tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2014-11-27T01:55:39Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14078 2014-11-26T23:59:00Z 2014-11-27T01:55:39Z Amazon deforestation in Brazil drops 18% in 2013/2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Figures published Wednesday by Brazil's National Space Research Institute (INPE) show that 4,848 square kilometers (1,871 square miles) of forest &#8212; an area about the size of the state of Rhode Island or the country of Brunei &#8212; were cleared between August 2013 and July 2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14077 2014-11-26T23:06:00Z 2014-11-28T02:35:27Z What we can learn from uncontacted rainforest tribes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1126-mark-plotkin-ted150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you have ever wondered about the connection between hallucinogenic frogs, uncontacted peoples, conservation, and climate change &#8212; and who hasn't? &#8212; check out this TED talk from ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin. An ethnobotanist by training, Plotkin serves as President of the Amazon Conservation Team. Plotkin took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Mongabay. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14076 2014-11-26T20:53:00Z 2014-11-26T21:00:16Z Meet the world's most wanted environmental criminals In keeping with recent efforts to ramp up action against environmental crime, INTERPOL has highlighted nine fugitives for breaking laws related to illegal logging, poaching and the wildlife trade, illegal fishing, and waste dumping, among other crimes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14075 2014-11-26T18:54:00Z 2014-11-27T02:54:14Z Chinese logging company takes over Guyana's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/images/jeremy_hance/150/Guyana_310.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Foreign companies investing in Guyana’s substantial forests are supposed to adhere to national laws and international agreements. But civil society leaders and activists inside and outside the South American country are crying foul, saying foreign corporations and government officials are paying lip service to the accords while quietly building a timber-harvesting empire in the country with few benefits for the average Guyanese. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.285665 -58.947501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14074 2014-11-26T15:32:00Z 2014-11-26T15:51:54Z New calendar celebrates primates and raises money for their survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1125.primatescalendar.cover.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens, are really just upright apes with big brains. We may have traded actual jungles for gleaming concrete and steel ones, but we are still primates, merely one member of an order consisting of sixteen families. We may have removed ourselves from our wilder beginnings, but our extant relatives&#8212;the world's wonderful primates&#8212;serve as a gentle living reminder of those days. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14073 2014-11-26T06:42:00Z 2014-11-26T06:51:12Z APP boosting timber productivity to support zero deforestation policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0939.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) appears to have enough plantation fiber to operate existing mills as well as supply a new mill under construction in South Sumatra without having to pulp natural forests, argues a new report that also finds the forestry giant is successfully improving yields to support its zero deforestation commitment. Rhett Butler 0.154868 102.100183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14072 2014-11-25T21:34:00Z 2014-11-25T21:44:38Z Earthworm farming in the West Bank (commentary) From what I’m told, there can’t be too many worm farms in the West Bank. Local agricultural experts say they’ve never heard of the practice. That doesn’t mean that someone, somewhere isn’t happily vermicomposting -- the technical name for worm farming -- but it’s clearly not happening at any scale. After today though, there are at least two worm farms up and running here. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14071 2014-11-25T20:16:00Z 2014-11-25T20:20:11Z Progress being made in curbing illegal timber imports Five major timber importers are making progress in cutting contraband wood from their markets, argues a series of reports published by Chatham House. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-11-25T23:34:06Z Meet the world's rarest chameleon: Chapman's pygmy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Rhampholeon-chapmanorum-Female---Colin-Tilbury.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In just two forest patches may dwell a tiny, little-known chameleon that researchers have dubbed the world's most endangered. Chapman's pygmy chameleon from Malawi hasn't been seen in 16 years. In that time, its habitat has been whittled down to an area about the size of just 100 American football fields. Jeremy Hance -16.904995 35.196914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14068 2014-11-25T18:36:00Z 2014-11-25T18:51:31Z Amazon deforestation moratorium extended 18 months <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1125brazil_0322_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian soy industry has extended its deforestation moratorium for another 18 months. The moratorium, which was established in 2006 after a high-profile Greenpeace campaign, bars conversion of forests in Brazilian Amazon for soy production. Independent analysis has shown it to be highly effective &#8212; just prior to the moratorium, soy accounted for roughly a fifth of recent deforestation, while today its share is less than one percent. Rhett Butler -12.185677 -54.904389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14069 2014-11-25T18:30:00Z 2014-11-25T18:52:21Z Reeling in religious messages: how faith impacts fisheries in Fiji <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118_west_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marrying religion and conservation could be key to making Fiji's fisheries sustainable. Fijians have strong religious beliefs, which were primarily introduced by Christian missionaries in the 1835, and today profoundly guide their daily lives. Fijians primarily depend on fisheries close to shore for their survival, which is the case for most small Pacific island countries. Tiffany Roufs -17.750460 178.137699 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14067 2014-11-25T17:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:33:49Z Saving Myanmar’s red pandas by protecting land, educating people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1125-thumb-Stavenn_Ailurus_fulgens.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Red pandas, bear-like arboreal mammals with red, furry tails, are poached mainly for their fur. Found primarily at higher elevation forests of the eastern Himalayas, these pandas spend most of their time in trees, and feed mainly on bamboo. But much of their forest habitat has been destroyed due to illegal logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14066 2014-11-24T20:24:00Z 2014-11-25T16:11:55Z Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world's chameleons <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Kinyongia-tenuis-158-copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Now, a update of the IUCN Red List finds that this unique group is facing a crisis that could send dozens of chameleons, if not more, to extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14065 2014-11-24T18:58:00Z 2014-11-26T04:09:49Z What happened to the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1124Urton_Irion_a6d2_i150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Images from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster endure, from the collapsing platform to oil-fouled coastline. But beneath the surface is a story photographers cannot as easily capture. Two days after the April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 and injured 16, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank. During the five months it took to seal the Macondo well 1,500 meters below the surface, nearly 5 million barrels of oil gushed into the ocean. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14064 2014-11-24T18:31:00Z 2014-11-24T18:36:10Z New marine protected areas key to fighting illegal fishing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1124seahorse150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Do you know how that tuna sashimi got to your dinner plate? Probably not—and chances are, the restaurant that served it to you doesn’t know, either. A new policy paper argues that illicit fishing practices are flying under the radar all around the world, and global society must combat them in order to keep seafood on the menu. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14063 2014-11-24T15:23:00Z 2014-11-24T15:31:21Z New blood record: 1,020 rhinos killed in South Africa South Africa has surpassed last year's grisly record for slaughtered rhinos&#8212;1,004&#8212;more than a month before the year ends. In an announcement on November 20th, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs said that 1,020 rhinos had been killed to date. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14062 2014-11-24T03:05:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:01Z Sarawak chief calls state's logging industry 'corrupt' In a surprising statement, Sarawak's new chief minister called the state's logging sector 'corrupt'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14061 2014-11-24T02:17:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:17Z Rising deforestation, fossil fuels use drive Brazil's emissions 8% higher Brazil's carbon emissions jumped 7.8 percent in 2013 due to rising deforestation and fossil fuels use, according to data released by Observatório do Clima (Climate Observatory), an alliance of mostly Brazilian non-profits. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14058 2014-11-21T21:09:00Z 2014-11-21T21:10:22Z IKEA commits to zero deforestation palm oil Home products giant IKEA has made a time-bound commitment for eliminating palm oil linked to deforestation and human rights abuses from its supply chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14057 2014-11-21T17:57:00Z 2014-11-21T18:03:21Z Indonesia's anti-corruption agency questions former Minster of Forestry Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned the former Minister of Forestry about his role in altering zoning to facilitate oil palm expansion into public lands. The case centers around Riau Governor Annas Maamun, who allegedly accepted bribes to convert an area's status from 'production forest' into 'non-forested land'. Rhett Butler 0.494379 101.500969 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14056 2014-11-21T17:37:00Z 2014-11-26T17:33:15Z Scientists capture first-ever footage of wild red pandas in Myanmar (VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1121-4-thumb-Red%20panda%20copyright%20Susan%20A.%20Mainka%20and%20WWF-Canon.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This year, a team of scientists in Myanmar (also called Burma), caught a pair of reclusive red pandas on camera, for the first time ever. The bushy tailed pandas were climbing up a rocky pile of rubble left behind in the region by Chinese loggers. For the scientists, the footage was bitter-sweet. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14055 2014-11-20T23:36:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:29Z Ranking the world's best - and worst - palm oil companies in terms of sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1120-opp-out150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new initiative ranks the world's 25 largest publicly listed palm oil companies in terms of transparency around the environmental performance of their operations. The project, called Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit, was developed by The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Rhett Butler 1.309319 109.666107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14054 2014-11-20T23:12:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:48Z Activists hijack Pepsi's new product launch on Amazon over deforestation A campaign launched by environmental activists is killing Pepsi's launch of a new product on Amazon.com. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14052 2014-11-20T19:14:00Z 2014-11-25T23:33:09Z Developing land without approval of local people 'a human rights issue of grave concern,' says new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/willoq/Willoq_1018_0712.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Throughout the tropics, staggering amounts of land have been designated for natural resource extraction—as much as 40 percent of Peru, 30 percent of Indonesia and 35 percent of Liberia. However, much of this land is already in use; it is being inhabited by local communities and indigenous peoples. And while it is possible to live on and extract resources from the same land, when local communities are not consulted in this exchange, conflict may erupt. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.655851 109.998371 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14053 2014-11-20T19:12:00Z 2014-11-22T20:30:29Z Indonesia imposes moratorium on new logging permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's new Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar imposed a moratorium on the issuance of all new logging permits a little over a week after being appointed in late October. The move is being celebrated by conservation groups and signals that interest in reforming Indonesia's notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional forestry sector has reached the highest levels of government, with direction coming from President Joko Widodo. Rhett Butler -1.900286 102.643547 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14051 2014-11-20T18:19:00Z 2014-11-20T18:21:29Z Indonesian government slow to reclaim lands damaged by coal mining Reclamation of over 830,000 hectares of abandoned mines has yet to begin in East Kalimantan, Indonesia--despite a provincial law passed over a year ago mandating the formation of commission to oversee the process. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14050 2014-11-19T23:29:00Z 2014-11-20T19:54:56Z Jane Goodall: 5 reasons to have hope for the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119jane-freud150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jane Goodall is not only arguably the most famous conservationist who ever lived, but also the most well-known and respected female scientist on the planet today. Her path to reach that stature is an unlikely as it is inspiring. Told to 'never give up' by her mother, Goodall set out in her 20s to pursue her childhood dream: to live with animals in Africa. By the time she was 26 she doing just this. Rhett Butler -4.701242 29.616242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14049 2014-11-19T23:06:00Z 2014-11-19T23:21:56Z Gone for good: world's largest earwig declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1119.800px-F-auricularia_F_defensive_-_HngVolkstn20090519_46.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world has lost a giant: this week the IUCN Red List officially declared St. Helena giant earwig extinct. While its length of 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) may not seem like much, it's massive for an earwig and impressive for an insect. Only found on the island of St. Helena in the remote southern Atlantic, experts believe the St. Helena giant earwig was pushed to extinction by habitat destruction. Jeremy Hance -15.966195 -5.704836 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14048 2014-11-19T22:15:00Z 2014-11-25T23:32:52Z Conflict-fueled deforestation, poaching in Assam continue despite truce <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-samba.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India boasts nearly 44 percent of the country’s dense forests, and contains one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. However, the region lost approximately 548,440 hectares of tree cover—more than 3 percent—from 2001 through 2012. Sonitpur, Assam, has been particularly hard hit as people flooded into the area and cleared forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.009059 92.886862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14046 2014-11-19T17:54:00Z 2014-11-25T23:32:37Z Palm oil interest surges in Papua New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-Dendrolagus_matschiei.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the lands of traditional palm oil powerhouses like Indonesia and Malaysia have become saturated with plantations, companies looking to profit have turned to vast areas of seemingly untouched tropical forest in other parts of the world – places like Papua New Guinea. But, in fact, say advocates of local communities, those forests often support the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who must have their rights taken into account. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.180039 151.389515 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14045 2014-11-19T16:37:00Z 2014-11-24T18:07:47Z Endangered environmentalists: investigating government crackdowns on green groups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-crackdown-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org offers journalists opportunity to report on government muzzling of environmental activists. As climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction worsen across the globe, environmental groups are responding by ratcheting up the pressure on governments and corporations to act. Many governments have responded by increasing restrictions on environmental NGOs, including revoking charity status, increasing sentences for protestors, and passing legislation restricting NGO activity. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14041 2014-11-18T22:39:00Z 2014-11-25T23:31:38Z A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1118.800px-Asha%CC%81ninka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him&#8212;or others. Jeremy Hance -14.153426 -69.134704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14040 2014-11-18T19:26:00Z 2014-11-25T23:25:48Z Disappearing oasis: northeastern India losing forests as people move in <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-thumb-rhino-assam-lip-kee.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India is part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, one of the megadiverse areas of the world. The region boasts more than 60 percent forest cover, compared to the 15 percent for India as a whole. However, not all is pristine when one visits areas designated as forest on the map. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.444599 90.739560 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14039 2014-11-18T18:51:00Z 2014-11-18T18:57:46Z How remote sensing could change conservation forever Remote sensing has changed the way we see our planet. And it has the power to change how we do conservation work, according to a new paper in Conservation Biology. Written by 32 scientists from organizations as diverse as NASA and the Jane Goodall Institute, the paper highlights ten areas where conservation efforts could benefit from remote sensing data. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14037 2014-11-18T17:21:00Z 2014-11-18T17:27:33Z Rediscovered in 2010, rare Indian frog surprises by breeding in bamboo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-frog-bamboo-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For a long time, this rare white spotted bush frog lived a secretive life: the Critically Endangered Chalazodes bubble-nest frog (<i>Raorchestes chalazodes</i>) was last seen in 1874 and presumed to be extinct. That is until 2010 when a year-long expedition to try and locate ‘lost’ amphibians in India found the elusive frog in the wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, after more than 130 years. Brittany Stewart 12.972399 77.595234 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14038 2014-11-18T16:46:00Z 2014-11-18T17:08:24Z Using games to teach kids the value of nature and philanthropy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118jre150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kids are spending more time using tablets and smart phones for learning and entertainment. But hours spent gaming, Tweeting, and playing on Instagram and Facebook, may mean less engagement with nature, potentially making it more difficult for conservation organizations to inspire and influence the next generation of donors and decision makers. Given the state of the world's environment, that is a troubling thought. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14036 2014-11-17T22:22:00Z 2014-11-17T23:37:40Z Field plots offer biased view of the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0854.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Field plots in the Amazon are often not representative of the habitats surrounding them, potentially biasing extrapolations made across the region, argues a new paper published in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS). The research is based on advanced three-dimensional mapping of forest structure within field plots and in surrounding areas using sensors aboard the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane-based system. Rhett Butler -12.997878 -69.601191 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14035 2014-11-17T21:57:00Z 2014-11-18T18:56:20Z Ending deforestation won't stop carbon emissions from land use change Even if the world stopped cutting down forests, carbon dioxide emissions from land use change would still pose a major challenge, according to a new paper in Nature Climate Change. The research finds that eliminating deforestation would mean agriculture would be pushed into non-forest ecosystems and still release significant quantities of carbon dioxide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14034 2014-11-17T21:21:00Z 2014-11-17T21:36:07Z Shifting the way the world shops (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1117-dragonfruit.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you are what you eat, then just as true, you are what you buy. From organic, fair-trade, responsible palm oil, Wildlife Friendly, and most recently deforestation-free, consumers can cast their lot with a variety of eco-friendly labels and define who they are by what they buy. It gives someone in New York City the chance to contribute to forest protection in Indonesia by using their wallets to influence the sustainability of the supply chain that serves them with goods. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14033 2014-11-17T20:21:00Z 2014-11-17T20:30:02Z Cargill to use drones to monitor zero deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1160.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cargill will use Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 'solar-powered, satellite-connected remote sensor networks' to monitor compliance with its new zero deforestation policy for palm oil, reports the agribusiness giant in its first progress report on its recent forest commitments. Rhett Butler -2.619326 104.297912 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14032 2014-11-17T19:04:00Z 2014-11-17T19:05:27Z Palm oil giant suspends supplier over deforestation allegations Palm oil giant Musim Mas Group has suspended purchases from the PT Pati Sari mill over allegations that the facility is processing fruit illegally grown within a biodiversity hotspot in Sumatra, reports the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which recently published an investigation on the mill's sourcing practices. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14031 2014-11-17T18:36:00Z 2014-11-17T18:44:30Z Brazilian government silent as deforestation rises in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/external/2006/satellite/sat_braz_201x.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continues to outpace last year's rate by a significant margin, reveals data released today by Imazon, a Brazilian non-profit. Imazon's analysis of satellite data shows that for the 3-month period ended October 31, 2014, deforestation is running 226 percent of last year's rate. Forest degradation, which often precedes outright clearing, is pacing 691 percent ahead of last year. Rhett Butler -3.102121 -56.975956 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14030 2014-11-17T18:20:00Z 2014-11-17T19:54:34Z Of bluefin and pufferfish: 310 species added to IUCN Red List <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1117.iucnredlist.1067645559.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, 22,413 species are threatened with extinction, according to the most recent update of the IUCN Red List. This is a rise of 310 species from the last update in the summer. The update includes the Pacific bluefin tuna, the Chinese pufferfish, and Chapman's pygmy chameleon, among others. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14029 2014-11-17T17:02:00Z 2014-11-18T02:28:09Z A nature photographer's dream: staff photographer for the Wildlife Conservation Society <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1117Natalie-Cash-4413-Julie-Larsen-Maher-with-African-elephant-calf150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Julie Larsen Maher has what many wildlife photographers would consider a dream job: staff photographer for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a non-profit that runs five zoos and aquariums in New York City as well as numerous site-based field programs in the U.S. and overseas. As staff photographer, Maher helps tell the stories behind WCS's conservation work, which ranges from veterinary procedures with Bronx Zoo animals to working with local communities in remote parts of Zambia to protect wildlife. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14028 2014-11-17T15:14:00Z 2014-11-17T15:25:03Z Green Climate Fund nears $7 billion after U.S. pledges $3 billion The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is suddenly looking very lively after two announcements over the weekend. The U.S. has announced an initial pledge of $3 billion to the fund, while Japan pledged $1.5 billion. This more than doubles the current amount pledged to the key fund, which is now around $6.94 billion from thirteen countries. The new pledges also bring the fund much closer to an initial goal of $10-15 billion. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14027 2014-11-16T23:45:00Z 2014-11-17T20:10:55Z Greenpeace investigation prompts Belgian authorities to seize timber shipment Authorities in Belgium seized two containers of Brazilian timber in Antwerp following a demonstration by Greenpeace, which alleged that the <i>Ipe</i> timber had been cut illegally and therefore violated the EU's trade laws. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14026 2014-11-16T23:19:00Z 2014-11-16T23:24:16Z New gecko described in Madagascar Researchers have described a previously undocumented species of gecko in Madagascar. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14025 2014-11-16T18:05:00Z 2014-11-17T17:15:16Z An end to unjust conservation? (commentary) In September 2014, events took place in three different parts of the world, which together highlight the multifaceted relationship between human rights and conservation. First, in New York, the UN General Assembly adopted the Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14024 2014-11-15T02:05:00Z 2014-11-17T20:06:47Z Gabon protects 23% of its coastal waters Gabon has once again made headlines for a bold conservation initiative. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14023 2014-11-14T23:35:00Z 2014-11-15T04:18:47Z UN to promote RSPO-certified palm oil as conservation solution The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed an agreement with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to promote eco-certified palm oil as part of the broader effort to conserve biodiversity. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14022 2014-11-14T21:21:00Z 2014-11-14T21:29:15Z Black market manta ray bust in Indonesia In the largest confiscation in Indonesia to-date, authorities seized 103kg of manta gills in Bali, and arrested one suspect. The dried gill plates were harvested from as many as 85 individuals and are worth about 175 million rupiah on the local market. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14021 2014-11-14T21:18:00Z 2014-11-25T23:31:11Z Man plants forest, becomes film star <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-thumb-indian-elephant.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng is a 51-year-old man who lives in India’s north-eastern state of Assam in the village of Aruna Chapori. A member of Assam’s indigenous Mising tribe, Payeng is better known as the “Forest Man" for spending the last 35 years planting a forest bigger than New York City's Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.847090 94.162522 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14020 2014-11-14T01:27:00Z 2014-11-14T14:09:06Z Surprising reasons to be optimistic about saving forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-peru_aerial_0795_rainbow150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1990s, the world watched with alarm as vast tracts of tropical rainforest were torn down for timber and croplands, dug up for minerals and energy, and flooded for hydroelectric projects. Conservation groups, governments, philanthropists, and institutions like the World Bank collectively spent billions of dollars on programs to stop the carnage. But as viewed from satellites high above Earth's surface, those efforts barely dented deforestation rates. Rhett Butler -4.287527 -70.002351 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14019 2014-11-13T21:15:00Z 2014-11-18T23:50:43Z New tapir? Scientists dispute biological discovery of the century <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly a year ago, scientists announced an incredible discovery: a new tapir species from the western Amazon in Brazil and Colombia. The announcement was remarkable for a number of reasons: this was the biggest new land mammal discovered in more than 20 years and was only the fifth tapir known to the world. But within months other researchers expressed doubt over the veracity of the new species. Jeremy Hance -8.602194 -66.198026 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14018 2014-11-13T20:49:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:57Z One man plants forest larger than Central Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-thumb-Kaziranga_Rhinoceros_unicornis.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng resides in northeast Assam’s Jorhat district in the village of Aruna Chapori. Here, for the past 35 years, he has worked to plant trees on a sandbar island in the river near his home—and in the process, single-handedly established a forest larger than New York City’s Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.848009 94.164410 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14017 2014-11-13T20:08:00Z 2014-11-13T23:15:22Z Over 60% of world's traded palm oil now bound by zero deforestation commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-i-love-tigers-not-palm-oil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over sixty percent of palm oil traded internationally is now bound by zero deforestation policies after IOI Loders Croklaan committed to excluding forest destruction from its supply chain, says Forest Heroes, a campaign that aims to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production. IOI Loders Croklaan's parent corporation IOI Group has been aggressively targeted by environmentalists for its links to deforestation and controversies over conflicts with local communities. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14016 2014-11-13T18:59:00Z 2014-11-13T20:17:07Z Australia's small rainforest conservation steps overshadowed by broader assault on environment (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/australia/150/australia_daintree_035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On the eve of the World Parks Congress in Sydney, the Australian government has just hosted the 'Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit', a two-day event that brought together political leaders, academics, environmental managers and NGO staff in an effort to devise strategies to conserve endangered forests in the Asia-Pacific region. Here, Bill Laurance, a leading rainforest researcher, takes a critical look at the event. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14015 2014-11-13T17:52:00Z 2014-11-13T17:59:07Z Leaf bacteria are important to tree health, may help forests adapt to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/brazil-bonito/150/bonito_0695.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Leaves are vital trees organs that support many important functions. A recent study published in PNAS found that each tree species in tropical rainforests possesses distinctive bacterial communities – called microbiomes – on their leaves. Understanding how leaf microbiomes vary among species may in the future be applied for maintaining healthy forests and predicting how forests will react to climate change. Tiffany Roufs 9.152721 -79.848716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14014 2014-11-12T22:45:00Z 2014-11-12T22:54:07Z Prelude to Paris: China and U.S. surprise world with joint climate deal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0000.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely have major ramifications for a new climate agreement in Paris in 2015, China and the U.S. surprised everyone today by announcing a joint climate deal. At a press conference in Beijing, China President, Xi Jingping, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, outlined climate actions for both juggernauts up to 2030. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14013 2014-11-12T22:09:00Z 2014-11-13T17:41:50Z Reducing deforestation is good for business, argues report Some of the world's largest companies are making progress in disclosing and addressing deforestation risk within their commodity supply chains, but much work is left to be done to shift to more sustainable practices, argues a new report from the Climate Disclosure Project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14012 2014-11-12T20:11:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:40Z Mapping mistake leaves wildlife at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1112-thumb-luama-chimp.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new, endangered plant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in an area that is supposed to be protected as a reserve. However, mapping errors effectively moved the reserve’s boundaries 50 kilometers to the west, opening up the region and its vulnerable wildlife to human disturbance. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.368980 28.808207 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14011 2014-11-12T17:58:00Z 2014-11-12T21:58:52Z Local people are not the enemy: real conservation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/Heather_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Saving one of the world's most endangered primates means re-thinking conservation. When Noga Shanee and her colleagues first arrived in Northeastern Peru on a research trip to study the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda), she was shocked by what she observed. Tiffany Roufs -3.015252 -71.958190 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14009 2014-11-12T16:50:00Z 2014-11-17T20:03:51Z 'Guns kill trees too': overhunting raises extinction threat for trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112.moonbear.BEAR2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper confirms what ecologists have long feared: hunting birds and mammals drastically raises the risk of extinction for tropical trees. Following the long-lifespan of a single canopy tree, Miliusa horsfieldii, researchers discovered that overhunting of animals could increase the chances of extinction for the species fourteen times over a century, from 0.5 percent to seven percent. Jeremy Hance 15.396805 99.164255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14008 2014-11-12T01:40:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:22Z Only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-gfw-leuser-ecosystem150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A forest that is the only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat from planned infrastructure, mining, logging, and plantation projects, warns a new report from the Rainforest Action Network. The report looks at one of the last vestiges of wilderness on the island of Sumatra, which for the past three decades has been heavily ravaged by logging, fires, and conversion to industrial timber and oil palm plantations. This area, known as the Leuser Ecosystem, is today a battleground between business-as-usual interests seeking to mine its forests and a collection of conservationists, local communities, and a collection of companies seeking to steward its resources. Rhett Butler 4.15057 97.86737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14007 2014-11-11T20:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:29:58Z ‘Militarized occupation’: local communities pay the price for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-thumb-cannon-mill.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There’s little doubt that the use of palm oil is expanding rapidly throughout the world, and with it the need for millions of hectares of land to grow oil palm trees. The results can be devastating for local communities who depend on the agriculture and forests that these lands support. A recent report catalogs the issues that arise with oil palm expansion. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.610027 149.331889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14005 2014-11-11T19:19:00Z 2014-11-11T19:35:01Z Using mobile apps to stop wildlife trafficking at the border Conservationists are successfully developing mobile apps that enable authorities to identify illegal wildlife products, making it more difficult for traffickers to smuggle animals and animal parts, reports a paper published in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14004 2014-11-11T19:17:00Z 2014-11-13T17:42:49Z New birds arise due to emigration not separation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0916_birds150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A bird's eye view of speciation in the Neotropics. How long does it take for a new species to develop? Not long, it turns out. In fact, only a few thousand years — an evolutionary blink of an eye. A recent article published in Nature tracked neotropical bird speciation, or the process by which new species emerge. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14003 2014-11-11T16:07:00Z 2014-11-11T20:35:59Z Chief Curiosity Correspondent tackles sexism, aids conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107_graslie_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Have you ever been offered the job of your dreams without knowing you were being interviewed? Have you ever communicated with a 5-year-old about the wonders of Salmonella? Have you ever been disappointed not to have larvae hatching from your skin? If you answered yes to all three questions, then you are either Emily Graslie herself or you should subscribe to her YouTube channel. Immediately. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14001 2014-11-11T13:52:00Z 2014-11-11T14:13:46Z Poor rains then floods lead to food crisis in Somalia Four years after over a quarter of a million people perished in a famine in Somalia, the East African country is again on the verge of a possible humanitarian disaster. Flooding in southern Somalia, following months of little rain, has just exacerbated an already-precarious situation according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Jeremy Hance 1.456753 42.138760 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13999 2014-11-10T21:43:00Z 2014-11-11T01:35:05Z Peru has massive opportunity to avoid emissions from deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1110carbon-zoom-amazon-mainstem150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly a billion tons of carbon in Peru's rainforests is at risk from logging, infrastructure projects, and oil and gas extraction, yet opportunities remain to conserve massive amounts of forest in indigenous territories, parks, and unprotected areas, finds a study published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS). Rhett Butler -5.298827 -76.268806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13997 2014-11-10T20:24:00Z 2014-11-10T20:48:20Z Citizen scientist site hits one million observations of life on Earth On Friday, Jonathan Hiew from Singapore took a photo of several insects and uploaded them on the citizen scientist site, iNaturalist. Little did he know that one of the photos, of a butterfly, would prove a record breaker: it was the millionth observation recorded on iNaturalist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13995 2014-11-10T15:17:00Z 2014-11-10T17:27:52Z It only took 2,500 people to kill off the world's biggest birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0317.Giant_Haasts_eagle_attacking_New_Zealand_moa.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The first settlers of New Zealand killed off nine species of giant birds, known as moas, with a population no bigger than a few thousand people, according to new research published in Nature Communications. The biggest moas stood up to 3.6 meters (12 feet) tall, making these mega-birds the largest animals in the country and contenders for the biggest birds ever. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13994 2014-11-10T04:27:00Z 2014-11-10T04:37:10Z Will merging competing ministries help save Indonesia's forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1109-sumatra_0543_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Newly elected Indonesian president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo announced on October 26th that the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Environment would be combined and that Siti Nurbaya would become Forests and Environment Minister. The move was part of Jokowi’s appointment of 34 cabinet level positions, ranging from Foreign Minister to Religious Affairs Minister. Rhett Butler -6.224606 106.817101 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13993 2014-11-10T02:25:00Z 2014-11-10T02:39:46Z Human infections by 'monkey malaria' increasing as forests disappear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1109-malaysia-macaque-02a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>68% of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysia last year were caused by a once-rare strain of the disease traditionally limited to macaque monkeys. However, as deforestation has put humans and wild animals in closer proximity, <i>Plasmodium knowlesi</i> infections and deaths have increased rapidly. The strain is now responsible for three times the severe malaria infections in Malaysian Borneo than <i>P. falciparum</i>—the world's deadliest form of the parasite. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13992 2014-11-07T22:06:00Z 2014-11-25T23:29:44Z New laws may turn Brazil's forests into mines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107-jaguar-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the world’s largest system of protected areas and a 70 percent drop in the deforestation rate of the Amazon over the past decade, Brazil has made huge strides in safeguarding what’s left of its wilderness. However, this progress now hangs in the balance, with new laws threatening to turn many of the country’s protected areas into mines and dams. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.437387 -52.206640 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13990 2014-11-07T18:57:00Z 2014-11-07T19:05:35Z Flying under the radar in Central Africa, Chinese companies may be wreaking environmental havoc <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107_china_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tchimpounga, chimpanzees, and extractive industries in the Republic of Congo. 'Tchimpounga is not just a sanctuary,' shouted Rebeca Atencia above the din of the outboard motor, as she pointed to our progress up the Kouilou River on her tablet, donated by Google, which included access to high-resolution satellite maps. The GPS tracking showed us as a small, blue diamond moving slowly up the murky river. Tiffany Roufs -4.516501 11.832092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13987 2014-11-06T18:51:00Z 2014-11-09T16:52:49Z Indigenous uprising earned tribe territories, but greatest challenges lie ahead <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1007_panama_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1925, Nele Kantule led a revolution that would make Guna Yala an independent and sovereign indigenous territory within Panama. Since then, the Guna have maintained a way of life that has allowed them to preserve their natural resources and mainland forest to an exceptional degree. But today, like many indigenous groups around the world, the Guna face some of their greatest challenges yet: the impacts of climate change, encroaching outside influences, and a younger generation that many elders feel is drifting from its roots. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13986 2014-11-06T17:02:00Z 2014-11-10T16:56:15Z Indonesia's new president, ministers have big plans for fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0379.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo (or Jokowi, as he’s popularly called) spent half his 11-minute inaugural address thanking God, his partisans and the citizenry at large. For the rest of the speech he talked about oceans. Was this just rhetorical flourish, or does it portend a new seriousness about maritime management? Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.236231 106.805485 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13985 2014-11-06T16:32:00Z 2014-11-06T17:34:58Z Is the world moving backwards on protected areas? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1106.2-Julie-Larsen-Maher-6451-American-Bison-in-wild_bulls-grazing-by-river-YELL-05-06-06---reduced-size---no-sky---Copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protected areas are undoubtedly the world's most important conservation success story. But, despite this, progress on protected areas is stalling and in some cases even falling behind. According to a sobering new paper, only 20-50 percent of the world's land and marine protected areas are meeting their goals, while the rest are hampered by lack of funding, poor management, and government ambivalence. Jeremy Hance 2.146985, 31.811975 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13984 2014-11-06T03:23:00Z 2014-11-06T03:31:33Z Corruption in Tanzania facilitates ivory trade Corruption in Tanzania is enabling large volumes of illegal elephant ivory to be smuggled out of the country, alleges a new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13983 2014-11-06T02:51:00Z 2014-11-12T03:23:37Z Brazilian tribes demarcate territory in bid to block dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1105brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities in Brazil have taken the unusual step of demarcating their own land &#8212; without the approval of the Brazilian government &#8212; in a bid to block two dams they say threaten their territory and traditional livelihoods, report International Rivers and Amazon Watch, advocacy groups that are fighting the projects. Last week the Munduruku people annexed the 178,000-hectare Sawré Muybu territory after authorities failed to recognize their claims. Rhett Butler -5.216776 -56.9245 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13982 2014-11-06T00:21:00Z 2014-11-06T00:28:45Z Another mining company found operating in flagrant violation of Indonesian law A Harita group mining company in West Kalimantan, Indonesia has been operating well outside of its permit boundary, reports local NGO, Forest Monitoring Volunteers of Borneo (RPHK). Their investigation found that PT. Karya Utama Tambang Jaya, is operating illegally on 78 hectares of land. The company holds permits to mine bauxite (aluminum ore) on 8,878 hectares. Rhett Butler -0.45331 110.128191 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13981 2014-11-05T19:43:00Z 2014-11-05T21:20:57Z Perched on the precipice: India's vultures threatened by E.U. sale of killer drug <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1105-thumb-Vultures1Longbilled1WhitebackedNikitaPrakashBNHS.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Poisoned by cattle carcasses treated with Diclofenac, India’s vultures died by the millions in the 1990s. A captive breeding program is helping to save the once-ubiquitous birds, but the very drug that drove India’s vultures to the precipice of extinction has been given a green light in Italy and Spain. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.777961 77.255844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13980 2014-11-05T17:18:00Z 2014-11-05T19:46:13Z Genetic sleuthing reveals grisly details of historic whale hunting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1105.800px-Whaling_and_Sealing_Ships_at_Grytviken,_South_Georgia_(5686062332).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1904, Carl Anton Larsen, a Norwegian Antarctic explorer, arrived at Grytviken on the British island of South Georgia with three ships and 60 men, to establish its first commercial whaling station. The number of whaling stations soon increased, and by 1965 these had caught and processed an estimated 175,250 whales. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13979 2014-11-05T01:13:00Z 2014-11-12T03:23:48Z Book detailing corruption allegations against Malaysian ruler moves forward A book alleging massive corruption by Sarawak's long-time ruler, Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, is being released despite apparent legal threats against the book's publisher and author. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13977 2014-11-04T20:53:00Z 2014-11-06T17:58:20Z 91% of Kenya’s protected areas shrank in 100 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1104-kenya-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last century, 91.7 percent of all changes to protected areas in Kenya have involved reductions in their area, known as downsizing, which is an unusual and remarkable statistic from a global perspective. Analyses show, however, that a variety of factors—including some that which occurred half a century ago—could be responsible for the status of forests in Kenya today. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.555898 35.151716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13976 2014-11-04T13:46:00Z 2014-11-04T13:52:47Z Feds: gray wolf may have returned to the Grand Canyon after 70 years Over 70 years since the last gray wolf was killed in Grand Canyon National Park, the top predator may be back. Tourists have reported numerous sightings&#8212;and taken photos&#8212;of a wolf-like animal roaming federal forest land just north of the park. Agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now intend to capture the animal to determine if it is indeed a wolf or perhaps a wolf-dog hybrid. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13975 2014-11-04T05:55:00Z 2014-11-04T13:39:17Z Tiger traffickers busted in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1104tigerEvidence150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two online merchants of tiger parts have been arrested in Indonesia. The bust was the result of a coordinated effort between local and national authorities, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which supports 'Wildlife Crimes Units' operating throughout the country. The arrests are a small success in the battle to curtail the trafficking of wildlife parts online—where sellers can readily connect with a broad international customer base. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13974 2014-11-04T05:09:00Z 2014-11-04T05:11:30Z Reducing tax evasion could help save the Amazon Taxing underutilized land in the Amazon could conserve forests, boost productivity, and alleviate poverty, argues study. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13973 2014-11-03T20:48:00Z 2014-11-09T22:43:49Z Can we stop runaway global warming? 'All we need is the will to change' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0117mendenhall_401a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Twenty-six years after the founding of the IPCC, the Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists has released a new synthesis report that warns in its strongest tones yet that climate change must be dealt with. None of the findings are surprising&#8212;they have been released in earlier assessments throughout the year&#8212;but the terms in which they are written are the starkest yet. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13970 2014-11-03T17:17:00Z 2014-11-10T04:37:28Z Indonesian government's concession policy prioritizes companies over forest communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5260.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) analyzes 100 conflicts around the world in the mining, oil and gas, logging and agricultural sectors and examines how and why they come about. The report focuses on several emerging economies, including Brazil, Colombia, Liberia, Peru, and Indonesia. Rhett Butler -7.975598 140.364711 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13971 2014-11-03T15:05:00Z 2014-11-03T15:33:13Z Russia and China blamed for blocking Antarctic marine reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1102.Dmawsoni_Head_shot.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Another year, another failed attempt to protect a significant chunk of the Ross Sea, which sits off the coast of Antarctica. According to observers, efforts to create the world's biggest marine protected area to date were shot down by Russia and China during a meeting in Hobart, Tasmania of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13972 2014-11-03T04:27:00Z 2014-11-05T17:50:10Z Facing severe drought, 'war effort' needed to save the Amazon, says scientist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1823.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Severe droughts in southern Brazil may be linked to deforestation and degradation of Earth's largest rainforest, argues a new report published by a Brazilian scientist. Reviewing data from roughly 200 studies, Antonio Donato Nobre of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) warns that reducing deforestation will not be enough to restore the ecological function of the Amazon rainforest, which acts as a giant water pump that delivers precipitation across much of South America. Rhett Butler -11.178401 -52.434086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13969 2014-10-31T19:42:00Z 2014-11-06T17:58:06Z De-protection of Protected Areas ramps up in Brazil, 'compromises the capacity' of ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1031-thumb-paddd1.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil has reserved about 17.6 percent of its land (1.5 million square kilometers) to receive protection from unauthorized exploitation of resources. However, despite significant expansions in protected areas since the mid-2000s, the formation of Protected Areas has stagnated in the country since 2009, and many have had their protections completely revoked. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.585173 -54.480810 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13968 2014-10-31T19:10:00Z 2014-11-07T16:26:48Z Between the Forest and the Sea: The Yarsuisuit Collective - Part II <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1031_01_guerra_kuna_yala150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this multimedia piece by SRI fellow Bear Guerra, we follow Andrés de León and the Yarsuisuit collective, a group of men who grow and harvest food sustainably in the Guna mainland forest. They also run a store on the island of Ustupu that helps support their families, serving as a model for the wider community. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13966 2014-10-31T16:46:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:55Z 'Too many people': Philippine island being deforested despite extensive protections <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-thumb-serpent-eagle.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>About an hour and a half plane ride from the Philippine capital Manila is Palawan, a long, narrow island home to about a quarter of all the animal species found in the country. But the province is losing its forests at a rapid clip due to human population increases, logging, quarrying, mining, and even a huge palm plantation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.134435 118.937569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13967 2014-10-31T16:35:00Z 2014-10-31T16:51:50Z Pesticides harm bumblebees' ability to forage <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-bee-annam150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bumblebees exposed to pesticides suffered adverse effects to their foraging behavior, according to a new study co-authored by Nigel Raine and Richard Gill in the journal Functional Ecology. Bumblebees are essential insect pollinators that are vital to healthy crop yields and biodiversity, but their populations have been in decline. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-10-30T19:50:22Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13965 2014-10-30T17:54:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:44Z Dissolving pulp: a growing threat to global forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-leaf-monkey-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis -27.756190 29.509802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13963 2014-10-30T15:16:00Z 2014-10-30T16:16:40Z The Search for Lost Frogs: one of conservation's most exciting expeditions comes to life in new book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/_MG_0205.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent years was the Search for Lost Frogs in 2010. The brainchild of scientist, photographer, and frog-lover, Robin Moore, the initiative brought a sense of hope&#8212;and excitement&#8212;to a whole group of animals often ignored by the global public&#8212;and media outlets. Now, Moore has written a fascinating account of the expedition: In Search of Lost Frogs. Jeremy Hance 9.559564 76.929016