Conservation

Wildlife officials released 830,000 fall-run Chinook salmon fry into Fall Creek. A large but unknown number of them died as they passed through a tunnel on the Klamath River.

Hundreds of Thousands of Salmon Die After Release in Northern California's Klamath River

The juvenile Chinook salmon likely died from pressure changes as they swam through an old tunnel in the Iron Gate Dam, slated to be removed this year as part of a massive demolition project

The gray whale was spotted during an aerial survey on March 1, about 30 miles off the coast of Nantucket.

A Rare Gray Whale, Believed Extinct in the Atlantic for 200 Years, Has Been Spotted off New England

Scientists say a lack of Arctic sea ice due to climate change could have created a passageway for the mammal to travel from the Pacific Ocean

Wasabi, which is commonly eaten with sushi, is also an effective preservation tool.

How Wasabi Can Help Preserve Ancient Papyrus

Researchers say the green horseradish-like paste can fight fungal infections without damaging fragile pigments

An orca hunting sea lion pups on an Argentinian beach in 2006. Before the recent study, killer whales had only been observed hunting white sharks in groups.

Single Orca Spotted Killing a Great White Shark for the First Time Ever

In less than two minutes, the marine mammal attacked a juvenile white shark and ripped out its liver in an encounter off the coast of South Africa last year

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are two of the giant pandas who lived at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in recent years. They were returned to China in November 2023.

More Giant Pandas Are Coming to the U.S. in a New Loan From China

China plans to send a male and a female panda to the San Diego Zoo as early as this summer, and negotiations are underway for pandas' possible return to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

To construct her sculptures, artist Phaan Howng used 3-D prints of plants in the Smithsonian Gardens collection, then mounted them onto a steel armature and base. They were then modified and finished with resin, resin foam, foam air dry clay, EVA foam and acrylic paint.

Fantastical Art Joins Hundreds of Blooming Orchids to Shed Light on Conservation Efforts

Smithsonian Gardens’ 28th annual orchid exhibition is underway at the Kogod Courtyard

A logging road in Montana’s Lolo National Forest. America’s woodlands are carved up by obsolete roads that fragment wildlife habitat and degrade fragile ecosystems. Now ecologists are calling in bulldozers to rip them up.

The Case for Destroying Old Forest Roads

Can demolishing abandoned dirt paths point the way to a more sustainable future?

A dugong, also known as a sea cow, in a protected marine reserve in the Philippines. On the mammal’s underside, remora fish snack on parasites—and dugong poop.

The Dugong, a Huggable, Seagrass-Loving Sea Cow, Has a New Best Friend: Drones

Keeping tabs on the species' populations is surprisingly hard. A new aerial effort tracks the marks they leave behind

A great white shark cruises through Atlantic waters.

Fifty Years After ‘Jaws,’ We’ve Learned a Lot About Great Whites

Though sport fishing tournaments and other activities led to population declines in the 1970s and 1980s, more recent science and conservation efforts have helped the sharks rebound

A sea otter basks in the water with some kelp. Sea otter populations plummeted as they were killed for their pelts in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Hungry Sea Otters Help Prevent Erosion on California's Coast

The marine mammals, which were once hunted nearly to extinction, feed on crabs that would make the land more susceptible to erosion by digging holes in the soil and eating roots

The Millenium Camera, set on the path of a hiking trail in Tucson Arizona, is capturing an image over the course of 1,000 years.

This Camera Is Taking a 1,000-Year-Long Exposure Photo of Tucson's Desert Landscape

Jonathon Keats, who devised the plan, hopes the camera will inspire onlookers to contemplate how humanity’s actions affect the environment

A record number of manatees gather in a warm spring in Florida's Blue Spring State Park on January 21, 2024.

Nearly 1,000 Manatees Converge on Florida State Park to Keep Warm in Record-Breaking Sighting

The park's naturally heated waters drew unprecedented numbers of the marine mammals, which are especially vulnerable to the cold

Female northern white rhinos Najin and Fatu are the last of their species and reside at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

World's First IVF Rhino Pregnancy Could Save a Nearly Extinct Subspecies

Only two northern white rhinos remain, but the new reproductive breakthrough may pull them back from the brink of erasure

The American mink, native to North America, is a semiaquatic mustelid that is often farmed for its fur.

Traps Scented Like Mink Butts Could Be Key to Removing the Invasive Species From the U.K.

A successful eradication trial in East Anglia has raised biologists' hopes for ridding Great Britain of the destructive creatures, which threaten native wildlife

Ringed by dramatic mountains, Cumberland Bay, on the coast of South Georgia Island, is home to whales, seabirds, penguins and elephant seals. The island draws scores of sightseeing cruises each summer.

Humpbacks Have Rebounded in This Spot Decimated by Whaling

South Georgia Island’s Cumberland Bay has seen a resurgence of the marine mammals

A group of grey reef sharks and blacktip reef sharks at La Vallée Blanche in French Polynesia in 2018.

Sharks Are Being Killed at Rising Rates Despite Increased Regulations

Global bans on finning have inadvertently opened up shark meat markets, prompting demand for threatened species, a new study reveals

Barred owls are bigger, faster to reproduce and less picky about food and habitat.

Can Killing One Species of Owl Help Save Another?

Biologists and conservationists are grappling with a controversial plan to kill 470,000 barred owls in the Pacific Northwest over the next 30 years

This blue whale skull is one of the largest in any collection on earth.

How an Eye-Popping Museum Specimen Boosted the Beleaguered Blue Whale

For decades, visitors to the Smithsonian could behold the immense size of the sea mammal with their own eyes

Gaia is still getting comfortable in her new environment.

See the 'Adorable'—and Deadly—Black-Footed Cat at a Utah Zoo

Eight-month-old Gaia is part of a breeding program for her vulnerable species, which is considered the "world's deadliest cat"

A turtle appears to smile as a dragonfly alights on its nose.

See 25 Breathtaking Images From the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Representing some of the world's best nature photography, the pictures are being put to a popular vote for the People's Choice Award

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