Asia Trail News
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Insitute Scientists Find Sudden Stream Temperature Changes Boost Hellbender Immune Systems
September 11, 2013
Hellbenders, aquatic salamanders from the eastern United States, are surprisingly good at dealing with unpredictable weather. In a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute found that hellbenders can experience large changes in daily stream temperature (from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) without any ill effects. In fact, when scientists mimicked these natural temperature swings in the lab, hellbenders became more resistant to bacterial infection.
Sloth Bear Cub Named
May 3, 2013
In a poll conducted on the Zoo’s Facebook page, 830 fans elected to name the cub Hank, a moniker that combines the cubs’ parents’ names, Hana and Francois.
New Genetics Research on Leopards and Tigers in India Underscores the Importance of Protecting Forest Corridors
January 14, 2013
As rapid economic expansion continues to shape the Asian landscape on which many species depend, time is running out for conservationists aiming to save wildlife such as tigers and leopards. Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have used genetic analysis to find that the natural forest corridors in India are essential to ensuring a future for these species. According to two studies recently published in two papers, these corridors are successfully connecting populations of tigers and leopards to ensure genetic diversity and gene flow.
Fishing Cat Kittens Explore Their Yard
August 23, 2012
Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Zoo can now see its three-month-old fishing cat kittens exploring, playing, climbing and fishing on Asia Trail.
Twin Fishing Cats Born at the National Zoo—a First
June 13, 2012
The Smithsonian's National Zoo is closer to cracking the code for breeding one of Asia's most elusive species with the birth of two fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus). Seven-year-old Electra delivered the kittens between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. May 18 in an off-exhibit den. Their birth marks an important milestone: this is the first time fishing cats have successfully bred and produced young at the National Zoo.
Asian Small-Clawed Otters Debut on Asia Trail
May 12, 2012
On Saturday, May 12, beginning at 10 a.m., we invite everyone to come greet the new otters! At 11 a.m., the public can interact with otter care-takers during our Meet-a-Keeper session. All members and the public will receive a commemorative “ottergraph,” while supplies last, courtesy of Whole Foods Market. The ottergraphs will feature commemorative otter illustrations and reveal their new names.