Of a Circular Nature

A flood control project in the Pikine suburb of Dakar, Senegal, has changed a community by redirecting flood waters into basins and creating urban gardens from the water. Previously, the flood waters that inundated the area were left to either recede on their own – during which time all stores remained flooded and the streets…

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World Wildlife Day 2015

Today is World Wildlife Day 2015, which this year highlights the challenges of the illegal trade in wildlife. World Wildlife Day, on the 3rd of March, marks the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The global trade in wild animals and their…

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Ivory Trade Antics

There have been several elephant and ivory-related news items over the past few weeks, including a year-long ban on ivory imports announced by China this week, and the announcement by several Hong Kong retailers that they will no longer be selling elephant products. New regulations have just come into effect in the United States, one…

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Tipping the Scales

21 February is World Pangolin Day, and anyone who follows this blog knows I have a soft spot for the scaly anteater that is being rapidly hunted into extinction. The ongoing decimation of the slow and strange pangolin is a grim illustration of the long-lasting impact greed and lack of political willpower can have on…

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Midden Archive

There are so many different lenses we can use to view and understand the past. History books and rock paintings, ice cores and rock strata. What kind of scroll you need depends on the kind of past under investigation. And so to the useful archive provided by the rock hyrax (Procavia capensi) of southern Africa,…

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Breaking the Chain

When it comes to putting a stop to the illegal trade in endangered animals and animal parts, I don’t know if the┬áLondon Summit on Illegal Wildlife Trade is the first major conference to explicitly include the main consumer nations of animal parts as well as the countries in which the most animals are poached. But…

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Paper Parks

A team of researchers spent six years tracking populations of West African lions (Panthera leo), a breed genetically distinct from other lions on the continent. Twenty-one parks exist for their protection, but according to a study out in PLOS ONE, lions were actually found in only four of these parks. Lions are protected throughout Africa,…

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Thank you, Dr. Mandela

One of the many legacies left behind by the great Nelson Mandela will be his attention to conservation issues and his awareness of the role these issues play in society. In honor of his life, I thought I would highlight one of his many laudable projects today, one that brought together the dual challenges of…

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Precedent Setting

Update below. At its 2014 convention, the Dallas Safari Club will be auctioning off the rare chance to kill an adult rhinoceros in Namibia and the even rarer chance to bring the trophy parts back home. The organizers say they can expect up to $750,000 dollars, and that every penny will go to the ‘Conservation…

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Unforeseen Gatherings

Walrus Sea ice located along the shallow continental shelf of the Bering Sea usually provides a diving board, a hunting perch and resting place for female walrus and their young. With sea ice retreating into water too deep for hunting, the walrus have had to find safer shores. Around 10,000 of them have gathered on…

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