VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
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This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they save climbers from a disaster on Everest, devote one day of each week to helping others, take selfies with orangutans, assign land and oceans for protection, never forget elephants, travel through North Korea, go to war with chimpanzees, and hijack the minds of the animals they’re living inside.
Elephants are some of nature’s most majestic creatures. But how do scientists know who’s who in the wild? To think like an elephant scientist, it’s important to look at key characteristics, said elephant biologist and National Geographic Explorer Joyce Poole.
Elephants may use a variety of subtle movements and gestures to communicate with one another, according to researchers who have studied the big mammals in the wild for decades. To the casual human observer, a curl of the trunk, a step backward, or a fold of the ear may not have meaning. But to…
Little Fellow was a good-looking young bull with splayed tusks and ear lobes that curled out. But he would not live long enough to pass his genes on to the next generation. Born in the late 1990s, Little Fellow entered a world that was pretty safe for elephants. But today, 24 years on, it certainly isn’t. The ongoing slaughter is threatening the survival of the species, as well as tourism, economies, and stability in many African countries.
The conservation charity ElephantVoices has launched a campaign on two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artworks, with the slogans, “Every Tusk Costs a Life; Don’t Buy Ivory” and “Every Tusk Costs a Life; Stop the Trade” target potential buyers and decision-makers, and are also specifically directed toward a Chinese audience. China is believed to be the largest market for illegal ivory, a trade which is causing the poaching of more than 2,000 wild elephants per month.
What does it actually mean to “harmonize” elephant mortality and why should we do it? The simple answer is that with many people engaged in elephant conservation in Kenya, we need to agree on the actual figures, so that we can document what is going on and react in an appropriate way. In reality the situation is a bit more complex.
Fearless Conservationist and Scientist, Dr. Joyce Poole has been decoding elephant language for years and is now working on a project to help mentally scared elephants recover after a 16-year civil war gripped Mozambique, devastating its people and its wildlife . Find out how you can join her for a live conversation, Tuesday March 23 at 2:30pm ET.