Shifting from biology to sociology: Doing interviews of communities to understand their willingness to protect local wildlife

May 30, 2018

In March 2018, I spent three weeks training a team of staff, graduate, and undergraduate students from Vinh University to conduct community interviews in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam. The goal of the interviews: collect information on whether local residents would be willing to protect wildlife instead of snare it, and under what circumstances they Read more

In Search Of the World’s Smallest Cat

May 29, 2018

The Rusty-spotted Cat is one of the world’s smallest cat species and also one of the most elusive. Setting out camera traps to find them in Girithale, my study site in the north-central province of Sri Lanka, was not going to be an easy task. So I called on the experts: Dr. Jim Sanderson, GWC’s Read more

A Tale of a Forgotten Cat

April 20, 2018

When in search of a Fishing Cat, you have to think like a Fishing Cat. Our search started in December of 2015 and ended, finally, on Feb. 3, 2016. My German colleague and I had come to Nepal’s Sunsari District, a human-dominated landscape, with the financial support of Rufford Small Grants and Wild Oasis, to Read more

Month of the Fish Tiger

April 9, 2018

February is the second month of the year, the shortest month of the year…and did you know that it is the month of the…fish tiger? Fishing Cats—called Machbagha (Mach=fish, Bagha=tiger-like) in parts of West Bengal—are neighbors to a few civilizations around the world that have thrived in the laps of the mighty rivers of South Read more

Last refuge of the Javan Rhinos

March 29, 2018

In 1883, the volcano Krakatau erupted off the coast of Java in Indonesia in an explosion heard more than 3,000 miles away. Tsunamis devastated nearby coastal areas and communities, and the peninsula of Ujung Kulon was reduced to a swampy, malaria-ridden, uninhabitable wilderness. Who would have thought that such devastation could actually save a species? Read more

A Javan Rhino Encounter in Ujung Kulon

March 28, 2018

In the dense bamboo, palm and rattan jungle, a browsing rhino can be heard some distance away. From our rickety viewing platform a few meters from a wallow, we listened intently as the crashes and snaps passed us by then started coming slowly toward us. The light was fading when, through the mess of vegetation Read more

Fishing Cat Spotted in Indonesia?

March 2, 2018

Even as conservationists have started to fear that the Fishing Cat is extirpated from Indonesia, new footage, though inconclusive, has renewed hope that the species may not yet have vanished from Southeast Asia. The likely last sighting of a wild fishing cat in Java was before 1990. Over the past 15 years, researchers have placed Read more

Eyes over the Chilean Andes

December 6, 2017

Jorge Valenzuela, with the National Forest Corporation of Chile, and I have been checking our cameras in the Chilean Andes in recent weeks as part of his wildlife monitoring program. We have so far checked eight camera locations. We recorded Andean Cat, Pampas Cat, puma, culpeo (fox), Hog-nosed Skunk, Grison, Mountain Viscacha and Mountain Caracara Read more

Newly Discovered Blue Tarantula a Beacon for Invertebrate Conservation

November 20, 2017

Walking through the jungle in the dark of the night, my visual stimuli were limited to the area illuminted by the small, bright beam of light from my flashlight. On nights like these, I am out scanning for nocturnal biodiversity. Specifically, as the herpetologist for the Biodiversity Assessment Team, a joint conservation research team through Read more