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Happy Reunion

By Corinne Kendall
December 20, 2011
File under: Birds, Conservation, Research, Wildlife

For the past three years, I have been adamant that it would be impossible to re-trap a tagged vulture. The birds simply go too far – spending much of the year outside of the Mara in areas where I can’t trap – too quickly and are thus difficult to locate even when a backpack is sending you their location. Today I proved myself wrong.

Lillian is a young Lappet-faced vulture that I trapped in April of 2010. She currently has the longest working GSM-GPS unit and has been reliably sending her location four times a day for the last 16 months, giving me an incredible amount of data. Lillian has become something of a favorite as I have also resighted her more times than nearly any other bird.

After the initial trapping, we relocated her on a nest and were able to see her several times during those first few months when she was returning to her little home atop a small Gardenia tree each evening. Then in June I respotted her during some surveys in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania and starting a few weeks ago I had been seeing her every few days in the Mara. …read more of Happy Reunion here

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Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson

By Lavanya Sunkara
December 5, 2011
File under: Animal Protection, Interviews, Poaching, Research, Wildlife

It is not uncommon for newspapers in India to report elephant and other wild animal encounters in towns and villages. These creatures are losing their habitat and finding nowhere to go but the human inhabited areas. Dr. Tammie Matson, a wildlife conservationist, started Animal Works, an organization addressing the issue of human-animal conflict in the Assam region of India and raising money for orphaned elephants.

Dr. Matson is an Australian zoologist who spent over a decade working on threatened species in southern Africa. She ran WWF Australia’s national species program from 2007 to 2008. She has published two books, “Dry Water – Diving headfirst into Africa”, about her experiences being a wildlife researcher in Africa, and “Elephant Dance – a story of love and war in the elephant kingdom” based on her work on human-elephant conflict.

Dr. Matson recently won InStyle magazine’s prestigious Women of Style award for the environment in June of 2010. Here, she talks about her life as a conservationist and what we can do to save elephants.  …read more of Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson here

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Two Units in the Hand

By Corinne Kendall
November 30, 2011
File under: Animal Stories, Birds, Research, Wildlife

When something miraculous happens you don’t really expect it to happen again, so when we found another bird with a backpack that had given up the ghost I didn’t really think we could trap it. In fact it seemed fool-harden to even try, but the Ruppell’s vulture in question was already panting from its fights at the carcass and was very very full.

The backpack in question had also slipped into a rather uncomfortable position and so I felt anxious to trap the bird not just to release it from the weight, but also from the discomfort of the unit. Plus catching it would mean one more unit that could be refurbished and thus a bit more information that we could gain about these amazing birds.

So with no further adieu we were off and chasing the bird. …read more of Two Units in the Hand here

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­Kids Connect! Scientific Greatness: Dr. Jane Goodall

By Christine DePetrillo
November 22, 2011
File under: Animal Protection, Conservation, Education, Research, Wildlife

There are many people who have changed our world with their discoveries. Dr. Jane Goodall is one of those people. Here’s why.

Even at an early age Jane Goodall loved nature. In 1957 she went to Africa for the first time. There she met Louis S. B. Leakey, famous archaeologist and paleontologist. Impressed with her interest and knowledge, he hired her as an assistant then asked her to study a group of chimpanzees in Tanzania with the hope of learning more about our own evolutionary past.

Her first weeks at Gombe were frustrating. The chimpanzees shied away from her, so she had to study them from a peak where she could observe what they did with her binoculars. Her notes revealed many things formerly unknown about chimps. For example, it was thought that chimps were vegetarians. Goodall saw them hunting and eating small mammals. …read more of ­Kids Connect! Scientific Greatness: Dr. Jane Goodall here

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Kids Connect! Wild Meows

By Christine DePetrillo
September 20, 2011
File under: Children, Education, Endangered Species, Research, Wildlife

How many of you love cats? I do. I have two, a black one and a striped one, and they are so much fun to play with and watch. Many of the behaviors they engage in are exactly the same as our planet’s BIG cats, such as lions and tigers. Unfortunately, unlike domestic cats that we keep as pets, wild cat numbers are decreasing.

Let’s take a look at the four big cats.


Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia. …read more of Kids Connect! Wild Meows here

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Students in Nepal Take Rhino Conservation Awareness by the Horns!

By Rhishja Larson
August 11, 2011
File under: Children, Conservation Groups, Education, Research, Wildlife

Rhino conservation efforts in Nepal received a big boost in awareness, thanks to the formation of “Eco-Clubs” in schools located in the Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone.

It was the grassroots efforts of Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal) and the Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone Lothar User Committee that helped create Eco-Clubs at three different schools.

The goal of the Eco-Clubs is two-fold: 1) Creating conservation awareness at the local level, and 2) Taking a stand against illegal activities. …read more of Students in Nepal Take Rhino Conservation Awareness by the Horns! here

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Kids Connect! You’re a scientist too!

By Christine DePetrillo
August 1, 2011
File under: Children, Education, Nature, Research


Scientists make new discoveries every day all over the world. Isn’t that amazing? Imagine, for example, being Galileo Galilei who first discovered some of Jupiter’s moons. Or think about being Benjamin Franklin who realized lightning was electricity. Or what about Albert Einstein who came up with the theory of relativity, E = mc2? Or Jane Goodall who was the first to observe that chimps used tools.

All of these people made discoveries that have changed our world.


That last box could be YOU! …read more of Kids Connect! You’re a scientist too! here

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Sea Turtles of Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore

By Lavanya Sunkara
July 21, 2011
File under: Conservation, Interviews, Research, Turtles, Wildlife


I was in awe of hearing that more than 100 turtles crossed an active runway at New York’s J.F.K airport recently. These diamondback terrapins that inhabit the surrounding brackish wetlands delayed air traffic and caused quite a sensation.

The turtle crossings happen every year during breeding season, with more activity in some years than others. The turtles were safely taken from the tarmac and deposited in a sandy nestworthy area out of harm’s way. Then it dawned on me that we are the ones invading their space.

Many of the turtle species are endangered. Reasons range from global warming to party balloons (who knew?). To learn more, I reached out to a sea turtle conservation expert. Dr. Candace Carter, …read more of Sea Turtles of Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore here

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Citizen Science

By Valorie Titus
July 12, 2011
File under: Amphibians, Research


I was happy to see that with my last couple blog posts there were so many people excited about herpetology!

There were several folks that said they always wanted to work with reptiles and amphibians, but life took them in other directions.  There were also people that wanted to know how they could get involved.  Well, have I the blog for all of you today!

I am going to talk about what we call Citizen Science.  Citizen Science is basically research collaborations between scientists and citizen volunteers.  Whether you’re an elementary school student or a retired engineer, there are multitudes of opportunities to get involved in your local community; all you have to do is ask around! …read more of Citizen Science here

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Whether you’re a scientist working in the field or a young person in your backyard, this is where you get to share your stories through pictures, videos and articles with the rest of the world. Without your voice, these stories go unshared, and our planet’s ecology, wildlife and natural resources go unexplored. Connect with each other and us and let’s enjoy this process of learning from one another.

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