Op-Eds, Blogs & Podcasts

Almost One in Four Tree Species in Canada Is at Risk of Disappearing
by Dan Kraus
To mark International Day of Forests, WCS Canada examined the conservation status of Canada’s 234 native trees. These range from massive western red cedar in BC and Alberta to often shrub-like prickly ash in Ontario. As Dan Kraus note in this blog, the results were shocking: almost one in four tree species is at risk of disappearing from Canada or from the planet.
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Through a Zoological Park Designer’s Lens: Making Cultural Connections
by Jennifer Dolland
In an essay for Black History Month at PBS Nature, the WCS Exhibition & Graphic Arts Department's Jennifer Holland notes that she became "aware at a young age that my racial identity was not considered the standard or norm. These childhood experiences influence the lens through which I design. It’s important to see inclusive representation reflected in our parks to connect with our global diverse audience."
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Wildlife Health Surveillance in Laos Demonstrates One Health in Action
by Emily Denstedt
"In Laos," writes WCS's Emily Denstedt, "a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Wildlife Health Surveillance has now been successfully adopted into national policy — the first of its kind in the country and one of few in existence across the world."
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30X30 Ocean Accelerator Highlight: East Los Colorados Archipelago, Cuba
by Stephen Martinelli
At the Our Ocean 2023 conference recently held in Panama, WCS announced the launch of the 30x30 Ocean Accelerator to advance the historic goal of protecting 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030. In this story, Stephen Martinelli looks at WCS's efforts to conserve marine ecosystems in Cuba.
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Charting a Course for Aspiring Black Conservationists
by Jordan Cox
In a new essay for PBS Nature in recognition of Black History Month, WCS's Jordan Cox writes, "I hope that I can inspire more people like me to get involved in conservation and together we can bridge the racial gap of minorities in environmental protection. Whether that be getting involved with primarily African American conservation groups like Black Birders Week or Outdoor Afro, or pursuing a career in conservation as a Wildlife Keeper or Biologist."
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How Forests Can Help Us Address Earth’s Pressing Crises
by John Lotspeich, Trillion Trees
We need to act fast to address the three interrelated crises facing our planet—climate change, biodiversity loss, and the threat of zoonotic pandemics. We must not only protect the last of the wild, but also actively restore wildlife and wild places. WCS Wild Audio recently spoke with John Lotspeich, Executive Director of Trillion Trees— a conservation partnership attempting to meet the scale needed at this critical time.
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One Intern’s Dive into Community-Based Conservation
by Emily Bernal
"What I learned is that conservation is, inherently, a social process," writes former WCS Rights + Communities intern Emily Bernal, adding, "To be effective, equitable, and durable, conservation must respect and protect the rights of people who live alongside wildlife. By talking with regional and country directors and communications staff across the WCS global program, I came to grasp the remarkable breadth and depth of the organization’s engagement with local communities around the world."
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Climate Change and Walrus Habitat Come Together in Oscar-Nominated Short Doc “Haulout”
by Natalie Cash, Martin Robards, Jonathan Slaght
This week a 25-minute documentary, “Haulout,” will headline the New York Wild Film Festival as its Best in Festival winner. That prize can be added to prestigious awards for “Haulout” from the International Documentary Association and the American Film Institute on its way to the Academy Awards, where it competes for best documentary short on March 12. WCS Wild Audio spoke to representatives of the film, the festival, and WCS’s Natalie Cash, Martin Robards, and Jonathan Slaght to learn more.
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Banking on a Career in Conservation
by Alicia Wyatt
At the Bronx Zoo, writes WCS's Alicia Wyatt in a new essay for "Black History Month at PBS Nature, "my professional role requires a high degree of responsibility, and I am a trusted advisor within the organization. As an accountant, I facilitate that type of trust and integrity across our many divisions and departments by ensuring compliance with rules and regulations."
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Working with Local Communities to Stem the Tide of Latin America’s Illegal Jaguar Trade
by Kurt Duchez
Jaguars are the Americas’ mightiest big cat, with roughly 150,000 of this extraordinary species scattered across its range from southern Arizona to northern Argentina. Today they face a growing threat from the illegal wildlife trade in their teeth, skin, and other parts. WCS Wild Audio recently spoke to Kurt Duchez, the Counter-Wildlife Trafficking Officer for the WCS Mesoamerica region, to learn about the scope of the problem and what can be done to confront it.
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Building Bridges and Connecting Communities through Conservation
by Elaine Glover-Rodriguez
"Each day I want to be a part of work that truly matters, fostering and expanding opportunities for young people in my community, and increasing equitable opportunities for staff at WCS," writes WCS's Elaine Glover-Rodriguez in a new essay at PBS Nature for Black History Month, adding, "As co-lead of the BLAC (Black Leadership Advancement Consortium) employee resource group, I am committed to ensuring that all employees, regardless of their background or identity, have the support and resources they need to succeed and thrive at WCS."
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The Edge of Known Things: Will Hudson Canyon Be Named a National Marine Sanctuary?
by Noah Chesnin, Merry Camhi
The Hudson Canyon has been nominated as a National Marine Sanctuary. But, as WCS Wild Audio learned from Noah Chesnin and Dr. Merry Camhi, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this massive underwater treasure.
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Shark Health Assessments
by Michael Hyatt
How do you complete wild health assessments on sharks? In a new episode of the Aquadocs podcast, host Michelle Greenfield interviews WCS's Michael Hyatt, associate veterinarian at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, about his research with wild sharks.
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Lula and Biden Face a Historic Opportunity to Protect the Amazon
by Dan Zarin, Carlos Nobre
As Brazilian President Lula prepares to meet with US President Biden in Washington this month, WCS's Dan Zarin and his colleague Carlos Nobre argue that the U.S. government should be asking Lula and his Environment Minister Marina Silva to specify their priorities for U.S. support. And Biden should respond with ambition and urgency to help the current Brazilian leadership to do what’s needed to reclaim effective governance and halt and reverse the destruction in the Amazon.
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Protecting Belize’s Macaws with Boris Arevalo
by Boris Arevalo
Scarlet macaws are icons of the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. But in the Central American country of Belize, scarlet macaws are disappearing as poachers steal their chicks for the international pet trade. For the premiere episode of the Wild World podcast, Scott Solomon speaks WCS's Boris Arevalo, who is working to protect these spectacular birds by any means possible, including camping at the base of the trees where they nest and rearing chicks until they're large enough to be safe from poachers.
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Documenting the Extraordinary Biodiversity in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park
by Rob Wallace
Madidi National Park, in northeastern Bolivia, boasts a jaw-dropping concentration of some of the richest biodiversity on the planet. The vast landscape ranges from the Amazon River basin up nearly 6,000 meters to the peaks of the Andes. A comprehensive WCS survey has documented thousands of plants and animals, some new to science, that are informing conservation in the region. Wild Audio spoke to WCS Bolivia’s Rob Wallace to learn more.
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