Op-Eds, Blogs & Podcasts


At-Risk Bats in Race Against Speedway for Existence
by Susan Holroyd, Cory Olson
The Alberta government recently approved a proposal for a motor speedway in a sensitive river valley "at a speed that would make Mario Andretti blush," write WCS Canada's Susan Holroyd and Cory Olson in a new op-ed for the Calgary Herald. "As wildlife biologists," they note, "we are raising caution flags about the potential effects of this project on species at risk, from bats to bank swallows."
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The World Must Work Together to Tackle the Growing Avian Influenza Crisis
by Chris Walzer, Sarah Olson
Confronting the growing avian influenza crisis, write WCS's Chris Walzer and Sarah Olson in a new essay for PBS Nature, requires independent coordination and close collaboration between animal and human health disciplines in sectors across the globe—both north and south. "No single entity or agency can or should tackle this crisis. It demands rapid, comprehensive, transparent sampling, analysis, and reporting to the scientific community," note Chris and Sarah.
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Empowering Fisherwomen in Belize's Marine Conservation Efforts
by Ralna Kay Lamb Lewis
WCS supports the government of Belize in the management of two marine reserves in Belize, protected by a dedicated team of local rangers and monitored by experienced local and international scientists. Beyond preserving marine ecosystems, their focus extends to supporting the livelihoods of fishing communities there. In a new episode of the WCS Wild Audio podcast, WCS Belize’s Ralna Kay Lamb Lewis says it's about ensuring that communities—especially women who have often been underrepresented—have the tools to manage resources, ensuring their own incomes and quality of life.
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4 Years after COVID, We Are Still Lacking an International Prevention Plan
by Sue Lieberman, Chris Walzer, Christine Franklin
In a new op-ed for The Hill, WCS's Sue Lieberman, Chris Walzer, and Christine Franklin make an urgent call for the inclusion of explicit language on pandemic prevention at source in a new and legally binding World Health Organization (WHO) agreement for pandemic preparedness to be finalized this month. Their central argument is that preventing pathogen spillover where it occurs in the first place must be a companion to identifying response protocols once a viral pandemic is already upon us.
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Earth Day Inspiration from an African-Led Initiative in Southern Africa
by John Calvelli
It’s been over 50 years since the first Earth Day in 1970. As we commemorate this year’s edition, says WCS’s John Calvelli, there is a great deal of concern about our future. But there is also reason for optimism. One example comes from the Miombo Woodlands in Southern Africa.
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Uncovering the World of the Wolverine
by Tom Glass
In the Arctic today, spring thaw arrives days, sometimes weeks, earlier each decade. Cargo ships navigate newly ice-free routes, and a vanguard of southern wildlife species strike north from the shadowed protection of forests onto this softening tundra. Wolverines are an indicator of these transformations and Tom Glass wanted to know what studying them can tell us about this changing landscape.
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Earth Day First Aimed to Save Species. To Do That, We Need to Think about More Than One.
by Justina Ray
Stories of charismatic critters capture our attention, but often only after it’s too late to save them. In an Earth Day op-ed for The Narwhal, WCS Canada's Justina Ray says that those animals have a broader story to tell about the critical step of whole ecosystem protection.
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This Earth Day Signals a New Hope for Tiger Recovery
by John Calvelli
"It will take great resources and a long-term commitment with focus at each individual tiger landscape if we are to see tigers roaming once again in the forests of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and elsewhere across Asia," writes John Calvelli in an Earth Day essay for PBS Nature. "That’s why some of the leading tiger conservationists are in Bhutan today, and why they have been joined by experts in development assistance and finance. Securing a billion dollars over 10 years is a tall order, but the alternative is to see a magnificent, iconic species wink out in our lifetimes."
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Why Are the World’s Foremost Tiger Conservationists Gathering in Bhutan on April 22-23?
by Joob Jornburom, Stuart Chapman, Phuba Lhendup, John Goodrich, Maxim Vergeichik
April 22 is Earth Day, which could not be a more fitting occasion for conservationists, ministers, and development experts to gather in Bhutan hosted by the Royal Govt of Bhutan, under the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck. The goal: to develop a long-term plan for sustainable funding to protect tigers across their range. To understand the stakes and the opportunity, WCS Wild Audio turned to several representatives of the global Tiger Conservation Coalition
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Small-scale Fishers Need a Seat at the Table of Coral-Reef Management
by Hoyt Peckham, Gaoussou Gueye, Imani Fairweather Morrison
In a new blog for The Economist's Impact platform, WCS's Hoyt Peckham and his colleagues Gaoussou Gueye and Imani Fairweather Morrison argue that as rights-holders and local stewards, small-scale fishers require a seat at the table of coral-reef management to co-create solutions for blue foods and flourishing ecosystems.
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How to Become a Marine Biologist
by Stacy Jupiter
As the newly appointed Executive Director of WCS’s Global Marine program," writes Stacy Jupiter in a new essay at PBS Nature for Women's History Month, "I am ready to take on new challenges in supporting our teams around the world. And like the women who inspired me, I am also ready to support the next generation of marine biologists, particularly young women whom I can mentor to become future champions of ocean conservation."
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Turns Out the World’s Second-Largest Animal is Found Off the Big Apple All Year Round
by Carissa King-Nolan, Melinda Rekdahl
The waters off New York City are some of the busiest in the world with both ships and marine life. In fact, new research co-authored by WCS shows that fin whales can be found in these waters all 12 months. And that has important conservation implications. Wild Audio talked to WCS researchers Carissa King-Nolan and Melinda Rekdahl to learn more.
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Climate Change and Bear Conservation in Mongolia Come Together in an Award-Winning New Documentary
by Hamid Sardar
Winner of the Conservation Prize at this year’s New York Wild Film Festival, Hamid Sardar’s documentary film Mongolia: Valley of the Bears highlights a clash between the traditions of a nomadic community in northern Mongolia and one dedicated ranger’s mission to conserve wildlife in the boreal “taiga.”
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Beyond Borders: The Story of a Snow Leopard Conservationist
by Justine Shanti Alexander
In a new blog at PBS Nature for Women's History Month, WCS Mongolia Country Director Justine Shanti Alexander writes, "In my team in Mongolia, I feel lucky to work with many women who are taking on leadership roles in conservation. I hope that more women, as well as individuals of other genders, will choose the path of conservation as a career; the snow leopards need us to keep roaring for them." Through the work she and her team are engaged in, she adds, "we are beginning to support community-led conservation initiatives, ensuring the long-term survival of snow leopards, the goitered gazelle, mountain species like argali and ibex, and the ecosystems they inhabit."
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Now More than Ever, Women Zoo Keepers Are Succeeding and Inspiring
by Samantha Gaeta
In her work as a wild animal keeper, writes Samantha Gaeta in a new blog at PBS Nature for Women's History Month, she has continually modelled her standards and practices after the many women who have inspired her in her field. "My goal," writes Samantha, "has always been to be a role model to younger people entering our field, as so many extraordinary women working at WCS’s zoos and aquarium have been for me—providing inspiration and demonstrating just how complex, demanding, and fulfilling a zoo keeper’s job can be."
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Avian Influenza, Part 2 | Cambodia's Conservation Progress At Risk
by Emily Denstedt, Rob Tizard
In the second episode of our two-part series on the current avian influenza crisis, WCS Wild Audio’s Hannah Kaplan talks to Emily Denstedt and Rob Tizard about the rise of this new, more deadly strain in domestic poultry farming. In places like Cambodia, such farms have become a breeding ground for the virus, and the last five years have seen a dramatic increase in rates of infection of wild birds that share the same habitats.
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