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Tag archives for Wildlife Conservation Society

Red, White, and Bison: This Iconic Animal Should be Named the National Mammal of the United States

This weekend, Americans will spend the 4th of July thinking of the things that make the United States great. Of course, that means independence and freedom, and probably barbecues and fireworks as well. But another of those quintessentially great things about America is the bison, an animal that has for too long gone unrecognized as the national icon that it is.

Expedition Madagascar: Conserving Coral Reefs with Community Conservation

By Dr. Emily Darling

With colleagues from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), we recently surveyed the first community-led Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Madagascar. These areas provide genuine hope for coral reef conservation and small-scale fisheries management under the shadow of emerging oil and gas development, deforestation, illegal fishing and climate change.

Celebrating New York’s Seascape on World Oceans Day

By Jon Forrest Dohlin

You may not think that the words “metropolis and “corals” belong in the same sentence. So you might be rather surprised to hear that beautiful deep-sea coral communities can be found lurking in the deep just a few hours’ boat ride from New York City, one of most urbanized settings in the world.

Celebrating Zoos and Aquariums on Endangered Species Day

By Jim Breheny

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) commemorates Endangered Species Day today at all five of our wildlife parks in New York City. It is an opportunity to recognize that we are all stewards of this planet and that the fragile balance of the Earth’s biodiversity is in our hands. Many species are threatened with extinction due to human activities, but there is much that each of us can do in the name of conservation to help save species around the world.

Pangolin Prison – Part II

Warning: this article contains images that some viewers might find disturbing. – After iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton documented the bust of a massive pangolin poaching operation in Medan, Indonesia, he assists at the incineration of all of the 3000 to 4000 pangolins slaughtered by the poachers.

Pangolin Prison 

iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton documents the bust of a massive pangolin smuggling operation in Sumatra, finding over 5 tons of slaughtered pangolins, but also leading to the rescue and release of 96 of them.

The Real Penguin of Madagascar

By Graeme Patterson

It has been a decade since viewers first encountered the popular penguins of the crowd-pleasing Madagascar movie franchise. In the 2005 hit, the penguins eventually find their way to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean along with their old friends from the Central Park Zoo: a zebra, lion, giraffe and a hippo who accidentally got dropped off there. Adventures ensue, the running joke is that these visitors are all out of place on Madagascar, as indeed they are. Or are they?

Celebrating a Decade of Conservation in Chile’s Karukinka Landscape

By Bárbara Saavedra and Cristián Samper

On the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego in the Patagonia region of Chile, you’ll find one of the most stunning wild places in the hemisphere, complete with bountiful peat bogs, sub-Antarctic woodlands, windswept steppes, and snow-covered mountain ranges. Spanning 1,160 square miles, the Karukinka landscape is home to Patagonia’s unique wildlife, including the endangered culpeo fox, the Andean condor, guanacos (wild relatives of the llama), and the Magellanic woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in the Americas. It’s also a place rich in plant species like southern beech, Chilean fire bush, white dog orchid, and sundew.

Conservationists Playing with Fire

By Julie Kunen

For millennia, tropical civilizations cultivated their crops through a practice known as slash and burn agriculture. In this practice, vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land and improve the soil with the resulting organic matter and nutrients. Fire also kills or drives away pests and encourages the regeneration of grasses in natural pastures. When used over extensive areas in a cycle of planted and fallowed fields, the practice is sustainable. Today, many agricultural communities that lack access to machinery and chemical inputs depend upon fire for their livelihoods, using it to clear and maintain the fertility of agricultural lands and to delimit property boundaries. Yet, fire is also a great danger to humans and there are many risks associated with the use of fire as a land management tool.

Shutting Down the Manta Trade

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by Paul Hilton, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers.  Twice in a one-week on the Indonesia island of…

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.

Busting Indonesia’s Manta Gill Trade

Worth up to US$30 million a year, the global trade in manta ray gills depends on the industry traders for its survival. The recent arrest of a major Indonesian trader in manta ray gills marks the first time in the country’s history that anyone has been brought to justice in a case of marine conservation. It’s also proof of the determination of Indonesian authorities to stamp out the killing of one of the country’s most serene and majestic species; one that attracts US$ 140 million dollars every year in global tourism. Text and photos by Paul Hilton.

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.

Bold Tigers of Malenad: BPT-222 Strikes Again!

By K. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society The Malenad Tiger Landscape in southwestern India, located in Karnataka and covering adjacent areas of neighboring Kerala and Tamil Nadu, today harbors what is possibly the largest wild tiger population in the world, about 400 animals or so. Camera trap research supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society…

Elephants’ Last Chance

My assignment is a mammoth one: Go to Kenya and photograph African elephants – a vulnerable species currently losing ground as 35,000 elephants are killed a year.