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Exploring Indonesia’s Last of the Wild – the Forgotten Islands

By Stuart Campbell and Nils Krueck

The Forgotten Islands occupy a region in the southeastern Indonesian province of Maluku, a sparsely-populated area covering about 50,000 square kilometers that includes a vast expanse of coral reefs. As the region’s name suggests, not much is known about these reefs and their associated fisheries. One important reason for this is that for much of the year the seas are wild and unable to be accessed. Another reason is that Maluku’s Forgotten Islands support around 70,000 people who practice traditional customs that hark back to before the conversion of communities to Christianity. These customs include the guarding of marine resources against occasional visitors, such as nomadic fishers from central Indonesia

WWF’s Living Planet Report echoed on the Great Barrier Reef

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 James Morgan For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been…

Rewilding Europe Brings Back the Continent’s Largest Land Animal

In a momentous effort to rewild Europe this week, an iconic ungulate species—which is also the largest land animal on the continent—has been returned to Central Europe’s Romanian landscape. The wisent is back! According to Rewildling Europe, “More than 250 people gathered from far afield to take part in this unprecedented wildlife release event, far…

“Strange” New Frog Found in Swimming Pool

A boy in eastern Colombia recently found more than just fun in his swimming pool: A new species of frog.

Streamers: A Win-Win for Seabirds and Fishermen

By Nicole Perman Until recently, it seemed as though the short-tailed albatross would not be able to escape extinction.  These endangered seabirds have been threatened first by hunting, and more recently by overfishing in the North Pacific and Bering Seas, and by their less-than-ideal primary breeding ground – a small volcanically active island called Tori-shima,…

Conflict Coast: Mozambique’s Primeiras E Segundas Archipelago

Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan Originally commissioned by WWF Words by Cara Jessop. Empty-handed, fisherman Fome Ali Buri gestures out to sea with the words “It’s over. The ocean is finished. When we fish, all we catch is sand.” Outwardly, Mozambique is a booming and prosperous country, one of the world’s fastest growing economies…

A Dream Team of International Scientists Explore Uncharted Wilderness in Guyana

Our “Biological SWAT team” has just assembled in the Southern Rupununi savannahs of Guyana to conduct a 3-week biodiversity survey.

Five African Nations Sign Up for Conservation Zone the Size of California

Five southern African countries have signed into place the region’s biggest and most ambitious transfrontier conservation project yet. It covers a sparsely populated region of 444,000 square kilometers (171,429 square miles; slightly larger than California) that comprises some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent.

Vital Whale Feeding Ground Threatened by Russian Drilling Platform?

The primary feeding ground for the Critically Endangered western gray whale may be devastated if a proposed third oil and gas drilling platform is allowed to operate offshore of Russia’s Sakhalin Island, an international coalition of NGOs said today.

Fishing Countries Maintain Tuna Quotas, Angering Conservationists

Environmental activists were angry and dismayed at the decision by international fishing regulators today to essentially maintain the commercial harvesting of Atlantic bluefin tuna at current levels, which many scientists and conservationists consider unsustainable for the survival of the fish. Although the 48 member governments of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), meeting for ten…

A Thousand Tigers Dismembered for Skin-and-bones Trade in Recent Years

Parts of at least 1,069 tigers have been seized in tiger range countries over the past decade, according to an analysis of tiger seizures released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Wild tiger numbers are in steep decline, caused by a combination of poaching and illegal trade in the animals themselves, coupled with…

Dark Trade in Amulets, Potions Put Hex on India’s Owls

Use of owls in black magic and sorcery driven by superstition, totems and taboos is one of the prime drivers of the covert trade threatening the survival of the nocturnal bird, wildlife monitors concluded after investigating trafficking, trapping and exploitation of owls in India. Conservationists are especially concerned that the celebration of the Hindu festival Diwali, which begins…

America’s 5,000 Backyard Tigers a Ticking Time Bomb, WWF Says

With more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than survive in the wild, the United States needs a centralized federal database to monitor the big cats, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said this week. “Weak U.S. regulations could be helping to fuel the multimillion dollar international black market for tiger parts,” WWF said in a statement…

Roarrrr your head off for tigers

Earlier this week we were asked to toot our horns for rhinos. Today we are encouraged to roar for tigers. Tomorrow, will we be tweeting for birds? “To save the world’s remaining wild tigers, WWF is not asking people to stand-up and be heard–but asking them for a roar of support,” the conservation organization said…

Blow your horn for rhinos

The international conservation charity, WWF, is asking people everywhere to make September an action month to stand with the world’s embattled rhinos and the “rhino warriors,” the men and women who struggle to protect the pachyderms from poachers. September solidarity with rhinos is to culminate with “Make Noise for Rhinos Day,” during which people are asked…