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Magazine Highlights March 2020



By Robert Kunzig; photos by Luca Locatelli

  • CIRCULAR ECONOMY: In nature, things move in circles: Oak leaves drift to the forest floor, where they feed bacteria, fungi, and slugs, which eventually die and return nutrients to the soil that nourishes the oak. But humans have thrown a monkey wrench into the elegant machinery. We extract resources from one part of nature, transform them into consumer goods and services, and dump the waste in a place where it’s a pollutant rather than a resource. This feature explores the goal of a circular economy — to extract value from most of the trash we now discard — and what that might look like.


Interviews with National Geographic senior environment writer Robert Kunzig
Interviews with photographer Luca Locatelli, who specializes in environmental photography
Stunning imagery showcasing trash, recycled goods and the beginnings of a circular economy around the world


By Jason Bittel , photos by Ingo Arndt

  • WHAT’S THE BUZZ: Among the most important group of insects to humans, bees are what ensure we have food on our plates and biodiversity in our landscapes. Yet when most people think of bees, it’s either bee stings during summer picnics or the impending bee-pocalypse. This feature brings readers up close and personal with bees, revealing how they defend themselves, stay warm or cool, and socialize.


Interviews with contributing writer and animal expert Jason Bittel
Intimate photos and never-before-photographed behavior of bees, their hives and their honey


By Rene Ebersole, photos by Jasper Doest

  • JAPANESE MACAQUES: Japanese macaques, commonly known as ’snow monkeys’, are found in the wild only in Japan. Living farther north than any other non-human primate species they were revered in Japanese culture as a bridge between man and the gods. However, their god-like status has not protected them from the indignities of human contact. In contemporary Japan, the macaque has gone from a beloved religious symbol to a secular scapegoat, an outcast and a trained performer – sacred no more. This feature both asks and answers questions surrounding the treatment of these animals


Interviews with wildlife crime investigative journalist Rene Ebersole
Heartbreaking images of Japanese macaques


By Nina Strochlic

  • WOMEN: A CENTURY OF CHANGE: As part of National Geographic’s yearlong series on women and ahead of International Women’s Day in March, this feature pulls back the veil on women who never were recognized for their achievements in exploration. These women’s accomplishments in particular were paramount in National Geographic’s past, present and future.


Portraits of National Geographic female trailblazers

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