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GPS Tracking of Hammer-headed Bats

GPS Tracking of Hammer-headed Bats
(October 17, 2019) GPS tracking devices placed on hammer-headed bats in the Republic of the Congo have given scientists the first detailed look at the daily routines of these suspected Ebola virus reservoirs.  The GPS tracking is part of a collaborative study involving WCS' Health Program and the United States' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), to learn whether environmental factors—such as the length of the rainy season or high temperatures during the dry season—a...

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Twelve Years of Tracking Ebola in the Congo

Twelve Years of Tracking Ebola in the Congo
(October 17, 2019) "It's not for the faint of heart" said Dr. Karesh — a former chief field veterinarian at the Wildlife Conservation Society —  referring to an unusual research project where our scientists and rangers have worked under extremely challenging conditions deep in the forests of the Congo for the past 12 years, trying to predict human Ebola outbreaks by detecting them first in apes and other forest animals:New York Times: You’re Swabbing a Dead Gorilla for Ebola.Then I...

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Benefits of Bats

Benefits of Bats
(September 25, 2019) While often vilified, bats actually bring many irreplaceable benefits to their ecosystems. They benefit caves by providing valuable nutrients in their guano (which is an excellent fertilizer, and is sometimes also used for crops!); they feed on huge volumes of insects each night including agricultural pests and mosquitoes; many plants rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal; bats serve as prey for falcons, hawks, owls and other predators; and study of their unique features, such as echol...

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New Protections for Saiga Antelope

New Protections for Saiga Antelope
(September 01, 2019) WCS colleagues advocated for wildlife at the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, with the Mongolia wildlife health team leading efforts to save Saiga, by working with the governments of Mongolia and the USA to have saiga listed in Appendix 1 during the CITES CoP18. Inclusion of saiga on Appendix I of CITES will help ensure that international commercial trade will not c...

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Saving Guatemala’s Vanishing Macaws

Saving Guatemala’s Vanishing Macaws
(July 23, 2019) Less than 1,000 scarlet macaws remain within the habitat corridor spanning Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. They are threatened by habitat loss and increasingly, by trafficking for the pet trade. Compounding the problem, their nests are also attacked by aggressive, invasive Africanized honey bees—also known as “killer bees”—that sting parent birds to death or drive them away, leaving fledglings to starve and are also under threat from forest fires raging in key nature reser...

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