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OPINION: Tourism Is Important, But It’s Not the Only Reason to Save Elephants

Those who believe that ecological and moral grounds aren’t sufficient justification to protect elephants and other wildlife in Africa often tout tourism as the most important reason to do so. Examined rationally, this is a narrow and risky premise, with a poor long-term prognosis for the survival of Africa’s wild animals.

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #21

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau A good friend once told me that wildlife photography makes him sad. He explained that when he sees images of the wild creatures and unspoiled places his heart aches too deeply at the thought of what he perceives to be…

Lion Conservation: Does it Come Down to Cows?

By Shivani Bhalla with Paul Thomson I write this story from my tent in Samburu. I am looking out, watching the dry landscape in front of me. I see two warthogs coming to graze in the only place they can find some grass – outside our tents. I see the dik diks and squirrels searching…

Mongoose Fends Off Lions: Explaining Viral Video

A mongoose that survived a tussle with four African lions may have been dealing with playful youngsters, a biologist says.

OPINION: My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is Spurned

World Elephant Day was celebrated around the world yesterday, with pageantry, song and dance, events and activities. Everyone was wearing grey. But for award-winning conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumba, Elephant Day could hardly be described as “fun.” “I sat for nearly nine hours with my team in a government waiting room at the office of the Chief of Police, in Nairobi to deliver a letter…an offer to raise funds to help in the arrest of suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed, who has been a fugitive since June 1.” Has her offer fallen on deaf ears?

Warthogs and primates in the Meru Conservation Area, central Kenya, and the decline of Kora National Park

Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski are National Geographic grantees working to track down what may be Africa’s least understood large animal, the Desert Warthog.

July 20, 2014 Radio Show: Making Music With Elephants, Running Hundreds of Miles Through Mountains and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend radio show we run ultramarathons through Nepal, Switzerland and Utah’s Rocky Mountains, then we save goliath, learn safety tips about the newest bacterial threat, making music with elephants, visit the world’s largest caverns, and find some secret cities.

The ‘Eye-Phone’ That Helps Prevent Blindness

In most developing countries the provision of basic healthcare, especially for those living in remote areas, is still a huge challenge for healthcare professionals. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we look at how mobile technology, and one mobile app in particular, is giving those in remote regions of the world access to essential eye care…

Mentoring Refugee Students from Across the World… via Facebook

Today, Facebook is more than just a platform to keep up with family and friends. It is also connecting people with valuable resources, including those willing to help others learn in places where schools don’t exist. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we see how humanitarian organisations are using the power of social media to…

California’s Safari West Brings the Serengeti Experience Closer to Home

In East Africa, wildebeests are currently on the move, challenged by northern Tanzania’s long dry season, which begins around now (late May or early June). I too, am making my own trek of sorts. I’m in the process of relocating from southern California to the Pacific Northwest. I guess you could say that much like…

Changing Attitudes of Maasai Steppe Pastoralists Offer Hope to Lions

For the Maasai, the lion hunt is a celebration of bravery reflecting their reverence and respect for the big cat as a primary foe. However, their relationship with the lion has become increasingly turbulent as the pastoralists confront an ever more populated landscape where conflicts between people and wildlife are on the rise. Warriors often put down their spears, replacing them with poison and guns. With lion populations plummeting across many parts of the continent, one spot on Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe shows refreshing signs of a recovering lion population and a Maasai community in a locally-motivated transition. Deirdre Leowinata reports.

South Africa’s Kruger Park Loses its First Elephant; Kenya Loses an Icon

In recent years, Kruger, the jewel in the crown of South Africa’s national park system, has lost many rhinos to poachers, but its elephants have remained safe. Until now. For the first time in a decade, a bull elephant in the park has fallen to poachers, who hacked off his tusks. “This poaching incident really…

China Pledges $10 Million in Support of Wildlife Conservation in Africa

By Fredrick Nzwili Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, on a three-day visit to Kenya, announced May 10 that China will provide $10 million to support wildlife protection and conservation in Africa and help establish an African Ecological and Wildlife Centre in Nairobi.  During Li’s visit, Kenya and China signed a total of 17 agreements, which include…

Introducing iCow: The Virtual Mobile Midwife for Cows

Smallholder farmers in Kenya are traditionally conservative, and getting them to adopt new methods and technologies can often take time and effort. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we look at how mobile technology, and one application in particular, is successfully bucking the trend. Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from kiwanja.net featuring…

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.