Op-Eds, Blogs & Podcasts

Rare Megamouth Shark Found in East Africa for the First Time
by Rhett Bennett
A rarely seen megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) was recently spotted in east Africa for the very first time. It was recorded in a market in Zanzibar, where it was being sold after being captured and killed. The recent sighting was only the sixth time a megamouth had ever been found off the coast of Africa. WCS's Rhett Bennett explains the implications of the find.
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Sand Tiger Shark: An Endangered Migratory Species in Need of Strong Protection
by Juan Martin Cuevas, Dana Tricarico
Sand tiger sharks are top predators throughout their extensive range, which spans from the continental coasts of Australia, South Africa, the United States of America, the Southwest Atlantic and at least other 50 countries. Yet as Juan Martin Cuevas and Dana Tricarico write in a new essay for PBS Nature, the global population is assessed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list due to an estimated population reduction of more than 80 percent in 74 years. As parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals gather this week in Uzbekistan for CMS CoP14, there is an opportunity for CMS Governments to fully protected this species wherever it migrates.
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Amazon Catfish Must Be Protected by the Convention on Migratory Species COP-14
by Mariana Varese
At the coming Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals meeting (COP-14) taking place in Uzbekistan this month, writes WCS's Mariana Varese in a new essay for Mongabay, parties to the convention must pass proposals to protect two catfish species with extraordinary migrations, the dorado and piramutaba (manitoa).
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The Push to Unite the Amazon Basin Around a Pair of Catfish Species
by Mariana Montoya
Many people think of the Amazon as this vast, highly intact tropical forest, but it is also the largest freshwater system in the world. It’s the most biologically diverse place on Earth. Home to hundreds of Indigenous Peoples and traditional cultures. And also, two important species of catfish. Those will be up for discussion at the upcoming Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals meeting. Wild Audio spoke to WCS Peru country director Mariana Montoya to learn more in this special episode
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We Can Be the Generation That Holds on Tight to Our Natural Wealth
by Dan Kraus
In a new op-ed for Canada's National Observer, WCS Canada's Dan Kraus writes, "We can be the generation that holds on tighter to our collective natural wealth. There is reason for hope. Past conservation actions have prevented the extinction of wildlife ranging from pronghorn antelope, to eastern bluebird. But we need to amplify these actions and make wildlife conservation an integral part of our economy and society."
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There Is Still Time for Coral Reefs, If We Act Soon
by Tim McClanahan, Antha Williams
In a new essay for The Economist, WCS's Tim McClanahan and Bloomberg's Antha Williams note that there are reefs all over the world that aren’t avoiding heat, but are actively resisting it. Evolved adaptations are allowing those corals to take hot-water events in their stride and defy bleaching and other impacts. There are still more reefs that have bleached during warm-water events only to shock communities and scientists by recovering. These climate refuges have the ability to survive and fight back against the impacts of climate change—if we find them and protect them.
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 More than Minerals at Stake in Ontario’s Claim-Staking Boom
by Constance O'Connor
In a new commentary for Canada's National Observer, WCS Canada's Constance O'Connor argues that while Ontario's northern peatlands are key to Canada meeting its climate commitments, they are threatened by a recent boom in mineral claims.
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Support for Rangers Is Critical to Meet Tiger Recovery Goals and Biodiversity
by Dale Miquelle, Mark Booton and Sugoto Roy
This week marks the inaugural Asian Ranger Forum in Guwahati, India, with the theme “Asia’s Biodiversity Guardians for 30X30.” For the first time, rangers across Asia have gathered to share their knowledge, successes and challenges. WCS's Dale Miquelle and colleagues argue in a new essay for PBS Nature that professional workforce is essential to secure landscapes where tigers can thrive.
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Bronx Zoo Attends This year's COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai
by Kelly Aylward
Kelly Aylward discusses WCS's presence at the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai on Suzanne Colucci on Newsline with Brigitte Quinn.
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How the Global Push for Protected Areas Can Benefit the Oceans’ Most Endangered Species
by Jonathan Booth, Luke Warwick
Two new MPAs in Papua New Guinea have developed the country’s first-ever rules protecting sawfish and their relatives, the Critically Endangered rhino rays, making them also the first MPAs in the world with specific measures designed to protect the most threatened group of sharks and rays. Learn more from this commentary by WCS's Jonathan Booth and Luke Warwick.
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A New Approach to Preserving Ocean Biodiversity
by Monica Medina
The global community has set a goal of preserving thirty percent of our oceans by 2030. How will we reach that goal? And what’s at stake for ocean biodiversity if that target is missed? WCS president and CEO Monica Medina shares her thoughts with Foreign Policy's "Global Reboot" podcast.
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Indigenous Land Rights Are Key to Conservation in Cambodia
by Emiel de Lange, Sushil Raj, Yun Mane
Indigenous peoples are effective custodians of biodiversity, lands, and seas, while sustaining distinct cultural, social and economic values of their communities," argue WCS's Suhil Raj and Emiel de Lange with their colleague Yun Mane in a new commentary for Mongabay. "Upholding the legal land rights of these communities," they say, "is therefore increasingly at the center of international climate and biodiversity commitments and agreements."
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Turning Point or Tipping Point? The Future of the Amazon Hangs in the Balance
by Dan Zarin, Carlos Rittl
"Brazil and the rest of the world need President Lula’s administration to double down on their current efforts in the Amazon, protect the most vulnerable communities from extreme weather events, and increase their resilience, while also providing the global leadership on the climate agenda that the world has been lacking," say WCS's Dan Zarin and Carlos Rittl in a new op-ed at PBS Nature. But for Brazil to succeed, they say, "it needs the rest of the world. The climate crisis is global. An accelerated shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy must happen now. Subsidizing climate polluters in energy and agribusiness must end now. Brazil can’t do it alone."
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Assessing the Stakes of the UN Climate Conference
by Monica Medina
This month representatives from across the globe are gathering in Dubai for the 28th Conference of the Parties, or COP, of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Several WCS representatives are attending. They’re focused on issues essential to addressing the climate crisis that range from preserving ecological integrity to the empowerment of Indigenous peoples. WCS President and CEO Monica Medina leads the delegation and spoke with Wild Audio for this report.
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The Jaguar in the Forests of Mesoamerica
by WCS Mesoamerica and Caribbean Program
The future of the countries of Mesoamerica is linked to the conservation of jaguars and indigenous cultures. The 5 Great Forests of Mesoamerica initiative supports several critical jaguar conservation processes, including protection and monitoring of natural forests; restoration of suitable habitat for jaguars; and livelihood support for human communities around the forests to improve their economic income in exchange for conservation and restoration commitments.
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A Conversation about Shark Conservation
by Dana Tricarico
WCS's Dana Tricarico joins Sean Sullivan on The Missing Stone podcast to discuss her work with the WCS Sharks and Rays Program, the process of building new scientific relationships globally, and the difficulties of working to protect a group of species that are considered controversial.
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