Wildlife

Traditionally, the term wildlife has conjured images of species which are of economic or emotional importance to humans. However wildlife life encompasses a much broader array of life on earth, referring to any undomesticated species, from the European Fire-bellied toad to the Siberian tiger.

As humans have encroached on the natural habitats of the world's wildlife, contaminated the far reaches of earth and hunted or fished some species to extinction, understanding qualities like habitat requirements, lifecycles and nutritional needs for all wildlife species has become a primary focus of many scientists and conservationists.

For many species, their survival depends upon our ability to identify the basic needs for wildlife populations to survive and thrive and act upon that knowledge.  

  • Smithsonian's Seven New Fish Species Featured Article Smithsonian's Seven New Fish Species Smithsonian's Seven New Fish Species

    Smithsonian Scientists Discover Seven New Species of Fish Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish—something scientists at the Smithsonian... More »

  • Anaplasmosis Featured Article Anaplasmosis Anaplasmosis

    Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It was previously known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and has more recently... More »

  • Indo-pacific humpbacked dolphin Featured Article Indo-pacific humpbacked dolphin Indo-pacific humpbacked dolphin

    The Indo-Pacific humpacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis), a marine mammal, is a member of the family of oceanic dolphins within the order of cetaceans. The species is also known as... More »

  • Cheetah Featured Article Cheetah Cheetah

    The Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is a vulnerable species within the cat family. While the fastest land animal and an adept hunter, this felid is not agressive... More »

  • Arnoux's beaked whale Featured Article Arnoux's beaked whale Arnoux's beaked whale

    Arnoux's beaked whale (scientific name: Berardius arnuxii ) is one of 21 species of beaked whales (Hyperoodontidae or Ziphiidae), medium-sized whales with distinctive, long and... More »

  • Bats' worth to agriculture Featured Article Bats' worth to agriculture Bats' worth to agriculture

    Bats Worth Billions to Agriculture: Pest-control Services at Risk Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S.... More »

  • Wind turbine bird mortality Featured Article Wind turbine bird mortality Wind turbine bird mortality

    Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately... More »

  • Indus River dolphin Featured Article Indus River dolphin Indus River dolphin

    The Indus River dolphin (scientific name: Platanista minor) is fresh water cetacean closely related to the Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica). These two endangered... More »

Recently Updated
Amphibian ecology and evolution Last Updated on 2014-07-23 18:38:53 Amphibians are found in ponds, streams, wetlands of all types, under rotten logs, in leaf litter, in trees, underground, even in pools of rain water inside large leaves. However, they are not able to osmoregulate in salt water and, therefore, are not found in the ocean. Although some amphibians defy the rules and thrive in cold or dry conditions, the group reaches its highest diversity and numbers in warm, humid climates.  In the wet tropics, amphibians remain active all year around, but in the temperate zone, winter temperatures cool their bodies, forcing them to become inactive. In the autumn, environmental cues direct amphibians to find moist, sheltered places like muddy pond bottoms or deep leaf litter to hibernate. The wood frog (Rana sylvatica) has the most northerly range of any amphibian, crossing the Arctic circle, into the Mackenzie River valley in the Northwest... More »
Pinniped Last Updated on 2014-07-21 17:04:25 Pinnipeds ("finned-feet") are are group of marine mammals, that includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. The word pinniped is sometimes treated as a synonym for "seal" since all pinnipeds except for the the sole species of Walrus are seals (sea lions are eared seals).     Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals) Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores) Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared seals) Pinnipeds differ form other marine mammals like whales, dolphins and porpoises in that they do not spend their entire lives in water. Pinnipeds "haul out" onto land and ice to mate, give birth, moult, and rest. Pinnipeds were agressively hunted until the early twentieth century for their skins, oil, meat and, in the case of... More »
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaíno, Mexico Last Updated on 2014-07-10 15:39:44 The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino (27° 23'-27° 59'N, 114° 30'-114° 55'W) is a World Heritage Site located in Mexico and comprises two lagoons which lie in the central part of the Baja California peninsula, between the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Forms part of the Municipality of Mulege, Bajo California Sur State. Accessible via the north-south highway. Both lagoons are situated on the west side of the peninsula, Laguna Ojo de Liebre is connected to the Bahia Sebastian Vizcaino, and Laguna San Ignacio lies east of the town of Punta Abrejos, into which Rio San Ignacio flows. Federal Decree of 6 December 1971, promulgated on 14 January 1972, declared Laguna Ojo de Liebre a marine refuge zone for whales. On 28 March 1980, the Decree was modified to include the lagoons of Manuela and Guerrero Negro. On 11 September 1972, a Decree... More »
Japanese sea lion Last Updated on 2014-07-02 14:48:14 Also known as the Black sea lion, the Japanese sea lion (Scientific name: Zalophus japonicus) is a species that is believed to have become extinct in the 1950s. The species was one of 16 species of marine mammals in the family of Eared seals which include sea lions and fur seals. Together with the families of true seals and Walruses, Eared seals form the group of marine mammals known as pinnipeds.      Conservation Status   Scientific Classification Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals) Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores) Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared Seals) Genus:----------Zalophus Species:-----------  Zalophus japonicus (Peters, 1866) Eared seals  differ from the true seals in having... More »
Burrowing Owl Last Updated on 2014-06-29 17:15:07 Wikipedia Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are a curious and expressive species of owl. They are related to other species of small owl in the genus Athene (Little Owl, Spotted Owlet, and Forest Owlet) due to genetic and physical similarities, but are sometimes put in a genus of their own, Speotyto, due to their unique behavior. Burrowing Owls are largely terrestrial and are the only owls known for being diurnal and ground-loving. They can often be seen foraging around their burrows during the day, but they typically avoid midday heat and do their hunting at night.   The Burrowing Owl is also known for its various personalities, as depicted in photography of the bird. Athene cunicularia goes by various other colloquial names as well including: Billy Owl, Ground Owl, Long-Legged Owl, Prairie Owl, and Prairie Dog Owl.  Burrowing Owls in the... More »