tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/amazon1 amazon news from mongabay.com 2014-04-21T05:31:00Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13102 2014-04-21T05:27:00Z 2014-04-21T05:31:00Z Brazil strips protected status from 5.2M ha While Brazil led the world in establishing new protected areas in recent years, it has also stripped legal protected status from some 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) of land, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Conservation Biology</i>. Rhett Butler -3.995781 -59.097033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13099 2014-04-18T16:04:00Z 2014-04-18T16:58:38Z Rainforests on fire: climate change is pushing the Amazon over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-burning-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From 1999-2010, nearly three percent of the Amazon rainforest burned, and climate forecasts indicate dry conditions conducive to fire will only become more commonplace in the future. A new study indicates that rainforests are more vulnerable to fire than previously thought, and it warns the current combination of climate change and deforestation may be pushing Amazon forests past the breaking point. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.624371 -51.306233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13096 2014-04-17T18:06:00Z 2014-04-17T18:37:50Z Legal logging concessions drive illegal logging in Peru, threatening forests and indigenous people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0417Peru-Logging_Photo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 70 percent of "officially inspected" logging concessions in Peru have had their permits canceled or are under investigation for major breaches of forestry laws, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Worryingly, the research also concludes that forestry permits are being widely used to launder timber illegally logged from outside concession areas. Rhett Butler -11.199957 -70.359879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13036 2014-04-04T17:31:00Z 2014-04-10T21:39:05Z Saving rainforests by buying them <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0404-Pronaturaleza_DiegoPerez150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For more than twenty five years, an international non-profit known as the World Land Trust has been working to protect tropical forests through land purchase and partnerships with local groups. Last year, the U.S. arm of the group decided to rebrand itself as the Rainforest Trust to better convey its core mission to the outside world. Since then, the Rainforest Trust has launched its most ambitious project yet: conserving 5.9 million acres of tropical forest in Peru. Rhett Butler -8.067388 -73.444004 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13023 2014-04-02T19:46:00Z 2014-04-02T19:55:09Z Featured video: celebrities speak out for Yasuni A group of celebrities, including recent Academy Award winner Jared Leto, <i>Law and Order</i>'s Benjamin Bratt, and <i>Kill Bill</i>'s Daryl Hannah, have lent their voices to a new Public Service Announcement to raise signatures to protect Ecuador's Yasuni National Park from oil drilling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13013 2014-03-31T20:47:00Z 2014-03-31T21:02:46Z Brief lives linked to Amazon biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0331-treegen-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The South American Amazon rainforest is renowned for being one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, boasting an estimated 16,000 different tree species. However, the distribution of these diverse tree species is curiously uneven. What is the reason behind this irregular diversity? According to a new study, the answer lies within short durations between tree generations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.729702 -60.724478 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12995 2014-03-27T21:41:00Z 2014-03-27T22:04:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Quantifying the cost of forest degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.Phil-w-stump-clipped.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>How much is a forest really worth? And what is the cost of forest degradation? These values are difficult to estimate, but according to Dr. Phillip Fearnside, we need to do a better job. For nearly forty years, Fearnside has lived in Amazonia doing ecological research, looking at the value of forests in terms of environmental or ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water cycling, and biodiversity preservation. Fearnside then works to convert these services into a basis for sustainable development for rural populations. Jeremy Hance -3.094940 -59.989343 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12959 2014-03-20T19:27:00Z 2014-03-21T13:42:24Z Oil or rainforest: new website highlights the plight of Yasuni National Park A new multimedia feature story by Brazilian environmental news group, ((o))eco, highlights the ongoing debate over Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, arguably the most biodiverse place on the planet. Jeremy Hance -1.425451 -75.992689 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12940 2014-03-17T17:58:00Z 2014-03-18T04:35:19Z Will zero deforestation commitments save Indonesia's forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1088.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Skirting the Malacca Strait near the Indonesian city of Dumai the air is thick with haze from peat fires burning below. As the sky clears, a landscape of sharply-cut geometric shapes becomes apparent. What was once carbon-dense peat forests and rainforests are today massive oil palm and wood pulp plantations. Rhett Butler 1.417092 101.795096 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12939 2014-03-17T13:53:00Z 2014-03-18T16:11:02Z Mother of God: meet the 26 year old Indiana Jones of the Amazon, Paul Rosolie <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0316.rosolie.interview.10.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Not yet 30, Paul Rosolie has already lived a life that most would only dare dream of&#8212;or have nightmares over, depending on one's constitution. With the Western Amazon as his panorama, Rosolie has faced off jaguars, wrestled anacondas, explored a floating forest, mentored with indigenous people, been stricken by tropical disease, traveled with poachers, and hand-reared a baby anteater. It's no wonder that at the ripe age of 26, Rosolie was already written a memoir: Mother of God. Jeremy Hance -12.418030 -69.268917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12921 2014-03-13T04:45:00Z 2014-03-13T05:08:19Z Photos: Weird aquatic lizard discovered in mountain streams of Peru A 'new' species of lizard has been described from the cloud forests of Peru's Manu National Park, reports SERNANP, the Peruvian National Park Service. Rhett Butler -12.012454 -71.765873 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12861 2014-03-03T20:00:00Z 2014-03-03T20:50:13Z Amazon trees super-diverse in chemicals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0303Aerial_1026_3240_dark150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the Western Amazon&#8212;arguably the world's most biodiverse region&#8212;scientists have found that not only is the forest super-rich in species, but also in chemicals. Climbing into the canopy of thousands of trees across 19 different forests in the region&#8212;from the lowland Amazon to high Andean cloud forests&#8212;the researchers sampled chemical signatures from canopy leaves and were surprised by the levels of diversity uncovered. Jeremy Hance -4.477856, -76.479494 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12858 2014-03-01T16:15:00Z 2014-03-06T00:11:12Z Sharp jump in deforestation when Amazon parks lose protected status Areas that have had their protected status removed or reduced have experienced a sharp increase in forest loss thereafter, finds a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler -9.102097 -61.952333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12825 2014-02-25T20:12:00Z 2014-02-26T19:18:29Z Is Brazil's epic drought a taste of the future? With more than 140 cities implementing water rationing, analysts warning of collapsing soy and coffee exports, and reservoirs and rivers running precipitously low, talk about the World Cup in some parts of Brazil has been sidelined by concerns about an epic drought affecting the country's agricultural heartland. Rhett Butler -14.711135 -50.496597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12805 2014-02-21T16:23:00Z 2014-02-21T17:55:53Z New $20,000 reporting grant explores benefits of Amazonian protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_1078.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With six Special Reporting Initiatives (SRI) already under way, Mongabay.org is excited to announce a call for applications for its latest journalism grant topic: Amazonian protected areas: benefits for people. The Amazon’s system of protected areas has grown exponentially in the past 25 years. In many South American nations, the mission of protected areas has expanded from biodiversity conservation to improving human welfare. However, given the multiple purposes and diverse management of many protected areas, it is often difficult to measure their effect on human populations. Tiffany Roufs -2.811371 -63.134769 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12788 2014-02-19T15:42:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:19Z The making of Amazon Gold: once more unto the breach <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0219.amazongold.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Sarah duPont first visited the Peruvian Amazon rainforest in the summer of 1999, it was a different place than it is today. Oceans of green, tranquil forest, met the eye at every turn. At dawn, her brain struggled to comprehend the onslaught of morning calls and duets of the nearly 600 species of birds resounding under the canopy. Today, the director of the new award-winning film, Amazon Gold, reports that "roads have been built and people have arrived. It has become a new wild west, a place without law. People driven by poverty and the desire for a better life have come, exploiting the sacred ground." Jeremy Hance -11.867351 -70.764771 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12787 2014-02-19T13:06:00Z 2014-02-25T21:41:57Z Two kids, one year, from the Amazon to the Arctic: the environmental adventure of a lifetime <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0128.kraft.family.DSC_6924.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Kraft family&#8212;Larry, Lauri, Jamie (age 8), and Jason (age 6)&#8212;are on the trip of a lifetime, a round-the-world tour with an environmental focus. Currently in India, the family has already made their way through the Amazon, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Australia, and the Galapagos, among other wild places. Still left on their itinerary: the Arctic. But the trip isn't all fun and games, instead the Kraft's are using the year abroad to learn first hand about global environmental issues and solutions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12773 2014-02-13T16:53:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:43Z Featured video: camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest These are sights that have rarely been seen by human eyes: a stealthy jaguar, a bustling giant armadillo, and, most amazingly, a sloth slurping up clay from the ground. A new compilation of camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorean Amazon shows a staggering array of species, many cryptic and rare. Jeremy Hance -0.636851 -76.147327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12762 2014-02-11T20:33:00Z 2014-02-20T19:01:55Z Helping the Amazon's 'Jaguar People' protect their culture and traditional wisdom <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/matses150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tribes in the Amazon are increasingly exposed to the outside world by choice or circumstance. The fallout of outside contact has rarely been anything less than catastrophic, resulting in untold extinction of hundreds of tribes over the centuries. For ones that survived the devastation of introduced disease and conquest, the process of acculturation transformed once proud cultures into fragmented remnants, their self-sufficiency and social cohesion stripped away, left to struggle in a new world marked by poverty and external dependence Rhett Butler -9.524914 -73.478279 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12759 2014-02-11T14:07:00Z 2014-02-11T14:13:26Z Photos: mass turtle hatching produces over 200,000 babies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0211.3.-IMG_5036-(small).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biologists recently documented one of nature's least-known, big events. On the banks of the Purus River in the Brazilian Amazon, researchers witnessed the mass-hatching of an estimated 210,000 giant South American river turtles (Podocnemis expansa). The giant South American river turtle, or Arrau, is the world's largest side-necked turtle and can grow up to 80 centimeters long (nearly three feet). Jeremy Hance -7.575563 -66.205015 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12736 2014-02-06T12:02:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:29Z Drought, fire reducing ability of Amazon rainforest to store carbon New research published in <i>Nature</i> adds further evidence to the argument that drought and fire are reducing the Amazon's ability to store carbon, raising concerns that Earth's largest rainforest could tip from a carbon sink to a carbon source. Rhett Butler -2.28455 -59.866334 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12734 2014-02-06T11:09:00Z 2014-02-06T11:15:47Z Amazon rainforest does not 'green up' during the dry season Analysis of satellite imagery has cleared up a controversy over whether the Amazon rainforest 'greens up' during the dry season. Rhett Butler -2.28455 -63.46985 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12714 2014-02-01T13:26:00Z 2014-02-01T13:41:17Z Brazilian soy industry extends deforestation moratorium Soy traders and producers in the Brazilian Amazon agreed to extend a moratorium on soybeans produced in recently deforested areas for another year, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12692 2014-01-28T04:44:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:56Z 287 amphibian and reptile species in Peruvian park sets world record (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0128Ameerega-macero_photo_Alessandro-Catenazzi_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's official: Manu National Park in Peru has the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world. Surveys of the park, which extends from high Andean cloud forests down into the tropical rainforest of the Western Amazon, and its buffer zone turned up 155 amphibian and 132 reptile species, 16 more than the 271 species documented in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park in 2010. Rhett Butler -12.012458 -71.765871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12681 2014-01-23T19:28:00Z 2014-01-24T01:25:40Z New dolphin discovered in the Amazon surprises scientists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0123-Inia_araguaiaensis150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have discovered a new species of river dolphin from the Amazon. Writing in the journal <i>Plos One</i>, scientists led by Tomas Hrbek of Brazil's Federal University of Amazonas formally describe <i>Inia araguaiaensis</i>, a freshwater dolphin that inhabits the Araguaia River Basin. It is the first true river dolphin discovered since 1918. Rhett Butler -5.244811 -49.269669 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12658 2014-01-19T19:52:00Z 2014-01-20T23:47:01Z Red toad discovered in the upper reaches of the Amazon Scientists have described a previously unknown species of toad in the Peruvian Andes. Rhett Butler -10.404153 -75.310562 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12631 2014-01-14T15:33:00Z 2014-01-14T19:36:24Z High-living frogs hurt by remote oil roads in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0114.0043595_imgp5387-edit.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Often touted as low-impact, remote oil roads in the Amazon are, in fact, having a large impact on frogs living in flowers in the upper canopy, according to a new paper published in PLOS ONE. In Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, massive bromeliads grow on tall tropical trees high in the canopy and may contain up to four liters of standing water. Lounging inside this micro-pools, researchers find a wide diversity of life, including various species of frogs. However, despite these frogs living as high as 50 meters above the forest floor, a new study finds that proximity to oil roads actually decreases the populations of high-living frogs. Jeremy Hance -1.124996 -75.79196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12596 2014-01-06T13:35:00Z 2014-02-20T19:13:53Z Brazil begins evicting illegal settlers from hugely-imperiled indigenous reserve Months after closing sawmills on the fringes of an indigenous reserve for the hugely-imperiled Awá people, the Brazil government has now moved into the reserve itself to evict illegal settlers in the eastern Amazon. According to the NGO Survival International, Brazil has sent in the military and other government agents to deal with massive illegal settlements on Awá land for logging or cattle. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12564 2013-12-22T23:24:00Z 2014-02-20T19:14:04Z Assassination 25 years ago catalyzed movement to protect the Amazon Twenty-five years ago today, Chico Mendes, an Amazon rubber tapper, was shot and killed in front of his family at his home in Acre, Brazil at the age of 44. Rhett Butler -10.651667 -68.497365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12549 2013-12-19T23:57:00Z 2014-02-20T19:14:57Z Indigenous groups win right to pursue Chevron assets in Canada in Amazon pollution case Indigenous plaintiffs in a long-running legal dispute against Chevron won the right to pursue the oil giant's assets in Canada as part of a $9.5 billion judgement by an Ecuadorean court over damages in the Amazon, reports Amazon Watch. Rhett Butler 0.074611 -76.757917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2013-12-27T03:54:13Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12541 2013-12-18T23:46:00Z 2013-12-19T19:02:41Z Brazilian cattle producers standardize audits to exclude deforestation from supply chain <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_6300.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil's largest cattle producers have agreed to standardize and make public their audits as part of an effort to exclude from their supply chains livestock produced via deforestation, reports Greenpeace, which has led a campaign to improve the environmental performance of the sector. The agreement on a standard auditing protocol means that the companies' progress toward eliminating deforestation will now be directly comparable. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12528 2013-12-16T22:30:00Z 2014-01-19T03:05:14Z Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century - a new tapir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia. The new mammal, hidden from science but known to local indigenous tribes, is actually one of the biggest animals on the continent, although it's still the smallest living tapir. Described in the Journal of Mammology, the scientists have named the new tapir Tapirus kabomani after the name for 'tapir' in the local Paumari language: Arabo kabomani. Jeremy Hance -4.609278 -69.810333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12500 2013-12-10T16:38:00Z 2013-12-10T17:06:59Z Ecuador's government shuts down indigenous rights organization over oil battle Last Wednesday, the government of Ecuador shutdown the indigenous rights NGO, Fundación Pachamama, in Quito over the group's opposition to oil drilling in indigenous areas. More than a dozen government officials showed up at Pachamama's office with a resolution by the Ministry of Environment that officially dissolved the organization, the first such moved by the government which in June passed an Executive Decree that tightened governmental oversight of the country's NGOs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12475 2013-12-03T01:55:00Z 2013-12-20T05:33:52Z Brazil could boost agriculture without destroying forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1203-brazil-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil could substantially boost its agricultural output while increasing protection of its native ecosystems, finds a new analysis published by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an international think tank. Rhett Butler -11.501557 -53.48465 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12437 2013-11-22T19:20:00Z 2013-11-22T19:23:10Z Gold mine near controversial Belo Monte dam suspended A gold mining project proposed near the Belo Monte dam site in the Amazon rainforest has been suspended by a Brazilian court, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12419 2013-11-20T17:44:00Z 2014-02-22T01:54:44Z The quicksilver demon: rogue gold-mining is the world's largest source of mercury pollution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1118mercury150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1956, in the quiet seaside town of Minamata on the southwestern coast of Japan's Kyushu Island, cats began to behave very strangely. They convulsed, displayed excessive salivation, and gradually lost the ability to walk. Then, dead birds began to fall out of the sky. Shellfish opened and decomposed. Fish also displayed abnormal behaviors, eventually floating up to the surface of the Shiranui Sea. Many of the ailing cats wandered into the sea and drowned. Soon, there were no more cats alive in the area. Tiffany Roufs -11.899604 -70.237427 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12392 2013-11-17T01:21:00Z 2014-01-22T20:16:28Z Why is Amazon deforestation climbing? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1116amazon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The 28 percent increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon over last year that was reported this week is bad news, but it is not surprising. It is bad news because the decline in deforestation since 2005 has given us the single largest contribution to climate change mitigation on the planet, far surpassing the reductions in emissions achieved by any Annex 1 country under the Kyoto Protocol. Brazil’s achievement is particularly noteworthy because it did not come at the expense of agricultural production; beef and soybean production continued to grow. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12385 2013-11-14T23:42:00Z 2013-12-24T15:53:10Z Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumps 28% in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumped 28% in 2013 sparking concerns that recent progress in reducing forest loss in the world's largest rainforest may be in danger of reversing. The preliminary data, released Thursday by the Brazilian government, shows that 5,843 square kilometers (2,256 sq miles) of rainforest was cleared across the 'Legal Amazon' between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12378 2013-11-14T19:12:00Z 2014-01-20T20:15:57Z Powered by Google, high resolution forest map reveals massive deforestation worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114-umd150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers today released a long-awaited tool that reveals the extent of forest cover loss and gain on a global scale. Powered by Google's massive computing cloud, the interactive forest map establishes a new baseline for measuring deforestation and forest recovery across all of the world's countries, biomes, and forest types. The map has far-reaching implications for efforts to slow deforestation, which accounts for roughly ten percent of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activities, according to the authors of the paper that describes the tool and details its first findings. Rhett Butler 37.422032 -122.084039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12357 2013-11-13T06:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:19:50Z Flawed from inception? Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT initiative threatened indigenous groups with simple mapping errors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1113-yasuni-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The plan from Ecuador’s government was simple: Pay us and we won’t destroy the planet's most extraordinary ecosystem. Dubbed the Yasuni-ITT initiative, the plan called upon developed nations to pay for protecting Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park from oil companies. Now, a recent study claims the plan was fraught with flaws as basic as drawing lines on a map. Rhett Butler -1.065269 -75.736706 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12368 2013-11-13T06:19:00Z 2013-11-15T15:23:33Z Locally extinct birds in the Amazon slowly flock back to forests when trees regrow <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1113bird-in-hand150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some good news out of the Amazon rainforest: given enough time, deforested land can rebound enough to host bird species that had previously deserted the area, according to a recent study in <i>The Auk</i>. When people abandon deforested land, the rainforest slowly reclaims it. Eventually, birds begin to use the clumps of secondary forest as corridors between thickets of old growth. Rhett Butler -1.572907 -60.234972 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12360 2013-11-12T06:11:00Z 2013-11-12T17:11:02Z Amazon’s vast rainforest dominated by few tree species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112tersteege1HR150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon rainforest is so vast, and so diverse, that seemingly simple questions— such as which species of trees are most common— remain unanswered. Researchers are finally seeing the forest <i>and</i> the trees after an international collaboration of 120 scientists teamed up to compile the largest tree survey ever assembled from the Amazon. Rhett Butler -2.480761 -60.387926 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12358 2013-11-12T01:39:00Z 2013-11-12T18:12:39Z Exclusive: Stunning aerial photos reveal Ecuador building roads deeper into richest rainforest on Earth (Yasuní National Park) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-1_IVAN_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In August 2012, professional photographers Ivan Kashinsky and Karla Gachet were on assignment for National Geographic in Yasuní National Park, home to arguably the most biodiverse rainforest in the world. While there, they happened to take an aerial shoot above an area known as Block 31 (see Map), a controversial oil concession located in the heart of the park, at the precise moment that the national oil company, Petroamazonas, was secretly building a new oil access road. Rhett Butler -1.175455 -75.709927 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12342 2013-11-08T20:34:00Z 2013-11-10T03:17:34Z Amazon deforestation could cause droughts in California <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1108-amazon-rainfall150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Complete deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could reduce rainfall in the Pacific Northwest by up to 20 percent and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by up to 50 percent, suggests new research published in the <i>Journal of Climate</i>. The study is based on high resolution computer modeling that stripped the Amazon of its forest cover and assessed the potential impact on wind and precipitation patterns. While the scenario is implausible, it reveals the global nature of the ecological services afforded by the world's largest rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12324 2013-11-07T15:54:00Z 2014-02-22T01:56:15Z Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1107.Mosquera-Jaguar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Even ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine: clear-as-day footage of a jaguar plodding through the impenetrable Amazon, or a bicolored-spined porcupine balancing on a branch, or a troop of spider monkeys feeding at a clay lick, or a band of little coatis racing one-by-one from the dense foliage. These are things that even researchers who have spent a lifetime in the Amazon may never see. Now anyone can: scientists at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park have recently begun using camera trap videos to take movies of animals few will ever view in their lifetimes. The videos&#8212;following years of photo camera trapping&#8212;provide an intimate view of a world increasingly threatened by the oil industry. Jeremy Hance -0.638117 -76.149784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12314 2013-11-04T22:13:00Z 2013-11-04T22:31:50Z Deforestation may hurt U.S. agriculture, affect monsoon cycle <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104-impacts-of-deforestation-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unchecked deforestation will have far-reaching impacts on temperature, rainfall, and monsoon cycles in regions well outside the tropics, affecting agriculture and water availability, warns a new report published by Greenpeace International. The report is a synthesis of dozens of recent scientific papers that assess the effects of forest cover loss on weather patterns, local climate, and agricultural productivity. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12287 2013-10-30T17:52:00Z 2013-10-30T18:19:02Z Rebranded as the Rainforest Trust, green group launches push to protect 6M acres of Amazon rainforest The Rainforest Trust, which from 1988 until last month was known as the World Land Trust-US, has kicked off an effort to preserve some 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of rainforest in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon. Rhett Butler -7.411495 -74.15308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12280 2013-10-29T23:58:00Z 2013-11-19T22:15:39Z Belo Monte dam suspended Construction on Belo Monte, Brazil's largest dam, was again halted by a federal court due to concerns over its license, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is mobilizing opposition to the project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12275 2013-10-29T17:41:00Z 2013-10-29T17:44:11Z 50,000 km of roads built across Brazilian Amazon in 3 years Roads are rapidly expanding across the Brazilian Amazon opening up once remote rainforests to loggers, miners, ranchers, farmers, and land speculators, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Regional Environmental Change</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12268 2013-10-28T19:36:00Z 2014-02-20T19:21:55Z Gold mining in the Amazon rainforest surges 400% <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1475.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The extent of gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon has surged 400 percent since 1999 due to rocketing gold prices, wreaking havoc on forests and devastating local rivers, finds a new study published in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS). The assessment, led by Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science, is based on a combination of satellite imagery, on-the-ground field surveys, and an advanced airplane-based sensor that can accurately measure the rainforest canopy and sub-canopy vegetation at a resolution of 1.1 meters (42 inches). Rhett Butler -12.768277 -70.545387 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12259 2013-10-25T23:41:00Z 2014-02-20T19:22:36Z Pictures: 441 new species described in the Amazon rainforest since 2010 Scientists described at least 441 previously unknown species from Amazon rainforest between 2010 and 2013, according a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Rhett Butler -2.84429 -71.08326 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12239 2013-10-23T18:35:00Z 2014-02-20T19:23:32Z Illegal logging remains rampant in Brazil Illegal logging remains pervasive in the Brazilian state of Par&aacute;, finds an assessment released Monday by Imazon. Rhett Butler -1.984009 -50.754116 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12227 2013-10-23T12:53:00Z 2013-10-23T13:12:10Z Scientist splits Amazonian giants into separate species It's hard to mistake an arapaima for anything else: these massive, heavily-armored, air-breathing fish (they have to surface every few minutes) are the megafauna of the Amazon's rivers. But despite their unmistakability, and the fact that they have been hunted by indigenous people for millennia, scientists still know relatively little about arapaima, including just how many species there are. Since the mid-Nineteenth Century, scientists have lumped all arapaima into one species: <i>Arapaima gigas</i>. However, two recent studies in <i>Copeia</i> split the arapaimas into at least five total species&#8212;and more may be coming. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12212 2013-10-17T13:59:00Z 2013-10-25T13:23:26Z Map reveals gas company flying over Manu National Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1017.ANEXO3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A map in an internal Peruvian government report reveals that gas company Pluspetrol has been flying over the protected Manu National Park (MNP) in the south-eastern Peruvian Amazon where UNESCO says the biodiversity "exceeds that of any other place on earth." The over-flight was done via helicopter on 3 February, 2012 by Pluspetrol personnel together with a team from the National Institute e Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afroperuvian Peoples (INDEPA). Jeremy Hance -12.068867 -71.386871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12200 2013-10-15T19:07:00Z 2013-10-15T20:36:11Z Featured video: 22-year-old produces documentary on the Peruvian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1015.otter.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Spending a year on the Tambopata River in Peru's deep Amazon, allowed 22-year-old Tristan Thompson, to record stunning video of the much the region's little seen, and little known, wildlife. Thompson, a student at the University of the West of England, has turned his footage into a new documentary <i>An Untamed Wilderness</i> that not only gives viewers an inside look at the world's greatest forests, but also records the secretive behavior of many species, including howler monkeys, aracaris, leaf-cutter ants, hoatzin, and giant river otters. Jeremy Hance -12.998035 -69.601545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12145 2013-09-30T17:12:00Z 2014-02-22T02:07:18Z Has Brazil turned against its progressive environmental policies? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0507.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Brazil rolled back crucial parts of its landmark Forestry Code, potentially opening vast tracts of forest for destruction; it is also moving ahead on a number of Amazon dams, including the infamous Belo Monte, despite international condemnation and conflict with indigenous people. Meanwhile, a new law under consideration proposes allowing large-scale mining in protected areas. Given this a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that Brazil has thrown off its once admired mantle of environmental legislation, imperiling hundreds of thousands of species in the most biodiverse country on Earth. Jeremy Hance -15.80001 -47.864525 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12132 2013-09-26T18:26:00Z 2014-02-22T01:58:25Z Video of Amazon gold mining devastation goes viral in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0926screencap150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Video of illegal gold mining operations that have turned a portion of the Amazon rainforest into a moonscape went viral on Youtube after a popular radio and TV journalist in Peru highlighted the story. Last week Peruvian journalist and politician Guido Lombardi directed his followers to video shot from a wingcam aboard the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), an airplane used by researchers to conduct advanced monitoring and analysis of Peru's forests. The video quickly received more than 60,000 views on Youtube. Rhett Butler -13.028976 -70.550473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12102 2013-09-19T17:00:00Z 2013-09-19T17:31:07Z Judge halts construction of Amazon dam on Brazil's Teles Pires river A federal judge in Brazil has ordered the suspension of construction activities on the Teles Pires due to shortcomings in the environmental licensing process, including the project's impacts on three local tribes, reports International Rivers. Rhett Butler -9.340587 -56.776842 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12101 2013-09-19T05:58:00Z 2013-09-19T06:06:58Z Indigenous peoples resume occupation of Brazil's Belo Monte dam site 150 indigenous protesters have once again occupied the Belo Monte dam site in an effort to block the controversial project, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is helping lead the fight against the dam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12072 2013-09-12T21:03:00Z 2013-09-12T21:46:55Z Brazil's satellite data suggests rise in Amazon deforestation over past year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/bprodes-deter-inpe-brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon appears to have risen significantly over the past year, according to data released by the country's space agency, INPE. Data aggregated from INPE's monthly deforestation alert system shows a 34 percent rise for the 12 months ended July 31, 2013 relative to the year-earlier period. Rhett Butler -3.417466 -59.342866 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12055 2013-09-11T16:56:00Z 2014-02-22T02:05:18Z Scientists discover that threatened bird migrates entirely within Amazon Basin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0911.689px-Orinoco_Goose.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When one thinks of bird migrations, it's usually a north-south route that follows seasonal climates. But researchers in the Amazon have tracked, for the first time, a largely-unknown long-distance migration that sticks entirely to the Amazon Basin. Using satellite telemetry, scientists tracked a pair of Orinoco geese (Neochen jubata) from Peru and a male from Western Brazil, who both migrated to the Llanos de Moxos, a vast savanna and Amazonian watershed in Bolivia. The research has shown that the Orinoco geese&#8212;which breeds in both Peru and Brazil&#8212;depends on wetlands in the Llanos de Moxos for much of the year. Jeremy Hance -12.803767 -65.433426 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12049 2013-09-10T22:59:00Z 2014-02-20T19:26:02Z Brazil establishes 2 Amazon parks covering 2.4m acres The Brazilian government has designated 952,000 hectares of remote public land in the Amazon as two new protected areas. Rhett Butler -5.430085 -58.174324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12048 2013-09-10T22:17:00Z 2013-09-10T23:13:24Z Amazon rainforest tribe sells REDD+ credits to Brazilian cosmetics giant The Paiter-Suruí, a rainforest tribe that in June became the first indigenous group to generate REDD+ credits under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), has now closed their first deal. As reported by Ecosystem Marketplace, Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura Cosméticos has purchased 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from the the Surui Forest Carbon Project in Rondônia, Brazil. Rhett Butler -3.381824 -57.619171 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12010 2013-09-04T02:48:00Z 2013-09-05T12:46:05Z Deforestation surges as Ecuador kills Amazon protection plan Data released this week by Terra-i, a collaborative mapping initiative, shows that deforestation in Ecuador for the first three months of 2013 was pacing more than 300 percent ahead of last year's rate. The report comes shortly after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa killed off a proposed plan to prohibit oil drilling in Yasuni National Park in exchange for payments equivalent to half the value of the park's unexploited oil. Rhett Butler -1.100647 -75.806889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12001 2013-09-02T14:00:00Z 2013-09-02T14:09:29Z Scientists catch boa constrictor eating a howler monkey (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0902.boahowler.Imagem-338.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a world first, scientists have captured images and video of a boa constrictor attacking and devouring whole a femle howler monkey, one of the largest new world primates weighing in at around 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds). The rare predation event was recorded in a tiny forest fragment (2.5 hectares) in the Brazilian state of Rondonia by Erika Patricia Quintino, a PhD student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11984 2013-09-01T20:09:00Z 2013-09-01T20:18:01Z $450/ha tax on deforestation could help curb forest loss in Bolivia, suggests new simulation Levying a $450 per hectare tax on deforested lands could help curb forest clearing in Bolivia, suggests a new game-based simulation developed by researchers. Rhett Butler -17.111922 -60.716143 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11962 2013-08-26T18:47:00Z 2013-08-26T19:01:38Z Isolated Amazonian tribe makes another appearance in Peru (video) Over 100 members of a voluntarily isolated tribe emerged from the jungles of Peru in a rare appearance on the Las Piedras River across from the a Yine Indian community in late June. Belonging to the Mascho-Piro Indians, members of the "uncontacted" tribe are occasionally seen on riverbanks during the dry season, but appearances in such numbers and so close to a local community was unprecedented. Jeremy Hance -12.246747 -69.2799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11961 2013-08-26T16:41:00Z 2013-08-26T17:01:55Z Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, announced on August 15th that he was abandoning an innovative program to spare three blocs of Yasuni National Park from oil drilling, it seemed like the world had tossed away its most biodiverse ecosystem. However, environmental groups and activists quickly responded that there may be another way to keep oil companies out of Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs: a national referendum. Jeremy Hance -1.183693 -75.605621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11952 2013-08-22T20:23:00Z 2013-08-31T02:02:34Z 85% of Brazilian leather goes to markets sensitive to environmental concerns Around 40% of beef and 85% of leather production serve markets that are potentially sensitive to environmental concerns, providing a partial explantation as to why Brazilian producers have made recent commitments to reducing deforestation for cattle production, finds a new study published in <i>Tropical Conservation Science</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11949 2013-08-21T14:55:00Z 2014-02-22T01:59:05Z Pesticide problems in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0609.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the world’s population increases and agricultural frontiers expand into native tropical habitats, researchers are working furiously to understand the impacts on tropical forests and global biodiversity. But one obvious impact has been little studied in these agricultural frontiers: pesticides. However a new study in the journal Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B seeks to shine a light on the problem. Tiffany Roufs -5.747174 -64.299317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11941 2013-08-19T22:54:00Z 2013-08-19T23:02:59Z With deforestation rising, Brazil sends more police to the Amazon With deforestation pacing more than 90 percent ahead of last year's rate according to an estimate released today, Brazil said it has increased the number of environmental inspectors in the Amazon rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11928 2013-08-16T17:31:00Z 2013-08-16T18:11:23Z Colombia establishes giant rainforest park to protect 'uncontacted' tribes Next week the Colombian government will officially double the size of its largest national park, reports <i>El Espectador</i>. Rhett Butler 1.341583 -72.853303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11927 2013-08-16T17:10:00Z 2013-08-23T13:34:06Z Ecuador shelves big idea for saving the Amazon The fate of the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth has been decided: it will be drilled for oil. Rhett Butler -1.142502 -75.811586 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11903 2013-08-12T17:16:00Z 2014-02-22T01:59:43Z Nutrient deficiency in Amazon rainforest linked to megafauna extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/781px-Glyptodon_(Riha2000).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around twelve thousand of years ago, the Amazon was home to a menagerie of giant creatures: the heavily armored glyptodons, the elephant-sized ground sloth, and the rhino-like toxodons among others. But by 10,000 B.C. these monsters were largely gone, possibly due to overhunting by humans or climatic changes. There's no question that the rapid extinction of these megafauna changed the environment, but a new study in <i>Nature Geoscience</i> posits a novel theory: did the mass extinction of big mammals lead to nutrient deficiency, especially of nitrogen, in parts of the Amazon rainforest? Jeremy Hance 0.966751 -52.214356 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11790 2013-07-19T01:10:00Z 2013-07-19T13:49:27Z Deforestation rate doubles in the Amazon rainforest, says group Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is up 103 percent over this time last year, reports the latest assessment by Imazon, a Brazil-based NGO. Rhett Butler -3.162456 -48.939457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11788 2013-07-18T19:37:00Z 2013-07-20T00:32:32Z Brazil's military takes on illegal loggers to protect nearly-extinct tribe Brazil has launched a military campaign to evict illegal loggers working from the fringes of an indigenous reserve home to the Awá people, reports Survival International. Inhabiting the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Brazil, only around 450 Awá, also known as Guajá, survive today, and around a quarter of these have chosen voluntary isolation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11755 2013-07-09T23:03:00Z 2013-07-16T03:07:24Z Stand up paddleboarding in the Amazon for conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0709SUP-training-in-Brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This week an international team is setting off on a unique journey, aiming to be the first to descend the Amazon River using inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards. The group, led by Dr. Mika Peck, a conservation biologist from the University of Sussex with years of work in Ecuador and Colombia, includes Brazilian and Colombian researchers as well as an indigenous community leader. Rhett Butler -3.821607 -70.260328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11746 2013-07-06T20:11:00Z 2013-07-06T20:20:45Z Brazil confirms Amazon deforestation increase Data released by the Brazilian government Friday confirms an increase in Amazon forest loss. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11694 2013-07-01T17:47:00Z 2013-07-07T16:45:29Z Amazonian students help monitor threatened frog populations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0627.frogeyes.DSC_0074.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on Earth: currently around 30 percent of the world's amphibians are listed as threatened with extinction. However this percentage doesn't include those species about which too little is known to evaluate (26 percent). Amphibians face many threats but two of the largest are habitat loss and the lethal chytrid fungus, which has rapidly spread worldwide and is likely responsible for numerous extinctions. But conservationists are coming up with innovative and creative ways to keep amphibians from disappearing, including a program from the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) that is working with students in the Peruvian Amazon to monitor frog populations. Jeremy Hance -2.065154 -74.370089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11697 2013-07-01T15:30:00Z 2013-07-05T17:10:15Z Brazilian state to pay counties that cut Amazon deforestation The Brazilian state of Pará has launched a new compensation scheme to incentivize further cuts in deforestation. Rhett Butler -2.805885 -46.714783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11654 2013-06-26T21:41:00Z 2014-02-12T22:15:31Z Deforestation rates for Amazon countries outside Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0626-amazon-deforestation-accumulated-by-country-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation has sharply increased in Amazon countries outside of Brazil, finds a new analysis based on satellite data. Using data from Terra-i, O-Eco's InfoAmazonia team has developed updated forest cover maps for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The results reveal an increasing trend in forest clearing since 2004. Rhett Butler -10.833306 -71.7334 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11639 2013-06-24T22:13:00Z 2013-06-26T18:13:38Z Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region&#8212;plans that are currently pending approval by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). Jeremy Hance -11.697962 -71.85379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11558 2013-06-12T17:44:00Z 2013-06-12T18:03:36Z Bird extravaganza: scientists discover 15 new species of birds in the Amazon From 2000-2009, scientists described on average seven new bird species worldwide every year. Discovering a new bird is one of the least common of any species group, given that birds are highly visible, mobile, and have been scrutinized for centuries by passionate ornithologists and birders. But descriptions this year already blows away the record year over the last decade (in 2001 when nine new birds were described): scientists working in the southern Amazon have recorded an incredible 15 new species of birds according to the Portuguese publication <i>Capa Aves</i>. In fact, this is the largest group of new birds uncovered in the Brazilian in the Amazon in 140 years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11584 2013-06-12T17:26:00Z 2013-06-12T17:37:56Z 11,000 barrels of oil spill into the Coca River in the Amazon On May 31st, a landslide ruptured an oil pipeline in Ecuadorean Amazon, sending around 11,000 barrels of oil ( 420,000 gallons) into the Coca River. The oil pollution has since moved into the larger Napo River, which borders Yasuni National Park, and is currently heading downstream into Peru and Brazil. The spill has occurred in a region that is notorious for heavy oil production and decades of contamination, in addition to resistance and lawsuits by indigenous groups. Jeremy Hance -0.443569 -76.997738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11566 2013-06-09T04:20:00Z 2013-06-18T13:05:25Z Amazon fire risk on the rise, says NASA The Amazon rainforest is facing a higher risk of fires this dry season, warns a fire prediction system developed by researchers using NASA and NOAA data. Rhett Butler -11.633406 -55.344057 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11563 2013-06-08T10:42:00Z 2013-06-10T02:14:35Z NASA: 3% of Amazon rainforest burned between 1999-2010 33,000 square miles (85,500 square kilometers) or 2.8 percent of the Amazon rainforest burned between 1999-2010 finds new NASA-led research that measured the extent of fires that smolder under the forest canopy. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11553 2013-06-06T12:34:00Z 2013-06-10T02:14:58Z Brazil's GHG emissions fall 39% since 2005, now 10% below 1990 levels Brazil’s greenhouse-gas emissions dropped 39 percent between 2005 and 2010, largely due to a reduction in deforestation, reports an inventory released yesterday by the Brazilian government. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11552 2013-06-05T23:58:00Z 2013-06-06T01:24:01Z Brazil touts progress in reducing deforestation, but fails to note recent jump in clearing Today in a press release for the U.N.'s World Environment Day, the Brazilian government highlighted a sharp drop in deforestation since 2012. The trouble is, the South American superpower failed to acknowledge what appears to be a sharp rise in Amazon forest loss since last year, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11540 2013-06-02T23:28:00Z 2013-06-03T18:03:59Z Rainforests will survive extreme global warming, argues study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1854.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rainforests in South America have endured three previous extreme global warming events in the past, suggesting they will survive a projected 2-6 degree rise in temperatures over the coming century, reports a study published in the <i>Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science</i>. The research, published by Carlos Jaramillo and Andrés Cárdenas of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, reviewed some 3,800 published estimates of temperature over the past 120 million years and compared them to the existence of tropical plants in the fossil record. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11499 2013-05-28T19:02:00Z 2013-06-04T05:34:17Z Scientists discover high mercury levels in Amazon residents, gold-mining to blame <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0528.IMG_1408.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Madre de Dios region in Peru is recognized for its lush Amazon rainforests, meandering rivers and rich wildlife. But the region is also known for its artisanal gold mining, which employs the use of a harmful neurotoxin. Mercury is burned to extract the pure gold from metal and ore producing dangerous air-borne vapors that ultimately settle in nearby rivers. 'Mercury in all forms is a potent neurotoxin affecting the brain, central nervous system and major organs,'Luis Fernandez, an ecologist and research associate at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, told mongabay.com. 'At extremely high exposure levels, mercury has been documented to cause paralysis, insanity, coma and death.' Jeremy Hance -12.588073 -69.192982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11460 2013-05-21T23:01:00Z 2013-05-21T23:05:15Z Mystery of Amazon River carbon emissions solved Bacteria living in the Amazon River digest nearly all wood plant matter that enters the river before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, triggering the release of carbon locked up in the vegetation instead of sequestering it in the deep ocean, finds a new study published in <i>Nature Geoscience</i>. The research explains the mechanism by which the world's largest river 'exhales' large amounts of CO2. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11453 2013-05-20T12:27:00Z 2013-05-20T12:44:12Z Peru delays oil drilling in the Amazon to consult with indigenous peoples Peru has delayed auctioning off 27 oil blocs in the Amazon in order to conduct legally-required consultations with indigenous groups in the region, reports the Guardian. Perupetro S.A., Peru's state oil and gas company, has announced it will auction 9 blocs off the Pacific coast, but will hold auctioning off the controversial oil blocs in the Amazon rainforest at least until later this year. Jeremy Hance -10.466206 -71.326905 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11451 2013-05-18T21:55:00Z 2013-05-19T05:09:29Z Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon pacing 88% higher than last year's rate Satellite analysis by a Brazil-based NGO indicates that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continues to pace well ahead of last year, when the government passed a weakened version of its law governing use of forest lands. Rhett Butler -2.831946 -59.869308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11446 2013-05-16T19:42:00Z 2013-05-16T20:38:14Z Crazy cat numbers: unusually high jaguar densities discovered in the Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0516.wwf.sandiego.Jaguar-2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jaguars (<i>Panthera onca</i>) are the biggest cat in the Americas and the only member of the Panthera genus in the New World; an animal most people recognize, the jaguar is also the third largest cat in the world with an intoxicatingly dangerous beauty. The feline ranges from the harsh deserts of southern Arizona to the lush rainforests of Central America, and from the Pantanal wetlands all the way down to northern Argentina. These mega-predators stalk prey quietly through the grasses of Venezuelan savannas, prowl the Atlantic forests of eastern Brazil, hunt along the river of the Amazon, and even venture into lower parts of the Andes. Jeremy Hance -12.036634 -69.727936 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11430 2013-05-14T17:04:00Z 2013-05-16T00:38:09Z Amazon's flood/drought cycle becoming more extreme, less predictable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0495.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon River's hydrological cycle has become more extreme over the past two decades with increasing seasonal precipitation across much of the basin despite drier conditions in the southern parts of Earth's largest rainforest, finds a new study published in <i>Geophysical Research Letters</i>. The research analyzed monthly Amazon River discharge at Óbidos, a point that drains 77 percent of the Amazon Basin, and compared it with regional precipitation patterns. Rhett Butler -1.921904 -55.522213 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11425 2013-05-13T19:16:00Z 2013-05-16T00:39:36Z Deforestation will undercut effectiveness of rainforest dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0513belo-monte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation may significantly decrease the hydroelectric potential of tropical rainforest regions, warns a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Science</i>. The study, used climate, hydrological, and land use models to forecast the impact of potential forest loss on hydropower generation on the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon where the world's third largest dam &#8212; Belo Monte &#8212; is currently under construction. Rhett Butler -3.547688 -51.902161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11405 2013-05-10T20:22:00Z 2013-05-10T21:06:25Z Google Time-lapse offers view of Earth over 3 decades <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/timelapse-amazon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google has released a series of time-lapse images showing global change between 1984 and 2012. The images are sourced from NASA's Landsat mission, a series of Earth-observation satellites that have orbited the planet since 1972, providing scientists, policymakers, and the general public with a wealth of data and imagery used for a wide range of applications. Rhett Butler -11.005904 -61.175538