Conservation

When comparing the genomes, the team found that the birds of Stewart Island had less genetic diversity than the mainland birds and had half as many mutations as the birds that dwelled on the mainland.

Thousands of Years of Inbreeding May Have Saved This Flightless Parrot From Extinction

The Kākāpō had fewer mutations in its genome despite a small genetic pool and long history of isolation due to a previous near-extinction event

The snail darter, a small fish that stopped construction of a federal dam project, is no longer threatened with extinction and can come off the Endangered Species List, wildlife officials say.

Trending Today

This Tiny, Endangered Fish Stopped Construction of a Federal Dam in 1975. Now, the Species Has Finally Recovered

The snail darter is no longer in threat of extinction and can be removed from the Endangered Species List

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

African wild dogs are skilled hunters.

Future of Conservation

Endangered Wild Dogs Rely on Diverse Habitat to Survive Around Lions

A new study shows that bramble and brush help the canines avoid attacks by the big cats, and may offer clues about where to reintroduce the dogs

In this long exposure picture, trees burn on a hillside behind Honey Lake campground during the Dixie Fire on August 18, 2021 in Milford, California. The wildfire in Northern California continues to grow, burning over 626,000 acres according to CalFire.

Innovation for Good

From Supercomputers to Fire-Starting Drones, These Tools Help Fight Wildfires

As climate change worsens wildfires in the West, agencies are tapping into new technologies to keep up with the flames

Many terrestrial birds disappeared in Barro Colorado Island, in the Panama Canal, despite their abundance in adjacent mainland forests, because they could not cross Gatun Lake to maintain populations on the island.

Smithsonian Voices

Despite a Century of Protection, This Island Suffers Critical Loss in Biodiversity

The Barro Colorado bird community has lost about a quarter of its species over time

American Black Duck by Peter Daverington at Halletts Point, Queens, is one of nearly 100 murals that make up the Audubon Mural Project.

The Audubon Mural Project Brings Threatened Birds Back to New York City

From purple finches to whiskered screech owls, artists are expanding a colorful flock of public artworks in Upper Manhattan

Mosquitoes are more than blood-sucking menaces. They also pollinate flowers, have intricate sex lives and eat other disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Smithsonian Voices

The Unexpected Beauty, Benefits and Diversity of the Mosquito, the World's Most Hated Insect

While some are a nuisance, others working as nighttime pollinators may be critically important to a functioning ecosystem

The museum's sculptures promote coral growth and will eventually serve as homes for sea creatures.

Art Meets Science

You Can Now Explore an Underwater Sculpture Museum in the Mediterranean

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor placed 93 statues of people and plants in a submerged "forest" off the coast of Cyprus

The most recent additions to the scimitar-horned oryx herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are two calves borne from an improved artificial insemination method.

Future of Conservation

Two New Scimitar-Horned Oryx Calves Born Through Improved Methods of Artificial Insemination

The assisted reproduction method will help with population management efforts of these critically endangered species and their rewilding

There are many reasons to be worried about the state of the world’s oceans. But some scientists say it’s important to point to successes, in order to motivate people to take further, evidence-based action.

Seven Reasons to Be Optimistic About the World's Oceans

The health of the ocean is under threat, but these good-news stories deserve attention too

Emperor penguins are the world's largest penguin, standing almost four feet tall and weighing around 88 pounds. They live almost exclusively in Antarctica and need sea ice to survive.

New Research

Climate Change Poised to Push Emperor Penguins to the Brink of Extinction

Study estimates 98 percent of colonies will be quasi-extinct by 2100 unless the world drastically reduces its greenhouse gas emissions

An adult male transient or Bigg's killer whale.

Stranded Killer Whale Survives With the Help of Humans

The whale was spotted stuck among the rocks of an island in Southeast Alaska, but after about six hours on dry land the whale was able to swim off

This map shows how land and ocean temperatures have changed from June 2021 relative to the 1951-1980 base period. High values (darker red colors) indicate temperatures that are higher than those in the base period. The number in the top right is an estimate of the global mean temperature increase. All temperatures are in Celsius.

New Research

Study Measuring Earth's Vital Signs Warns of Climate Tipping Points

The authors say tropical coral reefs, the Amazon rainforest, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets may have passed dangerous tipping points

The fuzz of the fingernail-sized rosy maple moth may remind you of a teddy bear.

These Moths Are So Gorgeous They 'Put Butterflies to Shame'

To celebrate National Moth Week, bask in the beautiful variety of these oft-overlooked insects

Experts restored the sitter's facial expression to its original state.

Why the Vegetable Seller in This 450-Year-Old Painting Isn't Smiling Anymore

Restoration revealed that a grin had been added to the original—and brought experts closer to identifying the work's creator

An Atlantic White Shark Conservancy boat and crew work to tag a great white shark in the waters off the shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 13, 2019.

Can New Tools Help Beachgoers Predict the Likelihood That a Shark Is Nearby?

Great whites have returned to Cape Cod, and efforts are underway to help people coexist with them

A view of the Thornton Portrait Gallery at the Huntington (L to R): Joshua Reynolds, Diana (Sackville), Viscountess Crosbie, 1777; Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy, 1770; and Thomas Gainsborough, Elizabeth (Jenks) Beaufoy, later Elizabeth Pycroft, c. 1780

Gainsborough's 'Blue Boy' Is Headed Back to the U.K.—but Some Experts Fear for Its Safety

A 2018 panel of nine conservators "strongly recommend[ed] against lending" the fragile 18th-century portrait

Genetic tests reveal that the Shark Bay mouse (pictured) from Shark Bay, Western Australia, is actually a living population of Gould's mouse, which had been thought to be extinct for more than a century.

New Research

Australian Mouse Presumed Extinct for More Than a Century Found Alive on Island

The living Shark Bay mouse turned out to be genetically identical to the formerly extinct Gould’s mouse

A Chinese mountain cat photographed in a field of grass.

New Research

Elusive Chinese Mountain Cats Aren't Domestic Cats' Ancestors

Past genetic studies on feline domestication hadn't included this wildcat native to the Tibetan Plateau

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