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February 15, 2014: California’s Drought, Inside the Human Brain, a 1,000 Mile Desert Trek and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they are trekking 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter Desert, searching for the lost civilization of Shangri La, looking at the implications of California’s severe drought, walking through Chinatowns, researching the human brain, getting a visit from the Love Doctor, and learning what makes Russians smile.

One More Generation’s Carter & Olivia Ries are Helping to Conserve South Africa’s Rhinos

I selected Carter and Olivia Ries of the Atlanta, Georgia-based non-profit One More Generation to be my second choice to profile for my series on young crusaders for National Geographic’s News Watch. I caught up with the brother and sister team of environmental conservationists just before they embark on a trip to South Africa to help…

Worsening Rhino war Strains Countries’ Relations




The growing incursion of rhino poachers from Mozambique into South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park is beginning to strain relations between the two countries. South African security operatives trying to stem the relentless killing of the enigmatic animals speak of it as a “border war”. They are getting increasingly fed-up with Mozambique’s security agencies for not doing more to clamp down on the poachers and the rhino-horn smugglers on their side of the boundary.

Record 618 South African Rhinos Poached for Horns in 2012, so far

The number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa so far this year has shot up to 618. This is well past last year’s shock record of 448 and substantially more than the tally of 550 predicted at the beginning of 2012. And still there is no sign of the onslaught letting up.…

Poachers Slay Four Rhinos in South African Sanctuary

Four white rhinos were poached for their horns in a privately owned nature reserve in South Africa this week, taking the total number of rhinos killed illegally in the country this year to around 400. The total number of rhinos poached in South Africa in all of 2011 was 448, compared with 333 in 2010.

Rhino Close Encounter

  Just how bad is a rhino’s eyesight?  Here was the plan, if you can call a crazy off the top of your head idea that no one in their right mind would consider doing a plan, we were going to get out of our vehicle and see how close we could get to a…

Record 443 Rhinos Killed by Poachers in South Africa in 2011

It has been a bad year for rhinos in South Africa. Many more got killed than in 2010, the 333 toll of which was described with words like “shocking” and “outrageous”. Most thought it couldn’t get worse.

It’s got much worse. The tally for 2011 is at least 433. It could end up being higher, for even as the year drew to a close, reports kept coming in of more dead rhinos found with gruesome wounds or just stumps left where their horns had been.

South African Court Jails Rhino Horn Smugglers

A South African court effectively threw away the key when it jailed two smugglers convicted of trying to smuggle rhino horns out of the country. But the slaughter of the country’s pachyderms for the spurious healing power of their horns continues unchecked. A new scheme allegedly involves sex workers posing as trophy hunters seeking to harvest rhino horns through a legal loophole.

South Africa’s Rhino Slaughter Rages on

The shadow of rhino poaching keeps darkening the magnificent landscape that places South Africa among the most biodiverse countries in the world. Already the figure for the year so far stands at about 200 rhinos killed. This has conservationists fearing that the toll for the year could end up exceeding the shocking 333 killed last year.

Rhino Poaching in Africa a Crisis, IUCN Says

A serious poaching upsurge in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, prompted Africa’s top rhino experts to meet to assess the status of the horned pachyderms across the continent and to identify strategies to combat the crisis.

Rhinos Continue to Die, Even as South Africa Steps Up War on Poachers

From Leon Marshall in Johannesburg The assault on South Africa’s rhino population has continued unabated into 2011. After last year’s massacre of 333 of the country’s rhino herd, the death toll since the beginning of 2011 already stands at a disheartening 71 of the seriously endangered species. This is higher than at the same time…

South Africa ‘s Military to be Drafted for Rhino Protection

From Leon Marshall in Johannesburg Rhino poaching keeps taking on such alarming proportions in South Africa that the country’s defence force has now been called in to help fight the ruthless killers who are mostly using assault weapons and often other sophisticated equipment to carry out their crime. The request has come from South African…

South Africa Unveils Reaction Unit to Combat Rhino Poaching

From Leon Marshall in Johannesburg Faced with mounting outrage at the rhino-killing spree that has hit South Africa this year, the country’s government has finally come up with plans aimed at tackling the scourge on a wider front and in a more coordinated way. The two-pronged scheme includes the establishment of a National Wildlife Crime…

Volcano threat spurs urgent habitat expansion for Javan rhino

An international partnership is “racing against the clock” to ensure the survival of the last 48 Javan rhinos on Earth by carving out a safe haven in the dense jungles of Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) said today. “The species’ entire viable population, living on the island of Java, is…

Rhino birth a “miracle” for animals that survived Nepal civil war

Conservationists are celebrating the arrival of the first rhino calf to be born in Bardia National Park, Nepal, since poaching was halted almost two years ago, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said today. The greater one-horned rhino calf was spotted with its mother by conservationists on a recent elephant-back patrol, ZSL said in a…