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Category archives for Development

The Value of Birds in Colombia’s Post-Conflict World

by Dr. R. Scott Winton As we peer through the fog in the pre-dawn twilight, the birds we see are anonymous silhouettes. Once the tropical sun breaks through the thickness of the cloud forest, bright jewels of color are illuminated. “There it is!” says José, somehow both whispering and shouting. In the branches overhead appears…

5 Global Trends Open Huge Market Opportunities for Innovation in Seafood

If you’re a talented young data scientist scouting the next frontier, where do you go? If you’re a biotech pioneer hunting for new ways to apply cutting-edge concepts, where do you look? If you’re a global powerhouse that doesn’t want to miss the next big market opportunity, what’s on your radar? Sustainable seafood. Seriously. That…

Origins of a Mysterious Arachnid Revealed

Reconstructing schizomid history in Micronesia led us to tackle the most fundamental questions about these animals, namely, what are they, where did they come from, and when did they arise?

The Social Side of Pest Management

Plans to manage pest species are becoming increasingly larger in scale and ambition. The outcomes of such programmes can have just as important impacts on the resident human communities as the plant and animal communities.

Imagining a Future Without Wildlife in Madagascar

It is difficult to reconcile the need for food with the long-term need for wildlife conservation. It is clear that hunting at current rates drives certain wildlife species’ populations down to unsustainable sizes. Habitat destruction and fragmentation add to the problem. Not only is this harmful in terms of destabilizing food security, it also creates a cascade of harmful environmental impacts.

Save Our National Monuments

If Ryan Zinke, the secretary of interior, wants to emulate Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy, he should recommend leaving the national monuments as they are.

How Fish Are Like Coffee: the Changes Coming to Your Seafood Plate

Over the past five years, as I’ve built the Fish 2.0 business competition, I’ve seen an overwhelming number of creative ideas bubbling up—with highly qualified entrepreneurial teams behind them. Their innovations, combined with powerful social and environmental forces, are creating a new world both above and below the ocean’s surface. I believe that by 2027,…

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…

Everglades Restoration: Alterations of Downstream Biodiversity

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Changing Waters At first glance, the waterways within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RB NERR) seem pristine. While I kayaked…

Using Positive Feedback for Training Elephants in Thailand

I have come to realize over the course of my visit that this is an incredibly sensitive complex concern, one that needs a multi-prong strategy, as one solution does not fit all the regional contexts.

Sushi Roulette: Is the Fish You Ordered the One You Got?

Have plans this summer to visit your favorite sushi restaurant? You might order spicy tuna roll. Or maybe salmon or halibut. But is the fish you selected the one you got? If you’re in Los Angeles or many other cities around the globe, it’s a flip of the coin. Scientists at Loyola Marymount University, the…

Trunks in Tethers

Thailand’s current population of elephants is around 7,000, of which nearly 4,000 are captive beasts of burden. These enslaved animals can never be reintroduced into wild herds. They bear the psychological and physical wounds of neglect, abuse, malnutrition, and seclusion.

Invasive Alien Species on Islands

Invasive alien species are the major threat to islands by most metrics, and two open access papers published this week highlight this threat in different ways.

Reporter’s Notebook: Voices from the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Lake

Voices and stories from around Tonle Sap Lake and communities affected by the Lower Sesan II dam.

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”