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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…

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Purple Frogs, Taming Zebras

Why aren’t zebras domesticated? How do fish sense danger? Get the answers in this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions column.

On World Lion Day, Let’s Celebrate the Lions That Made Us Who We Are

August 10 is designated as World Lion Day, and as with other allocated “Days,” the origin of such an event is to celebrate something globally, and think about how the day, and how the individual or entity being celebrated, influences our lives. I can see a World Dhali Lama Day, or World Peace Day because it has real meaning to the way we live our lives, and our meditations on this affects the way we change course. So at first I wondered if lions actually deserve a day and whether we should really be contemplating the impact that lions have on our lives. (By Dereck Joubert)

Your Favorite Species

For three years I taught Animal Biology labs to undergraduate students at George Mason University. Extra credit assignments were not permitted, so I liked to build in a few intermittent low-ball quiz questions to provide some levity to an otherwise strict and challenging syllabus. My favorite question to ask was “what is your favorite species?”…

Lair of the Leopard: To Cache Kills, Leopards Prefer Caves Over Trees

A nameless cave from which a whirlwind blows, Pliny the Elder referred to it in his work Naturalis Historia. Vjetrenica, it would later be called. Icy breaths exhale from the mouth of Vjetrenica, the largest cave in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. The scent of long-closed rooms…of dank underground caverns…of something alive, or once…

Red List of Threatened Species: B-Sides

Last week IUCN released its first Red List update of 2014. Within the thousands of species added to or updated on the Red List in 2014 we uncovered interesting and important data about some popular species (read about it here). In addition to these species, The IUCN Red List is also a source of data…

The First Look at Arctic Life on Ice Through the Eyes of a Polar Bear

Seals swim in a cold blue abyss. White paws paddle through the icy water, giving chase. Finally, morsels of frozen, skinned seal float into view as the hunter gnaws down on her meal.

It’s the first-ever glimpse of life on Arctic sea ice through the eyes of a polar bear.

2014 IUCN Red List Update: Soccer, Slippers, Sushi, and Strepsirrhini

Twice a year, the IUCN Red List is updated to include species that have been assessed for the first time or re-assessments of species that need updating. In the first update of 2014, we call attention to the Brazilian mascot of the FIFA World Cup, seductive Slipper Orchids, an expensive and Endangered Japanese delicacy, and…

IUCN Red List Stops Wildlife Trafficking

If you’re at all familiar, you know the world of wildlife trafficking is as serious as business gets. Although the case is strong against the morality of trade in threatened species, like trade in illegal drugs, it has a potent financial draw. All over the world people conceal species in every conceivable way as they…

Philanthropists Pledge $80 Million for Wild Cat Conservation

Environmental philanthropists from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have together committed U.S. $80 million over ten years to help fund conservation of all 38 species of wild cats.

The Top of the IUCN Red List

The 61 Most-Threatened Species: Identifying a definitive list of the most threatened species is a difficult and sensitive exercise. Although lists are popular and useful, a comprehensive list of the Most Threatened Species depends on what you think makes a species most at risk of extinction and could conceivable contain all 4,286 Critically Endangered species…

Build a Boma, Protect a Cow, Save a Lion

Good fences make good neighbors, the saying goes, and this is particularly true in rural Africa, where herders face daily challenges to protect livestock from lions and other predators. Build a Boma is a fundraising campaign by the National Geographic Society’s Big Cat Initiative that helps build the sturdy enclosures to protect cattle and goats from nocturnal raiders. By building traditional enclosures known as bomas, predators and domestic animals are kept apart, saving lions and other marauders from being killed by people anxious to protect their livestock. It’s an African solution funded in part by small donations from people of goodwill across the world, people in countries where sleeping safely at night has been taken for granted. Build a Boma is a win-win for people and wildlife.

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…

Celebrating 50 Years of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™

People are fascinated by scarce plants, fungi and animals, and have been documenting the rarity of species for a long time. Following the “gold rush” of the enlightenment era, when taxonomists and collectors were racing to discover new species in exotic and undescribed corners of the world, science settled down to not just discover species,…

Celebrating East African Pollinator Diversity!

Dino Martins brings us an up-close view of the world of insects everywhere. His new field guide is finally here!