Biologist Enriqueta Velarde, a researcher at the University of Veracruz’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries in Mexico, who has devoted 35 years to studying and conserving the seabirds of the Gulf of California’s Isla Rasa, is the 2014 winner of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Latin American Conservation. Scientist and biologist Benezeth Mutayoba, professor at Tanzania’s Sokoine University of Agriculture and vice chairman of the Tanzania Elephant Protection Society, who highlights the plight of African elephants and the bushmeat crisis in Africa, is this year’s recipient of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation.
Ten years ago Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society joined forces to inspire, illuminate, and teach the world through expedition travel. The collaboration in exploration, research, technology, and conservation has provided extraordinary experiences to thousands of travelers, raised funds and awareness to address critical challenges to the environment, and inspired people to be better stewards of the planet. In this National Geographic-behind-the-scenes interview, Sven-Olof Lindblad, founder and president of Lindblad Expeditions, talks about the impetus behind the partnership, some of the accomplishments, and his thoughts of the future.
Environmental philanthropists from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have together committed U.S. $80 million over ten years to help fund conservation of all 38 species of wild cats.
From amazing scientists and innovators to artists and storytellers, National Geographic names a new class of Emerging Explorers annually. The program highlights young changemakers who are making discoveries, making a difference, and inspiring people to care for the planet.
Tigers are symbols of power and beauty, the “King of the Cats”. Everyone wants to see one in the wild. But are hordes of visitors hoping for the thrill of getting up close to the lord of the jungle good or bad for India’s wildlife sanctuaries?
Marine Ecologist Enric Sala says a new study produced by a dozen researchers confirms that the Mediterranean is on a trajectory to become a sea dominated by small tropical species that no one likes to eat. “Fishes will not be abundant, and the native species that the Greeks and Romans started to fish commercially will be rare — and most fisheries and the jobs they support will collapse,” he says. But this could change “if we stop all the irrational overfishing,” Sala adds, “including both legal and illegal fishing, and protect a large chunk of the Mediterranean. Without these radical changes, we’re just going to reduce the Mediterranean Sea to a soup of microbes and jellyfish.”
The final tally for this year’s BioBlitz at Golden Gate National Parks includes everything from a mountain lion to a tree-dwelling salamander. Top officials from the National Park Service and National Geographic describe each group of organisms. Bob Hirshon reports.
In this installment of BioBlitz 2014 video coverage, Bob Hirshon hghlights the taxonomists whose job it is to find and identify species, and to organize the wide variety of life on earth.
National Park Service Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors blog about their participation in the Golden Gate BioBlitz.
Rain doesn’t stop the BioBlitz. Citizen scientists scoured the waters and grounds of Golden Gates National Parks, from Muir Woods to the Presidio, for all the plant, animal, and insect species they could find in a 24-hour period. They found 2,304 species, surpassing the record. More than 80 species were new to the parks’ species list. And at least 15 species were identified as threatened.
Dan Dugan of the Nature Sounds Society shares four recordings he made at night in Muir Woods, on the eve of the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz. Listen to a great horned owl, pileated woodpeckers, and a winter wren.
Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is a part of the the Golden Gate National Recreation Area best known for its birds and the penitentiary from which no successful escape was recorded. But it is also the home of historic gardens rooted in times when the island was first a military base and then a forbidding prison, planted and tended by personnel and their families, often with the help of inmates. Rehabilitated after decades of neglect, the Gardens of Alcatraz are now a tourist attraction — and they were a big source of species observed for the 2014 BioBlitz in Golden Gate National Parks.
The initial scientific species count as of the 3:45 p.m. BioBlitz Closing Ceremony on Saturday was 2,304, with well over 8,600 observations recorded over the course of the two-day event, the organizers said in a news statement today. More than 80 species are new to the parks species list. At least 15 species were identified as Threatened.
When the sun goes down, the Presidio area of Golden Gate National Parks comes alive with owls, snakes, rodents, moths and, of course, bats. In this video by Bob Hirshon, a Bioblitz 2014 team of bat hunters, armed with ultrasound-detecting devices, hikes through the Lobos Creek and Dunes area of the park, looking and listening for bats.
Until this year, identifying organisms at the BioBlitz was based purely on examining them– looking at their shape, size, color, number of legs, etc– and the species have been limited to multicelled creatures. For 2014, a group from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have introduced the PhyloChip, which can test for the presence of 60,000 varieties of bacteria and Archaea, a large group of primitive single celled organisms.