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Educational Series

Educational Series: Animals at Roadside Zoos Endure Lives of Misery

By Nick Engelfried Zoos can be a fraught topic for people in the animal welfare and conservation world. Some maintain that properly run zoos serve important functions breeding endangered species and providing homes for animals who are no longer able to survive in the wild. Other animal advocates would rather […]

Educational Series: Overfishing is a Crisis for Marine Life

By Nick Engelfried The oceans are one of Earth’s great strongholds of biodiversity, home to hundreds of thousands of animal and plant species. From microscopic plankton to giant blue whales–the largest animals that ever existed–life in the oceans takes on a dizzying array of shapes and forms. Marine ecosystems are […]

Educational Series: Old Growth Forests and Their Animal Inhabitants are Disappearing

By Nick Engelfried When European colonists first arrived in North America, much of the continent was covered in ancient trees hundreds or even thousands of years old. Since the end of the last ice age, forests extended over vast swaths of what are now the United States and Canada, providing […]

Educational Series: Shy, Elusive Wolverines Are Clinging to Survival

By Nick Engelfried Solitary, powerful, and mysterious, wolverines have captured the imaginations of animal lovers around the world like few other creatures. Because of their extremely low population densities and tendency to avoid humans, few people will ever have the chance to see a wild wolverine in its natural habitat. […]

Educational Series: Pet Rabbits Need Space and Compassion, Not Cages

By Nick Engelfried With their cute appearance and docile reputation, domestic rabbits are one of the most popular pets in the United States, second only to cats and dogs. There is much to love about rabbits–however, many people who bring one home do not realize how much care and attention […]

Educational Series: Tasmanian Devils: Long-Persecuted and in Need of Help

By Nick Engelfried Few animals are as widely misunderstood as the Tasmanian devil, a species made famous by Looney Tunes, but which bears little resemblance to its cartoon namesake. Found only on the remote island of Tasmania off the southern tip of Australia, Tasmanian devils are in fact shy and […]

Educational Series: Tar Sands are a Wildlife Catastrophe

By Nick Engelfried Not far north of the contiguous U.S. border lies one of the largest industrial projects in human history, situated on top of one of the planet’s biggest petroleum deposits: the Canadian tar sands. In the tar sands, massive pieces of machinery mine the earth for a low-quality […]

Educational Series: Sea Turtles, Ancient Survivors of the Oceans, Could Soon be Extinct

By Nick Engelfried With evolutionary origins stretching back to the age of the dinosaurs, sea turtles are one of the oldest groups of large animals alive today. They range throughout the world’s oceans, venturing onto land only to lay their eggs, and are among the most beautiful and majestic of […]

Educational Series: Heat Waves Are Baking Wildlife Alive

By Nick Engelfried When marine biologists surveyed stretches of the Pacific Northwest coast after a record-smashing heat wave this past July, they discovered tens of millions of dead sea creatures roasted alive by the searing temperatures. Rocks in the intertidal zone were covered in dead mussels and barnacles, while the […]

Educational Series: Sharks, Apex Predators of the Oceans, Need Our Help to Survive

By Nick Engelfried Probably few animals evoke as much fear and even hatred as sharks, the ocean’s premier predators. Sharks have been vilified and portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters in popular culture and films like Jaws, leading to fundamental misunderstandings about their role in marine ecosystems. In reality, they are far […]

Educational Series: Bison Were Nearly Exterminated and Now Need Our Help

By Nick Engelfried At the start of the 19th century, an estimated 30-60 million American plains bison roamed over much of what is now the United States. Although concentrated in the Great Plains, they ranged from Pennsylvania all the way west to Washington State. The great bison herds were among […]

Educational Series: Elephants Stand at the Precipice of Extinction

By Nick Engelfried Elephants, majestic icons of the wilds of Africa and Asia, are the largest land animals alive today. Known for their intelligence and complex social behavior, they are also impressive for reasons that go well beyond their enormous size. Yet, these magnificent creatures could disappear within the next […]

Educational Series: Wetlands Are Vanishing And We Must Act Now

By Nick Engelfried Picture an endangered animal habitat and the first place that comes to mind might be a tropical rain forest or the melting Arctic. It likely won’t be a wetland. Although they are some of the most threatened and important ecosystems on the planet, marshes, swamps, and bogs […]

Educational Series: Oil and Gas Pipelines are a Disaster for Wildlife

By Nick Engelfried Crisscrossing the North American landscape is a network of massive pipelines carrying toxic, combustible oil or gas. The huge metal pipes are usually concealed underground, kept out of sight and out of mind for most people–but they carry the fuel that powers our cars and produces much […]

Educational Series: Urban Animals Need Help Surviving in Cities

By Nick Engelfried Cities and towns are likely not the first places that spring to mind when you try to picture an ideal wild animal habitat. It is absolutely true that many wild species require intact natural ecosystems relatively free of human interference in order to survive. However, a surprising […]

Educational Series: Indonesia’s Endangered Rainforest is an Irreplaceable Wildlife Haven

By Nick Engelfried Where can you find wild elephants, tigers, rhinos, and apes all in the same forest? The answer is Indonesia, a tropical Southeast Asian nation composed of over 17,000 large and small islands. While not as famous as the Amazon or some other rainforests, the jungles of Indonesia […]

Educational Series: Imperiled Bats Need Our Help, Not Persecution

By Nick Engelfried Perhaps no other group of animals is as misunderstood and frequently mischaracterized as members of the order Chiroptera, or bats. Although long feared and maligned in many parts of the world, these furry flying mammals play essential roles in most land-based ecosystems and pose no threat to […]

Educational Series: Ocean Animals Are in Crisis and Need Protection Now

By Nick Engelfried The 582,578 square miles of ocean and small islands in Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument encompass an area larger than all land-based U.S. national parks combined, providing a refuge for animals from tiny coral polyps to blue whales. The monument’s extensive coral reefs support countless tropical fish […]

Educational Series: Millions of Animals Need You to Vote in This Election

By Nick Engelfried Millions of people are casting their votes in a U.S. election that will break turnout records. With polling and early voting activity suggesting a surge in voter participation, it appears more people than ever before are choosing to make themselves heard in the democratic process. For those […]

Educational Series: Toxic Pesticides are Poisoning Animals and People

By Nick Engelfried What do the collapse of honey bee colonies across the U.S., bird population die-offs, and disappearing butterflies have in common? All can be partially traced back to the use of pesticides, an often invisible but deadly serious threat to animals and people. Although society has made great […]

Educational Series: Animals Are Intelligent Beings Who Need Our Help

By Nick Engelfried All too often, we humans are used to thinking of ourselves as the only species on Earth capable of advanced thought and emotion. However, as any pet owner has reason to know, many animals are much more intelligent and aware than we tend to give them credit […]

Educational Series: Incredible, Imperiled Dolphins Need Our Help

By Nick Engelfried In 2018, shocking video footage appearing to show trapped and drowned dolphins being disposed of by a French fishing vessel sparked outrage among animal lovers. Taken during a secret filming mission off the coast of France, the rare video shows a trawling net being hauled onto a […]

Educational Series: Imperiled Wild Cats Are Under Assault

By Nick Engelfried When convicted animal abuser Joseph Maldonado-Passage–also known as “Joe Exotic”–was sentenced to 22 years in prison earlier this year, the case put a spotlight on a sickeningly cruel trade that endangers some of the world’s most amazing wild animals. Wild cats in unaccredited roadside zoos, like the […]

Educational Series: Cruel Wet Markets Have Devastated Wildlife and Caused the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Nick Engelfried As the deadly effects of the COVID-19 virus have spread around the world, awareness of the Chinese “wet markets” thought to be responsible for introducing the virus to humans has also spread. In some of these markets, wild animals like pangolins and bats are sold for their […]

Educational Series: Learn How to Protect Animals From Deadly Coronavirus

By Nick Engelfried Earlier this month Nadia, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, earned an unwelcome distinction: the majestic big cat became the first animal in the United States to officially test positive for COVID-19. Nadia was tested after she, four other tigers, and two lions at the zoo began […]

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