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Educational Series

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 […]

Educational Series: Wild Horses are Being Persecuted and Squeezed Out of the West

By Nick Engelfried Few images evoke the wide open spaces of the American West like a herd of wild mustang horses. Wild horses occupy a special place in the culture and history of this country–but their ability to continue roaming free on the plains of the West is far from […]

Educational Series: Persecuted Wild Wolves Need Our Help to Survive

By Nick Engelfried One of the most successful large predators ever to evolve, wolves once ranged through forests and plains across most of the Northern Hemisphere–including Europe, Asia, and North America. Wolves’ natural intelligence, social behavior, and adaptability to a wide range of habitat types helped them become one of […]

Educational Series: Australia’s Fires Are Burning Animals to Death

[easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,mail” morebutton=”1″ counters=0 fullwidth=”yes” query=”yes”]By Nick Engelfried Covering an area thirteen times larger than that burned during California’s worst fire season, and 46% bigger than the land affected by last year’s Amazon forest fires, devastating bushfires are raging across the continent of Australia, endangering people and animals alike. As […]

Educational Series: Wild Birds Are In Catastrophic Decline

[easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,mail” morebutton=”1″ counters=0 fullwidth=”yes” query=”yes”]By Nick Engelfried Whether at backyard feeders, gardens, or in their natural habitat along nature trails, wild birds are a source of joy and fascination to thousands of animal and nature lovers. Because most species fly during the day, and many are brightly colored or […]

Educational Series: We Are In The Middle Of An Amphibian Crisis

[easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,mail” morebutton=”1″ counters=0 fullwidth=”yes” query=”yes”]By Nick Engelfried Often overlooked and misunderstood, amphibians are perhaps the single most endangered group of animals on the planet. The plight of frogs, toads, salamanders, and their relatives may not receive as much attention as more charismatic animals–but fully 40% of the world’s approximately […]

Educational Series: Countless Animals Are In Danger From Climate Change

[easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,mail” morebutton=”1″ counters=0 fullwidth=”yes” query=”yes”]By Nick Engelfried There’s no denying it (though some politicians and corporations try): human-caused climate change is here and it’s changing our world in fundamental ways. The major consequences for people are well known and include rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, more intense hurricanes […]

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