tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/nepal1 Nepal news from mongabay.com 2015-05-26T17:54:08Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14852 2015-05-26T15:16:00Z 2015-05-26T17:54:08Z Nepal's rhino population rises by 72% in ten years A new survey in Nepal counted 645 one-horned rhinos, up from 375 animals ten years ago and 534 animals in 2011. This represent a rise of 72 percent over the last ten years, an impressive feat given that the world's rhinos are facing a savage poaching crisis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14399 2015-02-19T16:55:00Z 2015-02-20T17:19:17Z Authorities catch kingpin responsible for killing 20 rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0218.thumb.800px-One_horned_Rhino.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the aid of Interpol, authorities have arrested the leader of a rhino poaching gang responsible for killing a 20 Indian rhinoceros in Nepal. Last month, authorities nabbed Raj Kumar Praja in Malaysia where he had been evading capture for two years. Kumar was already evicted of 15 poaching incidents in absentia and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13163 2014-05-01T18:36:00Z 2014-11-25T23:28:25Z A sketch of the yeti: saving the Himalayan brown bear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0501-bear-ears-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Overall, the brown bear is one of the most widespread and numerous bear species in the world. However, a subspecies called the Himalayan brown bear is not so fortunate. It occupies higher reaches of the Himalayas in remote, mountainous areas of Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and India. Its populations are small and isolated, and it is extremely rare in many parts of its range. Morgan Erickson-Davis 34.970485 75.471831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12982 2014-03-25T19:43:00Z 2014-03-25T20:42:19Z Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.cinereous_vulture-01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (<i>Ectopistes migratorius</i>) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of vulture from Southeastern Asia retain the dubious distinction of having had the most rapid population crash of any avian fauna. They might not have begun with numbers as large as the passenger pigeon, but within the space of a single decade, their populations were reduced by 96 to 99 percent. Jeremy Hance 25.365863 78.632792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12735 2014-02-06T15:24:00Z 2014-02-10T13:31:22Z Proposed rail and road projects could devastate Nepal's tigers and rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0206.chitwan.rhino.DSC03514.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chitwan National Park is a conservation success story. Since its establishment in 1973 the park's populations of both Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) have quintupled, a success achieved during a time when both species have been under siege globally by poachers. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the park is also a vital economic resource for locals: last year the park admitted over 150,000 tourists who brought in nearly $2 million in entry fees alone. But all this is imperiled by government plans for a new railway that would cut the park in half and a slew of new roads, according to a group of international conservationists known as the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT). Jeremy Hance 27.474161 84.628944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12727 2014-02-05T13:31:00Z 2014-02-05T13:53:51Z Alpine bumblebees capable of flying over Mt. Everest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0205.800px-Alpenglow_on_Everest.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The genus Bombus consists of over 250 species of large, nectar-loving bumblebees. Their bright coloration serves as a warning to predators that they are unwelcome prey and their bodies are covered in a fine coat of hair - known as pile - which gives them their characteristically fuzzy look. Bumblebees display a remarkably capable flight performance despite being encumbered with oversized bodies supported by relatively diminutive wings. Jeremy Hance 27.986443 86.922022 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12435 2013-11-22T17:27:00Z 2013-11-25T15:20:50Z Satellites reveal browning mountain forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_1078.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a dramatic response to global warming, tropical forests in the high elevation areas of five continents have been "browning" since the 1990s. They have been steadily losing foliage, and showing less photosynthetic activity. Scientists analyzed the forest cover by using satellites to measure sunlight bouncing off the surface of the earth, then determining the different surface types via reflection patterns. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12216 2013-10-20T18:59:00Z 2013-10-21T17:55:21Z Yeti may be undescribed bear species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1020.800px-Polar_Bear_-_Alaska.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The purported Yeti, an ape-like creature that walks upright and roams the remote Himalayas, may in fact be an ancient polar bear species, according to new DNA research by Bryan Sykes with Oxford University. Sykes subjected two hairs from what locals say belonged to the elusive Yeti only to discover that the genetics matched a polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway dating from around 120,000 (though as recent as 40,000 years ago). Jeremy Hance 27.965295 90.323181 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11857 2013-07-30T16:02:00Z 2013-07-30T16:20:56Z Nepal's tigers on the rebound Nearly two hundred tigers roam the lowland forests of Nepal, according to a new survey. This is a 63 percent increase in the country's tiger population since 2009, and rare good news for global efforts to save the tiger from extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11575 2013-06-10T23:46:00Z 2013-06-18T13:07:29Z NASA: Deforestation jumps in Malaysia Deforestation jumped during the first three months of 2013 in Malaysia, Nepal and Mexico, according to a forest tracking tool developed by a team of NASA researchers. Rhett Butler 4.749229 100.859272 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11426 2013-05-13T22:09:00Z 2013-05-13T22:10:41Z Mount Everest glaciers have shrunk 13% in 50 years Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent and the snow-line has shifted 180 meters (590 feet) higher during the past 50 years, according to a study that will be presented this week at a conference organized by the American Geophysical Union. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10856 2013-02-11T16:38:00Z 2015-02-09T22:30:47Z Pity the pangolin: little-known mammal most common victim of the wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0209.pangolin.Indonesia-exotic-meat-TRAFFIC.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year tens-of-thousands of elephants and hundreds of rhinos were butchered to feed the growing appetite of the illegal wildlife trade. This black market, largely centered in East Asia, also devoured tigers, sharks, leopards, turtles, snakes, and hundreds of other animals. Estimated at $19 billion annually, the booming trade has periodically captured global media attention, even receiving a high-profile speech by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, last year. But the biggest mammal victim of the wildlife trade is not elephants, rhinos, or tigers, but an animal that receives little notice and even less press: the pangolin. If that name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone. Jeremy Hance 18.359739 104.265747 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10636 2013-01-03T18:21:00Z 2015-02-09T22:19:06Z An avalanche of decline: snow leopard populations are plummeting The trading of big cat pelts is nothing new, but recent demand for snow leopard pelts and taxidermy mounts has added a new commodity to the illegal trade in wildlife products, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Traditionally, the market for large cat products has centered around tiger bones and parts for traditional Chinese medicine. Snow leopards (Uncia uncia), however, are a novel trend in the illegal wildlife trade arena and skins and taxidermy mounts are the most recent fad in luxury home décor. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10089 2012-09-04T17:50:00Z 2012-09-04T22:51:26Z Tigers and humans can coexist, says study Humans and tigers can coexist in the same area with minimal conflict, finds a new study that raises hopes for big cat conservation. Rhett Butler 27.483908 84.476418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9277 2012-03-19T17:28:00Z 2015-02-05T01:02:09Z Wildlife corridor key to conserving tigers, rhinos in Nepal A single forest corridor links two of Nepal's great wildlife areas: Chitwan National Park and the Mahabharat mountain range, also known as the "little Himalayas." The Barandabhar Forest Corridor (BFC) has become essential for the long term survival Nepal's Indian rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) and Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris). Yet, according to a new paper published in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society (TCS), the corridor is imperiled by deforestation, a highway, and inconsistent management policies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8936 2012-01-10T18:58:00Z 2012-01-10T18:58:47Z Happy rhino news: no rhinos poached in Nepal last year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/nepal.goodnews.rhinos.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As rhinos again fell to poachers in record numbers in 2011, there was one bright-spot: Nepal. Not a single rhino was killed by poachers in the Himalayan nation, home to an estimated 534 greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis), categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Conservationists celebrated at Chitwan National Park, which holds the vast majority of the country's rhinos. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8673 2011-11-10T18:08:00Z 2015-01-29T00:10:36Z Chemotherapy tree facing extinction A yew tree in the Himalayas that produces the chemotherapy drug, Taxol, is in danger of extinction. An update to the IUCN Red List, has moved the tree, named Taxus contorta, from Vulnerable to Endangered. Overharvesting for medicine and fuelwood have placed the species in serious danger. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7851 2011-05-11T17:23:00Z 2015-01-28T23:27:35Z Belief and butchery: how lies and organized crime are pushing rhinos to extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/rhino_3081.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Few animals face as violent, as well organized, and as determined an enemy as the world's rhinos. Across the globe rhinos are being slaughtered in record numbers; on average more than one rhino is killed by poachers everyday. After being shot or drugged, criminals take what they came for: they saw off the animal's horn. Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which claims that it has curative properties, rhino horn is worth more than gold and cocaine on the black market. However, science proves all this cash and death is based on a lie. 'There is no medicinal benefit to consuming rhino horn. It has been extensively analyzed in separate studies, by different institutions, and rhino horn was found to contain no medical properties whatsoever,' says Rhishja Larson. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7792 2011-04-27T04:33:00Z 2011-04-27T19:38:01Z In spite of poaching, Nepal's rhino population on the rise Good news for rhinos is rare recently, but a new census shows that Nepal's one-horned rhino (<i>Rhinoceros unicornis</i>) population has increased by 23% since 2008 even in the face of poaching. In total 534 rhinos survive in Nepal, a rise of 99 individuals from 3 years ago. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7627 2011-03-23T19:13:00Z 2011-03-23T19:16:11Z Top forest policies recognized 19 forest policies have been nominated for an award by the World Future Council, a global think tank. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7217 2010-12-27T08:04:00Z 2014-12-27T05:23:58Z Red pandas may be threatened by small-scale trade Two studies investigated the scale and potential threat of continued trade in red pandas and found that while reports are low, the occurrence of isolated incidents may be enough to threaten species survival. Morgan Erickson-Davis tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7028 2010-11-09T20:13:00Z 2010-11-09T20:18:24Z Authorities confiscated over 1000 tigers in past decade Highlighting the poaching crisis facing tigers, a new report by the wildlife trade organization, TRAFFIC, found that from 2000-2010 authorities have confiscated the parts of 1,069 tiger individuals, many of them dead. The tigers, or their body parts, were confiscated from 11 of the species' 13 range countries, according to the report entitled <i>Reduced to Skin and Bones</i>. Yet the number only hints at the total number of tigers (<i>Panthera tigris</i>) vanishing in the wild due to the illegal trade in tiger parts for traditional Asian medicine and decorative items, such as skins. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6325 2010-06-23T20:39:00Z 2010-06-24T16:07:36Z Massive forest loss spurs Nepal to ban logging for two months Nepal has announced a two month ban on logging throughout the mountainous country, reports the AFP. The ban was issued after officials received reports of alarming deforestation in lowland areas; according to one official over 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of forest was lost in a few months, more forest than was lost from 2000-2005. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5770 2010-03-02T20:29:00Z 2010-03-02T20:36:34Z National parks in India and Nepal hit by rhino poachers The rare Indian rhinoceros is not safe from poachers even in national parks. In Nepal's world renowned Royal Chitwan National Park, twenty-four Indian rhinos (<i>Rhinoceros unicornis</i>) have been poached since the last census was taken in 2008. The most recent one was killed last Thursday. Approximately 372 Indian rhinos survive in the park, and the population is in decline. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5165 2009-11-25T00:46:00Z 2009-11-25T00:51:14Z In midst of poaching crisis, illegal rhino horn tops gold Rhino poaching has hit a fifteen-year high, and the rising price for black-market rhino horn is likely the reason why. For the first time in a decade rhino horn is worth more than gold: a kilo of rhino horn is worth approximately 60,000 US dollars while gold is a little over 40,600 US dollars. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5111 2009-11-10T18:59:00Z 2009-11-10T19:21:59Z Nations vulnerable to global warming present demands: carbon levels below 350ppm and billions in aid A group of nations especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change have released a declaration calling for developed countries to keep CO2 emission below 350 parts per million (ppm) and to give 1.5 percent of their gross domestic product to aid developing nations in adapting to the myriad impacts of climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4946 2009-09-07T19:32:00Z 2009-09-07T20:25:27Z Apple's Snow Leopard helps real-life cats Apple's release of its new operating system, dubbed "Snow Leopard", is helping raise awareness of the plight of one of the world's most endangered big cats, reports the Snow Leopard Trust, a group working to protect the real-life snow leopard in its mountainous habitat across Central Asia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4818 2009-08-10T16:47:00Z 2009-08-11T03:19:10Z Photos: hundreds of new species discovered in Himalayan region, threatened by climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0810snake.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists from a variety of organizations have found over 350 new species in the Eastern Himalayas, including a flying frog, the world’s smallest deer, and a gecko which has walked the earth for 100-million-years, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The report, entitled Where World’s Collide, warns that these rare biological treasures, as well as numerous other species, are threatened in the Eastern Himalayas by climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4717 2009-07-09T14:25:00Z 2009-07-09T14:35:54Z Rhino poaching rises sharply due to Asian demand for horns Rhino poaching rates have hit a 15-year-high as a consequence of demand for horns for use in traditional medicine, according to new report published by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. Asia-based criminal gangs run the illegal trade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4554 2009-05-19T17:45:00Z 2009-05-19T17:52:05Z UN: Population growth rates fall to 1.1 percent in Asia-Pacific The population growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region has dropped to 1.1 percent, according to the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2008, compiled by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The 1.1 percent growth rate is the lowest in the developing world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3378 2008-10-28T14:30:00Z 2012-09-12T21:18:34Z How to Save Snow Leopards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/08/1027rj150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is one of the rarest and most elusive big cat species with a population of 4,500 to 7,500 spread across a range of 1.2 to 1.6 million kilometers in some of the world&#x27;s harshest and most desolate landscapes. Found in arid environments and at elevations sometimes reaching 18,000 feet (5,500 meters), the species faces great threats despite its extreme habitat. These threats vary across its range, but in all countries where it is found &#8212; Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly Myanmar &#8212; the species is at risk. In some countries snow leopard are directly hunted for their pelt, in others they are imperiled by depletion of prey, loss of habitat, and killing as a predator of livestock. These threats, combined with the cat&#x27;s large habitat requirements, means conservation through the establishment of protected areas alone may not be enough save it from extinction in the wild in many of the countries in which it lives. Working to stave off this fate in half a dozen of its range countries is the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Founded by Dr. Rodney Jackson, a biologist who has been studying snow leopard in the wild for 30 years, the Conservancy seeks to conserve the species by &quot;promoting innovative grassroots measures that lead local people to become better stewards of endangered snow leopards, their prey, and habitat.&quot; Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3112 2008-07-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:34Z 14 countries win REDD funding to protect tropical forests Fourteen countries have been selected by the World Bank to receive funds for conserving their tropical forests under an innovative carbon finance scheme. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3174 2008-07-02T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:47Z Nepal's tiger population plummets due to poaching Nepal's tiger population have plummeted due to poaching and a booming trade in their parts, according to a government survey released Tuesday. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2497 2007-11-05T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:18Z Asia's tigers could get big boost from small conservation efforts Small changes to the management of wildlife reservers in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal could dramatically boost endangered tiger populations, reports a new study published in the journal Biological conservation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/1152 2006-09-25T17:29:39Z 2008-12-29T06:43:20Z conservationists killed in Nepal helicopter crash 24 people were killed in a helicopter crash in Nepal on Saturday September 23rd. Seven of the victims were staff members of WWF, a leading conservation group. The helicopter was carrying them from a conservation site at Ghunsa, in the remote eastern mountains of Nepal, according to WWF. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/1070 2006-08-25T00:59:00Z 2013-07-05T18:28:50Z Why some Himalayan glaciers aren't melting due to climate change New research into climate change in the Western Himalaya and the surrounding Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains could explain why many glaciers there are growing and not melting. The findings suggest this area, known as the Upper Indus Basin, could be reacting differently to global warming, the phenomenon blamed for causing glaciers in the Eastern Himalaya, Nepal and India, to melt and shrink. Rhett Butler