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Category archives for Environment

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…

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,…

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.

Are Africa’s Forgotten Lions Doomed to Slip Into Extinction, Unnoticed?

What is the glue that forever binds lions to East and Southern Africa? Was it the pioneering Serengeti research done by Bernhard Grzimek? The high volume of lion films, featuring terrestrial backdrops like the Okavango Delta? Or is it simply that iconic picture of panthera leo, resting on a granite kopje or under an umbrella tree,…

Penguins Wanted

Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin, Part Two (See Part One) The Search 8 November 2017 Port Ross and Enderby Island It was cold and clear and very dark when six hardy souls climbed over the ship’s rail and down into the little dinghy, surging up and down against Evohe’s hull. Hamish the helmsman yanked the engine into…

800,000 Children Under 5 Shouldn’t Be Dying From Diarrhea

Contact with contaminated water is one of the leading causes of diarrheal illness around the world. Stories from Madagascar illustrate some promising solutions for preventing it.

Climate Resilience from Down Under: Scaling Australia’s Mines and Clean Energy

Guest article by Joseph Kirschke In January 2011, the irony facing Australia’s massive thermal coal exports was intense as the unseasonable monsoon rains that battered its shipping facilities to a standstill. This year brought more extreme storm-related power outages to the other side of the continent and, with them, Elon Musk’s Tesla to launch the…

Seeing the Forest for the Apes: An Unlikely Partnership for Conservation

Look around your home or your office and you’ll quickly realize the sheer quantity of items and materials that are derived from the global logging industry. From printer paper to furniture and building materials, there is an unbelievable demand for wood and wood products. It’s simultaneously obvious but also easy to forget that for every…

The Opportunity in the Ross Sea

The Ross Sea MPA comes into force today. It is one of our greatest achievements in the conservation of our oceans. I wish you could have witnessed the moment it happened. We must use this opportunity wisely. And the clock is ticking…

Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin

The latest numbers say that yellow-eyed penguins are still heading toward extinction on mainland New Zealand. Their only other breeding habitat is a handful of islands hundreds of miles to the south. In this four-part story I join a surreal voyage to the all-but-inaccessible Auckland Islands, where we’re trying to find out how this gravely endangered penguin is faring in the…

Large-Scale Art Makes Tiny Creatures ‘Impossible to Ignore’

Human-sized butterflies will be arriving across the U.S. over the next year. The first have already alighted on an airport tower in Springdale, Arkansas. And they’re on a mission.

Residual Fragments of Past Lives

Residual Fragments of Past Lives (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) Decaying fragments hang from the cavity’s roof as streaks of viscous dark red liquid meander down its sides. The peculiar scent of extracellular digestion from fungal mycelia impregnates the stale air. I force myself into the cramped cavity to further investigate. With only half of my body…

Fragmentos Residuales de Vidas Pasadas

Fragmentos Residuales de Vidas Pasadas (Historias no Contadas de la Patagonia)   Con solo la parte superior de mi cuerpo dentro de la estrecha cavidad, miro hacia arriba con asombro. El sonido del silencio es abrumador. Fragmentos en descomposición cuelgan del techo de la cavidad, mientras un viscoso líquido color magenta escurre por sus lados.…

Neighborhood Watch: The Role of Male Mountain Lions in Structuring Social Behaviors

Editor’s Note: This is the second blog in a pair of blogs about a paper recently published in Science Advances showcasing collaborative research with Drs. Mark Lubell and Michael Levy of UC Davis, and Dr. Anthony Caragiulo of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. The paper provided the…