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A New Strategy for Conservation

By Cristián Samper

At the Wildlife Conservation Society today we unveiled our WCS: 2020 strategy and, along with it, a new WCS.org website and brand identity. This announcement advances our 120-year mission to save wildlife and wild places. As the world rapidly changes, our approach to conservation must adapt and evolve. Our WCS: 2020 strategy represents our response to that change and a way to scale up our impact. Our choices today can give us a fighting chance to preserve the intricate balance of species and ecosystems that all lives depend upon.

The New Sustainable Development Goals: a Vision for Living in Harmony with Nature

There is now clearer recognition that sustainable development and biodiversity conservation are inextricably linked and that one cannot succeed without the other. The UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals address conservation of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The new agenda specifies that UN member states will “conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and drylands and to protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife.” And SDG targets specifically refer to endangered species, calling for an end to wildlife poaching and trafficking.

Video Trap Catches Genet Hitching a Ride on Back of Rhinoceros

A genet, a small nocturnal animal that resembles a mix between a cat and a mongoose, was caught in a video trap hitching a ride on the back of a critically endangered black rhino in a South African park. It can be seen hunting insects that might have either been disturbed by the rhino, or attracted to it (like a cattle egret or fork-tailed drong would do during the day). A bat, (another potential source of prey for the genet), is also seen cashing in on the insect bounty. It is still unclear whether the genet is also interested in parasites like ticks on the rhino’s skin.

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.

Can Nature Make a Less Intense Hurricane Season a Less Risky One Too?

By Kathy Baughman McLeod, Director of Climate Risk & Resilience, The Nature Conservancy Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) predicted a below average hurricane season this year for the Atlantic. Hearing their projections, the immediate reaction is a sigh of relief. But we know that it’s not just the intensity of storms,…

“Disenchanted”: Easter Island – A Paradise Devastated by Plastic Pollution

Arrived on the legendary Easter Island (Chile) on May 20th, the R4WO scientific teams have proceeded onto the first scientific surveys in the South Pacific Garbage Patch on the coasts of the island devastated by plastic waste. At the same time, they have also continued with different sociological studies undertaken until now with local populations.   …

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #23

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Henry David Thoreau The Okavango is the beating heart of Africa, home to an estimated 50% of the world’s elephants, most of the world’s hippo, and crucial populations of many other keystone species. There is no wilder place on earth: this is the Africa of…

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #22

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi Earlier this month many of us, delighting in the tradition of fresh starts, aligned the 1st of January with change in…

December 14, 2014: Survive The Horrors of WWII With the Hero of “Unbroken,” Chase Water Down the Colorado River and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they decide survival over summit glory in Myanmar, remain “Unbroken” with the hero of Angelina Jolie’s newest film, spill the secrets of Southern cuisine, track Berlin’s booming boar population, dodge los malditos on the rejuvenated Colorado River, teach kids to value the environment in school, paddle 2,000 miles to protect pristine wilderness, learn the forces that move Sarajevo’s society, and tap into nature’s therapeutic capabilities.

Explorers’ Hearts Full This Thanksgiving

National Geographic explorers kicked off their Thanksgiving celebrations by sharing with us some of the things they are grateful for. From nightly raccoon visits to the smell of the ocean, our explorers continue to remind us to cherish the earth and celebrate the world around us.

50 Years of Conservation in India

By K. Ullas Karanth

The modern resurgent India, now the 10th largest economy in the world, is justly proud of its ancient culture and art. Yet we must not forget that India possesses an even more ancient treasure – its wild lands and wildlife. It is one of the most biodiversity-rich nations on earth.

Who Will Save the Last Primary Forests on Earth?

By Brendan Mackey and James Watson

It’s now or never if the world’s surviving primary forests are to be saved. Will the international community act or continue to turn a blind eye to our planet’s key life support systems? Despite their shortcomings, international environmental agreements can provide incentives for national governments and land custodians to turn back the tide of forest destruction. Primary forests, however, remain invisible in forest policy debates and oddly off the radar for most conservation organizations.

April 6, 2014: Riding Horses Across Continents, Swimming in the Arctic Ocean and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Filipe Masetti left Calgary, Alberta on horseback nearly two…

Viewing Nature’s Beauty Through a New Lens

Nature filmmaker and photographer Louie Schwartzberg wants to really open your eyes, and not just so you can see what’s in front of you. He’s made it his personal goal to help others see the beauty of the world—people, plants, places—in a different way. He’s captured everything from San Francisco to fungi, but Louie is…

March 30, 2014: Skiing Everest, Mission Blue, Search for Michael Rockefeller, Violent Animal Reproduction, and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, figure out if Mother Nature is really trying to kill you, ski off the seven summits including Everest, look inside the city of Damascus during the Syrian War, dive into Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, look at how much food we waste each year, take a walk on the surface of Mars, and find out what we should pack on a camping trip.