Dylan Projansky

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"The Great Elephant Census is an amazing feat of technology and science working together for wildlife—but these results are shocking. Elephant populations in Africa are declining at an alarming rate and more severely than we anticipated."

Results of a multiyear survey effort released Wednesday reveal that Africa's savannah elephants are far worse off than anticipated. A survey called …

Wildlife

Albatrosses Have a 0% Divorce Rate

(Photo: Haplochromis)<p>99% of flamingo couples split up. 67% of piping plover couples separate. But according to ornithologist Jeffrey Black, albatross …

How to View Marine Mammals Responsibly

Changing Planet<p>Blue whale off Los Angeles, California (Photograph by Maddalena Bearzi under NOAA permit)<p>The waters off Southern California have been the platform for my field research on whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals for almost two decades. Lately, however, something has changed in the …

Gorilla death at Cincinnati Zoo puts debate over captive creatures in stark relief

The young boy wanted a better view of the silverback gorilla living at the Cincinnati Zoo.<p>On Saturday morning, the zoo housed 11 western lowland gorillas. By Saturday evening, the population of the zoo’s Gorilla World had been reduced to 10.<p>As he struggled to find a good vantage point, the boy, …

Gorillas

Witness Says Gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo Dragged Child 'Like a Raggedy Ann Doll'

One witness who saw a toddler crawl into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati zoo last weekend says the 400-lb. gorilla was handling the child “like …

Ornithology

Modern 3D-Printed Aquariums Seamlessly Combine Nature and Art

Haruka Misawa of Misawa Design Institution explores the unique environmental variation between air and water through a series of 3D printed aqua-sculptures, known as <i>Waterscapes</i>. The Japanese designer has created artistic aquariums lined with naturally inspired elements which were printed using the …

Prototypes

An Evolutionary Explanation For Why Animals Court Their Own Sex

The phenomenon is one of the biggest skull scratchers in evolutionary biology.<p>Over 1000 different species throughout the animal kingdom have been observed engaging in same sex sexual behavior, but for the most part, the trait still baffles evolutionary biologists.<p>Chimpanzees, dolphins, koalas, and …

Virtual reality is helping scientists to protect endangered jaguars

While gamers are definitely excited about the March release of the Oculus Rift headset, virtual reality could do a lot more. For example: Helping …

Toxic chemicals found in beached pilot whales in Scotland

Scientists find levels of mercury and cadmium in the whales’ brains increased with age<p>Scientists have found clear evidence that whales are absorbing high levels of toxic heavy metals, with cadmium found in the brains of pilot whales which washed up in Scotland.<p>Chemists at the University of Aberdeen …

Horses had stripes like zebras until humans broke them in, scientists say

Study reaches black and white conclusion: mankind had a direct impact on horses after domesticating them to run, work or be ridden<p>Nature experts have revealed that most horses and ponies resembled zebras with stripes until man changed their colour by taming them.<p>They lost their "wild" camouflage - …

Elephants Moved Across Africa in Risky Operation

Two of the rare mammals died in the process, group says.<p>Originally deemed as an impossible task, staff with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have successfully transported four wild African forest elephants across the Ivory Coast (Cote D'Ivoire).<p>The challenging relocation was …

Shark Fishers in Madagascar Sell Fins for Pennies

Wildlife<p>As a proud new contributor to the Ocean Views blog, I’ll be bringing you stories from myself and my colleagues at Blue Ventures about marine conservation in Madagascar and Belize. This first one comes from Garth Cripps, a senior conservation scientist with Blue Ventures in Madagascar. Here …

Opinion: Killing of Marius the Giraffe Exposes Myths About Zoos

For the Copenhagen Zoo, it seems Marius was worth more dead than alive.<p>When Marius, a young male giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, was shot to death by his keepers a few days ago, the world caught its breath. How could the zoo and Marius's keepers do such a thing—particularly when people around the …

Sperm Banking Revives Endangered Mexican Wolf

Changing Planet<p>One of the male Mexican gray wolves at Brookfield Zoo. They can be seen at the Regenstein Wolf Woods exhibit. (Photo credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society)<p><b>Earlier this week, the USFWS announced that a pregnant, captive born, female Mexican wolf reared at Chicago’s Brookfield</b> …

Report Estimates Enormous Economic Value of Living Elephants

Wildlife<p><b>When a young elephant dies at the hands of an ivory poacher, according to a recent</b> <b>report</b><b>, the commercial loss to the tourism industry is more than $1.6 million–­–the amount the animal would have contributed to the economy had it lived a full and happy life.</b><p>The report, published by the David …

10 Crazy Uses For Animal Venom

When snakes and spiders try to kill us but wind up helping<p>All it takes is a pinch on the leg from a sting or a bite, and you could be dead within minutes. Venom, whether it’s from reptiles, insects, fish, mammals or arthropods, is extremely potent, but it’s not always deadly.<p>Venom has evolved …

OPINION: Saving Wildlife From the Specter of Trade

Changing Planet<p>Elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife across the globe are being slaughtered for their tusks, horns, pelts, and bones with no end in sight.<p>Last week, the battle lines for an offensive were drawn. At a conference in Cape Town, South Africa, experts from around the world gathered to …

Poachers using science papers to target newly discovered species

Journals begin withholding locations after warnings the data is helping smugglers drive lizards, snakes and frogs to ‘near-extinction’<p>Academic journals have begun withholding the geographical locations of newly discovered species after poachers used the information in peer-reviewed papers to …

Competition Between Carnivores: Untangling the Relationship Between Pumas, Black Bears, and Deer

Changing Planet<p>A black bear looking up from feeding (Photo by Max Allen)<p>Pumas and black bears are the two large carnivores found throughout California. Both species kill deer and other ungulates and as a result they often compete with each other. In Mendocino National Forest, where I completed my …

Wildlife

The Odd Thing About the World's Deepest River

Africa's Congo River claims many titles, including being home to the highest number of unique species in the world.<p>The Congo River in Central Africa is one of the world's great rivers, carrying 1.25 million cubic feet of water—more than 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools—into the Atlantic Ocean every …