News

Mar 232017
 
Tracking wildlife for science could actually help poachers

Hackers have infiltrated government websites, invaded corporate databases, and may have even helped to sway the results of the U.S. presidential election. Now researchers warn that cyber criminals might set their sights on another target: animal tracking data. Scientists have long used radio signals to follow tagged animals, glean valuable insights into their behavior, and […]

Mar 212017
 
High price of rhino horn leaves bloody trail across the globe

On the black market it is reputedly worth more than its weight in gold or cocaine, and this week the lure of rhino horn brought the bloody business of poaching to a zoo near Paris. There, in the dead of night, criminals broke in, shot a white rhino called Vince three times in the head […]

Mar 162017
 
Curlews in crisis?

To the layman, the curlews are a shy, unassuming family of birds. Their mottled-brown plumage makes for effective camouflage against their marshland and mudflat feeding grounds, meaning they can go about their business unnoticed, prying out invertebrates such as ragworms with their purpose-built curved bills. But if, like the curlews, you take time to dig […]

Mar 142017
 
Rhino shot dead by poachers at French zoo

Poachers have broken into a French zoo, killing a four-year-old white rhinoceros and sawing off its horn. Keepers found the dead animal, named Vince, in the African enclosure of the zoo at Thoiry, west of Paris, on Tuesday morning. It had been shot in the head and its large horn removed with a chainsaw. The […]

Mar 132017
 
An elk's-eye view of migrating through Yellowstone

That elk migrate in and out of Yellowstone every year in vast herds is more than a triumph of movement. Every spring, tens of thousands of elk divided among nine different herds traverse perilously rocky terrain, swim across fast-moving rivers, and scale precipitous mountain slopes. They do what researchers refer to as “surfing the green […]

Mar 122017
 
Disentangling the cause of seabird deaths in South Africa

Despite huge success in reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in fishing nets, there’s been reports that an old type of vessel used in South Africa is still posing serious threats to seabirds. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) has been highly successful in achieving a remarkable reduction in the incidental catch of seabirds in the […]

Mar 102017
 
The Spirit of the Steppes: Saving Central Asia’s saiga

In 2015, disease wiped out 200,000+ adult saiga; now a new viral outbreak threatens Mongolia’s entire population. But these steppe antelope are resilient, and could recover, if protected from traffickers. The beauty of the saiga belies first impressions. It may be hard to look beyond the big nose — a bulbous schnozz that looks like […]

Mar 082017
 
Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the […]

Mar 062017
 
The tiny corner of Asia where an Endangered songbird is thriving

The Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus perhaps isn’t much to look at (at least compared to some other birds of South East Asia), but no-one can deny it has a great set of lungs. But unfortunately, it’s this same rich, powerful melody which is threatening to silence the species forever. As we reported during our 2016 […]

Mar 052017
 
British Barn Owls still struggling to adapt to modern life

One of the most widespread birds of prey in the world, the Common Barn Owl Tyto alba has proven so successful at adapting to life alongside humans that even its very name reflects the symbiotic relationship that has been shared by farmers and this charismatic bird over the course of thousands of years. Common Barn […]

Mar 022017
 
25,000 seabirds die in southern cone fisheries every year

The turbulent waters around the southern part of South America are some of the most productive in the world, with upwellings of nutrients that support a whole suite of species. Along the Patagonian Shelf to the east, around the southern tip of the continent at Cape Horn and up into the Humboldt Current to the […]

Feb 282017
 
In search of Tanzania's bee-eaters

Bee-eaters are the supermodels of the bird world: slim, glamorous – and hopelessly out of reach for us mere mortals. But in the Selous Game Reserve, in southern Tanzania, you can see seven different species of bee-eater hawking for insects under sun-filled skies. Each one sports impossibly beautiful colours, outcompeting even the half-a-dozen species of […]