David McGuire

The shark appears from the blue, soaring in the current like a 707 in a holding pattern.  Doglike, the curious shark investigates open mouthed, eyeing my friend’s flippers. Six feet long and sinuous, she glides along behind us until with a switch of her tail and a flare of her pectoral fins, she is off,...

Marine Protected Areas Also at Risk. WASHINGTON—President Trump announced a plan to consider scaling back protection of 27 national monuments around the country with serious potential impacts on marine, land and cultural resources. By signing The Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act, Trump authorizes Secretary Ryan Zinke at the Department...

Borneo. The name speaks of wildness, of dense rain forests, biodiversity, of elephants and orangutans. Eighteenth century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-theorist of speciation, natural selection and evolution, traveled extensively throughout Malaysia and Indonesia describing terrestrial flora and fauna. His work founded the field of biogeography, and Wallace’s Line describes the separation of species between the ecoregions...

Our small skiff is anchored at the edge of a remote coral reef a mile off the North end of a small Malaysian island few outsiders will ever visit. Beneath us is a shallow seascape of complex and colorful corals. Branching Acroporid corals provide refuge for neon blue damsel fish. Large plate-like forms two meters in diameter...

“Hold it.” Hasri’s upheld hand tells us. He takes two soundless steps on the dried leaves of the lowland Borneo rainforest and listens. We pause for the strange sound to repeat itself among the jungle cicadas and morning calls of birds. From the dense undergrowth comes a cross between a moan and a hoot. The Orangutan...

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Borneo has a shark problem. Over 100 species of sharks live in this region of the Coral Triangle, a region of highest marine biodiversity in the world. Not only do large sharks like hammerheads, tigers and bull sharks swim here, but also endemic species like the endangered Borneo shark, and small bamboo...

Coconut Cove, North Tip of Borneo, Malaysia—It is good to be back in Malaysia among my finny friends. I am in a more familiar setting after weeks among leeches, razor sharp rattan and rotten fish on the second trip of the National Geographic Explorer funded Expedition Laos. In Kota Kinabalu, the capitol of East Malaysia, I meet with Dr. Steve Oakley, the founder...

We have been in the mountains for fifteen days and the team is weary but triumphant. We have crossed lakes and traversed rivers, camped in the rain and trekked through the dense forest in search of the endangered Chinese swamp cypress tree.  After adventurous road travel and even sinking boats, we have located remote forests and found...

“Believe me my young friend, There is nothing absolutely nothing worth half so much doing as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Graham, Wind in the Willows Our team is waiting, while someone else is doing the messing about with our boat, and it does not half feel worth it. Our team of botanists, ecologists,wildlife...

In the Annamite Mountains of central Laos, we are making our way to study a rare population of the majestic and critically endangered Chinese Swamp Cypress tree (Glyptostrobus pensilis). A Change of Plans We have been in Laos for several days now after celebrating New Years from 30,000 feet. Although this country is mostly Buddhist, the holiday attitude...

Our team of botanists and ecologists has converged at the foot of the Annamite Mountains on a National Geographic Explorer grant funded expedition. Dr. Phillip Thomas is a global conifer expert from the Royal Botanical Garden of Edinburgh, Robert Timmons a wildlife expert working in the region for decades, University of San Francisco graduate student...