tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2015-03-27T02:52:11Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14541 2015-03-26T23:39:00Z 2015-03-27T02:52:11Z APRIL violates sustainability policy by clearing peat forest after Jan cut-off <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326rapp_greenomics150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New data shows Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy rainforests on deep peat despite a high profile pledge to clean up its operations. Today Greenomics-Indonesia released an analysis of two NASA Landsat images confirming that APRIL's subsidiary PT Riau Andalan Pulp Paper (RAPP) has cleared significant tracts of peat forest on Pulau Pedang island off Sumatra's coast since January 2015. Rhett Butler 0.993470 102.401072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14540 2015-03-26T19:21:00Z 2015-03-26T20:02:58Z Why palm oil expanded, and what keeps it growing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326pdxn150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, oil palm is Indonesia’s most important cash crop. In 2014, Indonesia produced 33.5 million tons of palm oil, generating $18.9 billion in export revenue. This makes palm oil Indonesia’s third most valuable export, behind only coal and petroleum gas. However, the rise of Indonesian palm oil is only a relatively recent phenomenon. The chart below shows the remarkable growth that the industry has displayed over the past 30 years. Rhett Butler -2.705168 114.378027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14539 2015-03-26T14:39:00Z 2015-03-26T14:43:50Z Mexico’s club mosses at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325-thumb-club-moss.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>All nine species of the club moss genus Phlegmariurus found in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico are at risk of extinction, according to a new study published in the journal Tropical Conservation Science. One of these species, P. orizabae, has not been recorded in the wild since 1854. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.483162 -95.035593 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14537 2015-03-26T08:05:00Z 2015-03-26T14:50:13Z Indonesia's biodiversity-protected areas no match for encroachers, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_9166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's biodiversity-focused protected areas are failing to slow deforestation, while other categories have achieved mixed results, finds a new study. The coupling of poor law enforcement with the presence of high-value timber seems to be the main culprit. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14536 2015-03-26T00:58:00Z 2015-03-26T01:01:10Z Deer 'kissing' fawn among finalists in camera trap photo contest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_6-Ronald-Derrig-Deer-buck-and-fawn-0909_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A camera trap photo of a young buck touching noses with a fawn is among the finalists in a picture contest organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The image was snapped in a camera trap set up in Apopka, Florida. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14535 2015-03-25T18:41:00Z 2015-03-25T18:45:22Z Destruction of elephant, tiger, and orangutan habitat doubles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0257.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rate of forest loss in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem &#8212; the only place on Earth where rhinos, orangutans, tigers, and elephants live in the same habitat &#8212; has more than doubled due to logging, encroachment, and conversion to industrial plantations, warn conservationists. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Sumatran Orangutan Society reported that 80,316 hectares of forest were lost between 2008 and 2013, a sharp increase from the 30,830 hectares cleared between 2002 and 2008. Rhett Butler 3.786964 97.242060 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14534 2015-03-25T16:02:00Z 2015-03-25T16:12:56Z Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325.south_africa_kruger_1099.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New figures show essentially no change in the number of elephants killed in Africa by poachers last year, despite a high-profile meeting on the crisis which was attended by 46 countries and a number of commitments. Data from CITES' Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) estimated that around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, the same as in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14533 2015-03-25T14:29:00Z 2015-03-25T16:30:50Z Illegal cocoa plantations threaten Côte d’Ivoire’s parks and primates <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325_roloway_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, also boasts an ecosystem of great biological richness and species diversity, with over 2,250 endemic plants and 270 vertebrate species. Unfortunately, it also has the highest deforestation rate in all of sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to its rise as a significant player in the global agricultural economy after years of civil unrest. Brittany Stewart 8.779826 -3.509581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14530 2015-03-24T21:11:00Z 2015-03-25T01:04:20Z Photos: expedition to Amazon’s white sands may have found new primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324.thumbnail.photo-8A.by-giussepe-gagliardi-urrutia.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people think of the Amazon rainforest as one massive, homogenous ecosystem&#8212;a giant castle of green. However, within the Amazon rainforest lie a myriad of distinct ecosystems, sporting unique characteristics and harboring endemic species. One of the rarer ecosystems in the Amazon is the white sands forest. Jeremy Hance -6.343298 -74.026909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14529 2015-03-24T18:10:00Z 2015-03-24T18:13:24Z Reforestation programs may help reduce illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2014.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can the act of planting a tree change one’s attitude towards forests and conservation? Erica Pohnan, Hotlin Ompusunggu, and Campbell Webb, from the conservation NGO Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), set out to answer this question by evaluating the effectiveness of reforestation programs in and around Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.220408 110.136080 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14528 2015-03-24T15:28:00Z 2015-03-24T16:26:14Z 'How about that extension?' activists ask as forest exploitation moratorium deadline nears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1043.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than two months before the expiration of an Indonesian forest exploitation moratorium set up under an agreement with Norway, activists called on Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar to extend the prohibition, as she promised to do after taking office last year. Tiffany Roufs -3.546837 104.358517 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14524 2015-03-24T01:52:00Z 2015-03-24T01:57:58Z World's fragmented forests are deteriorating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0323sinop150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's forests are fragmented and deteriorating, states a new paper published in Science Advances. After analyzing satellite imagery and compiling data from long-term fragmentation studies, the authors conclude that 70 percent of remaining forest land exists within 1 km of an edge, which negatively impacts their fauna, flora, and ecosystem services. Rhett Butler -11.286796 -56.144168 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14523 2015-03-23T18:22:00Z 2015-03-23T18:34:52Z Halloween in the Amazon: baby bird dresses up like killer caterpillar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0323.nestling.caterpillar.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'Mama, I wanna be a toxic caterpillar,' says the little bird. 'Okay,' mamma answers, 'but first you gotta study your Batesian mimicry.' Meet the cinereous mourner, an ash-colored, Amazonian bird that looks rather hum-drum compared to many other birds found in the region. Yet, scientists have discovered something special about the birds: its newborn babies look and move like a neon orange, toxic caterpillar. Jeremy Hance -12.113761 -71.926865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14522 2015-03-23T14:43:00Z 2015-03-23T14:44:36Z The great Arctic decline: another sea ice record broken Every winter, sea ice in the Arctic expands, providing vital habitat for birthing seals, hunting polar bears, and foraging walruses. But as the Arctic has warmed faster than any place on the planet&#8212;due climate change caused by burning fossil fuels&#8212;sea ice is not expanding as far as it once did. Jeremy Hance 78.705430 -90.531382 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14518 2015-03-20T19:12:00Z 2015-03-21T14:13:39Z Seeing the trees but not the forest (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Understanding forest dynamics is necessary for the sound management of forests, for both production and conservation. This includes an understanding of the extent of forest area, information about what the forest contains and how the forest resource is managed. Forest monitoring provides this information. Rhett Butler 8.783012 -2.582475 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14517 2015-03-20T18:41:00Z 2015-03-20T18:50:10Z Pleasure palace in Lao facilitates wildlife poaching for Chinese elites A city-sized resort complex in Laos is facilitating large-scale wildlife trafficking for Chinese tourists, exacerbating commercial poaching in the Southeast Asian nation, warns a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14516 2015-03-20T15:22:00Z 2015-03-20T22:47:22Z Study finds roads in Southeast Asia may be devastating forests, wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0320-thumb-Large%20Indian%20Civet%20roadkill%20on%20state%20road%20156%20-%20WY%20Lam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Habitat loss and illegal hunting are leading drivers behind mammal population decline and extinction in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. But what's driving these drivers? Road infrastructure, according to research. Researchers conducted the first-ever comprehensive study examining the impacts of road infrastructure on mammal populations in Southeast Asia; their findings were recently published in PLOS One. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.083415 106.643333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14514 2015-03-19T20:05:00Z 2015-03-19T20:05:25Z Carbon emissions flatlined last year Global carbon emission plateaued last year, according to International Energy Agency, even as the world's economy grew three percent. This is the first time carbon emissions have stalled in the absence of an economic collapse. The news provides tentative hope that the world may finally tackling climate change ahead of much-anticipated climate talks in Paris. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14513 2015-03-19T19:16:00Z 2015-03-19T19:38:40Z Bottom trawling reduces size of commercially important flatfish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0319_fish_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Oceans not only provide important ecosystem services, including climate regulation and nutrient cycling, but they also serve as a major contributor to food and jobs. Yet human actions in the oceans are having a major impact on species, sometimes in unexpected ways. Indeed, a recent study finds that bottom trawling may be making some fish skinner. Tiffany Roufs 54.389958 -3.678756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14512 2015-03-19T17:42:00Z 2015-03-19T17:46:26Z DRC mulls changing Virunga's boundaries for oil Last Friday, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced it was considering changing the boundaries of Virunga National Park to accommodate oil exploitation. Africa's oldest park, Virunga is home to around a quarter of the world's mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species, many of them threatened with extinction. Jeremy Hance -0.303687 29.568020 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14511 2015-03-19T15:22:00Z 2015-03-19T15:38:03Z Riau misses deadline on 'village forest' project as zoning deadlock continues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1041.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A pair of local communities' five-year slog to establish village forest management areas in Riau is the latest victim of a deadlock over the Indonesian province's proposed zoning plan, whose long delay has been further exacerbated by the governor's arrest in a bribery case. Rhett Butler 0.587034 102.991596 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14509 2015-03-19T01:12:00Z 2015-03-19T01:23:53Z Who's funding palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0319sabah_0587x150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil may be the single most important crop that you never heard of. A vegetable fat that resembles reddish butter at room temperature, palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Both nutritious and highly versatile, palm oil is now an important component of products ranging from biofuels and food to soaps and cosmetics. Estimates indicate that as much as 50 percent of the products used by the average Western consumer every day contain palm oil or its derivatives. Rhett Butler -1.687367 112.950424 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14508 2015-03-18T22:52:00Z 2015-03-19T15:22:19Z Indonesia's small islands being rapidly damaged by industrial activities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0318Kendawangan150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intense exploitation of Indonesia's natural resources is taking a special toll on the country's small islands, with many subject to an outpouring of mining concessions that cover huge swaths of their tiny areas, often to the chagrin of local populations. Philip Jacobson -2.728779 110.100523 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14507 2015-03-18T16:15:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:30Z Discovery of 'Lost City' spurs conservation pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a 'lost city' below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country. Jeremy Hance 15.744008 -84.675660 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14506 2015-03-18T14:24:00Z 2015-03-19T15:22:03Z Indonesia's indigenous people still suffer human rights violations, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's indigenous population has suffered a long history of human rights violations says a report to be released by the country's National Commission on Human Rights in May. Rhett Butler -3.317506 128.502269 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14504 2015-03-17T19:07:00Z 2015-03-23T22:58:47Z New report connects human health to biodiversity protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During February, the 14th World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata, India, revealed a new "ground-breaking" report entitled, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, which demonstrates human health benefits yielded from protecting Earth's biodiversity. It's designed to be the new "flagship publication," acting as a primary source of information that supports the upcoming 2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14503 2015-03-17T17:15:00Z 2015-03-17T17:29:34Z Can voluntary sustainability standards survive in emerging markets? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223-thumb-aceh_0853.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) published a new edition of its The World in 2050 report. Confirming the findings of previous studies, the report describes a shift in economic power from the global north to the south. PwC projects that the US' and EU's share of world GDP will face a steady decline from around 33 percent in 2014 to about 25 percent by 2050. At the same time, emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey (the so-called E7 countries) are gaining in importance as both producers and consumers in the global economy. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14502 2015-03-17T16:23:00Z 2015-03-17T16:48:56Z Minister explains sustainability claims behind Indonesia’s boat bombing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0317-thumb-imf-boat-bombing.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Boat bombing has been one of the most visible (and internationally controversial) elements of the new Indonesian fishery minister’s policies. But recently, Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti explained that the bombings were really based on the concept of sustainability. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.530041 111.203040 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14501 2015-03-17T16:09:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:48Z Conservationists catch-and-release record-smashing freshwater fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0317.stingrayrelease.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists and scientists have managed to catch-and-release what could be the world's biggest freshwater fish ever for an upcoming episode of Ocean Mysteries. Naturalist and host of the show, Jeff Corwin&#8212;along with wildlife veterinarian, Nantarika Chansue, and the tourist fishing group, fishsiam.com&#8212;managed to reel in a giant freshwater stingray. Jeremy Hance 13.964295 99.604843 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14500 2015-03-16T23:28:00Z 2015-03-17T00:25:22Z Declining palm oil prices: Good news and bad news for smallholders <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_aerial_0210.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Declining crop prices usually spell bad news for farmers, and poor smallholders in particular. The drop in the price of palm oil from a recent high of US$860 per metric ton in March 2014 to below US$640 in March 2015 (and far below 2010-2012 prices which exceeded US$1000) heralds a shift in perceptions of oil palm from an economic boon to poverty-stricken smallholders, to a liability that ties small-scale farmers to a less profitable commodity. Rhett Butler 1.733095 -78.794792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14499 2015-03-16T16:14:00Z 2015-03-16T16:44:50Z King of the jungle returns to Gabon after nearly 20 year absence There's a new cat in town. For the first time since 1996, conservationists have proof of a lion roaming the wilds of the Central African country of Gabon. The lion&#8212;a healthy-looking, young male&#8212;was caught on camera trap in Batéké Plateau National Park, a 20,200 hectare expanse of grasslands and gallery forests. Jeremy Hance -2.158285 14.007680 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14498 2015-03-16T00:06:00Z 2015-03-16T00:09:40Z When apes have choices and preferences (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0986.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One question that desperately needs to be asked when we talk about the rights of an intelligent species like apes is whether we allow them choices and preferences in the rights we give them. This issue and other issues of rights have been raised by me and a small team of orangutan experts in a report we prepared to be used in the court case of the 29-year-old orangutan Sandra in the zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The story of Sandra has been given prominence by the media. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14497 2015-03-14T22:08:00Z 2015-03-14T22:11:01Z Road rage: scientists denounce $60 trillion infrastructure expansion <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0205.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last November, at the annual G-20 summit - for the 20 wealthiest of the world’s nations - in Brisbane, Australia, a staggering commitment was made to invest $60 to $70 trillion worldwide in new infrastructure over the next 15 years. This is akin to doubling the current value of all global infrastructure put together. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.611646 -69.202151 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14496 2015-03-14T03:09:00Z 2015-03-15T14:24:16Z Brazil confirms rising deforestation in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0515.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian government has officially confirmed that deforestation in the Amazon is pacing sharply higher than a year ago. Figures released last week by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows that forest clearing detected by DETER &#8212; a short term deforestation monitoring system based on coarse satellite imagery &#8212; is 63 percent higher for the twelve months ended January 31, 2015 relative to the year earlier period. Rhett Butler -12.038421 -56.151204 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14495 2015-03-14T01:58:00Z 2015-03-14T03:02:37Z Proposed law could decimate Indonesia's remaining forests A seemingly well-intended law that aims to turn forests over to traditional users could instead lead to large-scale destruction of Indonesia's native ecosystems, warns a prominent conservation biologist. Rhett Butler 0.430953 110.737270 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14494 2015-03-13T22:40:00Z 2015-03-13T22:45:01Z Scientists warn of global warming threat to temperate rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00192.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a new study published recently in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, researchers warn that temperate rainforests may be in for big changes in the face of global warming, and they recommend reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it's too late. Morgan Erickson-Davis 40.158450 -124.136958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14493 2015-03-13T18:24:00Z 2015-03-19T16:30:01Z Scientists warn G20 that $60 trillion infrastructure plan is "doubling down on a dangerous vision" <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/grandcanyon/0621_sprawl_las_vegas_01-th.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If there's one thing most governments and even political parties appear to agree on it's a desire for more infrastructure, i.e. more roads, dams, bridges, power plants, airports and seaports, sewers, pipelines, and telecommunication systems. At the most recent G20 meeting in Brisbane, the world's biggest economies agreed on the need for more infrastructure around the globe, including a plan to boost infrastructure spending by trillions of dollars by 2030 and setting up a so-called Global Infrastructure Hub. Rhett Butler 4.486980 96.477071 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14492 2015-03-13T16:58:00Z 2015-03-13T21:38:08Z Indigenous leaders present plan to gov't for Suriname's largest official protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313-thumb-2-suriname.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous leaders from southern Suriname took the first steps toward creating the South American country’s largest recognized protected area with a declaration to parliament on March 5. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.744582 -55.454840 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14491 2015-03-13T16:38:00Z 2015-03-13T16:47:39Z New wormy amphibians discovered in Southeast Asia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313_cec_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Worms come in all different sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and flavors. Some attack human digestive systems, some surface after a rainstorm, and some come in plastic wrappers, covered in sour sugar, at the local grocery store. Despite their similar features and anatomies, many of the real worms (not the sugar kind) demonstrate convergent evolution, meaning they are not related but have independently evolved similar features. Tiffany Roufs 11.419119 107.426307 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14489 2015-03-12T23:56:00Z 2015-03-13T00:03:17Z Newly discovered Brazilian bird may number fewer than 10 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-4-Cichlocolaptes%20mazarbarnetti%20photoart%20by%20Rolf%20Grantsau.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2002, a team of ornithologists at Murici in northeastern Brazil observed and recorded the call of a bird. At that time, the team believed they had chanced upon a rare bird previously described by other researchers as the Alagaos foliage-gleaner (Philydor novasei). Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.191697 -35.932137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14488 2015-03-12T22:44:00Z 2015-03-12T22:56:51Z Even cockroaches have personalities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312_cockroach_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When I was ten, I acquired my first dog. Rani was a Doberman Pinscher&#8212;tall, lean, and a huge pushover. She was wonderfully friendly, but sadly misunderstood her whole life, regularly frightening all except those who knew her intimately. There were two innocuous reasons for this&#8212;both of which reveal the power of emotions shared across species. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14487 2015-03-12T20:18:00Z 2015-03-12T20:34:27Z New report: commercial agricultural expansion fueling illegal logging and land conflicts in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-Forest%20Trends_cleared%20forest%20for%20agribusiness%20concession%20in%20Tanintharyi%20Region.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Myanmar government has been allocating land for large-scale private agricultural businesses in the country’s biodiversity-rich forests at an alarming rate, according to a new report released by Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-profit organization. And these concessions may be fueling illegal timber harvests and intensifying land conflicts, the report alleges. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.353588 97.496193 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14486 2015-03-12T16:31:00Z 2015-03-17T16:38:06Z Conservationists announce program to protect East Africa's largest elephant population <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223_elephants_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Tanzanian government have launched an ambitious new initiative to protect East Africa's largest population of elephants (<i>Loxodonta Africana</i>). With funds from USAID, the plan aims to reduce poaching and protect biodiversity - including the area's 25,000 elephants- across an 115,000 square kilometer ecosystem. Tiffany Roufs -6.897289 31.171173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14485 2015-03-12T15:16:00Z 2015-03-12T15:24:19Z Meet Biomuseo: the world’s first biodiversity museum <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0302_biomuseo_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biomuseo, designed by internationally renowned architect, Frank Gehry, is the first museum in the world dedicated to biodiversity. Opened in October 2014, the museum is located at the end of the Amador Causeway in Panama City, facing the Pacific Ocean at the entrance of the Panama Canal. Tiffany Roufs 8.932658 -79.545043 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14483 2015-03-12T00:58:00Z 2015-03-12T00:59:02Z Local land rights may be in danger from push for palm oil in Liberia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rights of local and indigenous peoples aren’t being adequately protected in the drive for economic development, according to a report published in February by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a coalition of forest-oriented organizations. For a place like Liberia, reeling from both decades of persistent poverty and the recent Ebola epidemic, economic development seems critical at just about any cost. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.294388 -9.130614 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14482 2015-03-11T21:23:00Z 2015-03-11T21:24:25Z Study finds soil releases carbon for decades after forests are felled <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/pittsfield_state_forest_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a study by researchers with Dartmouth College, the carbon stored in mineral soils, which lie underneath the organic soil layer, is released for decades after a forest is cut down. This may have serious implications for how carbon emissions from deforestation are accounted for. Morgan Erickson-Davis 43.356244 -74.552389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14481 2015-03-11T19:50:00Z 2015-03-12T19:10:10Z New study argues the Anthropocene began in 1610 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0311.Prospero_and_miranda.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1610, William Shakespeare began penning one of his greatest plays, The Tempest, which some critics view as a commentary on European colonization of far-away islands and continents. Along those lines, a study today in Nature argues that 1610 is the first year of the human-dominated epoch, known as the Anthropocene, due to the upheavals caused by the 'discovery' of the New World. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14480 2015-03-11T16:34:00Z 2015-03-11T16:36:35Z UN report warns of grave consequences if mangroves not protected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_1107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), global destruction of mangrove forests impacts biodiversity, food security, and the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized communities in the world. Mangroves, which are forests of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs that lie along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics, are also invaluable carbon sinks. And we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them, says a recent report. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.525658 9.418032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14479 2015-03-11T16:30:00Z 2015-03-11T16:32:49Z Hunters and birdwatchers make good conservationists in the U.S. What do hunters and birdwatchers have in common? Both groups are much more likely to support conservation than the average rural American, according to new research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14477 2015-03-11T14:01:00Z 2015-03-11T14:16:13Z River flooding to affect 40M people annually by 2030 20.7 million people are affected by river flooding each year, and the number is expected to more than double by 2030 as population growth, urban expansion, and climate change will increasingly put people at risk. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14475 2015-03-10T22:31:00Z 2015-03-11T17:31:55Z Citizen scientists help demystify Serengeti's wildlife with photos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0310_serengeti150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's Serengeti conjures up romantic images of millions of migrating wildebeest and zebras, prides of lions feasting on their prey, and hyenas prowling in the background. But not everyone is fortunate to see them up close. Snapshot Serengeti, a citizen science project, is changing that. It lets anyone, with or without a background in science or ecology, become a part of Africa's wilderness from their homes. Brittany Stewart -2.333344 34.833328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14474 2015-03-10T21:44:00Z 2015-03-12T13:53:05Z Tiger family photo surprises scientists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0310.amur-tiger-family.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a frigid Russian forest, a camera trap snapped 21 family photos over two minutes. This wasn't a usual family, though, this was a tiger family, more specifically an Amur tiger family. And this wasn't even a usual tiger family: the cameras showed a dad leading the way. Jeremy Hance 44.229676 133.948678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14473 2015-03-10T20:06:00Z 2015-03-13T15:41:35Z Endangered forests shrink as demand for soy rises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As battles over labeling genetically modified foods or displaying calorific breakdowns per serving rage on, it appears that a possibly more significant battle is in its infancy - where do all the ingredients on the package actually come from? Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.095052 -41.642175 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14472 2015-03-10T18:49:00Z 2015-03-10T18:54:12Z Palm oil giant buys PNG firm noted for environmental practices Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby Plantation Bhd has completed its acquisition New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, a Papua New Guinea-based grower lauded by environmentalists for its green policies. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14471 2015-03-10T18:01:00Z 2015-03-10T18:31:27Z APP to end relationship with security contractor over villager's killing Asia Pulp &amp; Paper's supplier Wirakarya Sakti Sakti (WKS) will end its relationship with a security contractor implicated in the killing of a villager in Jambi, says the Indonesian forestry giant. Rhett Butler -1.209059 102.410034 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14470 2015-03-10T18:00:00Z 2015-03-10T18:01:49Z Vicious circle: scientists warn peat fires, global warming may intensify each other <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1363.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published recently in Nature Geoscience warns of the consequences of increased smoldering fires as peatlands are drained to make land for agriculture, or dry up due to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.641515 102.328314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14468 2015-03-09T19:46:00Z 2015-03-09T19:52:52Z Photo essay: filming in the remote Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0309.A-silky-anteater.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>You wake up at 4:30 AM, a little before the first rays of tropical sun begin to dance behind the treetops. You put on your wet clothes from the previous day, pack your bag, and pick up your tripod. The jungle is shrouded in a thick mist from the previous nights rain. As you walk, you recognize many of the strange calls that echo between the trees. Jeremy Hance -12.318441 -69.260806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14467 2015-03-09T15:06:00Z 2015-03-09T15:09:24Z Human impacts are 'decoupling' coral reef ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/IMG_9120.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is a growing consensus among scientists that we have entered the age of the Anthropocene, or the epoch of humans. In other words, at some point between the 12,000 years separating the beginning of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution, humans became the dominant source of change on the planet, shaping everything from the land to the atmosphere to even the geologic record where we etch our reign. Jeremy Hance 5.878344 -162.077018 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14466 2015-03-06T20:30:00Z 2015-03-06T20:38:04Z Newly described monkey species found in threatened Amazon forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-C-miltoni-pair-Gambarini.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2011, Julio César Dalponte noticed a peculiar looking titi monkey on the bank of the Roosevelt River in Mato Grasso, Brazil. Titi monkeys, genus Callicebus, are common throughout South America, but this one had a flaming orange tail, light gray forehead stripe and ochre sideburns, which didn’t match any known titi species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.106440 -60.054363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14464 2015-03-06T18:07:00Z 2015-03-06T20:35:15Z New bird species confirmed in Sulawesi 15 years after first sighting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-streaked-flycatcher.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although it’s a hotspot of avian biodiversity, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been “poorly studied ornithologically,” according to a study published in the scientific journal PloS one. Case in point: the subject of the study, a new species of flycatcher first observed in 1997 but not formally described by scientists until November 2014. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.315497 120.042114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14463 2015-03-06T17:55:00Z 2015-03-06T18:04:06Z East Kalimantan reaffirms moratorium on new mining, logging concessions The governor of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, has reaffirmed his commitment to a 2013 moratorium on mining, logging, and plantation permits. The policy, which was originally outlined in a letter to the province's regents and mayors will be elevated to a higher status, he said. Rhett Butler -0.480325 117.072723 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14459 2015-03-05T22:04:00Z 2015-03-05T22:33:30Z Firewood fervor may turn Zimbabwe into an 'outright desert' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0305-thumb-Baoobab_tree,_Masvingo_Province,_Zimbabwe.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In developing countries like Zimbabwe and in much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, fuelwood is a major source of energy for cooking and heating for people who can't afford electricity. A 2014 study published in Resources and Environment highlights the severity of this issue in Zimbabwe. Morgan Erickson-Davis -19.509553 30.471161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14458 2015-03-05T19:17:00Z 2015-03-05T19:31:40Z Palm oil certification body purges membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has purged membership of a number of companies and organizations that have failed to comply with reporting requirements. The move could be a sign that the certification body is getting more serious about enforcing its standards, says WWF, one of the founders of the initiative. Rhett Butler 5.255841 118.976907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14457 2015-03-05T18:25:00Z 2015-03-05T18:27:18Z Somali charcoal: funding terrorism through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0371.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Militant terrorist group Al-Shabaab funds itself, in part, through the illegal production and sale of charcoal, turning Somalia’s trees into “black gold.” Because areas of the country controlled by the group aren’t accessible to researchers, it’s difficult to determine just how many trees are cut down to fuel Al-Shabaab’s violent agenda. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.918541 42.611172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14456 2015-03-05T18:19:00Z 2015-03-05T19:20:13Z With new policy, 3M drops controversial forestry certification label 3M has announced a new sustainability policy that will reduce the impact of its fiber-sourcing practices on forests and wildlife. Rhett Butler 44.950739 -92.996034 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14455 2015-03-05T15:07:00Z 2015-03-05T15:32:14Z Humans cause erosion one hundred times faster than normal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225_erosion_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Experts have long linked deforestation and intensive farming to worsening erosion rates around the world. Although studied extensively, determining erosion rates due to human-induced activities has rarely been quantified by scientists. However, new research conducted by geologists finds that erosion rates in the southeastern United States increased one hundred times after the arrival of European colonists in the 1700s due to tree clearing and unsustainable agriculture practices. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14454 2015-03-05T14:52:00Z 2015-03-05T14:59:50Z Bushmeat's dual role: threatened species face off against nutrition and culture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224_bushmeat_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change, and other man-made forces are threatening species around the world. But, often overlooked, overhunting is a rising peril to many animals. On the other hand, bushmeat hunting also helps provide vital protein in rural tropical regions and is an important cultural rite for many indigenous tribes. Thus, there is a dual challenge of maintaining food security for forest-dependent populations and ensuring wildlife conservation. Tiffany Roufs 3.497437 -70.465758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14453 2015-03-04T20:17:00Z 2015-03-06T05:22:05Z Indonesian fisheries ministry imposes new limits on gear and fish harvests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbnails/indonesia/java/java5709.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian fisheries ministry has introduced two divisive pieces of legislation aimed at increasing the sustainability of Indonesia’s depleted ocean fisheries. Permen KP 1/2015 imposes size limits on wild-caught lobsters and crab, and forbids catching egg-bearing crustaceans. Permen KP 2/2015 bans trawl and seine fisheries. Fishermen last Thursday demonstrated outside the Ministry to protest the damage this will cause to their livelihoods. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.127633 111.942737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14452 2015-03-04T17:11:00Z 2015-03-06T13:58:49Z Madagascar’s frog haven: rich, underexplored, threatened <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-1-thumb-Rhombophryne_matavy_FdAmbre_2008_IMG_0348_photo_F_Glaw.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is a treasure trove of frogs. Located off the east coast of Africa, this large island nation has more than 500 species of frogs, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Much of Madagascar’s rich biodiversity remains understudied. As researchers comb through the country’s forests, they continue to discover previously undescribed species of frogs, adding to Madagascar’s amphibian diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.441990 49.739407 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14451 2015-03-04T16:32:00Z 2015-03-04T16:46:11Z Last ditch: Mexico finally gets serious about saving the vaquita <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are likely less than 100 vaquita on the planet. Found only in the northern pocket of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the vaquita is a tiny, shy porpoise that has been brought to the very edge of extinction due to drowning in gillnets used for shrimping. But after years of stalling, Mexico now appears to be making a final effort to save the world's most endangered cetacean. Jeremy Hance 31.107045 -114.150787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14450 2015-03-03T20:22:00Z 2015-03-03T20:26:48Z Researchers, locals work together to save Ethiopia's 'church forests' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-thumb-wall-builders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Presenting a workshop on ecosystem services to a roomful of priests in Ethiopia may seem like an unlikely scenario for a conservation biologist to end up in, but for Meg Lowman, it’s an essential part of spreading her passion for bottom-up conservation. “Canopy Meg,” as she’s fondly referred to by her colleagues, believes in the power of local communities to be part of the solution, often in ways that are more effective than researchers can make alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.795124 37.676432 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14449 2015-03-03T17:23:00Z 2015-03-03T17:30:26Z Colombia proposes protected corridor across South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0307.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to create the world’s largest protected area, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains. Santos plans to propose the protected environmental corridor during the UN climate talks in Paris later this year as a means to combat global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.069027 -71.417806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14448 2015-03-03T15:58:00Z 2015-03-05T19:44:48Z Employing shame for environmental change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303.shame.bookcover.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Anyone who has ever felt the sting of shame, knows its power. Shame has long been used by societal institutions&#8212;families, communities, governments, religions&#8212;for making individuals tow the line of the majority. But a new book explores another&#8212;arguably more positive&#8212;side of shame: its potential to challenge rule-breaking and ethically-defunct corporations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14447 2015-03-02T20:42:00Z 2015-03-03T03:01:31Z Police investigate villager's murder in pulp and paper concession <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5031.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian police are investigating the brutal killing of a villager in Jambi at the hands of security guards contracted by Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), a plantation company owned by forestry giant Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP). APP quickly condemned the murder and said it is cooperating with the investigation. Rhett Butler -1.376393 102.692304 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14446 2015-03-02T20:05:00Z 2015-03-05T14:53:23Z How the Sahara keeps the Amazon rainforest going <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0302.amazonsahara.87255_web.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have just uncovered an incredible link between the world's largest desert (the Sahara) and its largest rainforest (the Amazon). New research published in Geophysical Research Letters theorizes that the Sahara Desert replenishes phosphorus in the Amazon rainforest via vast plumes of desert dust blowing over the Atlantic Ocean. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14445 2015-03-02T15:32:00Z 2015-03-05T14:52:15Z Giant panda population rises by nearly 17 percent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/animals/150/animals_05361.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most iconic animals on the planet got good news this week. The world's giant panda population has risen by 268 individuals over the last decade, hitting a total of 1,864 animals, according to China's fourth decadal survey. This represents a total rise of 16.8 percent. Jeremy Hance 30.737124 104.142824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14442 2015-02-27T19:36:00Z 2015-02-27T19:44:11Z Weak sustainability policy presents financial risk for Malaysian palm oil giant, says report Malaysian palm oil producer Kuala Lumpur Kepong's failure to adopt a robust zero deforestation policy puts its financial performance at risk, asserts a new analysis published by Chain Reaction Research, a project involving several environmental consultancies. Rhett Butler -2.757833 108.139253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14441 2015-02-27T18:06:00Z 2015-02-27T19:31:38Z Biofuels are bad news for forests, climate, food security, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4665.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from the World Resources Institute finds that dedicating land to the production of biofuels, a form of renewable energy made from plants, may undermine efforts to achieve a sustainable food future, combat climate change, and protect forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.497720 -63.127501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14440 2015-02-27T16:57:00Z 2015-02-27T19:19:14Z Reports slam Malaysian timber companies, urge reforms in forest management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0227-thumb-sarawak-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two international NGOs have called out Malaysia in recent months over the country’s widespread illegal logging. Malaysia has been accused of not doing enough to protect its diminishing forests and thwart the illicit timber trade, particularly in Sarawak, the site of the country’s worst deforestation. Lax oversight, endemic corruption and limited transparency have allowed for Malaysia’s forests to be plundered by both the government and the private sector. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.994144 114.270160 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14438 2015-02-26T22:56:00Z 2015-02-26T22:58:16Z Researchers propose improvements for Peru's protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-thumb-phasmid-peru-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a study published recently in PLOS ONE, researchers examined Peru's network of protected areas. They found that many of these don't exist in the areas most important for preserving the country's biodiversity and addressing its threats, and suggest alternatives to make the system more effective. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.616898 -73.076121 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14437 2015-02-26T22:50:00Z 2015-02-26T22:51:56Z China bans carved ivory imports China has established a one-year ban on imports of carved African elephant ivory. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14436 2015-02-26T19:25:00Z 2015-02-27T05:37:03Z Jokowi's environmental commitments in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0456.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last fall Indonesia elected its first president with no ties to the established political order or the military. Joko Widodo's election was widely heralded by reformers who hoped the politician's capable management in his stints as mayor of the town of Solo and metropolis of Jakarta could transform Indonesia's chronically underperforming bureaucracy, potentially ushering in a new era of improved human rights, better environmental stewardship, reduced corruption, and healthier economic growth. Rhett Butler -6.659257 106.131028 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14435 2015-02-26T19:05:00Z 2015-02-26T20:04:03Z One of Brazil’s rarest primates still holds out in single patch of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-Image1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, particularly after renowned naturalist Philip Hershkovitz of the Field Museum in Chicago published his valuable taxonomy of Neotropical Primates, Saimiri vanzolinii was considered to be a mere subspecies of the larger Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis). Today, it has the distinction of being one of the most range-restricted primates in all of the Neotropics. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.212502 -65.907542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14434 2015-02-26T18:26:00Z 2015-02-26T18:32:45Z Photos: Amur leopard population hits at least 65 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226.thumb.Ma_r_28_cam2a-small.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most of the world's big predators are in decline, but there are some happy stories out there. This week, WWF announced that the Amur leopard population has grown to a total of 65-69 cats. This represents a more than doubling of the population in eight years. Still, the Critically Endangered subspecies remains perilously close to extinction. Jeremy Hance 43.989510 133.453888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14433 2015-02-26T16:14:00Z 2015-02-27T15:32:04Z To keep big cats out, use a cat door <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0102_b_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a hunter searches for prey, heat radiates off the sun stroked horizon distorting the landscape. At the snap of a twig and a rustle in thorny acacia the hunter is off. Keen eyed hearing pinpoint its prey: the cheetah spots an impala and immediately gives chase. The chase won't last long though. The impala lives on a farm and is protected by a high fence to keep predators out. But these fences aren't fool proof. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14432 2015-02-25T23:24:00Z 2015-02-27T17:03:31Z Reports blame illegal logging for felling Sarawak forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent report by the international affairs think tank Chatham House has highlighted Malaysia’s lack of progress in dealing with illegal logging, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency on the country’s sluggish approach to environmental policy reform. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.653982 114.292133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14431 2015-02-25T21:34:00Z 2015-02-25T21:37:19Z Brazil arrests 'Amazon's biggest destroyer' Authorities in Brazil have arrested a man they claim to be the single biggest deforester in the Amazon, according to a statement issued by IBAMA, Brazil's environmental protection agency. Rhett Butler -6.395543 -55.385044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14430 2015-02-25T21:32:00Z 2015-03-25T18:04:54Z Cambodia deports activist leader...then suspends controversial dam On Monday, Cambodia deported well-known environmental activist, Alex Gonzalez-Davidson, back to his native Spain. Co-founder of the Cambodian NGO, Mother Nature, Gonzalez-Davidson played a vital role in blocking efforts to build the Cheay Areng Dam. But a day after deporting the activist, Cambodia's Prime Minister, Hun Sen, said the country would postpone the dam until 2018. Jeremy Hance 11.367026 103.385691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14427 2015-02-25T19:30:00Z 2015-02-26T19:21:38Z Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225fao-vs-kim-pan_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time. Rhett Butler -0.504437 27.230473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14426 2015-02-25T19:16:00Z 2015-02-26T22:59:20Z Study finds Peru's protected areas aren't where they should be <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's protected areas may not be located in the areas that need them the most, according to a recently published study in the journal PLoS ONE. The study examined the effectiveness of Peru’s existing protected area system in holistically preserving the biodiversity in this megadiverse country, finding it inadequately protecting many of the country's species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.425510 -80.219909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14425 2015-02-25T17:38:00Z 2015-02-25T21:54:30Z Protected areas receive 8 billion visits a year, but still underfunded <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/Yasuni_519.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world loves its protected areas, according to a new study in the open access PLOS Biology. U.S. and UK researchers estimated that the world's protected areas received eight billion visits every year. Moreover, the research found that the world's 140,000 protected areas likely brought in at least $600 billion to national economies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14424 2015-02-25T16:41:00Z 2015-03-02T16:37:30Z Partnering for conservation benefits Tacana people, Bolivian park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1218_Tacana-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kneeling in a small clearing amid tropical trees, Baldemar Mazaro skillfully arranges a circle of sticks and a noose of cord in the community of San Miguel de Bala. He hands a branch to a tourist and asks her to prod the sticks as if the branch were the nose of an animal snuffling around, looking for food. Tiffany Roufs -14.189266 -68.334025 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14423 2015-02-25T15:38:00Z 2015-02-26T16:57:05Z $7 million could save lemurs from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/madagascar_0591.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, scientists released an emergency three-year plan that they argued could, quite literally, save the world's lemurs from mass extinction. Costing just $7.6 million, the plan focused on setting up better protections in 30 lemur hotspots. However, there was one sticking point: donating to small programs in one of the world's poorest countries was not exactly user friendly. Jeremy Hance -13.846412 48.910876 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14422 2015-02-25T04:59:00Z 2015-02-25T05:10:23Z Cunning carnivorous plants catch more prey by letting some go <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9626.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Pitcher plants (Nepenthes species) have long captivated our fascination. Typically growing in acidic and nutrient-poor soils, they have developed the ability to eat insects and other small prey to supplement their diets. Nepenthes grow modified leaf structures which form a saucer cup with a slippery rim lined with visual or edible bait. When an insect approaches to investigate the reward, they slip off the rim and into the cup which is usually filled with a viscoelastic fluid. Unable to escape, the prey is slowly digested and absorbed by the plant. Rhett Butler 4.357210 114.551398 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14421 2015-02-24T23:59:00Z 2015-02-25T00:53:03Z Santander Bank cuts off APRIL due to deforestation Banking giant Santander says it will not extend further financing to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) due to evidence that the Singapore-based pulp and paper company is continuing to destroy rainforests in Indonesia. The move comes after Greenpeace launched a global campaign against the bank. Rhett Butler 1.013991 102.330548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14420 2015-02-24T22:47:00Z 2015-02-24T23:14:33Z Could big data turn us into ocean protectors instead of abusers? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223_oceandata_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 washed away millions of tons of plastic debris into the Pacific Ocean. It even swept away a Harley Davidson motorcycle that subsequently ended up on Canada's coast. As production and consumption of plastic increases across the world, more of it gets discarded as waste. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14419 2015-02-24T18:16:00Z 2015-02-25T00:12:49Z Critically endangered bird gets new addition to its reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-thumb-brush-finch-nbii.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unassuming brown bird, tiny both in body and population size, hovers on the edge of extinction as its habitat is cleared for agriculture and its nests are parasitized. In response, conservation organizations created a reserve expressly for the species' preservation in the late 1990s; now that reserve is being expanded to try to push one of the world's most endangered bird species farther back from the precipice. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.199193 -79.190149 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14417 2015-02-24T16:00:00Z 2015-02-25T15:17:59Z Locals lead scientists to new population of near-extinct reptile <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223.thumb.A-mro-villagers-with-a-King-Cobra-for-lunch_Photo_Chirag--Roy.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By the early Twentieth Century, the world had pretty much given up on the Arakan forest turtle, named after the hills where it was found in 1875 in western Myanmar. Now, this Lazarus reptile &#8212;which has been dubbed one of the 25 most threatened turtles on the planet &#8212;has more good news: researchers have documented an entirely new population where no one Jeremy Hance 21.483210 92.525138 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14416 2015-02-24T00:48:00Z 2015-02-26T19:38:50Z Sting operation nets tiger poachers A sting operation by Indonesian officials snared a group of tiger hunters operating in Karinci Seblat National Park in Jambi Province, Sumatra. After an extended investigation, undercover officers caught three local residents as they attempted to sell a tiger skin and bones in the village of Karang Mendapo, in Sarolangun Regency. Rhett Butler -2.237506 102.812120 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14415 2015-02-23T23:35:00Z 2015-03-16T23:28:16Z New Guinea rainforest being leveled for palm oil, revealing gaps in zero deforestation pacts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223ANJ_RSPO_WILMAR-POLICY_2FEB2015_BY_GREENOMICS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian palm oil firm is destroying rainforests in New Guinea despite high profile zero deforestation pledges from its customers, finds research by Greenomics-Indonesia. Landsat imagery acquired and analyzed by Greenomics shows that Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri (ANJ) is clearing high carbon stock forests in the southern part of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula in Indonesian New Guinea. Rhett Butler -1.807874 132.433094