To better understand the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, WCS partnered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Central Africa last spring to place GPS collars on bats, including this moose-like hammer-headed fruit bat. Bats are suspected to be asymptomatic reservoirs Ebola, which threatens human health, and is linked to massive declines in populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo and Gabon. WCS is looking for a way to prevent Ebola outbreaks and help conserve these bats for future generations.
WCS marine scientists surveying the waters of the New York Bight for marine mammals and other species are enjoying a banner year, encountering a wide array of marine life in the waters just beyond—and sometimes in sight of—New York City including humpback whales.
Is it a worm? Is it a snake? No, it’s Fisher’s caecilian, a worm-like amphibian that is only found in Cyamudongo in Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, and a species that could possibly go extinct in the next century due to climate change according to a WCS study released in early 2018.
A pink river dolphin is one of several charismatic species that will benefit from the creation of the Baixo Rio Branco-Jauaperi Extractive Reserve created last July in Brazil.
Two Trunks Are Better Than One
WCS conservationists working in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park have not one but two good reasons to be hopeful for the park’s savanna elephant population: a pair of rare twin calves were born last April.
New to Science
A whiptail lizard—one of 124 species potentially new to science discovered during the two-and-a-half-year Identidad Madidi Expedition where WCS and Bolivian scientists visited 15 remote sites in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park.
Stork Brings More Storks
In April, WCS, along with the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and community members, announced that since 2002, they have protected 3,800 nests of 11 globally threatened bird species in the Northern Plains of Cambodia. This has led to the fledging of 6,806 birds, like these black necked storks.
Happy Birthday, Kingo!
In June, WCS celebrated the birthday of “Kingo” a silverback Western lowland gorilla estimated to be 40 years old and living in Nouabale Ndoki National Park, a protected area WCS helps manage in the Republic of Congo.
Puff the Magic Elephant
In March, conservationists from WCS India were astonished to see this Asian elephant picking up ash with its trunk, closing its mouth and blowing it back out in a cloud of smoke. Charcoal has toxin-binding properties that may provide medicinal value. Charcoal can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns.
Return of the Zebras
In October, conservationists from WCS, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) released 24 zebras into Tanzania’s Kitulo National Park in the Southern Highlands region—part of a bold effort to re-wild this once pristine landscape.
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