From climate change and ocean acidification to food webs, nutrient cycling, and pollination, gain a big-picture view of the threats to—and importance of—Earth’s natural systems.
Africa’s Conservation Conundrum 05.15.2023 Article - The trophy hunting industry in Africa is dying, and that should concern all of us. What, if anything, replaces it will prove critical for the protection of the continent’s wildlife and wild places.
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.
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.
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.
Trouble at Sea 01.11.2023 Article - For salmon in the North Pacific, has the ocean reached its limit?
Making Nature Less Predictable 12.02.2022 Article - In their fight against the homogenization of nature, scientists and farmers are walking well-worn paths and using innovative approaches to help bring native pollinators back to California.
Learning from the Ancients 11.22.2022 Opinion, Review - In his latest book, Elderflora, Jared Farmer chronicles a history of exploration and study, destruction and preservation that will keep humans and age-old trees intertwined for the long haul.
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.
Prince of Darkness 08.24.2022 Spotlight - Helmet jellyfish have taken over a Norwegian fjord, demonstrating the species’ tenacity and offering clues about environmental factors that can upend an ecosystem.
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.
Undertakers of the Forest 05.02.2022 Spotlight - Tiny, shape-shifting slime molds have an outsized influence on the cycle of life.
Clear Water Revival 05.02.2022 Photo Essay - In a biodiversity wonderland hardly known outside South Africa, a decades-long effort to restore native fish and their streams is starting to pay off—but new trouble could undermine this fragile comeback.
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?
The Tale of the Trojan Trout 02.21.2022 Article - Can the introduction of a modified invader save the West’s native fish?
City Owl, Country Owl 01.21.2022 Spotlight - Unlike their more iconic cousins, diminutive northern pygmy owls occasionally manage to raise families in urban forests—some little more than a stone’s throw from the local café.
Nomads of the North 11.24.2021 Photo Essay - A writer and photographer shares an intimate portrait of the annual migration and uncertain future of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd.
Water Makes a Hive Thrive 11.04.2021 Spotlight - Just like us, honeybees can die if they get too hot. To cool off, they’ve devised their own kind of air conditioning, ferrying water home and then fanning it with their wings.
Bringing out the Dead 10.28.2021 Article - By sinking a wide array of carcasses into the deep ocean and studying what turns up when they fall, scientists are learning about some of the world’s most exotic scavengers and the roles they play in the darkness.
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?
Letters Between Trees 09.09.2021 Article - With a pandemic and record-breaking fire season raging, two individuals, seemingly worlds apart, find solace in their connections with one another and within the ecosystems they call home.
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.
What it Means to be Wild 07.08.2021 Opinion, Review - Against the backdrop of a world so thoroughly altered by humankind, Emma Marris's latest book, Wild Souls, challenges our assumptions about nature and how we protect it.
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.
Life, Death, and Renewal in the Campo Rupestre 04.22.2021 Photo Essay - In a little-known region of Brazil that calls to mind Tolkien’s Middle-earth, unique lifeforms have evolved to endure innumerable environmental challenges. Can they survive the country's latest era of deregulation?
Extraordinary Animals and the People Who Love Them 03.29.2021 Review - The new book Beloved Beasts hacks through the undergrowth of the conservation movement in search of a clear path forward.
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.
Scales of Reference 03.11.2021 Article - Collected at the tail end of British Columbia's "silver fever," hundred-year-old salmon scales are now helping conservation scientists reconstruct and better manage the populations of one of Canada's most important fish.
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.
Saving Slovenia’s “Human Fish” 12.15.2020 Article - Scientists in this Central European country are leading the charge to understand and protect a charismatic, cave-dwelling salamander—and the subterranean habitats that supply much of the region's drinking water.
Mother Load 12.11.2020 Spotlight - Multitasking bat moms carry their nursing pups underwing all while navigating a growing array of threats in the Australian forests they call home.
Billfish Bounty 11.25.2020 Spotlight - A striped marlin slices through a shoal of baitfish, a beautiful reminder of the struggle between predator and prey—as well as the fragility and importance of healthy ecosystems.
Chennai Ran Out of Water — But That’s Only Half the Story 10.30.2020 Article - To reduce flooding and bridge droughts, India’s southern coastal metropolis is using ancient knowledge, community action, and wetlands restoration to harness its monsoon rains.
A Novel Demise 09.22.2020 Spotlight - Although we’ve marveled over carnivorous plants for centuries, the plants’ penchant for vertebrate flesh has been largely overlooked.
Records of Change 01.17.2020 Video - Thanks to foresight and meticulous records collected nearly a century ago, scientists are reconstructing a picture of some of Mexico's most important ecosystems before they were transformed.
A Great Escape 12.03.2019 Spotlight - Invasive American mink, having escaped from British fur farms over the past century, are now wreaking havoc on native species—but this lucky gannet got away.
Refilling the Carbon Sink 11.12.2019 Photo Essay - Long seen as wastelands, Scotland’s bogs are now the scene of an intense restoration effort in which millions of exotic trees are being felled to fight climate change.
Layers of Life 11.12.2019 Spotlight - On a crowded coral reef, species often make their homes on top of one another (literally), living lives that are tightly intertwined both biologically and evolutionarily.
The Secret Garden 09.11.2019 Photo Essay - The crystalline rivers of the Serra da Bodoquena offer a window into Brazil’s freshwater biodiversity. But with deforestation on the rise, that window is becoming cloudier.
A Precarious Perch 08.27.2019 Article - Swallow-tailed kites have lost much of their habitat in the southeastern United States, but thanks to an unlikely ally, their numbers are beginning to climb.
Ghosts of the Everglades 07.11.2019 Immersive - Clinging to survival in shrinking swamps, ghost orchids are so elusive that their pollinators have remained unknown—until now. One team’s findings may help to save both the flower and its threatened home.
The Lobster Wars 05.29.2019 Article - In one coastal Mexican town, a sustainable fishery anchors the community. So why has Florida outlawed the same fishing methods?
Protected by Prawns 03.17.2019 Video - Restoring native crustaceans along West Africa’s Senegal River may be a critical step in controlling one of the world’s deadliest tropical diseases.
The Unsung Reef 01.25.2019 Photo Essay - Australia's corals may get all the headlines, but the country's kelp-dominated temperate reefs are at least as important and imperiled. Now they're finally getting the restoration focus they deserve.
Where the Rainforest Meets the Road 01.08.2019 Article - Community-led conservation has taken root in a remote corner of Papua New Guinea. Now the plan’s architects must ensure that ecological protection and economic prosperity can coexist.
The Wreckers 12.12.2018 Spotlight - The lionfish that haunt one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks are now laying claim to new battlegrounds.
The Reservoir 12.12.2018 Article - In Bangladesh, a bat-borne virus you've probably never heard of is poised to become the next pandemic—and medicine alone may not be sufficient to stop it. Is an ecological intervention the answer?
Open Wide 10.09.2018 Spotlight - Their prey may be tiny, but these Indian mackerel need both gaping mouths and an assist from their school-mates to successfully snag a meal.
It’s a Wasp-Eat-Caterpillar World 09.11.2018 Spotlight - Shockingly, being eaten alive by dozens of hungry wasp larvae may have its advantages.
The Long Haul 08.15.2018 Spotlight - While its partner is away on a long-distance foraging expedition, this sooty albatross patiently holds down the nest and awaits its turn to find food—contributing to an equal partnership that will last a lifetime.
Dine and Dash 06.12.2018 Spotlight - For American pikas, the rush to store enough food for winter is becoming more hazardous—and climate change isn’t the only culprit.
Lens of Time: Growing Against the Odds 06.12.2018 Video - As reefs endure another onslaught, scientists are taking a closer look at how corals live and grow—and what may enable some of them to persist in a changing world.
Basking on the Brink 06.05.2018 Photo Essay - An "unholy" river in India may be the last, best hope for one of the world's largest and most imperiled crocodilians.
A Grand Experiment on the Grasslands 03.13.2018 Immersive - A decades-long debate over protection of the lesser prairie-chicken could usher the Endangered Species Act into a new and very different era.
Boxing Day 01.02.2018 Spotlight - Female hares can deftly defend themselves when unwelcome suitors pay a visit, but when climate change comes calling, fighting back proves more difficult.
Lens of Time: When Plants Fight Back 11.07.2017 Video - Under cover of subtlety and slow-motion, plants not only perceive the organisms around them, they respond—and in some cases, prepare for battle.
Bat Odds 10.31.2017 Spotlight - We’ve feared and maligned them for centuries, but it’s the bats that really have something to be afraid of.
The Anomalies: The Acorn Woodpecker 10.10.2017 Video - These highly social birds defy the typical two-parent family structure, proving that cooperation can make good evolutionary sense.
Survival of the Smallest 06.13.2017 Spotlight - When El Niño hits the Galápagos Islands, marine iguanas struggle to find enough food—then they undergo a remarkable transformation.
Greatest Shoal on Earth 05.02.2017 Spotlight - One of the planet’s most massive migrations, the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run triggers a dazzling feeding frenzy off the coast of South Africa.
Can Mushrooms Save the Honey Bee? 04.25.2017 Video - A blood-sucking mite is wreaking havoc on honey bees—but scientists have discovered a surprising new way to fight back.
Tear Hunter 04.11.2017 Spotlight - In one of nature’s more surprising interactions, a butterfly hunts crocodilian tears in search of life-sustaining salts.
Invisible Nature: Star of the Dunes 04.04.2017 Video - Coastal dunes set the stage for a surprisingly valuable partnership between a fungus and a tree.
Backcountry Drug War 03.28.2017 Article - In the Golden State, dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk.
Graceful Giant 03.21.2017 Spotlight - Their record-setting heft doesn't stop blue whales from being surprisingly sinuous swimmers.
The Lungs of the Planet 02.28.2017 Immersive - The Amazon rainforest faces myriad threats. But this iconic ecosystem—one of Earth's most important natural resources—may be more resilient than scientists ever expected.
From Leaf to Landscape 02.28.2017 Infographic - A tropical rainforest’s ability to take a deep breath depends in large part on a somewhat surprising factor—the age of its leaves.
Catching the Rainforest’s Breath 02.28.2017 Video - Armed with a suite of high-tech tools, scientists are measuring the flow of gases into and out of the Amazon rainforest to understand how this iconic ecosystem responds to seasonal and climatic shifts.
The War for Science 02.14.2017 Opinion - It’s more than a skirmish over funding, censorship, and “alternative facts.” It’s a battle for basic decency, the people we love, and the future of our planet.
Maggot Revolution 01.18.2017 Article - Agricultural entrepreneurs want to solve the planet’s livestock-feed crisis by farming insect larvae. Will their scheme fly?
Invisible Nature: Invasion of the Caterpillars 12.27.2016 Video - Gypsy moths have been gaining ground in North American forests for 150 years. Can a caterpillar-melting virus keep them in check?
The Color of Drought 11.22.2016 Video - A record-setting dry spell is transforming California’s forests—and in this case, colorful foliage is not a good thing.
The Birds and the Bombs 06.28.2016 Article - The fate of the Southeast's longleaf pine forests, and the endangered woodpeckers that depend on them, may rest in the hands of the U.S. military.
Mealtime Swim 05.24.2016 Spotlight - Back from the brink, Eurasian beavers are once again an integral part of the river ecosystem in France's Loire Valley.