Category Archives: Conservation

Conservation innovation

The trumpet honeysuckle, a magnificent mass of coral tubular blooms, welcomes visitors at the Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden. The flowering vine – a magnet for hummingbirds, cardinals and butterflies – is a poster plant for this beautiful .65-acre landscape that’s sustained with rainwater alone.

Cypresswood is the first certified sustainable water-conservation garden in Houston and one of three such sites in Texas. The recognition arrived from the Sustainable Sites Initiative just in time for the 45th annual Earth Day on Tuesday. The initiative is a collaboration between the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden.

Read more

In Vietnam, A New Campaign To Curb the Rhino Horn Trade

The postcard-sized advertisements that appeared this winter at three health clubs in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, were unlike anything the clubs had ever displayed. Typical ads there promote upscale restaurants or golfing lessons that interest the club’s clientele of expatriates and wealthy Vietnamese. But the new ones showed an image of a rhinoceros whose horn had been replaced with, of all things, human feet. 

Read more

How waste wood works for forests

At first glance, they may look lush and green, but many of the nation’s forests also are chock-full of brush—often, invasive species and disease-transmitting biomass—just waiting for a spark. “One of the reasons wildfires are so catastrophic is that many forests are unhealthy and there’s a lot of excess biomass in the forest,” says Joseph Jakes. “By creating new and expanded markets for the low-value biomass, we aim to provide economic incentives for people to come in and selectively remove the hazardous biomass—which will simultaneously accelerate forest restoration and create jobs in the U.S. forest products industry.”

Read more

Reef solutions through fish management

In order to understand how algae can take over from coral on reefs, we have to see how the human influence on global and local scales functions. The global scale covers, basically, carbon emissions and ocean acidification. Locally, the fishing industry has to take responsibility for reducing the herbivorous fish populations to a ludicrous low. This has been done partly by failing to fish for predator species, but almost universally, people overfish the herbivores. Water quality and disease are both minor factors in the most common reef degradations.

Read more