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Conservation Ecology Center News

A black-tailed prairie dog stands on its hind legs in short grasses on the plains of Montana
Jul. 02, 2020
At their field site in north-central Montana, ecologist Andy Boyce and intern Andrew Dreelin are learning more about how black-tailed prairie dogs change the landscape and support the many species...
a grove of trees with several dead, leafless trunks
Apr. 30, 2020
New research from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Shenandoah National Park finds that invasive species of forest insects and pathogens contributed to about a quarter of the tree...
A small fox, called a swift fox, standing on Montana's grassy plains under a cloudy sky. The photo was captured by a camera trap.
Apr. 24, 2020
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamon lives and works in Montana, where she studies the prairie and its wildlife. Over the last year and a half, she has been working with Fort Belknap Indian Reservation...
Two bison with thick fur, big shoulder humps, large heads and short, curved horns stand in grass and shrubs at American Prairie Reserve in Montana
Apr. 01, 2020
Smithsonian ecologists worked with American Prairie Reserve staff to fit bison with GPS ear tags. Their movement study will help researchers understand how bison move and use the landscape at the...
Three plains zebras stand in tall grasses in Laikipia Kenya. The zebras stand in a line, and rolling hills with trees and buildings can be seen in the background.
Feb. 12, 2020
Across Laikipia County in central Kenya, endangered species like the reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and African wild dog, coexist alongside rapidly growing numbers of people and livestock. A...
A shorebird, called a long-billed curlew, with a long, slender, curved bill, and mottled brown feathers flies over grasslands in Montana
Oct. 22, 2019
Long-billed curlew are shorebirds that spend their summers breeding in the grasslands of Montana. Smithsonian ecologists are equipping them with GPS trackers to learn more about their movements.
American black bear and cub in Washington State.
Oct. 17, 2019
In September 2019, the Smithsonian scientists launched Snapshot USA, a nationwide camera trap survey effort in the hopes of capturing the first-ever “snapshot” of wildlife across the U.S.
A coyote stands between grasses and shrubs at the American Prairie Reserve in Montana
Oct. 04, 2019
In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, eastern coyotes join the ranks of top predators, along with black bears and foxes. Still, these clever canines face threats in their native habitat. Using GPS collars...
A camera trap photo of a hoofed animal (called a pronghorn) with thick fur, big ears and large, flattened antlers walking across the wide-open grasslands of the American prairie
Aug. 12, 2019
How can you begin to study something as vast and diverse as the American prairie? Find out in the latest blog from landscape ecologist Hila Shamon who is stationed at American Prairie Reserve in...
A bird called a long-billed curlew flies across a blue sky. Its wings are outstretched and its long, thin, curved bill is open.
Jul. 31, 2019
All seasons on the prairie are special. But spring is just a little more special than the rest, as every day birds return for summer breeding season.
Kristina Anderson-Teixeria
Jul. 18, 2019
Kristina Anderson-Teixeira—a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Center for...
A herd of bison running through grasslands in Montana. One of the bison is wearing a GPS tracking collar around its neck.
May. 08, 2019
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamon spent the first two weeks of April working with American Prairie Reserve to place GPS collars on plains bison.
Global Health Program veterinarian Dr. Maureen Kamau and cheetah cub Pink.
Apr. 19, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's dedicated staff are at the forefront of shaping the world’s understanding of animals and their habitats. Wildlife conservation is...
Grasslands of the American Prairie Reserve in Montana under a bright blue sky with a few whispy clouds on a sunny day
Feb. 08, 2019
Conservation ecologist Andy Boyce lives on the American Prairie Reserve in Phillips County, Montana. It's rugged, it's wild and it's one of the only places left on Earth where scientists have the...
American bison graze on the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.
Feb. 08, 2019
Ecologist Bill McShea shares how the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s collaboration with American Prairie Reserve will help scientists better understand how changes to the grasslands...
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 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,...
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 Przewalski's horse running through the grass with large boulders in the background
Nov. 01, 2017
In September 2017, Conservation Ecology Center researcher John McEvoy traveled to Mongolia to study the movement behavior of reintroduced Przewalski’s horses.
Male scimitar-horned oryx calf born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Aug. 18, 2017
We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the reintroduction of scimitar-horned oryx to the wild! As part of the celebration, we’re asking for help naming two of our scimitar-horned oryx calves...
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...
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...
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.