Wildlife

The Man in the Zebra Suit Knows the Secret of the Stripes
January 17, 2017 09:24 AM - Nick Stockton, Wired

At four in the morning, Tim Caro roused his colleagues. Bleary-eyed and grumbling, they followed him to the edge of the village, where the beasts were hiding. He sat them down in chairs, and after letting their eyes adjust for a minute, he asked them if they saw anything. And if so, would they please point where?

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Researchers capture first glimpse of ruby seadragons in the wild
January 13, 2017 08:49 AM - The University of Western Australia

A scientific expedition off the coast of Western Australia led to researchers from The University of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum and Scripps Institution of Oceanography catching a rare glimpse of the newly discovered ruby seadragon in the wild.

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SPOTLIGHT

Wildlife Farming: Does It Help Or Hurt Threatened Species?

Richard Conniff, Yale Environment360

More than a decade ago, looking to slow the decimation of wildlife populations for the bushmeat trade, researchers in West Africa sought to establish an alternative protein supply. Brush-tailed porcupine was one of the most popular and high-priced meats, in rural and urban areas alike. Why not farm it? It turned out that the porcupines are generally solitary, and when put together, they tended to fight and didn't have sex. In any case, moms produce only one offspring per birth, hardly a recipe for commercial success. 

Wildlife farming is like that — a tantalizing idea that is always fraught with challenges and often seriously flawed. And yet it is also growing both as a marketplace reality and in its appeal to a broad array of legitimate stakeholders as a potentially sustainable alternative to the helter-skelter exploitation of wild resources everywhere. 

Food security consultants are promoting wildlife farming as a way to boost rural incomes and supply protein to a hungry world. So are public health experts who view properly managed captive breeding as a way to prevent emerging diseases in wildlife from spilling over into the human population.

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