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Conservation News

A blue and white bird, called a cerulean warbler, being held in a researcher's hand
May. 10, 2018
In Texas, a team of Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists is studying birds that travel through the Gulf of Mexico.
The head and neck of a giraffe wearing a GPS tracker
May. 04, 2018
What is causing the disappearance of reticulated giraffes across the plains where they were once plentiful? Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists and partners are on the case.
A small, gray-brown and white bird, called a Louisiana waterthrush, being held in a researcher's hand
Apr. 27, 2018
In March, a team of Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists traveled to Texas to begin their annual study of birds that travel through the Gulf of Mexico.
Lady Elliot Reef
Apr. 24, 2018
Smithsonian scientists are part of an expanding global effort set to tackle what could be the most ambitious project in the history of biology—sequencing the DNA of all eukaryotic species on Earth,...
Brown pelican sitting on nest in the Chesapeake Bay.
Apr. 20, 2018
Brown pelicans are a favorite of visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s American Trail exhibit. Yet, many zoogoers may not realize that these marine birds call the Chesapeake Bay home. Last...
Takin at the Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimpu, Bhutan.
Apr. 20, 2018
As a wildlife veterinarian for the SCBI’s Global Health Program, Dr. Marc Valitutto was asked to visit and evaluate the Royal Takin Preserve in Thimpu, Bhutan, to help build their veterinary capacity...
Cheetah cub Nandi.
Apr. 20, 2018
Over the last year, a record 91 cheetah cubs have been born at institutions affiliated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP). In this Q&A, Smithsonian...
An Asian elephant wearing a GPS satellite collar in a forest in Myanmar
Apr. 19, 2018
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Clemson University scientists have found that poaching is an emerging crisis in Myanmar for Asian elephants.
Apr. 12, 2018
SMBC Director Pete Marra is the recipient of the American Ornithological Society’s prestigious Elliott Coues Award in recognition of his outstanding and innovative ornithological research.
A Rwandan mountain gorilla holding a stick and eating
Apr. 06, 2018
In December 2017, Global Health Program wildlife veterinarian Dawn Zimmerman traveled to Rwanda and worked with the Gorilla Doctors for three weeks.
A recently burned forest at the base of a mountain. The forest is burnt in the foreground and gets progressively greener in the background toward the mountain.
Mar. 27, 2018
Smithsonian scientists and partners have developed a mathematical model to help understand why certain landscapes are especially vulnerable to losing their forests and the species that rely on them,...
A dark gray bird with red eyes and an orange and black beak, called a snail kite, wearing a GPS satellite tracker on its back
Mar. 14, 2018
In November 2017, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center postdoctoral fellow Alex Jahn traveled to southern Brazil to study the migration of snail kites with Brazilian colleagues at Taim Ecological...
Head closeup showing black mask, nose and small ears
Mar. 14, 2018
Senior Scientist and Head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute David Wildt has been chosen to receive the 2017 Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award...
An Asian elephant wearing a GPS satellite collar in a forest in Myanmar
Mar. 13, 2018
Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have found that poaching is an emerging crisis for Asian elephants in Myanmar. They published their findings March 13 in PLOS ONE.
A medium-sized black bird, called a common raven, perched on a tree branch
Mar. 07, 2018
In a new study almost 20 years in the making, Smithsonian researchers and partners report some of the strongest evidence yet of the phenomenon of speciation reversal in two lineages of common ravens.
Maned wolf pups
Feb. 22, 2018
Four maned wolf pups were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Dec. 23, 2017. During much of their first weeks they were nestled in a den but are now exploring more areas of their...
White rhinoceros
Feb. 09, 2018
The future of rhinos could depend on their DNA. Scientists In collaboration with researchers in the United States, South Africa and Russia, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientist Klaus-...
Kamala and Maharani at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Feb. 02, 2018
To better understand the role diet and exercise play in elephant health, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute endocrinologist Janine Brown studied the animals’ hormones.
A black-and-white warbler perched on a tree branch
Jan. 31, 2018
A cup of coffee can do more than provide a wake-up boost. Consumer choices can help or hinder the survival of migratory bird species. Get the scoop on how Bird Friendly® coffee helps wildlife.
Guam rail chick
Jan. 29, 2018
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is experiencing a Guam rail baby boom. Three chicks, covered in black downy feathers with oversized feet, hatched in January. 
Variable Harlequin Frogs Return to the Wild
Jan. 19, 2018
Through years of research and breeding, Smithsonian scientists have created a thriving variable harlequin frog colony in human care and released approximately 500 healthy frogs in Panama’s Colon...
One of the frog species, the fantastic reed frog (Hyperolius phantasticus), collected in a national park in Gabon.
Jan. 18, 2018
Put a barcode on it! Untangling the complex web of Gabon's frogs, many of which look different but belong to the same species, required DNA barcoding. SCBI's Jessica Deichmann shares how this...
Domestic cat oocyte (egg)
Jan. 18, 2018
An egg-citing new finding from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute could help bolster the success of assisted reproduction for some of the most endangered species—with implications for...
McInerney and Parker visit Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve on Lebanese Independence Day to collect scat samples with Magda and her st
Jan. 18, 2018
Which mammals live in Lebanon’s legendary cedar forests? Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute staff traveled to Beirut and trained students to identify animals using advanced DNA tools.
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...