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Is Coco’s a Paradise Lost? Costa Rica exports endangered Hammerhead Sharks

Contributions by Courtney Mattison of Mission Blue    Three hundred forty two miles west of mainland Costa Rica lies an oceanic island so spectacular Jacques Cousteau called it the “most beautiful island in the world.” Cascading waterfalls cut through lush foliage, the symphony of a thousand seabirds fill the sky, and the surrounding deep waters host…

A Feathery Hedgehog

Bringing the bird’s feathery volume to life, says artist Jane Kim, took “thousands and thousands of brush strokes.”

Huge, Rare Vultures Make Impressive Flying Journeys

Traveling 125 miles by your own power might take a human a week a more to complete. For Ruppell’s vultures, with an 8-ft wingspan, it’s a mere day trip.

Documenting Endangered Species in the Remote Mountains of Laos

We have been in the mountains for fifteen days and the team is weary but triumphant. We have crossed lakes and traversed rivers, camped in the rain and trekked through the dense forest in search of the endangered Chinese swamp cypress tree.  After adventurous road travel and even sinking boats, we have located remote forests and found…

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…

Oracle Visits AKTF’s Build-A-Boma Project in Maasai Mara

  The sun had risen less than an hour before, yet Anne and the rest of us at the Anne K. Taylor Fund were gathered on an earthen airstrip at the edge of Maasai Mara National Reserve. Our Anti-Poaching Team leaned coolly against their truck, its green paint matching their olive fatigues. I and the…

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…

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.

A Ghost in the Making: Photographing the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee

Over the last 15 years the range of the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee has shrunk by 87% and it has become one of the rarest bees in North America.

The Disturbing War for Abalone

South Africa’s illicit abalone trade is steeped in the after-effects of apartheid, organized and violent crime, illegal drugs, and corruption. Species like rhinos, tigers, and elephants are generally better at building public awareness than abalone, a large type of marine snail, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the potency of wildlife crime is any…

The Latest Threat to Siberian Tigers: Canine Distemper

Talking Tigers: Part 8 of a 12-part series The first signs that something was wrong came in 2000. Gaunt Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) began wandering through villages and staggered haltingly across roads in Russia’s Far East. They were dazed, hungry and boldly unafraid of humans, extremely odd behavior for this secretive, wary animal. One of them…

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.

CITES and confiscated elephant ivory and rhino horn – to destroy or not destroy?

Over the past 24 months we have seen a number of countries, including Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong SAR, China, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA, destroy stockpiles of illegally traded elephant ivory and rhino horn that have been seized and confiscated. I have been invited by national CITES authorities to witness several…