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Conservation News

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...
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, and their efforts to understand how elephants use their habitat has revealed a troubling rise in...