Wild Life

Meet some of the strangest and most beautiful creatures on our planet, and learn about their fascinating strategies for survival.

A group of male African lions rests in the Masai-Mara Game Reserve, Kenya, as storm clouds build overhead. Photograph by Denis-Huot 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.
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.
Two spotted owls perched on a tree in a Northern California forest. Photograph by Danny Hofstadter What Conservation Sounds Like 02.17.2023 Article - New bioacoustic tools are revolutionizing scientific research and enabling much quicker conservation efforts 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.
A western leafcutter bee visits a flower in search of pollen, Trinity Alps, California. Photograph by Clay Bolt 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.
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 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 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.
The brook trout, a species native to the eastern United States, made its way across the west in the hands of settlers looking to recreate a small, living piece of their adopted homeland. Photograph by Nick Hawkins The Tale of the Trojan Trout 02.21.2022 Article - Can the introduction of a modified invader save the West’s native fish?
Christine Shreves of Wellfleet, Massachusetts finds a Kemp's ridley sea turtle at Great Hollow Beach on Cape Cod in November. Each fall and winter on the inner shores of Cape Cod, endangered sea turtles wash up, stunned by the cold ocean temperatures and confused by the cape’s hook-like geography. With the help from volunteers and biologists at Mass Audubon, the New England Aquarium, and rehabilitation centers, the turtles are rescued, rehabilitated, and flown to warmer waters. When Turtles Fly 11.30.2021 Article - A massive human-assisted migration lands stranded sea turtles back in warmer seas.
Header image for Bringing out the Dead - Deep sea octopus Benthoctopus johnstoniana 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.
Heeding the Pandemic’s Warnings 08.27.2021 Article - While wildlife trafficking receives more media attention, experts are urging global leaders to clamp down on legal wildlife trade and the significant disease threats it poses.
Mexican wolf "M1296" walks off a sedative after being processed and released back into the field during a January 2016 annual Mexican wolf count based out of Alpine, Arizona. After receiving vaccinations and a new GPS collar, M1296 was reacquainted with his mate not far from where he was initially captured. Photograph by Christina Selby Into the Wild 06.18.2021 Article - North America’s rarest wolf subspecies is finally reclaiming its native territory in the Southwest, thanks in part to a fostering program that places captive-born pups into wild dens.
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.
Olms are aquatic, cave-dwelling salamanders found beneath the Dinaric Alps of southern and southeastern Europe. 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.
African elephant bulls display displacement behavior during fighting to determine dominance—Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Africa’s Pandemic-fueled Conservation Crisis 11.17.2020 Article - The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing weaknesses in how we protect African wilderness and species. But it has also given us an opportunity to vastly improve our approach to these urgent challenges.
Laurent Lollis looks out over a herd at Buck Island Ranch, with his father, Gene Lollis, in the background. Buck Island Ranch is owned by Archbold Biological Station and is a leading site for rangelands science, including biodiversity and carbon cycling research. Recent studies have shown that grazing of grasses in the humid soils increases the carbon sequestration by the roots. Raising Nature on Florida Ranchlands 08.11.2020 Article - “Rancher vs Environmentalist” has been a longstanding trope. But in the Sunshine State, ranching just may be the last, best hope for ecological salvation.
Margaret Nyambura Mamai, a Maasai woman, places cactus pads infested with cochineal insects into healthy (and partially infested) thickets of prickly pear plants on the Laikipia Plateau. A Plague of Cactus 09.26.2019 Article - Across Kenya’s wildlife-rich Laikipia Plateau, a thorny enemy is advancing. But a tiny sap-sucking insect may help save the region’s animals and people.
A cutthroat trout feeds at the surface of a clear lake in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Photograph by William Hughes Resurrecting the Greenback, Take Two 02.07.2019 Article - After a case of mistaken identity, scientists face an upstream swim to save a fabled fish.
From national parks and forests to tribal lands, an estimated $31 billion worth of marijuana is grown annually by international drug trafficking organizations in California. Similar operations are known to occur in at least a dozen other states. 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.

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