conservation

By Carl Safina and Sylvia Earle When the first World Oceans Day was held in 1992, the oceans were very different than today. The oceans were less acidic because less carbon dioxide had dissolved into them. They were a little cooler because the atmosphere was cooler. More large predatory fish like tunas and sharks existed,…

Changing Planet

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I drove through Punakaiki recently. Once a year this west coast town holds a festival to welcome the Westland petrel back home to New Zealand after its annual sojourn to South American waters. Amid a weekend of music and revelry, festival-goers gather on the beach at sunset to watch thousands of large black seabirds assemble…

Wildlife

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Celebrated sea captain James Cook implanted a British flag down into the rocky, icy ground on the shore of South Georgia in 1775. When he did so, he claimed ownership of the icy, mountainous Antarctic island not only for his country’s humans, but, inadvertently, also for its rodents. From the arrival of Cook onward, ships…

Wildlife

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Los insectos generalmente no son muy atractivos a los ojos de muchos, fuera de las coloridas y “carismáticas” mariposas y escarabajos. ¿Cómo mostrar a las moscas y “gusanos” de una manera interesante y atractiva? El secreto está en exponer las vidas secretas de los insectos. ¿Sabías que puedes usar “gusanos” para ver si el agua del río es buena…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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  Insects are not generally appealing to most, outside the “charismatic” colorful butterflies and beetles. How can flies and “maggots” be presented in an interesting and appealing way? The secret lies in exposing the insects’ secret lives. Did you know that you can use “maggots” to see if the water from a stream is good to…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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No wild animal on earth has an easy death. Be it starvation, disease, mortal wound, or a predator’s teeth, an inevitably grisly end awaits all creatures born into a world where nature’s dictum is the daily struggle to survive. Though seemingly cruel, the ebb and flow of an animal’s precarious existence is the status quo…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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  By Rachel Downey (Australia National University & British Antarctic Survey) and Claire Christian (ASOC) Sponges may historically be one of world’s greatest survivors, but on our planet, we have a number of new human-made challenges that sponges have not come up against before. The deployment of fishing gear that smash seabed habitats, the laying…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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By Rachel Downey (Australia National University & British Antarctic Survey) and Claire Christian (ASOC) In our last post, we introduced you to one of nature’s underappreciated animals, the sea sponge. Sponges have been around for over 600 million years, by developing some fascinating adaptations that make them one of our greatest global survivors. Long existence…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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    By Rachel Downey (Australia National University & British Antarctic Survey) and Claire Christian (ASOC) Every so often, conservationists make a concerted effort to get the public to care about some humble or overlooked species. Cephalopod Awareness Day, anyone? Photos of unusual species lacking the fur or feathers typically required for cuteness, might even…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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The fourth annual World Seabird Twitter Conference took place over this past week, with seabird researchers all over the globe chiming in around the clock for three days straight. You don’t need a Twitter account to peruse the presentations: #WSTC4. I had a 15-minute slot to “present” and answer questions about my own tweets:   I’m…

Wildlife

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(Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Scraping sand grains and pebbles for nutrients, it has wandered the river bed for ten months.  After hiding from predators under submerged rocks it is time to leave the safety of the river behind. Among the rarest species of insects in the world, Araucoderus gloriosus belongs to one of four primitive crane…

Changing Planet, Wildlife

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When the United States Embassy in New Zealand asks if you’ll do an Earth Day post about impacts of mismanaged waste on the global environment—with a focus on seabirds—what do you do? Quick, call Lilly Sedaghat and Steph Borrelle! Sedaghat is one of my four fellow Fellows (2017-2018 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows, that is), currently studying waste…

Changing Planet

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By Erica Cirino Florida is struggling with a fast-increasing population of invasive green iguanas that began as a small group of released and escaped pets. Thriving in the warm sunshine and humid climate, experts believe hundreds of thousands of nonnative iguanas now call the Sunshine State “home.” There, state conservation officials claim they threaten the…

Wildlife

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In the far north of New Zealand lie the rugged Poor Knights Islands, off-limits to terrestrial tourism, but surrounded by a stunning marine reserve containing one of Jacques Cousteau’s top ten dive sites. Why are these prismatic waters so rich with life? One likely factor is the abundance of seabirds that breed here, bringing nutrients they’ve…

Wildlife

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By: Nejma Belarbi, based on an article published on Voices for Biodiversity My Life for the Land, written by Nanai photographer and writer Kiliii Yuyan, illuminates the importance of viewing conservation through the Indigenous lens. The scientific community has begun to recognize Indigenous knowledge as pivotal to conservation efforts. One commonly overlooked reality is the…

Changing Planet, Human Journey, Wildlife

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