tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/africa1 africa news from mongabay.com 2015-01-22T20:32:41Z 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 2014-12-17T17:56:47Z Deforestation taking toll on nesting birds in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb04-endemic.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The tropical montane forests of the Cameroon mountain ranges boast fertile volcanic soils, high biodiversity of grasses and non-woody plants, as well as many endemic bird species that can be found only in this high-altitude region. Yet, many of these endemic bird species may be at risk due to increased nest predation linked with human-induced forest degradation, according to a new study. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.660889 10.235211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14131 2014-12-09T18:19:00Z 2014-12-09T19:47:49Z Relief for Kenya’s rare coastal forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1209-thumb-Rhynchocyon_chrysopygus-J_Smit.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October this year, CAMAC Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company, announced that they would conduct seismic surveys for oil and gas within Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, one of the last remaining fragments of coastal forests in East Africa. But following immense pressure from the environmental front, CAMAC Energy cancelled their plans to conduct surveys inside the forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.332155 39.847937 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14107 2014-12-03T19:18:00Z 2014-12-03T21:31:32Z One-two punch: farming, global warming destroying unique East African forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-thumb-atheris-5.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lush mountains speckle East Africa's grasslands and desert, from Mozambique to Ethiopia. These isolated habitats are home to a plethora of species, and are considered by scientists to be some of the most biodiverse regions in the world. However, their forests are being cut down for farmland and are threatened by global warming, putting at risk multitudes of species that have nowhere else to go. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.725780 36.574009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14106 2014-12-03T18:53:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:16Z 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 2014-11-06T17:58:20Z 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 2014-11-06T20:15:58Z 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 2014-11-06T17:57:06Z 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 2014-11-06T17:56:54Z 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 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13846 2014-09-30T02:03:00Z 2014-10-01T14:35:46Z Joint force uses Google Earth to find elephant poaching camps in Mozambique, captures poachers in raid <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0929-guns-3-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Monday, September 22, two ivory poachers were arrested in Mozambique during a late-night raid near Niassa National Reserve. The arrest followed on the heels of nearly two-dozen reported kills in the reserve in just the first two weeks of the month. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.880410 37.467319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13833 2014-09-29T16:17:00Z 2014-09-29T16:29:07Z Climate change to boost farmland, diminish harvests, says new study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon-15610.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is likely to alter how we humans grow adequate amounts of food for a swelling global population. Assessing just how much and where those changes will occur has been difficult. But a new study takes aim at those very questions and could provide a guide for the debate over feeding the planet while also preserving biodiversity and the forests that filter out the carbon we produce. Brittany Stewart -1.617103 17.101189 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13837 2014-09-25T21:33:00Z 2014-09-25T21:41:22Z Four countries pledge to restore 30 million hectares of degraded lands at UN Summit In 2011, Germany and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature launched the Bonn Challenge, which pledged to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020. Several countries have already made commitments&#8212;including the U.S.&#8212;but this week at the UN Climate Summit four more jumped on board. Jeremy Hance 8.964736 38.828945 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13827 2014-09-24T18:36:00Z 2014-09-25T23:54:32Z Scientists use genes, feces to study disappearing monkeys <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0924-king-colobus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human pressures through tree clearing and poaching are reducing both forest and fauna in West Africa. In response to dwindling primate populations, scientists used genetics techniques to examine their makeup and outlook – demonstrating the usefulness of such methods in the study of animals that are becoming ever-fewer in number and ever-harder to find. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.757973 -4.795016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13792 2014-09-17T18:13:00Z 2014-09-17T19:42:41Z Camera traps capture ‘fantastically bizarre’ animal behavior in South African park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0917-genet-buffalo-wildlifeact-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cowbirds ride cattle to pick off their parasites; egrets pal around with wildebeest and eat the small creatures disturbed by their grazing. But mammals riding other mammals is something long-thought pretty much isolated to humans and their domestic creatures. Then, earlier this month, a camera trap in a park in South Africa captured something that contradicts this assumption: a genet riding around on giant herbivores. Morgan Erickson-Davis -28.229220 31.921758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13775 2014-09-12T17:05:00Z 2014-09-12T17:09:28Z WCS-led raids lead to six arrests near Mozambique’s largest reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0912-forest-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A joint force of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and government authorities are in the midst of carrying out a series of raids against poachers in Mozambique aimed at halting the illegal killing of elephants in Niassa National Reserve, the country’s largest protected area. Six men, thought to be responsible for killing 39 elephants in 2014, were arrested in an early morning bust in the town of Marrupa, just south of the park. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.880809 37.467158 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-11-06T17:51:17Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13758 2014-09-09T18:06:00Z 2014-09-09T20:02:18Z Thought wiped out by climate change, 'extinct' snail rediscovered in Seychelles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0809-snail-sif-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Aldabra banded snail was declared extinct in 1997 as one of the world’s first recorded direct casualties of climate change. But last month, a monitoring team found a population on one of the atoll’s islands, surprising the team and giving hope that other species whose habitats are being degraded by climate change may still be able to cling to existence. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.373243 46.330556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13757 2014-09-09T17:39:00Z 2014-09-09T18:02:00Z Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game After 20 months, Zambia has lifted its ban on hunting, allowing trophy hunters to target numerous species in the wildlife-rich country including elephants. The announcement was made by the country's Tourism and Art's Minister, Jean Kapata, who stated that the ban had resulted in a loss of revenue to the Zambia Wild Life Authority (ZAWA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13722 2014-08-27T22:35:00Z 2014-08-27T22:43:40Z Where should the roads go? New map offers a solution to the 'Pandora's Box of environmental problems' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827-roads3-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Roads make it possible to bring goods to market, to get to the office, to log a forest, to hunt its wildlife. Without roads, human society as we know it could not exist. However, to build roads, trees must be cleared and swamps drained, shrinking valuable wildlife habitat and fragmenting populations in the process. A new study unveils an innovative map that defines which areas of the world would be best used to build roads – and which should be left alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.349126 -57.198830 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/13715 2014-08-25T19:43:00Z 2014-08-27T18:09:37Z Can it be stopped? Ghana's forests 'could completely disappear in less than 25 years' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0825-chimp-butler-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ghana contains forests that are biologically unique and important both for the wildlife they contain and the human communities that depend on them. However, the country is experiencing one of the greatest rates of deforestation in West Africa. At its current rate of forest loss, a study estimates that Ghana could be devoid of major forest cover in less than a quarter-century. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.667530 -2.420482 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13698 2014-08-21T17:17:00Z 2014-11-06T17:46:14Z Running to reforest: communities, NGOs work to save Ugandan reserve in the midst of massive deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821-bugoma-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Stung by massive loss of forest cover in Bugoma central forest reserve, part of a vast chimpanzee habitat in the western part of Uganda, seven private local and international organizations in the east African country have joined hands to raise awareness of forest issues and money for reforestation efforts -- by launching a conservation-themed quarter-marathon. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.326440 30.922604 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13693 2014-08-20T22:55:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:05Z New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0820.madfrog2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species&#8212;dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog&#8212;is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened. Jeremy Hance 14°22.82'S 47°45.46'E tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13692 2014-08-20T22:17:00Z 2014-11-06T17:46:03Z Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and expansion could devastate the environment. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.603479 27.070837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13686 2014-08-19T16:11:00Z 2014-08-19T16:32:54Z 20 percent of Africa's elephants killed in three years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0819.elephants.14-03984-large1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant population was killed annually, equaling just over 20 percent of the continent's population in that time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13679 2014-08-17T20:14:00Z 2014-08-17T20:29:13Z Google Earth spurs discovery of a 'new' chameleon species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/australia/150/0817Rampholeon-Maspictus-Credit-William-R-Branch150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google Earth has spurred the discovery of another new species. In this case, the creature is a pygmy chameleon, one of four previously unknown <i>Rhampholeon</i> chameleon species described from the remote ‘sky islands’ in Mozambique. The Mount Mabu pygmy chameleon was discovered after Google Earth images of a tract of forest led Julian Bayliss to launch a scientific expedition to the region. Rhett Butler -16.301687 36.371398 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13638 2014-08-07T16:44:00Z 2014-08-19T15:46:30Z Want to save Africa's elephants? Close all ivory markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0807.gabon-27820.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The only way to save the long-suffering elephants of Africa is to close every ivory market on the planet and destroy all ivory stockpiles, according to a bold new essay in Conservation Biology. Written by Elizabeth Bennett, the Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the paper is likely to prove controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13627 2014-08-05T14:41:00Z 2014-08-05T15:26:36Z How did Ebola Zaïre Get to Guinea? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805ebola150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The vicious Ebola outbreak that has already killed over 800 people this year was not a strain endemic to the region as initially believed. Instead the University of Edinburgh found that the strain is the same as the Ebola Zaïre found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaïre. Does this mean the strain could have come from illegally-trafficked great apes instead of fruit bats as widely reported? Tiffany Roufs -1.421960 17.311584 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13620 2014-08-01T16:47:00Z 2014-08-01T18:04:46Z 2 prize-winning journalists will report on Amazon, 2 new prizes announced <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) program has recently awarded two different reporting prizes to journalists to tackle these vital and complicated issues in-depth. The non-profit has also launched a call for applications to two new SRIs: The social and environmental impacts of foreign development finance in the Amazon and Food spoilage and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13619 2014-08-01T14:11:00Z 2014-08-05T15:09:02Z Ndoki Forest, charmed or cursed? Conservationists admit sustainable logging wilting in naïve chimp habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716-stiles-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'You come across that crest, and … you're going from forest that has already been exploited to this kind on no-man's land… It just felt like you were going into this vast unknown wilderness' – Mike Fay from Eating Apes by Dale Peterson and Karl Ammann. Mike Fay, famed explorer and conservationist, said this of the Ndoki Forest in the Republic of the Congo. Tiffany Roufs 2.578542 16.621219 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13611 2014-07-30T19:10:00Z 2014-11-06T17:43:23Z Conservation controversy: are bonobos protected in the right ways and in the right places? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0730-drc3-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bonobos, endangered great apes, continue to survive in forests south of the Congo River in the DRC, albeit under constant threat of hunting, loss of habitat and the growing demands of an increasing human population. Conservationists have, over the years, tried and tested different conservation strategies to protect the last of the bonobos. And some of these strategies have invited considerable debate. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.246226 23.837463 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13597 2014-07-29T15:12:00Z 2014-07-29T19:38:37Z Don't eat or touch bat bushmeat amid worsening Ebola outbreak, UN warns The world's worst Ebola outbreak was likely begun by a hunter shooting a fruit bat for their dinner or the market, according to the UN. The outbreak has killed over 660 people in six months to date, and recently spread via plane to Nigeria. The disease is particularly deadly with a mortality rate of around 90 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13594 2014-07-28T23:03:00Z 2014-12-30T22:37:28Z Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0728.Phataginus_tricuspis_APWG_2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence due to a thriving trade in East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13591 2014-07-28T19:23:00Z 2014-11-06T17:42:35Z Invasion of the oil palm: western Africa's native son returns, threatening great apes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0728-lowland-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As palm oil producers increasingly look to Africa’s tropical forests as suitable candidates for their next plantations, primate scientists are sounding the alarm about the destruction of ape habitat that can go hand in hand with oil palm expansion. A recent study sought to take those warnings a step further by quantifying the overlap in suitable oil palm land with current ape habitat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.693148 9.191509 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13577 2014-07-24T00:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:42:21Z Rebuilding Kissama: war-torn Angola's only national park affected by deforestation, but refaunation gives hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0723-sable-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The story of Kissama National Park is one of perseverance, vision and disaster in waiting. The only functional national park in Angola, a country wracked by war for decades, Kissama (also called Quiçama) lost much of its wildlife, with that which is left still impacted by poaching and deforestation. However, a project is attempting to bring the park back to life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.750132 13.583006 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13568 2014-07-22T13:05:00Z 2014-07-29T19:42:37Z Monkeys use field scientists as human shields against predators <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0722.kenya_1125a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you're monkey&#8212;say a samango monkey in South Africa&#8212;probably the last thing you want is to be torn apart and eaten by a leopard or a caracal. In fact, you probably spend a lot of time and energy working to avoid such a grisly fate. Well, now there's a simpler way: just stick close to human researchers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13561 2014-07-18T18:57:00Z 2014-11-06T17:41:53Z Is there hope for bonobos? Researchers, NGOs, gov't officials, local communities band together to save iconic ape (Part III) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0718-bonobo.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sankuru Nature Reserve was established in 2007 primarily for bonobo protection. The largest continuous protected great ape habitat in the world, Sankuru is still losing large swaths of forests to burning and other activities, primarily along roads that transect the center of the reserve. However, hope exists, both from human efforts – and from the apes themselves. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.677297 24.333928 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13559 2014-07-17T22:03:00Z 2014-11-06T17:41:40Z Poaching, fires, farming pervade: protecting bonobos 'an enormous challenge' (Part II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0717-bonobo1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sankuru Nature Reserve in the DRC was established in 2007 to safeguard the 29,000 to 50,000 bonobos that remain in existence. However, while touted as the largest swath of protected continuous great ape habitat in the world, the reserve is still losing thousands of hectares of forest every year. Burning, bushmeat hunting, and agricultural expansion are taking a large toll on the endangered great ape. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.677297 24.333928 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13557 2014-07-17T16:58:00Z 2014-11-06T17:41:24Z Surrounded by deforestation, critically endangered gorillas hang on by a thread <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0717-cr-4-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The mountain forests at the Nigeria-Cameroon border are home to one of the rarest and most threatened subspecies of African apes – the Cross River gorilla (<i>Gorilla gorilla diehli</i>). Today, fewer than 300 individuals survive in the wild. These occur in 14 small, fragmented populations spread over a 12,000-square kilometer (4,633-square mile) landscape, characterized by rugged, hilly terrain and a matrix of farmlands, villages, and forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.579886 8.747699 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13553 2014-07-16T20:58:00Z 2014-11-06T17:40:17Z Will the last ape found be the first to go? Bonobos' biggest refuge under threat (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716-bonobo-juv-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bonobos have been declining sharply over the past few decades. In response, several non-profit organizations teamed up with governmental agencies in the DRC to create Sankuru Nature Reserve, a massive protected area in the midst of bonobo habitat. However, the reserve is not safe from deforestation, and has lost more than one percent of its forest cover in less than a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.002762 23.551818 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13534 2014-07-14T16:47:00Z 2014-07-14T16:55:53Z 558 dead: rhino poaching in South Africa on track to exceed last year's record Poachers have butchered 558 rhinos in South Africa so far this year, approximately a hundred more animals than lost during the same time in 2013. Jeremy Hance -23.362229 31.433914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13533 2014-07-14T16:07:00Z 2014-12-30T22:38:15Z Only 15 percent of world's biodiversity hotspots left intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0714.Atlantic-Rainforest-Intervales.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's 35 biodiversity hotspots&#8212;which harbor 75 percent of the planet's endangered land vertebrates&#8212;are in more trouble than expected, according to a sobering new analysis of remaining primary vegetation. In all less than 15 percent of natural intact vegetation is left in the these hotspots, which include well-known jewels such as Madagascar, the tropical Andes, and Sundaland. Jeremy Hance -24.263585 -48.415697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13526 2014-07-11T18:15:00Z 2014-11-25T23:19:15Z Downturn in shade-grown coffee putting forests, wildlife, people at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0711-coffee-kids.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Growing coffee in the shade of forests allows native vegetation to persist, thereby reducing the impact of agriculture on the natural landscape. While production of shade-grown coffee surged in recent decades, it is now experiencing a decline. A recent study analyzed the situation, finding that the growth of consumer demand and changes in coffee agronomy has caused coffee production and management to change drastically. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.313004 108.168753 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13524 2014-07-10T16:28:00Z 2014-11-25T22:13:52Z Good intentions, collateral damage: forest conservation may be hurting grasslands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0710-cerrado-frog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trees absorb CO2 and trap carbon molecules, and countless are lost as forests are felled around the world. So why not plant as many as we can? A recent paper suggests otherwise; the planting of more trees through international reforestation schemes may actually be harming tropical grasslands, which harbor endemic species and offer unique ecosystem services. Morgan Erickson-Davis -16.064819 -50.059863 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13522 2014-07-09T22:24:00Z 2014-11-06T17:39:12Z The last best place no more: massive deforestation destroying prime chimp habitat in Uganda <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0709-kafu-chimp-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Kafu River, which is about 180 kilometers (110 miles) long, is part of a vast chimpanzee habitat that includes forest reserves and several unofficial protected areas. However, this region of Uganda is losing a significant portion of valuable chimpanzee habitat, and at least 20 percent of the forest cover along the Kafu River has disappeared since 2001. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.442119 31.210102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13516 2014-07-09T17:26:00Z 2014-11-25T22:22:36Z Cats' best friend? A new role for guard dogs in South Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0709-dogfam-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While there has been a surge of recovery and reintroduction programs to combat predator decline, human population growth and limited protected areas have led to increased rates of human-wildlife conflicts in many regions of the world. A study published recently tested the ability of trained guarding dogs to protect livestock in South Africa and found it to be highly effective, protecting humans and predators alike. Morgan Erickson-Davis -31.401423 21.651473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13501 2014-07-08T14:53:00Z 2014-07-08T15:03:47Z From triumph to tragedy: famine could hit world's newest country by August Suffering from a six month civil war, the world's youngest country could begin experiencing famine conditions in the next few weeks, according to an analysis from a group of British aid agencies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:39:34Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13499 2014-07-07T17:55:00Z 2014-07-07T18:23:24Z Oil, wildlife, and people: competing visions of development collide in Virunga National Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0707_virunga_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What does SOCO's withdrawal really mean for the future of Virunga National Park? - Part II. Located in the eastern DRC, Virunga is the first national park created in Africa, a World Heritage Site and home to mountain gorillas, of which fewer than 900 remain. As such, SOCO's announcement to suspend activities followed in the wake of a concerted campaign led by WWF to "draw the line" to save Virunga from devastation by prospective oil drilling. Tiffany Roufs -0.065090 29.510771 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13495 2014-07-07T13:25:00Z 2014-07-07T13:42:30Z Price of ivory triples in China In the last four years the price of ivory in China has tripled, according to new research from Save the Elephants. The news has worrying implications for governments and conservationists struggling to save elephants in Africa amidst a poaching epidemic, which has seen tens-of-thousands of elephants butchered for their tusks across the continent annually Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13490 2014-07-03T19:01:00Z 2014-07-03T19:18:09Z U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOs Two prominent NGOs U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOsare petitioning the U.S government to slap Mozambique with trade sanctions due to the country's role in regional poaching. The groups contend that Mozambique has done little to combat both its own poaching epidemic or stop its nationals from spilling over the border to kill rhinos and elephants in South Africa and Tanzania. Jeremy Hance -23.861151 31.754577 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13486 2014-07-02T19:36:00Z 2015-01-20T18:38:26Z On a whim: Equatorial Guinea building new capital city in the middle of the rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0702-roadconst-oyala-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 8,000 hectares of rainforest are under threat as the nation builds a new $600 million capital city from scratch. Called Oyala, and also known as Djibloho, the city is expected be completed by 2020 and house up to 200,000 people -- about an eighth of the entire population of Equatorial Guinea. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.594485 10.817885 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13472 2014-06-30T20:30:00Z 2014-12-30T22:40:17Z Super cute, but tiny, elephant-relative discovered in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0630.Micus_side_Jack-Dumbacher.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forget marsupials, the world's strangest group of mammals are actually those in the Afrotheria order. This superorder of mammals contains a motley crew that at first glance seems to have nothing in common: from elephants to rodent-sized sengi. Last week, scientists announced the newest, and arguably cutest, member of Atrotheria: the Etendeka round-eared sengi. Jeremy Hance 20.7281 14.1305 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13470 2014-06-30T19:28:00Z 2014-11-06T17:07:49Z New report: illegal logging keeps militias and terrorist groups in business <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0630-peacekeepers-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) during the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, a new report found that together with other other illicit activities such as poaching, illegal deforestation is one of the top money-makers for criminal groups like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.432117 21.156799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13458 2014-06-26T20:07:00Z 2014-06-30T15:55:16Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Playing games to understand what drives deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.garcia.innovations.IMGP0355.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Claude Garcia plays games, but you won’t find him betting his shirt at the casino. As leader of the Forest Management and Development Research Group at ETH Zürich, Garcia and his team use participatory modeling and role-playing games, merged with more traditional disciplinary sciences such as ecology, economics, and sociology to understand and manage complex landscape change in the tropics. Jeremy Hance 11.830113 75.908619 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13456 2014-06-26T16:44:00Z 2014-10-13T16:55:22Z Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.strike-51212_640.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we've septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we've added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we'll add another four billion&#8212;for a total of 11 billion&#8212;by century's end. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13454 2014-06-25T23:04:00Z 2014-11-06T17:06:52Z Is Cameroon becoming the new Indonesia? Palm oil plantations accelerating deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-cameroon-elephants-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The potential for new laws governing the use of forest resources this year in Cameroon promises an opportunity to stem the rapid loss of forest in the biologically diverse country. But the changes may ultimately not be what’s needed to save Cameroon’s forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.750898 9.993512 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13443 2014-06-25T15:53:00Z 2014-11-25T22:28:36Z A taste for wildlife: what's driving bushmeat hunting in Tanzania? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-bushmeat.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Barbed-wire snares, spent shotgun shells, the lingering smell of gunpowder, and strips of curing meat: glimpses from a bushmeat hunt. Bushmeat hunting is the illegal hunting of wildlife for food and income. A new study reports regular bushmeat consumption by a large proportion of Tanzania’s tribal populations. Co-authors Silvia Ceppi and Martin Nielson were hunting for their own answers: who was eating bushmeat and why? Morgan Erickson-Davis -10.404279 36.562404 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13442 2014-06-24T23:41:00Z 2014-07-02T17:19:30Z Discarded cell phones to help fight rainforest poachers, loggers in real-time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-topher-gear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A technology that uses discarded mobile phones to create a real-time alert system against logging and poaching will soon be deployed in the endangered rainforests of Central Africa. Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a San Francisco-based non-profit startup, is partnering with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time anti-deforestation technology at sites in Cameroon. 30 RFCx devices &#8212; recycled from old Android handsets &#8212; will monitor 10,000 hectares or nearly 40 square miles of rainforest, listening for audio signals associated with logging and poaching. Rhett Butler 3.967289 14.271044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13433 2014-06-24T12:50:00Z 2014-06-26T17:21:07Z Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0623.800px-Neophron_percnopterus_-_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 11 AM on Thursday, 27 February 2014, Angoulou Enika was lying hidden in the tall grass on the side of a large water hole in the Sahel region of Niger. He was staying as quiet as he could while aiming his custom-made rifle at an Egyptian vulture which had landed nearby to drink from the water. He took a breath, held it and fired. The large bird fell to its side. Jeremy Hance 13.718000 10.483320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13424 2014-06-23T14:54:00Z 2014-06-23T15:07:27Z Regional court kills controversial Serengeti Highway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/tz_2210.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Serengeti ecosystem got a major reprieve last week when the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) ruled against a hugely-controversial plan to build a paved road through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. The court dubbed the proposed road 'unlawful' due to expected environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance -1.795750 34.992381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13417 2014-06-20T01:55:00Z 2014-06-20T14:43:04Z Apeidemiology: researchers model ape disease transmission for the first time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0619-chimp-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a nine-year-long study published recently in PLOS ONE, a team of researchers attempted to understand how diseases spread and differ among orangutans (<i>Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii</i>) and chimpanzees (<i>Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii</i>), creating the first-ever epidemiological model for great ape populations. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.155874 32.034076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13405 2014-06-18T14:07:00Z 2014-06-18T16:22:53Z Ever heard of the hirola? New survey shows world's rarest antelope holding steady <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0617.Hirola-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2008 and 2009, severe droughts killed numerous elephants, hippos and rhinos in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park. But the tiny population of the Critically Endangered Hunter's hartebeest or hirola (Beatragus hunteri) survived without any catastrophic consequences, a recent study has found. Jeremy Hance -2.282364 38.707775 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13398 2014-06-17T15:38:00Z 2014-06-17T16:11:23Z What does SOCO's withdrawal really mean for the future of Virunga National Park? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0617_virunga_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Recent headlines have touted an agreement between SOCO International, a British oil company, and WWF, as bringing about an end to oil exploration in Virunga National Park. For example: Oil company Soco not to drill in Virunga World Heritage Site, Deal aims to ban drilling in gorilla preserve, and Soco halts oil exploration in Africa's Virunga national park. However, the same news banners flew in 2011, and oil exploration returned. Tiffany Roufs -0.064983 29.510750 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13397 2014-06-16T21:55:00Z 2014-06-17T19:16:43Z Too tempting, too easy: poachers kill Kenya's biggest elephant <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0616-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While illegal, the ivory trade is having a huge impact on elephant populations throughout the world. A new report issued by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) finds that while there was a small reduction in the number of African elephants killed by poachers in 2013, the rate is still unsustainable. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.266808 38.728122 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13389 2014-06-15T16:29:00Z 2014-06-15T16:39:17Z Grenades, helicopters, and scooping out brains: poachers decimate elephant population in park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0615.Massacre-site,-photograph-taken-from-aircraft.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last two months, poachers have killed 68 African elephants in Garamba National Park representing around four percent of the population. Poachers have used helicopters, grenades, and chainsaws to undertake their gruesome trade, and, for the first time, the park has recorded that the criminals are removing the elephant's brains in addition to tusks and genitals. Jeremy Hance 4.245461 29.167766 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13387 2014-06-13T23:34:00Z 2014-06-13T23:40:43Z Chelsea, Hillary Clinton urge action to save elephants Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea are urging for further action to protect elephants from the devastating ivory trade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13370 2014-06-11T16:54:00Z 2014-06-11T17:02:23Z Oil overthrow: Soco to suspend operations in Virunga National Park after sustained campaign by WWF <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.Rugendo_in_bukima.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a surprise announcement, British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world's Critically Endangered mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups led by WWF. Jeremy Hance -0.176648 29.550871