Best of 2012 - Male crowned lemur in Madagascar
(12/09/2012) Crowned lemur in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.
This is a male crowned lemur in Madagascar's Ankarana Special Reserve.
Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Male crowned lemur in Madagascar
Best of 2012 - Female black lemur in Madagascar
(12/04/2012) Female black lemur on Nosy Komba, an island off northern Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.
This is a Female black lemur on Nosy Komba, an island off northern Madagascar. Today black lemurs area big draw for tourists to visit Nosy Komba, which lies between the island tourist hub of Nosy Be and mainland Madagascar.
Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Female black lemur in Madagascar
The Fossa, Madagascar's largest carnivore
(11/01/2012) A captive fossa near Andasibe, Madagascar.
The fossa is Madagascar's largest carnivore. While it looks like a cross between a puma and a dog, the fossa is actually related to the mongoose. It is one of the few animals in Madagascar that hunts lemurs.
Continue reading: The Fossa, Madagascar's largest carnivore
Ankarana Sportive Lemur in Madagascar
(10/30/2012) Ankarana Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis) in Ankarana, Madagascar.
I just returned from 3+ weeks in Madagascar where I was looking into the illegal rosewood trade and other stories. I'll be posting a picture a day for the couple of weeks as a preview to the set that will eventually be online.
Continue reading: Ankarana Sportive Lemur in Madagascar
(10/15/2012) Jaguar skull in Guyana. Jaguars are the biggest cat in the Americas. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs.
Continue reading: Jaguar skull
A common sight: the grey squirrel
(10/09/2012) For those living in North America, this animal is one of the most commonly sighted: the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). It is also an invasive species in Britain, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa. Animal photographed in northern Minnestoa. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.
Continue reading: A common sight: the grey squirrel
The Borugo, a rodent of unusual size from South America
(09/20/2012) Borugo in Colombia.
The Borugo or Mountain Paca is a large seed-eating rodent found in the montane forests of South America. It is commonly hunted for its meat.
Continue reading: The Borugo, a rodent of unusual size from South America
Tree-climbing lion of Uganda
(09/18/2012) Tree-climbing lion of Uganda.
The lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda spend an unusual amount of time in trees. It's unclear why they exhibit this behavior, but the park is now famous for its 'tree-climbing lions'.
Continue reading: Tree-climbing lion of Uganda
Blue Monkey on Mt Kenya
(09/17/2012) The blue monkey -- also known as Sykes' Monkey (Cercopithecus albogularis) -- on Mt Kenya.
The Kenyan government recently announced plans to build an electric fence around Mt. Kenya to discourage animals from venturing into farms and populated areas around Africa's second largest peat. Once completed the fence will be 400 km (250 miles) long and stand 2 meters (six-and-a-half feet) high.
Continue reading: Blue Monkey on Mt Kenya
Red Panda Day
(09/15/2012) Red panda.
Today is International Red Panda Day, which aims help to raise awareness about red pandas. Dozens of zoos around the world are participating in this year's event.
This Red Panda Day the Red Panda Network is working to mobilize support for the Red Panda Network Community Conservation Resource Center in Nepal.
"The goal of the Center is to educate visitors on the value of their local natural resources and the unique endangered species that call the region home, focusing on red panda," according to the Red Panda Network. "It hopes to be a demonstration site for innovative conservation technology that local villagers can implement in their own villages and homes."
Continue reading: Red Panda Day
(08/31/2010) Fruit stuffed in its mouth, this long-tailed macaque peeks at the photographer from a rooftop in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Continue reading: Peeking macaque
(08/19/2010) Bats hang out in a limestone cave in Malaysia's Taman Negara National Park. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2006.
Continue reading: Hanging out
Hunting endangers even the most untouched regions of the Amazon
(08/12/2010) Hunters orphaned this baby giant anteater. Photo courtesy by Paul Rosolie.
There are places in the Amazon that remain almost untouched by any kind of development. Animals here, according to modern day explorer and guide Paul Rosolie, survive in their natural abundance. They also act differently: jaguars will sun themselves in plain site and peccaries will make as much noise as they please, showing little fear of human. Yet, even these last truly wild places are coming under increasing pressure by hunters seeking to fill a growing market for bushmeat, impacting wild populations and shifting animals' behavior.
Continue reading: Hunting endangers even the most untouched regions of the Amazon
(08/08/2010) The skull of America’s biggest cat in Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development in Guyana. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. The species is suffering from habitat loss and persecution.
Continue reading: Jaguar skull
Cheetah and African wild dogs go extinct in Cameroon
(08/03/2010) A cheetah rests on a termite mound in Kenya. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
A three year study has found that cheetahs and African wild dogs have vanished from Cameroon. In addition the nation's other big carnivores are in trouble in the central-west African nation. Numerous studies have shown that the loss of top predators results in changes across ecosystems, including population explosion of some herbivores, extinctions down the food chain, shifts in plant communities, and a general loss in overall biodiversity.
Continue reading: Cheetah and African wild dogs go extinct in Cameroon
An acrobatic chacma baboon
(07/28/2010) We watched this wily gray-footed chacma baboon (Papio ursinus griseipes) for a good fifteen minutes as it posed for us in the Okavango Delta. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs, 2009.
Continue reading: An acrobatic chacma baboon
Planned road to sever Serengeti
(07/25/2010) African buffalo at sunset in the Maasai Mara, the Kenyan side of the world famous Serengeti plains. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
A planned road in Tanzania threatens to cut through Serengeti National Park, the southern end of one of Africa's greatest spectacles. While the government says the road will not impact wildlife, world-renowned conservationist Richard Leakey argues that the road will eventually 'kill the migration' of wildebeest and other animals that powers the savanna's ecosystem every year. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has proposed two alternate road routes to save the Serengeti.
Continue reading: Planned road to sever Serengeti
Infant crested black macaque
(07/20/2010) An infant crested black macaque (Macaca nigra). Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2010.
Endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the crested black macaque is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The primate is threatened by habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.
Continue reading: Infant crested black macaque
The surprisingly crafty margay
(07/19/2010) The small wild cat, the margay in Belize. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Researchers have stumbled on a surprising talent of this small predatory cat: while studying the pied tamarin (a small Neotropical monkey), researchers observed a margay mimicking the cries of tamarin babies in order to bring its prey closer. While the ploy worked—the tamarins were very curious—the margay was unsuccessful in its hunt.
Continue reading: The surprisingly crafty margay
The shy forest buffalo
(07/14/2010) The elusive forest buffalo in Gabon. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
While most people are familiar with the African buffalo or cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), its forest-dwelling subspecies (Syncerus caffer nanus) is both lesser known and less-studied by scientists. The IUCN Red List estimates that 60,000 of this subspecies survive, but its population is in decline. Habitat loss and poaching are the major threats.
Continue reading: The shy forest buffalo
Baby sloth with its stuffed animal
(06/22/2010) An orphaned baby three-toed sloth lies on top of a stuffed panda. The sloth was being kept in a Trio indigenous community in Suriname. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.
Continue reading: Baby sloth with its stuffed animal
White-nosed coatis on the move
(06/21/2010) A group of white-nosed coatis are on the move in Costa Rica. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.
Continue reading: White-nosed coatis on the move
A multitude of unidentified species
(06/16/2010) Unidentified bee approaching an unidentified bird of paradise flower. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
At mongabay.com we love to take photos. However, sometimes it proves difficult to decipher what species we're photographing. If you have any information on these mystery species or those below please contact me.
Continue reading: A multitude of unidentified species
Crazy-eyed capuchin monkey
(06/14/2010) Capuchin monkey in Suriname shows off. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.
Continue reading: Crazy-eyed capuchin monkey
Yak traffic jam
(06/10/2010) Along the Karakoram highway in the Xinjjiang province of Western China, men drive their yaks. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2006.
Continue reading: Yak traffic jam
Common woolly monkey at rehabilitation center
(06/09/2010) A common woolly monkey at a rehabilitation center in Colombia for animals trafficked in the pet trade. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2010.
The common woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss from agricultural expansion, including illegal crops like coca for cocaine production, and hunting. As evidenced from this photo the pet trade is also a problem.
Continue reading: Common woolly monkey at rehabilitation center
Empowering people by saving orangutans
(06/06/2010) The lives of over 200 people have been linked to orangutans for 40 years. The people are biologists, firefighters, carpenters, veterinarians, drivers, artists and nurses. The orangutans are the only great apes in Asia, highly intelligent and highly endangered. The location is Borneo, Indonesia, and the mission is the save the orangutans from extinction. The leader is Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas.
Orangutan Foundation International has its beginnings in 1971, when a young Galdikas, a graduate student from L.A., came to study the poorly-known red apes of Borneo and Sumatra. She was anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey’s ‘Last Trimate’, his third protégée after Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Dian Fossey. Galdikas’s project in Tanjung Puting National Park, South Borneo, quickly recognized the threat to the orangutans and became the Orangutan Research and Conservation Project (ORCP). At first, Galdikas, her first husband and a couple of local assistants collected data on orangutan sociality, diet, movement, behavior, and forest ecology at the Camp Leakey research station. Simultaneously, they rehabilitated the occasional confiscated and surrendered orangutan orphans into the surrounding forest.
Despite the swarms of malarial swamp mosquitoes, the long and exhausting orangutan follows, and the rice and sardines diet, for Galdikas those were the carefree days.
Slowly but surely, the illegal loggers grew in numbers and resources and moved into the national park. Palm oil plantations spread their monoculture green desert across much of coastal Borneo’s biodiverse rainforests. The ORCP grew, hiring local Indonesians, valuable for their tracking, climbing and observation skills, as research and rehabilitation assistants, but also as forest patrols.
Continue reading: Empowering people by saving orangutans
(06/03/2010) Like some prehistoric beast, a hippo rises from a mudflat on the Chobe River that it shares with dozens of other hippos. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs, Botswana, 2009.
Continue reading: Hippo rising
Unidentified Chinese rodent
(05/26/2010) An unidentified rodent from Xinjiang, China. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2006.
Continue reading: Unidentified Chinese rodent
Chad's elephant wars
(05/17/2010) French conservationist, Stephanie Vergniault stands between two soldiers in the central African nation of Chad. Before them lies the skull of a poached elephant. Photo courtesy of: Stephanie Vergniault.
Amid all the human tragedy of Chad, a hidden war is occurring between poachers and the nation's dwindling elephant population, which has dropped from 20,000 to just 3,000 individuals in thirty years. Well-armed foreign poachers appear are using high-tech equipment to track down and kill elephants. Witnessing the slaughter, election-expert and screenwriter Stephanie Vergniault has started an organization—SOS Elephants—to work with Chad's government and locals to stop the killing before the great animals vanish entirely from the country.
Continue reading: Chad's elephant wars
Protected reserves essential for Congo Basin's megafauna
(05/11/2010) A group of western lowland gorillas in the Congo Basin. Photo courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
A new study in PLoS ONE shows that protected areas are essential for saving three key species in the Congo Basin: western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and forest elephants. The study finds that these species are particularly dependent on National Parks and strong anti-poaching efforts. Two of the species, gorillas and elephants, are found in logging concessions, but only if those concessions are adjacent to protected areas and also have strong anti-poaching measures.
Continue reading: Protected reserves essential for Congo Basin's megafauna
Triplet lion cubs
(04/30/2010) Triplet African Lion Cubs. Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo today debuts triplet lion cubs.
The cubs, born January 27, 2010, can be spotted with their mother, Sukari, and father, M’wasi, at the zoo’s African Plains habitat, from 10am to 1pm daily.
Continue reading: Triplet lion cubs
African elephant greets the sunset
(04/28/2010) Along the Chobe River in Botswana, the white-hot sun of Africa falls behind an elephant feeding in the grasses. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs.
Continue reading: African elephant greets the sunset
Baby silver leaf langur born at the Bronx Zoo
(04/26/2010) Silver leaf langur baby in the Bronx Zoo’s JungleWorld exhibit. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.
The silver leaf langur baby has a striking orange color in comparison to its parents’ silver coats and will continue to stand out until its fur changes color somewhere between three to five months of age. Its mother, Ruby, has kept her very close and has been caring for the new youngster in the trees of JungleWorld at WCS’s Bronx Zoo making it difficult for keepers to determine the baby’s sex.
Native to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia, nearly 80 percent of the langur’s diet consists of leaves. Silver leaf langurs are listed as “near threatened” by IUCN and are part of the Species Survival Program (SSP).
The Bronx Zoo has the largest captive breeding population of silver leaf langurs in North America. Less than 50 silver leaf langur have been born in captivity world wide.
Continue reading: Baby silver leaf langur born at the Bronx Zoo
Baby brown lemur born at the Bronx Zoo
(04/26/2010) aby brown collared lemur clinging to its mother's back in the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.
The Bronx Zoo has put a recently-born, female brown collared lemur on display at the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit.
The baby lemur is has yet to be named and is the second born to her parents, Jean Luc and Vera. She is one of less than 50 brown collared lemur born in captivity world wide.
The brown collared lemur is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss.
Continue reading: Baby brown lemur born at the Bronx Zoo
World's largest rodent
(04/14/2010) Weighing well-over 100 pounds, the capybara is the world's largest rodent. It is present in much of South America, including the Amazon rainforest and flooded savannahs. This photograph was taken in the Tambopata rainforest in Peru. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler
Continue reading: World's largest rodent
Babirusa emerging from a mudbath
(04/08/2010) Sibu, a male babirusa at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, spends a warm spring day in his exhibit at Zoo Center after taking a refreshing mud bath. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher.
The babirusa lives in the rainforests of Sulawesi, an island in southeast Asia that is part of Indonesia. The babirusa belongs to the pig family and is usually found near rivers and lakes.
Continue reading: Babirusa emerging from a mudbath
Photo: The World's Smallest Monkey
(04/03/2010) The pygmy marmoset is the world's smallest monkey. Photo taken by Rhett A. Butler, March 2010 in Amacayacu National Park, Colombia, near the border with Peru.
Continue reading: Photo: The World's Smallest Monkey
Woolly monkey in Colombia
(03/30/2010) This woolly monkey is just one of some 30 species of Colombian primates. Photo by: Brodie Ferguson, 2006.
A new study in the open access journal Tropical Conservation Science looks at over a hundred years of research on Colombian primates and finds that the woolly monkey is one of the most thoroughly studied. However many Colombian primates have been neglected by researchers, for one reason or another, including a number of endangered species. The paper makes several recommendations, including more research, especially on those species on the edge of extinction.
Continue reading: Woolly monkey in Colombia
The streaked tenrec
(03/29/2010) Madagascar is home to some strange and wonderful animals, but few stranger and more wonderful than the tenrecs. Belonging to the family of Afrotheria, the small shrew-like tenrecs are most closely related to elephants, sea cows, aardvarks, and hyraxes. Including some thirty species, tenrecs are omnivorous and eat a range of foods. While the majority of tenrecs survive on Madagascar, three species are known from Africa's mainland. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Continue reading: The streaked tenrec
Baby bat on a napkin
(03/22/2010) A baby bat in Brazil clinging to a napkin. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.
Continue reading: Baby bat on a napkin
On the edge: the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
(03/17/2010) The Critically Endangered pygmy three-toed sloth is endemic to a small island off the coast of Panama. Photo courtesy of Bryson Voirin.
Continue reading: On the edge: the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
Chinese Wildlife Trade
(03/15/2010) The practice of traditional medicine in China incorporates a wide variety of body parts taken from wild animals, making one of the largest threats to animals in Asia. For animals like the rhino and elephant the trade has even extended to other continents. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2006.
Continue reading: Chinese Wildlife Trade
African Buffalo from Above
(03/12/2010) Flying over the Okavango Delta in Botswana is a great opportunity to get an aerial view of big mammals, such as this good-sized herd of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). Photo by Jeremy Hance, 2009.
Continue reading: African Buffalo from Above
The Importance of Seed Dispersers
(03/08/2010) Agoutis, such as this Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) mother with babies, deserve a lot of respect. These large rainforest rodents are seed specialists and play a major role in dispersing seeds across the Americas' tropical forests.
Continue reading: The Importance of Seed Dispersers
Guyana bars gold mining from vast rainforest area
(03/01/2010) The jaguar Panthera onca is classified as Near Threatened: a previous six-week expedition to Rewa Head observed ten jaguars. Photo by: Ashley Holland and Gordon Duncan.
Continue reading: Guyana bars gold mining from vast rainforest area
(02/16/2010) Captive okapi. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
Anyone who says a kid can't change the world hasn't met Spencer Tait. At the age of five Spencer had his first encounter with the Congo's elusive okapi at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Spencer—now 12 years old—describes that encounter as 'love at first sight'. Seeing the okapi at the museum led Spencer not only to learn all about the okapi, but also to find out what was threatening the animal's survival, including the long civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the okapi's home. Most kids—and adults too—would probably leave it at that, but not Spencer.
Continue reading: Okapi
Happy Year of the Tiger
(02/14/2010) South China Tiger in South Africa, where Save China's Tigers has established a "rewilding" facility to eventually enable to reintroduction of the South China Tiger into its native habitat in China. Photo courtesy of Save China's Tigers.
Today marks the Chinese New Year for 2010, and the start of the traditional Year of the Tiger. The people of China might be celebrating future Years of the Tigers without their native and critically endangered South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) if not for the efforts of Save China's Tigers (SCT) a grassroots conservation effort headed by the charismatic Li Quan and her husband Stuart Bray. Both Ms Quan and Mr. Bray are former senior executives in international business circles. After leaving the corporate world, Ms Quan and Mr. Bray are now stepping up as champions for China's natural environment, much of which has been lost in the Chinese march towards "The Four Modernizations."
Continue reading: Happy Year of the Tiger
Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight
(02/12/2010) Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight.
Taman Negara, Malaysia.
Continue reading: Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight
How to stop the lemur slaughter in Madagascar
(02/10/2010) Coquerel's sifakas grooming in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler 2010.
Madagascar is in the midst of an appalling logging crisis driven by greed and politics. Here's a proposal for solving the problem.
Continue reading: How to stop the lemur slaughter in Madagascar
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