All about the humble water shrew

Water shrew

Photo: Water shrew Erni Shutterstock

The water shrew is well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle: they have a dark brown (almost black), waterproof coat of short fur, and ears (visible as white tufts) that can close in the water. A fringe of stiff silvery hairs runs the length of the underside of the tail, which they use as a rudder, and their hind feet have similar fringes. They can dive … [more…]

This Remote Hawaiian Island Just Vanished

Satellite photo: East Island before Hurricane Walaka

Photo: Before, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Scientists are concerned about what will happen to the hundreds of endangered species that once called East Island home.

Hurricane Walaka, one of the most powerful Pacific storms ever recorded, has erased an ecologically important remote northwestern island from the Hawaiian archipelago.

Using satellite imagery, federal scientists confirmed Monday that East Island, a critical habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea … [more…]

Frogs Are Disappearing. What Does That Mean?

photo: fronts on mushrooms, with crowns on their heads. Frogs Are Disappearing. What Does That Mean?

Banded bullfrogs, native to Southeast Asia (and not yet endangered), on their thrones of chanterelle, lobster and shiitake mushrooms. Photograph by Kyoko Hamada. Styled by Victoria Petro-Conroy

The dusky gopher frog, once endemic to the longleaf pine savannas of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana — and now listed among the 100 most endangered species on earth — is tiny, dark and warty. The creature is often described as both secretive and … [more…]

Scientists Listen to Fish to Figure Out How to Save Them

Scientists Are Listening to Fish to Figure Out How to Save Them

New acoustic techniques that measure fish populations could potentially be used to help endangered species like the totoaba — and in turn the even rarer vaquita porpoise, which is on the brink of extinction.

Researchers are listening to fish to gather data on their populations. If you’re over the right patch of water in the northern Gulf of California in Mexico at the right time of year, you might hear … [more…]

Sighting & Observing Marine Wildlife

Sighting & Observing Marine Wildlife

The Pacific Ocean is alive with wildlife. Some of these animals, like humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and sea turtles, are considered endangered species and are protected by federal laws. Dolphins and other whales, though not endangered, are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Nature-based tourism is a fast growing segment of the market. There are scores of tour boat companies and water-based activities that cater to whale and