tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2014-08-22T22:07:08Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13709 2014-08-22T21:56:00Z 2014-08-22T22:07:08Z Indonesia to hear indigenous peoples' grievances on land disputes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_0709.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Public hearings into alleged violations of indigenous peoples' land rights will open next week in Palu on the island of Sulawesi. This is the beginning of a series of hearings by the Commission on Human Rights to explore conflicts affecting indigenous people in forest areas. The Commission will travel throughout Indonesia, providing concerned parties an opportunity to meet and discuss land disputes, before submitting the results of their findings to the next president. Rhett Butler -0.899125 119.834549 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13708 2014-08-22T19:37:00Z 2014-08-23T18:01:38Z An uncertain future: world's last wild Siberian tigers threatened by illegal logging, global warming, disease (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0822-primorsky-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, between 20 and 30 tigers are poached. Illegal logging is reducing the tigers' habitat, and illegal hunting is reducing its food supply. However, these are not the only threats to wild tiger survival -- other problems are cropping up and taking a toll on the iconic big cat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 46.646831 136.404467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13706 2014-08-22T19:08:00Z 2014-08-22T19:12:29Z Greenpeace alleges SLAPP suit tactic by logging company Greenpeace Canada has filed a Statement of Defense in response to a $7 million lawsuit by Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) over allegations that the logging company destroyed forests in Quebec and Ontario. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13703 2014-08-22T18:14:00Z 2014-08-22T18:50:14Z Invasive species worsen damage from Hawaii's storms <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0822-asner-hawaii-cao-invasiv150e.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Damage from Hurricane Iselle, which recently battered Hawaii's Big Island, was exacerbated by invasion of non-native tree species, say experts who have studied the transformation of Hawaii's native forests. selle, which made landfall on the Big Island on August 7, was the third-strongest tropical cyclone to hit Hawaii since 1950. It caused upwards of $50 million in damage. Rhett Butler 19.46465 -155.015824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13701 2014-08-22T17:09:00Z 2014-08-22T17:11:53Z Under pressure over pollution complaints, Aceh calls for closure of gold mines In the wake of massive fish die-offs and repeated calls from environmental groups to do more than just talk about the issue, the government of Aceh has called for the closure of all illegal gold mines throughout the province. Several members of the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum signed a written appeal for illegal miners to immediately stop their operations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13700 2014-08-22T16:17:00Z 2014-08-22T16:36:18Z Of Prawns and Men on the Bali Strait <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_7917.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Why is shrimp so cheap? The answer: it's not. An in depth look at the shrimp farm industry in Indonesia and the true cost of this universally enjoyed delicacy. This article by Melati Kaye first appeared in the Seashore Issue of the culinary magazine Lucky Peach and was funded under Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiatives program. Tiffany Roufs -8.102039 114.425000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13699 2014-08-21T21:51:00Z 2014-08-21T23:02:15Z Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Tarsier.from.Dinagat.Isl.photo.Andrew-Cunningham.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate&#8212;known as tarsiers&#8212;in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby relatives, according to a new open-access paper in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 10.168583 125.594253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13698 2014-08-21T17:17:00Z 2014-08-21T18:44:37Z Running to reforest: communities, NGOs work to save Ugandan reserve in the midst of massive deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821-bugoma-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Stung by massive loss of forest cover in Bugoma central forest reserve, part of a vast chimpanzee habitat in the western part of Uganda, seven private local and international organizations in the east African country have joined hands to raise awareness of forest issues and money for reforestation efforts -- by launching a conservation-themed quarter-marathon. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.326440 30.922604 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13695 2014-08-21T05:03:00Z 2014-08-21T13:12:34Z Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821Raorchestes-bobingeri_Bob-Inger's-Bush-Frog_Seshadri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in <i>Biotropica</i>. The research assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and found that unlogged forests had twice the density of frogs as areas logged in the 1970s. Rhett Butler 8.688112 77.309221 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13694 2014-08-21T01:02:00Z 2014-08-21T02:10:16Z Indonesia's forests so damaged they burn whether or not there's drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1070.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Air pollution caused by fires set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia. While these fires are often termed forest fires, the reality is much of the area that burns each year has already been deforested and today mostly consists of grass, scrub, and remnants of what was once forest. But the impacts are nonetheless very substantial, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Rhett Butler 1.974402 100.630431 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13693 2014-08-20T22:55:00Z 2014-08-20T23:03:13Z New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0820.madfrog2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species&#8212;dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog&#8212;is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened. Jeremy Hance 14°22.82'S 47°45.46'E tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13692 2014-08-20T22:17:00Z 2014-08-20T22:20:58Z Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and expansion could devastate the environment. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.603479 27.070837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13689 2014-08-20T16:03:00Z 2014-08-20T21:49:28Z Challenging the 'tragedy of the commons': new documentary explores how humans and nature can coexist (VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0820-cantones-2-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Guatemala, a vast community forest has prospered for centuries despite an ever-growing population, challenging the idea that human inhabitation of an area will inevitably lead to its ecological degradation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.723830 -91.570518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13688 2014-08-19T21:58:00Z 2014-08-20T15:21:05Z Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Panda-wearing-GPS-collar-CREDIT-China-Academy-of-Sciences.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten&#8212;or possibly more&#8212;you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to save species from extinction, but also working to save their field&#8212;their life's work&#8212;from slipping into total despair. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13687 2014-08-19T18:23:00Z 2014-08-22T19:52:58Z Logging of Russian Far East damaging tiger habitat, few intact forests protected (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0819-siberian-cub-derek-ramsey-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world’s largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, with more than half of the world’s coniferous forests. However, worldwide demand for high quality timber, along with weak regulations, has led to widespread logging of Russia’s trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis 49.072346 138.014209 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13686 2014-08-19T16:11:00Z 2014-08-19T16:32:54Z 20 percent of Africa's elephants killed in three years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0819.elephants.14-03984-large1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant population was killed annually, equaling just over 20 percent of the continent's population in that time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13685 2014-08-19T05:18:00Z 2014-08-19T05:34:50Z Norway puts $1.6B into rainforest conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/australia/150/australia_mossman_gorge_071.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since 2008 Norway has been the single largest foreign donor to tropical forest conservation, putting more than 10 billion Norwegian Krone, or $1.6 billion, toward programs in several countries under its International Climate and Forest Initiative. But how effective have those funds been in actually protecting forests? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13684 2014-08-19T01:44:00Z 2014-08-21T02:10:01Z 20 orangutan pictures for World Orangutan Day <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0909.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>August 19 is World Orangutan Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about the great red ape, which is threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and hunting. Once distributed across much of southeast Asia, today orangutans are only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Both species of orangutan &#8212; the Sumatran and the Bornean &#8212; are considered endangered. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13681 2014-08-18T16:49:00Z 2014-08-18T16:52:56Z When forests aren't really forests: the high cost of Chile’s tree plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0818-pudu-jimenez-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At first glance, the statistics tell a hopeful story: Chile’s forests are expanding. On the ground, however, a different scene plays out: monocultures have replaced diverse natural forests while Mapuche native protesters burn pine plantations, blockade roads and destroy logging equipment. At the crux of these two starkly contrasting narratives is the definition of a single word: “forest.” Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.079512 -73.035033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13680 2014-08-18T13:50:00Z 2014-08-18T14:30:21Z 13 newly-discovered birds declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0817.800px-Coenocorypha_barrierensis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a recent update of the IUCN Red List, scientists have identified 13 new bird species that have gone extinct since 1500. In total the list now finds that at least 140 bird species gone extinct in the past five hundred years, representing 1.3 percent of the world's total known birds. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13679 2014-08-17T20:14:00Z 2014-08-17T20:29:13Z Google Earth spurs discovery of a 'new' chameleon species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/australia/150/0817Rampholeon-Maspictus-Credit-William-R-Branch150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google Earth has spurred the discovery of another new species. In this case, the creature is a pygmy chameleon, one of four previously unknown <i>Rhampholeon</i> chameleon species described from the remote ‘sky islands’ in Mozambique. The Mount Mabu pygmy chameleon was discovered after Google Earth images of a tract of forest led Julian Bayliss to launch a scientific expedition to the region. Rhett Butler -16.301687 36.371398 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13678 2014-08-16T19:43:00Z 2014-08-17T19:59:37Z Indonesian govt reiterates plan to clear 14M ha of forest by 2020 The Indonesian government is pressing forward with plans to clear 14 million hectares of forest between 2010 and 2020 despite a commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Rhett Butler -3.118576 102.90576 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13677 2014-08-16T18:48:00Z 2014-08-16T18:55:20Z Bali uprising: Plan to convert protected area into golf courses, mall spurs outrage <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0815protest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a reversal sparking outrage from locals, and concern from environmentalists, the Governor of Bali, Indonesia has given the green light to a controversial development project in Benoa Bay. The plan would convert 700 acres of theoretically protected mangrove and ocean front into a tourist haven of golf courses, hotels, luxury shopping and attractions rumored to include a race track and theme park. The move has sparked a series of protests and demonstrations by local citizens and environmental groups concerned that the development will kill livelihoods and destroy the fragile marine ecosystem. Rhett Butler -8.821635 115.220463 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13676 2014-08-15T18:00:00Z 2014-08-17T17:35:49Z Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0815-siberian-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies. Morgan Erickson-Davis 63.712223 40.854324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13670 2014-08-14T23:59:00Z 2014-08-15T01:00:46Z ConAgra adopts greener palm oil policy U.S. food giant ConAgra has adopted a new sourcing policy that will exclude palm oil produced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13669 2014-08-14T23:15:00Z 2014-08-14T23:20:56Z Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-sum-elephants-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes. The number of Sumatran elephants poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in the first six months of 2014 compared to 14 for the entirety of 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.410429 101.647161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13668 2014-08-14T19:36:00Z 2014-08-14T19:46:06Z China and Europe's outsourcing of soy production impacts the Amazon Soy consumption in China and Europe is having significant ecological impacts in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, finds a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -11.544616 -54.803238 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13667 2014-08-14T18:52:00Z 2014-08-14T19:18:04Z Indonesia cracks down on illegal burning, investigates more suspect companies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-burn-riau-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian forest are illegally burned by development companies. However, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, is optimistic that legal charges over such fires can be completed – even though he has just three months left in office. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.331012 101.394371 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13666 2014-08-14T04:41:00Z 2014-08-14T04:45:43Z Big palm oil companies move forward on carbon study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0743.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seven palm oil giants have agreed to fund a study that will define what constitutes "High Carbon Stock" (HCS) forest, a move that will potentially determine the fate of ecosystems around the world as more companies commit to "zero-deforestation" policies based on the amount of carbon stored in vegetation. Rhett Butler -1.664195 112.930999 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13663 2014-08-13T20:44:00Z 2014-08-16T03:36:31Z 'Natural Reserves' no more: illegal colonists deforest huge portions of Nicaraguan protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813-watsa-tapir-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In southeastern Nicaragua, abutting the coastal Caribbean town of Bluefields, lie two nature reserves - Cerro Silva and Punta Gorda - that are embroiled in a bitter battle for survival against the speedily encroaching agricultural frontier. The forest is all but decimated here, with disconnected patches whose very existence rests precariously in the hands of its occupiers - both legal and illegal. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.435397 -84.015472 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13661 2014-08-13T19:38:00Z 2014-08-13T19:41:47Z Aceh backtracking on mining moratorium, continues to issue permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813JUNAIDI_TAMBANG-EMAS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Governor of Aceh Province, Indonesia appears unwilling to implement a mining moratorium, despite repeated statements he intends to do so. Governor Zaini Abdullah, a co-founder of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), has said on several occasions that he believes there should be a moratorium on mining licenses, however watch-groups claim no official policy has been enacted. Rhett Butler 4.409398 97.175231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13660 2014-08-13T17:37:00Z 2014-08-13T17:50:40Z Titanium vs. Millipedes: new species discovered in Madagascar threatened by mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813-millipede-2-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of scientists from the United States and Germany has recently described seven new species of Malagasy giant pill-millipede. All but one of these species are considered “microendemics,” in that they have only been found in small, isolated forest patches. Morgan Erickson-Davis -24.544962 45.285388 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13659 2014-08-13T14:39:00Z 2014-08-13T15:03:01Z Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Asian-tapir-1-in-Khlong-Saeng-e1406263277651.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If someone told you there was a place where 200 million year old coral reefs had erupted from beneath the sea and were now draped in the oldest rain forest in the world, a place where marbled cats and clouded leopards prowl the sharp crags and their dark caves in search of dead bats and small prey, would you believe them? Jeremy Hance 9.058377 98.645914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-08-13T12:36:35Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13657 2014-08-12T22:34:00Z 2014-08-13T04:13:32Z Governors pledge massive cuts in deforestation Governors from 13 states have pledged to reduce deforestation 80 percent by 2020 provided rich companies step forward with adequate levels of financial support. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13656 2014-08-12T20:43:00Z 2014-08-12T22:12:16Z A paradise being lost: Peru's most important forests felled for timber, crops, roads, mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0812-watsa-9-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1988, when British environmentalist Norman Myers first described the concept of a “biodiversity hotspot," he could have been painting a picture of the highly threatened Peruvian Andes mountain range. Today, the Andes are an immediate and looming portent of the fate of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.229730 -70.769231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13655 2014-08-12T20:35:00Z 2014-08-12T20:42:11Z Demand for shark fin plunging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0812.WildAid-Hilton4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shark fin demand has dropped precipitously in China in just a few years, according to a new report by WildAid. Shark fin traders in Guangzhou&#8212;the current informal capital of the shark fin trade&#8212;say their sales have fallen by 82 percent in just two years, according to WildAid. Jeremy Hance 23.121809 113.325348 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13654 2014-08-12T19:54:00Z 2014-08-12T20:39:02Z Jane Goodall: how many elephants will be killed on World Elephant Day? Marking World Elephant Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about the plight of elephants that are being widely poached for the ivory trade, primatologist Jane Goodall urged people to have greater compassion for Earth's largest land animals. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13653 2014-08-12T16:13:00Z 2014-08-19T21:34:59Z An untapped resource: new study finds local people may trump scientists at biodiversity surveys <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0812-harpy-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Figuring out what species live in a given area is important to the determination of its conservation importance. Traditionally, these biodiversity assessments have been done directly by scientists via surveys, which can be very time-intensive and expensive. However, a new study found that interviewing people in local communities who are familiar with the species of their regions could be just as effective – and much cheaper. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.141315 -85.023882 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13652 2014-08-12T03:52:00Z 2014-08-12T03:57:02Z China failing to take effective action against timber smugglers Voluntary guidelines established by the Chinese government won't be enough to curb rampant timber smuggling by Chinese companies, putting 'responsible' actors at risk of having their reputations tarnished, argues a new campaign by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13651 2014-08-12T01:18:00Z 2014-08-12T03:08:13Z Half of Riau's oil palm plantations are illegal Half of the oil palm plantations in Sumatra's Riau Province are illegal, said Indonesia's top forestry official. Rhett Butler 0.065918 101.5874 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13646 2014-08-11T17:14:00Z 2014-08-13T21:05:39Z Planting meadows in the ocean: technique may help restore disappearing seagrass beds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0811-pearl-net-with-spathes-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eelgrass is an important part of many ocean ecosystems, but is disappearing due to human impacts. However, a study published recently in found eelgrass beds could benefit from a restoration technique using seed-filled pearl nets. Morgan Erickson-Davis 37.785788 -122.368420 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13644 2014-08-11T04:23:00Z 2014-08-11T04:33:31Z Aceh's largest peat swamp at risk from palm oil Oil palm plantations and other developments are threatening Rawa Singkil Wildlife Preserve—Aceh's largest peat swamp, and home to the densest population of Sumatran orangutan in the Leuser Ecosystem. The lack of clear boundaries, and construction of roads bisecting the area has fostered encroachment by local and outside entrepreneurs, including some former local officials, reports Abu Hanifah Lubis, Program Manager of Yayasan Leuser Internasional (YLI). Rhett Butler 2.60355 97.807059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13642 2014-08-08T16:17:00Z 2014-08-08T16:19:07Z The threat of traditional medicine: China's boom may mean doom for turtles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0808-mauremys-reevesii-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating a causative link between turtle consumption and medicinal benefits, many people in China believe they can be used to cure disease and maintain health. Because of this, turtles have been highly sought after for more than 3,000 years. However, in recent years, China’s economy has changed in a way that has become increasingly threatening to the country’s wild turtle populations. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.149867 109.541385 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13641 2014-08-08T03:56:00Z 2014-08-08T04:13:59Z NASA: Forest loss leaps in Bolivia, Mekong region New satellite data from NASA suggests that deforestation is sharply increasing in Bolivia and Mekong countries during the second quarter of 2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13639 2014-08-07T17:56:00Z 2014-08-07T22:42:06Z The 90 Percent Diet: reducing our environmental impact by eating less meat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0807-machovino4-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Brian Machovina’s life, a serendipitous influence of people and places have all contributed to his current passion for inspiring people to eat less meat. With fewer grazing animals, Machovina’s studies show that we could make better conservation and production choices with land that would otherwise be used to raise or feed livestock. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.470387 -83.342319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13638 2014-08-07T16:44:00Z 2014-08-19T15:46:30Z Want to save Africa's elephants? Close all ivory markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0807.gabon-27820.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The only way to save the long-suffering elephants of Africa is to close every ivory market on the planet and destroy all ivory stockpiles, according to a bold new essay in Conservation Biology. Written by Elizabeth Bennett, the Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the paper is likely to prove controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13637 2014-08-07T02:33:00Z 2014-08-07T02:39:49Z Singapore to fine domestic, foreign companies for causing haze Singapore's parliament has approved a controversial measure that could penalize companies &#8212; both foreign and domestic &#8212; that are responsible for causing haze overseas, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler 1.288982 103.850518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13636 2014-08-06T16:40:00Z 2014-08-06T16:45:47Z Blue-footed boobies on the decline, plummeting sardine stocks may be to blame <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0806-bfbooby-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The iconic blue-footed booby of the Galapagos Islands has suffered a population decline of 50 percent in less than 20 years, according to research conducted by biologists from Wake Forest University. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.535014 -90.822109 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13635 2014-08-06T14:08:00Z 2014-08-06T14:14:22Z Elephants under the sea: awkward-looking fish modify the coral-reef ecosystem in mixed ways <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0805.bumphead_Photo-credit-Kurt-Gross.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bumphead parrotfish are noisy feeders. They break off large branches of corals using their powerful beaks, grind them up in their bodies to extract nutrients, and expel the undigested material in large cloudy plumes of feces. Their voracious feeding is, however, not just a loud, messy affair. During the course of their feeding, they also change the coral reef ecosystem in numerous ways. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13634 2014-08-06T00:57:00Z 2014-08-06T01:00:08Z Oil palm, mining prompts local govt in Borneo to declare water unsafe for drinking The Environment Ministry of Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia declared that the water in many rivers and lakes is unsuitable for consumption due to high levels of pollution. Rhett Butler 0.364606 111.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13633 2014-08-05T22:10:00Z 2014-08-05T22:15:17Z 95% of Amazon deforestation happens near roads or major rivers 94.9 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon occurs on land less than 5 kilometers from a road or navigable river, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -10.281393 -63.27886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13632 2014-08-05T21:23:00Z 2014-08-05T21:30:36Z New Jersey bans elephant ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1142.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a ban on elephant ivory sales, reports NorthJersey.com. The measure, passed earlier by the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly, establishes fines for first-time offenders caught buying or selling ivory products. Repeat offenders have stiffer fines. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13631 2014-08-05T19:17:00Z 2014-08-06T17:19:17Z Yellow spots, orange stripes: vivid new frog species discovered in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805-new-frog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of frog on the Malay Peninsula. The newly named <i>Hylorana centropeninsularis</i> was discovered in a peat swamp and genetic analyses revealed that it is evolutionarily distinct from its stream-dwelling cousins. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.348802 102.729721 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13629 2014-08-05T18:18:00Z 2014-08-05T18:28:04Z Featured video: new documentary highlights the Long March to save the Sundarbans Last fall tens of thousands of Bangladeshis participated in a five day march that took them from the country's capital to the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. They marched to protest the proposal to build a coal plant on the edge of the great wetland. Filmmaker, Bratto Amin, was there. Jeremy Hance 22.605330 89.694824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13628 2014-08-05T15:26:00Z 2014-08-11T01:30:43Z Biomass burning accounts for 18% of CO2 emissions, kills a quarter of a million people annually Biomass burning takes many forms: wildfires, slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing forests and other vegetation, and even industrialized burning for energy production. Yet this burning&#8212;mostly manmade but also natural&#8212;takes a massive toll both on human health and the environment. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13627 2014-08-05T14:41:00Z 2014-08-05T15:26:36Z How did Ebola Zaïre Get to Guinea? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805ebola150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The vicious Ebola outbreak that has already killed over 800 people this year was not a strain endemic to the region as initially believed. Instead the University of Edinburgh found that the strain is the same as the Ebola Zaïre found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaïre. Does this mean the strain could have come from illegally-trafficked great apes instead of fruit bats as widely reported? Tiffany Roufs -1.421960 17.311584 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13624 2014-08-04T20:13:00Z 2014-08-04T20:19:09Z Tin mining, palm oil plantations wreaking havoc on small Indonesian island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-tarsier-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Belitung, a picturesque island off the east coast of Sumatra, has experienced an uptick in tourism recently due to its unspoiled white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But next to all of the beauty, an environmental tragedy is quietly unfolding: the island’s primary forests are being cut down at an alarming rate in favor of mining and palm oil plantations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.939268 107.975917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13622 2014-08-04T18:36:00Z 2014-08-04T18:44:40Z Scientists catalog the world's 10,000th reptile <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/costa_rica_la_selva_0252.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As of this year, scientists have named and described over 10,000 reptiles, marking a new milestone in cataloging one of the most diverse vertebrate groups. Last week, the Reptile Database, an online catalog of all the world's living reptiles, announced it had passed 10,000 species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13621 2014-08-04T16:53:00Z 2014-08-05T05:05:40Z Where have all the big animals gone? Indian park devoid of many species, further threatened by forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-bengal-nam-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Namdapha National Park is part of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot. However, locating many species in the park is becoming increasingly difficult, the region has lost thousands of hectares of forest in the past decade, and studies project the situation may simply worsen in the coming years. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.502373 96.445155 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13620 2014-08-01T16:47:00Z 2014-08-01T18:04:46Z 2 prize-winning journalists will report on Amazon, 2 new prizes announced <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) program has recently awarded two different reporting prizes to journalists to tackle these vital and complicated issues in-depth. The non-profit has also launched a call for applications to two new SRIs: The social and environmental impacts of foreign development finance in the Amazon and Food spoilage and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13619 2014-08-01T14:11:00Z 2014-08-05T15:09:02Z Ndoki Forest, charmed or cursed? Conservationists admit sustainable logging wilting in naïve chimp habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716-stiles-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'You come across that crest, and … you're going from forest that has already been exploited to this kind on no-man's land… It just felt like you were going into this vast unknown wilderness' – Mike Fay from Eating Apes by Dale Peterson and Karl Ammann. Mike Fay, famed explorer and conservationist, said this of the Ndoki Forest in the Republic of the Congo. Tiffany Roufs 2.578542 16.621219 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13618 2014-07-31T19:44:00Z 2014-07-31T19:46:19Z Brazil releases video showing first contact with rainforest tribe The Brazilian government has released footage showing 'first contact' with an isolated group of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13617 2014-07-31T16:03:00Z 2014-08-01T23:06:00Z Ecologists are underestimating the impacts of rainforest logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0731frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal <i>Current Biology</i>. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Rhett Butler 15.736084 50.025458 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13616 2014-07-31T15:14:00Z 2014-07-31T15:34:05Z World Ranger Day: honoring our wildlife protectors Like Memorial Day, when we honor our nation's military veterans, World Ranger Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the thousands of rangers who put their lives on the line as they protect wildlife and natural resources around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13615 2014-07-31T14:33:00Z 2014-08-21T20:13:52Z The Philippines: where 'megadiversity' meets mega deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0731-eagle-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ongoing loss of forest cover in the Philippines places it among the top ten most threatened forest hotspots in the world, with the archipelago ranking fourth, behind Indo-Burma, New Caledonia and Sundaland (a region encompassing Australia and parts of Southeast Asia). According to a report issued by Conservation International, only seven percent of Philippine forests remain intact. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.732765 124.497064 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13614 2014-07-31T12:53:00Z 2014-08-04T17:41:09Z Seeking justice for Corazón: jaguar killings test the conservation movement in Mexico <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0731.0731.2009-06-June-27---Corazon---Los-Pavos.ac.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eight years ago, a female jaguar cub was caught on film by a motion-triggered camera trap set in the foothills of canyons, oak forest, and scrubland that make-up the Northern Jaguar Reserve, just 125 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Three years later, in 2009, the jaguar reappeared on film as an adult. They called her 'Corazón' for the distinctive heart-shaped spot on her left shoulder. Jeremy Hance 29.056000 -109.231003 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13613 2014-07-31T05:10:00Z 2014-07-31T17:22:55Z Poachers target elephants, tigers in Sumatran park The Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia is gaining the attention of international animal traffickers, according to the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL). From the beginning of 2013, FKL patrols have dismantled 282 makeshift traps targeting high value threatened species, and the situation is getting worse. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13612 2014-07-30T23:11:00Z 2014-07-31T00:34:38Z Cargill to cut off suppliers who don't provide deforestation-free palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_2580.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Agricultural giant Cargill, America's largest palm oil importer, will no longer buy palm oil from sources associated with deforestation, conversion of peatlands, and social conflict. The policy follows similar commitments made by other major palm oil buyers, including Unilever and Nestle, and comes after years of campaigning led by the Rainforest Action Network. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13611 2014-07-30T19:10:00Z 2014-07-30T23:24:39Z Conservation controversy: are bonobos protected in the right ways and in the right places? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0730-drc3-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bonobos, endangered great apes, continue to survive in forests south of the Congo River in the DRC, albeit under constant threat of hunting, loss of habitat and the growing demands of an increasing human population. Conservationists have, over the years, tried and tested different conservation strategies to protect the last of the bonobos. And some of these strategies have invited considerable debate. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.246226 23.837463 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13609 2014-07-30T18:00:00Z 2014-07-30T18:10:02Z The world's best mother: meet the octopus that guards its eggs for over four years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/07290.deepseaoctopus.76619.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ultimate goal of all species on the planet is procreation, the act of making anew. But few mothers could contend with a deep-sea octopus, known as Graneledone boreopacifica, which researchers have recently observed guarding its eggs for four-and-a-half years (53 months), before likely succumbing to starvation soon after. Jeremy Hance 36.782289 -121.833888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13608 2014-07-30T17:05:00Z 2014-08-01T23:05:44Z The future of tropical biology research and conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0730AUS_7002150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) held its 51st annual meeting in Cairns, Australia. In addition to the normal symposia, plenaries, and poster sessions on a wide range of conservation topics, the convening produced a declaration calling for stronger protection of the Great Barrier Reef and two resolutions on expanding research funding in Papua New Guinea and >imploring Australia to restore its environmental leadership. Rhett Butler -16.927503 145.777812 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13603 2014-07-30T13:19:00Z 2014-07-30T13:29:10Z Stunning high-resolution map reveals secrets of Peru's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0730-peru-carbon-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peru’s landmass has just been mapped like never before, revealing important insights about the country's forests that could help it unlock the value healthy and productive ecosystems afford humanity. Rhett Butler -5.16754 -75.038223 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13602 2014-07-29T20:30:00Z 2014-07-29T20:40:13Z 87 new bird species considered threatened with extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0729.Lilacine-Amazon-(Amazona-lilacina)-Endangered_copyright-Steve-Wilson.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have added 361 new bird species to the IUCN Red List following a major taxonomic review of non-passerine birds, i.e. non-perching or non-songbirds. Worryingly, 87 of these new birds are threatened with extinction, a percentage nearly double the overall threatened percentage for all birds, which currently sits at 13 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13601 2014-07-29T19:25:00Z 2014-07-29T19:32:15Z Peruvian oil spill sparks concern in indigenous rainforest community A ruptured pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Marañón River in late June is fueling concerns about potential health impacts for a small indigenous community. Rhett Butler -4.81667 -75.16667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13599 2014-07-29T18:34:00Z 2014-07-29T18:44:10Z Deforestation ramping up in Yasuni as Ecuador sets to open up national park to drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0729-yasuniroad-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yasuni National park has been in the conservation spotlight in recent years, with oil drilling threatening the forests and wildlife of this biodiversity hotspot. Recently, disturbance in the park may have ramped up, with satellite data showing a significant increase in deforestation alerts within Yasuni National Park since 2011. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.100887 -75.807128 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13597 2014-07-29T15:12:00Z 2014-07-29T19:38:37Z Don't eat or touch bat bushmeat amid worsening Ebola outbreak, UN warns The world's worst Ebola outbreak was likely begun by a hunter shooting a fruit bat for their dinner or the market, according to the UN. The outbreak has killed over 660 people in six months to date, and recently spread via plane to Nigeria. The disease is particularly deadly with a mortality rate of around 90 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13595 2014-07-29T02:18:00Z 2014-07-29T03:43:28Z Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1423.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, and company documents. Rhett Butler -1.830972 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13594 2014-07-28T23:03:00Z 2014-07-29T19:38:58Z Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0728.Phataginus_tricuspis_APWG_2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence due to a thriving trade in East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13591 2014-07-28T19:23:00Z 2014-07-28T19:25:34Z Invasion of the oil palm: western Africa's native son returns, threatening great apes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0728-lowland-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As palm oil producers increasingly look to Africa’s tropical forests as suitable candidates for their next plantations, primate scientists are sounding the alarm about the destruction of ape habitat that can go hand in hand with oil palm expansion. A recent study sought to take those warnings a step further by quantifying the overlap in suitable oil palm land with current ape habitat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.693148 9.191509 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13590 2014-07-28T13:17:00Z 2014-07-29T19:39:18Z Short-eared dog? Uncovering the secrets of one of the Amazon's most mysterious mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0727.2010.-Los-Amigos.-Oso-at-age-4-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifteen years ago, scientists knew next to nothing about one of the Amazon's most mysterious residents: the short-eared dog. Although the species was first described in 1883 and is considered the sole representative of the Atelocynus genus, biologists spent over a century largely in the dark about an animal that seemed almost a myth. Jeremy Hance -11.888234 -71.407557 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13589 2014-07-25T20:43:00Z 2014-08-04T00:27:24Z No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0725-leatherbackthumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Turtles comprise one of the oldest living groups of reptiles, with hundreds of species found throughout the world. Many have been well-researched, and scientists know very specific things about their various evolutionary histories, metabolic rates, and the ways in which their sexes are determined. But there was one very obvious thing that has been largely left unknown by science until very recently. Turtles can make sounds. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.175781 -54.056661 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13588 2014-07-25T20:15:00Z 2014-07-31T14:49:46Z Seafood apartments and other experiments in fixing Indonesia's fisheries (Part IV) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716KAYE-PART-4-3_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shrimp farms, industrial plants, and one of Indonesia's busiest thoroughfares make up Java's north coast today. It's a very different scene from the fishing villages with beachfront boat parking that stood here decades earlier. Which begs the question, where will fish live in this new 'coast without mangroves, without coral, without seagrass,' asks Alan Koropitan, a marine biologist based at Bogor Agricultural University. Tiffany Roufs -6.630277 110.281225 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13587 2014-07-24T23:40:00Z 2014-07-25T04:12:22Z True stewards: new report says local communities key to saving forests, curbing global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-commforest-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is compromising forests around the world, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that are contributing to global warming. A new report released today finds a possible solution: protecting forests by empowering the local communities that live within them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.512761 -55.993002 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13586 2014-07-24T22:57:00Z 2014-07-24T23:12:55Z A letter to Indonesia's new president on his environmental policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Congratulations on your successful bid for the Indonesian presidency. Although neither you nor your opponent spent much time focusing on the environment, the world hopes your previous record in Surakarta (Solo) and Jakarta, coupled with the idealistic language in your campaign platform, is evidence enough of your intent to slow the rapid destruction of Indonesia's environment. It will be a long and challenging road, but the Indonesian people have entrusted their country to you based on the promises you made to them. The world looks forward to watching you enact policies that keep these promises. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13585 2014-07-24T20:50:00Z 2014-07-29T19:39:35Z It's not just extinction: meet defaunation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1520.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation. Fauna is the total collection of animals&#8212;both in terms of species diversity and abundance&#8212;in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including extinction, extirpation, or population declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13582 2014-07-24T11:00:00Z 2014-07-24T11:02:51Z Targeted enforcement saved a Massachusetts-worth of Amazon rainforest in 3 years Targeted law enforcement efforts via Brazil's green municipalities programs were responsible for reducing deforestation by 10,653 square kilometers &#8212; an area the size of Massachusetts &#8212; between 2009 and 2011, argues a paper published in the journal <i>Land Use Policy</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13581 2014-07-24T10:40:00Z 2014-07-24T11:15:52Z Brazil could meet all its food demand by 2040 without cutting down another tree <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0609.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Better utilization of its vast areas of pasturelands could enable Brazil to dramatically boost agricultural production without the need to clear another hectare of Amazon rainforest, cerrado, or Atlantic forest, argues a new study published in the journal <i>Global Environmental Change</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13580 2014-07-24T08:10:00Z 2014-07-24T08:11:30Z Scientists ask Australia to strengthen, not weaken, protection for Great Barrier Reef A convening of nearly 600 tropical biologists and conservation scientists has called upon the Australian government to strengthen protection of the Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The declaration, issued at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), comes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott pushes to allow industrial dumping in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as well as port development in a nearby coastal area. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13579 2014-07-24T07:22:00Z 2014-07-24T09:01:45Z Lush Cosmetics launches bid to protect pangolins Lush Cosmetics has agreed to support an effort to battle trafficking of the Sunda pangolin. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13578 2014-07-24T06:07:00Z 2014-07-24T06:08:14Z Scientists ask PNG to support conservation research The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world's largest group of tropical researchers, is calling on the government of Papua New Guinea to increase support for biology training programs in the densely-forested and wildlife-rich country. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13577 2014-07-24T00:05:00Z 2014-07-24T14:43:17Z Rebuilding Kissama: war-torn Angola's only national park affected by deforestation, but refaunation gives hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0723-sable-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The story of Kissama National Park is one of perseverance, vision and disaster in waiting. The only functional national park in Angola, a country wracked by war for decades, Kissama (also called Quiçama) lost much of its wildlife, with that which is left still impacted by poaching and deforestation. However, a project is attempting to bring the park back to life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.750132 13.583006 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13575 2014-07-23T07:01:00Z 2014-07-23T09:05:12Z Phone-based logging alert system eyes expanding to the Amazon After exceeding an ambitious fundraising target to launch a near-real time forest monitoring system in the Congo Basin, a San-Francisco based start-up is now eyeing expansion in the Amazon where it hopes to help an indigenous rainforest tribe fight illegal logging. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13574 2014-07-22T23:03:00Z 2014-07-23T08:41:17Z NASA: Sumatra fires in the rise The number of fires burning in Sumatra's Riau Province doubled on Sunday, raising concerns that dry conditions could unleash an especially severe haze this dry season in Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.911267 101.598415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13573 2014-07-22T21:37:00Z 2014-07-22T22:20:26Z 'A high price to pay': new Indonesian peatland regulation may do more harm than good <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0722-peat-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Government Regulation on Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management, initially drafted by the Ministry of Forestry in 2013, is getting mixed acceptance from civil society. On one hand, the regulation would offer more protection to the country’s vast peatland areas. However, on the other, some NGOs have slammed the draft as a potential source of new conflicts for local people. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.712921 102.020697