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Conservation News

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...
Smithsonian's Global Health Program scientists collect oral and rectal swabs from bats
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...
Gulf Coast Migratory Bird Study
Jun. 02, 2017
Neither wind, nor rain, nor dark of night can stop a songbird’s migration. Crossing the Gulf of Mexico, a popular stopover site, can take a 24 hour non-stop flight. Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center...
A limosa harlequin frog on a rock
Jun. 01, 2017
Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs bred in human care are braving the elements of the wild after Smithsonian scientists sent them out into the Panamanian rainforest as part of their first-ever release...
Two desert tortoises mating
May. 24, 2017
Four years after conservationists relocated 570 desert tortoises in California from a threatened habitat to a nearby location, the tortoises outwardly appeared to have successfully acclimated....
Myanmar forest landscape
May. 18, 2017
The loss of intact forest cover in Myanmar has accelerated over the past decade, according to a study by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) scientists and partners published May 17 in...
A painted bunting bird perched on someone's hand
May. 09, 2017
2017 Mad Island field season is underway for Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists at the Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve!
Wildebeest Calf
May. 05, 2017
It’s not easy to be low on the food chain. But white-bearded wildebeests face a threat even greater than lions and leopards. Habitat loss and fragmentation are causing an alarming collapse in their...
African elephant in Gabon
May. 05, 2017
Every fall, forest elephants venture onto Shell Gabon’s Yenzi camp in search of mangos, putting both animals and humans in jeopardy. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are helping...
A painted bunting bird in someone's hand
May. 03, 2017
The period of a migratory bird’s annual cycle thought to be the most perilous—its twice-annual journeys over oceans and inhospitable landscapes—is also the least understood. A new collaborative study...
American redstart
Apr. 26, 2017
A dedicated crew of volunteers and leaders collectively working on three species: the American redstart (the long-term focal species here in Jamaica), ovenbirds and Swainson's warblers.
Andean Bear in Peru
Apr. 14, 2017
What does it take to care for an Andean bear? In March, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) staff returned to Peru—the bears’ home turf—to share their expertise.
Elephant Team Photo
Apr. 14, 2017
Why is this Asian elephant wearing a collar? He’s one of four pachyderms whose movements and behaviors are being tracked via satellite! This information helps SCBI scientist John McEvoy and partners...
African Lion
Apr. 14, 2017
Sometimes, even top predators need a leg up in order to survive. The recent boom in Kenya’s human population prompted people to sprawl and build their homes on the savannah. As a result, increased...
Robber Frog
Apr. 14, 2017
When researchers discovered Craugastor evanesco in the rainforests of Panama, they called it the vanishing robber frog. Now, however, the species may have a fighting chance at a future thanks to the...
Sierra Nevada mountains
Apr. 14, 2017
La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia hosts incredible biodiversity, high concentration of endemic species and serves as an important point for migratory bird species as a stopover site and as...
Tenasserim Mountain bent-toed gecko on a rock
Apr. 12, 2017
Smithsonian scientists have discovered two new gecko species, the Lenya banded bent-toed gecko and Tenasserim Mountain bent-toed gecko, in the little-studied lowland forests of Myanmar.
A group of cheetah cubs sits in the straw at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Apr. 05, 2017
The start of spring brought a cheetah cub boom to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, where two large litters were born over the course of a single week.
Scimitar-horned oryx calf in the wild in Chad, photo by John Newby
Apr. 03, 2017
Three scimitar-horned oryx calves have now been born in the wild. Species reintroductions led by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the Government of Chad began last year. SCBI ecologists collect...
A student participates in a scavenger hunt.
Mar. 31, 2017
Where do migratory birds go when they head south for the winter? To find out, students in the United States are partnering with classmates in Latin America as part of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird...
Testing Rodents
Mar. 31, 2017
The Smithsonian’s Global Health Program is conducting viral surveillance in Myanmar for the USAID|PREDICT program, a worldwide effort to detect viruses that may pose a danger to public health. The...
Guam Rail Chicks
Mar. 31, 2017
After a ten-year hiatus, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) repatriated three female Guam rails to their native Guam. The birds, referred to as ko’ko’ locally, departed Virginia on...
Animal keeper Warren Lynch and veterinary technician Lisa Ware conduct a final exam on the Guam rails prior to shipment.
Mar. 23, 2017
After a ten-year hiatus, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute repatriated three female Guam rails to their native Guam. The birds, referred to as ko’ko’ locally, departed Virginia on Sunday...