Oct 082017
 
Giant tree-dwelling rat discovered in the Solomon Islands

For a long time, people living on the Vangunu Island in the Solomons spoke about the “vika”, a giant rat on the island that lives in trees and cracks open coconuts with its teeth. But the rat remained elusive to the scientific community. Now, researchers have finally discovered an individual of the mysterious rat, making […]

Sep 272017
 
POLL: Should the wild bird trade in Vietnam be stopped?

Thousands of birds, suspected to have been caught from the wild, are being sold openly in Vietnam, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Many of the species on sale are threatened with extinction, warns the report. In April 2016, researchers from TRAFFIC surveyed bird vendors — both shops and […]

Aug 202017
 
POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for allowing the ivory trade to continue?

Thousands of jewelry, seals, scrolls and other items made of elephant ivory continue to be sold online in Japan each week, concludes a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. In just four weeks in May and June, 2017, nearly 10,000 ivory items were sold on Yahoo Auction, one of Japan’s largest e-commerce […]

Jun 192017
 
30 years of protecting the mysterious Okapi

The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century. This mysterious mammal lives deep inside the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has been known to the western world only since early 1900s. Some […]

Apr 212017
 
POLL: Should the sale of rhino horns be legalized?

A top court in South Africa just made it legal to trade in rhino horns within the country. The South African government, in 2009, imposed a moratorium that banned domestic trade in rhino horns. But after years of legal battle between commercial rhino breeders and the government’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the constitutional court […]

Jan 172017
 
POLL: Should the Hawksbill turtle trade be closed down?

The Critically Endangered Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is being hunted to extinction for its shell. Colored in hues of gold, amber, and brown, the animal’s striking shell is carved into jewelry, combs, guitar picks, and other trinkets, andthen sold in markets across Latin America and the Caribbean. This demand for turtleshell products is driving […]

May 072014
 
Saudi Prince kills two percent of global population of endangered bird

In a three week hunting safari between January 11th and 31st of this year, Saudi Arabian Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his party allegedly shot down 2,100 Asian Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in Balochistan, Pakistan. Scientists aren’t certain how many Houbara bustards survive today, but their best estimate is around 100,000 […]

Jan 032014
 
Curious bears take 'selfies' with camera traps

“Selfies” are all the rage this year, and even bears have jumped on the trend. Especially the shaggy-coated, termite-loving sloth bears (Melursus ursinus), who seem particularly fascinated by the cameras that scientists have put up in forests to secretly capture their stealthy moves. On November 26 at 7:30 PM, one curious sloth bear decided to […]

Dec 232013
 
A bird’s eye view of hornbills in northeast India

Hornbills are as peculiar, as they are magnificent. Their calls especially, can sound rather strange to the uninitiated—some grunt, some growl, and some cackle maniacally. These queer birds, with their large brightly-colored curved beaks, and a distinctive cavity-nesting habit, are also totem animals for many tribes in India. They are oddly fascinating. Yet, there is […]

Oct 202013
 
No place like home: scientists discover that male crested penguins head home earlier than females

Male crested penguins are hard workers – especially when it comes to their elaborate breeding ritual. After gathering in massive colonies to mate, they find and establish a nesting site, help incubate the eggs females lay, and then guard the chicks after they hatch. Male crested penguins have also been known to arrive at their […]

Sep 222013
 
India to Protect Amur Falcons from Mass Slaughter

In October last year, an astounding mass hunting came to light—an estimated 120,000–140,000 Amur falcons were being hunted and killed in Nagaland, India, every year. A small bird of prey, the Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) records one of the longest migrations among all birds—a staggering 22,000 km annually. Their journey starts in China and Siberia […]

Aug 252013
 
Overpopulation and grazing imperils nomadic lifestyle and wildlife in Ladakh

In the unforgivingly cold, arid and harsh high-altitude regions of Central Asia, nomadic herders have survived for several centuries. Guided by a keen understanding of the environment they live in, they move constantly with their livestock, following trails of fresh pastures and ‘settling down’ only briefly. Surrendering their destiny to the whims of nature, these […]