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May 11, 2014: Capturing the Spirit of Adventure, Saving Sea Turtles and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Adventurers who regularly push their limits of…

Macaque on a Hot Tin Roof: Mount Popa, Myanmar

Mount Popa, sanskrit for flower, is an extinct volcano in the Bagan region of Myanamar.  Mount Popa’s Popa Taungkalat monastery is situated atop the nearby volcano plug, jutting 737 m out of the ground.  The impressive monastery is home to the nats spirits, a belief dating back to the 9th century and predating Burmese Buddhism,…

Myanmar, Bangladesh and India: Prospects for Energy Cooperation

Guest article by Mirza Sadaqat Huda As the world turns its eyes on reforms in Myanmar / Burma and investment rushes in, the opportunities and challenges of trade and peace-building with Myanmar’s neighbours to the West, Bangladesh and India deserve further study. In this guest article, one of my doctoral students, at the University of…

One hundred hours in Burma: A photo diary

Knowing whether to call it Burma or Myanmar was just one of the many questions I had as the tug guided our 25,000 ton ship gingerly up the Yangon River. The dredging that had taken place earlier that morning had turned the open water from a cool bubble-bath blue to a murky brown, although I…

“A country once know as ……”

  Over the past several days the media has been reporting on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Myanmar. Some have prefaced their reports using the following verbiage: “Myanmar, a country once know as Burma ……” In 1989 the largest nation on the Southeast Asian mainland changed its name from Burma to Myanmar―a…

Can a Thousand Breeding Females Stave Off Tiger Extinction in the Wild?

With only 3,500 tigers hanging on in isolated patches of wilderness scattered across 13 Asian countries, the prospects for the survival of the species outside zoos is grim. The Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is convening a summit in St. Petersburg this weekend to discuss and endorse a plan that would double the population…

Rare Tiger Killed by Poachers in Siberia

News of another wild tiger killing has come on the eve of the international summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss an urgent strategy to save the last tigers in the wild. A rare Siberian tiger was killed yesterday by poachers near Vladivostok, Russia, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said in a news…

Last Stand for Wild Tigers?

NGS stock photo by Michael Nichols For four days starting this weekend, government leaders from the 13 tiger range countries will be meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, to confirm a plan to restore and conserve one of the world’s most iconic big cats to its wild habitat. Teams from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia,…

Countries Meeting to Save Last Wild Tigers Must Do More Than Growl, Activists Urge

Tiger range countries meeting next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the International Tiger Conservation Forum hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have been urged by conservation activists to “act decisively now or face a future in which the wild tiger is extinct.” The UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said: “It as an opportunity to…

World’s largest tiger reserve designated in Myanmar

A region the size of the U.S. state of Vermont has been earmarked by Myanmar as a sanctuary for the tiger, one of the most endangered animals on the planet. But can the poaching of the big cats and their prey be stopped? The entire Hukaung Valley is to be declared a Protected Tiger Area, the government…

Thirteen countries pledge to repopulate world’s wild tigers

As we head into the Chinese Year of the Tiger (starting on February 14), here’s a bit of encouraging news: All 13 tiger-range countries have pledged to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. NGS stock photo by Michael Nichols Populations of wild tigers have declined to…

Bizarre horned fly found in amber is new to science

A fly that buzzed around during the time of dinosaurs is being described as a new family, genus and species of fly never before observed. This artist’s rendering of a 100-million-year old insect shows the unusual horn on its head topped by three eyes. Image by George Poinar/Courtesy OSU “A single, incredibly well-preserved specimen of…

Illegal Ivory Trade Flourishes in Thailand, Conservation Monitors Report

The largest illegal ivory market in Asia–much of it poached from elephants in Africa–continues to thrive in Thailand, according to the latest market surveys by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.    Photo of ivory Buddhas by Daniel Stiles/TRAFFIC The organization also raises concerns that legal provisions in Thailand governing trade in domesticated elephants are…