Op-Eds, Blogs & Podcasts

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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Raising Chicks and Future Conservation Leaders
by Paige Grecco
"My classroom has always been one that welcomes inquiry, fosters empathy, and empowers students to make impactful change," writes Queens Zoo Education Coordinator Paige Grecco in a new blog at PBS Nature for Women's History Month. Her work to help younger staff develop their skills as informal educators, she says, "reaffirms the important impact our work can have through building connection with others, sharing experiences with nature, and the impacts environmental educators can have on empowering our participants."
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Wild Species’ Survival Should Shape National Biodiversity Strategy
by Dan Kraus
Despite ongoing conservation efforts across the country," writes WCS Canada's Dan Kraus with colleagues in an op-ed for the Hill Times, "biodiversity continues to decline, and the number of species at risk of extinction continues to grow."
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Conservation Comeback in Central African Republic’s Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park
by Paul Telfe, Felin Twagirashyaka, Jennica Betsch
Recent cooperative efforts between the Central African Republic, NGOs and UNESCO to enact a new management plan have greatly addressed threats to wildlife and recognized by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme last year.
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Avian Influenza Part 1: A Deadly Virus Spills Over to Mammals
by Chris Walzer, Paulo Colchao
WCS’s Global Health team has been closely watching the spread of avian influenza—first as it decimated populations of bird species around the world, and more recently when it jumped to mammals. In this two-part series, the WCS Wild Audio's Hannah Kaplan looks at the potentially devastating impacts of this growing wildlife pandemic and what is being done to slow its spread.
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The Power of the Condor
by Rob Wallace
In November of 2023, a law was enacted in Bolivia to protect the Andean condor from poisoning, demonstrating the power of this sacred species as a representative for all Bolivian wildlife. Rob Wallace describes how the law came into effect with the help from the WCS Bolivia Program and their joy last month as the nation celebrated its first National Andean Condor Day on February 4.
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The Megamouth Shark: Gentle Giant of the Deep
by Dave Beuningen, Rhett Bennett, Abdalla Abdulla
Although the megamouth shark grows to an impressive 8 metres (26 feet) in length and has an enormous, gaping mouth, only around 270 have ever been recorded. As Dave Beuningen, Rhett Bennett, and Abdalla Abdulla note in a new commentary at Medium, unlike most sharks who actively hunt their prey, the megamouth is a filter feeder — one of only three filter feeding sharks (the others being the whale shark and basking shark). This discovery in Tanzania emphasizes the fact that sharks and rays are an important socioeconomic resource in the country that needs sustainable management solutions.
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Protecting WCS's Film History to Inform Its Conservation Future
by Leopold Krist
Film Archivist Leopold Krist has been steeped in a century’s worth of WCS history as he catalogues and digitizies historic archive films documenting conservation work globally, and across New York’s zoos and aquariums. Thanks to funding from the Leon Levy Foundation, which allowed WCS to create the Shelby White and Leon Levy WCS Archives Film Initiative, he is preserving footage of everything from studies of biomechanics of crabs, to the growth of the Bronx Zoo, to polar research expeditions.
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Tackling the Fin Trade with CITES
by Luke Warwick
From a young, says WCS's Luke Warwick in a new episode for the World of Sharks podcast, he was passionate about protecting the ocean as a whole – not a particular species or group of species – and saw his career in campaigning and policy-making as a route to do that. Along the way, sharks and rays found him. Quickly, these became the focus of all of his time, as more and more decision-makers, scientists and conservationists realized that there was a very small window to save endangered sharks and rays from going extinct.
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The United Nations Development Programme Has a Nature Pledge
by Midori Paxton
The United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, works in 170 countries and territories around the world to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. Not surprisingly, that work aligns in a variety of ways with nature conservation. Leading the UNDP’s Nature Hub is Midori Paxton. WCS Wild Audio checked in with her to discuss the work of the hub and the implementation of its Nature Pledge.
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