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Tag archives for North America

The Surprising Way Airplanes Help Whales

John-Michael Lee caught thresher sharks off Redondo Beach in California when he was a boy. “We’d float on a mat in the water, reach down with our hands and just catch them by the tail,” recalls John-Michael. “They were about three to four feet long, but most of that was tail.”

“When I go diving now,” he remarks, “I don’t see many sharks anymore.”

Where Will Cougars Show Up Next?

Mountain lions are spreading east of the Rockies—a challenge for wildlife managers and communities. Some friends who live a few blocks from me in the small town of Whitefish, Montana, had a house cat named Dandelion. After it went missing for two days, the family began a search through their wooded lot. In a nearby…

Help Decelerate Polar Bears’ Rapid Decline

Polar bears are not souvenirs. They are an iconic, beautiful species that is rapidly disappearing. Starting this week, countries from around the world will gather at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where protection for polar bears will be an important topic of discussion.

Silent Plains … The Fading Sounds of Native Languages

‘All things must pass,’ sang George Harrison. With time, suns turn into ice, civilizations into dust, and species go extinct. And so ‘black dwarfs,’ ‘biodiversity loss,’ not to forget ‘Armageddon,’ have all become part of our daily alphabet. Strange planet… though the risk of a 6th species extinction wave is quite real (see my previous…

The Treasures of Tursujuq: one of North America’s largest national parks

With little fanfare, the Inuit people of Nunavik in northern Quebec, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Government of Quebec announced the creation of Tursujuq National Park—a 6.5 million acre protected area along the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. Not only is this remarkable for its size—it’s the largest protected area in eastern North America and one of the top 10 largest parks on the continent—but perhaps even more incredible is that the park is several million acres larger than it had been expected to be a few years ago.

Powerful Hurricanes Such As Sandy and ‘Black Swan’ Storms Could Alter U.S. Coastline

Scientists and meteorologists examining data from Hurricane Sandy think the massive super-storm that caused widespread devastation from North Carolina to New York City in October could be a harbinger of changes for the U.S. coastline. Exactly how those changes might unfold isn’t clear. But some scientists who study hurricanes and coastal environments outlined some possibilities at…

Mexican Fish Sports Bizarre Four-Hooked Penis

A new species of freshwater fish found in Mexico has several interesting – and perhaps cringe-inducing – characteristics, including four hooks on the male genitalia, North Carolina State University said this week.

Panda Cub Dies at Washington National Zoo

The panda cub born a week ago at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., was found dead early today.

Researchers Examining Critical World Issues Receive L’Oréal Fellowships for Women in Science

Five outstanding female scientists were granted 2012 L’Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science at a ceremony in New York City this week. Each Fellow receives up to U.S.$60,000 to continue post-doctoral research. The program also offers professional development workshops for the Fellows to help them build networks with accomplished female leaders in corporate, academic,…

Disease-Spreading Ticks on the Move as Climate Changes

One more reason to be nervous about climate change: Tick species are on the march. The blood-sucking, disease-spreading parasites are expanding into new territories as wildlife populations, forest habitats and weather patterns change across North America, biologists have found. “This year’s mild winter and early spring were a bonanza for tick populations in the eastern…

Shedd Aquarium Participates in Beluga Conservation Research Program

Greetings, NewsWatch readers: this is Tim Binder, the Vice President of Collection Planning at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. For many years, I’ve been involved with beluga whale conservation research in the field and here at home. Today I’d like to invite you to join me on a research expedition to the shores of Alaska. Beluga…

Rare Snakes Restored to Illinois Prairie Preserve

Eighteen smooth green snakes bred in captivity were released into the northern Illinois prairie a few dozen miles from Chicago today.

Predator Dinner Party? Badgers and Coyotes Work Together on the Prairie

Over the last century, biologists have worked hard to document a rather odd pair of hunting buddies: the coyote and the badger. While the nature of their relationship has been debated – is it truly symbotic or merely more efficient? – it is a fascinating natural phenomenon to observe. Of course, the interaction between the…

American Prairie Reserve, a Vast Grassland to Fill Your Soul

  Despite our different approaches, conservationists in the West can all generally agree on one thing: nature inspires people. The diversity, richness and complexities of ecosystems encourage scientists to dig deeper, farmers to innovate, artists to paint, and, perhaps most importantly, the broader public to get out and explore. As we assemble American Prairie Reserve…

Iguanas Research Trip to Bahamas with Shedd Aquarium

Hello everyone: I’m Dr. Chuck Knapp, the Director of Conservation and Research at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. When I started working at Shedd Aquarium as a young aquarist in 1991, I became fascinated with the world’s most endangered lizards: West Indian rock iguanas. Come along with me as I post blogs and photos of…