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Conservation News

Dave Wildt Portrait
Jan. 16, 2020
David E. Wildt, renowned scientist and conservationist died at his home on January 15, 2020.
A close-up photo of a Guam rail bird in the grass
Jan. 13, 2020
Walking through the forests of Guam the sound is arresting, because it’s silent. But the loud whistle of the Guam rail is returning to the forests of nearby islands, nearly 40 years after the bird...
Two clouded leopard cubs with large paws and thick spotted fur rest together on a large tree limb
Dec. 26, 2019
As 2019 comes to a close, we’re continuing to reflect on some of this year’s biggest conservation success stories.
Giant panda Bei Bei climbs a tree on the morning of his last day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo before leaving for China
Dec. 26, 2019
As the year winds down, we’re reflecting on some of our biggest conservation success stories of 2019.
A dog with a chain collar and leash stands beside a person's legs. The person is petting the dog's head.
Dec. 26, 2019
In October, Global Health Program veterinary fellows participated in the annual Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Laikipia County, Kenya, which aims to eradicate (or completely eliminate) the...
A nutrition lab research assistant at the Zoo wearing a full-body snowsuit stands in the freezer where animal milk samples are stored. The shelves are stacked with cardboard boxes and she holds a small box filled with tubes of milk samples.
Dec. 20, 2019
As a research assistant for the nutrition laboratory, I wear a snowsuit year-round. That’s because I spend a lot of time in a -20 degree Fahrenheit walk-in freezer located in the Zoo’s science...
A nutrition lab research assistant at the Zoo wearing a full-body snowsuit stands in the freezer where animal milk samples are stored. She holds a bag full of milk samples, and is surrounded by shelves stacked with cardboard boxes full of more samples.
Dec. 20, 2019
Are you a milk maven? Play "Guess That Milk" and try to match these milk samples with the animals they came from.
Reproductive scientist looking through a microscope.
Dec. 04, 2019
Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have preserved complex ovarian tissues in domestic cats above freezing temperatures by dehydrating them with the help of microwaves.
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...