Cheryl Lyn Dybas

Historical Sign of Chesapeake Winter, the Canvasback, Still Brightens the Bay

“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…

Read More

What’s the cost of a surf-and-turf dinner? 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

What’s the cost of a shrimp-and-steak dinner? Ask these ghosts of mangroves past in Madagascar. (Photograph: J. Boone Kauffman) What’s the cost of an average shrimp-and-steak dinner? If it comes from the loss of mangrove forests to aquaculture and agriculture, it’s 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gases…

Read More

Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s

Are answers to diseases hidden in the leaves and bark of trees such as maples? Researchers are finding out. (Photograph: University of Rhode Island) In the 1992 film Medicine Man, biochemist Robert Campbell, played by actor Sean Connery, searches for new drugs in the Amazon’s vast rainforests. There Campbell finds a cure for cancer not in…

Read More

The Owls of Winter: Ghosts of the Grasslands Appear at Twilight

At twilight in winter, short-eared owls appear over grasslands across the U.S. (Photograph: USFWS) They emerge at twilight, the magical time when rarely seen creatures come out of the shadows. In the balmy air of an unseasonably warm February dusk, twilight indeed has opened a portal to another world. Like bats that flutter from caves…

Read More

Invasion of the Aliens: Body Snatching Worms, Cold Winters May Rout Lakes’ Enemies

Body snatcher: The worm Chaetogaster limnaei, viewed through a microscope. The worm has just eaten a young Asian clam, an invasive species in Lake George, N.Y. (Photograph: Dave Winkler) Public enemy number one, it might be called: Eurasian watermilfoil. It’s not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, but maybe it should be, say scientists…

Read More

African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

Is the sun setting for lions and other iconic wildlife species in Africa? This lioness is one of a fast-dwindling number of African lions. (Photograph: Craig Packer) With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the…

Read More

Q&A: Extreme Drought in South Africa’s Kruger National Park: How is Wildlife Faring?

Bone-dry winds are blowing across South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP), uprooting savanna grasses and whirling them like tumbleweeds across a sere landscape. How is the park’s world-renowned wildlife faring in an extreme drought? To find out, I talked with Izak Smit, Science Manager for Systems Ecology at South African National Parks (SANParks), which oversees KNP….

Read More

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

Read More

Wolf – Caribou Detente? Clues Hidden on Lake Superior Islands

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,…

Read More

Shadow Cat: Canada Lynx Silently Cross U.S. State, National Borders

On-the-move: Canada lynx are making their way into new territory. (Photograph: USFWS/Keith Williams) The forest has eyes. And somewhere in the shadows of a winter dusk that falls across towns in northern New England, they’re watching. The deep green eyes of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) have the advantage in the region’s dark spruce-fir, or…

Read More

About the Blog

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.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

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

Social Media