Ideas & Insight from Explorers

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With Shorter Winters, Plants Bloom Early and Die Young

By Marlene Cimons Spring has been coming earlier, prompting plants to sprout and turn green sooner than ever before. This is because carbon pollution has been heating up the planet, making winters shorter and springs warmer. Until now, scientists believed this premature blooming might not be all bad, as thriving plants might help slow climate change by…

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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Courtship Displays

Energetic and colourful courtship displays are used by many bird species to attract a mate and show readiness to copulate. These displays vary widely and include the use of colourful and ornate breeding plumage; melodious songs; energetic dances; and gift giving. Once a mate is chosen pairs may strengthen bonds using behaviour such as allopreening,…

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Tuna Needs a Lifeline—Let’s Find Innovations That Throw It One

For a fish that evokes comforting simplicity—whether in a classic lunchbox sandwich or on a pristine sashimi platter—tuna exists in a complex and often troubling reality. It’s one of the species we eat the most: tuna is the third-largest seafood commodity in the world. It’s fished in international waters and most species are migratory, which…

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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Migratory Birds 2

In the Northern Hemisphere autumn is underway and many birds are making their way back to warmer climates to overwinter in areas with increased prey availability. Many of the bird species that migrate are aerial foragers and waders, migrating between warm areas because their main food source, insects and crustaceans, are more active and abundant…

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The Poisoning of the Amazon

By: Jacqueline Gerson, Kelsey Lansdale and Melissa Marchese The pitter-patter of rain echoes through our metal boat as we chug down the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian rainforest. Trees line the riverbanks, just visible through the dense fog and heavy rain, while macaws and capuchin monkeys screech in the background; the Amazon is…

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Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Mexico Stand Up for Overlooked Sharks

By Luke Warwick Today, the Governments of Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Mexico announced they would sponsor proposals to protect some of the worlds most endangered sharks at next year’s CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP). CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This exciting announcement was made…

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Upgrading ecosystems and why we should save top predators

Where I work in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, species that have co-evolved over millennia still roam and interact freely together in a protected wilderness.  Gorongosa is among the fortunate, twenty-six years after a devastating civil war and the relentless hunting for meat and ivory and skins tore this ecosystem apart, the Park now brims with…

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Volunteer Divers at Cocos Island National Park Help Collect Data for the Creation of the Cocos – Galapagos Swimway

In 2007, I traveled backwards in time. As I dove below the surface of the water at Cocos Island, two giant and curious sea turtles gracefully greeted me.  By the time I reached 30 meters below the surface, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of hammerhead sharks, another ancient species whose ancestors outlived the dinosaurs. …

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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds in Flight

Bird flight has sparked many people’s imaginations throughout history; inspiring artwork, and aircraft design. Thanks to special adaptations such as feathers, and hollow wing bones, most bird species are capable of flight. Due to the varying sizes and shapes of birds there are different styles of flying. Flapping is common but energy intensive, this flight…

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Mining the Sun is a Game Changer

By Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy   Once a practice restricted to environmental activists, recycling has become mainstream. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Americans recycle or compost more than 34 percent of their waste, or about one and a half pounds of trash per person each day. We…

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When Flood Waters Subside, Termite Troubles Can Rise

By Marlene Cimons As floodwaters brought by Hurricane Florence subside, homeowners, businesses and the government face the long task of cleaning up. But as the crews do their work, there is a little-talked-about danger in the aftermath of severe storms like this one — Formosan termites. This invasive species is a plague on homes and structures across the…

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Lost Civilization in the Congo Basin by Mike Fay and Richard Oslisly

When I arrived in extreme northern Congo back in the 80’s, there wasn’t a single road in the vast floodplain of the Congo River, the forest virgin and giant.  This is where the cryptozoologists ventured to find the last dinosaurs, in this place where, they said, humanity had seldom ventured.  Little was known about the…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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