tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/africa1 africa news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15061 2015-06-30T22:02:00Z 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z Using DNA evidence to pinpoint poaching zones <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/tanzania/150/tz_1437.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published last week in <em>Science</em> showed that most of the ivory being trafficked today comes from two areas in Africa: savanna elephant ivory from southeast Tanzania in East Africa and forest elephant ivory from the meeting point of Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Central African Republic. Rhett Butler 2.247879 16.167828 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15050 2015-06-29T18:39:00Z 2015-06-29T18:40:38Z Lions return to Rwanda After 15 years, the roar of lions will once again be heard in Rwanda. Today the NGO, African Parks, will begin moving seven lions from South Africa to Rwanda's Akagera National Park. It was here that Rwanda's last lions were poisoned by cattle herders after the Rwandan genocide left the park wholly unmanaged. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15024 2015-06-23T23:56:00Z 2015-06-24T13:40:48Z On the fence about wildlife fencing: new paper outlines research needed to resolve debate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0617-pereira-drylands-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fencing is used to protect wildlife against poaching and human encroachment, and also to protect people and livestock from wildlife. As a conservation strategy, it has proponents as well as detractors. A recent paper by a team of 45 international researchers in the Journal of Applied Ecology questions the wisdom of erecting wildlife fencing in dryland ecosystems. It also seeks to ease decision-making on fencing initiatives by setting a research agenda to answer open questions that will help resolve the debate. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15019 2015-06-23T14:50:00Z 2015-06-23T15:03:34Z Cat update: lion and African golden cat down, Iberian lynx up A new update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the West African population of lions&#8212;which is considered genetically distinct and separate from East and Central African lions&#8212;as Critically Endangered. Based largely on a paper in 2014, the researchers estimate that there are only 121-375 mature lions in West Africa today. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14953 2015-06-13T02:19:00Z 2015-06-13T02:22:36Z The ivory trade and the war on wildlife (rangers) [commentary] <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/kenya/150/kenya_0258.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this commentary, Fred Bercovitch, wildlife conservation biologist at Kyoto University, confronts the conservation community with an unconventional approach to stopping the ivory trade and illegal elephant killing. The views expressed are his own. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14913 2015-06-05T13:45:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:37Z Coordinated protests hit Socfin plantations in four countries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_EUFQY3OgR8ypMVe1Sn4NN4MlKkVnJg3eiDExwfY3Tk=w150-h99-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>French NGO ReAct is coordinating protest actions against the plantation operations of Socfin, a Belgian company with origins in the Belgian Congo. Yesterday, protesters gathered in Paris outside the headquarters of Bolloré, another conglomerate which holds a 39 percent stake in Socfin. Other demonstrations have been staged in three African countries and Cambodia in recent weeks. Philip Jacobson 48.881709 2.235829 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14897 2015-06-02T18:38:00Z 2015-06-03T16:19:18Z The poachers' bill: at least 65,000 elephants in Tanzania <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0602.THUMB.elephants.Cristian-Samper_7540_African-Elephant-Aerial-Views-Ruaha-National-Park_TZA_03-17-14.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the last couple years there have been persistent rumors and trickles of information that elephant poaching was running rampant in Tanzania as the government stood by and did little. Yesterday, the government finally confirmed the rumors: Tanzania's savanna elephant population has dropped from 109,051 animals in 2009 to just 43,330 last year&#8212;a plunge of 60% in just five years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14890 2015-06-01T20:16:00Z 2015-06-01T20:23:10Z Private sector innovations reduce food loss in West Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0601_me_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Why is Africa's second largest tomato producer also the world's biggest importer of tomato paste? The question is a preoccupation for Lamido Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. For Sanusi and other experts, the problem is a lack of processing capacity, which leads to enormous waste and a giant food import bill. Tiffany Roufs 7.340988 8.665363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14889 2015-06-01T19:56:00Z 2015-06-01T19:58:09Z Zambia lifts hunting ban on big cats Nine months after Zambia lifted its general trophy hunting ban&#8212;including on elephants&#8212;the country has now lifted its ban on hunting African lions and leopards. The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) lifted the ban after surveying its big cat populations and setting new regulations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14880 2015-05-29T17:54:00Z 2015-05-29T17:55:01Z First-of-its-kind mapping technique sheds new light on tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts have developed vegetation height maps for the entire tropics at very fine spatial scales. These first-of its-kind high resolution maps can help researchers estimate forest cover, monitor biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and manage and monitor timber. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.572850 106.235590 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14874 2015-05-28T18:16:00Z 2015-06-01T20:13:39Z Together we stand: A policy approach to reducing food loss in West Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0228_me_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>West African countries have recognized that when it comes to food security, no nation is an island. Since achieving independence, West African countries have strived for regional integration. By building strong political and economic ties, the 15 member nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) aimed to maximize economic development and minimize inter-country conflict. Tiffany Roufs 11.445066 -9.062256 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14869 2015-05-28T05:23:00Z 2015-06-23T04:39:51Z Ghosts of problems past and present loom over Nigerian palm oil plans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/-IdVHYSic8u0/VWamKTujWbI/AAAAAAAABqU/iK0YOW4i8dY/w150-h99-no/Daniel%252C%2Byouth%2Bleader%252C%2Bshows%2Bthe%2Balternative%2Bwater%2Bhole%2Bthe%2Bcommunity%2Bhad%2Bto%2Bdug%2Bbecause%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bpalmoil%2Bproject.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Wilmar has set up shop in Nigeria in a big way, with plans to operate over 30,000 hectares in the country's Cross River State. Some say the project is little more than a land grab, has caused environmental damage and seen people turned off their land and lose their livelihoods in areas such as Ibiae and Biase. Philip Jacobson 4.966247 8.248914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14867 2015-05-27T21:16:00Z 2015-05-27T21:17:24Z Uganda's elephant population has risen 600% since its 1980s low <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527.Elephant--acacia.THUMB.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1980s, Uganda's elephants looked like they were on their way to extinction. The country had only about 700-800 elephants left, all in a single park; poachers had exterminated the rest. But a new survey as a part of the Great Elephant Census has confirmed that Uganda is today a bright spot in the current ivory poaching crisis. The country has more than 5,000 elephants and growing. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14862 2015-05-27T16:29:00Z 2015-05-28T16:49:32Z Drone Herders: Tanzanian rangers and researchers use UAVs to protect elephants and crops <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527-digirolamo-elephant-drone-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>HEC, otherwise known as human elephant conflict, is a centuries-old problem responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of elephants. This ongoing battle between African farmers trying to grow crops and hungry elephants foraging for a meal, has motivated conservationists to find solutions for protecting the largest and one of the most intelligent land animals on the planet. Scientists’ most recent effort -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), frisbee-sized remote controlled quad-helicopters -- may provide the answer that researchers have been looking for. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14857 2015-05-26T23:43:00Z 2015-05-27T16:50:55Z Up to 11 stunningly colorful chameleon species discovered in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_0289.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The panther chameleon, a lizard prized in the pet trade for its remarkable color changing abilities, may actually represent 11 different species, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Molecular Ecology</i>. Analyzing the genetics of more than 300 individual panther chameleons, Swiss and Malagasy researchers make a case that different color morphs of <i>Furcifer pardalis</i> may be distinct species. Rhett Butler -13.404695 48.319352 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14855 2015-05-26T18:18:00Z 2015-05-26T18:18:48Z Mozambique loses almost 10,000 elephants in just five years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0526.THUMB.Niassa-Reserve-poached-elephant-6Sep14---Alastair-Nelson,-WCS.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mozambique has lost nearly half of its elephants to relentless, brutal, and highly-organized poaching in just five years, according to a new government survey. In 2010, the country was home to an estimated 20,000 pachyderms, today it houses just 10,300. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14845 2015-05-22T15:54:00Z 2015-05-27T15:28:20Z New hope for the world's most endangered zebra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0522-thumb-levikov-17.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Writer and conservation biologist Nika Levikov embarked on the team’s latest field mission led by Davidson, to the arid savannah landscape of northern Kenya to help find Grevy’s zebras and attach GPS collars. This sub-population has never before been formally documented. With GPS, their movements can be tracked and scientists can learn more about this most endangered zebra species. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.100316 36.936625 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14826 2015-05-19T17:28:00Z 2015-05-19T17:39:38Z West Africa’s weakest links: Supply chain defects are behind worst food waste For produce raised on some of Senegal’s most fertile cropland, the shortest route to the richest urban markets runs through another country. This geographic reality, with its multiple logistical hurdles, illustrates the food security challenges facing Senegal and the wider West African region. The trouble with feeding people here is not so much the availability of food but its accessibility. The difficulties arise not just in agricultural production but also in inefficient food delivery systems – in harvesting, storage, processing and transport. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14805 2015-05-14T15:55:00Z 2015-05-14T15:56:27Z South African Airways bans all wildlife trophies from flights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514.trophyroom.thumb.67877557_149afec7e7_o.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trophy hunters may need to find another flight home, as South African Airlines (SAA) has announced a new ban on any wildlife trophies from their flights. The debate over trophy hunting in Africa is rising as many of the continent's most beloved mammals&#8212;including lions, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes&#8212;face precipitous declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14792 2015-05-13T11:56:00Z 2015-05-13T11:58:13Z Rhino poaching rate rises 18 percent in South Africa In the first four months of 2015, poachers killed 393 rhinos in South Africa, the epicenter of the rhino poaching crisis. This is an 18 percent rise from last year, which saw 1,215 rhinos butchered in total. Like previous years, the biggest hotspot was Kruger National Park where 290 rhinos have died so far. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14776 2015-05-08T18:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:05:13Z World's critical habitats lost Connecticut-size area of forest in a decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0507-thumb-Madagascar_Nightjar_-_Tulear_-_Madagascar_S4E8596.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's endangered animals live in only one place, making them hugely susceptible to environmental upset. One fell swoop, and entire species could disappear from existence forever. New analysis shows that possibility may be edging closer and closer to reality in some areas, with forests known to harbor high-risk species losing an area of tree cover the size of Connecticut in a little over a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.485384 29.077941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14760 2015-05-07T12:12:00Z 2015-05-07T12:12:29Z Ranger killed by poachers in park known for grisly elephant slaughters <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506.Agoyo_Ranger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On April 25th, poachers shot and killed wildlife ranger, Agoyo Mbikoyo, in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the organization African Parks. On the frontline of the illegal wildlife trade, Garamba Naitonal Park is known as a hotspot for elephant poaching. Jeremy Hance 4.514637 29.664044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14747 2015-05-06T04:31:00Z 2015-05-06T04:47:39Z Using freely available tools to monitor forest cover in critical chimpanzee habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506ug3-4440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Think of it as trying to help the long-lost cousins who never left your home town. Researchers and friends at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) are doing just that for chimpanzees. Our closest living relatives still live in their hometown African forests but these forests are under increasing threat. Rhett Butler -1.764782 27.593462 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14744 2015-05-05T16:55:00Z 2015-05-06T14:58:36Z Scientists identify frog through DNA without leaving forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505.sequencing.genes.unnamed.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, a team of Italian scientists caught a frog in a montane forest in Tanzania. And then they made history: using a small blood sample the team were able to extract, purify, and amplify the amphibian's DNA&#8212;all in the forest&#8212;through a new, battery-powered device called the Expedition Genomics Lab. Jeremy Hance -9.121768 33.633140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14725 2015-05-01T17:59:00Z 2015-05-01T18:03:05Z Ongoing overkill: loss of big herbivores leading to 'empty landscapes' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0501.ripple5HR.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ten thousand years from now, human historians&#8212;or alien ones&#8212;may view the current wave of biodiversity loss and extinctions as concurrent with the Pleistocene extinction. At that time, peaking around 11,000 years ago, many scientists argue that human hunters killed off the majority of the world's big species. According to a paper today in history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14708 2015-04-29T15:55:00Z 2015-06-18T02:14:09Z Kenya's Karura Forest, symbol of GreenBelt Movement, suffering death by 1,000 cuts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_protus_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The founder of Kenya's GreenBelt Movement, Wangari Maathai, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 because she talked environmental truth to power. She also walked the walk. Especially on a January morning in 1999 when she strode into the Karura Forest, Nairobi's flagship preserve, to plant trees to protest government approved plans to build a private golf course on protected land there. Tiffany Roufs -1.247121 36.813182 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14700 2015-04-28T16:39:00Z 2015-04-28T16:39:39Z Illegal ivory trade alive and well on Craigslist As it has become more difficult to buy illegal ivory from slaughtered elephants on places like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.com, traders and buyers in the U.S. have turned to another venue: Craigslist. A new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) finds that the ivory trade is thriving on Craigslist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14649 2015-04-17T14:13:00Z 2015-04-17T14:24:44Z Zimbabwe selling baby elephant calves to China, says environmental group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-montoro-zimbabwe-elephant-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred thousand African elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory between 2010 and 2012. Now a new threat looms: a growing wildlife trade in baby animals to satisfy international tourism. Zimbabwe has reportedly taken 80 elephant calves from their mothers and families in the wild, and is currently holding them in two heavily guarded facilities in Hwange National Park and near Victoria Falls. The baby animals await transport overseas for sale to unidentified buyers, possibly in China or other countries, says the international elephant rights organization, Global Action Ending Wild Capture (GAEWC). Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14646 2015-04-16T16:21:00Z 2015-04-20T04:15:00Z Empowering women in order to save the harvest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-RCernansky-Thresher-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are plenty of technological challenges to reducing food waste in sub-Saharan Africa, but a challenge that might prove more important to overcome is gender inequality. Women are responsible for nearly half of agricultural labor in sub-Saharan Africa, with some estimates reaching up to 90 percent. But they often don't have the authority to make financial decisions for their families, even when it comes to managing or selling the crops they've grown themselves. Tiffany Roufs -4.214622 35.751786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14644 2015-04-16T07:46:00Z 2015-06-23T03:36:31Z Criticism of GAR and Wilmar African oil palm projects highlight global ‘no-deforestation' challenges <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DY88_1sdoN0/VS9oXXzyNAI/AAAAAAAABbM/i0TyrnAVQAw/w150-h99-no/1029-pygmy-hippo-public-domain.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite high-profile no-deforestation policies, palm oil giants Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar have attracted criticism recently over their projects in Africa, particularly regarding the correct implementation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of affected communities. Some NGOs have suggested these persistent problems indicate no lessons have been learned from years of bad practice in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14632 2015-04-13T23:30:00Z 2015-04-18T21:51:34Z Innovative community fisheries initiative wins top social entrepreneurship prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414bs_octopus150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A program that helps restore overfished areas through community-based marine conservation has won the Skoll Foundation's top prize for social entrepreneurship. Today the Skoll announced Blue Ventures, which piloted its approach in Madagascar a decade ago before expanding to other regions, was one of four organizations to be honored with the $1.25 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Rhett Butler -22.078898 43.237865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14613 2015-04-09T18:57:00Z 2015-04-09T18:58:37Z Australia becomes first country to ban lion trophies Last month, Australia became the world's first country to ban the import or export of lion trophies, often taken from so-called canned hunting where lions are raised solely to be shot by foreign hunters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14609 2015-04-08T20:16:00Z 2015-04-08T20:29:08Z New group hopes to raise global profile of the peace-loving bonobo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0408.bonobo.IMG_0595.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Of the world's six species of great ape (not including us), it's safe to say that bonobos (<i>Pan paniscus</i>) are the least studied and least known publicly. But a new organization, the Bonobo Project, is hoping to change that. To the untrained eye, a bonobo looks little different from their closest relative, the chimpanzee. But the differences between these two cousins are actually quite large. Jeremy Hance -2.337877 21.242508 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14588 2015-04-03T17:36:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:14Z Kenya crackdown on terrorism threatens NGOs, wildlife, media <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-kenya-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The terrorist attack that killed at least 147 people at Garissa University on April 2nd was another tragic milestone in Kenya’s ongoing battle with the al-Shabab terrorist group based in Somalia. In response to several other brutal attacks on civilians, Kenya’s government recently passed and proposed harsh new laws that are alarming environmental activists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media, opposition politicians and the public. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.582480 35.245744 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14560 2015-03-30T23:13:00Z 2015-03-30T23:14:46Z Big surprise in the greenhouse: study finds economic costs of climate change hugely underestimated <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330-egypt_1003.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Look at most climate change projection graphs and you will see a smoothly rising red line of increasing temperature, melting ice and other impacts. But climate does not work that way. Studies of the paleoclimate record indicate that when heat energy is rapidly added to the atmosphere -- as humans are doing today -- the climate can experience “tipping points,” with abrupt shifts and potentially disastrous results. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.895595 33.345588 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14557 2015-03-30T17:18:00Z 2015-03-30T23:16:08Z Chocolate company, NGO work together to save lemurs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330-thumb-2-Madecasse-LCF.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite its biodiversity and unique plants and animals, Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve hosts only around a dozen tourists each year. In an effort to increase tourism and research opportunities, the Lemur Conservation Foundation will be using the money raised during the Madécasse promotion to develop Camp Indri - the reserve’s only authorized tourist site. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.709753 49.462983 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14534 2015-03-25T16:02:00Z 2015-03-25T16:12:56Z Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325.south_africa_kruger_1099.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New figures show essentially no change in the number of elephants killed in Africa by poachers last year, despite a high-profile meeting on the crisis which was attended by 46 countries and a number of commitments. Data from CITES' Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) estimated that around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, the same as in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14533 2015-03-25T14:29:00Z 2015-03-25T16:30:50Z Illegal cocoa plantations threaten Côte d’Ivoire’s parks and primates <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325_roloway_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, also boasts an ecosystem of great biological richness and species diversity, with over 2,250 endemic plants and 270 vertebrate species. Unfortunately, it also has the highest deforestation rate in all of sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to its rise as a significant player in the global agricultural economy after years of civil unrest. Brittany Stewart 8.779826 -3.509581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14512 2015-03-19T17:42:00Z 2015-03-19T17:46:26Z DRC mulls changing Virunga's boundaries for oil Last Friday, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced it was considering changing the boundaries of Virunga National Park to accommodate oil exploitation. Africa's oldest park, Virunga is home to around a quarter of the world's mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species, many of them threatened with extinction. Jeremy Hance -0.303687 29.568020 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14500 2015-03-16T23:28:00Z 2015-06-18T16:33:28Z Declining palm oil prices: Good news and bad news for smallholders <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_aerial_0210.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Declining crop prices usually spell bad news for farmers, and poor smallholders in particular. The drop in the price of palm oil from a recent high of US$860 per metric ton in March 2014 to below US$640 in March 2015 (and far below 2010-2012 prices which exceeded US$1000) heralds a shift in perceptions of oil palm from an economic boon to poverty-stricken smallholders, to a liability that ties small-scale farmers to a less profitable commodity. Rhett Butler 1.733095 -78.794792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14499 2015-03-16T16:14:00Z 2015-03-16T16:44:50Z King of the jungle returns to Gabon after nearly 20 year absence There's a new cat in town. For the first time since 1996, conservationists have proof of a lion roaming the wilds of the Central African country of Gabon. The lion&#8212;a healthy-looking, young male&#8212;was caught on camera trap in Batéké Plateau National Park, a 20,200 hectare expanse of grasslands and gallery forests. Jeremy Hance -2.158285 14.007680 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14497 2015-03-14T22:08:00Z 2015-04-20T15:37:26Z Road rage: scientists denounce $60 trillion infrastructure expansion <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0205.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last November, at the annual G-20 summit - for the 20 wealthiest of the world’s nations - in Brisbane, Australia, a staggering commitment was made to invest $60 to $70 trillion worldwide in new infrastructure over the next 15 years. This is akin to doubling the current value of all global infrastructure put together. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.611646 -69.202151 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14486 2015-03-12T16:31:00Z 2015-03-17T16:38:06Z Conservationists announce program to protect East Africa's largest elephant population <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223_elephants_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Tanzanian government have launched an ambitious new initiative to protect East Africa's largest population of elephants (<i>Loxodonta Africana</i>). With funds from USAID, the plan aims to reduce poaching and protect biodiversity - including the area's 25,000 elephants- across an 115,000 square kilometer ecosystem. Tiffany Roufs -6.897289 31.171173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14483 2015-03-12T00:58:00Z 2015-03-12T00:59:02Z Local land rights may be in danger from push for palm oil in Liberia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rights of local and indigenous peoples aren’t being adequately protected in the drive for economic development, according to a report published in February by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a coalition of forest-oriented organizations. For a place like Liberia, reeling from both decades of persistent poverty and the recent Ebola epidemic, economic development seems critical at just about any cost. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.294388 -9.130614 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14480 2015-03-11T16:34:00Z 2015-03-11T16:36:35Z UN report warns of grave consequences if mangroves not protected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_1107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), global destruction of mangrove forests impacts biodiversity, food security, and the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized communities in the world. Mangroves, which are forests of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs that lie along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics, are also invaluable carbon sinks. And we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them, says a recent report. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.525658 9.418032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14475 2015-03-10T22:31:00Z 2015-03-11T17:31:55Z Citizen scientists help demystify Serengeti's wildlife with photos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0310_serengeti150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's Serengeti conjures up romantic images of millions of migrating wildebeest and zebras, prides of lions feasting on their prey, and hyenas prowling in the background. But not everyone is fortunate to see them up close. Snapshot Serengeti, a citizen science project, is changing that. It lets anyone, with or without a background in science or ecology, become a part of Africa's wilderness from their homes. Brittany Stewart -2.333344 34.833328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14459 2015-03-05T22:04:00Z 2015-03-05T22:33:30Z Firewood fervor may turn Zimbabwe into an 'outright desert' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0305-thumb-Baoobab_tree,_Masvingo_Province,_Zimbabwe.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In developing countries like Zimbabwe and in much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, fuelwood is a major source of energy for cooking and heating for people who can't afford electricity. A 2014 study published in Resources and Environment highlights the severity of this issue in Zimbabwe. Morgan Erickson-Davis -19.509553 30.471161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14457 2015-03-05T18:25:00Z 2015-03-05T18:27:18Z Somali charcoal: funding terrorism through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0371.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Militant terrorist group Al-Shabaab funds itself, in part, through the illegal production and sale of charcoal, turning Somalia’s trees into “black gold.” Because areas of the country controlled by the group aren’t accessible to researchers, it’s difficult to determine just how many trees are cut down to fuel Al-Shabaab’s violent agenda. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.918541 42.611172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14450 2015-03-03T20:22:00Z 2015-03-30T22:38:33Z Researchers, locals work together to save Ethiopia's 'church forests' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-thumb-wall-builders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Presenting a workshop on ecosystem services to a roomful of priests in Ethiopia may seem like an unlikely scenario for a conservation biologist to end up in, but for Meg Lowman, it’s an essential part of spreading her passion for bottom-up conservation. “Canopy Meg,” as she’s fondly referred to by her colleagues, believes in the power of local communities to be part of the solution, often in ways that are more effective than researchers can make alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.795124 37.676432 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14446 2015-03-02T20:05:00Z 2015-03-05T14:53:23Z How the Sahara keeps the Amazon rainforest going <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0302.amazonsahara.87255_web.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have just uncovered an incredible link between the world's largest desert (the Sahara) and its largest rainforest (the Amazon). New research published in Geophysical Research Letters theorizes that the Sahara Desert replenishes phosphorus in the Amazon rainforest via vast plumes of desert dust blowing over the Atlantic Ocean. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14433 2015-02-26T16:14:00Z 2015-02-27T15:32:04Z To keep big cats out, use a cat door <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0102_b_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a hunter searches for prey, heat radiates off the sun stroked horizon distorting the landscape. At the snap of a twig and a rustle in thorny acacia the hunter is off. Keen eyed hearing pinpoint its prey: the cheetah spots an impala and immediately gives chase. The chase won't last long though. The impala lives on a farm and is protected by a high fence to keep predators out. But these fences aren't fool proof. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14427 2015-02-25T19:30:00Z 2015-02-26T19:21:38Z Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225fao-vs-kim-pan_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time. Rhett Butler -0.504437 27.230473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14404 2015-02-20T18:39:00Z 2015-02-20T18:41:00Z Scientists sound the alarm on African palm oil investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-3760.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa’s people, forests and wildlife are in trouble if the mostly unbridled expansion of oil palm in West and Central Africa is allowed to continue unchecked, says an organization of African scientists. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.846424 12.366558 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14396 2015-02-18T23:52:00Z 2015-02-23T20:05:52Z Selective logging causes long-term changes to forest structure <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2813.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging is causing long-term changes to tropical forests in Africa by facilitating the growth of weeds and vines, which reduces plant diversity and diminishes carbon storage, reports a new paper published in the journal <i>Ecological Research</i>. The paper is based on field data from more than 500 plots in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon and Gabon. Rhett Butler 7.341270 -11.236710 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14378 2015-02-13T18:27:00Z 2015-02-18T21:14:50Z Illegal logging still a big issue in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0213-thumb-cameroon-logging-truck.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cameroon is struggling to make progress in combatting illegal logging. Regulatory budgets are too thin to protect the country’s vast tracts of Congolian Rainforest. And demand domestically and abroad make the financial incentives for both the informal sector and Cameroon’s leaders too difficult to pass up, leading to an illicit timber trade beset with corruption. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.021553 12.245709 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14362 2015-02-09T14:50:00Z 2015-02-09T14:53:09Z Pollinator collapse could lead to a rise in malnutrition Saving the world's pollinators may be a public health issue, according to recent research. Scientists have long believed that pollinators are important for human nutrition, but this is first time they have tested the hypothesis. What they found is disturbing: pollinator collapse could increase nutrient deficiency across local populations by a up to 56 percent in four developing counties. Jeremy Hance -15.831249 23.960145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14360 2015-02-06T17:54:00Z 2015-02-06T17:57:39Z Madagascar establishes a sanctuary for sharks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0206ZebraShark-(JurgBrand)150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The government of Madagascar has established the Indian Ocean island's first shark sanctuary in an area famous for its marine biodiversity, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Rhett Butler -15.719525 49.829292 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14323 2015-01-29T19:53:00Z 2015-01-30T15:13:19Z Videos: new film series highlights bringing Gorongosa back to life Tracking lions, photographing bats, collecting insects, bringing elephants home: it's all part of a day's work in Gorongosa National Park. This vast wilderness in Mozambique was ravaged by civil war. However, a unique and ambitious 20-year-effort spearheaded by Greg Carr through the Gorongosa Restoration Project is working to restore this rich and little-studied African wilderness. Jeremy Hance -18.812994 34.331024 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14316 2015-01-28T15:21:00Z 2015-01-30T16:16:41Z Adorbs: scientists capture first photos of African golden cat kittens <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0127.Caracal-aurata-kittens-3.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The African golden cat is arguably the continent's least known feline, inhabiting dense tropical forests, almost never seen, and, of course, long-upstaged by Africa's famous felines. But a few intrepid scientists are beginning to uncover the long-unknown lives of these wild cats. Researchers working in Uganda's Kibale National Park have captured remarkable photos of African golden cats...with kittens. Jeremy Hance 0.451968 30.489145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14299 2015-01-22T20:09:00Z 2015-01-22T20:32:41Z Endangered chimp habitat under threat from climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4440.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change could make life more difficult for the world’s rarest chimp subspecies, the Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee, reported a team of scientists in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology earlier this week. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.886592 8.655484 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14298 2015-01-22T19:35:00Z 2015-01-22T19:55:51Z 1,215 rhinos butchered in South Africa in 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0121.Black-Rhino-c-Anti-poaching-patrol-courtesy-580.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1,215: that's the total number of rhinos butchered last year in South Africa for their horns. The number represents another annual record&#8212;the seventh in a row&#8212;topping last year's total by 195 rhinos. South Africa houses the bulk of the world's rhinos (around 80 percent), but has also become the center of the illegal poaching trade. Jeremy Hance -23.622689 31.431611 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14282 2015-01-20T14:29:00Z 2015-01-20T14:55:56Z Scandal and intrigue overshadow environment at the Simandou mine in Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_stiles_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Critically Endangered chimpanzees stand to lose their home over giant iron mine in West Africa. When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa decades ago well-laid plans often crumbled to dust in the unpredictable confusion of life there. We just muttered with resignation, 'WAWA' – West Africa wins again. The Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea could be one of the biggest WAWAs the region has ever produced. Tiffany Roufs 9.165131 -9.166323 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14260 2015-01-14T16:55:00Z 2015-01-14T17:13:44Z Did palm oil expansion play a role in the Ebola crisis? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0114.Eidolon_helvum_fg01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Ebola outbreak in West Africa may have been the result of complex economic and agricultural policies developed by authorities in Guinea and Liberia, according to a new commentary in Environment and Planning A. Looking at the economic activities around villages where Ebola first emerged, the investigators analyzed a shift in land-use activities in Guinea's forested region, particularly an increase in oil palm. Jeremy Hance 8.571239 -10.128214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14232 2015-01-07T17:38:00Z 2015-01-20T03:22:47Z How black rhinos and local communities help each other in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0107.Photo-1-(credit-Dave-Hamman-Photography)-_-A-desert-adapted-black-rhino-in-north-west-Namibia.150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's rhinos are in a state of crisis. Poaching for their horn has resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals and pushed the continent's two species&#8212;the white and black rhino&#8212;against the wall. Yet, despite the crisis, there are pockets of rhino territory where poaching remains rare and rhinos live comparatively unmolested. Indeed, one of the brightest spots for rhinos is in Namibia. Jeremy Hance -18.820276 15.165756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14167 2014-12-17T21:56:00Z 2014-12-22T19:04:26Z When predators attack, plants grow fewer thorns <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217_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 2015-02-06T15:06:52Z 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/14131 2014-12-09T18:19:00Z 2015-02-06T15:07:30Z 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/14107 2014-12-03T19:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:11:49Z 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 2014-12-30T22:26:16Z 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/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/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/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:27Z 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/14066 2014-11-24T20:24:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:38Z 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/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/14026 2014-11-16T23:19:00Z 2014-11-16T23:24:16Z New gecko described in Madagascar Researchers have described a previously undocumented species of gecko in Madagascar. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14024 2014-11-15T02:05:00Z 2014-11-17T20:06:47Z Gabon protects 23% of its coastal waters Gabon has once again made headlines for a bold conservation initiative. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14012 2014-11-12T20:11:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:40Z Mapping mistake leaves wildlife at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1112-thumb-luama-chimp.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new, endangered plant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in an area that is supposed to be protected as a reserve. However, mapping errors effectively moved the reserve’s boundaries 50 kilometers to the west, opening up the region and its vulnerable wildlife to human disturbance. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.368980 28.808207 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14007 2014-11-11T20:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:29:58Z ‘Militarized occupation’: local communities pay the price for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-thumb-cannon-mill.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There’s little doubt that the use of palm oil is expanding rapidly throughout the world, and with it the need for millions of hectares of land to grow oil palm trees. The results can be devastating for local communities who depend on the agriculture and forests that these lands support. A recent report catalogs the issues that arise with oil palm expansion. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.610027 149.331889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14001 2014-11-11T13:52:00Z 2014-11-11T14:13:46Z Poor rains then floods lead to food crisis in Somalia Four years after over a quarter of a million people perished in a famine in Somalia, the East African country is again on the verge of a possible humanitarian disaster. Flooding in southern Somalia, following months of little rain, has just exacerbated an already-precarious situation according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Jeremy Hance 1.456753 42.138760 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13990 2014-11-07T18:57:00Z 2014-12-01T19:35:21Z Flying under the radar in Central Africa, Chinese companies may be wreaking environmental havoc <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107_china_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tchimpounga, chimpanzees, and extractive industries in the Republic of Congo. 'Tchimpounga is not just a sanctuary,' shouted Rebeca Atencia above the din of the outboard motor, as she pointed to our progress up the Kouilou River on her tablet, donated by Google, which included access to high-resolution satellite maps. The GPS tracking showed us as a small, blue diamond moving slowly up the murky river. Tiffany Roufs -4.516501 11.832092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13984 2014-11-06T03:23:00Z 2014-11-06T03:31:33Z Corruption in Tanzania facilitates ivory trade Corruption in Tanzania is enabling large volumes of illegal elephant ivory to be smuggled out of the country, alleges a new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13977 2014-11-04T20:53:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:55Z 91% of Kenya’s protected areas shrank in 100 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1104-kenya-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last century, 91.7 percent of all changes to protected areas in Kenya have involved reductions in their area, known as downsizing, which is an unusual and remarkable statistic from a global perspective. Analyses show, however, that a variety of factors—including some that which occurred half a century ago—could be responsible for the status of forests in Kenya today. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.555898 35.151716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:10Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13965 2014-10-30T17:54:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:44Z Dissolving pulp: a growing threat to global forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-leaf-monkey-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis -27.756190 29.509802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13958 2014-10-29T22:43:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:32Z Destroyed habitat, fewer resources, Ebola: the many repercussions of Liberia's deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-thumb-pygmy-hippo-public-domain.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Liberia is one of the last strongholds of intact forest in West Africa. These forests are the home of many unique species of plants and animals, and many Liberians rely on the forests for direct economic benefits. The presence of intact forests may even be important for preventing the future outbreak of disease such as Ebola, which can be transmitted to people from animal vectors displaced by deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.357207 -8.300532 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13955 2014-10-29T18:19:00Z 2015-04-20T15:39:41Z Tigers vs. diamonds: India’s protected areas rampantly downgraded to make room for people, industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-5-thumb-tiger-capture.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh lie 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of protected land demarcated as the Panna Tiger Reserve. Recently, however, its protection status has been questioned, and global-scale analyses show Panna is far from alone among India’s many threatened Protected Areas. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.589963 79.941666 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13951 2014-10-28T19:06:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:37Z World's rarest gorilla gets a new protected home <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-3-cross-river-gorilla-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Cross River Gorilla, the rarest and most threatened of gorilla subspecies, has reason to cheer. Last month, on September 29, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, signed a decree to officially create a new protected area – Tofala Wildlife Sanctuary – in the southwestern part of the country. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.624499 9.940404 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13950 2014-10-28T17:00:00Z 2015-04-20T15:39:51Z How protected are they? Report finds world's Protected Areas may relax, shrink, even completely disappear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-oryx-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On March 1, 1872, the United States Congress declared 3,400 square miles of land spanning three states as the country’s - and the world’s - first national park. We call it Yellowstone. Today, there are over 160,000 PAs spanning 12.7 percent of the planet’s land surface. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.077659 -56.315393 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13946 2014-10-27T15:32:00Z 2014-10-27T15:55:29Z Photos: slumbering lions win top photo prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1027.nhm.fennec.nhm.fennec.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The king of beasts took this year's top prize in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is co-owned by the Natural History Museum (London) and the BBC. The photo, of female lions and their cubs resting on a rock face in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, was taken by Michael 'Nick' Nichols, a photographer with National Geographic. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13942 2014-10-24T17:22:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:27Z Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024-gsw-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.719503 29.616324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13941 2014-10-23T20:23:00Z 2014-10-23T21:35:02Z Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products (including timber and paper). Nor will they be very surprised by most of the countries: Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Jeremy Hance 5.505705 101.755097 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13937 2014-10-22T20:21:00Z 2014-10-23T14:56:42Z Demand for rhino horn drops 38 percent in Vietnam after advertising campaigns A new poll finds that consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has dropped precipitously following several advertising campaigns. According to the poll by the Humane Society International (HIS) and Vietnam CITES, demand has plunged 38 percent since last year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13899 2014-10-10T18:12:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:31Z Forest restoration commitments: driven by science or politics? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1010-gorilla-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During September's UN Climate Summit, three African nations were recognized for their commitments to restore collectively millions of hectares of forest. But several organizations declined invitations to sign the pact because they say it fails to lay out “concrete action” to fight climate change, and some experts in the field worry that the announcements are little more than political posturing. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.190025 28.289514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13891 2014-10-08T21:01:00Z 2014-10-08T21:02:33Z INTERPOL launches African environmental crime unit To help fight illegal poaching and trafficking, INTERPOL, the world's largest international police organization, has launched an environmental crimes unit in Africa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13879 2014-10-06T19:07:00Z 2014-10-06T19:08:41Z Elephants worth much, much more alive than dead, says new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1006-antipoaching-2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Elephants are worth 76 times more when they’re alive than dead, according to a new analysis released this past weekend. The report follows on the heels of findings by WWF that the world has lost 50 percent of its wildlife over the past 40 years, with more than half of African elephants killed for ivory in just one decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.994009 38.462995 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13877 2014-10-06T14:36:00Z 2014-10-06T16:27:46Z The Zanaga iron ore mine – a test of best laid plans for preserving wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-zanaga150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the largest iron ore deposits in Africa is located in a strip 47 kilometers long and three kilometers wide in the Republic of the Congo (RoC), bordering Gabon. A core section of the Guineo-Congolian Forest rises above this vast mineral deposit, and provides a home to flagship endangered species like western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and forest elephants. Tiffany Roufs -2.862806 13.819685