Interest

Three years ago, when I first started asking investors why they didn’t put more money into seafood ventures, many told me that there just weren’t enough strong businesses out there to warrant the time and energy of adding seafood to their portfolios. At the same time, seafood businesses complained that there were not enough interested…