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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…

Castles in the Air: Experiences and Journeys in Unknown Bhutan

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.

The Coral Triangle: Amazon of the Oceans

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan. I’ve been fortunate to see most of the world’s oceans the past couple…

Transforming Indonesia’s Manta Fisheries

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Shawn Heinrichs Transforming Indonesia’s Manta Fisheries: The path to creating an effective Manta Sanctuary Indonesia announced…

Sex in the City: As Cities Grow, Are We Forgetting the Urban Poor?

Today, 3.9 billion of us live in cities. That’s more than half the world’s population. By 2050, two-thirds of us will live in urban areas. Today is World Population Day, and this week the United Nations Population Division released the latest version of its World Urbanization Prospects. The 2014 projections show continued population growth and…

Indigenous Transitions: From Behind the Lens

National Geographic Young Explorer Hannah Reyes is studying and visually documenting the transitions to modernity of indigenous culture in the Northern Philippines. The project’s cinematography director, Bianca Natola, has created a video that shows the team’s moments in the field.

Air Pollution Now Top Environmental Health Risk

New analysis from the World Health Organization (WHO) links exposure to air pollution to roughly 7 million deaths annually. The report confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest environmental health risk. It estimates 4.3 million people died in 2012—mainly due to cooking inside with coal or wood stoves. Another 3.7 million died from outdoor pollution, including…

Year of the Horse Kicks Off with Seahorse Conservation

Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, Postdoctoral Research Associate John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago in partnership with Project Seahorse (University of British Columbia & Zoological Society of London) I’m writing from foggy and drizzly Haiphong, where I’ve been meeting with our country hosts at the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF) and organizing the logistics for the next…

Pangolins Roll into the Wildlife Trafficking Spotlight

An unexpected newcomer has joined the world’s most iconic species — the elephant, rhino, and tiger — under the international wildlife trafficking crisis spotlight: Meet the pangolin. Pangolins are unmistakable in appearance — they are covered with scales comprised of keratin, and indeed, petting a pangolin feels like stroking a layer of warm thumbnails. There…

February 2, 2014: Walking from Siberia to Australia, Prepping Putin’s $51 Billion Bash and More

This week, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they walk from Siberia to Australia, celebrate Putin’s $51 billion Olympic bash, get to the historic bottom of Groundhog Day, cycle 11,000 miles from Norway to South Africa, spend 200 days in a year deep inside of caves, dodge the bubonic plague in Madagascar, and search for the last of Africa’s glaciers.

The Silent Crisis: Vietnam’s Elephants on the Verge of Extinction

As the slaughter of the remaining elephants in Africa continues without interruption, elephants in Vietnam—without media attention and a pack of NGOs calling for their protection—are quietly disappearing. Victim of an intensely and increasingly fragmented habitat, weak environmental laws, human-elephant conflicts, logging, and poaching, elephants in Vietnam are teetering on extinction. According to some reports,…

Scenes from the Philippines: Post-earthquake, Post-typhoon

Guest blog by Dr. Amanda Vincent, Director and Co-founder of Project Seahorse  It’s been an incredibly difficult few weeks for the central Philippines. Following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month that caused considerable loss of lives and homes, the Visayas region was hit on Nov. 7th by Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda), one of the very strongest…

November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

Dolphin Slaughter Fueled by Illegal Shark Trade

The raging demand for shark meat in Asia has indirectly created another victim in our oceans: dolphins.

What’s a Danajon Bank?

by Michael Ready, Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers In April 2013, after four planes, a ferry, and two outriggers, I arrived at Handumon, a remote village and field station on Jandayan Island in the Philippines. As I lay down the first night under a mosquito net, wiped out and bit disoriented,…