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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…

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #21

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau A good friend once told me that wildlife photography makes him sad. He explained that when he sees images of the wild creatures and unspoiled places his heart aches too deeply at the thought of what he perceives to be…

Livestock Guarding Dogs in Southern Africa

Given the number of comments about my blog on the effectiveness of guard dogs in protecting livestock, I asked Jane Horgan, NGS Big Cats Initiative grantee to respond.  Here’s what Jane has written. Stuart Pimm Jane Horgan: Thank you all for your comments. This author is referring to programs run by NGOs throughout southern Africa as…

Lion Conservation: Does it Come Down to Cows?

By Shivani Bhalla with Paul Thomson I write this story from my tent in Samburu. I am looking out, watching the dry landscape in front of me. I see two warthogs coming to graze in the only place they can find some grass – outside our tents. I see the dik diks and squirrels searching…

Zambia’s Hunting “Bans”—Shedding Light on a Complicated History

By Katarzyna Nowak

On August 21, Zambia was reported to have “lifted its hunting ban,” announcing that a ban on hunting big cats—leopards and lions—would remain. One week later, an addendum was issued by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), clarifying that the hunting ban would remain in effect for elephants too.

However, confusion endures in the media, such as in a September 9 article on Mongabay: “Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game.”

Was there ever a hunting ban in Zambia, has Zambia resumed hunting, and will elephants be hunted?

OPINION: Can Elephants Survive a Continued Ivory Trade Ban?

Daniel Stiles, a member of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group, discusses whether there should be a legal trade in elephant ivory, and proposes elements that could be included in a legal trade. The outcome, he believes, will be a significant reduction of elephant killing for ivory.  

Maasai Steppe Warrior for Wildlife Elvis Kisimir Speaks Up for Lions

“In a few years to come, the world will only see the rare lion spoor on the sandy soil. If the wind blows, then even those spoor will go.” One extraordinary Maasai warrior shares his message for the world about the future of big cats. Elvis Kisimir experiences the full extent of familial responsibility while…

Mongoose Fends Off Lions: Explaining Viral Video

A mongoose that survived a tussle with four African lions may have been dealing with playful youngsters, a biologist says.

A Photographic Diary of #Okavango14

James Kydd, professional photographer and conservationist on the Okavango Expedition, shares some of his favorite photos from the trip, as well as the stories surrounding them.

August 31, 2014: Diving Deep For Bioluminescence, Mixing Climate Change With Music and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dodge whales and pirates on the Indian Ocean, track poachers in Africa, find lost societies in Orkney, shed light on glowing sharks, harmonize with melting ice in Antarctica, live underwater for 31 days, follow in the pawprints of a lone wolf for 1,200 miles, and rove across the red planet.

#Okavango14: Animals Gallery From Twitter

Explorer Shah Selbe’s photos bring you right into the heart of the Okavango Delta expedition, capturing creatures great and small that the team has encountered.

#Okavango14: Out There …

Poling 10,000 years back in time.

View from Kinshasa: Minerals and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

From 2000 to 2005, I was asked to teach an annual module in environmental conflict resolution at a program for mid-career professionals from developing countries held at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (funded by the Henry R. Luce Foundation). In one of the earlier…

August 17, 2014 Radio Show: Speaking to Hippos, American Seafood Industry Secrets, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they explore Africa, fish to satisfy America’s seafood appetite, prevent pollinator colonies from collapsing, provide energy to India’s powerless, road trip 25,000 miles with children, save the lion, understand sperm whale “culture”, and follow our noses to find love.

Geography in the News: The Strangest Desert

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Strange Namib Desert of Africa Africa seems to always be in the news covering conflict and disease across the continent. Its wonderful physical diversity, however, provides a background that is often overlooked by the casual reader. The Namib Desert is just one of…