2019 in review: Amid a biodiversity crisis, bright spots shone through

© Conservation International/Mark Erdmann

Nature saw its ups and downs in 2019, and Conservation News was there for it all. This month, we are revisiting some of the most interesting and significant stories and issues we covered in the past year. 

Amid countless headlines about the grave state of Earth’s wildlife, there were a few bright spots: Conservation International scientists made exciting discoveries and technological advancements that could transform the way we understand and protect millions of species. 

Here are some of our most-read stories from 2019 about the trailblazing work of our scientists. 

Mass extinctions caused by climate change threaten to upend nature as we know it — and the blame for the damage lays at humanity’s feet. A book by renowned Conservation International scientist Lee Hannah and climate expert Thomas Lovejoy lays out the science behind the problem and reveals the steps we need to take to fix it. 

Read more here.

A groundbreaking new effort allows scientists to snap and share animal “selfies” with people all over the world. This data is critical to crafting smart policies for wildlife conservation that will protect animals from numerous threats of extinction, from poaching to excessive logging. 

Read more here

In June, an “ecological SWAT team” that explored a remote, rugged rainforest in Honduras released their spectacular wildlife findings, including species thought to be extinct and at least one completely new to science. Conservation News talked to the scientist who led the exploration about how to maximize conservation efforts in the places that need it the most. 

Read more here.

Two Conservation International scientists — including one of the world’s most prolific fish discoverers — spend their days chasing down one of the ocean’s largest and most mysterious creatures. Conservation News spoke to the team about their latest discoveries and the invasive enemy terrorizing these enigmatic giants. 

Read more here

For many people, discovering a single species would be the achievement of a lifetime. For this Conservation International scientist, it’s just another day at the office — in 2019 alone, he discovered 11.

Check out some of those species here.

Kiley Price is a staff writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates here. Donate to Conservation International here.

Cover image: Conservation International and Georgia Aquarium embarked on a whale shark expedition in Cendrawasih Bay to conduct the world's first health assessments on wild whale sharks, Indonesia.(© Conservation International/Mark Erdmann)