Photograph by Michael Nichols

Changing Planet

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Our world’s last remaining wild places are the treasuries of biodiversity and home to most of the world’s remaining wildlife, sustaining remnant communities of wildlife in marginal, degraded habitats through immigration or migration. We must act now to protect our last wild places and ensure the planet's future by committing to protect 30% of our planet by 2030.

As part of our mission of driving toward a planet in balance, National Geographic created Last Wild Places (LWP), a decade-long initiative to help protect the places that sustain life on Earth. LWP has partnered with Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) to support its community-led conservation approach, which is transforming the role of indigenous communities...

By Grace Klinger, Science Communication Fellow at Shedd Aquarium Corals are diverse organisms that provide food and homes to millions of marine species, promoting biodiversity in our oceans. Some are soft, some are stony. Some live in deep water, some in shallow. Some build reefs, some stand alone. And while all share a preference for...

By Marlene Cimons Kristina Stinson never had an allergic reaction to ragweed until after she started working with it. “I think the repeated exposure to the pollen is what did it,” she said. It also didn’t help that her community is chock-full of it. “There is plenty of ragweed in my neighborhood,” she said. “In...

By Jeremy Radachowsky By now, we recognize that deforestation and fossil fuel emissions impact polar bears in the Arctic and raise sea levels around the world. But climate change also hits in ways and places less publicized. Climate change has hit Central America hard. In the past several years, hotter, drier, and more variable weather...

Last week governments met in the southern reaches of Hobart, Australia to make decisions on how to manage the vulnerable icy waters around Antarctica. They deliberated in the wake of the recent reports, which concluded with high confidence that climate change will cause dramatic environmental changes and loss of sea ice. As if to underscore...

By Marlene Cimons Climate change has spurred the spread of invasive insects that devour crops, destroy homes, and spread disease. Now, rising temperatures are driving cadaver-eating blow flies to migrate north in search of cooler weather, with consequences for forensic scientists who rely on them to solve crimes. Blow flies are drawn to dead bodies, both human...

(adapted from the book Eye of the Albatross) East Island has just about disappeared. Hurricane Walaka has washed it away. This happened just a few days ago. You might be relieved to hear that it is so remote a part of Hawaii’s Northwest Islands that no one lived there and no one will be affected....

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...

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...

By Grace Klinger, Science Communications Fellow at Shedd Aquarium Worldwide, the seafood industry represents $362 billion in first sale value for the global economy and accounts for roughly 59.6 million jobs. Given its economic value, it is important to keep a close eye on the way the seafood industry is managed to ensure it is...

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...

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...

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...

By Kyaw Thinn Latt “It used to be quite easy to catch enough fish to feed my family and for me to sell the surplus in the market,” laments Mr. Than Zaw Htay, a coastal fisher in the Kyeintali area of Myanmar, “but these days it is harder and harder to catch enough.” This situation...