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Citizen scientists give NPS 100,000+ biodiversity records for 100th birthday

Today, the U.S. National Park Service turns 100 years old. The National Park Service has been celebrating all year by organizing over 100 BioBlitzes to document the species living in our national parks, recreation areas, monuments, and historic sites. In addition to the BioBlitzes, NPS has been working with iNaturalist to keep track of biodiversity…

Transforming Conservation in China with ‘Land Trust Reserves’

By Charles Bedford, The Nature Conservancy’s Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific Region, and Dr. Jin Tong, The Nature Conservancy’s Science Director, China Program In 2012 in China, the 27,325-acre Laohegou Land Trust Reserve, was designed to link several existing reserves in Sichuan’s Pingwu County—home to golden snub-nosed monkeys, Asian golden cats and the highest density of endangered…

Woods Hole Science Aquarium update: One internship ending, new doors opening

By Jessica Perelman Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in biological sciences. She will attend veterinary school next year and plans to pursue a career in wildlife and conservation veterinary medicine. When I first stepped through the doors at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium ten weeks ago, I…

How do humpback whales locate food? Scientists need your help to find out

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Interested in supporting scientists who study how whales use their ears to find food in the noisy New York Harbor? If so, read on. When sharks want something to snack on, they rely on their excellent sense of smell. When swordfish want a meal, they use their eyes. When dolphins need…

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration by 43 scientists and conservationists calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

Cecil the Lion one Year on: An Interview with Cecil’s Researcher

A year ago, a male lion called Cecil was killed in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, by an American trophy hunter. Cecil’s death caused uproar around the world and shone a much-needed light on the decline and vulnerability of the African lion population; today, there may be no more than 20,000 remaining in the wild. To…

Not the last polar bear

We’re up in the high Arctic, in Svalbard. I’m a guest for a few days on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. (It’s a bit of a misnomer at this time of year because the sun never sets, so—to paraphrase Hemingway—the sun also never rises.) As we are slowly leaving Isfjorden (Icy Fjords) 78º N and…

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

Free at last: National Aquarium’s sea change on dolphin policy

By Erica Cirino and Carl Safina If you’re ever visiting the National Aquarium in Baltimore, you must stop by Dolphin Discovery, according to aquarium staff. It’s an exhibit reminiscent of an Olympic swimming stadium: A large pool surrounded by bleacher seating for hundreds of onlookers, located inside a towering glass-walled building. Inside the glass-and-concrete swimming…

Big Black Bears Celebrated in Big Way in Washington County, North Carolina

On a recent spring morning, photographer Doward Jones and a friend were looking for photo opportunities in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Plymouth, North Carolina. As they cruised through the refuge in an SUV, they spotted a black bear helping himself to wheat in a farmer’s field. The young male bear was enjoying…

When Pets Invade: Protecting Wildlife in the Galapagos

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. This blog entry spotlights some of the exciting work our grantees are doing with support from the LEX-NG Fund. Raise your hand if you’ve ever…

The Safina Center celebrates World Oceans Day

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Oceans are essential to life on Earth: They cover more than two-thirds of the planet and contain 97 percent of its water. They absorb carbon from the atmosphere, helping regulate our climate. They provide humans with food and transportation routes for trade and travel. And best of all, they’re filled with…

Why Protecting Canada’s Boreal Forest is This Century’s Great Conservation Idea

A hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty helped shape North America’s conservation ethic. Today, new initiatives in Canada offer hope for a sound environmental future. Historians would not consider 1916 a good year for the planet. The largest war the world had ever seen was raging in Europe, with millions of people killed and…

The unseen significance of whales

Co-authored by Jessica Perelman Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in biological sciences. She will be attending veterinary school next year and plans to pursue a career in wildlife and conservation veterinary medicine. When the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, the initial…

Killer whales pursuing a dolphin off Central California

By Jodi Frediani, with intro by Carl Safina Killer whales are astonishing creatures, extreme by every measure. I (Carl) wrote extensively about them in my recent book Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. Several non-interbreeding “types” which are actually different species exist (though these are not yet formally recognized with different Latin names). And…