About Matt Bracken

Posts by Matt Bracken:

Protecting the mangrove forests of Sri Lanka

Protecting the mangrove forests of Sri Lanka

15 Photos

Sri Lanka’s government and environmentalists are working to protect tens of thousands of acres of mangrove forests — the seawater-tolerant trees that help protect and build landmasses, better absorb carbon from the environment mitigating effects of global warming and reducing impact of natural disasters like tsunamis. Authorities have identified about 37,000 acres of mangrove forests in Sri Lanka that are earmarked for preservation.

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Cloning California’s giant trees to reverse climate change

Cloning California’s giant trees to reverse climate change

13 Photos

Volunteers with the nonprofit group Archangel Ancient Tree Archive collect genetic samples from ancient trees and clone them in a lab to be planted in the forest. The group believes the giant sequoias and coastal redwoods are blessed with some of the heartiest genetics of any trees on earth and that propagating them will help reverse climate change.

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Pablo Escobar’s pet hippos

Pablo Escobar’s pet hippos

23 Photos

More than 20 years after drug lord Pablo Escobar died in a gunfight with police, a strange legacy survives him: his pet hippos. Escobar bought four hippos from a zoo in California and flew them to his ranch in the early 1980s. Left to themselves on his Napoles Estate, they bred to become supposedly the biggest wild hippo herd outside Africa — a local curiosity and a hazard. Estimates put them at about 35 in the area nowadays.

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Taking on gang violence in El Salvador

Taking on gang violence in El Salvador

13 Photos

After becoming the world’s murder capital last year and posting an equally bloody start to 2016, El Salvador has seen its monthly homicide rates fall by about half. The government attributes the drop to a tough military crackdown on the country’s powerful gangs, while the gangs themselves claim credit for a nonaggression pact between the three biggest criminal groups.

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