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Conservation News

A shorebird, called a long-billed curlew, with a long, slender, curved bill, and mottled brown feathers flies over grasslands in Montana
Oct. 22, 2019
Long-billed curlew are shorebirds that spend their summers breeding in the grasslands of Montana. Smithsonian ecologists are equipping them with GPS trackers to learn more about their movements.
American black bear and cub in Washington State.
Oct. 17, 2019
In September 2019, the Smithsonian scientists launched Snapshot USA, a nationwide camera trap survey effort in the hopes of capturing the first-ever “snapshot” of wildlife across the U.S.
A Persian onager colt walking next to his mom while she grazes.
Oct. 04, 2019
The end of the summer has been very busy at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which welcomed two new members to its Persian onager herd.
Suspended from a “tree” above the sea floor, these corals are teaching Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientist Mike Henley whether corals grown in warmer waters fare better than their cold-water counterparts.
Oct. 04, 2019
What makes (or breaks) a coral’s ability to survive rising sea temperatures? It’s a puzzling predicament, and scientists are hoping coral nurseries can help crack the code.
A coyote stands between grasses and shrubs at the American Prairie Reserve in Montana
Oct. 04, 2019
In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, eastern coyotes join the ranks of top predators, along with black bears and foxes. Still, these clever canines face threats in their native habitat. Using GPS collars...
A group of camels stands together on soft dirt under a blue, cloudy sky in Kenya
Sep. 24, 2019
Global Health Program researchers co-hosted a camel medicine course for Kenyan livestock veterinarians in March to help improve camel veterinary knowledge, promote wildlife health and lower the risk...
Adult Egyptian vulture with a yellow face and light brown plumage on its head and neck.
Sep. 20, 2019
Smithsonian scientists tracked Egyptian vultures through 44 countries across 70% of their range. They learned that vultures traveling from Western Europe had shorter, more direct routes to wintering...
a line graph showing how birds have decreased by over 2.9 million since 1970
Sep. 19, 2019
Data show that since 1970, the U.S. and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion birds, a massive reduction in abundance involving hundreds of species, from beloved backyard songbirds to long-distance...
A female black-throated blue warbler with color bands, the unique color band combination allows scientists to recognize individual birds in the field.
Sep. 19, 2019
Smithsonian researchers have studied black-throated blue warblers at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire for decades. Hear about their latest field season.
A Persian onager foal (left) and its mom (right) bend their heads to eat grass.
Sep. 18, 2019
Persian onagers are not just rare in the wild, they are actually rare in zoos as well. 
scimitar-horned oryx laying in grass
Sep. 06, 2019
For wildlife veterinarians, patients can span hundreds of different species. Find out how zoo veterinarians manage to treat so many different kinds of animals, including those that are endangered and...
An American tree sparrow eating seeds from native, warm-season grasses in Virginia
Sep. 06, 2019
Researchers in Virginia wanted to learn how common field management practices — like mowing, burning or animal grazing — affect birds that stay for the winter. They turned to local farmers and...
A female Persian onager, a tan colored wild ass, walking in a hilly field.
Aug. 23, 2019
Green Hill Barn, where our herd of Persian onager mares lives, has been full of excitement during the past few weeks since the arrival of our first foal of the year.
A camera trap photo of a hoofed animal (called a pronghorn) with thick fur, big ears and large, flattened antlers walking across the wide-open grasslands of the American prairie
Aug. 12, 2019
How can you begin to study something as vast and diverse as the American prairie? Find out in the latest blog from landscape ecologist Hila Shamoon who is stationed at American Prairie Reserve in...
A female onager with the rest of her herd grazing behind her.
Aug. 08, 2019
Even though Persian onagers are a herd species and prefer to live in groups, they don’t have a “hive” mind, they each have distinct personalities! 
A bird called a long-billed curlew flies across a blue sky. Its wings are outstretched and its long, thin, curved bill is open.
Jul. 31, 2019
All seasons on the prairie are special. But spring is just a little more special than the rest, as every day birds return for summer breeding season.
Five female Persian onagers in a field.
Jul. 29, 2019
Persian onagers are an amazing species! And even though they are not one of the iconic species that you may know, as someone who gets to care for them and spend time with them every day, let me tell...
Virginia Working Landscapes program director Amy Johnson holds an eastern meadowlark.
Jul. 19, 2019
At first glance, Virginia’s farmlands seem quite peaceful. But beneath the swaying fields of hay lies a bustling ecosystem for the birds that call the grasslands home. One such avian animal—the...
Kristina Anderson-Teixeria
Jul. 18, 2019
Kristina Anderson-Teixeira—a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Center for...
A camera trap photo of a jaguar with spotted fur stalking across a leaf-covered forest floor toward the camera
Jul. 16, 2019
Wild animals are very elusive, so how do scientists learn about their behavior and life history? Find out how Smithsonian scientists use camera traps and acoustic recorders to covertly monitor...
A newborn scimitar-horned oryx calf with tan skin and large ears stands in the grass near its mother, an oryx named Chari, and another adult oryx
Jul. 16, 2019
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's herd of scimitar-horned oryx is growing. Keepers welcomed five calves during the past few weeks.
A scientist takes a biological sample from a tapir that is fitted with a GPS collar
Jul. 05, 2019
Why is this mountain tapir wearing a collar? His movements and behaviors are being tracked via satellite by Smithsonian scientists!
Red panda cub being weighed.
Jun. 25, 2019
Moonlight, a 4-year-old red panda, gave birth to a cub overnight June 12 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Moonlight and the cub appear to be doing well and...
bioanalyzer
Jun. 21, 2019
The study, which is among the first genomic studies on otters, found that both the sea otter and giant otter have lost a considerable number of genes related to the sense of smell — a faculty that is...
An Asian elephant with large tusks walks near huts in Myanmar
Jun. 12, 2019
Large animals, like the Asian elephants, have evolved to grow and mature at a different rate than many smaller species monitored by organizations like the International Union for the Conservation of...