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Biologists Find “Extinct” Andean Toad Alive and Well

A rare toad species long thought extinct turns up in an Ecuadorian forest.

Geography in the News: Bananas, the Top Fruit

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Banana Story An interesting book published in 2012 detailed the life of  Samuel “Sam the Banana Man” Zemurray. Therein lies an interesting economic geography of international intrigue and business success with lessons to be learned today about international trade by large corporations. Zemurray,…

“Extinct” Pinocchio Lizard Found in Ecuador

It’s no lie—scientists have spotted a lizard whose males have noses like Pinocchio in the Amazon rain forest.

September 22, 2013: Paddling the Americas, Blind Date Adventures, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, as we pursue adrenaline and white water throughout the Americas, blind date for 200 miles down Alaska’s Lost Coast, and learn to thrive despite past failures.

Nature Sketchbook: New “Olinguito” Species Close-Up

Drawn from the same skulls and skins that led NG Explorer Kristofer Helgen to realize he’d found an unknown species of mammal, these sketches reveal the science and the beauty of the newly described “olinguito.”

August 4, 2013: Running 135 miles through Death Valley, Swimming with Navy Seals, and More

This week, we run 135-miles and gain 8,642 feet in altitude in a race through Death Valley, then we set a North American paragliding record, soaring 240 miles over eight hours, and finally, we meet a former Navy seal, living out her days eating fish and swimming for tourists at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Guests Across The Globe: Six Months of 2013 NG Weekend Interviews

We’re halfway through the year and what better way to map our progress than to, well, map the many guests we’ve had on National Geographic Weekend since the ball dropped back in January?

Uncontacted Group Kills Two Natives in Ecuador

Mounting pressure from oil exploration and illegal logging blamed for eruption of violence that leaves two natives dead at the hands of uncontacted indigenous group in the Yasuní National Park.

Support for People and Wildlife Merge in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park

Along Ecuador’s eastern border with Peru sits Yasuní National Park (YNP). At close to one million hectares, Yasuní is the largest expanse of protected lowland tropical forest in the country. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989, the park is one of the world’s biodiversity jewels, containing at least 170 species of mammals, well over 596 bird species, more than 382 fish species, and a fantastic variety of flora.

February 3, 2013: Paddle Boarding Down Waterfalls, Searching for Venomous Snakes, and More

Join National Geographic Weekend radio show this week, as we kayak off waterfalls, refuse to run from charging lions, and treat disease with venom from some of the most poisonous snakes around.

January 13, 2013: Bonding With Elephants, Unlocking Our Genealogy, and More

This week, we head to the remote jungles of Ecuador, inhale living microbes with every breath we take, document a dying tradition of working with elephants in India, and learn about an unlikely set of friends in Ethiopia.

Science in Yasuni Sheds Light on Impacts of Oil Development in Amazon

By Kelly Swing In 1993, Universidad San Francisco de Quito and Boston University administrators asked me to suggest possible sites for a new biological field station somewhere in Ecuador’s eastern rainforests. Instantly, I was fantasizing about all the wondrous things that we could do and see at such facilities, if the location were chosen wisely.…

Galapagos Bombarded with Poison in Effort to Rid an Island of Rats

Following tests on smaller islands, the government of Ecuador today begins the second phase of dropping massive amounts of specially designed poison on a Galapagos island thought to be infested with nearly 200 million invasive rats. Introduced centuries ago by pirates, whalers and other visitors, the rodents wreak havoc among the wildlife of Galapagos by preying on eggs and hatchlings of bird and reptile species.

Galapagos Expedition Journal: In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin

In 1835 Charles Darwin arrived on Floreana Island in the Galapagos, noting in his journal that it had long been frequented, first by buccaneers, latterly by whalers–and then political dissidents exiled from mainland South America. The giant tortoises Darwin saw on Floreana have since been extirpated from the island and the prisoners and pirates exist only in history. But the scenery he described remains much the same, and a tradition of leaving mail in a “post office barrel” for collection and delivery by passing ships has endured for two centuries.

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Swimming with Sea Lions

This is the second post in my account of a ten-day exploration of the Galapagos, on board the National Geographic Endeavour. In the first post, I described our arrival on the island of San Cristobal and our first visit to a Galapagos beach.     We awoke on the first full day of our expedition to…