National Geographic

In the Amazon, farming the forest to save the forest

Open a new road in the Amazon and deforestation most often follows, creating a landscape of big sky, white cows, and green pastures. But on back roads around the frontier town of Nova Califórnia, in a remote corner of northwestern Brazil, a renewed verdant canopy closes in.  As we crawl down a slick, red-mud road… » Read More

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As halibut decline, Alaska Native fishers square off against industrial fleets

Each year in mid-June, Father John, dressed in long black robes, heads to the small boat harbor on St. Paul, a tiny island of 500 souls in the middle of the Bering Sea. It’s the start of the fishing season, and the Blessing of the Fleet is a community affair, an opportunity to give best… » Read More

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The battle to control America’s ‘most destructive’ species: feral pigs

A layer of frost clings to the grass on the morning Anthony DeNicola sets out to check his trap. It’s late January in South Carolina. The sun is rising, the fog is lifting, and the frogs are croaking from somewhere in the dark loblolly pines. In a whisper, DeNicola explains what will happen. “I wait… » Read More

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Widely used neonic insecticides may be a threat to mammals, too

On an overcast January day in Estelline, South Dakota, Jonathan Lundgren zips his quilted jacket over a fleece, pulls down a wool cap, and crunches through the snow on Blue Dasher Farm to his barn, a milking parlor that he has kitted out as a biochemical laboratory. This story is part of our biodiversity initiative. In this… » Read More

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A grassroots push to save vanishing birds and bees forces change on Germany’s farms

When Norbert Schäffer was a child growing up in Bavaria, gray partridges picked through his parents’ garden, wetlands teemed with newts and toads, and birds like skylarks and lapwings were common over the fields. But when Schäffer moved back to the area in 2014 after nearly two decades of conservation work in Britain, those touchstones… » Read More

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Food waste–and food insecurity–rising amid coronavirus panic

In the best of times, the United States wastes 40 percent of its food annually, amounting to 63 million tons. The collective response to the coronavirus pandemic, from panic buying at grocery stores to restaurant closures, is bound to inflate that percentage, food loss experts say, at a time when food insecurity is on the… » Read More

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Arizona’s water supplies are drying up. How will its farmers survive?

You could almost visit Arizona without noticing it was a farming state. If you flew into Phoenix in an aisle seat, for instance, and spent your time in the city, you might not see it. But if you happened to drive south beyond the car shops and warehouses, across the sandy flats of mesquite and creosote, over… » Read More

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Sea cucumbers are being eaten to death

Two Moroccan divers stood on the rocks an hour before sunrise facing the gray Atlantic. Their wet suits were torn and patched, their flippers held together with tape. Unable to afford proper diving belts, the men wore thick bands of rubber strung with lead weights. Each carried a large black inner tube for floating out… » Read More

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The simple river-cleaning tactics that big farms ignore

Ione Cleverley wasn’t eager to break up with her tenant, who had been farming 88 acres of her central Iowa land for more than a decade. He was affable and hardworking, but after harvesting his corn and soybeans, the farmer left her fields unplanted. Cleverley had learned that each spring, as the soil warmed and… » Read More

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