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Conservation News

A black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Jul. 02, 2020
Celebrate the Fourth of July with one of America's most precious national treasures: the black-footed ferret! SCBI carnivore keeper Vicki Lake shares the story of mom Potpie and her six kits as they...
A black-tailed prairie dog stands on its hind legs in short grasses on the plains of Montana
Jul. 02, 2020
At their field site in north-central Montana, ecologist Andy Boyce and intern Andrew Deelin are learning more about how black-tailed prairie dogs change the landscape and support the many species...
A camera trap photo of an adult tamandua carrying a baby on its back as it crosses a branch high in the rainforest canopy at night.
Jun. 22, 2020
The rainforest canopy is a challenging place to study. It’s hard to observe from the ground and difficult for researchers to access, so conservation biologist Tremie Gregory learned to climb trees.
A small, 23-day-old Guam kingfisher chick with spiky feathers, round eyes and a large bill rests on a gray cloth placed in a small, round bowl
Jun. 04, 2020
In April, animal keepers celebrated the birth of two extinct-in-the-wild Guam kingfisher chicks. Find out more about the new chicks in this update from keeper Erica Royer.
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute welcomed six black-footed ferret kits to 2-year-old mother Potpie May 10, 2020.
May. 14, 2020
Mother’s Day was extra special for carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, who welcomed the year’s first litter of black-footed ferret...
American bison Ten Bears (left) and Kicking Bird (right) at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
May. 14, 2020
Ungulate keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of two elderly American Bison, a male named Ten Bears and a female named Kicking Bird, who were humanely...
This kiwi chick hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute April 28, 2020.
May. 11, 2020
Hot on the tailfeathers of a white-naped crane chick and two Guam kingfisher chicks, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s bird team celebrated the arrival of yet another rare resident—a...
A close up photo of Scott Sillett, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
May. 05, 2020
This World Migratory Bird Day, May 9, I hope we see record engagement in birdwatching.
an oriole sitting on a branch appears to dissolve into the ether
May. 04, 2020
Migratory birds are now flooding across the continent as they return to their nesting grounds this spring. World Migratory Bird Day is on May 9, 2020, as people around the globe welcome birds back—...
a grove of trees with several dead, leafless trunks
Apr. 30, 2020
New research from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Shenandoah National Park finds that invasive species of forest insects and pathogens contributed to about a quarter of the tree...
A small fox, called a swift fox, standing on Montana's grassy plains under a cloudy sky. The photo was captured by a camera trap.
Apr. 24, 2020
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamon lives and works in Montana, where she studies the prairie and its wildlife. Over the last year and a half, she has been working with Fort Belknap Indian Reservation...
Graphic text with a coffee cup and coffee beans: "your coffee is stronger than you think. save critical bird habitat, one cup at a time. #DrinkBirdFriendly"
Apr. 20, 2020
Join the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center online this World Migratory Bird Day, May 9, in a digital celebration of birds and simple actions you can take from home to help save them.
A Guam kingfisher named Giha at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. It is a small, colorful bird, with a stripe that runs from its eye to the back of its head and wide, flattened bill
Apr. 20, 2020
There are only 135 Guam kingfishers in the world, but scientists around the world are working to change that by breeding the species for release in the near future.
A white-naped crane chick hatched April 2, 2020. She is pictured with her mother, Brenda.
Apr. 13, 2020
Bird keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, are celebrating the arrival of a female white-naped crane chick that hatched April 2. She is the fourth...
Scientists from Smithsonian's Global Health Program taking samples from a bumble bee bat in Myanmar.
Apr. 09, 2020
Researchers with the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program have discovered six new coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar — the first time these viruses have been detected anywhere in the world. Future...
A small Guam kingfisher bird with a wide, large bill and colorful feathers perched on a branch
Apr. 06, 2020
As an animal keeper at SCBI, some of my favorite birds to work with are small but sassy. Guam kingfishers certainly fall into this category. We have three pairs to introduce during this year's...
Two cheetahs at SCBI's cheetah ridge facility.
Apr. 03, 2020
Here at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, the carnivore team is gearing up for a very special arrival: cheetah cubs! As one of 10 facilities in the Cheetah...
Two bison with thick fur, big shoulder humps, large heads and short, curved horns stand in grass and shrubs at American Prairie Reserve in Montana
Apr. 01, 2020
Smithsonian ecologists worked with American Prairie Reserve staff to fit bison with GPS ear tags. Their movement study will help researchers understand how bison move and use the landscape at the...
two cheetah cubs with their eyes closed lay in hay
Mar. 30, 2020
A special delivery of cheetah milk recently arrived at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's milk bank (the largest milk repository in the world). Find out what researchers hope to learn from this unique...
Suzan Murray sits at a table with a piece of paper in her hand
Mar. 05, 2020
Dr. Suzan Murray, head of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program testifies on zoonotic disease transmission.
two cheetah cubs with their eyes closed lay in hay
Feb. 24, 2020
Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the Columbus Zoo have successfully transferred cheetah embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) to a surrogate cheetah...
Three plains zebras stand in tall grasses in Laikipia Kenya. The zebras stand in a line, and rolling hills with trees and buildings can be seen in the background.
Feb. 12, 2020
Across Laikipia County in central Kenya, endangered species like the reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and African wild dog, coexist alongside rapidly growing numbers of people and livestock. A...
A Mariana crow, a bird with black feathers, perching on a branch.
Jan. 27, 2020
An elderly 25-year-old male Mariana crow named Clint was humanely euthanized at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Jan.14. 
Dave Wildt Portrait
Jan. 16, 2020
David E. Wildt, renowned scientist and conservationist died at his home on January 15, 2020.
Animal keeper Erica Royer kneels next to a wooden create and holds a Guam rail, as she gets ready to release the bird into the wild
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...