Entries by Ethan Freedman

Moustached Bird Appears on Dracula Property

According to the IUCN Red List, the Moustached Puffbird (Malacoptila mystacalis) is native to Colombia and Venezuela. Wait, scratch that. The bird was just seen in Ecuador for the first time, in Fundacion EcoMinga’s Dracula Reserve. A group of ornithologists spotted not only one, but four puffbirds on the property, believed to be two mating […]

Sea Turtles Were; Sea Turtles Are; Sea Turtles Will

The most emotional word in conservation is “were.” Cheetahs were once found across Africa and the Middle East. Lonesome George was the last one of his species of Galapagos Tortoise. Now-extinct Great Auks were characterized by shimmering black and white feathers across a tall body. “Were” peppers the vocabulary of every conservationist like pepper peppers […]

Recycling is for Monkeys

The phrase “killing two birds with one stone” feels antithetical to wildlife conservation. But I wanted to begin this article with that sentiment. So I went out looking for another idiom conveying the same idea and settled on using “one fell swoop.” I then found out the phrase “one fell swoop” is also about bird […]

Snow Leopards are Doing Better, So Conservation is Even More Important

The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) is due for a status update. Once considered “Endangered” due to a small, shrinking population, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now considers the Central Asian big cat “Vulnerable” due to a larger, still shrinking population. Wait, what? So apparently, as the IUCN profile of the species describes, […]

First Step in Ecuadorian Great Green Macaw Reintroduction

Last month, Rainforest Trust partner Fundación Jocotoco transferred ten Great Green Macaws (Ara ambiguus) to flight cages in Ecuador’s Ayampe Reserve, a Rainforest Trust supported project. The birds will live in the flight cages for two months until released into the reserve. With luck, this release will lead to a bolstered wild Great Green Macaw […]

Two Incredibly Rare Toads Seen in Two Days

Seven years. Seven toads. This was the reality of the Amathole Toad — in the past seven years, scientists have spotted only seven of these creatures. Total. Anywhere. Guess how many were spotted in the thirteen years before that? Did you guess zero? Because the answer is zero. Needless to say, the toad is rare. […]

Conservationist Inspired by Tiny Monkey to Save Colombia’s Forests

Rosamira Guillen, voted in high school as most likely to become a designer, studied architecture as an undergraduate. But she always enjoyed environmental planning and, through a master’s degree at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY and a Fulbright scholarship, focused her studies on landscape architecture. This work led her to the Barranquilla Zoo, near where she […]

Two White Giraffes Seen in Kenyan Conservation Area

The Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), a Rainforest Trust partner in Kenya, just captured footage of two white Reticulated giraffes. The giraffes, an adult female and calf, were in the region where Rainforest Trust and HCP are protecting vital habitat for the Hirola, the world’s most threatened antelope. The white color is due to a genetic […]

Indian Pangolins Spotted in Proposed Reserve

Spotting a pangolin in the wild is only somewhat easier than spotting a wild unicorn. Nocturnal, secretive and in population decline, pangolins seem satisfied to stay unseen. Often, trace evidence (such as scat) are the only way to study their distribution. But this secrecy hasn’t protected the pangolins from rampant poaching. Not that studying pangolins […]

New Sea Snake Subspecies from Rainforest Trust Project Site Described

Geographic isolation between related species can lead to unexpected differences between them. For example, two related plant species on nearby islands may have different leaf shapes. Two related bird species separated by a mountain range might have different songs. But recently, scientists found some truly distinctive differences between related populations separated only by a modest […]