animals

Today, the journal Frontiers of Ecology and Evolution published an analysis of a new lion alert system designed to protect lions and help communities thrive. This innovative approach to promoting human-wildlife coexistence was developed with support from the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative. Lion populations have plummeted in recent decades due in part to conflict...

This year marked the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. Over the last century, the law has saved millions, if not billions, of birds from depredatory human activities. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic joined forces with Audubon, Birdlife, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology...

By Marlene Cimons Conservationist Joel Berger lives in the extreme. That’s the best word to describe his travels, and what he does. He goes to extreme environments — not any of the usual tourist destinations — to study how animals there adapt. These places are hot and cold deserts, for example, the uppermost regions of the tallest of mountains, and the...

By Erica Cirino It’s been nearly 9 years since The Cove brought the story of dolphin massacres in Taiji, Japan, and the issue of captive cetaceans before the eyes of millions of people around the world. The film shows viewers the images of fishers corralling dozens of thrashing and squealing dolphins into nets set up...

“They came back,” says biologist Donald Webster. “This year.” His voice has a wistful note, wondering if the king of ducks, as the beautiful, crimson-headed canvasback is known, will return to rule Chesapeake Bay again next winter. In parka, gloves and hat, Webster, waterfowl coordinator for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), raises his...

Since my daughter Pilar was born three years ago, I became a different human being. It’s been a dream of mine to develop a series of books that will inspire and educate children, with a special emphasis on empowering young girls to dream big, and to understand they should aim for the stars to pursue...

By Erica Cirino In an opinion piece for the Cape Cod Times earlier this month, Carl Safina and I wrote about coexisting with coyotes—as millions of people in fact do. We juxtaposed a Cape Cod coyote-killing contest against a San Francisco newspaper deliveryman who every morning gives a particular coyote their own paper. That coyote...

Above: A portrait of a Sunda clouded leopard (Photo by Max Allen)   Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are part of the Panthera lineage of felids that includes African lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), and jaguars (Panthera onca). These are among the most charismatic wildlife species, but Sunda clouded leopards are the least understood...

A woodland caribou peers through spruce trees on Lake Superior’s Slate Islands. (Photograph: Andrew Silver) Qalipu, it’s called by Canada’s Mi’kmaq people. To others, it’s the elusive gray ghost of the far northern forest. Most know it simply as caribou. Woodland caribou are medium-sized members of the deer family. In Canadian provinces such as Ontario,...

Modern-day sloths are tree dwellers, only occasionally venturing down to the ground. But about five to eight million years ago, five sloth species ventured into the sea. Now, new research suggests that these ancient animals went much further into the water than we ever knew. Instead of just living near the ocean and making brief...