Explore some of our planet’s least known and most spectacular habitats—from rainforest canopies to deep ocean reefs—and see why they’re worth protecting.

A young shepherd grazes a herd of sheep in Jordan’s mountainous desert landscape of Petra. Photograph by Vaidotas Grybauskas / Shutterstock A Protected Place 06.11.2024 Article - Faced with overgrazing and desertification, communities in the Middle East are reviving the concept of the hima, an ancient land-management practice that bridges tradition, culture, conservation—and faith.
A worker of a native uruçu-amarela colony returns to the hive with pollen to help nourish the developing larvae inside. Photograph by Sidney Cardoso The Bee Whisperers 05.20.2024 Article - Indigenous communities in South America are raising native bees to help protect the insects, conserve forests, and strengthen their own cultural ties to the ecosystem.
Fiji's Nakanacagi Cave is the only known habitat where the endangered Fijian free-tailed bat roosts and breeds. Photograph courtesy of Bat Conservation International Subterranean Stronghold 04.17.2024 Article - Can Fiji’s first bat reserve keep an incredibly rare species safe despite the growing threats of climate change and human activity?
The American moose is the second largest land animal in North America. This bull was photographed near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Photograph by David Dietrich Of Moose and Men 04.12.2024 Article - In an environment increasingly altered by the expanding footprint of human infrastructure, do moose have a place in Colorado's ecological future?
Eider ducks bob along a small fishing harbor in Straumen, Trondelag, Norway. These ducks will travel to islands like Vega in the spring, seeking out a place to lay eggs and brood. Photograph by Pål Hermansen The Eider Keepers 03.08.2024 Article - An age-old tradition in Norway illuminates the bonds between wild ducks, wild places, and the people who care for both.
Straddling the Tides 01.30.2024 Article - To protect mangrove forests, traditional communities in coastal Brazil set their hopes on small-scale tourism.
Staghorn corals and juvenile bluehead wrasse in the late afternoon sun at Coral Gardens reef off the coast of Belize—Photograph by Karl Wirth Reef Refugia 11.02.2023 Article - In Belize, scientists are studying a thriving coral reef and helping to spread its resilience into other reefs around the Caribbean.
Living With Giants 09.21.2023 Article - How Indonesia’s “village of elephant hunters” became a model for other rural communities trying to coexist with one of the planet’s largest land mammals.
With only 100 or so individuals living north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the ocelot is thought to be the most endangered feline in America. Photograph by Aflo/NPL No Country for Old Ocelots 09.20.2023 Article - Can wildlife crossings save America’s most endangered feline?
Exposed microbialite reefs create beautiful patterns at the surface of Utah's Great Salt Lake. Photograph by Kayla Smith, Utah Geological Survey High and Dry 08.20.2023 Article - Utah’s immense Great Salt Lake has receded in recent years, revealing the microbial reefs crucial to its ecosystem.
A female lyrebird peers out over her territory in Sherbrooke Forest. Call of the Liar 08.02.2023 Article - The notion that only male birds sing has long been assumed. But evidence increasingly shows that females do, too. Now, scientists are studying a sensational singer in Australia to suss out why.
Linda Broome holds a captured mountain pygmy possum atop Mt Blue Cow, in Australia’s Kosciuszko National Park. Every spring, she returns to the park with a team of volunteers to monitor possum populations. Of Moths and Marsupials 04.26.2023 Article - The ancient relationship between the mountain pygmy possum and the bogong moth reveals the complexity of global climate change—and the lengths people may have to go to save some species from extinction.
Looking downstream near Glen Canyon’s Gretchen Bar, where relics of once-busy gold mining operations lie beneath Lake Powell. The white mineralization or “bathtub ring” along the main channel indicates the reservoir’s former high-water mark. Songs of the Dammed 04.12.2023 Article - As Lake Powell water levels drop, native plants are reclaiming Glen Canyon.
Rogues of the Rainforest 03.22.2023 Article - Tropical vines are wandering, as they always have, but recent environmental changes are giving them an edge over other rainforest plants—a shift that could have enduring impacts on climates around the globe.
Faces stained from digging in mud, snow geese pause to take measure of their surroundings before returning to their feast. The gray birds are juveniles, the white birds with black wings are adults. Photography by Nancy Crowell Washington’s Runaway Snow Geese 01.24.2023 Article - Mae West said too much of a good thing is wonderful. But she’d never seen the beautiful, marauding snow geese that swoop in each fall to take over Washington State’s Skagit Valley.
Like other salmon, sockeye die after spawning, providing important nutrients to surrounding ecosystems. Trouble at Sea 01.11.2023 Article - For salmon in the North Pacific, has the ocean reached its limit?
Two Iberian lynx peer over rocky outcrops. Photograph by Andoni Canela Bounding Toward Recovery 01.03.2023 Article - The Iberian lynx—one of the world’s most endangered cats—made a giant leap toward a comeback in just a few years, easing the way for other species to follow in its path.
The Sharavati River flows through the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Photograph by Dhritiman Mukherjee Seeing the River for the Fish 11.03.2022 Article - Scientists and local communities are working to save an iconic but little-known species of fish in India—but first, they have to find it.
A lone dragon’s blood tree in the Momi Valley of Socotra. Photograph by Neil Lucas Saving the Dragon’s Blood 10.12.2022 Article - Despite a range of threats, from droughts and cyclones to goats and militarization, Socotra's iconic trees are staging a slow, patient comeback—with the help of the people who know them best.
A Way Forward with Wolves 09.10.2022 Article - Washington state’s long-running conflict between wolves and ranchers mirrors our society’s bigger ideological rifts. Some are trying to bridge the gap—using both horse and technology.
The Saguaro Solution 08.18.2022 Article - Can a massive effort to replant cacti in the Sonoran Desert restore an ecosystem ravaged by fire?
A levee divides a parched salt pond from a burgeoning wetland. Past the Salt 07.14.2022 Article - In San Francisco’s salty South Bay, an ambitious wetlands restoration project is seeking to balance a return to the ecological past with the realities of a changing future.
A chambered nautilus and fuzzy nautilus swim side-by-side. Photograph by Peter Ward Downward Spiral 06.04.2022 Article - The nautilus’s lineage made it through all five of Earth’s previous mass extinctions. But can it survive the Anthropocene?
Methow Valley resident Ken Bevis salvages a deer recently struck by a car. Atonement in the Kitchen 06.03.2022 Article - One way to make sense of the senseless slaughter of roadkill? Salvage it for food.
A greater one-horned rhino surveys its terrain in Kaziranga National Park, India. Photograph by Anup Shah To Rewild a Rhino 05.10.2022 Article - In northeastern India, taking care of a vulnerable species also means looking after the humans who live alongside it.
Ghana’s Sacred Monkeys 04.19.2022 Article - Myth and mystery have long protected two species of monkey and the West African forests they depend on, but for how much longer?
Sign designating the National Wild and Scenic section of the Rio Chama. A River’s Right to Flow 10.22.2021 Article - Indigenous communities and conservationists around the world are challenging the view of water as a human commodity, and fighting to keep this precious resource in the ecosystems it sustains. Can the same approach work in the arid Southwest?
A Cicada calls from a plant with the Cincinnati, Ohio skyline in the background on June 12, 2021. Signs of the Times 07.08.2021 Article - Despite their perceived abundance, the periodical cicadas that emerged across the eastern United States this summer point to a growing set of threats facing both the insects themselves and the ecosystems they help support.
This Antarctic glacier is one of the remains of the once huge Larsen B ice shelf, which infamously collapsed in 2002 over the course of a single month. Such a large area of ice collapsing so quickly was an unprecedented event in scientific history. Photograph by Armin Rose / Shutterstock Antarctica’s Upside Down World 05.12.2021 Article - Clinging to the underside of ice hundreds of meters thick, strange communities of sea life eke out a living in perpetual darkness. Now, researchers are racing to find and study these creatures before they—and their ice sheets—disappear.
With the lighthouse peninsula in the background, a male tule elk stands on a bluff in the Tule Elk Preserve at Point Reyes National Seashore. Home on the Range 03.23.2021 Article - Once thought to be extinct, tule elk have returned to roam across California's Point Reyes National Seashore, but the park—which also supports beef and dairy cattle—is getting crowded.
Large kauri tree framed by green foliage, Waipoua Forest, Northland. Photograph by Arno Gasteiger. Swamp Sentinels 02.18.2021 Article - Buried in mud for millennia, some of New Zealand's ancient kauri trees are revealing surprising clues about Earth's climate—past, present, and future.
Aerial view of Mexico's Cuatro Ciénegas Saving Mexico’s Lost World 02.18.2020 Article - Microbes have lived in Cuatro Ciénegas for 500 million years. They’ve survived countless cataclysms and extinctions. But can they survive us?
Protest signs like this one in a field in Little Valley, Virginia line the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Photograph by Steven David Johnson A (Proposed) Pipeline Runs Through It 12.03.2019 Article - The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would divide mountains, farmland, and sacred Native American land along its 600-mile route, but it's uniting a diverse community of activists determined to halt its progress.
The mountain chicken used to fill the valleys of Montserrat and Dominica with its distinctive call. Now, the critically endangered frog is rarely heard on the islands. Photograph by Geoffrey Giller Song of the Mountain Chicken 10.30.2019 Article - These giant frogs—once a delicacy on two Caribbean islands—were almost wiped out by disease and natural disasters. But their resilience and years of dedicated conservation efforts have kept hope for the species alive.
Hundreds of Chinook salmon fry swim in a tank at the Bodega Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. Raised in Rice Fields 06.26.2019 Article - California’s Chinook salmon have been losing habitat to agriculture for decades. Now, they’re getting a much-needed boost from strategically flooded fields.
Biologist Bart Shepherd in An Audacious Plan in the Twilight An Audacious Plan in the Twilight 04.26.2016 Article - A team of deep-reef explorers attempts to document the unknown biodiversity of Vanuatu’s twilight zone.

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