Environmental Preservation

Environmental scientist Alexandra Ordoñez Alvarez from the University of Queensland collects data in Far Northern Great Barrier Reef on Ashmore Bank.

Scientists Complete the First Map of the World's Coral Reefs

Nearly 100,000 square miles of the organism have been charted in high detail to create a tool for conservationists to help save them

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.

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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

Italian officials are imposing new crowd-control regulations in hopes of preserving Venices fragile architecture and ecosystem.

Starting Next Summer, Day-Trippers Will Have to Pay to Enter Venice

To combat overcrowding, the Italian city is set to charge non-overnight visitors an entry fee of €3 to €10

Workers outside the village of Geldibuldu in southeastern Turkey in 1981, when researchers were collecting botanical remains at an archaeological site nearby.

Why British Archaeologists Are Battling With the Turkish Government Over Seeds

The ancient plants at the heart of the conflict are essential to science—and might hold clues to new superfoods

Members of the public take part in a blessing of the Lummi Nation totem pole in San Leandro, California, on June 3. The House of Tears Carvers toured the pole around the West Coast before embarking on a two-week journey to Washington, D.C.

Why Indigenous Activists Are Driving a 25-Foot Totem Pole Across the Country

Master carvers from the Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington, crafted the 5,000-pound object from a single red cedar tree

Lake Mead generates electricity and supplies water to 25 million people in Western United States.

Hoover Dam's Lake Mead Hits Lowest Water Level Since 1930s

The reservoir generates electricity and supplies water to about 25 million people across tribal lands, farms and major cities

A wild giant otter photographed in the Bermejo River in Argentina's El Impenetrable National Park. This is the first time the species has been seen in Argentina in more than 30 years.

Planet Positive

Giant River Otter Spotted in Argentina for First Time in Decades

The first wild sighting of the species in Argentina since the 1980s, this surprise offers hope to conservationists looking to bring the otters back

New research estimates that Brazil's Atlantic Forest has regrown 4.2 million hectares of forest since 2000.

New Research

Globally, Forests the Size of France Have Grown Back Since 2000

New research illustrates the capacity of forests to regenerate if given the chance

Smithsonian Voices

Earth Day Is Digital Again, but Don't Let That Get You Down

Smoke lingers following fires in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in August 2020.

New Research

Humans Have Altered 97 Percent of Earth's Land Through Habitat and Species Loss

The study, which did not include Antarctica, also identified opportunities to restore up to 20 percent of land ecosystems

As many commercial operators and homeowners are shifting to LEDs, which tend to fall somewhere in the blue-white spectrum, the new results may have important implications beyond tropical rainforests.

Using Amber-Filtered Bulbs Instead of White Light Attracts Fewer Bugs

In a tropical rainforest study, 60 percent fewer insects visited traps illuminated in a golden glow. Researchers say the results may be widely applicable

Women broke the glass ceiling of fire lookout positions almost as soon as the job was established.

Women Who Shaped History

Female Fire Lookouts Have Been Saving the Wilderness for Over a Century

Spotting smoke from towers on high peaks could have been deemed 'man's work,' but a few pioneers paved the way for generations of women to do the job

The biodiversity map predicted that amphibians and reptiles have the most undiscovered species to date. Pictured: blue poison dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius "azureus")

This Map Shows You the Odds of Finding a New Species in Your Neighborhood

The 'Map of Life' predicts where undiscovered birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals could be found around the world

The marine sediments that bottom trawlers stir up like underwater rototillers are the largest storehouse of carbon on the planet.

New Research

Seafloor Trawl Fishing May Release as Much Carbon as Air Travel

A new study finds the carbon released when bottom trawlers stir up the seafloor is equal to the emissions of the entire aviation industry

Suffragist Rosalie Barrow Edge founded the world's first refuge for birds of prey.

Planet Positive

How Mrs. Edge Saved the Birds

Meet a forgotten hero of our natural world whose brave campaign to protect birds charted a new course for the environmental movement

The Oyapock river, between Brazil and French Guiana, is one of the few waterways that a new paper identifies as being relatively undamaged by humans.

New Research

One-Third of Freshwater Fish Species Are at Risk of Extinction

Humans have severely damaged more than half of the world’s rivers

Salt marsh fairy circles may bounce back from environmental stresses because of their ability to merge and form a lush ecosystem after oxygen and nutrient depletion.

How Forming 'Fairy Circles' May Help Salt Marshes Adapt to Climate Change

The transient rings' secret to survival may be their ability to shape-shift based on nutrient availability

During fall migration, nearly 40 percent of Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna)
 migrate through California’s Central Valley

California's Central Valley and the Colorado River Delta Are Epicenters for North America's Migratory Birds

A database called eBird reveals as many as 65 million birds fly through these Western migration zones

To counter a lack of biodiversity in corpse flowers, horticulturalists took inspiration from “studbooks,” a method used by breeders and zoos to prevent inbreeding

To Save the Corpse Flower, Horticulturalists Are Playing the Role of Matchmakers

Genetic diversity is needed to produce viable plants. Scientists are using animal breeding methods to conserve the titan arum

Seen here, conservation canine Betty White sniffs the ground while she trains to search for bumble bee nests.

Meet Ernie and Betty White: Two Conservation Dogs Sniffing Out Invasive Species in Wisconsin

These aren’t the only Labradors using their powerful sense of smell to aid in wildlife preservation efforts