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Wildlife Trafficking: Beyond Elephants and Ivory

By Susan Lieberman

In the wildlife trafficking policy debate in the U.S., the majority of attention to date has been on elephant ivory and rhino horn from Africa. However, elephants and rhinos are not the only species threatened by illegal international trade. Numerous other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and others are also subject to trafficking, and they too need increased attention and political and financial support. In testimony I submitted to a meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, I detailed some of the species whose illegal trade is under the radar, but still are suffering the effects of wildlife trafficking.

Thank Goodness for Guano

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A law originally intended to promote mining on remote islands has become the key to protecting the waters around them, and it all comes down to the stuff you try to keep of your newly washed car.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: What Happens If You Swallow a Spider?

What would happen if you swallowed a poisonous spider? How many birds do you need for a flock? Read this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

4 Videos: Threatened Birds Face Polar Bears, Poop-Sniffing Reporters

The ultimate “canaries in the coal mine,” these threatened birds are giving researchers clues to the kind of world we could lose if climate change ranges unchecked. Watch as these feathered dynamos strut, dance, and sway.

Arctic Svalbard: A Summer Paradise for Birds

Svalbard is one of the world’s great wild places to see birds. Millions of them trek to the archipelago in summer for the abundance of food, and to breed and raise their young in relative safety.

5 Countries Putting All Their Money on Species

Nations throughout Africa have The Big Five (the little five too), Australia has Koalas and Kangaroos, the United States has the Bald Eagle, and Canada has the noble Beaver. Every corner of the world has its species that help to define cultures, geographies, and national identity. However, these five nations have taken their pride in…

August 3, 2014 Radio Show: Paragliding at 18,000 Feet Above the Earth, Swimming 213 Feet Below the Ocean Without Air And More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dive 207 feet under the ocean by holding our breath, fight off an aggressive cheetah in Tanzania, measure our feet to find out why a foot is a foot long, use spark plugs as currency in Cuba, travel by parachute for 40 miles at 16,000 feet, spy on polar bears in Norway, colonize the Arctic with North America’s earliest European visitors, and get taken hostage by rebels in a Himalayan valley.

Are Crows Smarter Than Children?

One clever young bird solved a problem that has stumped six-year-old children, according to a new study.

Dead and Lost Boobies: Harbingers of a Growing El Niño?

Starving seabirds far from home may point to a brewing El Nino in the Pacific.

Q&A: Inside the Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking in Brazil

Conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferriera talks about her work to halt illegal wildlife trade in Brazil, which affects nearly 40 million animals each year.

Plant Blasts Birds With Pollen Using “Bellows”

A rain forest plant baits birds with puffy treats, then blasts any takers with pollen—a unique discovery, a new study says.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Animal Nests Explained

What do spiders have to do with hummingbird nests? Why don’t we ever see crows’ nests? Learn more in this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Conservation Success for Threatened Species

With all the news of threats to biodiversity and species out there, sometimes it’s tough to remember that conservation succeeds. In 2013, fifteen species had their conservation status genuinely downgraded to lower threat categories on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This means that there was sufficient evidence that their populations were increasing and…

Saving a Darwin’s Finch from Extinction

By Dr. Sarah Knutie The fate of many bird species is uncertain. Those the authorities classify as “critically endangered” especially so. Only exceptional conservation measures can save them. While habitat destruction is a major cause of extinction, introduced species are a most serious threat—and one that we are usually completely helpless to control. One of…

Why Do Barn Owls Divorce?

These normally monogamous birds sometimes call it quits and move on to new partners—nearly a quarter of the time, a new study says.