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Tag archives for Wildlife Conservation Society

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

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton. Writing this from a hotel room in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, I realize…

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.

Video: Tigers Draw Tourists and Support for India’s Parks

Tigers are symbols of power and beauty, the “King of the Cats”. Everyone wants to see one in the wild. But are hordes of visitors hoping for the thrill of getting up close to the lord of the jungle good or bad for India’s wildlife sanctuaries?

Most Wild-Caught Grey Parrots Die Before Market

Researchers in the field estimate that 45-65% of wild-caught African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) die before arrival at markets and quarantine facilities in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Terese Hart, Director of the TL2 Project (www.bonoboincongo.com), clarifies that trappers lose an average of 25%, local buyers declare a 10-40% mortality rate, and air transport to…

July 28, 2013: Riding Horseback From Canada To Brazil, Walking Silently For 17 Years, and More

This week, we ride from Calgary to Brazil, relying on the kindness of strangers, then we forego motorized vehicles for 22 years while maintaining a vow of silence, and finally, we get some hiking tips from the best hiker in the world.

Forest Elephant Sanctuary Under Seige

There is no better place to study endangered African forest elephants than the Dzanga Bai in the Central African Republic.  Elephants are drawn in large numbers to this small clearing by the mineral rich soil.  They will hang out for hours at a time making themselves easily visible to researchers and tourists, for the chance…

Solution: Escape Gaps for Fish Traps

Bycatch. That’s the fish that fishers didn’t mean to catch but did – baby fish, species people don’t like to eat, fish no one will buy. High levels of bycatch make fishing unsustainable, not to mention it’s a huge waste. So what can be done about it? Well, that depends on the type of fishing gear…

11,000 Elephants Slaughtered in African Forest

Gabon’s Minkebe National Park, once home to Africa’s largest forest elephant population, has lost 11,100 elephants to the illegal ivory trade in recent years, the Wildlife Conservation Society says. If we can find hundreds of millions of dollars to fight terrorism in Mali, we should be able to find the resources to combat this last big push by poachers, which may well be the final blow to a species that has just about gone extinct in the majority of countries where it once ranged.

African Pangolins in Chinese Soup Bowls

Reports from the wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic, African media outlets, and scholarly researchers point to well-developed trade in pangolins from African source countries to China.