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All news related to Conservation

A bobcat walking through an area with tall shrubs and grasses on a sunny day
Sep. 20, 2021
Find out how Smithsonian researchers are using camera traps to study bobcats on the Northern Great Plains.
A swift fox wearing a GPS tracking collar walks through grasses in the open prairie of North-central Montana
Sep. 10, 2021
Sometimes, science stinks — literally! In Montana, researchers are setting up “scat traps" to attract swift foxes, so they can learn from the droppings the foxes leave behind.
A long-billed curlew bird in flight in a clear blue sky
Sep. 08, 2021
Modern technology is helping unravel the mystery of how migratory birds achieve their amazing flights. Researchers are already finding that many birds fly farther, faster and higher than they thought.
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Sep. 07, 2021
From the first bird-tracking study to technology 100 years later, scientists finally know where black-crowned night herons travel.
A small hawk, called a kestrel, held in a researchers hand and wearing a small GPS tracker on its back. Its wings and tail feathers are spread out
Aug. 27, 2021
Not all heroes wear capes, some wear GPS-enabled backpacks and have feathers. Wildlife ecologist Joe Kolowski is studying the breeding ranges of kestrels by fitting them with tiny tracking backpacks...
A purple martin bird perched on the edge of a bird house with its mouth open in a call
Aug. 27, 2021
In the eastern part of North America, purple martins nest in groups of plastic gourds hung by bird enthusiasts. Each year, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's bird team prepares nest...
Two adult tree swallows with bright blue feathers perched on a sign. One has its mouth open in a call.
Jun. 03, 2021
The spring and summer months are a chorus of songbird calls and songs at SCBI. As the breeding season begins, staff prepare artificial nest boxes for birds that will find mates, compete for real...
A lantern fly with a big body and large, patterned wings held in a researcher's hands
Mar. 17, 2021
Artificial light at night is a major factor in global insect decline. Smithsonian scientists and partners found that using amber-colored filters to remove the blue spectra of light from “warm white”...
A bird, called a yellow-billed cuckoo, with a long tail and a yellow bill perches on a branch in a tree
Jan. 12, 2021
Cuckoos are extremely secretive birds and difficult to spot. Researchers are developing a tool, using remote sound recorders and artificial intelligence, to help detect them.
A swift fox with a small body, bushy tail and tall, pointed ears stands on a mound of dirt on an open prairie. The fox is wearing a lightweight GPS collar around its neck.
Jan. 07, 2021
In the midst of the pandemic, as the story goes, a team set out to bring swift foxes back to a land they had disappeared from more than 50 years ago. Learn more in this update from landscape...
A close up photo of a cheetah cub's face with mouth open and tiny teeth showing
Dec. 28, 2020
From a litter of chirping cheetahs and the birth of a lovable giant panda cub to groundbreaking coral reef research and new strides in animal care, there were many milestones to celebrate this year.
Three of Cheetah Echo's cubs sit in their yard on some "furniture", including a new firehose bed.
Dec. 04, 2020
This International Cheetah Day, we are excited to look toward the future for both Echo’s nearly 8-month-old cubs and this vulnerable species.
two poisonous crested rats touch nose-to-nose
Nov. 19, 2020
The African crested rat's fur is packed with a poison so lethal it can fell an elephant, and just a few milligrams can kill a human. Researchers found that it's the only mammal known to sequester...
A shorebird, called a Peruvian tern, with white feathers and a black "mask" of feathers. The bird stands camouflaged among the desert landscape of Peru's Paracas National Reserve.
Oct. 23, 2020
On Peru’s pacific coastline, where desert meets sea, lives one of the least studied and most at-risk birds: the Peruvian tern. This bird's desert camouflage makes it almost impossible to track, but...
A shorebird, called a Peruvian tern, with white feathers and a black "mask" of feathers. The bird stands camouflaged among the desert landscape of Peru's Paracas National Reserve.
Oct. 23, 2020
En la costa del Pacífico peruano, donde el desierto se encuentra con el mar, vive una de las aves menos estudiadas y en mayor riesgo: el gaviotín peruano (Sternula lorata), también conocido como el...
A black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Oct. 05, 2020
We hope that you have enjoyed watching black-footed ferret Potpie and her kits on the Black-footed Ferret Cam! Join us in celebrating the next chapter in their lives, contributing to their species’...
Zebra colt in a field at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Oct. 02, 2020
Our playful 3-month-old Hartmann's mountain zebra colt is a bundle of energy! Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ungulate keeper Tara Buk shares how the colt spent his summer in her latest...
A swift fox wearing a tracking collar is released at Ft. Belknap
Sep. 23, 2020
After an absence of more than 50 years, the swift fox has returned to the grasslands of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana.
A 28-day-old female Guam kingfisher chick with colorful feathers and a large head and bill rests on a blue cloth.
Sep. 11, 2020
Guam kingfishers are incredibly rare and difficult to breed, so we are thrilled to be closing out the breeding season with four new chicks. This has been our biggest year to date — and one of our...
A 75-million-year-old lobster fossil. The ridges of its fossilized shell are visible in the piece of rock.
Sep. 11, 2020
Ecologist Andy Boyce discovered a lobster fossil near his field site in Montana, evidence that long ago this area of the Northern Great Plains was once the floor of a shallow sea.
maned wolf running across snowy field
Sep. 04, 2020
Spindly legs and thick, red fur have earned them the nickname “foxes on stilts,” but maned wolves are neither fox nor wolf. Today, researchers are monitoring maned wolves' heart rates to learn more...
A 41-day-old female Guam kingfisher chick perched on a branch. She is small with a wide, flattened beak, orange and blue feathers, and a "mask" of dark feathers around her eyes
Aug. 21, 2020
Breeding season is the most demanding time of year for the bird team at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, but it can also be the most rewarding.
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North American birds.
Aug. 20, 2020
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North...
Cheetah cub at SCBI July 24, 2020
Jul. 31, 2020
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute carnivore keeper Adri Kopp and intern Shannon Richard share the latest news on Echo's cheetah cubs, from weigh-ins to water play. 
a photo of a green frog in water next to a rock
Jul. 24, 2020
For frogs dying of the invasive chytridiomycosis disease, the leading cause of amphibian deaths worldwide, the genes responsible for protecting them may actually be leading to their demise, according...