How the Yurok Tribe Is Bringing Back the California Condor

Condor 746, on loan from a captive breeding program in Idaho, traveled to California in spring 2022. He’s the first California condor in over a century to reach the ancestral land of the Yurok Tribe, and made the journey to mentor four young birds in a condor facility in Redwood National Park. Condors are very social, learning best and benefitting from being under the wing of an elder. In this piece, Sharon Levy beautifully traces the journey of the species, and the efforts of the tribe to ensure the bird’s successful reintroduction to the wild.

Reintroducing condors to the wild proved difficult, however, and the process became a dramatic lesson for biologists on the importance of parenting and the slow pace of growing up among these long-lived, highly social birds. Scientists learned that time spent with adults was critical to the behavioral development of young condors. They also found that in a species where adults follow and protect their offspring for a year or more after the birds fledge, youngsters pioneering landscapes empty of condors require lots of human babysitting.

Source: Undark
Published: Jun 22, 2022
Length: 13 minutes (3,443 words)

To Study Zika, They Offered Their Kids. Then They Were Forgotten.

“Years after agreeing to take part in research, families of children with congenital Zika syndrome are feeling abandoned.”

Source: Undark
Published: Oct 6, 2021
Length: 14 minutes (3,684 words)

COVID’s Cassandra: The Swift, Complicated Rise of Eric Feigl-Ding

“The scientist has gained popularity as COVID’s excitable play-by-play announcer. But some experts want to pull his plug.”

Author: Jane C. Hu
Source: Undark
Published: Nov 25, 2020
Length: 28 minutes (7,200 words)

When Children’s COVID-19 Symptoms Won’t Go Away

Some parents are reporting that their kids’ COVID symptoms have been lingering for months.

Source: Undark
Published: Sep 2, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,942 words)

Reefer Madness 2.0: What Marijuana Science Says, and Doesn’t Say

Fear-mongering through data (or a lack thereof): on Alex Berenson, Malcolm Gladwell, and “what happens when tidy narratives outrun the science.”

Source: Undark
Published: Jan 21, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,969 words)

For the National Parks, a Reckoning

When it was established in 1916, the National Parks Service was meant to provide natural attractions to visitors. But in the 1960s, A. Starker Leopold wrote a report that would change the future of the parks, transforming it from a tourist hub to a leading agency for ecosystem science. Today, park rangers are the first responders to the effects of climate change, tasked with preserving a wilderness that is “no longer behaving like it’s supposed to.”

Source: Undark
Published: Sep 13, 2017
Length: 24 minutes (6,000 words)

In Defectors From the North, Doctors in South Korea Find Hope — and Data

A program tracking the health of North Korean refugees rests on the premise that someday, health care will once again be a shared responsibility.

Source: Undark
Published: Jun 20, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,660 words)