Michael Schwartz

The Big Conservation Lie: Overview and Interview With the Authors

Conservation is rightfully celebrated for its contribution to preserving iconic wildlife in their natural habitats. Yet there are those who question some of its ethics, wondering where people fit into the bigger picture.  With a no-holds-barred analysis (some might say ...

The Lion and the Cow: Conservation, Pastoralism, and Conflict

The lioness and the Karamojong cow are competing residents of Uganda’s Kidepo Valley National Park. Above photo by Michael Schwartz. The recurring thought of lions and cows keeps interrupting my focus on a humid evening as I sit down ...

Saving Ugandan Lions One Radio Collar at a Time

Dr. Ludwig Siefert of the Uganda Carnivore Program successfully collars a juvenile male from Lena’s pride in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Above photo by Michael Schwartz. “Carnivore populations are rapidly declining. We are working hard to save them.” — Uganda ...

How Uganda’s Rural Communities Can Help Fight Wildlife Crime

Between its largest protected area, Murchison Falls National Park, and its most visited wildlife haven, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda ranks as one the most biologically diverse countries on the African continent.  But despite being a paragon of conservation success, ...

How One U.S. Zoo is Supporting African Wildlife Conservation

Bill, a southern white rhino at the Seneca Park Zoo, educates the public on the plight of rhinos in Africa. Above photo courtesy of Sarah Michaels. Despite the sensation of gravel, I never expected a rhinoceros to feel so soft ...

World Lion Day: What Would You Do to Protect Lions?

After cordially being invited to “pen a post” for National Geographic’s Cat Watch in honor of World Lion Day (#worldlionday), I was elated; not only because I was asked, but, and in spite of this being quite the cliché, ...

Will Keeping the Rhino Horn Trade Illegal Kill More Rhinos?

Many conservationists are lauding South Africa’s recent decision not to propose the reintroduction of trade in rhino horn, citing concerns that legitimizing it could reignite consumer demand. Other conservationists, however, fear that keeping the ban in place will paradoxically ...

Poachers Aren’t All Evil: An Unconventional Conservation Film

Not all poachers are evil, nor are they as indifferent toward the environment as many activists make them out to be. That sentiment might elicit negative reactions from many an online conservation dilettante. Fortunately, in spite of a world gone ...

The Biggest Obstacles for Africa’s Big Cats

A juvenile lion. Above photo by Michael Schwartz. Almost every obstacle surrounding big cat conservation in Africa is symptomatic of human population growth and the conversion of rangeland to reduce poverty. On a slightly contrarian note, Africa’s surge of ...

Culling to Conserve: A Hard Truth for Lion Conservation

People that don’t live in Africa tend to learn about wildlife conservation in easy-to-understand terminology. But safeguarding animal species like lions is often more complex than mainstream media sound bites would have their audiences believe. The National Post recently ...

Finding Ways to Keep People and Elephants at Peace

INTERVIEW WITH THE UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY. INTERVIEW, VIDEO FOOTAGE, AND EDITING BY MICHAEL SCHWARTZ. AUDIO AND FIELD ASSISTANCE COURTESY OF MOSES KONDE AND MOSES AGABA OF NATURE ADVENTURE AFRICA SAFARIS. A gazetted national park doesn’t always stop wildlife from ...

Link Between Ivory Price Drop and China’s Trade Ban Questioned

By Michael Schwartz The conservation organization Save the Elephant’s recent claim of a strong association between the sharp decline in raw ivory prices and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s September pledge to close China’s domestic ivory markets may ...

How to Offset Terrorism’s Damage to Funding for Pachyderms

By Michael Schwartz On the whole, tourism revenue is an optimal way of conserving Africa’s remaining elephant and rhino populations. But the current spike in global terrorist activities should serve as a sobering reminder that it can’t be ...