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African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the world,” says ecologist Craig Packer, National Geographic Explorer and Expeditions Council grantee, and director of the University of Minnesota Lion Center. In the face of habitat loss and…

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

International #TigerDay: Cause for Celebration or Alarm?

By Gabriel Fava, Born Free Foundation

Today, the 29th of July, is International Tiger Day (#TigerDay). Does the day represent a cause for celebration, alarm, or both?

It Takes a Village for Effective Conservation Projects: Insights from the Urban Caracal Project

By Laurel Serieys, Joleen Broadfield, and Max Allen In running the Urban Caracal Project there have been a number of learning opportunities. One of our most important insights is that by prioritizing public outreach we have built a strong community support group without which the project would be impossible. The community support has not just…

An Island Icon Threatened with Extinction

The icon of Fernando de Noronha, the tropic bird, emblazoned on tourism material, is gradually going extinct. The red-billed tropic bird (Phaethon aethereus) is nearly extinct at less than ten individuals. The white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) is relegated to a second class citizen on offshore rock stacks, as are other avian citizens such as masked boobies (Sula dactylatra).

Pet Cats Deserve Responsible Owners

It’s the end of the grey-faced petrel breeding season in New Zealand and hugely exciting to see the seabird chicks emerging from their underground burrows for the first time literally stretching their wings. It’s also equal parts horrendous to see neighbourhood cats walking at leisure through the sensitive breeding grounds of these birds recovering from centuries of hunting.

Phantom of the Forest: Could the Cougar Again Haunt Eastern U.S. Woodlands?

The phantom, it’s been called, this big cat that now prowls western North and South America forests from the Yukon to Patagonia. It has dozens of monikers, from panther to puma to mountain lion, catamount to deer tiger to cougar. However it may be known, could the feline, long gone from the U.S. East but…

This Deadly-Looking Leopard Is Actually Fun to Photograph

National Geographic photographer Steve Winter comes face-to-face with a family of leopards as part of his work to help protect these stunning creatures.

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #23

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Henry David Thoreau The Okavango is the beating heart of Africa, home to an estimated 50% of the world’s elephants, most of the world’s hippo, and crucial populations of many other keystone species. There is no wilder place on earth: this is the Africa of…

Island’s Invasive Species Wreak Havoc: How Did They Get Here?

Invasive cats, rats, and lizards are wreaking havoc on the native species of Fernando de Noronha. How did they all get here?

Snow Leopard Caught on Camera After Catching Marmot

From Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust: A remote-sensor research camera snapped a photo of a wild snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Sarychat Ertash Nature Reserve shortly after the cat had caught a marmot. During the short mountain summer, these rodents add some diversity to the snow leopard’s diet.

Pumas Trained to Run on Treadmill Help Explain Big Cat’s Ambush Strategy

From Liza Gross: The puma, the Western Hemisphere’s most widely distributed mammal, is rarely seen. But its stealth may explain how the cat manages the high-energy costs of its carnivore lifestyle, a new study based on teaching a puma to run on a treadmill shows. With video of mountain lion on treadmill.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Can a Tortoise Live to 300?

We tell you if a tricentenarian tortoise is really possible, why lovebugs don’t get eaten, and why your cat loves a clean litter box.

September 21, 2014: Living At Sea for 3 Years, Uncovering The Largest Ever Carnivore and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they live on the world’s oceans for three years, create the largest marine protected area, road trip down a historical highway, protect power grids from hackers, eat our way through Rome, find the world’s meanest dinosaur ever, tear down dams, spy on cats, and teach our kids to be wild again.

Bouncing Back: Nepal’s Tigers Survive Civil Turmoil

By Joseph Allchin

Dhaka, Bangladesh–For years the Himalayan nation of Nepal lacked a functional government. Years of war and subsequent reorientation of the state, left vulnerable the nation’s rich fauna and in particular its tigers to the rampant poaching that has decimated wildlife populations across Asia. While Nepal’s politicians bickered, fears rose for its iconic tiger, one of its most majestic animals. But now Nepal’s big cat may be on the rebound.