A lesson from Colombia: how to defeat exotic frog smugglers
Collectors / Conservationists / Scientists / Vice

A lesson from Colombia: how to defeat exotic frog smugglers

The first time, it was 400 frogs in a backpack. It was 1998 or perhaps 1999, and Colombian conservationist Ivan Lozano-Ortega was working at the Bogota Wildlife Rescue Centre—a drop-off point for the authorities who confiscated living animals from smugglers. Their catch that day had been a batch of poison frogs. “The frogs were in … Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s antivenom leap forward
Al Jazeera / Healthcare professionals / Researchers / Scientists

Sri Lanka’s antivenom leap forward

Colombo, Sri Lanka – In 2006, a Russell’s viper sank one fang into Sanath Weeraratne’s left hand. Weeraratne immediately started to bleed profusely as the anticoagulant properties in the venom took effect. He knew what could come next: more bleeding from the rectum and the gums and blood-stained vomit. The blood could seep into the … Continue reading

In the field with Sri Lanka’s pioneering leopard researchers
Conservationists / Researchers / Scientists / Vice

In the field with Sri Lanka’s pioneering leopard researchers

Wilpattu, Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park, was once a warzone. The fighting between the Sri Lankan state and the militant separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that began in the 1980s had spilled over into these wild lands. Wildlife researchers Anjali Watson and Andrew Kittle remember hearing stories from soldiers stationed … Continue reading

A new approach to conservation in Sri Lanka: The case of the Western Purple Faced Langur
Conservationists / Researchers / Scientists / The Sunday Times

A new approach to conservation in Sri Lanka: The case of the Western Purple Faced Langur

The raucous troupe of monkeys that visit Dr. Jinie Dela’s house in Panadura do not realize how closely they are being studied. Dr.Dela, a biologist, with a doctoral degree in primate ecology and behaviour, treats her sprawling one-acre garden like an enormous, open laboratory. The primates who come visiting, sometimes on a daily basis, have … Continue reading

Robots lending a helping hand on Australia’s farms
Al Jazeera / Engineers / Farmers / Scientists

Robots lending a helping hand on Australia’s farms

For a change, Kevin Sanders has decided to let someone, or more accurately, something else count the apples in his orchard. This isn’t the first time his idyllic farm down in Australia’s Yarra Valley has played host to robots and their handlers, so Sanders knows what to expect. Moving soundlessly down the corridors between trees, … Continue reading

£417k study to improve research ethics in humanitarian crises
Academics / Aid Workers / Healthcare professionals / Researchers / Scientists / The Sunday Times

£417k study to improve research ethics in humanitarian crises

Sitting among the members of a displaced community in Puttalam a few years ago, Dr. Chesmal Siriwardhana found himself thinking about the ethical problems around health research. To get to this point – where he was able to meet people who had been driven out of their homes by the LTTE, had been displaced for … Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Ancient innovations combat water woes
Aid Workers / Al Jazeera / Engineers / Farmers / Researchers / Scientists

Sri Lanka: Ancient innovations combat water woes

Puhudiwula, Sri Lanka –  In the district of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, Puhudiwula is a village of abandoned wells. Though new and well-built, these wells can be found in every garden, costing around 100,000 rupees ($700) to build. The villagers, however, will not drink or even cook with the water, which they believe is driving … Continue reading