Conservation

Algoa Bay, South Africa, is home to nearly half of the world’s remaining African penguins, whose numbers have fallen as much as 98 percent since 1900.

These Artificial Nests Are Helping African Penguins Beat the Heat

Ceramic nests deployed on penguin colonies in South Africa could shield the endangered seabirds from rising temperatures

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

With one vast root system, Pando weighs more than 6,600 tons and contains approximately 47,000 genetically identical stems (or branches).

The World's Largest Tree Is Ready for Its Close-Up

Friends of Pando, a nonprofit, is in the process of creating the largest image ever recorded of this single aspen clone in Utah

Two juvenile gray wolves in Washington

Six Endangered Gray Wolves Were Poisoned in Washington

Conservation groups are offering more than $51,000 for information on the killings

Bear 747, the 2022 Fat Bear Week champion, in all his gargantuan glory. 

Alaska

Bear 747 Overcomes Scandal to Win Fat Bear Week

It’s the second title in three years for the 1,400-pound behemoth dubbed “Bear Force One”

Amani, the mother, with her two cubs born October 3. 

Two Cheetah Cubs Born at Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute

The twins are an important addition to their vulnerable species and its dwindling gene pool

The Maka Niu, a low-cost, customizable deep-sea observing tool is currently undergoing testing around the world, including at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts.

This Low-Cost Device Could Make the Deep Sea Accessible to Everyone

The inexpensive Maka Niu collects video and data at depths more than five times greater than trained scuba divers can go

Photographed on September 14, 2022, 480 Otis is the reigning 2021 Fat Bear Week champion.

Alaska

How the Bears at Alaska's Katmai National Park Became Celebrities

Park officials had no idea that the installation of live nature cameras at Brooks River ten years ago would lead to the wildly successful Fat Bear Week

César, one of the kidnapped chimpanzees

Three Baby Chimpanzees Kidnapped and Held for Ransom

The abductors are demanding a six-figure sum to return the animals to their sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Bison typically roam the tall grasses of the American prairie, but a herd in Grand Canyon National Park has found ways to thrive in forest and desert habitats.

Meet the ‘Forest Ninja Bison’ Living in Grand Canyon National Park

Wildlife managers recently relocated dozens of the iconic animals to help restore balance to the park's ecosystem

Paruroctonus soda

These California Teens Discovered Two New Scorpion Species

One of the creatures could be wiped out if its range isn't protected, researchers say

Ants have several key roles in keeping their environments in balance, including aerating the soil, dispersing seeds, decomposing organic material and serving as a food source. 

An Estimated 20 Quadrillion Ants Live on Earth

The weight of the world’s ants exceeds that of all wild birds and mammals combined

The Eiffel Tower at night

To Save Energy, the Eiffel Tower Dims Its Lights Early

The iconic landmark will go dark at 11:45 p.m. to help the city's conservation efforts

A cheetah at Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia

Cheetahs Arrive in India After 70 Years of Local Extinction

As part of an ambitious reintroduction plan, conservationists flew in eight of the big cats from Namibia

After the manta ray filters out the tiny plankton from the water it ingests, the excess water exits through the dark gill slits on the ray's ventral side. 

Planet Positive

Why Conservationists Are Hopeful About the Manta Ray's Future

The giant fish faces threats from poachers, boat strikes and climate change

Calli moves around on land.

Beloved Sea Lion at National Zoo Dies Unexpectedly

Calli, a 17-year-old California sea lion, is remembered by zoo staff as a good mother and ambassador for her species

About two to three million birds of prey fly through Panama each fall, in what amounts to the world’s third-largest raptor migration.

Panama

Watch Millions of Raptors Fly Across Panama This Fall

The country’s unique shape makes it a perfect migratory pathway for the birds of prey

Migrating waterbirds over South Dakota’s Huron Wetland Management District on North America’s Central Flyway.

Scientists Are Using These High-Tech Tools to Study Bird Migration

Tracking the journeys of different species is key to protecting them from habitat loss and other threats

A Jorō spider, which was the victim of sensationalized reporting in the U.S. earlier this year

Spider Slander Runs Rampant Online

Nearly half of news stories about spider bites contain misinformation, which experts say can hurt conservation efforts

Dugongs have disappeared from waters off of China.

Dugongs Are ‘Functionally Extinct’ in China, Research Suggests

Scientists found no verified sightings of the massive marine mammals in the region since 2000

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