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Exciting New Prospects for Crocodile Conservation in Cuba

By Natalia Rossi

President Obama’s decision to normalize U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba has focused attention on a possible end to the two nations’ long political estrangement. Yet despite the enduring diplomatic impasse, for years many of us in the U.S. conservation community have worked hand in hand with our counterparts in Cuba (with the permission of both governments) to preserve that nation’s globally important biodiversity. That collaboration provides a blueprint for new efforts to secure the protection and management of the most pristine mangrove ecosystems in the entire Caribbean region and the magnificent crocodile species they sustain.

Rare Siamese Crocodiles Released as Ambassadors for Laotian Wetland

Seventeen Critically Endangered juvenile Siamese crocodiles have been released into into a protected wetland in Laos, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today. The Siamese crocodile is named Freshwater Species of the Week for its critical role in the fragile Xe Champhone and other wetlands in Southeast Asia. Saving the species from the brink of extinction in the wild and restoring its habitat will help ensure a healthy environment and create socio-economic opportunities for the people who depend on the wetlands.

Recent Loss of Freshwater Wetlands Worldwide Valued at $2.7 Trillion per Year

The question of whether to drain a wetland to make way for a shopping mall or a cornfield, or to instead leave the wetland intact, often seems like a no-brainer: the “development” options have a clear dollar value, but the wetlands themselves do not. But therein lies a big problem. Wetlands do vital work.  They…

Flights Spotlight King Tides

Something happens each year that provides a fleeting glimpse into the future. This year, LightHawk and The Wetlands Conservancy teamed up to document this phenomenon from the air.

Wetlands Do Triple Duty in a Changing Climate

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Restoration of natural infrastructure like freshwater wetlands should become a key piece of our national climate change adaptation strategy.

America Resilient

Since we last celebrated Earth Day a year ago, 29 states have experienced 99 Federal disaster declarations. Fires, floods, mudslides, hurricanes, and tornadoes have devastated the United States, causing billions of dollars of damage, destroying thousands of homes, and up-ending people’s lives.

Worst Weather Ever: Has It Become a Cliché Yet?

The troubles of Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, are getting drowned out by the clamor generated by the superstorms Typhoon Haiyan and Cyclone Phailin. A crisis is still a crisis, however, even if it is not punctuated by 150mph winds and catastrophic flooding. Poyang’s water levels ebb and flow according to the season. In…

Migration by Any Means Necessary

The airplane passenger of the month for October was an unusual breed of traveler, one who gratefully received first-class airfare even though the ticket sent him more than 2,000 km out of his way. He was trying to head south for the winter, got lost along the way, and has ended up with winter accommodations near…

Flocking to Fallon

I’m no twitcher, and before last weekend the closest I’d ever come to the world of birding was watching the surprising blockbuster The Big Year. But that all changed when I plunged into the 16th Annual Spring Wing’s Festival. The event draws thousands of birders from all over the globe to Fallon, Nevada, a small…

A Day in the Lush Mobile Delta

  By Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation One recent Monday, I got to spend the day doing something outside, not in a conference room, not in my office, just out in one of North America’s great natural wonders. My day began at 7, when the executive director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens, Bill…

Once a Smelly Nuisance, Mexicali’s Wastewater Now Brings Life to the Colorado Delta

This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. If there is one place that transforms wastewater from trouble-maker to life-saver it’s the site of Las Arenitas sewage treatment plant in the Mexican state of Baja California. There, nasty urban wastewater that once made a smelly health hazard of the New River near…

The Accidental Wetland in the Colorado Delta

This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta. Traveling south from the Mexican border town of San Luis Rio Colorado, we stop about 20 miles (32.2 km) from the Upper Gulf of California.  It feels like the middle of nowhere. We’re surrounded by vast stretches of cracked, dried-out mudflats layered with…

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.

Wetlands: Freshwater “Species” of the Week

In case you weren’t aware, every February 2 is not just Groundhog Day. It is also World Wetlands Day.   From the official website of World Wetlands Day: This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the…

Third Day in the Field, First Crash

Third day into the expedition, the team took their quadcopter for an unintentional bumpy ride-and caught it all on tap.