tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/biodiversity1 biodiversity news from mongabay.com 2014-11-25T23:34:06Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-11-25T23:34:06Z 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 2014-11-25T16:11:55Z 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/14050 2014-11-19T23:29:00Z 2014-11-20T19:54:56Z Jane Goodall: 5 reasons to have hope for the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119jane-freud150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jane Goodall is not only arguably the most famous conservationist who ever lived, but also the most well-known and respected female scientist on the planet today. Her path to reach that stature is an unlikely as it is inspiring. Told to 'never give up' by her mother, Goodall set out in her 20s to pursue her childhood dream: to live with animals in Africa. By the time she was 26 she doing just this. Rhett Butler -4.701242 29.616242 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/14015 2014-11-13T17:52:00Z 2014-11-13T17:59:07Z Leaf bacteria are important to tree health, may help forests adapt to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/brazil-bonito/150/bonito_0695.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Leaves are vital trees organs that support many important functions. A recent study published in PNAS found that each tree species in tropical rainforests possesses distinctive bacterial communities – called microbiomes – on their leaves. Understanding how leaf microbiomes vary among species may in the future be applied for maintaining healthy forests and predicting how forests will react to climate change. Tiffany Roufs 9.152721 -79.848716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14009 2014-11-12T16:50:00Z 2014-11-17T20:03:51Z 'Guns kill trees too': overhunting raises extinction threat for trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112.moonbear.BEAR2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper confirms what ecologists have long feared: hunting birds and mammals drastically raises the risk of extinction for tropical trees. Following the long-lifespan of a single canopy tree, Miliusa horsfieldii, researchers discovered that overhunting of animals could increase the chances of extinction for the species fourteen times over a century, from 0.5 percent to seven percent. Jeremy Hance 15.396805 99.164255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13997 2014-11-10T20:24:00Z 2014-11-10T20:48:20Z Citizen scientist site hits one million observations of life on Earth On Friday, Jonathan Hiew from Singapore took a photo of several insects and uploaded them on the citizen scientist site, iNaturalist. Little did he know that one of the photos, of a butterfly, would prove a record breaker: it was the millionth observation recorded on iNaturalist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13985 2014-11-06T16:32:00Z 2014-11-06T17:34:58Z Is the world moving backwards on protected areas? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1106.2-Julie-Larsen-Maher-6451-American-Bison-in-wild_bulls-grazing-by-river-YELL-05-06-06---reduced-size---no-sky---Copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protected areas are undoubtedly the world's most important conservation success story. But, despite this, progress on protected areas is stalling and in some cases even falling behind. According to a sobering new paper, only 20-50 percent of the world's land and marine protected areas are meeting their goals, while the rest are hampered by lack of funding, poor management, and government ambivalence. Jeremy Hance 2.146985, 31.811975 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-10-30T19:50:22Z 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/13963 2014-10-30T15:16:00Z 2014-10-30T16:16:40Z The Search for Lost Frogs: one of conservation's most exciting expeditions comes to life in new book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/_MG_0205.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent years was the Search for Lost Frogs in 2010. The brainchild of scientist, photographer, and frog-lover, Robin Moore, the initiative brought a sense of hope&#8212;and excitement&#8212;to a whole group of animals often ignored by the global public&#8212;and media outlets. Now, Moore has written a fascinating account of the expedition: In Search of Lost Frogs. Jeremy Hance 9.559564 76.929016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13928 2014-10-21T17:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:34Z Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.beach.IMG_0163.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -9.1579 152.779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13921 2014-10-17T23:18:00Z 2014-10-17T23:22:55Z Behind on biodiversity targets, govts pledge to increase funding for conservation On the heels of a report showing that the world is far behind on targets to halve habitat loss, cut pollution, and reduce overfishing, delegates meeting at a United Nations conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea have agreed to increase step up efforts to conserve biodiversity in developing nations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13912 2014-10-15T16:28:00Z 2014-10-15T16:36:11Z Scientists find temperate bat in the hot tropics of the Western Ghats (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-bats150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats is one of the world’s eight richest biodiversity hotspots. A UNESCO World Heritage site, and also known as the Great Escarpment of India, the Ghats run parallel to India’s west coast. This great ecosystem is home to over 139 mammal species, nearly 50 of which are bats. And now scientists can add a new bat to this list: one that until now had only been documented from temperate regions. Tiffany Roufs 12.937706 75.579230 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13896 2014-10-09T19:12:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:19Z 'A remarkable conservation achievement': Ecuador reserve expands as forest disappears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1009-cephalopterus-penduliger-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A strip of rainforest running along the northwestern Ecuadorian coast and up through Colombia is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Yet, less than 10 percent of Ecuador’s portion remains intact, with more forest lost every year to human development. But a little more has been saved for now, with 500 hectares added to an area reserve. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.635037 -79.096360 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13839 2014-09-26T03:15:00Z 2014-09-27T12:37:06Z Hitchhiking Caribbean lizard upends island biogeography theory <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_4418.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The biggest factor determining species diversity and distribution on islands is not size and isolation, as traditional island biogeography theory states, but economics. Simply put, the more trade an island is engaged in, the more boats visit it, and with more boats comes more hitchhikers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13811 2014-09-22T13:36:00Z 2014-09-23T00:10:27Z Extinction island? Plans to log half an island could endanger over 40 species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/plullulaeopti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Woodlark Island is a rare place on the planet today. This small island off the coast Papua New Guinea is still covered in rich tropical forest, an ecosystem shared for thousands of years between tribal peoples and a plethora of species, including at least 42 found no-where else. Yet, like many such wildernesses, Woodlark Island is now facing major changes: not the least of them is a plan to log half of the island. Jeremy Hance -9.038617 152.610839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13782 2014-09-15T12:54:00Z 2014-09-15T13:17:33Z Protected areas do work, concludes study Protected areas are working. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of over 80 different studies on the efficacy of parks and nature reserves in safeguarding wildlife. Published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE, the new study finds that in general protected areas house higher abundances of wildlife as well as greater biodiversity than adjacent areas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13770 2014-09-11T15:26:00Z 2014-09-12T13:44:14Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Harness the power of marketing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.Diogo-Veri%CC%81ssimo--%C2%A9Laure-Cugnie%CC%80re.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a whole, conservationists have been slow to adapt the strategies of marketing or to market conservation at all. Dr. Diogo Veríssimo, a researcher who works at the interface between social and natural sciences, with a focus on behavior change and evidence-based conservation, thinks this needs to change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13743 2014-09-05T02:12:00Z 2014-09-05T11:28:23Z A path to becoming a conservation scientist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0824-ysi-zuzana-burivalova-04_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to finding a career often involves twists and turns. Serendipity is important &#8212; one rarely anticipates what small events, chance occurrences, and seeds of inspiration will spur decisions that lead to pursuing one job or another. For Zuzana Burivalova, a PhD candidate based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), the road to becoming a tropical forest ecologist began as a child in a small Czech Republic village with a foldout children's book about rainforests. Rhett Butler 15.742693 50.043311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13726 2014-08-28T19:19:00Z 2014-09-02T01:27:19Z Saving the Atlantic Forest would cost less than 'Titanic' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0828.atlantic.S._flavius_SP_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save the world's most imperiled biodiversity hotspot? You just need a down payment of $198 million. While that may sound like a lot, it's actually less than it cost to make the film, Titanic. A new study published today in Science finds that paying private landowners to protect the Atlantic Forest would cost Brazil just 6.5 percent of what it currently spends ever year on agricultural subsidies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-08-27T16:58:24Z 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/13711 2014-08-25T01:32:00Z 2014-08-25T20:58:49Z Scientists honor missing activist by naming a spider after him Swiss researchers have honored the memory of a missing indigenous peoples activist by naming an undescribed species of spider after him, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, the group he founded. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13710 2014-08-24T17:33:00Z 2014-08-24T17:52:36Z Scientists name new endangered species after the company that will decide its fate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0824.Quarry-at-Gn.-Kanthan,-Perak---Ong-Poh-Teck.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new snail species near a cement quarry in Malaysia, which as far as they know lives nowhere else in the world. It lives on a limestone hill called Kanthan given as a concession to an international company Lafarge. The cement producer quarries the hill for raw materials. As a result, the scientists have named the species after the company that will decide if it goes extinct. Jeremy Hance 4.599012 101.093388 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13695 2014-08-21T05:03:00Z 2014-08-21T13:12:34Z Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821Raorchestes-bobingeri_Bob-Inger's-Bush-Frog_Seshadri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in <i>Biotropica</i>. The research assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and found that unlogged forests had twice the density of frogs as areas logged in the 1970s. Rhett Butler 8.688112 77.309221 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13688 2014-08-19T21:58:00Z 2014-08-20T15:21:05Z Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Panda-wearing-GPS-collar-CREDIT-China-Academy-of-Sciences.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten&#8212;or possibly more&#8212;you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to save species from extinction, but also working to save their field&#8212;their life's work&#8212;from slipping into total despair. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13653 2014-08-12T16:13:00Z 2014-08-19T21:34:59Z An untapped resource: new study finds local people may trump scientists at biodiversity surveys <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0812-harpy-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Figuring out what species live in a given area is important to the determination of its conservation importance. Traditionally, these biodiversity assessments have been done directly by scientists via surveys, which can be very time-intensive and expensive. However, a new study found that interviewing people in local communities who are familiar with the species of their regions could be just as effective – and much cheaper. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.141315 -85.023882 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13622 2014-08-04T18:36:00Z 2014-08-04T18:44:40Z Scientists catalog the world's 10,000th reptile <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/costa_rica_la_selva_0252.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As of this year, scientists have named and described over 10,000 reptiles, marking a new milestone in cataloging one of the most diverse vertebrate groups. Last week, the Reptile Database, an online catalog of all the world's living reptiles, announced it had passed 10,000 species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13617 2014-07-31T16:03:00Z 2014-08-01T23:06:00Z Ecologists are underestimating the impacts of rainforest logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0731frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal <i>Current Biology</i>. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Rhett Butler 15.736084 50.025458 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13602 2014-07-29T20:30:00Z 2014-07-29T20:40:13Z 87 new bird species considered threatened with extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0729.Lilacine-Amazon-(Amazona-lilacina)-Endangered_copyright-Steve-Wilson.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have added 361 new bird species to the IUCN Red List following a major taxonomic review of non-passerine birds, i.e. non-perching or non-songbirds. Worryingly, 87 of these new birds are threatened with extinction, a percentage nearly double the overall threatened percentage for all birds, which currently sits at 13 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13599 2014-07-29T18:34:00Z 2014-11-06T17:43:09Z Deforestation ramping up in Yasuni as Ecuador sets to open up national park to drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0729-yasuniroad-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yasuni National park has been in the conservation spotlight in recent years, with oil drilling threatening the forests and wildlife of this biodiversity hotspot. Recently, disturbance in the park may have ramped up, with satellite data showing a significant increase in deforestation alerts within Yasuni National Park since 2011. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.100887 -75.807128 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13585 2014-07-24T20:50:00Z 2014-07-29T19:39:35Z It's not just extinction: meet defaunation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1520.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation. Fauna is the total collection of animals&#8212;both in terms of species diversity and abundance&#8212;in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including extinction, extirpation, or population declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13564 2014-07-21T17:08:00Z 2014-11-25T22:28:21Z Surprising habitat: camera traps reveal high mammal diversity in forest patches within oil palm plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0721-orang-camtrap-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After more than four and a half years of camera trap footage, the results are encouraging: 36 mammal species, of which more than half are legally protected, are prospering in this most surprising of spots: an oil palm plantation in the province of East Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.946881 116.458530 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13535 2014-07-14T17:04:00Z 2014-11-25T23:22:31Z Too much of a good thing: fertilizer 'one of the three major drivers of biodiversity loss this century' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0714-prairiedog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world’s grasslands are being destabilized by fertilization, according to a paper recently published in the journal <i>Nature</i>. In a study of 41 grassland communities on five continents, researchers found that the presence of fertilizer weakened grassland species diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis 42.941384 -103.590145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13533 2014-07-14T16:07:00Z 2014-07-17T16:00:14Z 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/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z 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/13462 2014-06-27T17:16:00Z 2014-06-27T23:31:57Z Is REDD+ bad for wildlife? New study says lowland forest protection bias unfair, urges change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0627-andes-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published this week found tree cover does not necessarily correlate with habitat importance. It suggests that using such a metric may be leading to false assumptions of habitat importance, and that REDD+ and other carbon-centric conservation programs may actually be propelling some species towards extinction. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.249391 -76.037375 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13440 2014-06-24T18:42:00Z 2014-11-25T23:17:34Z Study finds tiny cloud forests have big biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-cloud-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical cloud forests are situated in mountains and are characterized by the frequent presence of low-level clouds. Scientists have always regarded them as having high biodiversity, but a recent study adds a new dimension: it found cloud forests contain a significant and surprising array of tree and bromeliad species, even when they are relatively small. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.582276 -95.588844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-06-23T16:54:02Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13416 2014-06-19T18:42:00Z 2014-06-26T17:29:13Z Scientists discover carnivorous water rat in Indonesia, good example of convergent evolution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0619-water-rat-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have discovered a new carnivorous water rat on the island of Sulawesi that's so unique it represents an entirely new genus. They believe many more new rodent species await discovery in this relatively undisturbed part of Indonesia, but mining and other types of development may threaten vital habitat before it’s even surveyed. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.712609 119.355464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13408 2014-06-18T18:07:00Z 2014-11-25T23:17:47Z Fly and wasp biodiversity in Peru linked to strange defense strategy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0618-fly-condon-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Entomologists working in Peru have revealed new and unprecedented layers of diversity amongst wasps and flies. The paper, published in the journal Science, also describes a unique phenomenon in which flies actually fight back and kill predatory parasitic wasps. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.409314 -70.470600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13374 2014-06-12T19:19:00Z 2014-11-25T22:25:49Z More is better: high bee biodiversity boosts crop yields <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0612-wildbees-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered that blueberry plants visited by more diverse bee species increased their seed number, berry size and fruit set, and quickened their ripening time. They hope their findings encourage farmers to help support local wild bee communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis 35.084309 -79.133211 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 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13326 2014-06-02T16:40:00Z 2014-06-02T16:54:29Z After throwing out referendum, Ecuador approves oil drilling in Yasuni's embattled heart By 2016, oil drilling will begin in what scientists believe is the most biodiverse place on the planet: remote Yasuni National Park. Late last month, Ecuador announced it had approved permits for oil drilling in Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputinin (ITT) block, an untouched swathe of primary rainforest covering around 100,000 hectares or about 10 percent of the park. Jeremy Hance -1.088304 -75.487242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13321 2014-06-02T13:27:00Z 2014-06-03T14:18:01Z Of jaguars and loggers: new film to showcase one of the least-known regions in the deep Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.tristan.movie.light-trees.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In August, three young filmmakers will go on the expedition of a lifetime. They plan to spend six months filming in one of the most remote, most spectacular, and most endangered ecosystems on the planet: the Las Piedras River system. This unprotected swathe of Amazon jungle contains massive anacondas, prowling jaguars, and even uncontacted indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -12.184542 -69.374536 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13309 2014-05-29T18:01:00Z 2014-05-29T18:10:27Z Extinction rates are 1,000x the background rate, but it's not all gloomy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.frog.pimm5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Current extinction rates are at the high end of past predictions, according to a new paper published today in <i>Science</i>, however conservation efforts combined with new technologies could make a big difference. New research led by Stuart Pimm of Duke University argues that humans have pushed the current extinction rate to 1,000 times the historical rate. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13274 2014-05-23T00:26:00Z 2014-05-23T00:30:03Z Emerald-faced reptile discovered in Ecuador Researchers have discovered a colorful lizard species in the cloud forests of northwestern Ecuador. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13273 2014-05-22T19:29:00Z 2014-05-22T21:13:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Linking public health and environmental degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Madagascar2-061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Christopher Golden is an explorer on a mission. As both an epidemiologist and ecologist, he is investigating and expanding the interface between human and ecosystem health. This year, Golden was appointed the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society's HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages</a>) Program. Jeremy Hance -15.508300 49.598895 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13265 2014-05-22T06:55:00Z 2014-05-22T12:42:11Z Olinguito, tinkerbell, and a dragon: meet the top 10 new species of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Saltuarius_front.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Out of around 18,000 new species described and named last year, scientists have highlighted ten in an effort to raise awareness about the imperiled biodiversity around us. Each species&#8212;from a teddy-bear-like carnivore in the Andes to a microbe that survives clean rooms where spaceships are built&#8212;stands out from the crowd for one reason or another. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13223 2014-05-13T19:20:00Z 2014-11-25T23:27:20Z 'Simmering conflict': the delicate balancing act of protecting India's wilderness <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0513-leafhopper-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats of southern India, one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, is a 1600-kilometer (1000-mile) mountain chain that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian subcontinent. It traverses six states and is home to as many as 250 million people. In an interview with mongabay.com, M.D. Madhusudan of the Nature Conservation Foundation discusses the importance and challenges of establishing protected areas in India. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.307752 75.066818 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13170 2014-05-02T21:10:00Z 2014-11-25T22:15:25Z Not all used up: why conserving selectively logged forests is important <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0502-logged-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests, which provide rich biodiversity, vital carbon storage, and essential medicines, are being damaged and destroyed at a rapid rate worldwide. Loggers especially target old-growth forests for selective harvesting of their valuable timber. But while selectively logged forests are indeed degraded, these disturbed forests are valuable ecosystems for many species, with higher biological productivity than previously thought, and merit increased conservation attention, argues a new paper published in <i>Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment</i> Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.119325 116.149156 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13145 2014-04-28T18:39:00Z 2014-09-25T18:57:30Z Loggers plan to clear 20 percent of tropical island paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.tree.Forest.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seven years ago, a palm oil company set its eyes on Woodlark Island&#8212;a small rainforest island nearly 200 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea&#8212;but was rebuked by the local populace. But locals and conservationists who spoke to mongabay.com at the time felt that wouldn't be the end of it: they were right. Recently, a company, Karridale Limited, has landed machinery on the island. Jeremy Hance -9.145404 152.812027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13131 2014-04-24T22:13:00Z 2014-05-01T21:58:36Z 'Better late than never': Myanmar bans timber exports to save remaining forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0424-irrawaddydolthumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Myanmar contains some of Asia's largest forests, but has been losing them at a rapid pace during the last two decades as logging companies emptied woodlands to meet the demands of the lumber industry. In an effort to save its disappearing forests, Myanmar implemented a ban on raw timber exports, effective March 31, 2014. However, the ban affects only raw timber exports, not milled lumber, throwing into doubt its ability to adequately protect Myanmar's forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.037345 96.385395 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13084 2014-04-15T20:03:00Z 2014-11-25T22:21:21Z Long lives, big impacts: human life expectancy linked to extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0415-wren-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the arrival of <i>Homo sapiens</i>, other species have been going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Most scientists now agree that extinction rates are between 100 and 1000 times greater than before humans existed. Working out what is driving these extinctions is fiendishly complicated, but a new study suggests that human life expectancy may be partly to blame. Morgan Erickson-Davis -40.671256 173.995140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13071 2014-04-11T19:05:00Z 2014-11-25T23:19:52Z Life finds a way: the surprising biodiversity of cities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0411-urban-greenroof-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the largest global assessment of urban biodiversity to date, researchers examined the biodiversity of urban areas and found that cities are home to a surprising number of species. The study underlines the conservation importance of preserving and creating green spaces when it comes to urban planning. Morgan Erickson-Davis 48.278296 16.196039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13066 2014-04-10T16:00:00Z 2014-04-13T14:32:24Z Giant ibis, little dodo, and the kakapo: meet the 100 weirdest and most endangered birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0410.Philippine-Eagle-3_ALAIN-PASCUA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The comic dodo, the stately great auk, the passenger pigeon blotting out the skies: human kind has wiped out nearly 200 species of birds in the last five hundred years. Now, if we don't act soon we'll add many new ones to the list: birds such as the giant ibis, the plains-wanderer, and the crow honeyeater. And these are just a few of the species that appear today on the long-awaited EDGE list. Jeremy Hance -21.538109 165.761064 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13031 2014-04-03T21:11:00Z 2014-04-05T04:17:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting deforestation to disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0403.gillespie.portait.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thomas Gillespie is concerned with the connections between conservation and disease, with a particular emphasis on primates. Much of his research examines the places where humans and animals are at a high risk of exchanging pathogens, and how human-caused disturbances, such as deforestation, can change disease dynamics and impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13013 2014-03-31T20:47:00Z 2014-11-25T22:17:33Z 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/13012 2014-03-31T17:37:00Z 2014-04-08T19:40:37Z Apocalypse now? Climate change already damaging agriculture, acidifying seas, and worsening extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not just melting glaciers and bizarrely-early Springs anymore; climate change is impacting every facet of human civilization from our ability to grow enough crops to our ability to get along with each other, according to a new 2,300-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The massive report states definitively that climate change is already affecting human societies on every continent. Jeremy Hance 35.463838 139.619164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13009 2014-03-28T22:21:00Z 2014-03-28T22:29:40Z Revealed for the first time: the surprising biodiversity of algae 'reefs' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0328-rhodolith-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people are familiar with coral reefs, but very few have ever heard of their algal equivalent – rhodolith beds. Yet, these structures provide crucial habitat for many marine species. In the first study of its kind, published in mongabay.com’s Tropical Conservation Science, researchers unveil just how important these beds are for bottom-dwelling organisms, and the species that depend on them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -18.122016 -38.766440 -38.766440 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13003 2014-03-28T17:50:00Z 2014-11-25T23:15:54Z Those eyes look human: could anthropomorphism be used for conservation? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0328-anthropomorph-panda-thumb3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It’s easier to relate to someone you have something in common with; that feeling of connection can turn strangers into friends. And if those strangers belong to an entirely different species, then attributing human qualities to that species – a process called anthropomorphism – may aid conservation efforts by attracting public attention and funding resources. Morgan Erickson-Davis 30.969729 102.875458 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/12970 2014-03-21T15:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:51:30Z The power of connections: India to establish Asia's largest protected forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0321-karnataka1-morgan-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India has stepped up forest conservation efforts in recent years, with a major project underway to establish a large swath of uninterrupted habitat through the designation of additional protected areas and expanding those already under protection. If realized, these areas would converge to become Asia’s largest unbroken forest, encompassing approximately 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles) over three states. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.509241 75.091853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12952 2014-03-19T20:35:00Z 2014-03-19T21:04:28Z Scientist discovers a plethora of new praying mantises (pictures) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0319.mantises.70197.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite their pacific name, praying mantises are ferocious top predators with powerful, grasping forelimbs; spiked legs; and mechanistic jaws. In fact, imagine a tiger that can rotate its head 180 degrees or a great white that blends into the waves and you'll have a sense of why praying mantises have developed a reputation. Yet, many praying mantis species remain little known to scientists, according to a new paper in ZooKeys that identifies an astounding 19 new species from the tropical forests of Central and South America. Jeremy Hance -12.970571 -69.553499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12949 2014-03-18T20:46:00Z 2014-03-19T15:02:30Z Leftover trees enhance the biodiversity of new forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/kenya/150/kenya_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trees left standing after deforestation have a discernible impact on the composition of local biodiversity in secondary growth forests, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. Researchers working on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica discovered that remnant trees could affect species composition of regenerated forests up to 20 years after being logged. Tiffany Roufs 8.556451 -83.528839 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/12899 2014-03-10T14:38:00Z 2014-03-10T14:58:29Z Does haze from burning forests affect marine life? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0449.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two scientists are calling on researchers, NGOs, and governments to begin studying the impact of burning forests and peatlands in Indonesia on the already-threatened marine ecosystems of Southeast Asia. Every year, Indonesian farmers set forests, vegetation, and peatlands alight to clear them for agriculture, often palm oil, and pulp and paper plantations. Not only do these practices destroy hugely-diverse tropical forests, but the resulting haze spreads to many parts of Southeast Asia, threatening regional health and impacting economies. Now, a new paper argues that the sinister impacts of Indonesia's burning may extend as far as the oceans. Jeremy Hance 0.597093 131.501257 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12884 2014-03-06T15:26:00Z 2014-03-06T15:47:26Z Can the millions in urban India live among greenery? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.com/images/nancy/thumbnails/P1010088.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Large swathes of wilderness alternating with pockets of urbanization may be a reality in some countries, but in India boundaries are soft. Where a city ends and where a village begins in its outskirts is somewhat fuzzy. Rapidly developing megacities like Bangalore and Pune, localities like Gurgaon outside New Delhi, have been subsuming surrounding villages into their ever-expanding boundaries for the last couple of decades. Tiffany Roufs 12.970726 77.595234 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/12848 2014-02-28T16:37:00Z 2014-02-28T20:02:22Z Wonderful Creatures: the tiny, predatory penis-worm that lies in wait in the sand <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0228.1.-Maccabeus-sp._Phil-Miller.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The seabed is really where it’s at in terms of animal diversity. Of the 35 known animal lineages, representatives of all but two are found here. In contrast, the huge numbers of species that inhabit tropical rainforests represent a mere 12 lineages. One group of animals that illustrates the diversity of the seabed is the Priapulida, which also go by the unfortunate common name of "penis worms." Only 20 species of priapulid are known today, a shadow of their diverse past, which extends back for well over 500 million years. Not commonly seen, the priapulids have attracted little attention from the zoology community as a whole. Jeremy Hance 32.026706 177.788084 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12816 2014-02-24T11:10:00Z 2014-02-26T14:16:01Z Why are the tropics so rich with life? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/animals_04213.jpg"" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Descending the latitudinal ladder to the tropics, you would likely notice a few things: increasingly equivalent stretches of day and night, warmer weather and beachgoers with more intense sunburns. You may also notice an abundance of plant and animal life. Generations of scientists since the days of Darwin and Wallace have observed that species richness increases as one moves toward the equator. This holds true for nearly every animal group, including micro-organisms, marine invertebrates, insects, amphibians, birds and mammals. But why is this? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:57:27Z The lemur end-game: scientists propose ambitious plan to save the world's most imperiled mammal family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to the wonderful idiosyncrasies of evolution, there is one country on Earth that houses 20 percent of the world's primates. More astounding still, every single one of these primates&#8212;an entire distinct family in fact&#8212;are found no-where else. The country is, of course, Madagascar and the primates in question are, of course, lemurs. But the far-flung island of Madagascar, once a safe haven for wild evolutionary experiments, has become an ecological nightmare. Overpopulation, deep poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging for lucrative woods, and a booming bushmeat trade has placed 94 percent of the world's lemurs under threat of extinction, making this the most imperiled mammal group on the planet. But, in order to stem a rapid march toward extinction, conservationists today publicized an emergency three year plan to safeguard 30 important lemur forests in the journal <i>Science</i>. Jeremy Hance -18.659257 48.441009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12773 2014-02-13T16:53:00Z 2014-06-17T21:10:33Z 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/12741 2014-02-07T10:08:00Z 2014-02-07T14:34:45Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Incentivizing keeping primary forests intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0207BradshawHeadshotFrog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Much of Dr. Corey Bradshaw's work has a singular aim: to keep primary habitats and functioning ecosystems intact. According to Bradshaw, the existing system of carbon trading rules needs to be changed so that primary forests are given a higher value than other forms of land use. 'Nothing, can replace primary vegetation, both in terms of biodiversity value and other ecosystem services.' Rhett Butler -34.920845 138.607095 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12709 2014-01-31T14:59:00Z 2014-01-31T15:17:00Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting forest fragments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa-rica-d_0183.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Stuart Pimm is an expert in extinctions: why they happen, how fast they happen, and how they can be prevented. Reconnecting forest fragments and avoiding fragmentation, according to Pimm, are among the most crucial things we can do to conserve global biodiversity. His organization SavingSpecies identifies areas at-risk for extinctions and helps local organizations fundraise so they can protect and restore habitats and safeguard biodiversity. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12706 2014-01-30T14:07:00Z 2014-02-10T15:22:53Z Wonderful Creatures: meet the animal that has evolved a cushy, worry-free life inside an octopus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0130.2.-Dicyemid_Phil-Miller.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The range of habitats that animals have come to occupy is nothing short of staggering. Take the dicyemids for example. They are among the simplest animals on the planet, with a tiny, worm-like adult body that consists of between 10 and 40 cells. They have no organs, body cavities or even guts&#8212;a structural simplicity which is a consequence of where and how they live. The only place you will find adult dicyemids is inside the bodies of cephalopods, typically octopuses and cuttlefish where large numbers of them cling to the inner wall of the mollusc's kidney. Jeremy Hance 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/12690 2014-01-27T20:22:00Z 2014-05-21T21:34:03Z Amazing discovery in Antarctica: sea anemones found living upside down under ice (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0127.seaanemones.67335.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea anemones are supposed to sit on the bottom of the ocean, using their basal disc (or adhesive foot) to rest on a coral reef orsand. So, imagine the surprise of geologists in Antarctica when they discovered a mass of sea anemones hanging upside from the underside of the Ross Ice Shelf like a village of wispy ghosts. The researchers weren't even there to discover new life, but to learn about south pole currents through the Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program via a remotely-operated undersea robot. Jeremy Hance -81.038617 -179.003913 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/12680 2014-01-23T17:14:00Z 2014-01-23T17:25:33Z The next best thing: how well do secondary forests preserve biodiversity? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0116Mongabay_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Secondary forests, which are areas that were previously cleared of old-growth cover, now comprise the majority of the forested areas in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. A heavily debated issue is to what extent secondary forests are able to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. In an article published in PLOS ONE, a group of researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute led by Michiel van Breugel evaluated the biodiversity preservation potential of secondary forests. Tiffany Roufs 9.145486 -79.839478 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12678 2014-01-23T15:09:00Z 2014-01-24T10:53:25Z How “insect soup” might change the face of conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0996.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Much of what we know about patterns of biodiversity has come from extensive fieldwork, with expert researchers sampling and identifying species in a process that takes thousands of man-hours. But new technologies may revolutionize this process, allowing us to monitor changes in biodiversity at speeds and scales unimaginable just a decade ago. Tiffany Roufs 51.566814 -1.785454 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12649 2014-01-17T12:55:00Z 2014-01-29T15:43:26Z Wonderful Creatures: A nematode drama played out in a millipede's gut <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0117.1d.-Rhigonema-tomentosum_-David-J-Hunt.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nematodes are typically small animals that to the naked eye look very much alike; however, these creatures are fantastically diverse &#8212;on a par with the arthropods in terms of species diversity. At face value, nematodes lack the charisma of larger animals, so there are very few biologists who have made it their life’s work to understand them. Those who do have been rewarded with a glimpse of the incredible diversity of these animals, an example of which is the complex menagerie of nematodes that dwell in the guts of large, tropical millipedes. Jeremy Hance 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/12620 2014-01-10T13:17:00Z 2014-01-30T14:25:16Z Wonderful Creatures: the lightning-fast Stenus beetles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0110.IMAGE-1_Stenus_Chippenham-Fen.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rove beetles are among the most diverse animals on the planet, with around 56,000 species currently described. Amongst this multitude of species is a dazzling array of adaptations perhaps best illustrated by the genus Stenus. These beetles, with their bulbous eyes and slender bodies are often found near water running swiftly over the wet ground and clambering among the vegetation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12595 2014-01-06T11:16:00Z 2014-01-07T00:13:00Z Rewilding Chile's savanna with guanacos could increase biodiversity and livestock <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1223juanco159.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Local extinctions have occurred across a variety of habitats on every continent, affecting a gamut of species from large predators such as the wolves of North America, to tiny amphibians like the Kihansi spray toad of Tanzania. The long trek toward reversing such extinctions has begun, but it is not without its challenges, both ethical and logistical. Tiffany Roufs -35.966059 -72.283199 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12566 2013-12-23T05:32:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:52Z Biggest new animal discoveries of 2013 (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1223newsp.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thousands of species were scientifically described for the first time in 2013. Many of these were 'cryptic species' that were identified after genetic analysis distinguished them from closely-related species, while others were totally novel. Below are some of the most interesting "new species" discoveries that took place or were formally announced in 2013. Rhett Butler -3.447625 -70.127335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12560 2013-12-21T08:18:00Z 2014-01-13T14:50:55Z Giant clams are easy to recognize, but genetics proves there is more than meets the eye <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1218giantclam150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Giant clams are among the more easily spotted invertebrates of the marine realm. However, some are actually quite cryptic and distinct species are often difficult to identify, claims a study recently published in PlosOne. Much attention has been focused on charismatic species in research, but the scientists who authored the study argue that giant clams also deserve the spotlight because of the potential threats and present misunderstandings regarding their taxonimical classifications. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12552 2013-12-20T13:19:00Z 2013-12-20T13:36:23Z Featured video: what would a world without wildlife look like? Greenpeace today released a clever video highlighting the global biodiversity crisis with a little help from a much-beloved Disney film. While it might seem unlikely the Africa's animals will vanish, this is exactly what's happening in parts of the continent due to poaching, unsustainable bushmeat trade, habitat loss, massive development projects that are often poorly planned, and a booming human population. Jeremy Hance 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/12538 2013-12-18T15:13:00Z 2013-12-20T15:17:04Z Using stories to connect people to biodiversity: an interview with Tara Waters Lumpkin, PhD <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1216interview150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a world where extinctions are almost commonplace and global warming barely raises an eyebrow, very few of us can return to find the places we grew up in unsullied by development. Sometimes, all that is left of a favorite grove of trees or strip of forest are memories. Through Izilwane: Voices for Biodiversity Project, an online magazine for story-tellers, Tara Waters Lumpkin has succeeded in bringing together more than one hundred "eco-writers" who have shared their memories, highlighted environmental crises in their localities and raised their voices against habitat destruction. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12528 2013-12-16T22:30:00Z 2014-11-14T13:49:41Z 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/12521 2013-12-16T19:55:00Z 2013-12-16T20:31:07Z Scientists: well-managed forest restoration benefits both biodiversity and people In November this year, the world was greeted by the dismaying news that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon jumped 28% in the past year. The year 2013 also holds the dubious distinction of being the first time since humans appeared on the planet, that carbon concentrations in the atmosphere rose to 400 parts per million. A map by Google revealed that Russia, Brazil, the United States, Canada and Indonesia all displayed over 10 million hectares of gross forest loss from 2000-2012, with the highest deforestation rate occurring in Malaysia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12520 2013-12-16T17:34:00Z 2013-12-16T18:42:42Z Camera traps find less mammals than expected in Costa Rican corridor A new study using camera traps in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science has surveyed the diversity of medium and large-sized predators in the San Juan-La Selva biological corridor in Costa Rica, whilst also demonstrating how alteration of habitat is affecting the use of this corridor. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12511 2013-12-12T16:25:00Z 2013-12-12T16:49:16Z Big data shows tropical mammals on the decline <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1212.ci_34523868_Full.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest remote camera trap initiative&#8212;monitoring 275 species in 17 protected areas&#8212;is getting some big data assistance from Hewlett-Packard (HP). To date, the monitoring program known as the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network has taken over 1.5 million photos of animals in 14 tropical countries, but conservationists have struggled with how to quickly evaluate the flood of data. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12480 2013-12-04T16:39:00Z 2014-02-20T19:18:12Z Sky islands: exploring East Africa's last frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1204.Taveta-two-horned-chameleon-(Kinyongia-tavetana),-South-Pare-Mts.-Tanzania.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The montane rainforests of East Africa are little-known to the global public. The Amazon and Congo loom much larger in our minds, while the savannas of East Africa remain the iconic ecosystems for the region. However these ancient, biodiverse forests&#8212;sitting on the tops of mountains rising from the African savanna&#8212;are home to some remarkable species, many found only in a single forest. A team of international scientists&#8212;Michele Menegon, Fabio Pupin, and Simon Loader&#8212;have made it their mission to document the little-known reptiles and amphibians in these so-called sky islands, many of which are highly imperiled. Jeremy Hance -12.077428 37.631686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12478 2013-12-03T21:42:00Z 2013-12-03T22:07:53Z 86 percent of big animals in the Sahara Desert are extinct or endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1203.addax_termit_niger_0512-copyright-Thomas-Rabeil-and-Sahara-Conservation-Fund_150-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bigger than all of Brazil, among the harshest ecosystems on Earth, and largely undeveloped, one would expect that the Sahara desert would be a haven for desert wildlife. One would anticipate that big African animals&#8212;which are facing poaching and habitat loss in other parts of the world&#8212;would thrive in this vast wilderness. But a new landmark study in Diversity and Distributions finds that the megafauna of the Sahara desert are on the verge of total collapse. Jeremy Hance 22.411029 12.235107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12476 2013-12-03T15:32:00Z 2013-12-10T14:29:57Z Animal Earth: exploring the hidden biodiversity of our planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1203.piper.P248.tif.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most of the species on Earth we never see. In fact, we have no idea what they look like, much less how spectacular they are. In general, people can identify relatively few of their backyard species, much less those of other continents. This disconnect likely leads to an inability in the general public to relate to biodiversity and, by extension, the loss of it. One of the most remarkable books I have read is a recent release that makes serious strides to repair that disconnect and affirm the human bond with biodiversity. Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures written by Ross Piper, a zoologist with the University of Leeds, opens up the door to discovery. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12445 2013-11-26T13:56:00Z 2013-11-26T14:19:14Z Over 350 species added to the IUCN Red List's threatened categories in the last six months <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1125.Island-Fox_Urocyon-littoralis_Guy-Incognito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The number of threatened species on the IUCN Red List has grown by 352 since this summer, according to an update released today. Currently, 21,286 species are now listed as threatened with extinction out of the 71,576 that have been evaluated. The new update comes with both good and bad news for a number of high-profile imperiled species, but only covers about 4 percent of the world's described species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12441 2013-11-25T16:05:00Z 2013-11-25T16:14:17Z Microhabitats could buffer some rainforest animals against climate change As temperatures increase worldwide due to anthropogenic climate change, scientists are scrambling to figure out if species will be able to survive rapidly warming ecosystems. A new study in Global Change Biology offers a little hope. Studying reptiles and amphibians in the Philippines, scientists say some of these species may be able to seek refuge in cooler microhabitats, such as tree holes or under the soil, in order to stay alive during intensifying heatwaves. But, the scientists' stress, the shelter from microhabitats can only protect so far. Jeremy Hance 16.730907 121.001587