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Coral Reef Opera

By Laurel Neme
March 25, 2011
File under: Ecosystems, Education, Endangered Species, Environmental Protection, Fish, Habitat Loss, Natural Resources, Nature

photo: Omani Clownfish. Courtesy of Steve Simpson.

If you ever wanted ideas for a new soap opera, coral reefs would be the place to go.

These colonies of tiny living animals not only provide vital ecological services, such as protecting shorelines, but are also home to some of the most diverse-and strange-creatures on the planet.

Dive a few meters below the surface and you’ll meet a cast of characters that could rival those on Melrose Place. Similar to that fictional locale, the life of coral reef fish centers around sex, or, more accurately, tactics for successful reproduction necessary for the continuation of their species-referred to as “life history strategies.” For some, these strategies go as far as changing gender. …read more of Coral Reef Opera here

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A Blooming Passion: My First Pet

By James Buckley
March 25, 2011
File under: Children, Education, Fish, Pets

(Fred The Mighty Fish)

Ever since the day I first saw a frog they have fascinated me. The glossy silhouette fluidly leaping across leaves and branches captivates me as much now as it did thirteen years ago. The summers I spent “frogging” which was my term for catching frogs.

I was so spellbound by frogs that at age four would Internet research information about them. One day I had finally gathered enough data to give an educated speech to my mom about a certain Whites leaf frog from Australia and why I should have one. After completing my fifteen-minute report, my plea was brutally shot down by the depressing no that so boldly banged away at my ear.

However she did partially make up for her wicked sin by offering to get me a Siamese fighting fish. I agreed to the deal and got the fish. He was a dark red and royal blue fish about the size of a rose head. …read more of A Blooming Passion: My First Pet here

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The Little Bison Calf That Could

By Beth Pratt
March 24, 2011
File under: Survival Stories, Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park


Although most of Yellowstone is blanketed in snow after the recent series of storms, visitors to the park’s north entrance have been stopping to photograph a bright splash of orange against the white landscape. The source? A fuzzy bison calf born late in the season.

Bison babies don’t resemble their parents at all-although adult bison are magnificent creatures, it’s a stretch to call them cute. But bison calves are pretty darn adorable. The starkly different appearance of the calves from the adults-especially the brick red color of their coats-has caused some park visitors to inquire about the “little orange dogs” running with the bison.

A bison usually gives birth in late April through May to one calf (twins occur occasionally) after a nine and a half month gestation period. For the first few days, the calf spends most of its time resting, but soon becomes energetic enough to explore its surroundings.

The orange-reddish coat typically fades after about ten weeks, gradually darkening until it transforms into the dark brown hue of the adult bison. As this little calf was still sporting the bright color, he must have been born late in the fall. …read more of The Little Bison Calf That Could here

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Lions, Lions and more Lions

By Corinne Kendall
March 20, 2011
File under: Animal Sightings, Endangered Species, Wildlife

photo: Corinne Kendall

It has been a week of lions. Everywhere we turned we saw one or the other. Unlike last week’s scrawny injured lioness, the big cats we have seen the last few days have been healthy and well-fed. A 12-member pride with two adult males, a juvenile male, and a female that resembles “Scar” from The Lion King (thanks to a warthog tusk that nearly removed her eye) sat happily with a buffalo kill.

Then we saw a lioness with three large cubs – two girls and a boy. We stopped to watch them as they slept along the road. The male cub decided to cross right behind the car and I had a moment of panic as I absorbed the fact that I was only a few feet from such an impressively large animal with the windows open. He stopped just to the right of the car …read more of Lions, Lions and more Lions here

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Mexico’s Grand Water Forest

By Mary Edwards
March 18, 2011
File under: Climate Change, Conservation, Ecosystems, Environmental Protection, Natural Resources

Paving paradise: Plans are in the works for at least four major highways to traverse the Water Forest. With no integrated strategy, the result is ‘anarchistic urban growth’. Photo Credit: JORGE NEYRA JÁUREGUI

YUCATAN, Mexico – Over 1,500 delegates from all over the world gathered for the 9th World Wilderness Congress held in Merida, Yucatan, in Nov. 2009.

Launched by the WILD Foundation in 1977, the World Wilderness Congress (WCC) is the world’s longest-running, public and international environmental forum.  The Congress meets every three to four years, having been held eight times on five different continents.

The central theme of this year’s WILD9 was Wilderness and Climate Change, which points to the critical role of wilderness as carbon sinks absorbing CO2 emissions.  Research has shown that protecting primary ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and peatlands keeps their carbon stocks intact and avoids carbon emissions from degradation. For instance, after the U.S. and China, the world’s third largest carbon polluter is Indonesia – not because of its energy consumption, but because of its peatland and forest destruction which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. …read more of Mexico’s Grand Water Forest here

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It’s Not Easy Being Green: Yellowstone’s Frogs

By Beth Pratt
March 17, 2011
File under: Amphibians, Ecosystems, Wildlife


“‘Kermit!’ shouted a high childish voice and we knew the roadside wetland we were scouting held at least one frog. A distant moose was instantly forgotten as the young tourist’s family gathered around to share her delight in observing the tiny creature with the fearless wide-eyes gaze and mysterious powers of transformation.”

-Debra Patla and Chuck Peterson, Yellowstone Science

It truly isn’t easy being green in Yellowstone. The harsh winters of the Northern Rockies with temperatures hovering near zero Fahrenheit during the day and often dropping below zero at night, doesn’t provide the most amphibian-friendly habitat. Lacking the ability to generate their own body heat, amphibians utilize the temperature of their environment for internal climate control.

Perhaps not surprisingly given the challenges, within Yellowstone’s borders live only four species of amphibians, which include two species of frogs: the Columbia spotted and the boreal chorus frogs (for contrast, Yosemite National Park, with its less severe winters, boasts triple the amphibian population). …read more of It’s Not Easy Being Green: Yellowstone’s Frogs here

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Kids Connect! Greetings, Earthlings!

By Christine DePetrillo
March 17, 2011
File under: Conservation, Ecosystems, Education, Wildlife



Hey, Earthling. Yes, you. How much do you know about this wonderful planet you call home? Let’s find out. And DON’T peek at the answers! I’ll know if you do.

  1. The ____________is the biggest species in the cat family.
  2. True or False? Sharks do not have a single bone in their bodies.
  3. A gorilla can live for about ______________years.
  4. The spots on a giraffe act as _______________to protect the giraffe from predators.
  5. Frogs don’t drink water. They soak it in through their ____________.
  6. Insects such as bees, mosquitoes and cicadas make _____________ by rapidly moving their wings.
  7. Wolves live and hunt in groups called _______________.
  8. The tallest trees on Earth are _________________.
  9. True or False? About 70% of the Earth is covered with water.
  10. True or False? YOU can help keep this planet healthy.

How did you do? You’re dying to know, aren’t you? …read more of Kids Connect! Greetings, Earthlings! here

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Saving our PLANET from Nature Deficit Disorder

By Betsy Franz
March 17, 2011
File under: Children, Education, Nature


In 2005, author Richard Louv wrote a book entitled, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. The book was so popular that it was updated, expanded and reprinted in 2008.

Louv’s book sheds light on a situation that won’t come as a surprise to most parents: Modern society has created a drastic disconnect between young people and nature.

Its obvious why this disconnect has occurred. Today’s kids have too much homework, too many after school activities and too many electronic playthings keeping them inside. Too much negative news has instilled sometimes-unrealistic fears in both parents and children: fear of traffic, fear of crime, fear of strangers and even of nature itself. And rapid development is quickly eating up many of the parks and other really fun places to play.

For whatever reason, kids just aren’t playing outside much anymore – not even in their own backyards. …read more of Saving our PLANET from Nature Deficit Disorder here

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The Endangered Unknown: The Javan Rhinoceros

By Peter Kleinhenz
March 17, 2011
File under: Black Market, Conservation, Conservation Groups, Endangered Species, Habitat Loss, Poaching, Rainforest


In two pockets of dense tropical rainforest separated by thousands of miles lives one of the largest terrestrial mammals on Earth, yet few people are even aware it exists. Unfortunately for this creature, this lack of familiarity also means that few people realize that it is one of the most endangered animals in the world.

The Javan Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros sondaicus, doesn’t exactly stick out like the rhinos we picture roaming the savannahs of Africa. For an animal that is over ten feet long and that can weigh up to two tons, this rhino species is incredibly elusive. Travelling on trails that cut tunnels through thick vegetation, the rhinos spend their time between their choice feeding sites, salt licks, and mud wallows.

Both male and female Javan Rhinos maintain a territory that is marked by way of urine and feces. However, when it’s hot and the bugs are biting, a choice mud wallow is fair game for any rhinos that happen upon it, regardless of whose territory it belongs to. For most of the year, life is pretty plain, simple, and carefree for these large creatures since the adults have no natural predators, even though the females of this particular rhino species almost never have horns. …read more of The Endangered Unknown: The Javan Rhinoceros here

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Jeff Corwin’s Welcome Message

By Jeff Corwin
March 16, 2011
File under: Conservation, Environmental Protection, Wildlife


It is our ultimate responsibility as the generation of today to insure that the next generation inherits a healthy, balanced and biologically rich planet. The fuel behind the mission of JeffCorwinConnect is to build a global community of people who care about the future of our planet, and seek to better the world for themselves and their children.

This community – your community – seeks to empower individuals with the resources and platform necessary to share their stories with the world.  Without your voice, these stories go untold, unshared and the issues challenging our planet’s ecology, wildlife and natural resources go unaddressed.

JeffCorwinConnect seeks to break down every conventional barrier of people, place and purpose, and invites you to become part of this movement.  Our community is diverse, but possesses one all-important shared goal: preserving the natural heritage of our planet, enjoying it in a responsible and sustainable way, and protecting it’s wonders so that we may be able to pass it on as a legacy to our children and the generations to come.

Whether you are American or Brazilian, versed in Farsi or Portuguese, we all speak the common language of environmental stewardship as global citizens.  Whether you’re are a scientist or farmer, an expert or a student, we’re all dedicated to the same mission at JeffCorwinConnect. …read more of Jeff Corwin’s Welcome Message here

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About this blog

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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