For the endangered animals of our planet—like the rare and regal snow leopard—climate change means much more than hotter days and intensified storms. These creatures face the prospect of a significant transformation of the habitats that sustain them.
Forget “the dog ate it.” I heard the most memorable excuse for missing homework when I was a high school teacher in Vanuatu—a country of 83 islands in the South Pacific. “I was leaping from a 30 foot wooden tower with only vines attached to my ankles,” explained my student, Ruben Bong.
As a specialist in mapping, Gregg Verutes never expected his work to translate quickly and dramatically into conservation victories on the ground. But one map he created had stark and immediate impact. The depiction—of Belize’s coast overlaid with a black patch the size and shape of the Gulf Coast oil spill—impressed on average Belizeans just what was at stake in an upcoming referendum on whether to allow further oil exploration and drilling in coastal waters.