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Educational Series

Educational Series: Long Targeted for Extermination, Prairie Dogs Need Our Help

By Nick Engelfried Imagine a species that lives in towns of hundreds or thousands of individuals; that changes the surrounding landscape in profound ways; and in which individuals communicate with one another using a complex spoken language. This description may sound like it refers to human beings–but it also applies […]

Educational Series: Rodents Are Intelligent, Sensitive Animals, Not Fodder for Experiments

Animal research labs–where scientists perform experiments on living creatures to develop products or procedures for use on humans–have long been a major focus for animal welfare advocates. Images of monkeys and apes in tiny cages, dogs forced to undergo painful operations, or cats being injected with chemicals are almost certain […]

Educational Series: Incredible Kelp Forests With Countless Marine Animals are Facing Destruction

By Nick Engelfried Submerged beneath the waves, just a short ways from the shore along many parts of North America’s Pacific Coast, forests 150 feet or more in height sway gently back and forth with the tides. As impressive in their way as the Douglas-fir and redwood trees growing on […]

Educational Series: Wildlife Killing Contests are a Senseless Celebration of Slaughter and Cruelty

By Nick Engelfried Every year, in more than 40 states, countless numbers of wild coyotes, foxes, bobcats, rabbits, prairie dogs, and other wildlife are hunted down and murdered like trophies as part of legalized “killing contests.” These cruel events, which are largely unregulated and unfold far from the public view, […]

Educational Series: It’s Time to Stop Treating Pigs as Walking Meat

By Nick Engelfried More than probably any other animal species, pigs are considered by countless people around the world to be practically synonymous with meat. In the U.S. alone, approximately 120 million pigs are slaughtered every year to make ham, sausage, and other meat products consumers love. Yet, what is […]

Educational Series: Cougars Need Our Help After Centuries of Persecution

By Nick Engelfried Cougars, the largest wild cat historically found throughout North America, are also one of the most elusive and misunderstood of the continent’s mammals. Sometimes known by the alternative names mountain lion, puma, or panther, these feline predators seldom want to have anything to do with people–but human […]

Educational Series: Orcas, Majestic Predators of the Oceans, Need Our Help to Survive

By Nick Engelfried Few animals possess the ability to call up as many, often conflicting emotions in human beings as the orca. Sometimes known as “killer whales,” these remarkable creatures have sometimes been portrayed as killing machines that are to be feared for their adeptness as predators. More recently, growing […]

Educational Series: Animals at Roadside Zoos Endure Lives of Misery

By Nick Engelfried Zoos can be a fraught topic for people in the animal welfare and conservation world. Some maintain that properly run zoos serve important functions breeding endangered species and providing homes for animals who are no longer able to survive in the wild. Other animal advocates would rather […]

Educational Series: Overfishing is a Crisis for Marine Life

By Nick Engelfried The oceans are one of Earth’s great strongholds of biodiversity, home to hundreds of thousands of animal and plant species. From microscopic plankton to giant blue whales–the largest animals that ever existed–life in the oceans takes on a dizzying array of shapes and forms. Marine ecosystems are […]

Educational Series: Old Growth Forests and Their Animal Inhabitants are Disappearing

By Nick Engelfried When European colonists first arrived in North America, much of the continent was covered in ancient trees hundreds or even thousands of years old. Since the end of the last ice age, forests extended over vast swaths of what are now the United States and Canada, providing […]

Educational Series: Shy, Elusive Wolverines Are Clinging to Survival

By Nick Engelfried Solitary, powerful, and mysterious, wolverines have captured the imaginations of animal lovers around the world like few other creatures. Because of their extremely low population densities and tendency to avoid humans, few people will ever have the chance to see a wild wolverine in its natural habitat. […]

Educational Series: Pet Rabbits Need Space and Compassion, Not Cages

By Nick Engelfried With their cute appearance and docile reputation, domestic rabbits are one of the most popular pets in the United States, second only to cats and dogs. There is much to love about rabbits–however, many people who bring one home do not realize how much care and attention […]

Educational Series: Tasmanian Devils: Long-Persecuted and in Need of Help

By Nick Engelfried Few animals are as widely misunderstood as the Tasmanian devil, a species made famous by Looney Tunes, but which bears little resemblance to its cartoon namesake. Found only on the remote island of Tasmania off the southern tip of Australia, Tasmanian devils are in fact shy and […]

Educational Series: Tar Sands are a Wildlife Catastrophe

By Nick Engelfried Not far north of the contiguous U.S. border lies one of the largest industrial projects in human history, situated on top of one of the planet’s biggest petroleum deposits: the Canadian tar sands. In the tar sands, massive pieces of machinery mine the earth for a low-quality […]

Educational Series: Sea Turtles, Ancient Survivors of the Oceans, Could Soon be Extinct

By Nick Engelfried With evolutionary origins stretching back to the age of the dinosaurs, sea turtles are one of the oldest groups of large animals alive today. They range throughout the world’s oceans, venturing onto land only to lay their eggs, and are among the most beautiful and majestic of […]

Educational Series: Heat Waves Are Baking Wildlife Alive

By Nick Engelfried When marine biologists surveyed stretches of the Pacific Northwest coast after a record-smashing heat wave this past July, they discovered tens of millions of dead sea creatures roasted alive by the searing temperatures. Rocks in the intertidal zone were covered in dead mussels and barnacles, while the […]

Educational Series: Sharks, Apex Predators of the Oceans, Need Our Help to Survive

By Nick Engelfried Probably few animals evoke as much fear and even hatred as sharks, the ocean’s premier predators. Sharks have been vilified and portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters in popular culture and films like Jaws, leading to fundamental misunderstandings about their role in marine ecosystems. In reality, they are far […]

Educational Series: Bison Were Nearly Exterminated and Now Need Our Help

By Nick Engelfried At the start of the 19th century, an estimated 30-60 million American plains bison roamed over much of what is now the United States. Although concentrated in the Great Plains, they ranged from Pennsylvania all the way west to Washington State. The great bison herds were among […]

Educational Series: Elephants Stand at the Precipice of Extinction

By Nick Engelfried Elephants, majestic icons of the wilds of Africa and Asia, are the largest land animals alive today. Known for their intelligence and complex social behavior, they are also impressive for reasons that go well beyond their enormous size. Yet, these magnificent creatures could disappear within the next […]

Educational Series: Wetlands Are Vanishing And We Must Act Now

By Nick Engelfried Picture an endangered animal habitat and the first place that comes to mind might be a tropical rain forest or the melting Arctic. It likely won’t be a wetland. Although they are some of the most threatened and important ecosystems on the planet, marshes, swamps, and bogs […]

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