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Changing Attitudes of Maasai Steppe Pastoralists Offer Hope to Lions

For the Maasai, the lion hunt is a celebration of bravery reflecting their reverence and respect for the big cat as a primary foe. However, their relationship with the lion has become increasingly turbulent as the pastoralists confront an ever more populated landscape where conflicts between people and wildlife are on the rise. Warriors often put down their spears, replacing them with poison and guns. With lion populations plummeting across many parts of the continent, one spot on Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe shows refreshing signs of a recovering lion population and a Maasai community in a locally-motivated transition. Deirdre Leowinata reports.

The Secret to Surviving Surgery in a Little Yellow Box

When philosophers muse upon the secret to life, they probably aren’t imagining a little yellow box. And yet, when it comes to surgery, that box can hold the secret to life, and it turns out that the answer is simple: oxygen. Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from kiwanja.net featuring the many ways…

Introducing iCow: The Virtual Mobile Midwife for Cows

Smallholder farmers in Kenya are traditionally conservative, and getting them to adopt new methods and technologies can often take time and effort. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we look at how mobile technology, and one application in particular, is successfully bucking the trend. Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from kiwanja.net featuring…

Build a Boma, Protect a Cow, Save a Lion

Good fences make good neighbors, the saying goes, and this is particularly true in rural Africa, where herders face daily challenges to protect livestock from lions and other predators. Build a Boma is a fundraising campaign by the National Geographic Society’s Big Cat Initiative that helps build the sturdy enclosures to protect cattle and goats from nocturnal raiders. By building traditional enclosures known as bomas, predators and domestic animals are kept apart, saving lions and other marauders from being killed by people anxious to protect their livestock. It’s an African solution funded in part by small donations from people of goodwill across the world, people in countries where sleeping safely at night has been taken for granted. Build a Boma is a win-win for people and wildlife.

Thinking Outside the Box Brings Cinema and Community Libraries to Refugees

People typically arrive in refugee camps fleeing from conflict with few or no possessions. Life can seem bleak with little hope and opportunity. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we look at how the Ideas Box project is starting to remedy this with some inspiring results, one box at a time. Digital Diversity is a…

Celebrating East African Pollinator Diversity!

Dear All Many greetings from the rainforest in Western Kenya! Am very pleased to share with you a recently complete book featuring and celebrating pollinator diversity in East Africa. You can download the book through link by clicking on the cover image below: Click on image above to go to the page where you can…

Here Today, Dugong Tomorrow!

The Pristine Seas dive team battles rough seas in this update from the expedition team in Mozambique.

Africa’s Illegal Charcoal Trade Engulfs Cheetah Habitat

In rural northern Tanzania, an African country famous for charismatic megafauna, including free-roaming cheetah and other big cats, impoverished and under-employed Swahili villagers struggle to survive. One way to earn money and make cooking fuel is to cut forests for wood that can be turned into charcoal. It’s an economic and environmental disaster, illegal because it is not sustainable for either wildlife or people. Meet the team that is looking for new ways to create livelihoods while teaching villagers the importance of protecting their natural wealth.

Geography in the News: Tragic Deaths of Amphibians

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Dying Frogs, Salamanders, and Other Amphibians A deadly fungus is attacking Earth’s amphibian species. Unfortunately, the disease seems to be winning and its price may be the extinction of frogs, toads and salamanders. The disease, called chytridiomycosis, or chytrid for short, has been decimating…

Baby Baboon’s Frightening Encounter with Lions Ends with a Heroic Twist

Witness this remarkable interaction between a baby baboon, a lioness, and the heroic acts of the father baboon that follow.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? New Study Offers Strong Evidence

The zebra’s stripes evolved to keep pesky insects at bay, according to the most thorough study to date on the subject.

Kenya Elephant Census Reveals Photos of Illegal Charcoal Production

The Great Elephant Census in Kenya is now potentially revealing a shocking emergence of illegal coal production in Tsavo region.

Incredibly Rare Tornado Sighting Over Lake Kariba

Amazing images of a rare system captured over Lake Kariba during a huge thunderstorm. Paul Steyn recounts the remarkable experience.

Mama Scorpion in Turkana, Kenya

Dear All – greetings from the Turkana Basin Institute in Northern Kenya. This afternoon while I was working in my lab I heard a soft rustling noise coming from the waste-paper basket. At first I thought that yet another careless gecko had gotten itself trapped, but on closer inspection found a small scorpion hiding within.…

Mauritius: Charting the Future of an African Outlier

Travels across the South Indian Ocean can be nicely punctuated with an exotic stopover on the small island state of Mauritius. The country boasts a fine airline which flies regularly to Australia and connects to various destinations on the African continent with which it shares geopolitical allegiances, including membership in the African Union. In January…