Conservation newsFounded in 1999, Mongabay is a leading provider of environmental science and conservation news.
Nature photo blog lauched by mongabay.com
(07/10/2005) Today mongabay.com, a leading rainforest information site, announced the launch of a photo blog featuring images of wilderness from around the world. The aim of the new blog, hosted on Google's blogger.com and found at mongabay.blogspot.com, is to raise interest and appreciation of wildlife and wildlands.
Honduras wins aid pact tied to human rights, anti-corruption efforts
(07/10/2005) Last month Honduras became to second country to receive aid under the controlversial Millennium Challenge Account program when it signed a five-year $215 million funding deal. The Millennium Challenge Account gives grants to countries committed to respecting the rule of law and reducing corruption.
Cultured meat grown in lab petri dish could help solve world food problems
(07/09/2005) Experiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy.
Studies prove people of Madagascar came from Borneo and Africa
(07/08/2005) Studies released earlier this year found the people of Madagascar have origins in Borneo and East Africa.
Madagascar hopes movie will boost tourism and economy
(07/07/2005) The Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar is hoping that a recently released Dreamworks' movie will spur tourism in the country despite its lukewarm success in the American box office.
Rainforest information site for school kids launched
(07/07/2005) Today mongabay.com launched a kids-oriented version of its popular web site on tropical rainforests. Kids.mongabay.com offers information on tropical rainforest ecology.
A successful year of shareholder advocacy for Green Century Capital Management
(07/07/2005) Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century), a Boston-based environmentally responsible investment company, has recently concluded its most active and successful year of shareholder advocacy to date. Using its investments to encourage greater corporate environmental responsibility, Green Century has pushed for and won change on a broad range of environmental issues, from the fate of the Arctic Refuge to genetically engineered food. Green Century filed seven shareholder resolutions this year and engaged in dialogue with an additional ten companies in its efforts to improve the long-term financial and environmental performance of some of the nation's largest companies.
Death rate on China's roads highest in the world
(07/07/2005) Car consumption in China has boomed in the past couple of years. After soaring 56% in 2002, demand for cars in China jumped to 75% in before slowing in 2004 to around 15%. This growth in the number of drivers on China's expanding network of roads has not come without a significant cost; China's roadways are some of the most dangerous on the planet.
Global warming shrinks sacred glacier in the Andes
(07/06/2005) The melting of a glacier in the Peruvian Andes due to global climate change is impacting the religious practices of local people, according to an article run last month in The Wall Street Journal.
Progress made in fighting deadly virus spread by pigs and bats
(07/06/2005) According to two new reports in Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have made an important breakthrough in the effort to fight the deadly Nipah virus which killed more than 100 people in 1999. The outbreak, which also resulted in the culling in 1 million pigs across Malaysia, was later traced to fruit bats.
Controlling Wildlife Trade Key to Preventing Health Crises, Study Says
(07/05/2005) According to a study by the New York-based Wildlife conservation Society, controlling the movements of wildlife in markets is a cost-effective means of keeping potential deadly pandemics such as SARS and influenza from occurring. The study appears in the July edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The cost of controlling the spread of diseases afflicting both human and animal populations has reached hundreds of billions of dollars globally.
A long-term approach to helping the poor in Africa through private enterprise
(07/05/2005) This past Saturday millions of people watched the anti-poverty "Live 8" concerts held in London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Philadelphia and Barrie, Canada. Live 8 coincides with tomorrow's G8 summit of world leaders and aims to raise awareness of the need for aid, debt relief and fairer trade for Africa. While the cancellation of debt and delivery of aid to Africa is a noble and needed cause for a desparately poor continent, policy makers will need to ensure that funds are spent wisely to maximize the benefits for the largest number of Africans.
Mobilizing seniors to fight poverty in Africa
(07/04/2005) One program that could have potential for real poverty alleviation in Africa is a "Gray Corps" concept which would take advantage of the experience and expertise of aging Americans (aged 65 and older), a segment of the population that is expected to grow from approximately 35 million in 2000 to an estimated 71 million in 2030. This group could be key to addressing a number of looming social issues both here in the United States and abroad.
16% of frogs species in Sri Lanka may be gone, new survey finds
(07/02/2005) In a study published Thursday in Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, researchers confirmed the discovery of 35 new frog species in Sri Lanka over the past decade brining the number of frog species in the island country to 105. However, the survey found that 17 of these species have disappeared and at least another 11 face imminent extinction unless their habitat is protected.
'Noodling' or catching giant catfish with your hands now legal in Georgia
(07/01/2005) 'Noodling' becomes legal in Georgia today.
Climate change could ruin tourism in the Mediterranean
(07/01/2005) According to a new study the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), global climate change will bring hotter, drier summers to the Mediterranean and significantly impact two of the region's largest industries, agriculture and tourism.
646-pound catfish believed to be world's largest fish
(06/30/2005) Thai fishermen caught a 646-pound catfish believed to have been the largest freshwater fish ever recorded, a researcher said Thursday. The 8.9 foot long Mekong giant catfish was the heaviest recorded fish since Thailand started keeping records in 1981.
Toad on brink of extinction, scientists race to study for bioactive compounds
(06/29/2005) Following the construction of a dam in Tanzania, the Kihansi Spray Toad sits on the brink of extinction. Scientists are racing to study the amphibian for bioactive compounds with potential medical applications.
Siberian tiger population stabilizes according to new census figures
(06/28/2005) Results of the latest full range survey indicate that tiger numbers in Russia appear to be stable, say the coordinators of a 2005 winter effort to count the animals, led by the New York-based Wildlife conservation Society.
Ebola, SARS battle requires new look at humans, livestock, and wildlife relationships
(06/28/2005) The threat of potential pandemics such as Ebola, SARS, and avian influenza demands a more holistic approach to disease control, one that prevents diseases from crossing the divide between humans, their livestock, and wildlife, according to a report in the journal Foreign Affairs. This "One World, One Health" concept, as described by Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) veterinary staff, calls for the integration of efforts to deal proactively with disease threats to human and animal health before they reach crisis levels.
New UN Atlas shows environmental transition in North America
(06/06/2005) New UN Atlas shows environmental transition in North America
The Congo rain forest, an overview of a threatened ecosystem
(06/05/2005) Known as the heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad, the Congo region has long conjured up thoughts of pygmies, mythical beasts, dreadful plagues, and cannibals. It is a land made famous by the adventures of Stanley and Livingstone and known as a place of brutality and violence for its past -- the days of the Arab slave and ivory trade, its long history of tribal warfare -- and its present -- the ethnic violence and massacres of today.
Mayors agree on 'green cities' environmental pact
(06/05/2005) Mayors from around the world on Sunday signed an international treaty to make their cities more environmentally conscious that calls for boosting use of public transportation, drastic cuts to the volume of trash sent to landfills and ensured access to potable water.
UN Atlas highlights changing environment in Latin America
(06/05/2005) UN Atlas highlights changing environment in Latin America
Environmental change in Europe shown in new UN photo Atlas
(06/05/2005) Environmental change in Europe shown in new UN photo Atlas
New UN Atlas shows satellite images of environmental change in Asia
(06/05/2005) New UN Atlas shows satellite images of environmental change in Asia
Atlas shows Africa impacted by war, environmental degradation, population growth
(06/05/2005) Atlas shows Africa impacted by war, environmental degradation, population growth
Saving the Amazonian Rainforest Through Agricultural Certification
(06/03/2005) John Cain Carter is a Texan rancher who believes that landowners, despite being held in low regard by environmentalists, may be the potential saviors of the rainforest. Carter, among other somewhat environmentally-conscious, yet profit-oriented landowners, wants to promote responsible agricultural practices by encouraging consumers to provide incentives to growers and producers.
Brazilian environment chief arrested on illegal forest-clearing charges
(06/03/2005) Blairo Maggi, governor of Brazil's Mato Grosso state and the world's largest soybean farmer, froze logging-permit approvals and fired his environment chief, one of dozens arrested yesterday on illegal forest-clearing charges.
Protectors of wildlife in war-torn Congo recognized with new Award
(06/01/2005) Abraham Prize Awarded to Families of Murdered Guards, Survivors of Poaching, Rebel Attacks; UNESCO World Heritage Site Parks Still Under Siege.
The Great Noodling Experiment: Hand-fishing for giant catfish now legal
(06/01/2005) In the deep South and parts of the Midwest, there exists an extreme type of fishing that has nurtured devotees and opponents alike. Noodling involves the catching of massive catfish -- creatures that can weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kilograms) -- with the fisherman's bare hands.
The real story of Madagascar; new information site explores the island
(05/31/2005) Mongabay.com today announced the official launch of WildMadagascar.org, an information site on the island country of Madagascar. The site features more than 3000 photos from across Madagsacar in addition to information on the country's unique flora and fauna, national park profiles, and a wealth of other resources including maps, a travel forum, and news updates.
Dancing lemur attracts tourists to island of Madagascar
(05/30/2005) In the dry deciduous forests of south western Madagascar there lives a lemur that loudly cusses but "dances" like a ballet performer. Verreaux's sifaka is among the most popular of lemur species, a group of primates endemic to islands off the southeastern coast of Africa. While threatened, Verreaux's sifaka is easily spotted is several of Madagascar's more accessible parks.
Gray Corps of senior citizens could help fight poverty, health problems in developing world
(05/30/2005) According to recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030. It is this growing segment of the population that could be key to addressing a number of looming social issues both here in the United States and abroad.
China's Imminent Water Crisis
(05/30/2005) China has long suffered from alternating periods of severe flooding and drought. Combined with high pollution levels and a history of heedless and haphazard policies, the country is witnessing a precipitous drop in this most essential supply.
Prize recognizes largest contributor to Amazon rainforest destruction
(05/27/2005) The environmental group Greenpeace nominated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and five others for its first "Golden Chainsaw" prize -- to be awarded to the Brazilian deemed to have contributed most to the Amazon's destruction.
Paving of road brings change in the Amazon rainforest
(05/27/2005) Two articles on the effects of the BR163 highway from the AP.
Second "uncontacted" tribe in Amazon rain forest threatened by loggers
(05/27/2005) A Brazilian Indian tribe armed with bows and arrows and unseen for years has been spotted in a remote Amazon region where clashes with illegal loggers are threatening its existence.
Tourism in Madagascar; Visting the World's Most Unusual Island
(05/26/2005) Madagascar is a place like no other. Separated from mainland Africa for some 160 millions years, 80% of its native flora and fauna are unique to the island.
World Bank aims to reduce deforestation rates by 10% by 2010 with help from WWF
(05/25/2005) WWF and the World Bank (WB) today announced an ambitious global program aimed at reducing global deforestation rates by 10% by 2010.
Developing sustainable business models that address the needs of the world's poor
(05/25/2005) People involved with international development and poverty alleviation programs are increasingly looking toward the private sector for inspiration and assistance. Many believe that involving business in such efforts will not only bring wealth, respect, dignity, and improved education and health to the world's poor but also prove to be a profitable business strategy.
Shareholders ask ExxonMobil to produce report on risks of oil drilling in sensitive areas
(05/25/2005) According Strong support demonstrates that investors believe that drilling in protected areas like the Arctic Refuge is bad for business and bad for the environment.
ExxonMobil asked to stay out of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by shareholder group
(05/25/2005) Green Century Capital Management, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, and Clean Yield Asset Management will be attending the ExxonMobil shareholder meeting later this week in an effort to convince the company to stay out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to improve company policies on operations in other protected and sensitive areas worldwide. The groups have filed a shareholder resolution with the company on this topic and ExxonMobil shareholders will vote on the proposal at Wednesday's annual meeting.
Helping the poor by selling them stuff
(05/24/2005) Helping the poor by selling them stuff; poverty alleviation through private enterprise. In his book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, Prahalad argues that by regarding the world's masses, who he terms "the bottom of the pyramid," as potential customers, businesses and the poor will be better off. Prahalad suggests that the private sector may do a better job eradicating poverty, building dignity and respect, encouraging entrepreneurship, and reducing dependency than handouts under traditional aid programs
Recordings of coral reef sounds attract fish
(05/24/2005) Using recordings of reef sounds may increase reef fish stocks depleted by shipping traffic, underwater drilling and overfishing. Scientists have discovered that some species of young coral reef fish are lured back to home reefs by sounds they hear while still developing in the egg.
Green party quits government to protest Amazon deforestation
(05/24/2005) According to a report from Reuters, legislators for Brazil's Green Party have quit the government in protest of its failure to slow deforestation in the Amazon.
T3Ci signs RFID analytics pact with Procter & Gamble
(05/23/2005) T3Ci, the leading RFID analytics and applications company, and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) today announced a multi-year, non-exclusive joint development agreement to collaboratively identify and build high value RFID applications designed to leverage the EPCglobal RFID standards.
Why visit the real island of Madagascar?
(05/23/2005) Later this week Dreamworks releases Madagascar, an animated film depicting a group of zoo escapees who visit the island by the same name off the eastern coast of southern Africa. While the film takes certain liberties with its representation of the country, The real-life Madagascar is a fascinating place to visit. Madagascar's wildlife is among the best in the world in terms of diversity, abundance, and approachability and travel to Madagascar for this purpose is most rewarding. Madagascar also offers spectacular landscapes, an unusual history, and a countryside full of generally friendly and wonderful people.
Tsunami relief, rainforest attack; aid groups conflict over deforestation and reconstruction
(05/22/2005) Tsunami reconstruction efforts result in deforestation.
A look at why is Madagascar so poor
(05/22/2005) Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries. In the Human Development Index of 2003, an indicator created by the United Nations Development Programme which measures achievements in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income, Madagascar was ranked #149 out of 175 counties. Most Malagasy live on less than a dollar per day and nearly half of the country's children under five years of age are malnourished.
Renewable surf energy; Wave farm to harvest electricity from sea swells
(05/21/2005) A new wave farm will be used to generate electricity from sea swells.
Rainforest loss in the Amazon tops 200,000 square miles, new figures from Brazilian government
(05/20/2005) New figures from the Brazilian government show that 10,088 square miles of rain forest were destroyed in the 12 months ending in August 2004. Deforestation in the Amazon in 2004 was the second worst ever as rain forest was cleared for cattle ranches and soy farms.
Photos of new monkey species found in Africa
(05/20/2005) Photos of the new monkey species discovered in remote mountains in the southern Tanzania.
Why sustainably-managed eco-friendly wood is more expensive for consumers
(05/19/2005) Eco-friendly wood is all the rage these days. Companies from Ikea to Home Depot require their suppliers of tropical wood to be certified by various organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which aim to ensure wood is harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner. Typically, sustainablly managed wood products are more costly for consumers. Why is this wood more expensive?
Farming the world's largest fish - an alternative to deforestation
(05/19/2005) Integrated aquaculture offers great potential for sustainable poverty allievation in the Amazon region. It reduces the need to clear land for subsistence agriculture while generating significant economic and nutritional benefits for poor Amazonian colonists.
New monkey discovered in Tanzania
(05/19/2005) Africa's first new species of monkey for over 20 years has been discovered in remote mountains in the southern Tanzania. The Highland Mangabey was first discovered by biologists from the Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) in a remote highland forest.
Vampire Fish discovered in the Amazon
(05/19/2005) A new species, dubbed the 'vampire fish,' was recently discovered in the Araguaia River of the Amazon Basin.
Should environmentalists fear logging or learn to understand its impact?
(05/18/2005) Environmentalists usually oppose logging, associating it with deforestation and biodiversity loss. A new report, Life after logging: reconciling wildlife conservation and production forestry in Indonesian Borneo, from CIFOR suggests that in reality, many logging operations have a lesser impact than than generally believed by conservationists. Further, since more forests in Borneo -- the area of study -- are allocated for logging than for protected areas it is imperative that we have a better understanding of how biological diversity and ecological services can be maintained in such areas and how they can be integrated with protected areas into "multi-functional conservation landscapes." conservationists, loggers, and policy-makers alike need to recognize that logged-over forests have conservation value and work to ensure that these areas are indeed used for this purpose especially when other options for biodiversity conservation are not available.
Somewhere Out There, Millions of Species Await Discovery
(05/17/2005) While Planet Earth is becoming an increasingly smaller and more familiar world as every corner is explored and colonized, there remain millions of species undiscovered and undocumented. A number of significant species have been discovered in recent months, revealing humans' huge gaps in knowledge of the world around them.
Cultivated forests play important economic and ecological role in Indonesia
(05/17/2005) Old growth tropical forests are valuable and irreplaceable ecosystems that house the majority of Earth's known terrestrial biological diversity. While these forests are rapidly disappearing, they are not necessarily being completely cleared without replacement. In some regions, primary forests are being replaced with "cultivated forests" or "forest gardens," where useful trees are planted on farmlands after the removal of pre-existing natural forests. A new report Domesticating forests: How farmers manage forest resources by Genevieve Michon explores the characteristics and implications of these forests in Indonesia.
Genetically modified agriculture and bioengineered food gains ground
(05/15/2005) A new milestone was reached and surpassed this week as the one billionth acre of genetically enhanced crops was planted. Even though biotech crops became available for the first time only ten years ago, they have been rapidly adopted, as indicated by this massive amount of land now planted. The first US commercial acres were planted in 1996 and now an area larger than the state of California is under cultivation with bioengineered crops. Close to 85 percent of soybeans, 75 percent of cotton and half of the corn in the United States is genetically enhanced; these crops are veritable super varieties whose genes have been manipulated in the lab. These, among nearly a dozen other genetically modified crops, have been altered by scientists for the purposes of producing higher yields or for increased resistance to herbicides, pests and drought
How did rainforest shamans gain their boundless knowledge on medicinal plants?
(05/14/2005) For thousands of years, indigenous people have extensively used rainforest plants for their health needs -- the peoples of Southeast Asian forests used 6,500 species, while Northwest Amazonian forest dwellers used 1300 species for medicinal purposes. Perhaps more staggering than their boundless knowledge of medicinal plants, is how shamans and medicinemen could have acquired such knowledge. There are over 100,000 plant species in tropical rainforests around the globe, how did indigenous peoples know what plants to use and combine especially when so many are either poisonous or have no effect when ingested. Many treatments combine a wide variety of completely unrelated innocuous plant ingredients to produce a dramatic effect.
In Madagascar, Woodworking Zafimaniry remember lost forests
(05/12/2005) In the rolling hills of the southeastern highlands of Madagascar there lives a group of people known as the Zafimaniry, or the "the people of the forest." The Zafimaniry are renowned sculptors of wood and traditionally, virtually every member of the community was involved in some aspect of woodworking and cabinetmaking. However, these are not good times for many Zafimaniry. Severe deforestation for slash-and-burn cultivation ("tavy") has left their surroundings nearly completely devoid of trees. Once encircled by vigorous forests, some Zafimaniry villages are more than a day's trek from the nearest natural wood source. As a result, over the past decade, the Zafimaniry have increasingly looked toward tourism as an answer to their the economic plight. The unmoderated flow of tourists into these remote and delicate communities has denigrated their culture and left some Zafimaniry further entrenched in poverty.
Rebuilding tsunami-ravaged Indonesia without further deforestation
(05/12/2005) American Forest & Paper Association joins World Wildlife Fund, conservation International in seeking donated timber for Indonesia.
Ford Shareholders Criticize Automaker's Economic and Environmental Performance
(05/12/2005) Emphasis on Gas Guzzlers has put the company at risk. Shareholders ask Ford's Directors to align executive compensation and lobbying policies with increased gas mileage.
Falling price of rice calms street violence in Madagascar
(05/11/2005) According to the agriculture minister of Madagascar, the country's rice output has increased causing prices of the island's staple food to fall and reducing the risk of further unrest over the rising cost of living. Last month the capital city of Antananarivo was rocked by protests over rising inflation. Students took to the streets throwing rocks and petrol bombs at police while setting fires. These demonstrations were mild in comparison to last June's protests where students were joined by army reservists and poor mothers.
Bizarre rodent discovered in Southeast Asia; Oddity new to science
(05/11/2005) A team of scientists working in Southeast Asia have discovered a long-whiskered rodent with stubby legs and a tail covered in dense hair. But don't call it a squirrel. Or a rat. Because it's actually more like a guinea pig or chinchilla. But not quite. In fact the new species, found in Laos by scientists from the Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) and other groups, is so unique it represents an entire new family of wildlife.
New fox species discovered in jungle of Borneo
(05/10/2005) Scientists may have discovered a new species of fox-like mammal in the rainforests of Borneo. The animal was caught on film by an automatic infra-red camera positioned in the forest of the Kayam Menterong National Park in the Indonesian section of the island during a survey by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Scientists say the animal is has a reddish-colored coat, a bushy tail, and slightly extended back legs, suggesting that it may be partly arboreal. Local hunters failed to recognize the creature from the pictures.
Using nanotechnology to fight cancer
(05/10/2005) Last fall, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced a new $144.3 million, five-year initiative to develop and apply nanotechnology to the fight against cancer. Through this initiative, NCI hopes to further enable the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
Collapsing vanilla prices will affect Madagascar
(05/09/2005) Surging vanilla production in countries from Papua New Guinea to Colombia is causing the price of vanilla beans and extract to plummet in markets around the world. The drop in vanilla prices is expected to hit Madagascar, the world's largest producer of vanilla beans, especially hard. Most affected will be growers in the tropical northeastern part of the island who have relied on the valuable crop for years.
Genographic Project stirs controversy
(05/09/2005) National Geographic's Genographic Project: Whose Blood, Whose History, Whose Gain?
Project seeks to understand human origins and migration
(05/09/2005) Ted Waitt, founder of the Waitt Family Foundation, believes the Genographic Project will promote harmonious living across national boundaries and cultural lines by improving and expanding understanding and awareness about shared origins and journeys.
indigenous people oppose National Geographic, IBM project
(05/09/2005) The Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (IPCB), an organization that provides educational and technical support to indigenous peoples in the protection of their biological resources, cultural integrity, knowledge and collective rights, is distressed at the news of this new endeavor.
The Giant Jumping Rat, another oddity from Madagascar
(05/08/2005) The giant jumping rat is the largest rodent in Madagascar, roughly equivilant in size to a rabbit.
Reefs worth more for tourism than fishing in Australia
(05/08/2005) The planet's largest living organism is worth more to Australia as an intact ecosystem for tourism than an extracative reserve for fishing.
Wood Smuggling Link between Indonesia and China
(05/08/2005) Rampant smuggling of illegal timber from Indonesia to China is a billion dollar trade threatening the last remaining intact tropical forests in the Asia-Pacific region, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telapak revealed at a press conference today in Jakarta.
Hardwood flooring linked to illegal timber smuggling ring, says group
(05/08/2005) Environmentalists today revealed how hardwood flooring sold across the U.S. is linked to the world's largest illegal timber smuggling operation. Following two years of undercover investigations, The Environmental Investigation Agency, a non-profit group, has exposed how a leading distributor of hardwood flooring, Goodfellow Inc., is selling flooring made from logs illegally felled in Papua province of Indonesia.
Environmentalists hope new film will help conservation efforts in Madagascar
(05/06/2005) Environmentalists hope new film will help conservation efforts in Madagascar.
Freshwater aquarium fish are important food source in many tropical countries
(05/05/2005) Those fish in your home aquarium may be important food sources in their native lands. According to figures recently released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Fisheries Department many fish typically kept by aquarium owners figure significantly in the daily nutrition of people in tropical Africa, Asia, and South America.
'Human footprint' to increase with repeal of roadless rule
(05/05/2005) The Bush administration's repeal a Clinton-era federal rule that banned road construction, logging and other development in some 58.5 million acres of roadless public land will likely increase the 'human footprint' on pristine wildlands in the United States.
Illegal loggers make a fortune; American forestry companies attempt to fight back
(05/05/2005) A new report published by Seneca Creek Associates and Wood Resources Institute, says that illegal logging hurts legitimate timber operators by driving down market prices for wood and tarnishing the industry's reputation through shady dealings with corrupt regimes. While maximizing their harvest without regard for regulations or the long-term impact of their activities, these illicit operators reduce their costs through the use of well-placed bribes to avoid taxes and royalties.
Ethnologists attempt to show forest dwellers perils of leaving the rain forest
(05/05/2005) A team of experts has spent months comparing the lives of the Punan people, who still live as hunter-gatherers in the forest of Indonesian Borneo, with those of tribe members who have been lured away by civilisation.
For What It's Worth: Ecological Services and conservation
(05/04/2005) For a long time, preserving natural spaces was considered to be a favor to the environment without a true, measurable benefit to businesses, industrial production and productivity. In recent years however, scientists are increasingly producing substantial evidence to support the notion that the natural environment supplies a diverse range of renewable economic benefits beyond timber and fish. These benefits are termed “ecological services” and provide such valuable functions as water treatment, pollination and sediment capture, simply by remaining intact.
Free floating fishing nets kill marine mammals, turtles and sea birds
(05/04/2005) NOAA scientists battle ocean 'ghostnets' using remote sensing technology.
Where are the fish? Ocean fisheries in trouble
(05/03/2005) Talks began in Canada this week aimed at addressing the deteriorating condition of the world's marine fisheries, but in an atmosphere with little reason for optimism. Past efforts to manage fisheries or control overfishing have largely failed to slow the depletion of marine resources.
Scientists search for Mongolian Death Worm
(05/03/2005) A group of English scientists are spending a month in the Gobi desert in search of the Mongolian Death Worm, a fabled creature said to lurk in the sands of the hostile region. The three to five feet long long creature is known to the locals as Allghoi khorkhoi, Mongolian for intestine worm because it is reported to look like the intestine of a cow. Mongolian nomads have made extraordinary claims about the animal, reporting that the death worm can spit a corrosive yellow saliva that acts like acid and that they have the ability to generate blasts of electricity powerful enough to kill a full grown camel.
People of Madagascar have origins in Borneo, Africa
(05/03/2005) A new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics confirms that the people of Madagascar have origins in both East Africa and also distant Borneo.
World population growth rate continues to plummet
(05/02/2005) According to figures released earlier this year by the UN, global birth rates fell to the lowest level in recorded history with the average woman in the developing world having 2.9 children, down from an average of nearly 6 babies in the 1970s. UN demographers also predict that fertility in most of the developing world will fall below the replacement level (2.1 children per woman) before the end of the 21st century. Factors leading to falling birth rates include increased level education for women, the use of contraceptives, and urbanization.
Madagascar travel forum and discussion board launched at WildMadagascar.org
(04/28/2005) WildMadagascar.org, a leading information site on Madagascar, today launched a beta version of a travel forum on Madagascar. The forum will serve as a place where people can discuss travel in Madagascar and the surrounding region.
Surfing in Paradise: Surf Trip to Bahia, Brazil
(04/27/2005) Surfing in Bahia is great even with the aguaviva jellyfish.
Circumventing Washington: Corporate America and activists bypass the White House
(04/27/2005) Corporate America, Activists & Circumventing Washington: A New Approach to Environmental Lobbying. Green groups partner with corporate interests to bring changes in business practices.
Madagascar Larger Than Life, New Life for Madagascar's Tourist Industry?
(04/26/2005) One of the most anticipated films of the spring is Dreamworks's Madagascar. Scheduled for release over the often profitable Memorial Day weekend, this new feature is generating lots of buzz for the studio as well as the actors voicing the animated creatures featured in the movie. Madagascar, the country, hopes the film will stimulate its tourist industry in a way similar to Kenya's after the 1985 film Out of Africa was released.
Borneo's disappearing forests
(04/26/2005) Borneo, the third largest island in the world, was once covered with dense rainforests. With swampy coastal areas fringed with mangrove forests and a mountainous interior, much of the terrain was virtually impassable and unexplored. Headhunters ruled the remote parts of the island until a century ago.
New media resource on the wildlife of Madagscar
(04/25/2005) WildMadagascar.org, a leading information site on Madagascar, today announced the availability of PDF documents on the wildlife of Madagascar. The colorful "Wildlife of Madagascar" PDF is available free of charge on the site's media section.
Shamans and Robots: Bridging the Past and Future of Ethnobotany and Bioprospecting
(04/25/2005) A look at trends in ethnobotany and bioprospecting in seeking new ways to address human health conditions.
Amazon rain forest continues to fall; 200,000 square miles gone since 1978
(04/24/2005) Forest loss may worsen as Brazil seeks to expand agricultural production and fires threaten stressed ecosystem.
Down a river of blood into a remote canyon in Madagascar: Exploring the Manambolo River
(04/24/2005) Madagascar has been called the great red island and from space, astronauts have remarked the island looks like it is bleeding to death. Severe environmental degradation means Madagascar loses more topsoil per hectare than any country in the world. Being one of the poorest nations on Earth, the people of Madagascar can ill afford this loss. In 2004 I set off to see one of these rivers that is carrying away the lifeblood of the Malagasy; the Manambolo of Western Madagascar.
Drought, fire called biggest threats to Amazon rainforest ecosystem
(04/23/2005) A prolonged drought in the Amazon could lead to a massive die-off in the world's largest rainforest according to a study released in Science last week.
Farmers and landless poor battle over the Amazon
(04/22/2005) Land battles in Brazil's countryside reached the highest level in at least 20 years in 2004 as activists clashed with farmers and loggers advancing on savanna and Amazon rain forest, a nongovernmental group said Tuesday.
Honduran priest recognized as environmental hero with $125,000 award
(04/22/2005) On April 18th, 2005, Father José Andrés Tamayo Cortez was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to preserve and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $125,000, the largest of its kind.
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