Spring 2009

Photo by Michael Gore/FLPA/Minden Pictures
Volume
58
Number
2
About the Cover

This sea otter in the Prince William Sound of Alaska may be identified and studied from a distance, avoiding stress and injury to the animal thanks to a photographic computer system called the Sea Otter Nose Matching Program, or SONMaP. (See page 19 for study findings.) The pristine-looking waters of the Prince William Sound belie the pollution that remains from the Exxon Valdez oil spill two decades ago. On the shore, just below the surface, the oil is readily apparent. (See the back cover for the full story.)

Photo by Michael Gore/FLPA/Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

There can't be a more remarkable sight than a mass migration of animals, be it across the plains of Africa, on a cloud-covered skyline, or along the wave-ridden ocean coasts.
With the recent passage of its felony animal cruelty law, Arkansas has shed its dubious distinction as one of only five states - including Idaho, Mississippi, and the Dakotas - still treating heinous acts of...
Just as some people fail to recognize their responsibility to their dogs and cats, so too is the case with horses, many of whom are abandoned by their owners each year.
There I stood upon a steep hillside in the lush and wild heart of Idaho, using all fours to steady myself, though not nearly as deftly as my canine co-worker, Wicket.
Rising acidity levels in seawater, resulting from the ocean absorbing increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, are causing clownfish some serious problems.
Though the proverb warns that "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," it makes no mention of primates in zoo exhibits. Santino, a 30-year-old chimp in Sweden's Furuvik zoo, has been doing just...
The Animal Welfare Institute’s case against Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, finally went to trial in February.
The Animal Welfare Institute often asks that its supporters contact members of Congress on various animal welfare bills and issues. Now it is easier to locate your elected officials, as we have just released a...
The Phoenix Zoo had the unfortunate task of euthanizing the last living wild jaguar in the United States in March.
"The elephants I grew to know and love at the circus were beaten daily with sharp bull hooks and chained like prisoners for hours on end."
Despite grim predictions that carbon emissions will only rise in the coming decades and threaten a vast array of sea life, a recent study published in the journal Science early this year has proven that...
Researchers from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel recently put the notion that fish only have a three-second memory span to the test.
Thanks to a new sedation delivery system, more endangered North Atlantic right whales may be saved from a slow, painful death as a result of entanglement in fishing gear, Science Daily reported in March.
It was an unusual discovery. As the mercury soared to triple digits last October in Yuma, Ariz., a hermit crab later named "Hermie" was found near a drip irrigation line in a state park -...
An international team of scientists have added human consumption to the long list of things already threatening global frog populations, the BBC reported in January. A new study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, found...
The Member-Nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were poised to make a critical decision at the 2009 Intersessional Meeting held in Rome in March. They were faced with whether to continue pursuing a package...
Disturbing evidence of a potential epidemic has been published in a study by University of Iowa College of Public Health researcher Tara Smith et al this January. The study was the first in the country...
War and pestilence ride together and there is no better place than an army camp full of recruits, stressed and far from home, for an epidemic to begin.
The Obama administration is to be congratulated for its restoration of a key scientific review provision of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Twenty years ago, the single-hulled Exxon Valdez tanker collided with the Bligh Reef in Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine and ecologically significant Prince William Sound. The massive spill—caused by...
By Nicolette Hahn William Morrow ISBN-10: 0061466492 336 pages; $23.99 Righteous Porkchop begins with author Nicolette Hahn describing her first exposure to the realities of industrial pig "production" as senior attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance. Nothing...
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uncovered a correlation earlier this year between the interaction of the toxins DDT and domoic acid and the occurrence of epileptic seizures in California sea lions at...
By Amy Hatkoff Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN-10: 1584797487 176 pages; $19.95 Amy Hatkoff makes clear in her new book, The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Capabilities, that these...
Recognition of individual animals enables detailed studies of movement patterns, foraging, life histories and survival. It is also important for understanding the ecology and behavior of species.
Sylvie Cloutier, Ph.D., and Ruth C. Newberry, Ph.D., present playful handling as social enrichment for laboratory rats When animals are used in research,there is seldom, if ever, a focus on affectionate or playful handling. However,...
One ornithologist’s treasure is another man’s dinner. As the American Free Press (AFP) reports, while filming a documentary on traditional bird trapping methods in the Caraballo Mountains of the Philippines, a TV crew unwittingly got...
Feared to be extinct in the Caribbean—the only region of the globe it once called home—the solenodon was recently caught on film and eventually captured by conservationists. Researchers from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and...

Wildlife

A snowstorm was in full force one wintry day last December when filmmaker Donny Moss decided to film the carriage horse drivers picking up tourists outside Manhattan’s world-famous Plaza Hotel - a tradition more than...