Category Archives: Conservation Projects

The State of Africa’s Big Cats: a 30-year Conservation Report Card

 Despite staunch conservation efforts, global big cat populations continue to decline. In just the last 30 years, data collected by conservation groups in Africa show that some big cat populations fell by at least 50% (table 1). Loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflicts, hunting, and poaching continue to threaten the long –term survival of these iconic creatures.   Population 1985 2015… Read more »

Make 2015 the Year of Conservation Achievements

As 2014 came to a close, I felt inundated with reports of record numbers of animals killed to fuel the illegal wildlife trade.  In 2014, almost 1,200 rhino were killed for their horns.  Numbers of elephants slaughtered for ivory were in the tens of thousands.  It appears that life in the sea is just as dangerous on land as over… Read more »

Conservation Achievements in the Pantanal

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Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Area and one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands, the Pantanal covers 188,000 ha in western central Brazil.  Bordering Bolivia and Paraguay, this freshwater ecosystem, fed by the Cuiabá and Paraguay rivers, is home to a variety of species found nowhere else on Earth.  Modern pressures and an ever-growing human population continue to pose… Read more »

Vultures: Ecosystem Guardians

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1 September marks International Vulture Awareness Day.  Although sometimes regarded as ugly and gross, vultures play a most important role in keeping ecosystems healthy.  They serve both a biological and cultural significance.  Unfortunately, several species are under threat of extinction due to humans.  And please believe me when I say, this is not a species that we can live without…. Read more »

Timber Rattlesnake Survey

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This year, 2012, has been an exciting time for the Timber rattlesnake population and reproductive assessment survey research. The driving force behind this project was to better understand how human presence in the north eastern part of their range has affected overall rattlesnake numbers and breeding success compared to previous data. In addition, we wanted to learn more about Timber… Read more »

Can Hunting be an Effective Conservation Tool?

Throughout the world hunting has been used as a way to harvest animals for human consumption.  In more cases then not, hunting has been managed sustainably to ensure long term availability of protein.  In order to have healthy wildlife populations, a balanced ecosystem has to be maintained and preserved.  Recently much attention has been given to hunting as a possible… Read more »

Making Everyday Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day!  Initiated in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event encouraging people around the world to make their lives a little more greener.  By doing so, people conserve resources and help ensure that what we have today will be here tomorrow.  With hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas that can help to reduce our footprint, what will you… Read more »

The Importance of Citizen Scientists

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As science itself evolves, a new way of conducting research is emerging.  Although a newly coined phrase, Citizen Scientists have been around for a very long time, lending a helping hand to researchers around the globe.  Although these individuals may lack a formal education, what they do not lack is passion and enthusiasm.  Participation of Citizen Scientists essential allows scientists… Read more »

The Year of the Dragon

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The dragon is both revered and feared in many cultures around the world.  This year the Chinese will celebrate the upcoming new year as the Year of the Dragon.  A symbol of strength and royalty, you can find interpretations of these mythical beasts adorning clothing, wall tapestries, statues, and even etched into flesh.  But what do we know about our… Read more »

Devil Facial Tumor Disease

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In honor of Australia Day I thought it would be fitting to write about one of their most beloved species, the Tasmanian devil.  Immortalized as the spinning, incoherent cartoon character, the survival of the real Tasmanian devil is in peril.  A communicative disease called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) is decimating the devil population of Tasmania.  As researchers race to… Read more »