Category Archives: Extinction

A Year in Review: Let 2017 be the Year of Action

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As 2016 draws to a close, it’s important to reflect upon the last 365 days. Just like the preceding years, 2016 had triumphs and failures in wildlife and habitat protection. Although we still have a lot of battles before us in the field of conservation, I feel that 2016 was the year of awareness. Global issues were brought to the… Read more »

Coral: Diversity in Danger

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Occupying less than one percent of the Earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean floor, it would be easy to overlook the significance of coral. In fact, 25% of all marine species depend on coral reefs for survival. In addition, for humans, coral provides shoreline protection, medicine, food, and an incentive for ecotourism to the sum of… Read more »

A New Year of Hope for Wildlife Conservation

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Another year has come and gone. Like those years preceding, 2015 has witnessed both heartbreak and achievements in conservation. As we reflect back, it is important to find the positive in the saddest of situations, learn from them, and apply the knowledge gained to help in the new year. The death of the King of Hwange, Cecil, brought trophy hunter… Read more »

What an Endangered Species listing in the US means for African Lions

2015 has seen a media frenzy centered on the African lion, mostly for the wrong reasons. Headlines condemning the illegal killing of a research lion, Cecil, started a global conversation on the lion hunting industry. A recent documentary, Blood Lions, solidified the fact that this type of exploitation is a contributing factor to the demise of this magnificent species. For… Read more »

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 »

Can CITES Regulations Help Protect Wildlife?

From 3-14 March, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is holding their Conference of Parties 16 (CoP16) in Bangkok, Thailand.  While some species will get the protection they so desperately need to survive in the wild, others seem to fall by the wayside.  What constitutes a species being placed on the coveted Appendix I list?  Is a… Read more »

Human-Wildlife Conflict Redefined

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Five years ago, if you heard the words “human-wildlife conflict” (or HWC) the first thing that probably came to mind was the challenges agriculturalists in range countries face coexisting with native fauna.  Maybe you thought about the struggle between Namibian goat herders and cheetahs or East African farmers protecting their crops from raiding elephants.  In short, humans had what animals… 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 »

Animal Extinctions: What Can We Learn From Past Mistakes

Across the globe animal species are going extinct.  From such contributing factors such as disease, persecution, poaching, displacement, and habitat destruction, we are losing some of our most amazing creatures at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, species extinctions are nothing new.  But can we learn from past mistakes to ensure more magnificent animals do not do the way of the dodo?… Read more »