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Your Favorite Species

For three years I taught Animal Biology labs to undergraduate students at George Mason University. Extra credit assignments were not permitted, so I liked to build in a few intermittent low-ball quiz questions to provide some levity to an otherwise strict and challenging syllabus. My favorite question to ask was “what is your favorite species?”…

Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay: When Partnerships Work

By Bob Vanasse Too often, environmental groups, regulators and fishermen find themselves cast in antagonistic roles on marine issues. Prolonged legal and regulatory battles frequently top headlines, while successful conservation partnerships go unheralded. The Chesapeake Bay, long plagued by problems like pollution and runoff, is benefitting from one such partnership. Regional fishermen, government agencies and environmental…

Bait and Black Magic: Shark Fishing Woes in Fiji

We were willing to try just about anything, including rally caps, talisman and shark dances—anything to catch a shark. We scoured the horizon for bird activity. We searched seamounts and steep drop-offs. We drifted with our chum slicks into the deep blue. We hung multiple fresh, whole yellowfin tuna from our buoys, shaking our heads in disbelief…

Avocado Pollinators and the Need for Weeds

Dino Martins brings us an up-close view of the world of insects everywhere. Meet the wild pollinators that make the popular avocado fruit possible.

Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Released…

The Fall and Rise of the Amphibian Empire

In 1970, a group of experts on frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians noticed that populations of the Yosemite Park Toad in California had suddenly crashed. The habitat was suitable, there seemed to be nothing wrong but their numbers had crashed to very low levels. People scratched their heads and thought of it as just one…

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part Two: Totem Poles, New and Old

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer. As the journey continues, the Haida people showcase their ongoing way of life and stunning artwork.

Green Snails: Valuable Aliens

By Alison Barrat and Alex Dempsey You don’t have to look too far to find a horror story about an invasive species that has completely disrupted a natural ecosystem. Cane toads in Australia come to mind or pythons in the Everglades or even lionfish in the Caribbean.  But what about introductions that have gone well?…

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part One: Majesty of the Pacific Northwest

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer.

Absaroka-Beartooth Front: Yellowstone’s wild front porch

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 By Jeff Welsch Photos by Dave Showalter, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). High on the rugged…

Q&A: Elephant Conservation Challenges in Sri Lanka—A Conversation With Shermin de Silva

Shermin de Silva, 33, is president of the Asian elephant conservation organization Trunks & Leaves. A post-doctoral student at Colorado State University, de Silva was born and raised in Sri Lanka and has returned regularly to Udawalawe National Park since 2005 to study its elephants, which she believes number some 1,200. Conservationists estimate that Sri…

Legendary Black Leopards Appear on Camera Traps

Krithi Karanth is a conservation biologist working in the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program, which has been camera-trapping critters big and small for more than 20 years. In these photos, the mysterious black leopard can be glimpsed.

Building on Success

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fisheries—the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences. Now the House Committee on Natural Resources…

Should Species Be Paid Royalties?

Perhaps one of the most interesting ways that people use species is to support our own actions, beliefs, and loyalties. Some of the most recognizable mascots and brands in the world are based on the qualities associated with a species or, more often than not, the actual species itself. Our cultures are filled with businesses,…

USAID Comes in on Fresh Legs to Help Save Wildlife

Time is running out for wildlife. Now, like a World Cup footballer coming in for a late-game substitution, USAID enters the conservation game with new energy and some bold moves.