Conservation

Xiao Qi Ji (pictured) and his parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are leaving Washington, D.C. on November 8.

The National Zoo's Giant Pandas Bid Washington, D.C. Farewell

The three beloved bears will depart for China later today, traveling in style on a FedEx cargo plane

Detail of the rediscovered "fiend" in Joshua Reynolds' painting The Death of Cardinal Beaufort (1789)

Hidden Demon Revealed in the Shadows of a Joshua Reynolds Painting

Conservators have restored the malignant spirit, which generated controversy among 18th-century audiences

Julie Packard by Hope Gangloff is on view at the National Portrait Gallery in the new show, "Forces of Nature: Voices That Shaped Environmentalism."

Meet the Steely Gaze of Environmentalism

A new show at the National Portrait Gallery focuses on the defenders of Mother Earth over the past 150 years

In 2020, the American Ornithological Society dubbed this bird, formerly named for a Confederate general, the “thick-billed longspur."

Why Dozens of North American Birds Will Soon Get New Names

In a bid to make birding more inclusive, the American Ornithological Society will give new monikers to several species named after people

North Atlantic right whales face threats of entanglement in fishing gear and injuries caused by ships.

North Atlantic Right Whale Numbers May Be Stabilizing at Last

After a decade of decline, the latest population estimate is good news—but conservationists say we "have a long ways to go" to safeguard the marine mammals

With a baby in tow, a gray-headed flying fox uses her large eyes to navigate, rather than relying on echolocation as other bat species do. 

Why Australians Are Growing to Appreciate These Giant, Threatened Bats

Once seen as a menace, the gray-headed flying fox brings new life after recent devastating wildfires

Chinese mitten crabs compete with native species for habitat and food.

These Furry-Clawed Crabs Are Wreaking Havoc in the United Kingdom

Conservation officials have installed the first Chinese mitten crab trap in England, and they are asking the public to report any sightings

Mass Audubon's science coordinator Mark Faherty examines a horseshoe crab in Pleasant Bay, where he has conducted research on them for years.

New Synthetic Horseshoe Crab Blood Could Mean Pharma Won't Bleed the Species Dry

The “living fossils” have been vital for testing intravenous drugs, but a few large pharmaceutical companies are using a lab-made compound instead

California condors are attracted to shiny things and sometimes ingest wrappers, coins and padlock keys.

'Love Locks' at the Grand Canyon Could Be Harming Endangered California Condors

Park service officials urged visitors to stop attaching padlocks to fences and throwing keys into the canyon below, where the birds could eat them

With their mating season approaching, two male Nubian ibex fight for supremacy on a cliffside. The photograph won the Animals in their Environment category.

See 12 Winning Images From the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

The stunning entries showcase the behaviors of ancient and elusive species, from horseshoe crabs to tapirs and orcas—as well as the threats they face

The Field Museum collects bodies of birds that collide with windows. The birds are processed and cleaned by the museum’s flesh-eating beetle colony.

Almost 1,000 Birds Died in One Night From Striking a Chicago Building

Another 1,000 were killed in window collisions across the downtown area, amid calls for more bird-friendly architecture and reduced light pollution

The now-extinct golden toad in a 1978 picture taken in Costa Rica.

Climate Change Is Pushing Many of the World's Amphibians Closer to Extinction

Just over 40 percent of amphibian species are at risk of going extinct, and humans' fossil fuel use is partly to blame, according to a new assessment

Male elephant seals can weigh up to 4,400 pounds.

How This Small Nonprofit Helped Save California’s Elephant Seals

Volunteers with Friends of the Elephant Seal educate tourists to prevent conflicts, inspire awe and keep the marine mammals safe

Adult dugong swimming and feeding in the shallow water of the Red Sea. 

Dugong Populations Are Declining in the Great Barrier Reef, Study Finds

Destruction of seagrass habitats and "indiscriminate" gillnet fishing have both contributed to the marine mammals' dropping numbers, scientists say

Rafflesia kemumu in the rainforest of Sumatra.

The World's Largest and Smelliest Flower Is at Risk of Extinction, Scientists Say

Researchers are calling for urgent protections for corpse flowers in the Rafflesia genus, which live only in remote rainforests of Southeast Asia

A glistening-green tanager sits in the crook of a leaf.

See Ten Stunning Images From the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards

The annual contest unveiled its winners this month, recognizing skilled captures from a striking falcon to grouse performing a courtship display

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian on December 6, 2000, the day of their arrival in Washington, D.C.

Revisit 51 Years of Giant Pandas at the National Zoo, From Beloved Babies to Fun in the Snow

The Panda House's eight occupants have played a key role in conservation efforts over the decades

Why can't we stop anthropomorphizing our animal friends and foes?

Are Wild Animals Really Just Like Us?

A summer of news reports about orca, otter and bird “attacks” has the public wondering if trying to understand animal behavior in human terms is misguided

Tian Tian playing in the snow. Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their son Xiao Qi Ji will return to China by December 7.

Why the National Zoo Is Saying Goodbye to Its Giant Pandas

Staff remain hopeful that members of the threatened species will be back in Washington in the near future

An Azores bullfinch feeds on the buds of a native tree on São Miguel Island in the Azores.

One of Europe’s Most Endangered Birds Is Bouncing Back

Twenty years of habitat restoration has helped the once critically endangered Azores bullfinch

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