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Fueled by Hope: A Conversation with Brooke Bessesen

The vaquita is not hunted. Nor is its habitat disappearing or degraded. Nicknamed “panda of the sea,” this diminutive porpoise is even protected by law. So why is the species on the brink of extinction, with fewer than twenty animals remaining? Vaquita: Science, Politics, and Crime in the Sea of Cortez unravels the haunting story of the world’s most endangered marine mammal and asks, is there time to save the vaquita?
A high-tech taxidermy owl with a detachable head. Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Dykstra

Urban Raptors: Notes from the Field, Part 2

Field notes by Cheryl Dykstra, co-editor of Urban Raptors Monday, May 14, 2018 Cincinnati, Ohio So happy our grad student Ania is back from Texas, having just finished her spring semester. Today is her second day, and the first day with our new undergrad intern Madison, a sophomore studying Environmental Biology.

Urban Raptors: Notes from the Field

Today was the first day of this year for banding nestling red-shouldered hawks in our suburban study area in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even after 21 years and more than 2,500 nestling hawks banded, the first day is still fun, full of promise, and excitement.

Eight Surprising Words that Describe Krill

As I watched, mesmerized, this mass of crustaceans became a living brick-red raft, writhing on top of the water’s surface. The water became disturbed as thousands of krill flipped their muscular tails and leaped clear of the water, falling back like a shower of pink raindrops.

From beavers to bettongs

Re-engaging nature’s ecosystem engineers In the gloomy pall of the advancing Anthropocene, it’s nice to hear good news now and again on the environmental front. And such is the case with the release of beaver families back in the wild in the UK.

Nature's Faithful Lovers

For Valentine's Day, I couldn't resist writing about nature's faithful lovers. 

A Day for the Birds

We revel in the glory of the African elephant, giant panda or Galapagos tortoise—the charismatic megafauna that gets most of attention, whether on television or at the zoo. But I think the group that deserves the award as the world’s number one animal group—perhaps we should call it the charismatic omnifauna—is the bird.

The Count: Tracking a Formerly Endangered Species

They went into the muslin bags easily as we freed them one by one from under the heavy net. Some were stunned, frozen, immobile; others struggled between the strands, exploding with powerful wings when handled. I was a tag-along, a newbie, an invited guest to this fall ritual of trapping, counting, banding, and collaring Aleutian cackling geese (Branta hutchinsii leucopareia), an annual joint venture between the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).