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Category archives for Reptiles and Amphibians

In the Field with Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes

Much like anyone in the northern hemisphere on the first warm Saturday of the year, each spring the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake (EMR) emerges from the holes that it hibernates in all winter ready for some sun and a good meal to kick-start its growth and reproduction for the year. And each spring, a group of…

Native Invasives

Like all science, invasion biology depends on clear and strict definitions. The concept of a native invasive species therefore sounds implausible, but is exactly what I have found on Fernando de Noronha.

Amazon Biodiversity Monitoring in Ducke Reserve

Monitoring of biodiversity is a challenge, but visiting Ducke reserve in the Amazon I am able to see one of the gold standards for long-term biodiversity research.

Wildlife on Islands of the Rio Negro

Touring through the Amazon I had the unique opportunity to spend a day visiting the small seasonally flooded islands of the Rio Negro. This dynamic landscape plays a huge role regulating local biodiversity.

Trump makes California’s deadliest catch even more deadly: The driftnet fishery for swordfish and shark off our coast

The Driftnet Fishery for Swordfish and Shark Off Our Coast President Trump has just declared war on whales, dolphins and sea turtles in the Pacific. Right now a deadly driftnet fishery targeting swordfish and shark operates off California’s coast with fatal consequences for marine mammals. Unfortunately the Trump Administration has just made it deadlier by reversing…

1Frame4Nature | Under the Mangrove Sea

The humble mangrove forest is one of the most biologically important ecosystems that border our oceans. They act as the skin of our coastlines, managing the energy exchange between land and sea; and provide vital ecosystem services such as waste treatment, habitat, food resource, and recreation.

I have been on many research expeditions throughout the Gulf of California, Mexico, where I study these ecosystems and photograph them in action: acting as a nursery for yellow snappers, hosting migratory birds after their long flight, and buffering coastlines against storms.

1Frame4Nature | Baby Giants in the Deep Blue

Started in 2014, my long-term documentary project “Baby Giants” focuses on the conservation work of the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley and other endangered sea turtles. Help is already underway to bring these sea turtle populations back from the brink, and I get to share this story of hope and invite you to join the efforts for sea turtles.

1Frame4Nature | The Search for Lost Species

In early 2010 I pulled together a poster of the ten “Most Wanted” amphibians that led to a global search for frogs and salamanders lost to science. A little battle-weary from the unabated extinction of frogs and their kin, and seeking hope in the face of despair, I was buoyed by the improbable reappearance in Costa Rica of the Variable Harlequin Frog and inspired to wonder: what else might be out there?

The Report Is In: 30 Percent of Shops in Nine Countries Include Endangered Turtleshell Gifts

After a three-month survey across 600 souvenir shops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and Colombia, researchers from 12 conservation organizations discovered that 30 percent of the establishments sold products made from endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Gifts ranged from $1 bracelets and rings to $200 for an intricate comb. Of the…

Gallopin’ Gargoyles! New Stone-Like Frog Species Discovered

The discovery of the stone leaf-litter frog is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the unknown biodiversity of these forests. It’s a race against time to discover the creatures that live in these mysterious forests and to ensure that they still have their forest homes in the future.

One More Threat for the East Pacific Leatherback

By Lauren Hackney Upon arrival for my second field season with The Leatherback Trust in Costa Rica, I was eager to return to Playa Grande for its unique biodiversity. Playa Grande’s pristine white sand beach hosts nesting leatherbacks, the same species who swam our oceans 110 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Now…

Drone Captures Leatherback Sea Turtle Returning to Ocean, Swimming Away

By Jenell Black and Christian Díaz Chuquisengo This year, as Field Manager at The Leatherback Trust, I was lucky enough to witness an extraordinary event in Las Baulas National Park (Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas) on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Leatherbacks typically nest under the cover of darkness, but once in a rare while our…

Hope in the Face of 10,000 Deaths

When amphibian conservation biologist Arturo Muñoz describes the 2015 die-offs of the Titicaca Water Frog (Telmatobius culeus) on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, the details are grim: Dead frogs floating belly up in the shallow water as gulls pick them off for dinner. The smell of the sulfate pollution dredged up from the bottom…

Terrestrial Conservation on Tetiaroa

On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.

Protecting the Brilliant Psychedelic Rock Gecko

It’s got orange feet and an orange tail; a blue-grey body; and a lime green head. The psychedelic rock gecko, a small reptile native to only one island smalls off the coast of southern Vietnam, is endangered. It was only described for the first time in scientific literature in 2010, but it has already made…