biodiversity

By Susan Lieberman Sharm el Shekih, Egypt The global community has gathered in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt for the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, or CBD—an international treaty to which every country in the world other than the U.S. is a member (but that’s another story). I am here leading…

Wildlife

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With the planet facing an exploding population and unprecedented levels of biodiversity loss, National Geographic Society Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist Dr. Jonathan Baillie and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr. Ya-Ping Zhang urged the world’s governments to dramatically scale up global conservation targets. They detailed their opinions in an editorial published in the latest issue……

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By Stephen Garnett and James Watson Hazda, Aranda, Orang Asli, Yanomami and Cherokee – Indigenous Peoples have many names around the world. With such diversity in names and cultures, some people might not be aware of the many things that Indigenous Peoples share. One is deep cultural attachment to their land and sea – an…

Changing Planet

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By Catherine Haase This year, Punxsutawney Phil, our favorite groundhog meteorologist, saw his shadow and gave us another six weeks of winter. Though relying on a rodent to determine how long winter will be is a silly concept, it is a good reflection of how variable winter length can be from year to year and…

Wildlife

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“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…

Wildlife

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Zakouma National Park in Chad is one the last remaining intact Sudano-Sahelian ecosystems in Africa. During the mid-2000s, Chad experienced civil unrest and conflict with Sudan; rampant poaching had decimated Zakouma’s elephant population, which had once roamed free in herds of a thousand strong.  Seeking refuge from fighting, elephants would herd in Zakouma park, where…

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A wind was blowing from the west, sending dust devils spinning across northern Kenya’s plains as our guide, Sammy Lemiruni, explained how to track black rhino on foot. We were in Samburu-land en route to Sera Rhino Sanctuary, which became the first sanctuary in East Africa to offer a pioneering rhino-tracking safaris to tourists in…

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Riding on the tailgate of a two-seater truck as it rattled over bone-shaking potholes and pits of mud, Jacob leaned over and told me a local sorcerer was currently trying to kill him. I wiped a fly off my nose and asked him what he meant. He raised a finger and pointed to a clearing….

Changing Planet, Human Journey

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By Matthew Linkie Indonesia is a megadiversity country, but even by its exceptionally high levels of biodiversity, Sulawesi stands out for its bewilderingly rich, charismatic and, at times, quirky species. The island, whose shape resembles a hyper-extended letter K, is the 11th largest in the world. Sulawesi’s shape and rugged terrain were forged by the…

Wildlife

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  This winter (in the northern hemisphere), the Biosphere Foundation is undertaking a sea voyage on their 108-year-old ship through the gumdrop islands and turquoise waters of Raja Ampat — the most biologically-diverse marine ecosystem on the planet. A Homecoming I hadn’t seen her in over seven years, then there she was, resting peacefully on a…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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By Peter Zahler Conservation is a long-term effort. Many of the field programs I have been affiliated with have been in existence for 20 or 30 years. One reason for this is that it takes years to collect the data to really understand the threats and potential solutions to a landscape, whether it is poaching…

Changing Planet

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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,…

Wildlife

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A scientist has discovered 19 new species of super-speedy praying mantises that roam Central and South America, a new study says. The insects belong to a group called bark mantises, which are flatter and broader than the more commonly known mantis. “They almost look like cockroaches with a narrow front end,” said Gavin Svenson, curator of invertebrate…

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