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Category archives for Latin America and The Caribbean

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.…

What’s the cost of a surf-and-turf dinner? 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

What’s the cost of an average shrimp-and-steak dinner? If it comes from the loss of mangrove forests to aquaculture and agriculture, it’s 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by driving a fuel-efficient car from Los Angeles to New York City. Clearcutting of tropical mangrove forests to…

A Parable of Refugees, or a History That Is True

I want to take you back nearly 80 years, to Mexico City in 1939, when Lázaro Cárdenas, a revolutionary-turned-politician, sat in the president’s seat and made a decision that no other president in the world would make. Across the Atlantic, the Spanish Civil War had come to a brutal end. The Republicans had fallen. General…

Shedd Aquarium Teens and Volunteers Lend an Eye to Global Research

The following is a blog post by Dr. Steve Kessel, director of marine research at Shedd Aquarium. You don’t have to be a scientist to contribute to a global research study thanks to a growing number of projects that rely on citizen science. These are projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world…

‘It Wasn’t a Very Happy Childhood’: Rediscovering the Spanish Children of Morelia

Two years ago, we moved my grandmother. In the span of her lifetime, it was one migration among many. As a child, she had been moved from Spain to Mexico, to flee the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, she was put on a boat, called the Mexique, along with 456 other children: the Niños de Morelia. In 1937,…

The Sun Sets on Brazil

For the last three years I have been travelling and collaborating across Brazil to increase awareness of the role of invasive alien species. As my trip to the Pantanal comes to an end so too does this time working in Brazil.

(Some) Birds of the Pantanal

There are a lot of birds in the Pantanal. When I say a lot, I mean there are more bird species at this farm (Pousada Aguapé) than the entirety of my home country New Zealand. Its over 40 degrees centigrade every day and all the sane mammals, including myself, are hiding from the heat.

Miami Blue butterfly discovered in Cuba amidst concerns it may have become extinct in the USA after Hurricane Irma.

From Marc Minno In early September Hurricane Irma left a wide path of destruction through the West Indies and Florida.  This category 5 storm not only devastated homes for people, but also ravaged natural habitats, which are homes for unique species of wildlife.  The Florida Keys and the northern coast of Cuba were particularly hard hit. In…

Projeto Tamanduá in the Pantanal

My work in Brazil focuses on invasive species on islands, but to see a different side of conservation I have joined the Projeto Tamanduá 2017 course in the Pantanal. The Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world with the highest concentration of species in the Americas.

Bikepacking The Abandoned

My bicycle is knee deep in mud. The snowline on the nearby mountains is closer than the previous day. The abandoned track has been softened by the stomping of cattle. After an hour of pushing my loaded bike half a mile through the mud, I begin the task of setting up camp. The only suitable…

Rat Eradication on Ilha do Meio

In Brazil WWF is partnering with TRIADE to undertake a trial rat eradication on Ilha do Meio, one of the small offshore islands of Fernando de Noronha. I visited the island this week so that the team undertaking the project could bring me up to speed on their progress so far.

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.

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…