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Big Cat Week video: Warriors on a mission to help lions and humans coexist

Jeneria Lekilelei, a warrior from the Samburu tribe of Northern Kenya, has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation. In 2010 he founded Warrior Watch to encourage Samburu men to conserve lions. Since then, the local lions population has risen from 11 animals to 50. However, increased periods of drought in recent years force wildlife and people to compete for the same resources, oftentimes causing conflict. Watch as Lekilelei and his team fight to protect lions under the harshest conditions.

Big Cat Week: More to Leopards than their Spots

Most leopards are light colored and have dark spots on their fur. These spots are called “rosettes” because their shape is similar to that of a rose. There are also black leopards, whose spots are hard to see because their dark fur.   Leopards can be found in various places around the world – they live…

Myth Busting for Mountain Lions

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about…

Saying Yes, and…. Smart Siting of Wind and Solar is a Game Changer

By Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy At the end of the nineteenth century, great minds in America were in furious debate—should we power the future using direct current or alternating current? Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse favored AC current because it permitted the transmission of electricity over greater distances using thinner…

Cheetahs in southern Africa are closer to extinction than thought, National Geographic–supported research finds

A comprehensive assessment of cheetah populations in southern Africa supported by the National Geographic Society reveals the dire state of one of the planet’s most iconic big cats, the Society said in a news statement today. “In a study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ, researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in southern Africa and population decline support a call to list the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the news release said.

Supported in part by the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative, estimates only 3,577 adult cheetahs exist in this extensive area, which is larger than France, and a majority (55 percent) of individuals are found within only two habitats. This estimate is 19 percent lower than the IUCN’s current assessment, supporting the call for the uplisting of cheetahs from “Vulnerable” to “Endangered.” A species assessed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. Species assessed as Endangered are considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Big Cat Week video: What it takes to rescue a fierce leopard

What would you do if you came face-to-face with a 175 pound, agitated leopard? If you’re conservation power-couple Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren, you’ve been on the receiving end of such a scenario about 112 times.

Big Cat Week video: Helping cheetahs find a mate

You may not have had “cheetah matchmaker” featured at your high school career fair, but that’s just what Vincent van der Merwe’s business card may as well read. But trying to repopulate the highly vulnerable species can be as dangerous as it is exciting. Watch the video to see what happens when van der Merwe tries to translocate a very unhappy cheetah across South Africa.

Cheetahs: Fast facts about world’s fastest cat

This beautiful animal is threatened by loss of habitat and prey, as well as conflict with humans. As a result, the cheetah is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red list, and, today, an estimated 9,000-12,000 remain in Africa.   The fastest land animal in the world, a cheetah can reach 69.5 mph in just three seconds – faster than a sports…

Thrills, Spills, and Seabirds in the Subantarctic

This is Part Three of “Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin.” See Part One and Part Two. Endangered (by) Sea Lions Alternate title: Mom, Don’t Read This One 11 November 2017 Chambres Inlet Imagine you’ve sailed 300 miles south of New Zealand to a subantarctic island. You’ve been dropped off by dinghy before sunrise in a secluded cove,…

Guardians of the Bay of Islands

The islands of Ipipiri (the Bay of Islands) were cleared of invasive rodents and mustelids in 2009. Since then, there have been over 50 incursions of predators to the island group.

Downwind: Living in the Shadows of Houston’s Refineries

When a balloon floats towards the sky, two-year old Rosalina Chronister tells her great grandmother, Esperanza, the balloon is visiting her sister, Ciera Rose, in heaven. Ciera Rose was only four when she died of cancer last fall. A few months ago, her family and their friends came together to remember this energetic child. They released balloons, marking her passing.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #117

Here we present the Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the week. Each of these photographs depicts one bird in one moment. But none of these birds exist in isolation, they each live within an amazing community of other species. Every one of these species is impacted in some way by a host of other…

Splashy Sunfishes: Secrets of the World’s Heaviest Bony Fish Surface

The esoteric ocean sunfishes have been splashing across the media with the latest big discovery, led by Japanese researcher, Etsuro Sawai, being announced this week: World’s heaviest bony fish identified and correctly named. The Sawai team assigned an old species name to a group of sunfishes who sport a large bulbous bump on their heads when…

The Time Has Come for an EU-Wide Domestic Ivory Ban

The EU has traditionally been a global leader in tackling the problem of wildlife trafficking and in encouraging other countries to take action. Last year it published a far-reaching Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which set out a comprehensive list of actions to address the problem. So why is it dragging its heels when it comes to saving elephants and closing its domestic ivory market? The only way to ensure illegal ivory can’t enter the marketplace is by closing down legal domestic markets.

Sharks and Rays: Migratory Species with a Story Worth Telling

The Convention on Migratory Species is a unique United Nations Convention in that it deals exclusively with the management of the world’s migratory species due to the complex, often compounded threats migrations can bring. After years focused on crucial action to protect the world’s birds, cetaceans, and even the monarch butterfly, the countries that make up this intergovernmental body have begun in recent years to focus on the conservation of the world’s migratory sharks and rays.