tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/russia1 Russia news from mongabay.com 2015-06-09T15:54:00Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14931 2015-06-09T15:53:00Z 2015-06-09T15:54:00Z Happy tigers: Siberian population continues to grow <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0609.THUMB.Julie-Larsen-Maher_4358_Amur-Tiger-in-Snow_TM_BZ_01-06-15.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Siberian tiger population continues to rebound, according to the latest numbers from the subspecies' stronghold in Russia. Ten years ago, conservationists estimated 423-502 Amur tigers in Siberia. But last month, the Russian government and WWF said numbers had risen to 480-540 tigers, including an estimated 100 cubs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14925 2015-06-08T20:01:00Z 2015-06-09T12:50:59Z Passenger pigeon redo? Superabundant bird collapses across Eurasia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608.THUMB.trapped-YBB_China_Nov2012_Huang-Qiusheng-(3).jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1914 the world's last passenger pigeon died. Nicknamed, Martha, she was not killed by hunters, but simply old age. With her passing, the passenger pigeon fell into extinction. A hundred years before Martha's death, however, the passenger pigeon may have been the most populous bird in the world with a population often estimated in the billions. Now, conservationists warn history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14575 2015-04-02T06:22:00Z 2015-06-16T20:58:55Z Russia and Canada lead the world in forest loss in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Russia and Canada led the world in forest loss, accounting for nearly forty percent of the 18 million hectares of forest lost globally in 2013, reveals a new analysis based on high resolution satellite imagery. The research &#8212; released today on Global Forest Watch, a forest monitoring and research platform &#8212; was led by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and involved Google, World Resources Institute (WRI), and other institutions Rhett Butler 54.492706 126.115233 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/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/14383 2015-02-16T17:22:00Z 2015-02-26T19:41:53Z Arctic upheaval: new book outlines challenges at the top of the world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0215.arctic.9781610914406_FutureArctic-Struzik.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For most of us, the Arctic is not at the front of our minds. We view it as cold, stark, and, most importantly, distant. Yet, even in an age of vast ecological upheaval, one could argue that no biome in the world is changing so rapidly or so irrevocably. Two hundred plus years of burning fossil fuels has warmed up the top of our planet more quickly than anywhere else. Jeremy Hance 81.303675 -82.900239 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14317 2015-01-28T18:46:00Z 2015-01-28T18:50:59Z China tries out logging ban in northeastern province <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0128-siberian_tiger-10.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China's Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia to its north and east, contains 18.5 million hectares of state forest - more natural forest than any other province in the country. However, since the mid-twentieth century, Heilongjiang has had over 600 million cubic meters of timber extracted from its woodlands. Now, China is trying out a complete ban on commercial logging in the province's state-owned forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 52.272578 124.746463 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/13887 2014-10-08T14:49:00Z 2015-04-20T15:40:02Z The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1008.Steveand2Cubs.100.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000 square kilometers. His recent work highlighted the cost of global warming to these incredible animals and the sea ice they so closely depend on. Jeremy Hance 72.875466 -132.455211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13858 2014-10-01T22:57:00Z 2014-10-01T23:06:07Z Throng of 35,000 walruses is largest ever recorded on land, sign of warming arctic <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1001-walrus1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A mass of thousands of walruses were spotted hauled up on land in northwest Alaska during NOAA aerial surveys earlier this week. An estimated 35,000 occupied a single beach – a record number illustrating a trend in an unnatural behavior scientists say is due to global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 69.746180 -162.973563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13746 2014-09-05T19:01:00Z 2014-11-06T17:49:15Z Canada, Russia, Brazil lead world in old-growth forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0905-log-road-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every day, the world loses about 50,000 hectares of forest to agricultural clearing, road development, and other human activities, constricting true wilderness into smaller and smaller areas – along with the species that inhabit them. New analysis and maps released this week show these last vestiges are disappearing at a quick pace, with more than 104 million hectares degraded from 2000 to 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.952080 -52.828939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-12-30T22:34:37Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13708 2014-08-22T19:37:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:01Z An uncertain future: world's last wild Siberian tigers threatened by illegal logging, global warming, disease (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0822-primorsky-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, between 20 and 30 tigers are poached. Illegal logging is reducing the tigers' habitat, and illegal hunting is reducing its food supply. However, these are not the only threats to wild tiger survival -- other problems are cropping up and taking a toll on the iconic big cat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 46.646831 136.404467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13687 2014-08-19T18:23:00Z 2014-11-06T17:45:51Z Logging of Russian Far East damaging tiger habitat, few intact forests protected (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0819-siberian-cub-derek-ramsey-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world’s largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, with more than half of the world’s coniferous forests. However, worldwide demand for high quality timber, along with weak regulations, has led to widespread logging of Russia’s trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis 49.072346 138.014209 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13676 2014-08-15T18:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:45:25Z Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0815-siberian-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies. Morgan Erickson-Davis 63.712223 40.854324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13492 2014-07-03T23:10:00Z 2014-11-06T17:38:46Z No restrictions: Japan's demand for illegal wood driving rampant deforestation in Siberia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0703-tiger-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> Illegal logging is taking a huge toll on forests around the world. In response, many countries have banned the import of timber whose legal harvest cannot be verified. However, Japan has made no strides to reduce its import of illegal timber. Instead, it is knowingly importing mass quantities of wood sourced from vulnerable forests in Siberia, according to a recent report. Morgan Erickson-Davis 49.405385 137.501450 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13415 2014-06-19T17:07:00Z 2014-12-30T22:42:53Z Chinese fishermen get the ultimate phone video: a swimming tiger Two Chinese fishermen got the catch of their lives...on mobile phone this week. While fishing in the Ussuri River, which acts as a border between Russia and China, the fishermen were approached by a swimming Siberian tiger. These tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are down to around 350-500 animals. Jeremy Hance 46.941552 134.076563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13343 2014-06-04T17:19:00Z 2014-11-25T23:22:44Z Ignoring boreal forests could speed up global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0604-russian-taiga-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused global air and sea surface temperatures to rise approximately 0.8 Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since the beginning of the 20th century, contributing to a plethora of problems worldwide from rising sea levels to desertification. A new study finds that global temperatures may start to increase even faster if more is not done to protect Earth’s boreal forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 59.413386 76.224136 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13164 2014-05-01T19:40:00Z 2014-05-01T19:57:59Z 31 activists arrested attempting to stop Arctic oil from docking in Europe Dutch police arrested 31 Greenpeace activists today, who were attempting to block the Russian oil tanker, Mikhail Ulyanov, from delivering the first shipment of offshore Arctic oil to the European market. Jeremy Hance 69.155260 57.380491 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13147 2014-04-29T12:52:00Z 2014-05-06T16:37:46Z 3M linked to deforestation in Brazil, Canada, Europe, and U.S., says NGO <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0429.3m-scandal-report-final4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from activist group, ForestEthics, alleges that U.S. company, 3M, supplies many of its products from endangered forests around the world. The NGO links 3M's masking tape and sandpaper to caribou habitat in the boreal forests of Canada, Scotch-Brite sponges to a controversial paper mill in Brazil, and those ubiquitous Post-it Notes to allegedly poor logging practices in the U.S. Jeremy Hance 44.950737 -92.996032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13139 2014-04-28T14:45:00Z 2014-12-30T22:49:21Z The remarkable story of how a bat scientist took on Russia's most powerful...and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0427.bat.2014_SurenGazaryan_06.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a country increasingly known for its authoritarian-style crackdown on activists and dissidents, a bat scientist has won a number of impressive victories to protect the dwindling forests of the Western Caucasus. For his efforts, Gazaryan was awarded today with the Goldman Environmental Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for the environment, along with five other winners around the world. Jeremy Hance 43.585309 39.730085 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12924 2014-03-13T15:56:00Z 2014-03-13T16:05:18Z Europe votes for an Arctic Sanctuary Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution supporting the creation of an Arctic Sanctuary covering the vast high Arctic around the North Pole, giving official status to an idea that has been pushed by activists for years. Still, the sanctuary has a long road to go before becoming a reality: as Arctic sea ice rapidly declines due to climate change, there has been rising interest from governments and industries to exploit the once inaccessible wilderness for fish and fossil fuels. Jeremy Hance 82.452125 -173.416326 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12565 2013-12-23T14:17:00Z 2015-02-12T00:03:21Z World first: Russia begins pumping oil from Arctic seabed Oil has begun to be pumped from the Arctic seabed, according to Russian oil giant, Gazprom. The company announced on Friday that it has begun exploiting oil reserves at the offshore field of Prirazlomnoye. The project, which is several years behind schedule, is hugely controversial and made international headlines in September after Russian military arrested 28 Greenpeace activists protesting the operation along with a British journalist and Russian videographer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12537 2013-12-18T14:11:00Z 2013-12-18T14:31:07Z World suffers warmest November on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.nov201311.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month was the warmest November on record, according to new analysis from the NOAA. Temperatures were 0.78 degrees Celsius (1.40 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average November in the 20th Century. Global temperatures are on the rise due to climate change caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, but also by deforestation and land-use change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2014-12-28T19:57:48Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12471 2013-12-02T02:37:00Z 2013-12-02T02:53:41Z Hedge fund downgrades stock over company's links to illegal logging in Russian Far East <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1201-lumber-liquidators-stock-price-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hedge fund manager has downgraded Lumber Liquidators' stock over the company's alleged links to illegal logging in the Russian Far East, reports The Wall Street Journal. Speaking at the Robin Hood Investors Conference on November 22, Whitney Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital Management, said Lumber Liquidators' stock price may be inflated due to purchases of illegally sourced timber from Russia. Rhett Butler 47.171044 134.532223 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12453 2013-11-26T18:50:00Z 2015-02-11T23:55:15Z Camera traps reveal Amur leopards are breeding in China (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1126.amurleopards.1.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Good news today about one of the world's rarest mammals: camera traps in China's Wangqing Nature Reserve have captured the first proof of breeding Amur leopards in the country, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The photos show a mother Amur leopard with two cubs. A recent survey by WWF-Russia estimated the total wild population of Amur leopards at just 50 individuals, but that's a population on the rise (from a possible nadir of 25) and expanding into long-unused territory. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12378 2013-11-14T19:12:00Z 2014-01-20T20:15:57Z Powered by Google, high resolution forest map reveals massive deforestation worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114-umd150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers today released a long-awaited tool that reveals the extent of forest cover loss and gain on a global scale. Powered by Google's massive computing cloud, the interactive forest map establishes a new baseline for measuring deforestation and forest recovery across all of the world's countries, biomes, and forest types. The map has far-reaching implications for efforts to slow deforestation, which accounts for roughly ten percent of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activities, according to the authors of the paper that describes the tool and details its first findings. Rhett Butler 37.422032 -122.084039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12243 2013-10-24T13:37:00Z 2013-10-24T13:42:24Z Russia charges imprisoned Greenpeace protestors with hooliganism, instead of piracy Russian investigators announced on Wednesday they are dropping piracy charges against 28 environmental activists and two freelance journalists who have spent a month in custody since they were seized aboard Greenpeace's boat, the Arctic Sunrise. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12171 2013-10-07T13:39:00Z 2013-10-07T13:52:43Z Russia charges non-violent activists with 'piracy' for protesting Arctic oil drilling In what is being described by Greenpeace as an 'imaginary offense,' Russia has charged 30 people with piracy after activists protested against oil exploitation in the Arctic. The 30 charged included not only protestors, but a British journalist and Russian videographer who were on board Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, when it was stormed by the Russian military late last month. Jeremy Hance 68.94458 33.074112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12133 2013-09-26T19:43:00Z 2015-02-11T23:42:43Z Terror from above: eagle tackles deer in stunning camera trap photos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0925.golden.EagleDeer2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During a routine Amur tiger survey with remote camera traps in December 2011, a few photos gave biologists a shock when they revealed the stunning sight of a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) launching itself on the back of a 7-month old sika deer (Cervus nippon) and bringing down prey that outweighed it by at least seven times. Photographed in remote Far East Russia, the photos show an incredibly-rare instance of an eagle preying on a deer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12107 2013-09-20T17:28:00Z 2013-09-20T17:46:20Z Russian military raids Greenpeace ship, hold activists captive Armed Russian military have stormed a Greenpeace ship protesting against oil exploitation in remote Arctic waters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12005 2013-09-03T16:33:00Z 2013-09-03T22:14:50Z World's biggest owl depends on large old trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0902owl150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Blakiston fish owl (<i>Bubo Blakistoni</i>) is the world’s largest – and one of the rarest – owl species, with an impressive 6 foot (2 meter) wingspan. The giant owl, found exclusively in northeast Asia, shares its habitat with a menagerie of endangered and impressive animals, including Amur tigers, Amur leopards, Asiatic black bears and wild boars. Tiffany Roufs 45.151053 135.161131 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11980 2013-08-29T15:28:00Z 2015-02-11T23:38:21Z Featured video: how tigers could save human civilization In the video below, John Vaillant, author of the <i>The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival</i>, tells an audience at TEDxYYC about the similarities between tigers and human beings. Given these similarities&#8212;big mammals, apex predator, highly adaptable, intelligent, and stunningly 'superior'&#8212;John Vaillant asks an illuminating question: what can we learn from the tiger? It turns out learning from tigers could help conserve the human race. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11777 2013-07-16T17:27:00Z 2013-07-16T23:37:00Z Plan to preserve the world's 'last ocean' killed by Russia As the most pristine marine ecosystem on the planet, Antarctica's Ross Sea has become dubbed the world's "last ocean." Home to an abundance of penguins, whales, orcas, seals, and massive fish, the Ross Sea has so far largely avoided the degradation that has impacted much of the world's other marine waters. However, a landmark proposal to protect the Ross Sea, as well as the coastline of East Antarctica, has failed today due to opposition by Russia. Jeremy Hance -74.590108 -167.753913 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11495 2013-05-28T16:45:00Z 2015-02-09T23:01:04Z Snowy tigers and giant owls: conservation against the odds in Russia's Far East <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0528.1.-Amur-Tiger-Camera-Trap-2008-(c)-WCS-Russia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Russian Far East is one of the wildest places on Earth: where giant tigers roam snow-covered forests and the world's biggest owls stalk frozen rivers. Bordering northern China and North Korea, the forests of Primorye are known for the diversity of habitats, including coastal forests along the Sea of Japan, vast coniferous forests in the Sikhote-Alin mountains, and even steppe. These diverse ecosystems also makes the forests a hotspot for endangered species, including Amur tigers (<i>Panthera tigris altaica</i>), Blakiston's fish owls (<i>Bubo blakistoni</i>), and one of the world's rarest big cats, Amur leopards (<i>Panthera pardus orientalis</i>), which number only 30-50 animals. Jeremy Hance 44.933696 134.622802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11407 2013-05-12T14:22:00Z 2013-05-12T14:33:24Z Last time CO2 hit 400 ppm, temperature was 8C warmer, seas 40m higher than today The future of a globally warmed world has been revealed in a remote meteorite crater in Siberia, where lake sediments recorded the strikingly balmy climate of the Arctic during the last period when greenhouse gas levels were as high as today. Rhett Butler 67.499373 172.001266 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11271 2013-04-18T18:05:00Z 2015-02-09T22:49:11Z Bison return to Germany after 300 year absence Earlier this month, officials took down a fence allowing the first herd of European bison (<i>Bison bonasus</i>) to enter the forests freely in Germany in over 300 years, reports Wildlife Extra. The small herd, consisting of just eight animals (one male, five females and two calves) will now be allowed to roam unhindered in the Rothaar Mountains as their ancestors did long ago. Jeremy Hance 51.050675 8.43112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11251 2013-04-17T13:09:00Z 2013-04-17T16:49:40Z At top of the world, activists say exploiting Arctic is 'utter madness' Four young explorers including American actor Ezra Miller have planted a flag on the seabed at the north pole and demanded the region is declared a global sanctuary. The expedition, organized by Greenpeace, saw the flag lowered in a time capsule that contained the signatures of nearly 3 million people who are calling for a ban on exploitation in the region. Jeremy Hance 89.189705 0.000587 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11201 2013-04-09T17:25:00Z 2015-02-26T17:41:43Z Amur leopard population rises to 50 animals, but at risk from tigers, poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0409.amurleopard.wwd.WEB_257680.250.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the remote Russian far east, amid pine forests and long winters, a great cat may be beginning to make a recovery. A new survey estimates that the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) population has risen to as many as 50 individuals. While this may not sound like much, it's a far cry from the a population that may have fallen to just 25 animals. Sporting the heaviest coat of any leopard, the Amur leopard largely hunts hoofed animals, such as deer and boar, in a forest still ruled by the Siberian tiger. Jeremy Hance 44.715514 134.60083 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10929 2013-02-25T20:26:00Z 2013-02-25T20:39:36Z Rise in 1.5 degrees Celsius likely to spark massive greenhouse gas release from permafrost <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0225.16468_Siberian_ice_cave_3_Sebastian_FM_Breitenbach.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While nations around the world have committed to keeping temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial era, new research published in <i>Science</i> suggests that the global climate could hit a tipping point at just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Studying cave stalactites and stalagmites in Siberia, scientists found that at about 1.5 degrees Celsius the Siberian permafrost melts, potentially releasing a greenhouse gas bomb of 1,000 giga-tonnes, according to some experts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10846 2013-02-07T17:51:00Z 2013-02-07T18:03:30Z Animal picture of the day: the world's biggest cat The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian tiger, is the world's biggest cat. An adult male weighs on average about 390 pounds (176 kilograms). The largest yet recorded weighed 460 pounds (207 kilograms), although there are reports of considerably larger animals in the past. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10487 2012-11-29T18:02:00Z 2012-11-29T18:14:26Z 'Exporting deforestation': China is the kingpin of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Logs-smuggled-across-the-land-border-from-Myanmar-into-Yunnan-province,-China,-April-2012-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Runaway economic growth comes with costs: in the case of China's economic engine, one of them has been the world's forests. According to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), China has become the number one importer of illegal wood products from around the world. Illegal logging&#8212;which threatens biodiversity, emits carbon, impoverishes local communities, and is often coupled with other crimes&#8212;has come under heavy pressure in recent years from the U.S., the EU, and Australia. Each of these has implemented, or will soon implement, new laws that make importing and selling illegal wood products domestic crimes. However, China's unwillingness to tackle its vast appetite for illegal timber means the trade continues to decimate forests worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10448 2012-11-26T13:28:00Z 2012-11-26T13:38:51Z China and India plan 818 new coal plants Even as the clamor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions reaches a new high&#8212;echoed recently by such staid institutions as the World Bank and the International Energy Agency (IEA)&#8212;a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI) finds that 818 new coal-fired plants are under proposal in China and India. In all 1,199 new coal-fired plants are currently planned worldwide, according to the report, totaling 1.4 million megawatts of energy. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10378 2012-11-12T17:31:00Z 2015-02-09T22:12:57Z Conservationists turn camera traps on tiger poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Intruder-caught-on-camera_ZSL_Lazovsky.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Remote camera traps, which take photos or video when a sensor is triggered, have been increasingly used to document rare and shy wildlife, but now conservationists are taking the technology one step further: detecting poachers. Already, camera traps set up for wildlife have captured images of park trespassers and poachers worldwide, but for the first time conservationists are setting camera traps with the specific goal of tracking illegal activity. Jeremy Hance 44.762337 134.996337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10194 2012-09-25T19:06:00Z 2012-09-25T19:23:50Z Cute animal picture of the day: tiger triplets Last month, the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Bronx Zoo saw the arrival of three Siberian tiger cubs (Panthera tigris altaica). Also known as Amur tigers, they are the world's largest cats with adult males weighing up to 318 kilograms (700 pounds). Most of the population is found in far eastern Russia, however a few animals also survive across the border in China. Jeremy Hance 40.854202 -73.874867 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10063 2012-08-26T22:27:00Z 2012-08-27T16:08:01Z Greenpeace abandons occupation of Arctic oil drilling rig after workers throw metal at them On Friday the head of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, and five other activists occupied an Arctic oil platform owned by Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom to protest exploiting fossil fuel beds in the Arctic ocean. The action by Greenpeace was short-lived after workers began spraying them with cold water from high-powered hoses and then threw pieces of metal at them, according to Naidoo, who communicated via Twitter during the civil disobedience. Jeremy Hance 69.59589 53.862303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10019 2012-08-15T15:23:00Z 2013-02-05T15:07:21Z United States ranks near bottom on first ever energy efficiency scorecard Last month, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released its first ever international energy efficiency scorecard, which gave the United Kingdom the top score. Using data points honed over years of rating U.S. states, the organization hoped to inspire nations to learn from each others' effective policies, as well as encourage "friendly competition" in the spirit of lowering global carbon emissions. At number one, the United Kingdom achieved a score of 67 out of 100 points, followed by Germany, Italy and Japan. As a whole, the European Union tied with China and Australia, and nine points below them, the United States came in with a score of 47 out of 100. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9962 2012-08-05T17:53:00Z 2012-12-02T22:37:55Z Extreme heatwaves 50 to 100 times more likely due to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/708px-Canicule_Europe_2003.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent rise in deadly, debilitating, and expensive heatwaves was caused by climate change, argues a new statistical analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Climatologists found that extreme heatwaves have increased by at least 50 times during the last 30 years. The researchers, including James Hansen of NASA, conclude that climate change is the only explanation for such a statistical jump. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9869 2012-07-19T20:11:00Z 2012-07-19T22:39:58Z China's per capita emissions nearly as high as Europe's The average person in China emitted 7.2 tons of carbon last year, according to new figures from BL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). This means that the average Chinese citizen is now very close to the average European, who emits 7.5 tons, in terms of annual emissions. Having been named the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2009&#8212;usurping the U.S. from its long-held position&#8212;China continues to lead the pack with emissions that rose 9 percent in 2011. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9806 2012-07-10T17:38:00Z 2012-07-10T17:56:56Z As U.S. sees record heat, extreme weather pummels 4 continents <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/666359main_20120709-russia-label_946-710.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not only the U.S. that has experienced record-breaking extreme weather events recently, in the last couple months extreme weather has struck around the world with startling ferocity. In addition to the much-covered heatwaves, wildfires, and droughts in the U.S., killer floods struck India, the worst drought yet recorded plagued South Korea, and massive forest fires swept through Siberia to name just a few. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9708 2012-06-20T14:40:00Z 2012-06-20T15:10:25Z Cowards at Rio?: organizations decry 'pathetic' agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1915.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As world leaders head to Rio de Janeiro for the UN Summit on Sustainable Development, environmental and poverty groups are denouncing the last-minute text agreed on by dignitaries as "pathetic," (Greenpeace), a "damp squib" (Friends of the Earth), "a dead end" (Oxfam), and, if nothing changes, "a colossal waste of time" (WWF). "We were promised the 'future we want' but are now being presented with a 'common vision' of a polluter’s charter that will cook the planet, empty the oceans and wreck the rain forests,“ the head of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, said. "This is not a foundation on which to grow economies or pull people out of poverty, it’s the last will and testament of a destructive twentieth century development model." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9633 2012-06-06T19:52:00Z 2015-02-08T22:52:44Z Climate change creating "novel ecosystem" in Arctic If melting sea ice and glaciers weren't enough, now climate change is producing what researchers call a "structurally novel ecosystem" in the northwestern Eurasian tundra. Warmer weather and precipitation changes in the region, which covers western Russia into Finland, has allowed shrubs of willow and alder to grow into sparse forests within just forty years, according to a new study in Nature Climate Change. The new ecosystem could have global implications as researchers say it is likely to worsen global warming due to a decline in the region's albedo, i.e. the sunlight reflected back into the atmosphere due to snow cover. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9582 2012-05-30T17:56:00Z 2012-05-30T18:45:17Z IKEA logging old-growth forest for low-price furniture in Russia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/loggingroad.IKEASwedwood21.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new campaign is targeting IKEA, the world's biggest furniture retailer, for logging old-growth forests in the Karelia region of Russia. An alliance of groups, headed by the Swedish NGO Protect the Forest, allege that IKEA's subsidiary, Swedwood, is clearcutting thousands of hectares of old and biodiverse forests. But, Swedwood's 300,000 hectare concession is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), generally considered the world's strongest forestry certifier. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9578 2012-05-29T15:36:00Z 2012-05-31T15:01:44Z Another record in global carbon emissions puts globe on track for 'devastating consequences' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-182619562_00d6f703b6_b.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year global carbon dioxide emissions rose 3.2 percent to a new record of 31.6 gigatons, keeping the planet on track to suffer dangerous climate change, which could propel global crop failures, sea level rise, worsening extreme weather, and mass extinction. According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), China's carbon emissions rose the most last year (9.3 percent) while emissions in Europe and the U.S. dipped slightly. China is the currently the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, while the U.S. has emitted the most historically. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9450 2012-04-27T17:43:00Z 2012-04-27T17:54:29Z Video: All white killer whale spotted in Russia Scientists in Russia have captured the first-known video footage of an all-white killer whale. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9399 2012-04-16T20:46:00Z 2012-04-16T20:51:53Z David vs. Goliath: Goldman Environmental Prize winners highlight development projects gone awry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/2012Group_ouro.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A controversial dam, a massive mine, poisonous pesticides, a devastating road, and criminal polluters: many of this year's Goldman Environmental Prize winners point to the dangers of poorly-planned, and ultimately destructive, development initiatives. The annual prize, which has been dubbed the Green Nobel Prize is awarded to six grassroots environmental heroes from around the world and includes a financial award of $150,000 for each winner. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9393 2012-04-13T18:33:00Z 2012-04-13T18:37:00Z Russia creates massive park for rare cats Russia has created a massive national park to protect some of the world's rarest big cats, the critically endangered Amur tigers and leopards, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9319 2012-03-28T11:07:00Z 2012-03-28T11:25:37Z "Strong evidence" linking extreme heatwaves, floods, and droughts to climate change As North America recovers from what noted meteorologist Jeff Masters has called "the most incredible spring heatwave in U.S. and Canadian recorded history," a new paper argues that climate change is playing an important role in a world that appears increasingly pummeled by extreme weather. Published in Nature Climate Change, the paper surveys recent studies of climate change and extreme weather and finds "strong evidence" of a link between a warming world and the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, and heatwaves&#8212;such as the one that turned winter into summer in the U.S. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9285 2012-03-20T15:24:00Z 2012-03-20T15:32:15Z 2010, not 1998, warmest year on record An updated temperature analysis by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit has confirmed that 2010, not 1998, was the warmest year since record keeping began in the late 19th Century. The new analysis adds in temperature data from 400 stations across northern Canada, Russia, and the Arctic, which had been left out of the previous analysis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9282 2012-03-19T20:22:00Z 2015-02-05T01:09:40Z Russia, South Korea sign agreement to resurrect woolly mammoth <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bigstock_Wooly_Mammoth_4340526.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week Russian and South Korean educational facilities signed an agreement to work together to bring back the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) from extinction. The project will be headed by Hwang Sooam of South Korea's Bioengineering Research Institute and will involve implanting a woolly mammoth embryo into a modern elephant. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9086 2012-02-10T21:06:00Z 2012-02-10T21:32:55Z Girl Scouts activists win forest heroes award for challenging organization on sustainability The United Nations on Thursday honored five 'Forest Heroes' for their contributions toward protecting forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9038 2012-02-01T17:36:00Z 2015-01-29T00:41:46Z New meteorological theory argues that the world's forests are rainmakers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/costa_rica/150/costa-rica_0737.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New, radical theories in science often take time to be accepted, especially those that directly challenge longstanding ideas, contemporary policy or cultural norms. The fact that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not vice-versa, took centuries to gain widespread scientific and public acceptance. While Darwin's theory of evolution was quickly grasped by biologists, portions of the public today, especially in places like the U.S., still disbelieve. Currently, the near total consensus by climatologists that human activities are warming the Earth continues to be challenged by outsiders. Whether or not the biotic pump theory will one day fall into this grouping remains to be seen. First published in 2007 by two Russian physicists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva, the still little-known biotic pump theory postulates that forests are the driving force behind precipitation over land masses. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8889 2011-12-22T16:31:00Z 2014-12-28T19:54:01Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.NASA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets. With governments and corporations slow to tackle massive environmental problems, people have begun to assert themselves. Victories were seen on four continents: in Bolivia a draconian response to protestors embarrassed the government, causing them to drop plans to build a road through Tipnis, an indigenous Amazonian reserve; in Myanmar, a nation not known for bowing to public demands, large protests pushed the government to cancel a massive Chinese hydroelectric project; in Borneo a three-year struggle to stop the construction of a coal plant on the coast of the Coral Triangle ended in victory for activists; in Britain plans to privatize forests created such a public outcry that the government not only pulled back but also apologized; and in the U.S. civil disobedience and massive marches pressured the Obama Administration to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands from Canada to a global market. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8866 2011-12-19T14:48:00Z 2011-12-19T17:29:53Z Is the Russian Forest Code a warning for Brazil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0560.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil, which last week moved to reform its Forest Code, may find lessons in Russia's revision of its forest law in 2007, say a pair of Russian scientists. The Brazilian Senate last week passed a bill that would relax some of forest provisions imposed on landowners. Environmentalists blasted the move, arguing that the new Forest Code &#8212; provided it is not vetoed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff next year &#8212; could undermine the country's progress in reducing deforestation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8792 2011-12-04T18:21:00Z 2011-12-08T03:51:55Z Global carbon emissions rise 49 percent since 1990 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Grand_Junction_Trip_92007_098.150..jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Total carbon emissions for the first time hit 10 billion metric tons (36.7 billion tons of CO2) in 2010, according to new analysis published by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. In the past two decades (since the reference year for the Kyoto Protocol: 1990), emissions have risen an astounding 49 percent. Released as officials from 190 countries meet in Durban, South Africa for the 17th UN Summit on Climate Change to discuss the future of international efforts on climate change, the study is just the latest to argue a growing urgency for slashing emissions in the face of rising extreme weather incidents and vanishing polar sea ice, among other impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8633 2011-11-02T16:41:00Z 2011-11-02T16:42:07Z Climate change already worsening weird, deadly, and expensive weather Unprecedented flooding in Thailand, torrential rains pummeling El Salvador, long-term and beyond-extreme drought in Texas, killer snowstorm in the eastern US&#8212;and that's just the last month or so. Extreme weather worldwide appears to be both increasing in frequency and intensity, and a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) connects the dots between wilder weather patterns and global climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8601 2011-10-26T16:04:00Z 2011-10-26T17:18:44Z Killer Russian heatwave product of climate change Last year's Russian heatwave and drought resulted in vast wildfires and a morality rate that was 56,000 people higher than the same period in 2009. Now, researchers have published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that finds the heatwave would very likely have never happened if not for climate change. The study flies in the face of previous research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that concluded the heatwave was simply due to natural variation and not a warming world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8556 2011-10-17T19:14:00Z 2015-01-29T00:04:48Z New study: price carbon at the point of fossil fuel extraction Global carbon emissions are a complicated matter. Currently, officials estimate national fossil fuel-related emissions by what is burned (known as production) within a nation, but this approach underestimates the emissions contributions from countries that extract oil and oil for export. Is there a better way to account for a country's total climate change footprint? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8548 2011-10-13T20:18:00Z 2015-01-29T00:04:20Z If camera traps don't prove existence of Bigfoot or Yeti nothing will <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Yasuni_361.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Let me state for the record that I am skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot or the Yeti, however I do have a fascination for following the latest news on the seemingly never-ending search for these hidden hominids. This week a Yeti conference in Russia announced 'indisputable proof' of the legendary hairy ape in the wilds of Southern Siberia. What did this proof consist of? Not DNA, photographs, video, or the Yeti itself (dead or alive) as one would expect from the word 'indisputable', but a few alleged Yeti hairs, an alleged bed, and alleged footprints. Cryptozoologists, those who are fascinated by hidden species such as the proposed Yeti and Bigfoot, don't serve their cause by stating the reality of a species without the evidence long-deemed necessary by scientific community to prove it&#8212;either a body or DNA samples combined with clear photographic evidence&#8212;instead they make themselves easy targets of scorn and ridicule. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8547 2011-10-13T16:55:00Z 2015-01-29T00:04:11Z Amur leopard returns to China <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Leopard_in_the_Colchester_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amur leopard has been confirmed in China with a camera trap taking the first photos of the cat in the country in 62 years, reports Xinhua. The Amur leopard (<i>Panthera pardus orientalis</i>) is on the edge of extinction with some 25-45 individuals left in the world. The Amur leopard was photographed twice by camera trap in Wangqing County, China by Sun Ge, a PhD candidate with Peking University. Technically, the Amur leopard, also known as the Manchurian leopard, is considered extinct in China. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8532 2011-10-10T18:39:00Z 2011-10-10T18:56:10Z 'Indisputable proof' of Yeti discovered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/sumatra_0182.justeyes.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A conference has announced that given recent evidence they are 95 percent convinced the yeti, a mythical or perhaps actual primate, exists in the cold wilds of Siberia. Scientists and cryptozoologists (those who have a fascination for the 'study of hidden species' such as Bigfoot) met in the Kemerovo region of Russia to exchange information on the yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman, and to conduct fieldwork. According to a statement from the conference, members found new evidence of the yeti's cryptic existence. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8513 2011-10-05T20:49:00Z 2011-10-05T20:49:09Z Fossil fuel subsidies going in the wrong direction? In 2009, G20 nations committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term, yet are further away today than they were two years ago from keeping the pledge. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) fossil fuel subsidies rose by nearly $100 billion in the last year alone, from $312 billion in 2009 to $409 billion in 2010. The agency warned that subsidies could reach $660 billion by 2020 if governments don't act on reform. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8260 2011-08-08T17:28:00Z 2011-08-09T13:17:12Z Arctic open for exploitation: Obama administration grants Shell approval to drill Less than a year and a half after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration has bucked warnings from environmentalists to grant preliminary approval to oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, to drill off the Arctic coast. Exploratory drilling will occur just north of the western edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the Beaufort Sea, home to bowhead and beluga whales, seals, walruses, polar bears, and a wide variety of migrating birds. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8002 2011-06-09T17:40:00Z 2011-06-09T17:49:37Z Russia and Norway carve up wildlife-rich Arctic sea for fossil fuels As climate change melts the Arctic sea ice, nations are rushing to carve up once-inaccessible areas for oil and gas exploitation, industrial fishing, and shipping routes. Now, BBC reports that Russia and Norway have essentially agreed to split the Arctic's Barents Sea in half —one of the region's richest in biodiversity and ecological productivity—for industrial exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7855 2011-05-12T15:32:00Z 2011-06-13T16:39:09Z Burning up: warmer world means the rise of megafires Megafires are likely both worsened by and contributing to global climate change, according to a new United Nations report. In the tropics, deforestation is playing a major role in creating giant, unprecedented fires. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7813 2011-05-01T17:50:00Z 2011-05-01T18:14:50Z New eco-tour to help save bizarre antelope in 'forgotten' region <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Saiga-calf-copyright-Nils-Bunnefeld.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Imagine visiting a region that is largely void of tourists, yet has world-class bird watching, a unique Buddhist population, and one of the world's most bizarre-looking and imperilled mammals: the saiga. A new tour to Southern Russia hopes to aid a Critically Endangered species while giving tourists an inside look at a region "largely forgotten by the rest of the world," says Anthony Dancer. Few species have fallen so far and so fast in the past 15 years as Central Asia's antelope, the saiga. Its precipitous decline is reminiscent of the bison or the passenger pigeon in 19th Century America, but conservationists hopes it avoids the fate of the latter. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7564 2011-03-14T16:19:00Z 2011-03-16T17:11:35Z Fearful Symmetry—Man Made, an interview with John Vaillant, author of The Tiger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/valliant.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In <i>The Tiger</i>, John Vailliant weaves a haunting and compelling true narrative of men who live—or die—with tigers. No doubt the story itself is on-the-edge of your seat reading. As well, the book provides factual information on the 400 or so Amur Tigers remaining, and the raw milieu that is Primorye, Far East Russia—a wilderness and people unto their own. What is special, transcendent even in this story, however, murmurs uncomfortably in the background. Questions emerge from deep taiga snow, not unlike the unseen Panchelaza Tiger. What exactly is our relationship with apex predators? How do people live with them? How would you live with them in your backyard? What if your pet dog disappeared? As we ourselves are apex predators, are we wise enough, tolerant enough, compassionate enough to share this planet with them? Evidence today points to the contrary, but this can change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7419 2011-02-09T21:28:00Z 2011-02-09T21:37:26Z Food crisis 2011?: drought in China could push food prices even higher The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that a drought in China could devastate the nation's winter wheat crop and further inflate food prices worldwide. Already, food prices hit a record high in January according to the FAO. Rising 3.4 percent since December, prices reached the highest point since tracking began in 1990. While many fear a food crisis similar to the one in 2008-2007, experts say the world has more food in reserve this time around and gasoline, at least for now, remains cheaper. However, if China loses its winter wheat that could scuttle any hopes of avoiding another price rise in crop staples. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7407 2011-02-07T20:48:00Z 2011-02-07T20:52:03Z Numerous causes, including climate change, behind record food prices Food prices hit a record high in January according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), threatening the world's poor. Rising 3.4% since December, the FAO stated that prices reached the highest point since the agency began tracking food prices in 1990. Given the complexity of world markets and agriculture, experts have pointed to a number of reasons behind the rise including rising meat and dairy consumption, the commodity boom, fresh water scarcity, soil erosion, biofuels, growing human population, and a warming world that has exacerbated extreme weather events like last year's heatwave in Russia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7406 2011-02-07T18:27:00Z 2015-01-26T22:34:58Z Arctic fish catch vastly underreported (by hundreds of thousands of metric tons) for 5 decades From 1950 to 2006 the United Nation Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) estimated that 12,700 metric tons of fish were caught in the Arctic, giving the impression that the Arctic was a still-pristine ecosystem, remaining underexploited by the world's fisheries. However, a recent study by the University of British Colombia Fisheries Center and Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences throws cold water on this widespread belief. According to the study, published in <i>Polar Biology</i>, the total Arctic catch from 1950 to 2006 is likely to have been nearly a million metric tons, almost 75 times the FAO's official record. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7125 2010-11-30T20:52:00Z 2010-11-30T20:54:05Z Climate change linked to 21,000 deaths in nine months Extreme weather events linked to climate change has caused the deaths of 21,000 people worldwide in the first nine months of 2010, according to Oxfam. This is already twice the casualties of 2009. In a new report <i>More than ever: climate talks that work for those that need them most</i>, the organization outlines the casualties of such weather-related disasters, for example devastating floods in Pakistan which killed 2,000 people and affected more than 20 million. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7101 2010-11-24T18:51:00Z 2010-11-24T18:51:26Z Tiger summit reaches bold agreement and raises $300 million The summit to save the world's biggest cat, and one of the world's most popular animals, has agreed to a bold plan dubbed the Global Tiger Recovery Program. Meeting in St. Petersburg, 13 nations have set a goal to double the wild tiger's (<i>Panthera tigris</i>) population worldwide by 2022. Given that tiger numbers continue to decline in the wild, this goal is especially ambitious, some may even say impossible. However, organizations and nations are putting big funds on the table: around $300 million has already been pledged, including $1 million from actor, and passionate environmental activist, Leonardo Dicaprio. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7097 2010-11-23T18:11:00Z 2010-11-23T18:13:48Z Record number of nations hit all time temperature highs To date, nineteen nations have hit or matched record high temperatures this year, according to Jeff Master's Wunder Blog, making 2010 the only year to have so many national records. In contrast, no nation this year has hit a record cold temperature. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7080 2010-11-18T16:23:00Z 2010-11-18T18:25:52Z Rebuttal: Slaughtering farmed-raised tigers won't save tigers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/cameron.skin.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent interview with Kirsten Conrad on how legalizing the tiger trade could possibly save wild tigers sparked off some heated reactions, ranging from well-thought out to deeply emotional. While, we at mongabay.com were not at all surprised by this, we felt it was a good idea to allow a critic of tiger-farming and legalizing the trade to officially respond. The issue of tiger conservation is especially relevant as government officials from tiger range states and conservationists from around the world are arriving in St. Petersburg to attend next week's World Bank 'Tiger Summit'. The summit hopes to reach an agreement on a last-ditch effort to save the world's largest cat from extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7060 2010-11-15T03:08:00Z 2015-01-26T21:24:25Z Would legalizing the trade in tiger parts save the tiger? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/conrad.profile.tiger.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just the mention of the idea is enough to send shivers down many tiger conservationists' spines: re-legalize the trade in tiger parts. The trade has been largely illegal since 1975 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The concept was, of course, a reasonable one: if we ban killing tigers for traditional medicine and decorative items worldwide then poaching will stop, the trade will dry up, and tigers will be saved. But 35 years later that has not happened—far from it. "Words such as 'collapse' are now being used to describe the [tiger's] situation both in terms of population and habitat. Wild tiger numbers continue to drop so that we have about 3,500 today across 13 range states occupying just 7% of their original habitat. It’s universally acknowledged that we’re losing the battle," Kirsten Conrad, tiger conservation expert, told mongabay.com in a recent interview. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6645 2010-08-19T20:14:00Z 2010-08-19T20:24:23Z NASA image captures one of the warmest Julys on record The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has found that the global average temperature of July 2010 was nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius) higher than average temperatures from July1951-1980. In fact, this July was tied for the warmest on record with July 2005 and 1998. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6599 2010-08-11T18:24:00Z 2015-01-23T17:49:23Z Nation's wealth does not guarantee green practices <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/singapore5396.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Developing countries are not the only ones that could benefit from a little environmental support. Wealthier countries may need to 'know themselves' and address these issues at home too. According to a recent study in the open access journal PLoS ONE, wealth may be the most important factor determining a country’s environmental impact. The team had originally planned to study "country-level environmental performance and human health issues," lead author Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modeling and professor at the University of Adelaide, told mongabay.com. Once they began looking at the available indexes, however, they saw the need for a purely environmental analysis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6598 2010-08-11T16:14:00Z 2010-08-11T16:45:44Z New NASA images reveal devastating impact of Russian fires <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Moscow.smoke.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new series of images released by NASA show the extent of smoke hovering over Moscow and Central European Russia, while another image measures the amount of carbon monoxide in the area, a gas which can produce a number of health problems. Russia is in the midst of a full-scale disaster as hundreds of forest and peatland fires are covering part of the world's largest nation in a thick cloud of smoke. Temperatures in Moscow and elsewhere have broken past heat records several times in the last month while a long drought combined with fires have led to the loss of 20 percent of Russia's grain crop, causing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ban grain exports. Russian officials say that it;s likely some 15,000 people to date have died from the disaster. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6594 2010-08-09T19:55:00Z 2010-08-09T21:07:21Z Summer from hell: seventeen nations hit all-time heat records The summer isn't over yet, but already seventeen nations have matched or beaten their all-time heat records. According to Jeff Masters' WunderBlog, Belarus, the Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Qatar, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Chad, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Ascension Island, and the Solomon Islands have all equaled or broken their top temperature records this year. In addition, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Asia was taken in Pakistan at 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius); this incredible temperature still has to be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6590 2010-08-08T20:14:00Z 2015-01-23T17:48:54Z Officials point to Russian drought and Asian deluge as consistent with climate change Government officials are pointing to the drought and wildfires in Russia, and the floods across Central and East Asia as consistent with climate change predictions. While climatologists say that a single weather event cannot be linked directly to a warming planet, patterns of worsening storms, severer droughts, and disasters brought on by extreme weather are expected as the planet warms. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6548 2010-07-27T17:43:00Z 2010-07-27T17:50:39Z Record highs, forest fires, and ash-fog engulf Moscow Moscow and parts of Russia have been hit by record high temperatures and forest fires. Ashen fog from peat forests burning near Moscow has prompted officials to warn elderly and those with heart or bronchial problems to stay inside. Workers should be allowed a siesta to rest in the afternoon, as well, said the Russia's chief health official. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6238 2010-06-10T22:49:00Z 2010-06-11T01:28:52Z 12,000 Critically Endangered antelopes found dead The Ural population of the Critically Endangered saiga, a curious-looking Asian antelope, has been decimated by an unknown assailant. 12,000 saigas, mostly females and their calves, were found dead in western Kazakhstan reports the Saiga Conservation Alliance. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6232 2010-06-10T13:46:00Z 2010-06-12T05:42:20Z Peatlands restoration wins support in effort to reduce carbon emissions The body charged with establishing a framework for a global climate treaty will account for emissions from peatlands degradation, a source of roughly 6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The decision by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lays the groundwork for new measures to protect and restore wetlands, says Wetlands International. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6001 2010-04-26T18:49:00Z 2010-04-29T19:18:40Z United States has higher percentage of forest loss than Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0426_gfcl_loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forests continue to decline worldwide, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Employing satellite imagery researchers found that over a million square kilometers of forest were lost around the world between 2000 and 2005. This represents a 3.1 percent loss of total forest as estimated from 2000. Yet the study reveals some surprises: including the fact that from 2000 to 2005 both the United States and Canada had higher percentages of forest loss than even Brazil. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5832 2010-03-17T17:27:00Z 2010-03-17T21:32:47Z Sharks lose out at UN meeting An effort to bolster conservation measures for plummeting shark populations was defeated yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), according to the AP. The nonbinding measure would have increased transparency in the shark trade and produced research on illegal fishing for sharks. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5784 2010-03-04T19:00:00Z 2010-03-06T13:02:22Z Massive methane leak in Arctic could trigger abrupt warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/shakhova6HR.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon, is spewing from what was believed to be an impermeable barrier in Siberia in amounts equal to methane releases from the world's oceans. The discovery has lead researchers to fear the possibility of abrupt climate warming. According to the study published in <i>Science</i>, subsea permafrost below the East Siberian Arctic Shelf has become compromised, leaking vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5576 2010-02-01T03:24:00Z 2010-02-01T03:37:39Z Russian police raid environmental group working to protect Lake Baikal Russian police have raided the Baikal Environmental Wave organization reports the Moscow Times. Police seized several computers, citing the reason for the raid to uncover the use of unlicensed software. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5342 2009-12-21T02:37:00Z 2009-12-21T17:47:05Z Brazil: king of conservation, deforestation for the 2000s <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/1220.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil set aside more land in protected areas than any other country during the 2000s, accounting for nearly 60 percent of total terrestrial conservation during the decade, according to mongabay.com's analysis of data from the U.N Environment Program and the World Conservation Monitoring Center. Paradoxically, Brazil also lost the most forest of any country during the decade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5257 2009-12-09T17:14:00Z 2009-12-09T18:51:36Z Developed countries plan to hide emissions from logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/alaska_10_6346thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While developing countries in the tropics have received a lot of attention for their deforestation emissions (one thinks of Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia), emissions from logging—considered forest cover change—in wealthy northern countries has been largely overlooked by the media. It seems industrialized countries prefer it this way: a new study reveals just how these countries are planning to hide forestry-related emissions, allowing nations such as Canada, Russia, and the EU to contribute to climate change without penalty. Jeremy Hance