wildlife

The first time he encountered a tiger shark in the water, marine ecologist Neil Hammerschlag was in the Bahamas conducting research. His team was on a boat and hadn't seen many sharks, so when someone yelled, "Tiger shark!" he grabbed his snorkel gear and camera and jumped into the water.

"One [tiger shark] moved right in toward me and came close," Hammerschlag tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "It opened its mouth, and I was looking through its mouth down its gut and seeing its gills from the inside."

marakawalv / Creative Commons

This weekend, nearly 200 scientists joined up with members of the public in a 24-hour race to identify as many plant and animal species as possible. It's called a "BioBlitz."

Attention, New Englanders: You may see a seal pup on the beach this weekend, and you may be tempted to take a selfie with it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking that you please resist that urge.

Emily Mocarski/flickr creative commons

Last week, police and wildlife officials were called in to tranquilize and relocate two bears within four days.

State officials are apologizing for the way they’ve handled a plan to use an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts as a breeding ground for endangered timber rattlesnakes. They say they are now looking at alternatives.

A legislative hearing held near the reservoir in Athol Tuesday brought out some strong opposition and showed what a major political issue rattlesnakes have become in that part of the state.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Schuyler Thomson lead a group of paddlers down the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut, he squinted through the morning sunlight on the water. 

Pattys-photos / Creative Commons

Biologists are starting to augment eyes in the forest with eyes in the sky. But even as satellite imagery has a growing role in a field long-dominated by on-the-ground observation, the brave biologist trekking through a rainforest with binoculars and a cool hat isn't going away anytime soon. 

A video of a porcupinefish trapped in a net in Chaloklum Bay, Thailand, being freed by snorkelers who happened upon it got lots of traction last week.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition Science Team

The fight to grant permanent federal protection to three areas off New England's coast continues, despite a setback for conservationists at one of the spots. 

Andy Morffew / Creative Commons

A rare bird described as a "flying rainbow" that normally doesn't fly north of the Carolinas on the East Coast has turned up in a small town in Vermont, drawing hundreds of bird watchers to Pittsfield hoping to catch a glimpse of the painted bunting. 

Steven Sola

In the 1960s, the eagle population in the United States was in critical decline, due in part to the pesticide DDT and loss of habitat. 

Last week, we wrote about the fundamental three questions concerning the origin of life on Earth: When? Where? How? Although they are interrelated, each has a specific set of sub-questions that keep researchers very busy.

Norwalk's Christmas Tree Has a Squirrel Problem

Dec 1, 2015
Airwolfhound flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/8326091066 / Creative Commons

It may be "the most wonderful time of the year," but squirrels are making it not so wonderful in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Jiří Nedorost (Wikimedia Commons)

An effort to curb eastern Long Island's deer population through sterilization has angered animal lovers who say veterinarians are botching the surgeries.

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife filed a lawsuit on November 6 seeking to halt the sterilization program, according to Newsday.

Ryssby / Creative Commons

Federal and state environmental officials are set to announce nearly two dozen grants worth $1.3 million to improve the environmental health of Long Island Sound.

Bats in New Hampshire have been struggling with White Nose Syndrome for the past few years. So we sat down with Wildlife Biologist Emily Preston from NH Fish and Game and Endangered Species Biologist Susi von Oettengen from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find out how they’ve been faring recently. 

Shandi-lee Cox flickr.com/photos/shandilee/8983279962 / Creative Commons

Fall is not only for pumpkins, corn stalks, and colorful leaves. It's also bulb planting time. 

Patrick Lynch/Yale University

Earth is home to thousands of different species of birds with an amazing array of behaviors, body types, and colors. For biologists studying evolution, that diversity has presented a fundamental question: How did so many different types of birds evolve? And how do they relate? 

Meagan Racey / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A partnership to protect Connecticut's only native rabbit appears to be working, which means the New England cottontail will not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. 

Carl Safina

What, exactly, do animals think and feel? That's the question at the heart of a new book by Carl Safina, an ecologist who traveled to Kenya, the Pacific Northwest, and Yellowstone to research his latest work, Beyond Words.

Diver Dan Abbott unloads his scuba gear on a beach in Monterey, Calif. — his tank, flippers and a waterproof clipboard covered in tally marks. He spent the morning counting fish: pile perch, black perch, blue rockfish and kelp rockfish are among the 150 fish he spotted.

Abbott is diving with a team from Reef Check California, a group of volunteers doing underwater surveys by counting everything in the kelp forest in Monterey Bay.

Fish Stocks Rebound After Vermont Yankee Shutdown

Sep 4, 2015

A leading environmentalist says fish populations in the Connecticut River have rebounded after the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Stephanie Rivkin / Facebook

State wildlife officials are still on the lookout for a black bear that was videotaped licking the leg of a hiker in Burlington, Connecticut.

PLF73 / Creative Commons

Does it seem like there are a lot of bears in Connecticut? It's hard to have a conversation this summer without someone mentioning they spotted a bear. While most of us are in awe of the size and majesty of these animals, most of us don't know much about bears. In light of this weekend's closing of Sessions Woods, now might be a good time to talk about what's already on everyone's minds.

We’re at an osprey nest in Tilton with Iain McLeod, director of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. Our goal is recruiting another individual for Project OspreyTrack. He explains that Project OspreyTrack began in 2011, “to try to understand a little bit more about osprey migration and foraging.” 

Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching, and many of their ivory tusks wind up hundreds or thousands of miles away. Investigative journalist Bryan Christy wanted to track the route of the poached tusks, so he commissioned a taxidermist to create two fake ivory tusks, which he embedded with specially designed tracking devices.

"These tusks ... operate really like additional investigators, like members of our team, and almost like a robocop," Christy tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Interstate fishery managers on the Atlantic coast are signing off on a management plan for a species of crab that is growing in value and volume of catch.

Take a close look at a house cat's eyes and you'll see pupils that look like vertical slits. But a tiger has round pupils — like humans do. And the eyes of other animals, like goats and horses, have slits that are horizontal.

Scientists have now done the first comprehensive study of these three kinds of pupils. The shape of the animal's pupil, it turns out, is closely related to the animal's size and whether it's a predator or prey.

CT Herp Consultants, LLC

An initial draft of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) updated ten-year action plan to protect wildlife, released last week, includes plans to look closely at wildlife road mortality, especially that of amphibians and reptiles. 

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