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Wildlife Trafficking: Beyond Elephants and Ivory

By Susan Lieberman

In the wildlife trafficking policy debate in the U.S., the majority of attention to date has been on elephant ivory and rhino horn from Africa. However, elephants and rhinos are not the only species threatened by illegal international trade. Numerous other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and others are also subject to trafficking, and they too need increased attention and political and financial support. In testimony I submitted to a meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, I detailed some of the species whose illegal trade is under the radar, but still are suffering the effects of wildlife trafficking.

Is Your Salmon Small Because of Hungry Cavemen?

Stone Age fishermen in northern Spain selected the biggest whoppers, leaving us with a smaller catch, a new study claims.

Rapa Expedition: An Ancient Secret for Protecting the Future

People have survived for centuries on the tiny island of Rapa, carefully managing their resources through an ancient system known as rahui. What lessons does it hold for the rest of the world today?

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price

By Meg Wilcox Senior Manager, Communications, Ceres The Croatian Pride pushes off the dock and cuts slowly through the grey Gulf of Mexico, its engine growling. The air hangs thick and steamy, and the movement of the 40-foot oyster boat brings relief as it breezes past marshy areas where blue herons stand sentinel. The boat’s…

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Antarctica 2014: Success at Lewis Bay

Join Ken Sims as he tackles perilous ice-encrusted volcanoes in the attempt to study their geological past in Antarctica.

October 19, 2014: Creating Electricity From Food Waste, Arresting Poachers and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they unearth the habits of the world’s largest-ever carnivore, digest kitchen waste to cook dinner, eat like a 500 year old king, stalk Chernobyl’s ruins, trace tree rings’ roots, write a novel about elephants with a plot twist, kayak to protest dams, prosecute poachers in Mozambique, and see the unseen as a large format film.

Puppy-Size Tarantula Found: Explaining World’s Biggest Spider

The world’s largest spider has crept back into the spotlight, thanks to a scientist who described harrowing arachnid encounters on his blog.

Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break

A swordfish’s “sword” is its most prominent feature, but scientists have only now discovered the unusual properties that keep the sword strong and ready to slash.

5 Sky Events This Week: Orion’s Meteors, Hidden Sun, and Zodiacal Light

October’s skies delight the eyes, for stargazers this week.

Through the Eyes of the Locals

Lost in the middle of a storm, Sadia and Andrew trek up the mountains to find a remote village in authentic Laos.

Stunning New Gorilla Documentary Brings DiCaprio and Netflix Together

Leonardo DiCaprio, the American film-star and outspoken environmentalist, has teamed up with online streaming giant Netflix to release one of this year’s most exciting documentaries: VIRUNGA.  Director Orlando von Einsiedel spent 11 months in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011 and 2012, filming the rangers in Virunga National Park who watch over the park’s rare…

Rapa Expedition: Off the Ship, Into the Jungle

With winds so strong the waterfalls were flowing upwards, the Pristine Seas crew lands at Rapa Iti and must hike the final miles to make it to the Island Council meeting for permission to begin the expedition.

CITES and confiscated elephant ivory and rhino horn – to destroy or not destroy?

Over the past 24 months we have seen a number of countries, including Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong SAR, China, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA, destroy stockpiles of illegally traded elephant ivory and rhino horn that have been seized and confiscated. I have been invited by national CITES authorities to witness several…

Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs

Road-killed tapir in Peninsular Malaysia (photo © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong) By William F. Laurance Located in the wrong places, roads can open a Pandora’s Box of problems, says William F. Laurance In a recent Opinion in National Geographic News (“Want to make a dent in world hunger? Build better roads”, 14 October 2014), U.S. Ambassador Kenneth…