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Tag archives for biodiversity

Exciting New Prospects for Crocodile Conservation in Cuba

By Natalia Rossi

President Obama’s decision to normalize U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba has focused attention on a possible end to the two nations’ long political estrangement. Yet despite the enduring diplomatic impasse, for years many of us in the U.S. conservation community have worked hand in hand with our counterparts in Cuba (with the permission of both governments) to preserve that nation’s globally important biodiversity. That collaboration provides a blueprint for new efforts to secure the protection and management of the most pristine mangrove ecosystems in the entire Caribbean region and the magnificent crocodile species they sustain.

Waking Up with the Wildlife in Kenya

I peel myself out of bed as the sun peeps up over the horizon. The dogs are stirring and the mere mention of a walk puts them into a frenzy. We head out – the dogs’ noses close to the ground following all of the exciting scents to be found on the Kapiti Plains in…

Bee With No Stripes Discovered in Kenya

It has a black head and a bright orange body, and velociraptor-like claws on its hind legs. It lives underground, not in a hive. And it lives by itself, instead of in the huge colonies we’re used to. Here’s the story of the discovery of the world’s newest-known bee. Bee-ing There The hot, dusty bush and deserts…

Is “Extinct” Forever? Central Asia’s Caspian Tiger Traverses the Comeback Trail

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I imagine a tiger. He’ll move through the forest and his days Leaving his traces on the mud banks Of a river whose name he doesn’t know. In his world there are no names or past Or future, only the certainty of now. —Jorge Luis Borges, The Other Tiger In reeds tinged red in the…

Springs: The Canary in a Coal Mine for Groundwater

From Abe Springer: Humans have relied on springs for millennia. Since the beginning of human evolution, populations spanning all seven continents have built entire communities around these sources of water, because they are dependable, plentiful and not as subject to the changes of climate and stream flow.

Lion Conservation is Evolving in Maasai Mara

    The chief sat in the shade on a plastic chair that his wives had brought from inside. He was dressed to go out, with his wooden accoutrements– the herding stick and club that every Maasai man usually carries – were laid across his knees. His truck’s engine was running on the other side…

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.

Galápagos Tourism Backfires

A squabble over tourism dollars has escalated into a dire threat to the islands’ renowned Charles Darwin Research Station. Rampant tourism growth without adequate management now endangers scientific conservation work—the very work that helps protect the creatures tourists want to see.

The Next New Species Could be in Your Backyard: Why Exploration and Discovery Matter – Everywhere

Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D. Chief Scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science Chicago Botanic Garden When we think about discovering new species, we tend to envision tropical rainforests, remote deserts or lofty mountain peaks. But researchers, including myself, are taking a closer look at the landscapes right under our noses – in my case,…

Food Species Top the Latest Additions to The IUCN Red List

The IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia saw the release of the latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ in front of a global audience of protected area professionals, conservationists, government representatives, and business leaders. These leaders consistently agreed that survival of many species depends on the conscious interaction between our…

A Massive New Marine Protected Area Network in Gabon

By John Robinson

The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans. The President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres). The network – encompassing about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) – will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the nation’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. As the President noted in his speech, this puts Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” This is a massive increase from the 1 percent of marine area currently protected by Gabon.

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Life in the Great Barrier Reef

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation conducts scientific surveys on coral reefs around the world to determine the health and resilience of the reef. The primary scientific goals of the Expeditions are to map and characterize coral reef ecosystems, identify their current status and major threats, and examine factors that enhance their ability to resist, survive and recover from major disturbance events like bleaching, cyclone damage, or Crown of Thorns outbreaks. iLCP Fellow Jürgen Freund documents an expedition to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef.

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #21

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau A good friend once told me that wildlife photography makes him sad. He explained that when he sees images of the wild creatures and unspoiled places his heart aches too deeply at the thought of what he perceives to be…

Rivers Need a Thorough Health Exam

Rivers are the blue arteries of the Earth. Their flows deliver sediment and nutrients to floodplains, deltas and coastal zones, some of the most biologically productive ecosystems on the planet.  They connect and sustain the web of life. So it might be surprising that globally we don’t systematically monitor their health.  Imagine damming and diverting…