The Thorny Circle of Life

SCIENCE The presence of carnivores helps some plants thrive, a new study of life on the savanna reveals. (BBC) Use this activity to better understand the plants and animals of the African savanna. Teachers: Scroll all the way down for a short list of key resources in our “Teachers’ Toolkit.” Discussion Ideas Read the terrific BBC article on the African savanna food web. Then, look … Continue reading The Thorny Circle of Life

A Trick with a World Treat

FUN It’s nearly mid-October! Which means that anyplace you go, at least in the United States, you’re inundated with cinnamon-scented, ’tis-the-season tidings. But, let’s get to one of the best holidays first: Halloween. And let’s save some endangered species while doing it up. Here at National Geographic we’re on a mission (always) and we have a sneaking suspicion that many of you will like this one. Meet Mission: Animal … Continue reading A Trick with a World Treat

Media Monday: What do Ducklings Have in Common with Big Cats?

I came across this video last week. It’s a bird’s-eye view of a mother duck crossing a busy highway with her baby ducklings. It’s also a stunning reminder that we live among wildlife (no matter how small) and that our way of life impacts how animals survive. Like the ducks in the video, other animals have to cross highways and roads to get to their habitats or their … Continue reading Media Monday: What do Ducklings Have in Common with Big Cats?

Satellite Images: New Tool for Conservation

ENVIRONMENT If a picture is worth a thousand words, satellite images may tell a crucial story for conservationists and anyone else looking to protect tigers or other endangered species. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand big cats and their habitats. Discussion Ideas Look at our MapMaker Interactive, which displays a beautiful map layer of “Big Cat Ranges.” The Nat Geo News article … Continue reading Satellite Images: New Tool for Conservation

The Unlikely Leopard: Cause an Uproar

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend a pre-screening of the groundbreaking documentary The Unlikely Leopard at NG Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The captivating movie, filmed over the course of two years, follows a leopard cub from just after birth, until the day his mother abandons him. The filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, create a narrative that is at once entertaining, comical, and educational, bringing to light the plight of animals throughout the world. The film is laced with conservation messages, giving viewers a true sense of the challenges faced by leopards and other “big cats” trying to survive in the 21st Century.

As part of the NG Live! public event series, the filmmakers took part in a question-and-answer session following the screening.  They spoke passionately  about the lack of protection for big cats worldwide, and the growing impact of the fashion industry on the trade of animal skins.
To add muster to their message, The Jouberts, together with National Geographic, have created the Big Cats Initiative to promote research and advocacy on behalf of the world’s largest felines.  The catchy campaign, “Cause an Uproar“, encourages citizens to spread awareness about big cats and the steps that can be taken  to safeguard their survival.

Continue reading “The Unlikely Leopard: Cause an Uproar”