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Tag archives for wildlife

An Arctic gift-wrapped in plastic?

Let’s hope not. But—. All of us who’ve traveled long and far have seen the amount of plastic on beaches increase incredibly in our lifetime. And it isn’t slowing anytime soon. The worst plastic accumulations I’ve seen are in the tropics, near where most of the people are. A lot of it comes to the…

Cecil the Lion one Year on: An Interview with Cecil’s Researcher

A year ago, a male lion called Cecil was killed in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, by an American trophy hunter. Cecil’s death caused uproar around the world and shone a much-needed light on the decline and vulnerability of the African lion population; today, there may be no more than 20,000 remaining in the wild. To…

Not the last polar bear

We’re up in the high Arctic, in Svalbard. I’m a guest for a few days on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. (It’s a bit of a misnomer at this time of year because the sun never sets, so—to paraphrase Hemingway—the sun also never rises.) As we are slowly leaving Isfjorden (Icy Fjords) 78º N and…

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

Free at last: National Aquarium’s sea change on dolphin policy

By Erica Cirino and Carl Safina If you’re ever visiting the National Aquarium in Baltimore, you must stop by Dolphin Discovery, according to aquarium staff. It’s an exhibit reminiscent of an Olympic swimming stadium: A large pool surrounded by bleacher seating for hundreds of onlookers, located inside a towering glass-walled building. Inside the glass-and-concrete swimming…

Big Black Bears Celebrated in Big Way in Washington County, North Carolina

On a recent spring morning, photographer Doward Jones and a friend were looking for photo opportunities in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Plymouth, North Carolina. As they cruised through the refuge in an SUV, they spotted a black bear helping himself to wheat in a farmer’s field. The young male bear was enjoying…

When Pets Invade: Protecting Wildlife in the Galapagos

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. This blog entry spotlights some of the exciting work our grantees are doing with support from the LEX-NG Fund. Raise your hand if you’ve ever…

World Oceans Day Celebrated in Compelling Photos

From the vastness of the world’s oceans, the mystery of underwater ecosystems to humankind’s reliance on marine processes, the ocean is a wonderfully strange, altogether necessary part of our world. It is on World Oceans Day that we reflect on all of the benefits, mysteries, and wonders of the ocean.

The Safina Center celebrates World Oceans Day

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Oceans are essential to life on Earth: They cover more than two-thirds of the planet and contain 97 percent of its water. They absorb carbon from the atmosphere, helping regulate our climate. They provide humans with food and transportation routes for trade and travel. And best of all, they’re filled with…

Why Protecting Canada’s Boreal Forest is This Century’s Great Conservation Idea

A hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty helped shape North America’s conservation ethic. Today, new initiatives in Canada offer hope for a sound environmental future. Historians would not consider 1916 a good year for the planet. The largest war the world had ever seen was raging in Europe, with millions of people killed and…

Is Zootopia Creating Demand for Pet Fennec Foxes in China? (SPOILER: Probably Not)

You might have heard that Disney’s newest blockbuster, Zootopia (titled Zootropolis in some European countries), is driving a “huge demand for fennec foxes as pets” in China. What you probably have not read is the evidence to support such headlines. And the reason for that is simple: there isn’t any. It is time to stop…

How street art can help keep waterways clean and clear of trash

Co-authored by Erica Cirino I’m strolling down Main Street in Northport, a nautical, perhaps quintessential, Long Island village that comes complete with bay views and the scent of sea spray in the air. A friend across the street calls my name just as I’m making the difficult decision of whether or not I should enter…

Killer whales pursuing a dolphin off Central California

By Jodi Frediani, with intro by Carl Safina Killer whales are astonishing creatures, extreme by every measure. I (Carl) wrote extensively about them in my recent book Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. Several non-interbreeding “types” which are actually different species exist (though these are not yet formally recognized with different Latin names). And…

The manta in the mirror

By John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs A meeting of minds Chain upon chain of jagged islands jutted up from the sea. Dense vegetation clung to black, pitted rock walls that dropped sharply into cerulean blue lagoons. A Sulfur-crested Cockatoo landed in the top of a tree, its raucous call bouncing around the cliffs before daring out…

Plastic: The big breakup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My dog Foosa and I step onto the beach, and in the first few steps I find—as usual—something made of plastic. This beach is strewn with everything from fiberglass buoys to crumbling Styrofoam cups to poorly disposed “disposable” lighters to plastic bags (use once, throw away, except that “away” is here).…