To ward off extinctions, scientists get creative

From coaching captive animals and breeding new variants to deploying dogs and drones, conservationists aim to nurture species.

This story appears in the October 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Some scientists contend that we’re heading toward what would be the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth. Human activity has increased the rate of extinction by several orders of magnitude. A recent UN report says around one million species “are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

That prospect is grim but not inevitable. Across the world, scientists are using new technologies and unorthodox approaches to bring species back. From lending a hand in breeding to training dogs to sniff out rare gorillas, scientists are taking extraordinary measures to save the animals they love.

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