tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2014-12-18T20:31:44Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14174 2014-12-18T20:19:00Z 2014-12-18T20:31:44Z Impacts of deforestation on Amazonian river ecosystems could be far-reaching <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study by researchers in Brazil published this week has found that deforestation in the Southern Amazon may impair significantly the structure and function of rivers, and make them less able to support life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.947342 -56.057837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14166 2014-12-18T19:17:00Z 2014-12-18T19:24:22Z Plant wars: some tree species compete better against grasses for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/2018_stewart_tcs_grasses_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What happens to degraded pastureland once the cows are kicked out? After years of letting the area rest, does it eventually become what it once was? Not likely. When disruptions such as invasive species and human interference are introduced to an area, ecological succession doesn’t occur the way it should naturally. Brittany Stewart -8.512761 -55.993002 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14172 2014-12-18T17:36:00Z 2014-12-18T17:53:18Z Tropical deforestation could disrupt rainfall globally <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1802.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Large-scale deforestation in the tropics could drive significant and widespread shifts in rainfall distribution and temperatures, potentially affecting agriculture both locally and far from where forest loss is occurring, concludes a study published today in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler -9.015302 -62.634773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14171 2014-12-18T16:25:00Z 2014-12-18T16:32:31Z Enough for an elephant: why are Cameroon's elephants raiding fields? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1025.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Waza National Park in West Africa is a refuge to many endangered and vulnerable species. Walk through the grounds and you may see red-fronted gazelles grazing or giraffes sauntering between trees in search of foliage. Head to the park's perimeter, though, and you may see a less serene scene: elephants raiding local farmers' crops. Tiffany Roufs 11.333265 14.666613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14170 2014-12-18T15:53:00Z 2014-12-18T15:53:52Z Ocelots live in super densities on Barro Colorado Island By comparing camera trapping findings with genetic samples taken from feces, biologists have determined that the density of ocelots on Barro Colorado Island in Panama is the highest yet recorded. There are over three ocelots per every two square kilometers (0.77 square miles) on the island. Jeremy Hance 9.160347 -79.851205 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14169 2014-12-17T23:26:00Z 2014-12-18T17:36:13Z Amazonian peatlands store mega carbon Peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon store ten times the amount of carbon as undisturbed rainforest in adjacent areas, making them critical in the battle to fight climate change, finds a new study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -4.750255 -74.68802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14168 2014-12-17T22:47:00Z 2014-12-18T16:10:23Z Saving the world's rarest primate: can it be done? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb-hainangibbon.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Endemic to China’s southernmost province of Hainan, only around 30 Hainan gibbons survive today. Rapid island-wide deforestation and consequential loss of habitat, uncontrolled hunting, and failed captive breeding attempts have pushed this ape towards the precipice of becoming the first primate species to go extinct in the modern world. Will a multi-stakeholder conservation strategy be able to save it? Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14167 2014-12-17T21:56:00Z 2014-12-17T22:43:47Z When predators attack, plants grow fewer thorns <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/1217_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Crisp lines of light begin to play out across the landscape. As the morning light grows, blades of grass take shape and, amongst rocky outcrops, green acacia breaks the yellow and gold of the savannah. Stirring in this early morning atmosphere is the African impala, an ungulate that typically grazes at dusk and dawn. Tiffany Roufs 1.330315 37.534791 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14165 2014-12-17T17:47:00Z 2014-12-17T17:56:47Z Deforestation taking toll on nesting birds in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb04-endemic.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The tropical montane forests of the Cameroon mountain ranges boast fertile volcanic soils, high biodiversity of grasses and non-woody plants, as well as many endemic bird species that can be found only in this high-altitude region. Yet, many of these endemic bird species may be at risk due to increased nest predation linked with human-induced forest degradation, according to a new study. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.660889 10.235211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14164 2014-12-17T17:26:00Z 2014-12-17T17:37:58Z Google Earth used to identify environmentally important termite mounds In woodland and savannah areas, certain termite species play a critical environmental role due to the mounds they build. These mounds can be used as fertilizer to induce new ecosystems, and the termites themselves can be studied as biological indicators of human-caused degradation. Detecting the amount and distribution of these mounds throughout an area can provide importance insight on the overall health of an environment. However, detecting the mounds on the ground can be a costly and time-consuming activity. Brittany Stewart -11.668281 27.480219 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14163 2014-12-17T15:28:00Z 2014-12-17T22:27:53Z Scientists reintroduce agoutis in rainforest in city of 12 million <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1216.agouti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When one thinks of Rio de Janeiro, one usually doesn't think: rainforest. However, in the heart of the city sits a massive rainforest sprung over long-gone sugar and coffee plantations. The forest&#8212;protected today as the Tijuca National Park&#8212;is home to hundreds of threatened species, but no agoutis, a common ground mammal in Latin America. Jeremy Hance -22.953406 -43.286334 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14162 2014-12-16T22:08:00Z 2014-12-16T22:30:15Z Success of 'land sparing' will depend on global economics, regulations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Agriculture is the primary driver of tropical deforestation. Indeed, most global food production occurs in the tropics, including important commodity crops such as sugarcane, soybeans, palm oil, and beef. Recent estimates indicate that forest clearing for agriculture contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. This fuels concern over how to balance food production for a growing population with climate change mitigation through conserving tropical forests. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14161 2014-12-16T19:25:00Z 2014-12-16T19:25:22Z Forests could be a thrifty way to fight ozone pollution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/1216_smoggy-foggy-Houston150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Planting trees may be a cost-effective way to reduce ground-level ozone, a toxic component of smog that contributes to the deaths of about 152,000 people annually worldwide, according to new research. The study is the first to lay out a practical plan and examine the economic impacts of lowering ozone levels with trees. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14160 2014-12-16T18:55:00Z 2014-12-17T17:56:07Z New mapping technique sheds light on dry forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1216-thumb-Pileated_Gibbon_(Hylobates_pileatus).jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The extreme habitat heterogeneity of Southeast Asian forests makes it difficult to map their different compositions, resulting in a lack of study of many forest types and their underrepresentation in protected area networks. To address this issue, researchers came up with a remote sensing-based method to accurately delineate forest types, which they demonstrate in a study released this week by focusing on one particular forest type: Dry Deciduous Dipterocarp forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.234307 96.538623 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14150 2014-12-16T14:29:00Z 2014-12-16T14:42:04Z Hunting is a greater threat than logging for most wildlife in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/1216-sullender-gibbs-hunting-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Persistence is the key factor in the two most common human stressors on tropical wildlife. In Malaysian Borneo, hunting continually diminishes wildlife populations, whereas the negative impacts from selective logging are more transient, according to a recent study in Conservation Biology. Brittany Stewart 2.466958 113.456263 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14159 2014-12-16T05:40:00Z 2014-12-16T05:47:25Z Palm oil facilitates large-scale illegal logging in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0072.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Development of oil palm plantations is providing cover for large-scale illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo, driving destruction of some of the island's most biodiverse forests and undermining efforts to reform the country's forestry sector, alleges a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler -1.476897 113.648916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14158 2014-12-15T22:24:00Z 2014-12-15T22:47:59Z Growth of forests may not be keeping pace with rising CO2 levels <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/thailand/150/thailand_0385.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plants rely on three critical elements for growth: carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are therefore expected to increase rates of forest growth, in turn helping counter some of humanity's influence on global climate. But a new study provides evidence that challenges that assumption. Rhett Butler 15.402879 99.170639 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14157 2014-12-15T21:20:00Z 2014-12-15T21:39:35Z Then there were five: rhino death moves species closer to extinction As if news for rhinos couldn't get any worse: this weekend, Angalifu, died a the San Diego Zoo. Forty four-year-old Angalifu was a male northern white rhino and his death means only five of this subspecies remains on the planet. Angalifu's death, which keepers suspect was simply from old age, follows soon after the death of another northern white rhino, Suni, in October. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14156 2014-12-15T18:46:00Z 2014-12-17T22:52:07Z Gibbon species pushed towards extinction as island loses its trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1215-thumb-gibbons-hainan-endangered-forests.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Only about 30 Hainan gibbons currently inhabit our world and all of them are confined to the 2,100-hectare Bawangling National Nature Reserve on the western part of Hainan Island. Endemic to this island, these gibbons primarily inhabited the lowland broadleaf and semi-deciduous monsoon forests that today are almost entirely deforested. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14155 2014-12-15T18:17:00Z 2014-12-16T15:25:40Z Children 'clean' oil spill with kitchen utensils in the Sundarbans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1214.oilspill.sundarbans.4.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 9th, a tanker slammed into another vessel along the Shela River in the world's largest mangrove forest: the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The tanker sank, spilling an estimated 75,000 gallons (350,000 liters) of fuel oil into waterways that are a part of a reserve for threatened Ganges river dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins. Jeremy Hance 22.143775 89.702728 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14154 2014-12-15T17:08:00Z 2014-12-16T22:54:23Z New poison dart frog needs immediate conservation plan <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1208-stewart-new-dart-frog-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was a surprising discovery in an unlikely location. In a leaf litter nearly four inches deep under a dense canopy of rainforest trees, researchers Marcos Ponce and Abel Batista with the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí worked to complete an inventory of endangered species in Panama's Isthmian-Atlantic moist forest. But they were both completely unsuspecting of what they were about to find: a new poison dart frog. Brittany Stewart 9.272282 -79.931563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14137 2014-12-15T15:17:00Z 2014-12-18T16:09:08Z Reefs reduce 97 percent of wave energy, could be better than artificial barriers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/1028-b-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>We have a lot of stake in the coast. Coastal waters are where we host fisheries, build homes and turn to for tourism and recreation. So how should coastal communities, which comprise nearly 40 percent of the world's population, safeguard against flooding, erosion and violent weather? Marine scientist Michael Beck suggests the solution is growing right beneath some waves and, in many cases, it has been waiting there for thousands of years. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14152 2014-12-12T21:51:00Z 2014-12-12T22:30:05Z Conservation and the rights of indigenous communities Many conservationists have long supported local communities and indigenous peoples seeking recognition of their rights to land and natural resources. In addition to being the right thing to do, supporting these local initiatives in land and seascapes across the globe helps strengthen the constituency for conserving healthy wildlife populations, habitats, and natural ecosystems. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14149 2014-12-12T20:19:00Z 2014-12-12T20:51:24Z EU adopts law mandating palm oil labeling on food products Tomorrow the European Union will begin enforcing legislation that mandates labeling of specific vegetable oils on food products. The move means consumers will soon know whether the products they consume contain palm oil, canola, or one of many other sources of plant-based fat. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14147 2014-12-12T17:57:00Z 2014-12-12T18:25:19Z Indigenous communities 'among the very few best protectors' of Peruvian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1212-thumb-herps_cnh_0269.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report examines the effects of timber harvesting, gold mining, agriculture, and oil and natural gas drilling that have been on the rise recently in the Peruvian Amazon, and states that ensuring indigenous land rights is a key tool in the fight to protect it. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.191016 -73.965620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14148 2014-12-12T17:55:00Z 2014-12-12T19:33:02Z Boosting the conservation value of 4M sq km of rainforest logging concessions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Short of buying back logging concessions, switching from conventional logging approaches to reduced impact logging techniques across existing forestry concessions may be the best way boost biodiversity in areas earmarked for timber extraction, argues paper. Rhett Butler 4.539806 101.380621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14146 2014-12-11T22:20:00Z 2014-12-12T17:55:53Z An app to save 400 million animals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1211cougar150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazilian biologist Alex Bager has been leading a crusade to raise awareness of a major but neglected threat to biodiversity in his country. Every year over 475 million animals die in Brazil as victims of roadkill, according to an estimate by Centro Brasileiro de Ecologia de Estradas, an initiative funded and coordinated by Bager. This means 15 animals are run down every second on Brazilian roads and highways. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14145 2014-12-11T20:10:00Z 2014-12-11T20:14:28Z Bamboo could help fight global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_maroantsetra_0204.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Restoring degraded land and forests with the world’s fastest growing plant, bamboo, can contribute to major carbon emission reductions. This is according to a new report that discusses the massive potential of bamboo in fighting global warming, with bamboo forests projected to store more than one million tons of carbon by 2050 in China alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.834078 101.983700 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14144 2014-12-11T17:10:00Z 2014-12-11T21:33:52Z New film highlights local resistance to Nicaragua's canal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1211.grancanal._DSC0638.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This fall, filmmakers Tom Miller and Nuin-Tara Key with Pretty Good Productions found themselves in Nicaragua where they heard about a stunning project: the Gran Canal. Approved last year, the canal is meant to compete with the Panama Canal to the south. Built by a Chinese company, it will cut through 278 kilometers, destroying forests and driving through the largest freshwater body in Central America. Jeremy Hance 12.163097 -83.692639 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14143 2014-12-11T00:14:00Z 2014-12-11T03:33:57Z 10 years following tsunami, Aceh aims to create its own, new, and totally preventable disaster <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/aceh_0459.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the devastating 2004 tsunami, that claimed the lives of around 200,000 of Aceh’s people, there is much concern that Aceh seems now to be deliberately steering itself towards yet another, entirely avoidable disaster. One that will harm yet more people and cause even more long-term economic damage to the province. Rhett Butler 4.510714 96.095695 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14140 2014-12-10T21:07:00Z 2014-12-13T01:23:57Z New pit viper discovered in Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114_viper_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new pit viper was discovered by researchers working in Sumatra, Indonesia. The viper, named <i>Trimeresurus gunaleni</i>, was identified by the researchers while they were studying a group of <i>Trimeresurus sumanatrus</i>, first described by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1822. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.218229 98.445282 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14139 2014-12-10T19:30:00Z 2014-12-11T14:45:20Z To collect or not to collect? Experts debate the need for specimens <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/800px-Berlin_Naturkundemuseum_tote_Voegel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1912, a group of intrepid explorers led by Rollo and Ida Beck, widely acknowledged to be the foremost marine bird collectors of their time, embarked on a most remarkable effort to catalogue South America's oceanic birds. Museums of the day held opportunistically collected specimens from scattered sources, but rarely did these include ocean-bound birds that spent little time near the coast. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14138 2014-12-10T18:36:00Z 2014-12-11T15:15:53Z Huge swath of forest in Indonesian Borneo slated for clearing by 'sustainable' company <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-thumb-kalbar_2018.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A major wood fiber concession has moved ahead on developing a sizable chunk of forest in one of Indonesia’s most vulnerable provinces before a formal conservation assessment of the land could be completed, Greenomics Indonesia reports. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.796927 110.001526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14136 2014-12-10T16:21:00Z 2014-12-10T18:46:33Z Lizard see, lizard do: scientists discover surprising behavior in reptiles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107_lizard_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Imitation can be obnoxious. For those with siblings, imitating your brother's or sister's every word was a surefire way to steadily drive them toward insanity. Annoying it may be, imitation is also special; it's a behavior long regarded to be uniquely human. The skill of imitation is a little less exclusive now, as reptiles join the ranks of creatures capable of the social feat. Researchers from the United Kingdom and Austria recently demonstrated that one lizard, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), can learn through imitation. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14135 2014-12-10T06:38:00Z 2014-12-10T06:51:34Z Deforestation puts cultural survival of forest-dependent peoples at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-peru-massacre150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forest-dependent peoples face grave threats from deforestation and other depredations, warns a new report that urges greater recognition of traditional land use and support of community-led initiatives to fight forest loss. The report, published Monday during climate talks in Lima, is based on research by dozens of indigenous and forest communities from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14134 2014-12-09T23:22:00Z 2014-12-10T03:14:27Z False victories for sustainability – Amazonian Hydropower <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1209_dams2_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dams are hugely controversial, especially in the Amazon Rainforest. Their proponents, flashing green credentials, have dammed the tributaries of the Amazon for decades. However, there is a rising backlash against the huge economical, environmental, and sociological costs dams bring. A paper led by Dr. James Randall Kahn from Washington and Lee University is the latest in this volley. Brittany Stewart -8.686566 -55.509603 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14133 2014-12-09T19:43:00Z 2014-12-09T20:15:48Z Striking new gecko discovered in Thailand <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1110_gecko150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A research team based in western Thailand has discovered a new gecko species in the Kanchanaburi Province, a region renowned for its number of species found nowhere else in the world. A recent publication describes the Sai Yok bent-toed gecko (<i>Cyrtodactylus saiyok</i>), the sixth reptile species endemic to the region known to science. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.263287 98.934860 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14132 2014-12-09T19:27:00Z 2014-12-09T19:44:01Z For the first time, Sea Shepherd targets Antarctic toothfish poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1102.Dmawsoni_Head_shot.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the first time, marine conservation group, Sea Shepherd, is employing their controversial methods to protect Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish. Dubbed 'Operation Icefish,' Sea Shepherd Australia is sending two ships into Antarctic waters to disrupt illegal vessels targeting the little-known species that are often sold in luxury markets as Chilean seabass. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14131 2014-12-09T18:19:00Z 2014-12-09T19:47:49Z Relief for Kenya’s rare coastal forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1209-thumb-Rhynchocyon_chrysopygus-J_Smit.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October this year, CAMAC Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company, announced that they would conduct seismic surveys for oil and gas within Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, one of the last remaining fragments of coastal forests in East Africa. But following immense pressure from the environmental front, CAMAC Energy cancelled their plans to conduct surveys inside the forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.332155 39.847937 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14130 2014-12-09T17:50:00Z 2014-12-09T17:55:09Z Groups call on world leaders to stop incentives for big dams Nearly 200 civil society organizations have called on world leaders to exclude large hydroelectric projects from receiving green climate funds and other incentives. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14103 2014-12-09T16:53:00Z 2014-12-09T16:58:49Z Pollinators puzzle to find flowers amidst natural and human fumes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1209-potter-pollinators-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While unpleasant car exhaust makes us wrinkle our noses, such human-made fumes may pose serious problems to insects searching for nectar. Researchers recently revealed that background odors make finding flowers difficult for pollinators. The study, published in Science, measured how hawk moths (Manduca sexta) pick out the sacred datura flower scent (Datura wrightii) amidst all the other smells that waft through the environment. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14104 2014-12-08T18:00:00Z 2014-12-09T20:20:16Z Tribal violence comes naturally to chimpanzees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1208_chimps_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It all went to hell when Jane Goodall started handing out bananas. Within a few years, the previously peaceful chimpanzees she was studying split into two warring tribes. Gangs of males from the larger faction systematically slaughtered their former tribemates. All over the bananas. Or so the argument goes. Brittany Stewart -4.699888 29.616646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2014-12-08T17:57:12Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14127 2014-12-07T23:23:00Z 2014-12-08T01:31:46Z Initiative to restore 50M acres of degraded Latin American ecosystems by 2020 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_siquirres_0578.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of governments and organizations today pledged to restore 20 million hectares (50 million acres) of degraded forests and ecosystems across Latin America by 2020 under an initiative that aims to curb boost rural incomes, fight climate change, and increase agricultural production. The effort is backed by $365 million from five impact investors. Rhett Butler -1.695767 -79.508271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14126 2014-12-05T20:24:00Z 2014-12-08T01:22:26Z Indonesia's ambitious plan to reforest 2M ha annually Indonesia’s new government has ambitious reforestation plans. President Joko Widodo’s election campaign included a commitment to reforest 2 million hectares of degraded land annually. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14125 2014-12-05T18:55:00Z 2014-12-05T19:00:08Z Indonesia sets reference level for cutting deforestation The Indonesian government has established reference levels for measuring reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest and peatland degradation, reports <i>Antara</i>. Rhett Butler 1.966167 100.523186 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14122 2014-12-05T17:51:00Z 2014-12-05T17:55:53Z How an indigenous community in Ecuador stood up to big oil - and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1205-thumb-Gualinga.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sarayaku, a Kichwa indigenous people numbering 1,200 from the Ecuadorian Amazon, won a historic court case in 2012. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the government of Ecuador must publicly apologize, consult with, and recompense the Sarayaku for allowing oil exploration by Argentine Compañia General de Combustibles on their territory without prior consultation Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.867031 -78.073814 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14119 2014-12-05T16:39:00Z 2014-12-05T16:51:08Z Biodiversity protection is key to REDD+ success, study shows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023_biodiversity_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protecting biodiversity may be crucial for successfully storing carbon in forests, scientists say. A recent publication on Oryx - The International Journal of Conservation suggests that biodiversity loss –especially through hunting – will hinder the success of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14118 2014-12-05T06:40:00Z 2014-12-05T19:11:59Z A landmark year for forests (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1205-kellogg-palm-oil-rally150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>About one year ago today, I was pretty down. It was Thanksgiving night, and the Forest Heroes campaign, which I chair, had been running a big global campaign to persuade Wilmar International, Asia’s largest agribusiness company, to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse throughout its enormous supply chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14117 2014-12-05T04:56:00Z 2014-12-05T05:10:34Z Tradeoff: Sabah banks on palm oil to boost forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month Sabah set aside an additional 203,000 hectares of protected forest reserves, boosting the Malaysian state's extent of protected areas to 21 percent of its land mass. But instead of accolades, Sabah forestry leaders were criticized for how they went about securing those reserves: allowing thousands of hectares of deforested land within an officially designated forestry area to be converted for oil palm plantations Rhett Butler 4.471707 117.439298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14115 2014-12-04T21:26:00Z 2014-12-05T15:17:54Z Giant stone face unveiled in the Amazon rainforest (video) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1204.stoneface.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new short film documents the journey of an indigenous tribe hiking deep into their territory in the Peruvian Amazon to encounter a mysterious stone countenance that was allegedly carved by ancient peoples. According to Handcrafted Films, which produced the documentary entitled The Reunion, this was the first time the Rostro Harakbut has been filmed. Jeremy Hance -12.820287 -71.013726 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14114 2014-12-04T19:42:00Z 2014-12-04T19:46:55Z Musim Mas says its palm oil will be deforestation-free <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Singapore-based Musim Mas has established a new sustainability policy that it says will eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. The company, which operates plantations in Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, has been under pressure from environmentalists to join a growing number of palm oil producers and traders that have made zero deforestation pledges. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14113 2014-12-04T17:53:00Z 2014-12-04T17:58:00Z New endangered bird species discovered in Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1204-thumb-S.gonzagai-Albano.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Bahian mouse-colored tapaculo (Scytalopus gonzagai) has only just been discovered by scientists in the heavily logged Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil -- and it’s already believed to be endangered. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.480660 -40.475594 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14110 2014-12-04T16:11:00Z 2014-12-11T16:37:27Z Is the Gran Canal really a 'big Christmas present' for Nicaraguans? <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 big Christmas present"&#8212;that is how Paul Oquist, an advisor to Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, described the country's plan to build a mega-canal across the nation. Preliminary construction on the canal is set to begin December 24th, despite major concerns over environmental destruction, forced removal of thousands of people, and a lack of transparency. Jeremy Hance 11.973290 -83.883255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14109 2014-12-04T05:41:00Z 2014-12-04T05:48:30Z Rhino conservationist dead at 87 South African conservationist Ian Player has died at the age of 87. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14108 2014-12-03T23:13:00Z 2014-12-04T00:24:26Z Deforestation jumps in Peru Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon increased significantly last year, says a top official. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14107 2014-12-03T19:18:00Z 2014-12-03T21:31:32Z One-two punch: farming, global warming destroying unique East African forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-thumb-atheris-5.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lush mountains speckle East Africa's grasslands and desert, from Mozambique to Ethiopia. These isolated habitats are home to a plethora of species, and are considered by scientists to be some of the most biodiverse regions in the world. However, their forests are being cut down for farmland and are threatened by global warming, putting at risk multitudes of species that have nowhere else to go. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.725780 36.574009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14106 2014-12-03T18:53:00Z 2014-12-05T15:21:54Z New survey finds surprisingly large population of endangered owl <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1202.Anjouan-Scops-owl---A.-Van-Norman.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Anjouan scops owl&#8212;an elusive owl found only on its tiny eponymous island&#8212;was once considered among the world's most endangered owls, and even the most threatened birds. However, the first in-depth survey of the owls on the island finds that, in fact, the population is far larger than initially estimated. Jeremy Hance -12.227030 44.417853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14101 2014-12-03T18:17:00Z 2014-12-03T18:21:25Z Old fishermen document declining range of the Indus River dolphin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-sanders-river-dolphin1-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is an endangered freshwater mammal found only in the Indus River and tributaries draining the Himalayas. Since 1879, the dolphin—locally known as the bhulan—has vanished from 80 percent of its range. Now, a study using interviews with dozens of elders in the Pakistani fishing communities along the river documents when dolphins disappeared from different river sections. Brittany Stewart 30.064276 70.462308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14105 2014-12-03T16:29:00Z 2014-12-03T16:47:51Z Is captive breeding the final resort for the Sumatran rhino? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113_rhino_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearing extinction, the Sumatran rhino is running out of options. A native of Indonesia and Malaysia, the Sumatran rhino has declined in the past 30 years from an estimated 800 individuals to no more than 75 remaining today. So far there have been three ad hoc meetings held in 1984, 1993, and 2013, each attempting to develop policies that would potentially save this critical species. Tiffany Roufs -0.461942 101.655880 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14098 2014-12-03T15:37:00Z 2014-12-03T15:58:55Z Nano-tags track baby sea turtles during their first few hours <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-cooper-turtle4-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Baby sea turtles vanish after they scamper into the ocean. Years later, juvenile turtles may pop up thousands of kilometers away, but often scientists don't see them again until they return to their birthplaces to nest on the beach. Now, using tiny tracking tags weighing no more than two watermelon seeds, a team has followed newborn loggerhead turtles during their first critical hours at sea, revealing how they evade predators and hitch rides on the ocean's currents. Brittany Stewart 16.050310 -22.853872 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14102 2014-12-02T23:12:00Z 2014-12-02T23:51:18Z Embattled palm oil giant announces sustainability policy, but fails to win over critics Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) has joined a growing list of companies committing to zero deforestation for commodity production. Rhett Butler 0.755443 101.186556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14100 2014-12-02T21:35:00Z 2014-12-02T21:45:49Z Rhino, cheetah win the world's top camera trap photo contest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1202.Burrard-Lucas_black,P20rhino_North,P20Luangwa,P20National,P20Park,P20Zambia_800.jpg.pagespeed.ic.eEwJhz9xR9.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two big&#8212;and endangered&#8212;mammals took 2014's top prizes in the world's biggest camera trap photo contest: a black rhino and a Asiatic cheetah. The gorgeous shot of a black rhino at night in Zambia photo won the overall photo competition, while the image of a super-rare Asiatic cheetah in Iran took the top research prize. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14099 2014-12-02T20:41:00Z 2014-12-03T18:16:14Z Threatened indigenous forests store more than half the Amazon's carbon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1202-beetle-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study released today finds the total carbon load locked up in parts of the Amazon rainforest held by indigenous groups to be much higher than previously estimated – an amount that, if released, would be capable of destabilizing the earth’s atmosphere. But because of flimsy land rights, these areas stand at risk of deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.344611 -55.744104 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14097 2014-12-02T16:55:00Z 2014-12-02T17:09:57Z 'New normal' approach to conservation comes under fire <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023_thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study faults adaptive 'Novel Ecosystems' concept with ignoring true values of biodiversity and restoration. Over the past few years a new conservation approach known as the "novel ecosystems" concept has been slowly gathering steam in science, media, and policy-making circles. Based on pragmatism, it presents itself as a way forward in a world where irreversible ecosystem change is inevitable. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14096 2014-12-01T23:12:00Z 2014-12-02T06:17:59Z Pulp and paper giant violating its sustainability policy Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRRIL) is violating its own sustainability policy by continuing to source fiber produced via the destruction peatlands on the island of Pulau Padang in Riau, Sumatra, argues a new report published by a coalition of Indonesian environmental groups. Rhett Butler 1.014277 102.330627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14079 2014-12-01T20:10:00Z 2014-12-01T20:22:00Z Shark pups may not survive climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1201_sharks_climate_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fierce predatory sharks rule the oceans from the apex of the food pyramid. But climate change may be tougher than these marine hunters, a new study suggests. As oceans warm and their waters become more acidic, fewer sharks may survive their infancies. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14095 2014-12-01T19:57:00Z 2014-12-01T23:53:00Z Without draconian measures, global population boom is 'locked in' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1201.train.image_1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to recent projections, the number of people living on Earth could exceed ten billion by the end of this century. Now, a new study has examined what it would take to reverse that unrelenting growth and achieve a sustainable population that is less threatening to biodiversity and ecosystems around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14092 2014-12-01T14:01:00Z 2014-12-01T14:18:24Z Egyptian art helps chart past extinctions of big mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1129.image-2.egypt.extinction.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Life in modern Egypt clings to the Nile River. This crowded green strip within the desert supports more than 2,300 people per square kilometer (6,000 per square mile). But 6,000 years ago, all of Egypt was green and vibrant, teeming with life much like the current Serengeti. Over time, this rich ecosystem fell apart. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14091 2014-11-30T03:12:00Z 2014-12-01T03:15:53Z Indonesia to audit licenses of palm oil companies that clear peatlands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1373.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Indonesian president Joko Widodo has ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review licenses for companies that have converted peatlands for oil palm plantations, reports <i>Antara</i>. Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, announced the move after a visit last week to Sungai Tohor, a community in Riau that has been particularly affected by peatlands degradation and haze caused by fires set for land clearing. Rhett Butler 0.861708 102.920555 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14090 2014-11-29T23:15:00Z 2014-11-30T01:23:07Z Former Malaysian chief: legal logging also 'destructive' of forests Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is calling for limits on legal logging in the Southeast Asian nation. Rhett Butler 1.856365 113.684807 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14089 2014-11-29T21:31:00Z 2014-11-30T01:43:36Z Island terror attack shuts Colombia's renowned 'blue lizard' park A terror attack by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on facilities on the island of Gorgona has prompted Colombian officials to close the World Heritage site "indefinitely" to tourists. Aviatur, Colombia’s largest tourism operator which operates the only lodge on Gorgona, shortly thereafter announced it was suspending all operations on the island. Rhett Butler 2.9675 -78.180278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14078 2014-11-26T23:59:00Z 2014-11-27T01:55:39Z Amazon deforestation in Brazil drops 18% in 2013/2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Figures published Wednesday by Brazil's National Space Research Institute (INPE) show that 4,848 square kilometers (1,871 square miles) of forest &#8212; an area about the size of the state of Rhode Island or the country of Brunei &#8212; were cleared between August 2013 and July 2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14077 2014-11-26T23:06:00Z 2014-12-01T17:36:27Z What we can learn from uncontacted rainforest tribes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1126-mark-plotkin-ted150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you have ever wondered about the connection between hallucinogenic frogs, uncontacted peoples, conservation, and climate change &#8212; and who hasn't? &#8212; check out this TED talk from ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin. An ethnobotanist by training, Plotkin serves as President of the Amazon Conservation Team. Plotkin took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Mongabay. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14076 2014-11-26T20:53:00Z 2014-11-26T21:00:16Z Meet the world's most wanted environmental criminals In keeping with recent efforts to ramp up action against environmental crime, INTERPOL has highlighted nine fugitives for breaking laws related to illegal logging, poaching and the wildlife trade, illegal fishing, and waste dumping, among other crimes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14075 2014-11-26T18:54:00Z 2014-11-27T02:54:14Z Chinese logging company takes over Guyana's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/images/jeremy_hance/150/Guyana_310.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Foreign companies investing in Guyana’s substantial forests are supposed to adhere to national laws and international agreements. But civil society leaders and activists inside and outside the South American country are crying foul, saying foreign corporations and government officials are paying lip service to the accords while quietly building a timber-harvesting empire in the country with few benefits for the average Guyanese. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.285665 -58.947501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14074 2014-11-26T15:32:00Z 2014-12-01T20:32:45Z New calendar celebrates primates and raises money for their survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1125.primatescalendar.cover.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens, are really just upright apes with big brains. We may have traded actual jungles for gleaming concrete and steel ones, but we are still primates, merely one member of an order consisting of sixteen families. We may have removed ourselves from our wilder beginnings, but our extant relatives&#8212;the world's wonderful primates&#8212;serve as a gentle living reminder of those days. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14073 2014-11-26T06:42:00Z 2014-11-26T06:51:12Z APP boosting timber productivity to support zero deforestation policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0939.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) appears to have enough plantation fiber to operate existing mills as well as supply a new mill under construction in South Sumatra without having to pulp natural forests, argues a new report that also finds the forestry giant is successfully improving yields to support its zero deforestation commitment. Rhett Butler 0.154868 102.100183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14072 2014-11-25T21:34:00Z 2014-11-25T21:44:38Z Earthworm farming in the West Bank (commentary) From what I’m told, there can’t be too many worm farms in the West Bank. Local agricultural experts say they’ve never heard of the practice. That doesn’t mean that someone, somewhere isn’t happily vermicomposting -- the technical name for worm farming -- but it’s clearly not happening at any scale. After today though, there are at least two worm farms up and running here. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14071 2014-11-25T20:16:00Z 2014-11-25T20:20:11Z Progress being made in curbing illegal timber imports Five major timber importers are making progress in cutting contraband wood from their markets, argues a series of reports published by Chatham House. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-12-04T17:16:15Z Meet the world's rarest chameleon: Chapman's pygmy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Rhampholeon-chapmanorum-Female---Colin-Tilbury.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In just two forest patches may dwell a tiny, little-known chameleon that researchers have dubbed the world's most endangered. Chapman's pygmy chameleon from Malawi hasn't been seen in 16 years. In that time, its habitat has been whittled down to an area about the size of just 100 American football fields. Jeremy Hance -16.904995 35.196914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14068 2014-11-25T18:36:00Z 2014-11-25T18:51:31Z Amazon deforestation moratorium extended 18 months <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1125brazil_0322_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian soy industry has extended its deforestation moratorium for another 18 months. The moratorium, which was established in 2006 after a high-profile Greenpeace campaign, bars conversion of forests in Brazilian Amazon for soy production. Independent analysis has shown it to be highly effective &#8212; just prior to the moratorium, soy accounted for roughly a fifth of recent deforestation, while today its share is less than one percent. Rhett Butler -12.185677 -54.904389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14069 2014-11-25T18:30:00Z 2014-12-01T21:12:51Z Reeling in religious messages: how faith impacts fisheries in Fiji <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118_west_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marrying religion and conservation could be key to making Fiji's fisheries sustainable. Fijians have strong religious beliefs, which were primarily introduced by Christian missionaries in the 1835, and today profoundly guide their daily lives. Fijians primarily depend on fisheries close to shore for their survival, which is the case for most small Pacific island countries. Tiffany Roufs -17.750460 178.137699 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14067 2014-11-25T17:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:33:49Z Saving Myanmar’s red pandas by protecting land, educating people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1125-thumb-Stavenn_Ailurus_fulgens.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Red pandas, bear-like arboreal mammals with red, furry tails, are poached mainly for their fur. Found primarily at higher elevation forests of the eastern Himalayas, these pandas spend most of their time in trees, and feed mainly on bamboo. But much of their forest habitat has been destroyed due to illegal logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14066 2014-11-24T20:24:00Z 2014-12-01T17:34:08Z Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world's chameleons <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Kinyongia-tenuis-158-copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Now, a update of the IUCN Red List finds that this unique group is facing a crisis that could send dozens of chameleons, if not more, to extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14065 2014-11-24T18:58:00Z 2014-11-26T04:09:49Z What happened to the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1124Urton_Irion_a6d2_i150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Images from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster endure, from the collapsing platform to oil-fouled coastline. But beneath the surface is a story photographers cannot as easily capture. Two days after the April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 and injured 16, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank. During the five months it took to seal the Macondo well 1,500 meters below the surface, nearly 5 million barrels of oil gushed into the ocean. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14064 2014-11-24T18:31:00Z 2014-11-24T18:36:10Z New marine protected areas key to fighting illegal fishing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1124seahorse150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Do you know how that tuna sashimi got to your dinner plate? Probably not—and chances are, the restaurant that served it to you doesn’t know, either. A new policy paper argues that illicit fishing practices are flying under the radar all around the world, and global society must combat them in order to keep seafood on the menu. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14063 2014-11-24T15:23:00Z 2014-11-24T15:31:21Z New blood record: 1,020 rhinos killed in South Africa South Africa has surpassed last year's grisly record for slaughtered rhinos&#8212;1,004&#8212;more than a month before the year ends. In an announcement on November 20th, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs said that 1,020 rhinos had been killed to date. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14062 2014-11-24T03:05:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:01Z Sarawak chief calls state's logging industry 'corrupt' In a surprising statement, Sarawak's new chief minister called the state's logging sector 'corrupt'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14061 2014-11-24T02:17:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:17Z Rising deforestation, fossil fuels use drive Brazil's emissions 8% higher Brazil's carbon emissions jumped 7.8 percent in 2013 due to rising deforestation and fossil fuels use, according to data released by Observatório do Clima (Climate Observatory), an alliance of mostly Brazilian non-profits. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14058 2014-11-21T21:09:00Z 2014-11-21T21:10:22Z IKEA commits to zero deforestation palm oil Home products giant IKEA has made a time-bound commitment for eliminating palm oil linked to deforestation and human rights abuses from its supply chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14057 2014-11-21T17:57:00Z 2014-11-21T18:03:21Z Indonesia's anti-corruption agency questions former Minster of Forestry Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned the former Minister of Forestry about his role in altering zoning to facilitate oil palm expansion into public lands. The case centers around Riau Governor Annas Maamun, who allegedly accepted bribes to convert an area's status from 'production forest' into 'non-forested land'. Rhett Butler 0.494379 101.500969 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14056 2014-11-21T17:37:00Z 2014-11-26T17:33:15Z Scientists capture first-ever footage of wild red pandas in Myanmar (VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1121-4-thumb-Red%20panda%20copyright%20Susan%20A.%20Mainka%20and%20WWF-Canon.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This year, a team of scientists in Myanmar (also called Burma), caught a pair of reclusive red pandas on camera, for the first time ever. The bushy tailed pandas were climbing up a rocky pile of rubble left behind in the region by Chinese loggers. For the scientists, the footage was bitter-sweet. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14055 2014-11-20T23:36:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:29Z Ranking the world's best - and worst - palm oil companies in terms of sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1120-opp-out150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new initiative ranks the world's 25 largest publicly listed palm oil companies in terms of transparency around the environmental performance of their operations. The project, called Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit, was developed by The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Rhett Butler 1.309319 109.666107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14054 2014-11-20T23:12:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:48Z Activists hijack Pepsi's new product launch on Amazon over deforestation A campaign launched by environmental activists is killing Pepsi's launch of a new product on Amazon.com. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14052 2014-11-20T19:14:00Z 2014-12-08T17:42:49Z Developing land without approval of local people 'a human rights issue of grave concern,' says new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/willoq/Willoq_1018_0712.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Throughout the tropics, staggering amounts of land have been designated for natural resource extraction—as much as 40 percent of Peru, 30 percent of Indonesia and 35 percent of Liberia. However, much of this land is already in use; it is being inhabited by local communities and indigenous peoples. And while it is possible to live on and extract resources from the same land, when local communities are not consulted in this exchange, conflict may erupt. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.655851 109.998371 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14053 2014-11-20T19:12:00Z 2014-11-22T20:30:29Z Indonesia imposes moratorium on new logging permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's new Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar imposed a moratorium on the issuance of all new logging permits a little over a week after being appointed in late October. The move is being celebrated by conservation groups and signals that interest in reforming Indonesia's notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional forestry sector has reached the highest levels of government, with direction coming from President Joko Widodo. Rhett Butler -1.900286 102.643547 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14051 2014-11-20T18:19:00Z 2014-11-20T18:21:29Z Indonesian government slow to reclaim lands damaged by coal mining Reclamation of over 830,000 hectares of abandoned mines has yet to begin in East Kalimantan, Indonesia--despite a provincial law passed over a year ago mandating the formation of commission to oversee the process. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14050 2014-11-19T23:29:00Z 2014-11-20T19:54:56Z Jane Goodall: 5 reasons to have hope for the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119jane-freud150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jane Goodall is not only arguably the most famous conservationist who ever lived, but also the most well-known and respected female scientist on the planet today. Her path to reach that stature is an unlikely as it is inspiring. Told to 'never give up' by her mother, Goodall set out in her 20s to pursue her childhood dream: to live with animals in Africa. By the time she was 26 she doing just this. Rhett Butler -4.701242 29.616242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14049 2014-11-19T23:06:00Z 2014-11-19T23:21:56Z Gone for good: world's largest earwig declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1119.800px-F-auricularia_F_defensive_-_HngVolkstn20090519_46.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world has lost a giant: this week the IUCN Red List officially declared St. Helena giant earwig extinct. While its length of 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) may not seem like much, it's massive for an earwig and impressive for an insect. Only found on the island of St. Helena in the remote southern Atlantic, experts believe the St. Helena giant earwig was pushed to extinction by habitat destruction. Jeremy Hance -15.966195 -5.704836