Voices for Wildlife

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are...

  Tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. Adults can weigh up to 800 pounds – and measure up to 10.8 feet.     Tigers are carnivores, eating only meat. They mainly feed on large mammals such as deer, wild pigs, antelope and buffalo.   Tigers are solitary hunters, and generally search for...

Lions usually live in groups of 10 or 15 animals called prides.   An adult male’s roar can be heard up to nearly 5 miles away.   A female lion needs 11 pounds of meat a day. A male needs 15.4 pounds or more a day.     The name for a baby lion is...

Most leopards are light colored and have dark spots on their fur. These spots are called “rosettes” because their shape is similar to that of a rose. There are also black leopards, whose spots are hard to see because their dark fur.   Leopards can be found in various places around the world – they live...

A comprehensive assessment of cheetah populations in southern Africa supported by the National Geographic Society reveals the dire state of one of the planet’s most iconic big cats, the Society said in a news statement today. “In a study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ, researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in...

What would you do if you came face-to-face with a 175 pound, agitated leopard? If you’re conservation power-couple Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren, you’ve been on the receiving end of such a scenario about 112 times. The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild....

You may not have had “cheetah matchmaker” featured at your high school career fair, but that’s just what Vincent van der Merwe’s business card may as well read. But trying to repopulate the highly vulnerable species can be as dangerous as it is exciting. Watch the video to see what happens when van der Merwe tries to translocate a very...

This beautiful animal is threatened by loss of habitat and prey, as well as conflict with humans. As a result, the cheetah is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red list, and, today, an estimated 9,000-12,000 remain in Africa.   The fastest land animal in the world, a cheetah can reach 69.5 mph in just three seconds – faster than a sports...

A West African Lion. Above photo by Philipp Henschel/Panthera. What is the glue that forever binds lions to East and Southern Africa? Was it the pioneering Serengeti research done by Bernhard Grzimek? The high volume of lion films, featuring terrestrial backdrops like the Okavango Delta? Or is it simply that iconic picture of panthera leo, resting...

Stacked image of live Psychodidae pupa. (R. Isaí Madriz) Residual Fragments of Past Lives (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) Decaying fragments hang from the cavity’s roof as streaks of viscous dark red liquid meander down its sides. The peculiar scent of extracellular digestion from fungal mycelia impregnates the stale air. I force myself into the cramped cavity...

By David Aplin, interim managing director of the WWF U.S. Arctic program The last time I stood waist-deep in one of Bristol Bay’s crystal-clear streams, I was wishing I’d been wearing a pair of catcher’s shin guards. It was the middle of July and schools of sockeye salmon bumped and bounced off my legs as...

By Jason Gregg It’s 3 a.m. and I am running through a dark field with a live, wild quail in my hand. I have just extracted it from a poacher’s net in the Famagusta region of Cyprus, one of the most dangerous places for birds on Earth. A poacher’s patrol car passes nearby. Ahead of...

Above: A portrait of a Sunda clouded leopard (Photo by Max Allen)   Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are part of the Panthera lineage of felids that includes African lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), and jaguars (Panthera onca). These are among the most charismatic wildlife species, but Sunda clouded leopards are the least understood...

The notion that human impacts will be fine, so long as we keep them within “planetary boundaries,” is seductive but deeply flawed scientifically. Worse, though well-intentioned, it encourages harmful policies, three of the world’s leading ecologists argue in a peer-reviewed commentary published this month in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. “A critical question is how...

On November 8, U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the creation of an International Wildlife Conservation Council that will advise him. As a recent Science Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science assigned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Division of International Conservation, I’ve watched the...