From Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust: A remote-sensor research camera snapped a photo of a wild snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Sarychat Ertash Nature Reserve shortly after the cat had caught a marmot. During the short mountain summer, these rodents add some diversity to the snow leopard’s diet.
By Mike Maunder, Interim Director, The Kampong, National Tropical Botanical Garden Two weeks ago I was in South Sudan working with East African and South Sudanese colleagues preparing a plant conservation project for the Imatong Mountains. Rivers spill out of these beautiful mountain forests providing water to huge areas of South Sudan. Yet the forests that…
If there is one universal trend amongst the vast majority of cultures around the world in the 21st Century, it is an ever moving shift away from ancestral traditions. With the near exponential increase of the percentage of the human population living in cities, disconnected from the natural resources that shaped the lives and identities of their ancestors, there is grave concern amongst many observers that these ancestral cultures will be lost in the name of progress.
One hundred years ago, in 1914, National Geographic published its first article about the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan: a compelling account of surveys of the region by John Claude White, a British Empire administrator and explorer. Profusely illustrated with his own photographs, White’s report lifted the veil on a mysterious land hidden in the world’s highest mountains.
Here be dragons! On the remote island of Spitsbergen, deep inside the Arctic circle, the remains of some of the most fearsome sea monsters to have prowled the oceans have been entombed in rock for more than 150,000,000 years. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jørn Harald Hurum and his team have been excavating the fossils for many…
By Chipper Wichman, Director and CEO of the National Tropical Botanical Garden With climate change flexing its muscles and demographers from several universities and the United Nations projecting global population growth climbing towards 11 billion through the end of the 21st century, the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity has never been more important. At…
By Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden
I’ve been interested in breadfruit since I began my graduate work in 1983. I was mainly interested in traditional fruit trees in the Pacific Islands. Then, I wrote a term paper on breadfruit, and I became really interested in its importance to plant diversity and food security.
We did not see the rare bowhead whale during our week-long cruise through Svalbard early in the summer of 2014, but our ship, National Geographic Explorer, had some dramatic encounters with humpbacks, and there were also excellent sightings of fin whales and belugas.
Artificial reefs, created by intentionally sinking ships, provide a home for marine life of all types. The sites attract fishermen and divers, who unintentionally leave trash behind, some of which is deadly to marine mammals. A team of conservation divers visits three reefs to carefully extract fishing line and anchor rope that have become entangled in ocean habitats and pose threats to turtles, dolphins, and other marine life. For more…
Seventeen Critically Endangered juvenile Siamese crocodiles have been released into into a protected wetland in Laos, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today. The Siamese crocodile is named Freshwater Species of the Week for its critical role in the fragile Xe Champhone and other wetlands in Southeast Asia. Saving the species from the brink of extinction in the wild and restoring its habitat will help ensure a healthy environment and create socio-economic opportunities for the people who depend on the wetlands.
Freshwater Species of the Week: Fishing Spider
When the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources posted on its Facebook page that giant fishing spiders had been spotted around the state the news was shared more than 10,000 times. More than 2,000 comments were received, including from people posting their own images of the arachnids. Many posters expressed concern and abhorrence. But these are amazing animals with super powers, able to walk or sail with the wind on water, and they can haul up aquatic animals five times their weight.
Perhaps the most endearing animal observed on our summer 2014 sojourn in the Arctic was the Svalbard reindeer, a subspecies of reindeer endemic to the archipelago midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Depleted by hunting over more than six decades, the Svalbard reindeer has been recovering strongly under Norway’s conservation measures, and there may now be as many as 10,000 of them on the islands.
Meet the Dinagat-Caraga tarsier, a distinctive evolutionary lineage of primate that has just been discovered from the southeastern Philippines by an international team of biologists working with the Philippine government’s Biodiversity Management Bureau. The discovery of the new genetic type of primate was funded in part by the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration.
Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.
The waters around the southern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean are home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world. The government of Kiribati recently declared a 12-nautical-mile fishing exclusion zone around each of the five islands, thanks in part to the efforts of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative and Explorer-in-Residence Enric…