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The Top of the IUCN Red List

The 61 Most-Threatened Species: Identifying a definitive list of the most threatened species is a difficult and sensitive exercise. Although lists are popular and useful, a comprehensive list of the Most Threatened Species depends on what you think makes a species most at risk of extinction and could conceivable contain all 4,286 Critically Endangered species…

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.

Saving a Darwin’s Finch from Extinction

By Dr. Sarah Knutie The fate of many bird species is uncertain. Those the authorities classify as “critically endangered” especially so. Only exceptional conservation measures can save them. While habitat destruction is a major cause of extinction, introduced species are a most serious threat—and one that we are usually completely helpless to control. One of…

Celebrating 50 Years of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™

People are fascinated by scarce plants, fungi and animals, and have been documenting the rarity of species for a long time. Following the “gold rush” of the enlightenment era, when taxonomists and collectors were racing to discover new species in exotic and undescribed corners of the world, science settled down to not just discover species,…

Celebrating East African Pollinator Diversity!

Dino Martins brings us an up-close view of the world of insects everywhere. His new field guide is finally here!

Why Have Tigers Been Feared and Revered Throughout History?

Talking Tigers: Part 5 of a 12-part series Throughout human history, the diverse peoples who populated the vast Asian continent have had one thing in common: They feared and revered the tiger. Throughout this cat’s range, their stealthy, illusory habits—suddenly appearing and disappearing in dense forests, often at night—elevated them to the status of otherworldly beings.…

A Concise History of Tiger Hunting in India

In part four of a 12-part series, author Sharon Guynup explains the varied history of tiger conservation in India.

First Ever Fatwa Issued Against Wildlife Trafficking

Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa, or edict, against illegal wildlife trafficking.

Kids in India Come Together to Save Tigers

In part three of a 12-part tiger series, Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup learn about an organization that’s encouraging kids to care about tigers and the environment.

Voyage to the Central American Dome, the Forgotten Sea

By Erick Ross Salazar, MarViva MarViva Foundation and Mission Blue have teamed up to seek protection for a high seas “hope spot” called the Central American Dome (CAD). A term coined by Mission Blue founder Sylvia Earle, hope spots are areas of particular conservation concern beneath the waves. The Central American Dome is a biodiverse,…

Photographing the End of the Kreef

Text and photographs by International League of Conservation Photographers Fellow Cheryl-Samantha Owen www.samowenphotography.com “It is currently estimated that numbers of rock lobster on the West Coast of South Africa are perilously low, at only three percent of their original pre-exploitation or pristine levels.” At 4:35 in the morning the faint glow of dawn backlit the…

First Fish That’s No Longer Endangered: Freshwater Species of the Week

This week, for the first time, a fish has been declared recovered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed this week that the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) “has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.” The silvery…

Rare Video: Vandal Fishing Cats Lead to Wildlife Discovery

Endangered Baby Fishing Cat Fishes in the Wild from Morgan Heim on Vimeo. When I set out to cover the story of Thailand’s fishing cats, I never expected vandalism could lead to an unprecedented wildlife discovery for this little known endangered species. Fishing cats are increasingly rare. New estimates suggest only about 2,500-3,000 remain in…

Twenty Five Years Reconstructing an Island Ecosystem

Islands are delicate ecosystems. Although less than 5% of the world’s land area, they are home to over 20% of the planet’s terrestrial biodiversity. In the last 500 years 80% of vertebrate extinctions have been on islands. Restoring an island ecosystem to its original state requires first unpacking the ecosystem of invasive species such as…

Lending a Helping Hand to Rescue African Penguin Chicks in South Africa

Guest Blog by Tim Binder, VP of Collection Planning at Shedd Aquarium As a nationally recognized leader in rescue and rehabilitation work, Shedd Aquarium has responded to animals in need for over two decades. Whether it’s providing around-the-clock care for Cayucos, one of our rescued sea otter pups, or serving as an active responder in times…