Author: Ashley Goetz

Ashley Goetz

Ashley Goetz is a web content writer at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, where she translates animal care research and conservation science into compelling stories. Ashley earned a bachelor's degree in public communication with a minor in marine biology from American University. When she isn’t at the Zoo, she spends her time traveling, crocheting and watching reruns of "Parks and Recreation" with her two cats.

A sea lion at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Reptile keepers are warming up to a new monitor lizard this winter, a young Komodo dragon named Onyx.
A cheetah cub at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
A bison on the Northern Great Plains.

I Spent the Summer Studying a Herd of Bison, And Here’s What I Learned

November 17th, 2020, 1:09PM
The Peruvian tern's desert camouflage makes it almost impossible to track, but that’s exactly what our research team set out to do. It would take us four months to survey more than 1,851 acres for the bird, battling sandstorms, stifling heat and impossible landscapes inside Paracas National Reserve — terrain that the tern has mastered.

Searching for the Invisible, Invincible Peruvian Tern

November 5th, 2020, 9:30AM
Spindly legs and thick, red fur have earned them the nickname “foxes on stilts,” but maned wolves are neither fox nor wolf.
Tigers are the largest cat species in the world. Amur tigers (sometimes called Siberian tigers) are the biggest tigers, with males weighing up to 660 pounds and measuring up to 10 feet long from nose to tip of the tail.
A hundred feet above the forest floor and dense with leaves and plants, the rainforest canopy is a challenging place to study. It’s hard to observe from the ground and difficult for researchers to access, so conservation biologist Tremie Gregory learned to climb trees.
Bozie (left) and Shanthi (right) may be from different family groups, but they have built a lasting friendship.

How Do You Encourage Elephants to Build Positive Relationships?

June 2nd, 2020, 12:12PM
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute welcomed many new animals in 2019, including this endangered red panda cub. (Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute).
Black-footed ferrets are well-suited for their prairie environment, where their colors help them blend in with grassland soils and plants.
A Savannah sparrow stands on a patch of melting snow in a warm-season grass field in Virginia. (Amy Johnson, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute)

Not All Birds Fly South for the Winter

December 3rd, 2019, 12:25PM
It's easy to spot the difference between Karl and Karoline (even without Karl’s beak). Karoline is smaller and has a blue and black throat sack. Like other male Abyssinian ground hornbills, Karl has a red and blue throat sack.

When Karl Met Karoline

September 25th, 2019, 3:51PM