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Elephant Country Blog 4: The Unseated Ozzie

After ten years of terrorizing Mushara’s male elephant population, nature has made a course correction with a certain young bull, Ozzie. Finally, Ozzie miscalculated and ended up in the same place at the same time as the magnificent, dominant Smokey—a moment I’d been waiting for for a long, long time.

Indonesia Shark Diaries

Reflecting on my last year in Indonesia, and on the diversity of experiences and interactions I have had, illustrates multiple sources of conflict around shark and ray conservation and management. Going forward, we need to accept that designing practical solutions will necessitate some hard choices and trade-offs. I believe that conservationists would benefit from putting aside our pre-existing values and assumptions about the “right” approach and taking time to understand other people’s values and priorities.

Using machine-learning to scan the sky

By Spencer Johnson If you watch the night sky for a while, you’ll start to notice changes. Meteors streak by, the International Space Station glides over in silence, an airplane blinks overhead. Among these celestial transients, less noticeable but far more powerful objects called blazars flash on and off, in brilliant gamma-ray outbursts and flashes…

Reflections on the March for Science

It’s been three months since the March for Science, when over a million people, in over 600 cities, with almost 300 partner organizations took to the streets to champion science for the common good. It was an incredible day. From the stage at the DC march, I looked out on the crowd – well over…

What ‘Planet of the Apes’ & Caesar Show Us About Our Own Evolution

“Planet of the Apes” might not be our future, but it really was our past. Actors Andy Serkis and Karin Konoval—and Nat Geo Explorer Lee Berger—reveal how.

St Kilda – Life on a Remote Island

St Kilda is a remote island group in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland. Having made it to Scotland, and then the Outer Hebrides, it made sense to hop one more island to what was once the very edge of the world.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #97

The Wild Bird Trust presents this week’s Top 25 Wild Bird Photos! We are very grateful to everyone who submitted their photographs, it really is a wonderful showcase of the diversity of wild birds across the globe. To be in the running for next week’s top 25 you can submit photographs on the Facebook page with species, location and…

California Extends Its Cap-and-Trade Program

In a 28–12 vote on Monday night, California’s Senate approved AB 398 to extend the state’s landmark cap-and-trade program to 2030. Hours later, the bill passed in the state’s Assembly, 55–21. Lawmakers also approved a companion measure, AB 617, aimed at reducing pollution that causes local public health problems. In addition, to win GOP support in the Assembly for the cap-and-trade program, the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment giving Republicans increased input in how the state spends revenues from the sale of emissions allowances—permits to pollute—by requiring, in 2024, a two-thirds vote to approve how they are used.

Carl Safina joins board of nonprofit working to improve lives of captive cetaceans

By Erica Cirino There are many people who believe whales and dolphins do not belong in aquariums and marine parks, and for good reason: When you put a large, highly intelligent animal that naturally travels a hundred or more miles a day into a small concrete tank, the results aren’t pretty. The animals suffer increased mental…

The Dirty Secrets of Gold Mining in Senegal

“Look at it,” Samba says as he hands me a solid piece of gold. “It’s better than farming.” I take the gold nugget in my hand. It shines in the late morning sun, beautiful despite its ugly history. The past few months of digging for gold as an artisanal gold miner have paid off for…

World Heritage coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 unless CO2 emissions reduce drastically

Last month, UNESCO released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs. While international media has regularly reported on bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef, we knew that was just the tip of the iceberg. The El Nino and climate-fueled temperature spikes that were wiping out corals in Australia were also causing serious damage to reefs in Costa Rica, Mexico, France, the United States, the Philippines, and the Seychelles. And that is just the beginning of the story.

Marine Biology at the Top of the World

Svalbard. 78° north. Only 750 miles from the North Pole. We join Knut Sunnanå, chief scientist, and his team aboard the RV Helmar Hanssen for the first few days of a research cruise in the waters around Svalbard.

Why Kill a Snow Leopard Conservation Ranger? Energy Sprawl and Land-Use Conflict

By Joe Kiesecker, Scientist for Lands Conservation, The Nature Conservancy Note: This is the second article in a series on “energy sprawl,” the conversion of new land for energy production. Read the first installment here. A mysterious and untimely death is not what first comes to mind when I think about wildlife conservation. But the…

Environmental Education in an Extractive Economy: Azerbaijan’s IDEA Initiative

Oil and gas economies are often perceived by conservationists to have diminished sensibilities towards the environment. However, the wealth generation in such economies can also create opportunities for conservation, as there is less incentive for excessive land-use and mineral revenues can lead to investments in environmental education. Some earlier research by Sven Wunder on oil…

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #96

Here is this week’s selection of the Top 25 Wild Bird Photos of the week! And what a selection they are! A big thank you to everyone who submitted photographs, keep up the good work. To be in the running for next week’s top 25 you can submit photographs on the Facebook page with species,…