Shape Shifting

Conservation strategies┬áhave been historically focused on getting an overview of the species in a region, and then trying to protect those species that are endangered. I’ve written often before about how important a top predator species can be to the overall health and biodiversity of an ecosystem. For example, the presence of wolves in a…

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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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Fish Owl Equation

The Blakiston’s fish owl (Bubo blakistoni) is an intimidating creature of tufted ears and daunting size – the largest known owl in existence, it stands at up to 75 cm (2.5 feet) and has a wingspan of over 180 cm (6 feet). It is also a flying barometer of forest health. Its dining habits –…

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Butterfly House

There’s a new building going up in San Francisco, just a block or so from where I used to live when I was right out of college. It’s got all the bells and whistles of the kind of green, sustainable, fashionable and expensive development one might expect from that city, up to and including the…

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Proximity to Magnificence

When I was a little girl in the 1960s, a friend of my parents brought over a few unexpected gifts for me. One of the gifts was a genuine Indian tiger skin, complete with claws, head, teeth, and glass eyes. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, also…

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