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Tag archives for Habitat

As Nations Gather in Mexico to Discuss Biological Diversity, Global Habitat Loss Still Rampant Across Much of the Earth

As 196 signatory nations of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) meet this week in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss their progress towards averting the current biodiversity crisis, researchers from a range of universities and NGOs report in the international journal Conservation Letters that habitat destruction still far outstrips habitat protected across many parts of the planet.

‘Outdated’ IUCN Red List Is Missing Hundreds of Threatened Bird Species, Duke Scientists Find

More than 200 bird species in six rapidly developing regions are at risk of extinction despite not being included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of at-risk species, research led by Duke University scientists has found.

The study, published today in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, used remote sensing data to map recent land-use changes that are reducing suitable habitat for more than 600 bird species in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Central America, the western Andes of Colombia, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia, Duke said in a news statement. “Of the 600 species, only 108 are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as being at risk of extinction.”

Understanding Dogs to Protect Cats

Post submitted by Matthias Fiechter Feral dogs have been seen chasing snow leopards and bears away from their prey. Growing populations of free-ranging dogs are becoming a real threat to wildlife in many parts of the snow leopard’s range. Liu Mingyu, a researcher in China, is tracking dogs with GPS collars to better understand their behavior…

The Emerging Role of Asia in Wildlife Conservation Practice

The practice of solving conservation problems for wildlife has presented more and varied challenges for researchers and practitioners in Asia, especially over the last quarter century. While human populations have grown, lands available for wildlife have steadily decreased and habitats have been degraded. Yet as conservation practice has matured, researchers are striving to make their science relevant to the issues at hand and practitioners have better tools and information available to implement solutions.

It Is Up to My Country to Ensure that the Grauer’s Gorilla Does Not Disappear

A report by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) documents the collapse of the world’s largest great ape- the Grauer’s gorilla – due to a combination of illegal hunting around mining sites, civil unrest, and habitat destruction. I am proud to be part of a generation of Congolese conservationists who, together with a worldwide network of wildlife organizations, have never been better equipped and more committed to save this iconic species.

Coral Bleaching in the Vatu-I-Ra Seascape: How Bad Is It?

In my assessment of Cyclone Winston’s impact on the coral reefs of Fiji, I have been spending part of each dive collecting data on the scale and intensity of bleaching across a range of habitats – including fringing patch and lagoonal reefs, channels, and bommies. Over the last four days, I have documented mild levels of bleaching, with common coral genera like Acropora, Pocillopora, Porites (massive forms), Montipora and Pavona mostly affected.

What Are We Actually Protecting In The Ocean?

One of the great recent success stories in conservation is the rapid increase in the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). Since 2006, there has been a staggering growth of 10 million km2 of new MPAs globally, a nearly four-fold increase over the past decade. Yet there has been no baseline for measuring how well our marine species are represented in protected areas. Until now.

A new paper we have published in Nature’s Scientific Reports assesses the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates). We have discovered some sobering results: most marine species are not well represented within MPAs and several hundred species are not covered at all.

A Dream for International Orangutan Day–A Primatologist Works to Protect the Orangutan’s Forest

By Dr. Ahmad Yanuar, Orangutan Program Manager & Primatologist, The Nature Conservancy Indonesia, where I’m from is famous for its diversity of primate species. And some of these primates are found only in Indonesia. Unfortunately, many of them are also threatened with extinction. This is what first made me interested in studying these animals, who…

Protecting Forests for Orangutans – Bringing Together a Historic Team of Forest Guardians in Borneo

By Dr. Herlina Hartanto, Director of the Indonesia Terrestrial Program, The Nature Conservancy A glimpse of red fur hanging on a tree branch caught my eye while cruising along the Kahayan River in Central Kalimantan (Central Kalimantan is in Indonesia, on the island of Borneo). The red fur coat turned out to be a young female…

Offsetting Biodiversity: Greening or Greenwashing?

There’s a new conservation controversy brewing. While carbon offsetting continues to be debated as a response to continuing emissions growth, biodiversity offsetting is increasingly being seized upon as a solution to unabated biodiversity loss. The idea is that damage to biodiversity from development can be neutralized by creating an “ecologically-equivalent” benefit elsewhere – thus achieving “no net loss” of biodiversity. But inappropriate application of offsetting carries its own risk. What if misplaced confidence in offsets means more biodiversity losses are permitted? With many governments actively developing offset policies, strict standards are needed to ensure the approach really does mean better conservation outcomes, rather than simply drawing a thin green veil over habitat destruction.

How can you eat, eat, eat–and stay healthy? Ask a blind cavefish.

Barbecues and clambakes. Ice cream and berry pies. Summer is the season of food, food and more food. Is there a way to binge and still stay healthy? For answers, look far underground, say scientists, to the denizens of darkness: blind cavefish. Biologists studied blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, living in freshwater pools in deep caves…

Bombing Range Is National Example for Wildlife Conservation

Walking through a wildlife underpass from Nokuse Plantation to Eglin Air Force base feels like traveling back in time. This is some of the richest wildland in the U.S.

Wild at 50: The Wilderness Act Turns a Half-Century

By John Weaver

Recently, some neo-conservationists have argued that the Wilderness Act is facing a mid-life crisis, that somehow the notion of Wilderness is an anachronism in the ‘Anthropocene’ era of human domination of the planet. They argue that we should focus on domesticating landscapes to serve economic growth of the human juggernaut – rather than protecting remaining wild lands and preventing human-caused extinction of species. Other conservationists – myself included – disagree.

Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership

In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…

European Union Fisheries Ban Ignores Belize Conservation Success Story

In its coastal fisheries, Belize is leading the way in innovative management strategies designed to preserve biodiversity in a manner that keeps fishermen on the water and focused on the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. Future generations of Belizeans will be able to carry on their rich fishing traditions thanks to the decisions, at times quite difficult, being made right now.