BRITTANY STEFF | Freelance Science Writer

Eritrean Gazelles: Once Lost, and Now Found in Their Namesake Country

Like a mirage in the desert, a long-missing gazelle species has reappeared as if from thin air in Eritrea. The Eritrean Gazelle is an endangered species that lives within the horn of Africa, primarily along the Nile River. But for more than 80 years, no Eritrean Gazelles had been reported in Eritrea. That changed this April when GWC associate Futsum Hagos was conducting a wildlife survey.

How Clean Energy Protects the Earth's Plants, Animals, and People

A new report from a United Nations’ panel of scientists declares that the biodiversity of Earth’s species is “declining faster than any time in human history." Climate change is the biggest threat facing species today, helping drive the sixth major extinction our planet has experienced, which can impact resources that humans rely on. Solar and wind energy can protect habitat, preserve native species, and boost biodiversity and species survival.

The Superheroes Of The Squirrel World: Flying Squirrels

Say the word “squirrel” and everyone pictures nearly the same thing: bushy tail, buckteeth, ornery personality, and a propensity for burgling their way into people’s birdfeeders. However, there’s another type of squirrel; a more exotic, arguably cooler cousin that lurks like ninjas in the night: the flying squirrels. Nocturnal, big-eyed, and tuft-eared, flying squirrels live throughout the world, including in the eastern United States and the northwest coast.

Tiny Lost-And-Found Toad Becomes Harbinger Of Hope

Six years ago a conservation biologist and his friend, a herpetologist, hiked into a little-explored rainforest in northern Ecuador to conduct the first-ever survey of reptiles and amphibians in the site. On the very first night in the field, they stumbled upon a tiny toad about 100 meters from their cabin—a toad that left them perplexed. It was the long-lost (and now found) Tandayapa Andes Toad (Rhaebo olallai), found in a place the species hadn’t been found before, in a region that is staggeringly remote and difficult to explore.

Tracking The Treasures of Pu Mat National Park

In the mountains of north-central Vietnam, Pu Mat National Park perches on more than 900 square kilometers of rugged, forested mountainous terrain in the Annamite Mountains on the border with Laos. It is one of the most remote areas in the country—and is consequently a refuge for a number of Southeast Asia’s imperiled wildlife, including the Annamite Striped Rabbit, the Large-antlered Muntjac, and one of the rarest of all large terrestrial mammals: the Saola.

Taking The Temperature Of Wildlife Health Across The Planet

Popularly called the “Barometer of Life,” the Red List is a massive publication organized and published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Since the mid-1990s, IUCN’s Red List has been the decisive list tracking the health, conservation progress, and likelihood of survival or extinction of thousands of plants, animals, and fungi. This list then guides conservation action for these species and the places they live all over the globe.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Study Finds Forest Giants Suffer Worst During Droughts

In a study published Sept. 28 in the journal Nature Plants, a team led by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists found that bigger trees suffer the most during droughts, regardless of location or forest type. The team analyzed 40 droughts in 38 forests across the globe, searching for size-related patterns in growth and mortality.

New Rescue Lab for Endangered Amphibians Opens in Panama

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute scientists working together as part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project opened a new safe haven for endangered amphibians today, April 8. The state-of-the-art, $1.2 million amphibian center at STRI's Gamboa field station is the largest amphibian conservation facility of its kind in the world.
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Spe·cies rich·ness  (noun)

  1. A technical term from the field of ecology. The number of different species present in an ecological community, landscape, or region.
  2. More philosophically, a lovely and poetic phrase that conveys the value and wonder inherent in the range of species on the planet and in all the amazing detail of the living world.
  3. A freelance science writer's call sign (see above).

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