tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2014-09-20T23:18:51Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13810 2014-09-20T12:46:00Z 2014-09-20T23:18:51Z Palm oil giants announce deforestation moratorium -- effective immediately <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five of the world's largest palm oil producers have announced an immediate moratorium on palm oil sourced via clearance of potential high carbon stock forests. On Friday, Asian Agri, IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Berhad, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation said they will suspend forest clearing until they have completed a year-along study that aims to establish a threshold for defining what constitutes high carbon stock (HCS) forest. Rhett Butler 3.114409 101.573087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13809 2014-09-19T22:49:00Z 2014-09-20T12:53:25Z After 12 years, Indonesia finally ratifies transboundary haze agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/0920gfwfires150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia ended 12 years of stalling this week, becoming the last ASEAN nation to ratify an agreement on transboundary haze. As smoke from more than 1,200 fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan pushed air pollution in neighboring Singapore to 'unhealthy' levels, the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13808 2014-09-19T22:13:00Z 2014-09-19T22:42:00Z Changing climate, changing conservation paradigms in Canada's boreal forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919smoke150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Crackling heat and thick billowing smoke raced across the landscape. After weeks of scorching dry summer weather, the wildfire seemed to hungrily consume the earth. In northern Alberta, Canada, the Richardson fire of 2011 gained particular notoriety for ravaging nearly 700,000 hectares – and threatening the Athabasca oil sand development. Yet it is these very wildfires that are so crucial in shaping our boreal forests – which make up nearly one third of the world's forests. Brittany Stewart 57.884529 -111.033318 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13807 2014-09-19T17:39:00Z 2014-09-19T21:50:59Z Is there hope for the vaquita? IUCN calls for action to save world's smallest, rarest porpoise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the baiji was declared extinct in the early aughts, the vaquita has taken its unenviable position as the world’s most threatened cetacean. The tiny porpoise currently numbers around 100, with accidental entanglement in gillnets primarily responsible for its decline. In response, the IUCN recently issued a statement calling for immediate action to curb vaquita bycatch and head off its extinction – which otherwise may lie just around the corner. Morgan Erickson-Davis 31.095548 -114.586877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13803 2014-09-19T08:18:00Z 2014-09-19T08:21:06Z Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts to cut palm oil linked to deforestation Two of the world's largest doughnut brands this week committed to sourcing safeguards that move them toward eliminating deforestation from their palm oil supply chains. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13802 2014-09-19T05:16:00Z 2014-09-19T05:42:12Z Brazil cancels Tapajos dam auction due to indigenous concerns Brazilian authorities have suspended the auction of the centerpiece of the massive Tapajos hydroelectric complex, reports Agencia Brasil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13801 2014-09-18T22:14:00Z 2014-09-18T22:24:28Z World population could surpass THIRTEEN billion by the end of the century By 2100, over 13 billion people could be walking the planet. That's the conclusion of a new study published today in <i>Science</i>, which employed UN data to explore the probability of various population scenarios. The new study further demolishes the long-held theory that human population growth will quit growing by mid-century and then fall. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13799 2014-09-18T19:26:00Z 2014-09-18T19:28:15Z Legislation protecting Indonesia's indigenous communities is not good enough, says advocacy group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0918-fronds-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Approaching final legalization, an advocacy group for Indonesia’s indigenous communities has asked to postpone passing a bill granting protections to indigenous people, stating some demands still need to be addressed. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.471485 100.315548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13794 2014-09-18T15:35:00Z 2014-09-18T15:45:50Z The cheap option on climate change: recognize indigenous rights to forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_1160.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since 2008, governments have invested $1.64 billion in funds to kick-start REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, the global effort to conserve the world's forests in order to better mitigate climate change. However, a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) finds that same amount of money could have secured the legal rights of indigenous and local people to 450 million hectares of forest, an area 40 percent larger than India. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13793 2014-09-17T19:46:00Z 2014-09-17T19:53:51Z 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may have belonged to slain leaders Peruvian authorities have pulled more human remains from a remote river in the Amazon, which may belong to one of the four murdered Ashaninka natives killed on September 1st. It is believed the four Ashaninka men, including renowned leader Edwin Chota Valera, were assassinated for speaking up against illegal logging on their traditional lands. Jeremy Hance -10.433375 -71.573146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13792 2014-09-17T18:13:00Z 2014-09-17T19:42:41Z Camera traps capture ‘fantastically bizarre’ animal behavior in South African park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0917-genet-buffalo-wildlifeact-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cowbirds ride cattle to pick off their parasites; egrets pal around with wildebeest and eat the small creatures disturbed by their grazing. But mammals riding other mammals is something long-thought pretty much isolated to humans and their domestic creatures. Then, earlier this month, a camera trap in a park in South Africa captured something that contradicts this assumption: a genet riding around on giant herbivores. Morgan Erickson-Davis -28.229220 31.921758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13791 2014-09-17T16:33:00Z 2014-09-17T17:21:52Z 'We will win this war': Yeb Saño speaks out on global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0917-walrus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ahead of the upcoming Climate Change Summit to be held in New York, September 23, a Filipino man who last year made headlines around the world on the subject is speaking out. Morgan Erickson-Davis 78.314712 17.687267 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13790 2014-09-17T09:47:00Z 2014-09-17T15:29:19Z Plantation companies agree to process to define zero deforestation commitments A group of palm oil and timber companies that have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains have agreed to establish a standard for determining what constitutes forest in terms of carbon storage. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13789 2014-09-17T08:55:00Z 2014-09-18T12:26:49Z Activists urge outgoing Indonesian president to protect key forest area before he steps down Activists have launched an urgent appeal calling upon outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to step up protection of the only ecosystem that houses Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13788 2014-09-16T21:18:00Z 2014-09-16T21:23:15Z Malayan tiger population plunges to just 250-340 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/animals_01912.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Malaysia is on the edge of losing its tigers, and the world is one step nearer to losing another tiger subspecies: the Malayan tiger. Camera trap surveys from 2010-2013 have estimated that only 250-340 Malayan tigers remain, potentially a halving of the previous estimate of 500 individuals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13784 2014-09-16T18:03:00Z 2014-09-16T18:04:31Z From 'production' forests to protected forests, groups work to save Sumatran orangutan habitat. But will it be enough? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0584.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The orangutan is native exclusively to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra — two regions that have seen the brunt of Indonesia's recent forest destruction due primarily to logging and plantation development. Although there are anywhere from 45,000 to 69,000 Bornean orangutans remaining in the wild, the Sumatran species numbers only about 7,300 according to a 2004 survey, and is dwindling further every year. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.096116 97.700802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13783 2014-09-15T16:52:00Z 2014-09-18T14:34:16Z Bizarre lizard newest victim of reptile pet trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0914.earless.monitor.Facebok-EML.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you've never heard of the earless monitor lizard, you're not alone: this cryptic lizard has long-escaped the attention of the larger public. But over the past couple years its bizarre appearance has been splashed across social media sites for reptile collectors. While this decidedly-quirky attention may seem benign, it could actually threaten the species' existence. Jeremy Hance 3.284402 114.791102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13782 2014-09-15T12:54:00Z 2014-09-15T13:17:33Z Protected areas do work, concludes study Protected areas are working. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of over 80 different studies on the efficacy of parks and nature reserves in safeguarding wildlife. Published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE, the new study finds that in general protected areas house higher abundances of wildlife as well as greater biodiversity than adjacent areas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13781 2014-09-14T23:08:00Z 2014-09-15T00:31:41Z Brazil's planned Tapajós dams would increase Amazon deforestation by 1M ha A plan to build a dozen dams in the Tapajós river basin would drive the loss of an additional 950,000 hectares of rainforest by 2032 by spurring land speculation and mass migration to the region, suggests a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13780 2014-09-14T07:48:00Z 2014-09-19T08:37:29Z Indonesia's secret treasures: islands passed over by loggers, hunters and conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0914island150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As our boat sailed towards the forest-clad island, I had no idea what surprise awaited me. A few months ago I was asked to conduct a wildlife survey on a rarely visited island somewhere in Indonesia. For reasons explained below I will not disclose its name. Suffice to say it is one of the thousands of Indonesian islands without people on it. In terms of the wildlife I saw, the absence of people really showed. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13779 2014-09-13T23:52:00Z 2014-09-14T07:50:58Z Domestic conservation: Indonesia’s rich should step up to save nation’s dwindling natural resources Indonesia’s middle and upper classes are becoming increasingly interested and supportive of environmental conservation. Still, they have some way to go to become real leaders and trendsetters on this important issue. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13778 2014-09-12T18:58:00Z 2014-09-12T19:05:18Z As Bolivia plans dramatic agro-expansion, forests may pay the price (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0912-giant-otter-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an August 14 announcement, Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, laid out an ambitious plan to increase the country’s cropland by 250 percent, and triple its agricultural output. The proposal is touted as way to increase both food and economic security for the inland South American country, but what will it mean for its forests? Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.849774 -66.966144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13777 2014-09-12T18:31:00Z 2014-09-12T18:35:36Z Palm oil company continues to operate illegal plantation despite court ruling A palm oil company in Central Kalimantan continues to operate business as usual, despite a Supreme Court ruling confirming it has no legal permit to do so. Since 2009, PT Hati Prima Agro (HPA), a subsidiary of palm oil giant Bumitama Gunajaya Agro Group (BGA), has cleared over 7,000 ha of land in Central Kalimantan, even though their permits were revoked by the Ministry of Forestry in 2008. Rhett Butler -1.480243 112.530012 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13776 2014-09-12T17:38:00Z 2014-09-12T17:44:15Z FSC passes motion for greater protection of primary forests The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has passed a motion to increase protection of old-growth forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13775 2014-09-12T17:05:00Z 2014-09-12T17:09:28Z WCS-led raids lead to six arrests near Mozambique’s largest reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0912-forest-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A joint force of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and government authorities are in the midst of carrying out a series of raids against poachers in Mozambique aimed at halting the illegal killing of elephants in Niassa National Reserve, the country’s largest protected area. Six men, thought to be responsible for killing 39 elephants in 2014, were arrested in an early morning bust in the town of Marrupa, just south of the park. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.880809 37.467158 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13774 2014-09-12T00:57:00Z 2014-09-12T01:03:10Z Brazil confirms last year's rise in Amazon deforestation Brazil's National Space Agency INPE has officially confirmed last year's rise in Amazon deforestation. Rhett Butler -1.933227 -66.283264 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13772 2014-09-11T18:17:00Z 2014-09-12T00:59:31Z FSC meeting weighs old-growth forest protection, smallholder participation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a body that sets social and environmental certification criteria for forestry products, is weighing measures that could step up protection for old-growth forests and make it easier for indigenous people and traditional forest communities to qualify for certification. The measures are set for a vote this week at the body's General Assembly, which is held every three years to establish and revise criteria that underpin the standard. Rhett Butler -6.948239 142.379379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13771 2014-09-11T16:35:00Z 2014-09-11T19:05:21Z Meet the newest enemy to India's wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.leopard.road.Image-1-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A boom in infrastructure and population has forced India's wildlife to eke out a creative existence in an increasingly human-modified environment. Big cats such as the leopard are often spotted within large cities, on railway tracks, and sadly, on India's burgeoning and sprawling road network. Jeremy Hance 11.945419 76.221074 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13770 2014-09-11T15:26:00Z 2014-09-12T13:44:14Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Harness the power of marketing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.Diogo-Veri%CC%81ssimo--%C2%A9Laure-Cugnie%CC%80re.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a whole, conservationists have been slow to adapt the strategies of marketing or to market conservation at all. Dr. Diogo Veríssimo, a researcher who works at the interface between social and natural sciences, with a focus on behavior change and evidence-based conservation, thinks this needs to change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13769 2014-09-11T15:20:00Z 2014-09-19T22:14:50Z Why are great apes treated like second-class species by CITES? The illegal trade in live chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans showed no signs of weakening in the first half of 2014&#8212;and may actually be getting worse&#8212;since the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) published the first-ever report to gauge the global black market trade in great apes in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13768 2014-09-10T22:22:00Z 2014-09-10T22:35:51Z 'We are running out of time': CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere surprise scientists The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made the biggest jump last year since 1984, according to the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, raising alarm bells about society's inaction on curbing global warming. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13765 2014-09-10T19:45:00Z 2014-09-12T19:03:42Z Bolivian vice president proposes unprecedented agricultural expansion (PART 1) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-dinomys-branickii-frable-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On August 14, the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, made a startling announcement: by 2025, Bolivia was going to make two striking developments - first, it would expand all cultivated land to 2.5 times its present area, and second, it would triple food production from 15 to 45 million tons. Morgan Erickson-Davis -16.141641 -66.036958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13764 2014-09-10T18:27:00Z 2014-09-11T18:29:25Z Elephants pay the price for palm oil in Malaysian Borneo, impact may reach far beyond reported kills <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-borneo-elephants-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than a dozen elephant kills were reported in Sabah in 2013 alone, but it is unknown exactly how many have lost their lives in recent years as palm plantations encroach further and further into the rainforest. What is clear is that if the loss of their forest habitat continues to drive conflicts with humans at the rate it is now, Borneo elephants’ long-term survival may be in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.180661 116.893646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13763 2014-09-10T02:36:00Z 2014-09-10T02:55:11Z Malaysian palm oil chief misleads on deforestation One of Malaysia's top palm oil officials has once again misled the public on the state of forests in Malaysia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13758 2014-09-09T18:06:00Z 2014-09-09T20:02:18Z Thought wiped out by climate change, 'extinct' snail rediscovered in Seychelles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0809-snail-sif-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Aldabra banded snail was declared extinct in 1997 as one of the world’s first recorded direct casualties of climate change. But last month, a monitoring team found a population on one of the atoll’s islands, surprising the team and giving hope that other species whose habitats are being degraded by climate change may still be able to cling to existence. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.373243 46.330556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13757 2014-09-09T17:39:00Z 2014-09-09T18:02:00Z Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game After 20 months, Zambia has lifted its ban on hunting, allowing trophy hunters to target numerous species in the wildlife-rich country including elephants. The announcement was made by the country's Tourism and Art's Minister, Jean Kapata, who stated that the ban had resulted in a loss of revenue to the Zambia Wild Life Authority (ZAWA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13755 2014-09-08T21:03:00Z 2014-09-09T16:25:14Z 4 Ashaninka tribesmen killed by loggers in Peru One of those killed was Edwin Chota, the leader of the Alto Tamaya-Saweto indigenous community who won fame for fighting illegal loggers. As such, Chota was a top target for assassination, according to a conservationist familiar with the situation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13754 2014-09-08T20:51:00Z 2014-09-08T21:00:07Z 'Canary in the cornfield': monarch butterfly may get threatened species status <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0908-monarch-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Monarch butterflies were once a common sight throughout the North American heartland. But declines in milkweed – their caterpillars’ only source of food – have led to a 90 percent decline in monarch numbers. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing a petition that would grant the iconic species protection through the Endangered Species Act. Morgan Erickson-Davis 41.618377 -91.588802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13753 2014-09-08T20:34:00Z 2014-09-08T20:41:22Z Norway slaughters over 700 whales this season As of late August, Norway has killed 729 northern minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) during its annual whaling season, the highest number taken since 1993. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13752 2014-09-07T23:47:00Z 2014-09-08T21:03:52Z Conservationist, indigenous leader killed in plane crash in Colombia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0907-daniel-matapi150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A conservationist who worked to protect voluntarily isolated tribes in the Amazon rainforest and an indigenous leader were among ten killed in a plane crash in southern Colombia Saturday afternoon. Roberto Franco, a political scientist, and Daniel Matapi, a Yukuna-Matapis indigenous leader, died when the Piper PA-31 Navajo crashed after takeoff from Araracuara in the department of Caqueta. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13751 2014-09-07T19:15:00Z 2014-09-07T19:52:42Z Pictures of endangered animals for Threatened Species Day <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_1046.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>September 7 is Threatened Species Day, a designation established by the Australian government to commemorate the death of the last remaining thylacine, better known as the Tasmanian tiger, at the Hobart Zoo in 1936. While the day is intended to focus on Australian species, this year we're highlighting a small selection of non-Australian species that are considered at risk of extinction globally. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13750 2014-09-05T21:27:00Z 2014-09-06T02:54:54Z World's rainforests could be mapped in 3D at high resolution by 2020 for under $250M <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0905cao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mapping the world's tropical forests with a fleet of airplanes outfitted with advanced LiDAR could rapidly and accurately assess global forest carbon stocks for a fraction of the cost of a typical Earth observation satellite mission &#8212; and far less than field-based sampling &#8212; argues a new paper published in <i>Carbon Balance and Management</i>. Rhett Butler -2.635788 -74.864044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13749 2014-09-05T21:13:00Z 2014-09-05T21:14:45Z California blue whales recover to historical levels The population of blue whales in the Eastern Pacific has recovered to 97 percent of historic levels decades after Earth's largest animal was nearly driven to extinction in some places due to the whaling industry, reports a new study published in the journal, Marine Mammal Science. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13748 2014-09-05T21:03:00Z 2014-09-05T21:17:39Z Companies at risk of sourcing illegal palm oil despite zero deforestation commitments, finds investigation Major palm oil suppliers may be continuing to buy tainted palm oil despite high-profile commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, reports a new investigation published by Eyes on the Forest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13746 2014-09-05T19:01:00Z 2014-09-05T19:04:14Z Canada, Russia, Brazil lead world in old-growth forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0905-log-road-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every day, the world loses about 50,000 hectares of forest to agricultural clearing, road development, and other human activities, constricting true wilderness into smaller and smaller areas – along with the species that inhabit them. New analysis and maps released this week show these last vestiges are disappearing at a quick pace, with more than 104 million hectares degraded from 2000 to 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.952080 -52.828939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13745 2014-09-05T13:49:00Z 2014-09-05T16:35:03Z APP can meet projected pulp demand without clearing more forest Indonesian forestry giant Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) won't need to clear additional forests to meet pulp requirements for current and forecast mill expansion, finds an independent assessment conducted by The Forest Trust (TFT) and Ata Marie. Rhett Butler 1.5077 101.77145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13744 2014-09-05T03:48:00Z 2014-09-05T03:51:10Z How Islam could help save Aceh's forests Aceh, Indonesia has found a new ally in the struggle to protect the province's remaining natural forests: Sharia law. Rhett Butler 4.893941 95.799179 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13743 2014-09-05T02:12:00Z 2014-09-05T11:28:23Z A path to becoming a conservation scientist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0824-ysi-zuzana-burivalova-04_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to finding a career often involves twists and turns. Serendipity is important &#8212; one rarely anticipates what small events, chance occurrences, and seeds of inspiration will spur decisions that lead to pursuing one job or another. For Zuzana Burivalova, a PhD candidate based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), the road to becoming a tropical forest ecologist began as a child in a small Czech Republic village with a foldout children's book about rainforests. Rhett Butler 15.742693 50.043311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13742 2014-09-04T22:22:00Z 2014-09-05T14:29:03Z Conservationists use social media to take on Peru's booming illegal wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0904_150.-Capuchin-monkey-in-cage_Photo-Noga-Shanee.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Illegal wildlife trafficking is thriving in Peru. But a Peruvian organization is now using a public campaign, via social media and press releases, to track and rescue illegally kept wildlife in the country. 'I have filed 47 complaints from 14 different states in Peru including hundreds of animals commercialized illegally in markets, kept as pets, and used as tourist attractions,' said Noga Shanee, Co-founder and project director of Neotropical Primate Conservation. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13737 2014-09-04T16:45:00Z 2014-09-08T16:42:57Z REDD+ versus indigenous people? Why a tribe in Panama rejected pay for their carbon-rich forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0904_04_guerra_kuna_yala150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There isn’t a word or phrase in the Kuna language for "carbon trading,” and much less for something as complex as REDD+. Standing for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, REDD+ is the worldwide UN-backed climate change mitigation scheme that relies on carbon trading within forest landscapes to fund forest conservation programs. And yet, since 2008, the Kuna people have been hearing lots about it and referring to it often in their private conversations. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13738 2014-09-04T16:43:00Z 2014-09-04T19:41:56Z Indonesia to verify ownership of 66M ha of disputed forest land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0536.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian government has declared it will verify ownership of 66.3 million hectares of disputed forest land by the end of the year. Through the development of a Recognition and Verification of Rights scheme (PPH), the Forestry Department will inventory and evaluate the status of all government land where indigenous people and other groups hold conflicting claims of ownership. Indonesia currently considers 122.2 million hectares of forested land—almost 64% of the country—to be state-owned. They hope to resolve all conflicting claims to the area by the end of 2015. Rhett Butler -0.4779 111.505337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13736 2014-09-03T16:00:00Z 2014-09-05T02:29:01Z Mongabay founder, Rhett Butler, wins Field Museum's top conservation prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/boston_091.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Field Museum has honored Rhett A. Butler, the founder of mongabay.com, with this year's prestigious Parker/Gentry Award. The award is giving annually to an 'individual, team or organization whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage and whose actions can serve as a model to others,' according to the museum. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13735 2014-09-02T21:02:00Z 2014-09-02T21:11:52Z Australia cancels plan to dump dredge in Great Barrier Reef A consortium of companies&#8212;North Queensland Bulk Ports, GVK Hancock and Adani Group&#8212;have announced they are giving up on a hugely-controversial plan to dump five million tonnes of dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef. The plans ran into considerable opposition from environment, conservation, and tourism groups who feared harm to the world's largest coral reef system. Jeremy Hance -19.891980 148.077845 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13734 2014-09-02T17:08:00Z 2014-09-02T17:34:32Z Scientists uncover five new species of 'toupee' monkeys in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0831.saki.ci_39968595.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While saki monkeys may be characterized by floppy mops of hair that resemble the worst of human toupees, these acrobatic, tree-dwelling primates are essential for dispersing seeds. After long being neglected by both scientists and conservationists, a massive research effort by one intrepid researcher has revealed the full-scale of saki monkey diversity, uncovering five new species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13733 2014-09-01T21:21:00Z 2014-09-02T17:22:59Z The last of her kind: centennial of the death of the world's last passenger pigeon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0901-pass-pigeon-audubon-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>They once numbered in the billions, flying 60 miles per hour in flocks that darkened the sky. But on September 1, 1914, one hundred years ago today, the last member of what may have been the most numerous bird species on the planet died in a cage in the Cincinnati zoo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 39.104330 -84.400978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13732 2014-09-01T20:51:00Z 2014-09-01T20:53:31Z 25 primate pictures for World Primate Day September 1 is World Primate Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about apes, monkeys, and prosimians like lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers. Many non-human primates are threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and hunting. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13731 2014-08-29T22:25:00Z 2014-08-31T19:27:04Z 'A global tragedy' in the making? Thailand plans highway expansion through World Heritage Site <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-banteng-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dong Phayayen Khao Yai Forest Complex (DPKY-FC) is the largest tract of surviving forest in central Thailand, renowned for its biodiversity. Now, the Thai government is planning major expansions to a road that bisects the complex – which scientists say will bar animal movement throughout their natural ranges, result in higher rates of road kill, and give hunters and loggers increased access to the forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.189639 102.102929 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13730 2014-08-29T18:51:00Z 2014-08-30T01:41:10Z More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-tar-sands-op-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits. Morgan Erickson-Davis 57.694984 -111.396673 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13728 2014-08-28T23:43:00Z 2014-08-28T23:52:38Z Indonesia's national airline to start using palm oil biofuel Indonesia's national airline, Garuda Indonesia, says it will start mixing palm oil-based biofuel with its jet fuel as part of an initiative to "reduce" carbon emissions, reports The Jakarta Post. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13727 2014-08-28T19:31:00Z 2014-08-28T19:57:02Z Authorities stop 'greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0828-brazil-lone-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A criminal organization involved in the illicit deforestation of large portions of Brazil's forests has been stopped, with at least six members of the organization arrested as of Aug. 28 and warrants issued for others. The gang has been accused of committing crimes worth over $220 million. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.670855 -55.858498 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13726 2014-08-28T19:19:00Z 2014-09-02T01:27:19Z Saving the Atlantic Forest would cost less than 'Titanic' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0828.atlantic.S._flavius_SP_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save the world's most imperiled biodiversity hotspot? You just need a down payment of $198 million. While that may sound like a lot, it's actually less than it cost to make the film, Titanic. A new study published today in Science finds that paying private landowners to protect the Atlantic Forest would cost Brazil just 6.5 percent of what it currently spends ever year on agricultural subsidies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13724 2014-08-28T17:31:00Z 2014-08-28T17:34:33Z Indonesian authorities bust porcupine-smuggling ring Police in Langkat, North Sumatera, Indonesia, seized 55 porcupines from smugglers preparing to ship the animals to China. Three suspects were detained during last week's operation, while their accomplices remain at large. Dozens more animals reportedly obtained from dealers in Medan are still unaccounted for. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13723 2014-08-27T23:55:00Z 2014-09-03T00:20:53Z Meeting an Illegal Logger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827logger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains. Tiffany Roufs -3.483145 104.340247 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13722 2014-08-27T22:35:00Z 2014-08-27T22:43:40Z Where should the roads go? New map offers a solution to the 'Pandora's Box of environmental problems' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827-roads3-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Roads make it possible to bring goods to market, to get to the office, to log a forest, to hunt its wildlife. Without roads, human society as we know it could not exist. However, to build roads, trees must be cleared and swamps drained, shrinking valuable wildlife habitat and fragmenting populations in the process. A new study unveils an innovative map that defines which areas of the world would be best used to build roads – and which should be left alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.349126 -57.198830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13720 2014-08-27T18:57:00Z 2014-08-27T20:07:50Z Invasion of the lionfish: new research finds the situation may be worse than we thought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827-lionfish-wittenrich-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>You may have recently read the controversial story on invasive lionfish research involving Dr. Zack Jud of Florida International University and a young girl named Lauren Arrington. While the issue of attribution in scientific research is crucial to the discipline, much of the media focus so far has sidestepped the real issue: what lionfish tolerance for brackish water really means for the environment. Morgan Erickson-Davis 32.240509 -80.489845 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-09-02T17:50:41Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-08-27T16:58:24Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13716 2014-08-26T19:35:00Z 2014-08-27T21:00:18Z What lies within, we may never know: deforestation threatening Sulawesi’s unique wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi6483.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For 10 million years the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been disconnected from other landforms, almost inviting evolution to color outside the lines. Despite a growing population and limited space, Sulawesi has managed to provide a safe haven to hundreds of unique species as they evolved over millennia. But that haven may soon be lost to uncontrolled extraction of forest products from Sulawesi’s many pristine ecosystems. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.460181 120.146481 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13715 2014-08-25T19:43:00Z 2014-08-27T18:09:37Z Can it be stopped? Ghana's forests 'could completely disappear in less than 25 years' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0825-chimp-butler-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ghana contains forests that are biologically unique and important both for the wildlife they contain and the human communities that depend on them. However, the country is experiencing one of the greatest rates of deforestation in West Africa. At its current rate of forest loss, a study estimates that Ghana could be devoid of major forest cover in less than a quarter-century. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.667530 -2.420482 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13713 2014-08-25T14:56:00Z 2014-08-25T15:10:42Z Featured video: new Netflix documentary highlights the work of Sylvia Earle to save the oceans Sylvia Earle is one of the ocean's staunchest defenders. A National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence and former chief scientist with NOAA, Earle has spent a lifetime documenting the rapid decline of the world's oceans and calling for more action to defend the body of water that cradles the world's continents. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13711 2014-08-25T01:32:00Z 2014-08-25T20:58:49Z Scientists honor missing activist by naming a spider after him Swiss researchers have honored the memory of a missing indigenous peoples activist by naming an undescribed species of spider after him, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, the group he founded. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13710 2014-08-24T17:33:00Z 2014-08-24T17:52:36Z Scientists name new endangered species after the company that will decide its fate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0824.Quarry-at-Gn.-Kanthan,-Perak---Ong-Poh-Teck.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new snail species near a cement quarry in Malaysia, which as far as they know lives nowhere else in the world. It lives on a limestone hill called Kanthan given as a concession to an international company Lafarge. The cement producer quarries the hill for raw materials. As a result, the scientists have named the species after the company that will decide if it goes extinct. Jeremy Hance 4.599012 101.093388 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 2014-08-27T19:09:19Z 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 2014-08-27T15:53:22Z 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 2014-08-27T21:01:07Z 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