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Center for Species Survival News

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...
An aerial shot of a curving shoreline in Curacao with clear blue water and a grassy and sandy landscape
Jun. 07, 2021
From the deepest trenches to the shallowest shores and across five basins, water circulates in one interconnected system: the world ocean. This World Ocean Day, discover how seemingly different...
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 small, flightless bird called a Guam rail with long legs and toes, and brown and silver fur walks through a mulchy habitat at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Nov. 20, 2020
We care for many rare and endangered species here at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, including a little brown bird named Tasi. Tasi is a 4-year-old Guam rail...
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 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...
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.
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 black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Jul. 02, 2020
Celebrate the Fourth of July with one of America's most precious national treasures: the black-footed ferret! SCBI carnivore keeper Vicki Lake shares the story of mom Potpie and her six kits as they...
Four photos of individual young cheetah cubs held by animal keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Jun. 05, 2020
In May, the cheetah cubs born April 8 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute experienced many exciting “firsts”—from passing their veterinary exam, to receiving their names, to taking a...
A small, 23-day-old Guam kingfisher chick with spiky feathers, round eyes and a large bill rests on a gray cloth placed in a small, round bowl
Jun. 04, 2020
In April, animal keepers celebrated the birth of two extinct-in-the-wild Guam kingfisher chicks. Find out more about the new chicks in this update from keeper Erica Royer.
Cheetah cubs Hasani, Amabla, Erindi and Jabari at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
May. 28, 2020
Meet Amabala, Jabari, Hasani and Erindi! Now that the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s cheetah cubs have names (thanks to your votes) keepers have bestowed them upon the cubs.
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute welcomed six black-footed ferret kits to 2-year-old mother Potpie May 10, 2020.
May. 14, 2020
Mother’s Day was extra special for carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, who welcomed the year’s first litter of black-footed ferret...
American bison Ten Bears (left) and Kicking Bird (right) at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
May. 14, 2020
Ungulate keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of two elderly American Bison, a male named Ten Bears and a female named Kicking Bird, who were humanely...
This kiwi chick hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute April 28, 2020.
May. 11, 2020
Hot on the tailfeathers of a white-naped crane chick and two Guam kingfisher chicks, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s bird team celebrated the arrival of yet another rare resident—a...
A Guam kingfisher named Giha at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. It is a small, colorful bird, with a stripe that runs from its eye to the back of its head and wide, flattened bill
Apr. 20, 2020
There are only 135 Guam kingfishers in the world, but scientists around the world are working to change that by breeding the species for release in the near future.
A white-naped crane chick hatched April 2, 2020. She is pictured with her mother, Brenda.
Apr. 13, 2020
Bird keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, are celebrating the arrival of a female white-naped crane chick that hatched April 2. She is the fourth...
A small Guam kingfisher bird with a wide, large bill and colorful feathers perched on a branch
Apr. 06, 2020
As an animal keeper at SCBI, some of my favorite birds to work with are small but sassy. Guam kingfishers certainly fall into this category. We have three pairs to introduce during this year's...
Two cheetahs at SCBI's cheetah ridge facility.
Apr. 03, 2020
Here at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, the carnivore team is gearing up for a very special arrival: cheetah cubs! As one of 10 facilities in the Cheetah...
two cheetah cubs with their eyes closed lay in hay
Mar. 30, 2020
A special delivery of cheetah milk recently arrived at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's milk bank (the largest milk repository in the world). Find out what researchers hope to learn from this unique...
two cheetah cubs with their eyes closed lay in hay
Feb. 24, 2020
Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the Columbus Zoo have successfully transferred cheetah embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) to a surrogate cheetah...
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.