Malaysia’s Butterfly Conservation

Among the most multitudinous of invertebrates, butterflies are also among the most gloriously symbolic of human aspiration. Ancient Greek poets, and modern science have been mesmerized by what butterflies say to our species.

Of the 175,000 or so butterfly species that have thus far been discovered worldwide, over 1,200 inhabit Malaysia, the majority in East Malaysia… Continue reading

Namibia Wildlife Preservation

Many years ago a remarkable woman, Marietta Van der Merhe, and her family, found themselves taking in orphaned wildlife from throughout Namibia. Today, their sprawling semi-arid sanctuary, Harnas (meaning “shield” in Zulu) is home to hundreds of otherwise doomed creatures. Namibia’s fewer than 2 million people and 800,000 square kilometers translate into a theoretically sparse human ecological footprint. But this impression is soon diminished with the… Continue reading

Holland: Reintroducing Bears into the Wild

Globally, there exist between six and eight distinct species of brown bear. The number varies because of the conspicuous variations in Alaskan populations. The approximately 50,000 remaining wild Brown Bears in Europe are distributed throughout ten wild populations, mostly in Russia, although 15,000 of them are in Eastern Europe, a few still roaming throughout the Alps in France and Italy, even into northwestern… Continue reading

Chile’s Ecological Restoration Program

Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, has been politically Chilean since the late 19th century. Its ancient legacy of ecological disarray offers a message to humanity that transcends political boundaries. DSF went to Rapa Nui to chronicle that story for “Hotspots”. There DSF filmed the last few remaining endemic species (a tree and a skink) and paid homage to the environmental restoration efforts underway by both… Continue reading

Protected Areas in Bahrain

In one of the world’s oldest known literary adventures, the Babylonian epic Gilgamesh, circa 2000 B.C., the royal protagonist Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, searches for the God Ut-Napishtim said to know the secret of immortality. The quest takes Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu (a wild man reared among gazelles) to Dilmun, reputedly the original paradise (a rival claim with Yemen’s Socotra) and the subsequent Cradle… Continue reading