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Million Dollar Sharks

I recently got back from diving in the island nation of Palau and its shark enhanced waters.   That’s right, not shark infested- shark enhanced. Sharks are to Palau what Orcas are to SeaWorld only their shark tank is the Pacific Ocean that they’re free to roam in. An economic analysis carried out by the Australian…

Elephants Are Social, Like Humans, and Should Be Treated That Way, Expert Urges

When a comprehensive study released earlier this month showed that social bonding and enrichment activities were more important than enclosure size to elephants in North American zoos, we wondered what Professor Caitlin O’Connell would have to say about the research. One of the foremost authorities on social behavior of elephants in the wild, O’Connell, a National Geographic grantee, has written half a dozen books on this subject.

Cryptic Cannibals: Sea Slugs in the Bahamas

The following is a blog post by Carolyn Belak, sea slug enthusiast and scientific aid at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Andy Kough, postdoctoral research associate at Shedd Aquarium. When one thinks of the Bahamas, they probably picture miles of white sandy beaches, dolphins dancing through crystal blue waters and colorful fish…

Justice for Elephants in Kenya: Ivory Smuggler Jailed for 20 Years

Feisal Mohamed Ali, described by the Kenya Wildlife Service as an ivory smuggling kingpin, has been jailed for 20 years and fined U.S. $200,000 (Ksh20 million) for illegal dealing in, and being in possession of, ivory. Four co-accused and Fuji Motor company were acquitted in the case adjudicated in Mombasa, last Friday, KWS said in a statement on its website. “The guilty…

Palmetto Pipeline: An Eminent Problem

I hop off the boat into a horde of red-white-and-blue-clad 4th of July revelers. Looking back at the mighty Savannah River, I see a half dozen children playing in the water, with two sets of alligator eyeballs cresting the water thirty feet or so beyond. “What’s going on here,” I ask Tonya, my guide and…

Two Arizona Vineyards Give Back to a River through a Voluntary Water Exchange

In an effort to stem the depletion of groundwater and keep Arizona’s prized Verde River flowing, two vineyards are buying water credits through a new exchange designed to balance the basin’s water use for the good of the river and the local economy. Launched last week by the not-for-profit Friends of Verde River Greenway, the…

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…

An update from Woods Hole Science Aquarium: I’m halfway through my internship, and it’s been awesome!

By Jessica Perelman It has been five weeks since I began working as a NOAA intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA), and what an amazing experience it has been! As I expected, this summer is presenting me with every opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, interact with aquarium visitors, and discover all that…

Survey, Party Platforms Reveal Deep Divide on Climate Change

In March, the Guardian issued an election-related call-out to online readers in the United States, asking them to identify the “one issue that affects your life you wish the presidential candidates were discussing more.” The results are in. Of the 1,385 respondents from all 50 states, one in five expressed discontent about lack of discussion…

Ecosystems Cannot Be Managed Without Consensus on Human Impact, Scientists Warn

Distinguished environmental researchers, including National Geographic scientist Stuart Pimm, warn that ambiguity and lack of consensus among policy makers about the meaning of fundamental terms used to describe and measure human impacts on the planet could have disastrous consequences for management of the world’s ecosystems.

Deep Sea Mining: An Invisible Land Grab

Thousands of meters beneath the azure ocean waters in places like the South Pacific, down through a water column saturated with life and to the ocean floor carpeted in undiscovered ecosystems, machines the size of small buildings are poised to begin a campaign of wholesale destruction. I wish this assessment was hyperbole, but it is the reality we find ourselves in today.

Water, Wildlife and Hope: Rejuvenating a Kogi Sacred Site

After years of planning, designing, acquiring materials, developing infrastructure, laying and burying 1,200 meters of pipe, and testing water quality and functionality, the seemingly impossible was achieved: for Colombia’s Kogi people, and their related tribes who rely on Jaba Tañiwashkaka, a historically sacred site, an aqueduct that provides access to water for crop irrigation and potable water for consumption is now in place. And thanks to a determined site restoration effort, alligators, nutria, and capybara are only a few of the animals now seen in a wetland previously largely devoid of wildlife.

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—Despite what we’ve learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

Shipwreck Hunter Unearths Lost History and Treasures: #bestjobever

It’s not often you see “shipwreck hunter” listed on someone’s business card or résumé, but that is indeed National Geographic grantee David Mearns’s career choice. For him, unearthing lost history and recovering centuries-old treasures is just another day at the office—or ocean, rather.

How Hundreds of Elephants Are Being Relocated Across Malawi

In one of the largest undertakings of its kind, Malawi is moving 500 elephants from parks on one end of the small central African country to a sanctuary on the other end. This infographic shows how they are trying to do it.