Majestic. Powerful. Awe-inspiring. Intelligent. These are just a few of the words that may come to mind when you think of a fully grown African or Asian elephant. But for farmers who are trying to make a living in places where elephants also roam, these iconic mammals can be more like giant pests.
If you’ve seen a butterfly land on a flower, you mostly likely witnessed something amazing—pollination, the transfer of pollen from one plant to another for fertilization. Since plants can’t get up and pollinate themselves, pollinators like birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and small mammals do it for them.
There is a lot of trash in the ocean, and the problem is getting steadily worse. Some estimates suggest more than 1 billion pounds of debris enters the ocean every year. This debris can cause all kinds of problems for marine life and marine ecosystems—from wildlife entanglement to habitat destruction. So what can we do about it?
One of the best parts of writing Marine Science for Kids (which officially releases tomorrow, June 1), was interviewing marine scientists, finding out what inspires them, and getting a glimpse into their cool careers. While we don’t want to give away all the fun tidbits we uncovered in these exclusive interviews, here’s a preview of the inspirational people we included in our latest book.
Solomon David once considered becoming a medical doctor. He spent time in college as a pre-med student, but his deep-rooted interests in biology ultimately won out after he took ichthyology (the branch of zoology dealing with fishes) in his senior year. That’s when Solomon discovered his true path. As he puts it, “my future was with the fishes.” He decided to pursue a PhD in aquatics resource ecology and management.
On the heels of Easter Sunday, there’s another holiday to celebrate: Earth Day 2017. Earth Day may not be as steeped in tradition as other national, international, and religious holidays, but it’s an important day for all of us who consider ourselves a part of the conservation community.
From her early career as a graphic designer to traveling the world as a freelance photographer/videographer for clients such as National Geographic, Australian Shannon Benson of Shannon Wild is proof positive that hard work, dedication, and passion can open doors to unique careers in wildlife conservation. Like most of things in life, though, Shannon’s success hasn’t been handed to her.
Since we last blogged about the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal, in July 2016, the situation has become grimmer for these tiny porpoises living in the Gulf of California. Just yesterday, the IUCN-SSC Cetacean Specialist Group provided an update on the decline of the vaquita due to continued illegal gillnet fishing in the vaquita’s habitat.
Penguins are flightless seabirds that get around by swimming and diving, waddling around on land, and, sometimes, slipping and sliding on their bellies. Scientists have identified more than a dozen penguin species, and each one has an outer layer of waterproof feathers, webbed feet, and flippers for swimming. Penguins frequently preen (groom) and spread an oil-like substance on their feathers, which helps keep their bodies dry and insulated against water and wind.
Happy 2017! If you’re setting New Year’s goals to help keep you focused on positive action throughout the next 12 months, consider sharing our resolution to use less plastic. Just like committing to be more frugal, eat less junk food, or exercise more regularly, the quest to use less plastic in 2017 won’t be easy. However, it’s an opportunity to create life-long changes that will help the environment and set an important example for our children, families, friends, and coworkers.