Welcome to the WCS Wild Audio podcast, where you will find reported audio stories covering the latest news and newsmakers from WCS’s field sites, zoos and aquarium, and conservation partners. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Episode 14: Talking Climate Adaptation During the United Nations Climate Week
Timed to the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly New York, UN Climate Week brings together global leaders in business, government, and the climate community. This year, the theme is “Getting It Done,” so Wild Audio asked WCS climate adaptation scientist Lauren Oakes what she thinks about when it comes to adaptive strategies to confront the climate crisis.
Episode 13: More Trees, Fewer Cows—Protecting Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve for People and Wildlife
The Selva Maya represents the largest continuous forest in Central America. Encompassing parts of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, it includes Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, where a government campaign to target illegal ranching is reversing years of destructive deforestation. Wild Audio checked in with WCS Guatemala Country Director Gabriela Ponce Santizo to find out what that means for the people of the region and the wildlife that lives there.
Episode 12: Protection of Big Cat Prey in Laos Might Aid a Return of the “Big Guy”
Big cats today face multiple threats—from poaching and habitat loss to snares and human conflict. But also key to their survival is the presence of preferred prey. The WCS Laos program’s Akchousanh Rasphone knows which species are prized on the menu of the country’s clouded leopards and, one day, might help sustain a return of “the big guy,” as she refers to the tiger—now functionally extinct in Laos.
Episode 11: Monitoring Biodiversity at the Top of the World
More and more scientists today are using environmental DNA—or eDNA—to identify species or organisms inhabiting a particular area by measuring genetic traces found in water, soil, or air. In 2019, a group of researchers co-led by WCS’s Tracie Seimon surveyed Mt. Everest to explore high elevation biodiversity there using eDNA. Now that they have begun publishing their findings, WCS Wild Audio checked in with Tracie to find out what they learned.
Episode 10: A New Internship Program to Promote Greater Equity and Diversity in the Conservation Field
Internships in the science and conservation field have for too long failed to reach the full diversity of young people. To address that inequity, the WCS Education Department—based at the Bronx Zoo and led by Karen Tingley—recently launched a new internship program designed to proactively help more young people get a head start on a conservation career. Nat Moss spoke with Karen for WCS Wild Audio to learn more.
Episode 9: From Climate to Cannoli—Leveraging Conservation Science in the Policy Arena
Science is at the heart of effective conservation. It factors into everything WCS does at its global field sites and its New York City-based zoos and aquarium to better understand wildlife and wild places. But translating that knowledge into policy and action requires creative engagement with the public and lawmakers. Executive Vice President for Public Affairs John Calvelli oversees that effort in the U.S. and recently discussed with Wild Audio why it’s so important.
Episode 8: Peatlands—The Carbon Storage Powerhouse Protecting Us from Climate Change
Any discussion of climate change must consider the role of peatlands. These water-soaked ecosystems comprised of decaying mosses and other plant matter cover a mere 3 percent of the earth’s surface yet store more carbon than all of the world’s forests. But a debate in Canada now pits the mining of minerals essential to renewable energy against protection of critical peatlands. To learn more, WCS Wild Audio checked in with Lorna Harris, a scientist and the program lead for WCS Canada’s national program for Forests, Peatlands, and Climate Change.
Episode 7: Good News for Wild Tigers
When the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, recently reported that wild tiger numbers had increased by 40 percent since 2010, WCS Tiger Species Coordinator Dale Miquelle wasn’t surprised. He was one of several scientists who contributed to the report. WCS Wild Audio’s Nat Moss recently caught up with him to find out what’s making the difference in tiger conservation today.
Episode 6: A Push to Expand Global Protections for Sharks and Rays
This November scientists, policymakers, and advocates from across the globe will gather in Panama for the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). WCS Executive Director for Shark and Ray Conservation Luke Warwick has his eye on a proposal to list the entire family of requiem sharks for protection. WCS Wild Audio recently sat down with him to understand the urgency and strategy behind that goal.
Episode 5: How New Technology Is Transforming Conservation
Whether it's drones recording video in previously inaccessible areas, artificial intelligence sorting through thousands of camera trap images, or microphones in the ocean recording whale sounds to determine which species are present, technology is transforming the practice of conservation today. To find out how WCS is using technology to up its conservation game, Nat Moss checked in with Jonathan Palmer and Danielle LaBruna from WCS's Conservation Technology team.
Episode 4: Reducing Human-Elephant Conflict in Thailand
WCS Thailand’s Manoon Pliosungnoen describes a unique fencing structure that has been successfully deployed to deter elephants from raiding local farmers’ cropland adjacent to Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan National Park. Since the fencing went up, the number of human-elephant conflict incidents has fallen from more than 400 in 2005 to about 40 incidents in 2020. WCS's Nat Moss has the story.
Episode 3: Preventing Pandemics at the Source
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, we’ve developed strategies to confront the crisis where we live—expanding supplies of protective equipment and following guidelines to avoid catching the virus. But as the pandemic continues, WCS Executive Director for Health Chris Walzer and WCS Vice President for International Policy Susan Lieberman say we now need to focus on reducing pathogen spillover at the source. Wild Audio’s Nat Moss spoke to them for this story.
Episode 2: The Bronx Zoo Is Working to Save Some of the World’s Most Threatened Turtle Species
After serving as the Bronx Zoo’s Curator of Herpetology for 11 years, Don Boyer retired this year. Before he left, WCS Wild Audio’s Nat Moss toured the Bronx Zoo’s Turtle Propagation Center with Don to discuss some of the highlights of his inspiring career and the Bronx Zoo’s efforts to breed highly threatened turtle species and return them to the wild.
Episode 1: Protecting Coral Reefs Amidst a Global Bleaching Crisis
Emily Darling directs WCS's global coral reef conservation program. Working with WCS programs in roughly a dozen countries, she thinks a lot about how to save these sensitive ecosystems—most importantly from climate change. Wild Audio’s Nat Moss checked in with her to learn more about the recent bleaching event on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and what it suggests about the larger goal of reef conservation.
WCS Wild Audio
Executive Producer, Co-Host, Reporter: Nat Moss
Associate Producer, Co-Host, Audio Engineer: Hannah Kaplan
Web Producer: Dan Rosen
Thank you for listening to the WCS Wild Audio podcast. To receive an episode when posted, email Nat Moss. More episodes are coming soon.