Apr 22

As you can probably tell, all of us here at ARKive are pretty much enamored with stunning, eye-catching and inspiring media art. From impactful photography to gripping wildlife film clips, imagery continues to play a powerful role in sparking and sustaining people’s interest in the natural world.

Earth Day sets the stage beautifully for appreciating art in nature and famed artist, Maya Lin, has captured the past and future of conservation in her final memorial titled, “What is Missing?”, a global, multimedia art project centered around our living planet. ARKive worked with Maya Lin, who is well known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the US, to secure a selection of emotive images and films for the memorial which is both a permanent exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences and a traveling exhibit featured in New York, Beijing, and Copenhagen. Maya hopes the newest addition to the memorial, called “Conservation in Action”, conveys a message that, “spurs people to realize their power to connect with work that is under way and take steps in their everyday lives, no matter how small.”

Inspired by Earth Day and “What is Missing?”, we had a look through the ARKive collection for our favorite artistically-inspired images and there are plenty to be found!


The sunrise paints a colorful canvas for the Curlew sandpipers breakfast

Curlew sandpipers feeding at sunrise

A mother’s love

A peaceful moment captured between a mother and baby bonobo

Adult and infant bonobo sleeping

Underwater gold

Fluorescent grass coral waves like shimmering gold in the ocean

Fluoresence grass coral open polyps

A pop of color

A floral pop of fuchsia sets of the stunning blue matrona

Matrona basilaris on a plant

 A different perspective

Focusing on a single detail, like a peacock grouper eye, can create a stunning portrait

Peacock grouper eye detail, captive

After seeing this small set of images, it’s pretty hard not to find beauty and art all around nature! Which of these is your favorite? Is there another picture on ARKive that you think embodies art in nature? Share it with us in the comments below!

Happy Earth Day!

Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer

Apr 21

Last week lion-loving Maggie showed her support for her favourite species, but will this weeks team member be wild for whiskers or think scales are superior?

Merove Heifetz – Chief Operating Officer, Wildscreen USA

Favourite species? Bonobo

Why? It’s my favorite species because they are a very peaceful and intelligent species that are so incredibly human-like in their appearance and in their expressions.

Bonobo image

The bonobo is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. The bonobo is threatened due to land conversion for agriculture throughout Congo, where it is endemic. The rising demand for bushmeat is also compromising the future of this human-like primate.

See more photos and videos of the bonobo on ARKive.

Apr 20
Goliath frog (Conraua goliath)

Goliath frog (Conraua goliath)

 Species: Goliath frog (Conraua goliath)

Status: Endangered (EN)

Interesting Fact: The goliath frog is the largest frog in the world, weighing in at over 3 kilograms.

The goliath frog can be found in flowing rainforest rivers in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. Goliath frogs lack vocal sacs, and so their courtship displays do not involve the characteristic calls of most other frogs and toads. Females lay several hundred eggs onto vegetation on the river bottom, and once hatched, the tadpoles feed on the plant Dicraea warmingii. Complete metamorphosis takes around 85-95 days, and once mature the adults feed on insects, crustaceans and fish.

This species has a highly restricted range, as much of the dense rainforest of the goliath frog’s habitat has been deforested for timber or to make way for agriculture. Goliath frogs are also considered a delicacy and are collected by local people for food. Captive breeding programmes have not proven successful and the only method of effectively preserving this amphibious giant is to safeguard areas of remaining habitat

Find out more about the goliath frog on the American Museum of Natural History  website

View photos and videos of the goliath frog on ARKive.

Lauren Pascoe, ARKive Media Researcher

Apr 18

It’s all go here at ARKive Education recently. What with the preparations for National Science and Engineering week and our trip to the Big Bang, as well as becoming accredited to the CREST Star Investigators scheme, 2012 has been a great year so far.

TES Teaching Resources

Our resources are as popular as ever, with downloads on the up – we are thrilled to think how many students the ARKive content and conservation message is reaching! As well as making all our education resources free to download direct from our education section of our website, we also list them on a variety of external platforms, including the TES (Times Educational Supplement) website here in the UK.

What does the TES website offer?

TES Resources provides a platform for teachers, publishers and a variety of organisations to share free learning materials including lesson plans, activities, videos, teaching ideas and worksheets. There are currently over 1.9 million members on TES from 196 countries, who have contributed over 300,000 teaching resources.

TES allows teachers to search their enormous database for resources to suite a particular age group, or to cover a specific topic. All the resources are linked to the curriculum and we hope it allows ARKive Education to reach a whole new pool of teachers, and judging by our download stats it seems to be working!

Wildscreen resources on TES

We were therefore particularly pleased to be approached by TES about becoming an official content partner.

“The TES Resource team are always looking for content partners with amazing resources that are freely available, to help grow the number of high-quality resources on TES which inspire teachers, save them time, and help to raise standards in teaching.

“ARKive’s wildlife video clips and fun materials make a great addition to the offering of biology resources available on the site. The resource ‘Marvellous Mini-Beasts – Design a Species’ – which teaches students about how different invertebrate species have adapted to survive in particular habitats – has been particularly popular.”

Charlie Patterson, TES Resources Partnership Co-ordinator

Find out more

For anyone interested in finding out more about ARKive Education you can visit our education section, send us an email education@wildscreen.org.uk, or come along to the TES Resources North conference taking place later this week at Manchester Central (stand C42) where we will be exhibiting from the 20th – 21st April.

TES Resources North banner

Find out more about becoming a Content Partner on TES.

Laura Sutherland, ARKive Education Officer

Apr 18

Climate change will make conserving the world’s biodiversity – including the human benefits associated with conservation, such as clean air and water – much more challenging and expensive, research reveals.

Climate change driving up costs

According to a group of international researchers convened by Conservation International, climate change may in some cases drive up costs by more than 100%.

Focussing on species and ecosystems in South Africa, Madagascar and California, the researchers present the first ever estimates of how much it will cost the global community to adapt conservation efforts to climate change, calling the studies a ‘wake-up call’.

The results of the research have been published as a series of three papers in the journal Conservation Biology, under the title ‘Conservation Focus: Costs of Adapting Conservation to Climate Change’.


Asteropeia micraster flowers and leaves close up

Asteropeia micraster, an endangered plant belonging to the Asteropeiaceae - a family endemic to Madagascar

In Madagascar, one of the world’s most biologically rich countries, researchers predicted how climate change would affect the ranges and survival of 74 endemic plant species between the years 2000 to 2080.

They found that as the climate in Madagascar changes over time, species that are currently protected in today’s forests will be pushed out into areas where forests are unprotected or gone.

The vast majority of Madagascar’s forests have already disappeared due to habitat loss, and the researchers found that restoring forests to avoid extinction of species would in future be harder and more expensive than maintaining existing forest.

The researchers calculated that maintaining existing forests in community-managed areas costs about $160-576 per hectare, while restoring forests in the same areas would cost six times as much.


Bay checkerspot on a tidy-tips flower

Bay checkerspot on a tidy-tips flower - one of 11 species studied in California as part of research on the costs of climate change

In California, the researchers picked 11 species, including the Bay checkerspot butterfly, the grasshopper sparrow and the San Joaquin kit fox, all of which occur within a conservation area in the Central Coast of California. They then projected the costs of conserving these species in 2050 and 2100 under realistic climate change scenarios.

The results of the study showed that under climate change, the boundaries of the California conservation area will need to be dramatically expanded and many of the species studied will need interventions such as captive breeding and relocation to achieve current conservation goals.

According to the researchers, the costs of meeting conservation goals for the 11 species studied will be close to 150% higher than if there is no climate change by 2050, and could be up to 220% more by 2100 – at a cost of $2.63 billion.

South Africa

Silver tree in fynbos habitat

The silver tree, a member of the Proteaceae family, in fynbos habitat in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

The studies carried out by scientists in South Africa looked at options to expand protected areas in the Cape Floristic biodiversity hotspot to safeguard the survival of 316 species unique to the Proteaceae family of flowering plants.

The results demonstrated that protecting sufficient habitat for this important family of plants to make them more resilient to climate change could cost over $1 billion. However, by establishing new contracts with landowners and exploring more cost-efficient avenues to manage the important habitats in the region, these costs could be reduced significantly.

A costly wake-up call

According to Lee Hannah, lead author and senior scientist for climate change biology at Conservation International, “The specific effects of climate change on species in South Africa, Madagascar and California are very different, but the costs of conserving them will certainly increase considerably in all three regions under climate change. We can have a healthy planet and keep extra costs to a minimum by acting quickly to cut emissions and incorporate climate change into conservation plans.”

Read the full press release at Conservation International

Read the three papers in Conservation Biology – Conservation Focus: Costs of Adapting Conservation to Climate Change.

Find out more about Climate Change on ARKive

Helen Roddis, ARKive Species Text Author


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