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Conservation News

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...
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 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.
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 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 black rhino with thick skin, large ears, a stocky body and a long horn protruding from the end of its snout
May. 29, 2019
A new study from SCBI and partners compares the bacterial communities (microbiome) in the gut of wild rhinos to that of those in human care, resulting in a recommendation for a health-boosting rhino...
Three sable antelope standing in a field.
May. 17, 2019
DNA is the ultimate library, and scientists at SCBI’s Center for Species Survival and Center for Conservation Genomics are cataloging it as diligently as any librarians. 
A newly hatched Guam kingfisher rests on a soft white towel at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Apr. 26, 2019
A tiny egg nestled in an incubator at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute began wiggling and cracking April 22 until a featherless Guam kingfisher chick emerged. Guam kingfishers are...
Two small banded dwarf cichlids with light stripes down their bodies and fins down their backs swim over a green leaf
Apr. 26, 2019
In November 2018, Smithsonian researchers spent two weeks in Peru counting and identifying fish. In part two of this story, meet more of the animals they encountered and find out how their work could...
A small, iridescent red and blue fish found in Peru. Researchers believe it is a red-blue Peru tetra fish but need to conduct a DNA analysis to confirm
Apr. 23, 2019
One fish, two fish, red-blue Peru tetra fish. In November 2018, Smithsonian researchers spent two weeks in Peru counting and identifying fish. In this photo essay, see some of the animals they...
A scimitar-horned oryx calf rests in the grass under its mother
Dec. 28, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every year, its team of conservationists here and around the globe works hard to make that mission a...
Two bison -- large mammals with thick fur coats, rounded sharp horns, big heads and large shoulder humps -- walk through tall grass at sunset
Dec. 27, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every year, its team of conservationists here and around the globe works hard to make that mission a...
A close-up photo of a green darner dragonfly in flight. It has large eyes, a long tail and a short, round body.
Dec. 19, 2018
A new paper describes a dragonfly’s full life cycle for the first time. Insects are a critical driver of food webs, so figuring out why their populations are falling dramatically is important for the...
Students flying drones
Jul. 20, 2018
Grassland birds incubate their nests at around 86 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough for a drone outfitted with a thermal camera to detect. Virginia Working Landscapes and students at James Madison...
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...
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 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.