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Conservation News

Keeper Erica Royer holding a Guam rail
Jan. 05, 2018
Guam rails are classified as extinct in the wild, but staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and partners are working to change their fate.  Last September, they repatriated two...
Two zebras standing in the sun with their heads together
Jan. 04, 2018
Hoofstock keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of Yvonne, a 15-year-old female Hartmann’s mountain zebra who was humanely euthanized Dec. 31, 2017. The...
a flock of birds flies over beach waves
Nov. 22, 2017
With a new statistical tool from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, researchers can take data and better understand the strength of migratory connectivity—whether and when populations spread out...
Zoo staff train colleagues in India.
Nov. 03, 2017
Smithsonian staff recently traveled to India, where they are training colleagues on best practices in animal care, husbandry and veterinary medicine.
A Przewalski's horse running through the grass with large boulders in the background
Nov. 01, 2017
In September, Conservation Ecology Center researcher John McEvoy traveled to Mongolia to study the movement behavior of reintroduced Przewalski’s horses—the last of the truly wild horse species.
Black-footed ferret
Oct. 13, 2017
Ever wonder what causes black-footed ferrets to breed successfully, play aggressively or simply survive in the wild? Researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) recently...
Woolly Monkey
Oct. 13, 2017
Center for Conservation and Sustainability researcher Tremaine Gregory is climbing to the top of the Amazon rainforest to set up camera traps and learn how animals use the canopies to move from place...
Brown Pelican
Oct. 13, 2017
For the first time ever, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center has teamed up with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to track the migration of brown...
North American bat
Oct. 06, 2017
These bats have been dead for more than a century, but they are finding a second “life” as a research specimen. It may sound like a spooky science fiction story, but it is actually the work of...
The cover of a textbook titled "Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations"
Sep. 14, 2017
On Sept. 13, Smithsonian scientists and partners published a groundbreaking new book, "Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations," which addresses one of today's greatest...
A gray catbird in a researchers hand. It has colored bands around its ankles.
Sep. 06, 2017
What happens when a migratory bird’s path lands it right in an urban area like Washington, D.C.? Can the city's parks support wild birds through the breeding season, and how do their behaviors change...
Asian elephant in the water in Myanmar
Sep. 01, 2017
Smithsonian scientists are tracking endangered Asian elephants in Myanmar via satellite collars. Their efforts have revealed a troubling rise in poaching.  
Male scimitar-horned oryx calf born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Aug. 18, 2017
We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the reintroduction of scimitar-horned oryx to the wild! As part of the celebration, we’re asking for help naming two of our scimitar-horned oryx calves...
A small, blue and yellow bird, called a Kirtland's warbler, held in a researcher's hand
Jul. 31, 2017
Following endangered Kirtland's warblers from Michigan to the Bahamas.
Jul. 21, 2017
Animal keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are hand-raising a dama gazelle calf. The male calf was born July 4.
A red panda cub gets weighed in a blue bucket
Jul. 21, 2017
Two litters of red panda cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute last month within days of each other.
Two brown pelicans. One sits on a nest and the second spreads its wings.
Jul. 19, 2017
On July 11, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientist Autumn-Lynn Harrison set out to deploy GPS tags on the Chesapeake Bay’s brown pelicans to track their migrations and better understand the ...
Jul. 13, 2017
About 100 kilometers south of Lima on the coast of Peru, an expansive community of marine invertebrates, fish and seabirds has taken up residency in a seemingly unlikely place: in the hard-bottom...
Black-and-white image of a zebrafish embryo under a microscope
Jul. 13, 2017
A new cryopreservation study has sweeping implications for wildlife conservation and human health. In a paper published July 13 in ACS Nano, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and...
Giraffe with satelite tracking device. Photo courtesy of Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global.
Jul. 13, 2017
In June, SCBI scientists and partners fitted the ossicones of 11 reticulated giraffes with GPS collars that send hourly data to researchers via satellite.
Island scrub-jay. Photo courtesy of Cameron Ghalambor.
Jul. 13, 2017
The island scrub-jay, a songbird endemic to Santa Cruz Island off the coast of southern California, has made headlines in recent years for bucking evolutionary and biological trends—and is at it...
Tortoise mating
Jul. 13, 2017
In a shell of a paternity test story, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) scientists found that male desert tortoises that had been relocated from a threatened habitat to a new nearby...
Gray catbird. Photo courtesy of Dan Vickers.
Jun. 30, 2017
Fitted with a GPS device the weight of a paperclip, a gray catbird in the Washington, D.C., area flies south, unaware that the device records its every move. That data is key for conservation...
Bat with Smithsonian Global Health Researcher
Jun. 30, 2017
How does a conservation organization stop a threat to wildlife that cannot be seen by the naked eye? They examine it under a microscope.
A camera trap photo of two furry animals in a tree
Jun. 20, 2017
In the largest camera-trap study ever conducted in a forest canopy, Smithsonian scientists and partners found that tree-dwelling mammals were willing to travel using intentionally preserved natural...