tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/conservation1 conservation news from mongabay.com 2015-07-06T20:54:31Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15092 2015-07-06T19:50:00Z 2015-07-06T20:54:31Z Tanzanian study says education, better signing could reduce animal vehicle collisions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0703-digirolamo-animal-vehicle-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Animal vehicle collisions (AVCs) take an incredible toll on wildlife worldwide. In the United States, for example, as many as 1.5 million deer, moose, and other ungulates are annually involved in vehicle crashes, with all yearly U.S. wildlife collisions costing $1 billion and causing 29,000 human injuries. Still, drivers and the media tend to downplay these costs to world wildlife and automotive safety. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15089 2015-07-06T15:06:00Z 2015-07-07T16:54:17Z US ambassador reiterates commitment to controversial Okinawa air base, a setback for endangered dugong <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0706_GNorman_Dugong_Dugong_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A longstanding plan to relocate a major US airbase on the Japanese island of Okinawa has provoked local ire. Opponents claim the development will cause catastrophic environmental damage and seal the fate in the region of the iconic dugong, a cousin of the manatee. Hopes of a long-awaited breakthrough were frustrated recently when a meeting between the US ambassador to Japan and the anti-air base governor of Okinawa ended with the US reiterating its commitment to the new base. Rebecca Kessler 26.524086 128.044970 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15069 2015-07-01T11:55:00Z 2015-07-01T11:59:46Z Scientists raise population estimate for world's most endangered sloth There may be more pygmy sloths than believed, according to a new paper in the Journal of Mammalogy. Scientists originally estimated a population of less than 500 pygmy sloths on Escudo de Veraguas Island off the coast of Panama, the only place in the world where these diminutive sloths survive. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15060 2015-06-30T21:03:00Z 2015-07-02T03:31:37Z Taking technology out in the cold: working to conserve snow leopards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0630Snow_leopard-Uncia_uncia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation work is important not just in tropical rainforests, but also in snow-covered peaks and steep slopes, the home of snow leopards and a number of unusual ungulates, including blue sheep and Asiatic ibex. When these and other native prey are scarce, snow leopards may resort to eating more livestock, which turns herders against them. Rhett Butler 48.728329 88.058417 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15037 2015-06-25T17:29:00Z 2015-07-08T00:14:22Z Do we need to move 'beyond certification' to save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past two years dozens of companies have established 'zero-deforestation' or 'deforestation-free' policies for the commodities they source, trade, and produce. The pace of adoption has been staggeringly fast for a business that have been historically slow-moving relative to other industries. Some sectors, like the Indonesian palm oil industry and the Brazilian soy industry, even appear to be nearing a critical mass where the majority of international buyers and traders are now bound by such agreements. Rhett Butler 19.461253 104.367470 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15033 2015-06-25T13:47:00Z 2015-06-25T13:49:45Z Video: camera traps highlight wildlife diversity of 'forgotten' park Things appeared to be on the upswing in Cambodia's vast Virachey National Park in the early 2000s. Conservation groups were surveying the area and the World Bank had committed $5 million in funds. But then the Cambodia government handed out a mining exploration permit covering 90 percent of the park. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15032 2015-06-25T10:28:00Z 2015-06-30T20:51:29Z Status change to come for Indonesia's partial logging moratorium? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5109.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry might upgrade the partial logging moratorium from a presidential instruction to a government regulation, or PP, later this year, a ministry official said this week. The change would take place after the ministry completes its semiannual revision of the moratorium map for the ninth time in November, according to The Jakarta Post. Philip Jacobson 1.223711 101.677374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15028 2015-06-24T16:10:00Z 2015-06-24T16:24:58Z Video: Vet describes emotional toll of responding to brutal rhino poaching <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0624_MSmith_FowldsRhinoVideo_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In March 2012 poachers struck a South African game reserve. They drugged three rhinos and hacked off their horns, inflicting massive facial trauma to the immobile but unanesthetized animals. Wildlife veterinarian Will Fowlds attended to the victims. Rebecca Kessler -33.573087 26.603058 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15024 2015-06-23T23:56:00Z 2015-06-24T13:40:48Z On the fence about wildlife fencing: new paper outlines research needed to resolve debate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0617-pereira-drylands-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fencing is used to protect wildlife against poaching and human encroachment, and also to protect people and livestock from wildlife. As a conservation strategy, it has proponents as well as detractors. A recent paper by a team of 45 international researchers in the Journal of Applied Ecology questions the wisdom of erecting wildlife fencing in dryland ecosystems. It also seeks to ease decision-making on fencing initiatives by setting a research agenda to answer open questions that will help resolve the debate. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15019 2015-06-23T14:50:00Z 2015-06-23T15:03:34Z Cat update: lion and African golden cat down, Iberian lynx up A new update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the West African population of lions&#8212;which is considered genetically distinct and separate from East and Central African lions&#8212;as Critically Endangered. Based largely on a paper in 2014, the researchers estimate that there are only 121-375 mature lions in West Africa today. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15013 2015-06-22T05:16:00Z 2015-06-22T05:28:15Z Norway, Colombia target partnership to save rainforests Norway and Colombia are in talks to establish a partnership to protect the South American country's rainforests. Rhett Butler -3.457667 -70.056032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14995 2015-06-18T17:15:00Z 2015-06-18T19:59:18Z Real-time monitoring: How timely location data can keep wildlife out of danger zones <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0618Collared-elephant_George-Wittemyer150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Do you know where your study animals are? How fast have they travelled over the past day or week? How far are they from a river, or from a highway? Previously, wildlife biologists had to estimate the locations of their study subjects, using either triangulation from two or more receiver locations or identifiable landscape features on aerial photos or hand-drawn maps. With the advent of GPS technology, they can pinpoint the location of their subject to within a few meters, at any given time. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14988 2015-06-17T18:17:00Z 2015-06-18T23:33:02Z Photos: periodic closure of fishing grounds boosts octopuses and helps coastal communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0617_Dasgupta_Octopus_Fishing6_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For communities that depend on fishing for their livelihoods, fishing bans as a way to conserve marine life are not always popular. But some villages in southwest Madagascar seem to have hit upon a strategy to reap economic gains from bans. Temporarily closing down portions of their octopus-fishing areas every year not only helps villages revive declining octopus populations, but also generates more income for fishermen and fisherwomen, according to a new study. Rebecca Kessler -22.003568 43.264511 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14977 2015-06-16T19:24:00Z 2015-06-16T19:29:57Z What do China, Kenya and India have in common? Wildlife trafficking When it comes to trafficking rhino, elephant, and tiger parts the biggest players are China, Kenya, India, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand, according to a new paper in PNAS. Examining news media reports aggregated by HealthMap: Wildlife Trade, researchers were able to pinpoint the most important countries for exporting, moving and importing illegal wildlife parts worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14974 2015-06-16T14:00:00Z 2015-06-17T00:44:09Z $4.5 Billion Spent On Voluntary Carbon Offsets Over Past Decade: Report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0616_Gaworecki_CarbonMarket_WindFarm_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly one billion carbon offset credits were voluntarily purchased over the past decade, which netted conservation and clean energy projects almost $4.5 billion, according to a recent report by the Washington D.C.-based conservation group Forest Trends. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14967 2015-06-16T00:19:00Z 2015-06-16T00:31:06Z Rainforest parks cut malaria transmission Strictly protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon are associated with lower rates of malaria transmission than extractive reserves, mining zones, and areas with roads, reports a paper published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. The findings add to a growing body of data suggesting that conservation efforts contribute to human welfare. Rhett Butler -10.461996 -64.512468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14966 2015-06-15T22:42:00Z 2015-06-18T01:01:42Z Consumers willing to pay sharp premium for wildlife-friendly palm oil, claims study Shoppers may be willing to pay a 15 to 56 percent premium for palm oil produced without the destruction endangered species' habitat, asserts a study published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -0.164061 101.455089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14965 2015-06-15T22:11:00Z 2015-06-15T22:14:02Z Asiatic lion population rises by 27% in five years A new survey last month put the number of wild Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) at 523 individuals, a rise of 27% from the previous survey in 2010. Once roaming across much of Central and Western Asia, Asiatic lions today are found in only one place: Gir Forest National Park and surrounding environs in western India. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14938 2015-06-10T16:01:00Z 2015-06-10T16:13:05Z Satellite images provide new view of uncontacted Amazonian communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0610-freedberg-remote-sensing-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A laundry list of dangers threaten Amazonia’s few remaining uncontacted indigenous communities. Colonists and industry workers often grab tribal land for mining, logging, drug trafficking, or hydrocarbon extraction, which damage the groups’ environment and bring them into conflict with armed settlers. Careless encroachment by outsiders can also bring diseases to which uncontacted groups have no immunity. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14936 2015-06-10T15:10:00Z 2015-06-10T15:18:07Z Conservationists appeal to donors after mystery kills 134,252 saiga <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0610.saiga.dead.THUMB.IMGP7053.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The good news: conservationists believe that whatever killed off over a hundred thousand saiga in Kazakhstan in less than a month has abetted. The bad news: the final death tally is 134,252 saiga or around half the population of an animal already considered Critically Endangered. Given the dire situation, conservationists are now asking for emergency donations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14933 2015-06-09T19:50:00Z 2015-06-16T22:30:09Z New fund helps groups buy land quickly to protect threatened wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0609_mgowarecki_biodiversityfund_jaguarlandscape_thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When an opportunity to acquire some crucial piece of habitat becomes available, conservationists don't always have the funds at their disposal to outbid other interested parties. Enter the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund, a new initiative whose goal is to rapidly respond to opportunities to purchase land in developing countries as a way to protect critical habitat for endangered and threatened species. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14925 2015-06-08T20:01:00Z 2015-06-09T12:50:59Z Passenger pigeon redo? Superabundant bird collapses across Eurasia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608.THUMB.trapped-YBB_China_Nov2012_Huang-Qiusheng-(3).jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1914 the world's last passenger pigeon died. Nicknamed, Martha, she was not killed by hunters, but simply old age. With her passing, the passenger pigeon fell into extinction. A hundred years before Martha's death, however, the passenger pigeon may have been the most populous bird in the world with a population often estimated in the billions. Now, conservationists warn history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14920 2015-06-08T09:29:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:07Z In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YoDK2jfNhYCkCQxVIL7HEVLKuj68gUZlT4vMbLFDISM=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots. Philip Jacobson 3.666803 98.002513 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14905 2015-06-04T15:00:00Z 2015-06-04T15:14:47Z Tigers expanding? Conservationists discover big cats in Thai park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0604.tiger.wefcom.THUMB.(c)-ZSL_3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the first time conservationists have confirmed Indochinese tigers in Thailand's Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park. In January, camera traps used by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Thailand's Department of National Parks took a photo of a tigress, confirming what had only been rumors. A couple months later the camera traps photographed a male tiger in the same park. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14889 2015-06-01T19:56:00Z 2015-06-01T19:58:09Z Zambia lifts hunting ban on big cats Nine months after Zambia lifted its general trophy hunting ban&#8212;including on elephants&#8212;the country has now lifted its ban on hunting African lions and leopards. The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) lifted the ban after surveying its big cat populations and setting new regulations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14883 2015-05-30T02:18:00Z 2015-05-30T02:24:26Z Malaysian state eyes 100% certified palm oil by 2025 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2396.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sabah, a state in Malaysian Borneo, is weighing a proposal to produce only palm oil certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification initiative, by 2025. The move, if approved, would represent the first time a sub-national or state entity has committed to 100% certified palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14879 2015-05-29T17:45:00Z 2015-05-29T17:46:04Z Butterflies stand out as useful bioindicators in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529_Buelna_Butterfly_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In choosing sites to target for protection, conservationists often turn to what they call bioindicators: species, or small groups of species, that when present suggest that a place has high biodiversity. A recent study tested several potential bioindicators in Malaysia, and found that butterflies came out on top. Rebecca Kessler 3.692161 101.867238 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14862 2015-05-27T16:29:00Z 2015-05-28T16:49:32Z Drone Herders: Tanzanian rangers and researchers use UAVs to protect elephants and crops <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527-digirolamo-elephant-drone-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>HEC, otherwise known as human elephant conflict, is a centuries-old problem responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of elephants. This ongoing battle between African farmers trying to grow crops and hungry elephants foraging for a meal, has motivated conservationists to find solutions for protecting the largest and one of the most intelligent land animals on the planet. Scientists’ most recent effort -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), frisbee-sized remote controlled quad-helicopters -- may provide the answer that researchers have been looking for. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14845 2015-05-22T15:54:00Z 2015-05-27T15:28:20Z New hope for the world's most endangered zebra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0522-thumb-levikov-17.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Writer and conservation biologist Nika Levikov embarked on the team’s latest field mission led by Davidson, to the arid savannah landscape of northern Kenya to help find Grevy’s zebras and attach GPS collars. This sub-population has never before been formally documented. With GPS, their movements can be tracked and scientists can learn more about this most endangered zebra species. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.100316 36.936625 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14832 2015-05-20T12:19:00Z 2015-06-23T14:51:38Z Sumatran tiger found dead in a pig trap <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kb6bJTAyWi4/VVx85A60csI/AAAAAAAABnU/ceD70NjuvZU/w150-h100-no/harimau-padang-evakuasi.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra buried the rotting carcass of a critically endangered female tiger that died after being ensnared by a pig trap on a rubber plantation earlier this month. The creature, a mother who was probably teaching her young to hunt, was found covered in wounds, its neck entangled in wire. Philip Jacobson -0.852865 100.525781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14831 2015-05-20T10:04:00Z 2015-06-17T23:37:46Z Golden Agri takes another hit as sustainability guru suspends its membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The charity that Indonesia's Golden Agri-Resources has enlisted to devise and implement its zero-deforestation and community-engagement commitments suspended its cooperation with the palm oil giant yesterday, following breaches of the policies they had designed together. A few hours later, Golden Agri announced the resignation of its chief sustainability officer. Philip Jacobson 0.600217 112.076059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14820 2015-05-19T05:02:00Z 2015-06-23T14:57:45Z Luxury hotel chain linked to destruction of rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain has landed in environmentalists' crosshairs for the practices of its sister company Astra Agro Lestari, a rapidly expanding palm oil producer with fully developed plantations on an area larger than Singapore. The new She's Not a Fan campaign – a play off Mandarin's celebrity-fan endorsement drive – launched yesterday with a petition calling on Astra to stop destroying forests and elephant habitat. Multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson owns both firms. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14805 2015-05-14T15:55:00Z 2015-05-14T15:56:27Z South African Airways bans all wildlife trophies from flights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514.trophyroom.thumb.67877557_149afec7e7_o.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trophy hunters may need to find another flight home, as South African Airlines (SAA) has announced a new ban on any wildlife trophies from their flights. The debate over trophy hunting in Africa is rising as many of the continent's most beloved mammals&#8212;including lions, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes&#8212;face precipitous declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14790 2015-05-12T19:03:00Z 2015-05-14T15:27:57Z The triumph of the bison: Europe's biggest animal bounces back a century after vanishing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0512.thumb.bison-bialowieza-forest-poland-42.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On a path flanked by thick woods, I first spied our quarry. When she appeared, far away between the long verticals of bare trees, I could hardly believe she was there. She was a ghost, a specter haunting this winter forest. Her horns were prettily curved, her face slender, her whole 400 kilogram (880 pound) mass framed by the trees. Jeremy Hance 52.706366 24.010810 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14789 2015-05-12T18:21:00Z 2015-05-12T20:09:03Z Scientists reconstruct what was in the Harapan Rainforest of Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_v_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published in mongabay.com’s open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science describes how the Harapan Rainforest was prior to extensive logging and compares it to its current condition. The authors call for the Harapan's conservation because it is still very rich in species and holds rare habitats and many endemic plants. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14784 2015-05-11T20:50:00Z 2015-05-16T18:58:09Z Videos reveal rare birds, wild monkeys, and jaguar family in oil-exploited park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0511.THUMB.cameratrapvids.sloth.salt.Screen-Shot-2015-05-11-at-3.26.58-PM.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A compilation of new camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park shows off rarely seen species like the rufuos-vented ground cuckoo and the short-eared dog as well as odd behavior, like sloths licking salt from the ground. The compilation is produced by Diego Mosquera, manager and head of the camera trap program at Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Jeremy Hance -0.575146 -76.077377 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14782 2015-05-11T17:00:00Z 2015-05-11T17:21:07Z Indonesian forestry giant calls for stronger forest moratorium <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0217.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), an Indonesian forestry giant once targeted by environmentalists for its logging practices, has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for a stronger moratorium on deforestation and policies that enable companies to support conservation efforts. In a letter released Monday, Aida Greenbury, APP's Managing Director of Sustainability, asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to extend the country's moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions. Rhett Butler -0.761952 102.201971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14777 2015-05-08T22:55:00Z 2015-05-08T23:19:54Z Peru considers fate of Amazon wildlife paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0509la-sierra-del-divisor150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fate of La Sierra del Divisor, a 1.5 million hectare reserve lauded for its megadiversity of wildlife, will soon to be decided. According to <i>El Comercio</i>, next week the Peruvian government is expected to rule whether Divisor will be declared a national park. The designation, which was requested by local groups nearly a decade ago, would strengthen legal protection of the area, which faces logging, mining, coca cultivation, and agricultural encroachment. It would also establish rules for the buffer zone around the potential protected area. Rhett Butler -7.411416 -74.323620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14747 2015-05-06T04:31:00Z 2015-05-06T04:47:39Z Using freely available tools to monitor forest cover in critical chimpanzee habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506ug3-4440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Think of it as trying to help the long-lost cousins who never left your home town. Researchers and friends at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) are doing just that for chimpanzees. Our closest living relatives still live in their hometown African forests but these forests are under increasing threat. Rhett Butler -1.764782 27.593462 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14745 2015-05-05T18:51:00Z 2015-05-05T18:55:42Z Facing Future Storms: Poor Honduran Communities Unite to Protect Watersheds and Nature <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505_gs_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There hasn't been much good news out of Honduras recently. One of the poorest Latin American nations, it has been afflicted by a series of natural and political calamities. There is, however, another Honduras, a place where -- despite adversity -- small, rural communities are getting on with the business of living sustainably and dealing effectively with the vagaries of extreme weather, all on a shoestring budget. Tiffany Roufs 15.127380 -86.868229 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14739 2015-05-04T19:43:00Z 2015-06-16T20:53:24Z Orangutan rescued amid sea of palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504orangutan-rescue150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rescue, which took place in early April, was conducted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) in response to a report of an adult male orangutan isolated in an fragment forest surrounded by oil palm plantations. The orangutan was found to be in poor health, according to Krisna, OIC's Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit field coordinator. Rhett Butler 4.101847 98.040986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14738 2015-05-04T16:43:00Z 2015-05-04T17:52:03Z Borneo's rainforest may get high-tech 3D scan to boost conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504CAO-Tambopata-Peru-DEM-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation efforts in Borneo's embattled rainforest may get a boost with the launch of the newest version of an advanced airplane-based monitoring and assessment system. On Friday, the Carnegie Institution officially unveiled the latest upgrade of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane equipped with technologies that enable scientists to conduct extremely high resolution scans of forest structure, biomass, and biological diversity. The platform has generated a wealth of information in places where it has been flown before. Rhett Butler 37.513017 -122.252871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14725 2015-05-01T17:59:00Z 2015-05-01T18:03:05Z Ongoing overkill: loss of big herbivores leading to 'empty landscapes' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0501.ripple5HR.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ten thousand years from now, human historians&#8212;or alien ones&#8212;may view the current wave of biodiversity loss and extinctions as concurrent with the Pleistocene extinction. At that time, peaking around 11,000 years ago, many scientists argue that human hunters killed off the majority of the world's big species. According to a paper today in history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14719 2015-04-30T23:51:00Z 2015-05-01T00:59:36Z Tapping into evolutionary responses to guard crops against elephants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0969.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The search for effective measures to reduce human-elephant conflict is a top priority for wildlife managers and a significant challenge. Ongoing conflict incidents exacerbate anti-wildlife sentiments among rural populations, as conflict events can lead to the deaths of both people and elephants. The continued expansion of development and agriculture into traditional wildlife grazing lands pushes elephants into more frequent contact with people and crop fields. Rhett Butler 11.668104 76.631985 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14713 2015-04-30T05:25:00Z 2015-04-30T05:27:32Z 7 conservationists win Whitley Awards Seven conservationists have taken home Whitley Awards for their efforts to protect wildlife in developing countries. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14708 2015-04-29T15:55:00Z 2015-06-18T02:14:09Z Kenya's Karura Forest, symbol of GreenBelt Movement, suffering death by 1,000 cuts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_protus_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The founder of Kenya's GreenBelt Movement, Wangari Maathai, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 because she talked environmental truth to power. She also walked the walk. Especially on a January morning in 1999 when she strode into the Karura Forest, Nairobi's flagship preserve, to plant trees to protest government approved plans to build a private golf course on protected land there. Tiffany Roufs -1.247121 36.813182 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14706 2015-04-29T13:57:00Z 2015-04-29T14:00:21Z Land redistribution in Zimbabwe threatens wildlife and human populations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0428_BStewart_Secretary_Thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In many parts of Zimbabwe, commercial agriculture has given way to small-scale farming. A new study shows that the change has profoundly disrupted the ecosystem in at least one critical wildlife habitat, the Driefontein grasslands Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. Rebecca Kessler -19.383333 30.783333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14703 2015-04-28T18:10:00Z 2015-04-30T12:52:09Z Rainforest communities can now report illegal logging with their mobile phones Communities in the rainforests of Central Africa can now report illegal logging in their territories as it happens, potentially enabling real-time law enforcement action. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14702 2015-04-28T17:39:00Z 2015-04-28T17:39:41Z Five tons of frozen pangolin: Indonesian authorities make massive bust <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0428,MR7A5347.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five tons of frozen pangolin, 77 kilograms (169 pounds) of pangolin scales, and 96 live pangolins: that's the grisly haul of the latest pangolin bust in Indonesia. Officials confiscated the illegal wildlife goods in Medan, Sumatra and busted the smuggler, who has only been identified as SHB. This is the largest pangolin bust in Indonesia since 2008. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14693 2015-04-27T19:55:00Z 2015-06-16T22:32:09Z Report: Borneo could save billions while still meeting conservation and development goals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The three nations that share Borneo could save themselves $43 billion by more closely coordinating their environmental conservation and economic development efforts, according to a report published in the journal Nature Communications. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.616066 114.725184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14689 2015-04-27T04:03:00Z 2015-04-27T04:10:34Z 'Zero Deforestation' not necessarily the answer, environmentalists warn <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the London-based think tank Innovation Forum convened a two-day conference on the subject of sustainable forestry in Washington, D.C. Titled 'How Business Can Tackle Deforestation,' the conference brought together leaders from both public and private spheres, including forest commodities companies, NGOs and think tanks. Though the topics of discussion were diverse, ranging from the role of 'green' certification to the viability of GMO crops, there was widespread agreement that significant changes need to be made to current supply chain policies if we are to avoid further damaging the world’s forests. Rhett Butler -12.237206 -52.025719 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14673 2015-04-22T16:38:00Z 2015-04-22T17:34:56Z Can shade-grown cocoa help conserve sloths? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.thumb.780px-Choloepus_hoffmanni_(Puerto_Viejo,_CR)_crop.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests support the greatest diversity of species in the world, yet we are rapidly destroying them. Most deforestation in the tropics is due to agricultural development and livestock production, the two greatest causes of declines in terrestrial biodiversity. However, one strategy that has been gaining attention for its potential to preserve biodiversity is shade-grown agriculture. Jeremy Hance 10.651773 -83.855896 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14669 2015-04-22T02:19:00Z 2015-04-22T02:32:21Z World's largest sovereign wealth fund takes stand against deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2344.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Norway's Government Pension Fund Global &#8212; the world's largest sovereign wealth fund &#8212; is adopting standards to avoid investing in companies linked to tropical deforestation, sending a strong signal that forest destruction is not an acceptable practice for responsible businesses, reports Rainforest Foundation Norway. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14658 2015-04-20T20:46:00Z 2015-04-20T20:51:57Z Earth Day call to double native forest canopy by 2035 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0420dry_creek_bed150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of prominent researchers, philanthropists, and activists are calling for a doubling of the planet's native forest canopy by 2035 as a way to make a 'U-turn' on global environmental degradation. The Earth Day Declaration to Double Native Forests was initiated by Randy Hayes, the head of Foundation Earth and the co-founder of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler 39.957380 -77.834461 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14656 2015-04-20T18:47:00Z 2015-04-20T19:11:24Z Commercial bushmeat hunters put previously undetected pressure on Central Africa's large birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_birds_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While conducting a bird survey in the Ebo Forest Reserve of Cameroon, Scottish ornithologist Robin Whytock noted two uncommon forest raptors in a camp regularly used by commercial bushmeat hunters. The birds, a crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) and a Cassin's hawk-eagle (Aquila Africana) were notable sightings not only because they are infrequently spotted. Both raptors were dead, and their stripped carcasses lay discarded on the ground. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14653 2015-04-17T20:09:00Z 2015-04-19T00:39:53Z Your name here: auctioning the naming rights to new species to fund conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-cactopinus-rhettbutleri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Meg Lowman is on a mission to save northern Ethiopia's church forests, one at a time. Numbering around 3,500, these small "sacred" patches of forest surrounding churches are isolated natural oases in Ethiopia's otherwise mostly agricultural terrain, and they are losing ground to human activity at an alarming rate. Church forests are considered critical conservation areas. They are home to hundreds of species found nowhere else in the world, with new discoveries still being made. Brittany Stewart 16.799834 -96.176380 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14609 2015-04-08T20:16:00Z 2015-04-08T20:29:08Z New group hopes to raise global profile of the peace-loving bonobo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0408.bonobo.IMG_0595.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Of the world's six species of great ape (not including us), it's safe to say that bonobos (<i>Pan paniscus</i>) are the least studied and least known publicly. But a new organization, the Bonobo Project, is hoping to change that. To the untrained eye, a bonobo looks little different from their closest relative, the chimpanzee. But the differences between these two cousins are actually quite large. Jeremy Hance -2.337877 21.242508 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14606 2015-04-07T20:19:00Z 2015-04-09T18:18:16Z Condition of tropical forests 'worsening', could become 'critical' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/tropical-forest-loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World leaders are continuing to overlook the worsening condition of tropical forests despite the biome's vast potential to help mitigate climate change, support local livelihoods and ecosystem services, and stabilize global agriculture, warns a comprehensive review published by a body founded by Prince Charles. Rhett Butler 1.940683 18.371643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14596 2015-04-06T21:25:00Z 2015-04-06T21:39:38Z Restoration of artificial swamps could be a key to restoring rainforest health in Sumatra The term "artificial" has acquired negative connotations in recent years. However, a recent study in Sumatra's Harapan rainforest details not only the ecological benefits, but rather the necessity, of improving artificial wetlands found along waterways in this rainforest ecosystem. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14588 2015-04-03T17:36:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:14Z Kenya crackdown on terrorism threatens NGOs, wildlife, media <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-kenya-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The terrorist attack that killed at least 147 people at Garissa University on April 2nd was another tragic milestone in Kenya’s ongoing battle with the al-Shabab terrorist group based in Somalia. In response to several other brutal attacks on civilians, Kenya’s government recently passed and proposed harsh new laws that are alarming environmental activists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media, opposition politicians and the public. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.582480 35.245744 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14572 2015-04-01T22:44:00Z 2015-04-01T23:08:07Z Tropical soundscapes offer clues to forest and animal community health <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>Marine biologists were the first to continuously eavesdrop on marine mammals using a technique called passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). By simply listening to these animals' sounds, researchers could collect valuable information about animal population density and distribution, population health, and responses to human disturbance. Given the challenges of studying animal communities as they migrate across the sweep of the world's oceans, acoustic surveys gained popularity as a tool for gathering data from otherwise inaccessible study sites. Brittany Stewart -15.785149 -40.520196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14556 2015-03-30T15:24:00Z 2015-03-30T15:55:57Z Large animals invaluable for tree-seed dispersal and regeneration of tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0318_bear_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of tropical forests in Southeast Asia have been degraded by logging, agriculture and other human uses, and their fauna have been decimated by hunting and the bushmeat trade. But if those degraded tropical forests are to recover naturally, they will need to rely on their remaining large wild animals to disperse large tree seeds, according to a new study. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14548 2015-03-27T20:03:00Z 2015-03-30T21:01:54Z Low crop prices means time is ripe for new forest protection programs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/china/150/china_02-8474.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, conservation compliance is a U.S. policy between governments and farmers that reward farmers with federal subsidies for good conservation practices on designated vulnerable lands. But economist Clayton Ogg believes it could now be used to save forests in countries like Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia. "The main drivers for deforestation in recent years are high crop prices. However, as crop prices fall to more normal levels, farmers depend very heavily on government subsidies, and the subsidies become the major driver for deforestation," Ogg told mongabay.com. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14534 2015-03-25T16:02:00Z 2015-03-25T16:12:56Z Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325.south_africa_kruger_1099.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New figures show essentially no change in the number of elephants killed in Africa by poachers last year, despite a high-profile meeting on the crisis which was attended by 46 countries and a number of commitments. Data from CITES' Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) estimated that around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, the same as in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14512 2015-03-19T17:42:00Z 2015-03-19T17:46:26Z DRC mulls changing Virunga's boundaries for oil Last Friday, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced it was considering changing the boundaries of Virunga National Park to accommodate oil exploitation. Africa's oldest park, Virunga is home to around a quarter of the world's mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species, many of them threatened with extinction. Jeremy Hance -0.303687 29.568020 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14504 2015-03-17T19:07:00Z 2015-06-16T00:34:35Z New report connects human health to biodiversity protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During February, the 14th World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata, India, revealed a new "ground-breaking" report entitled, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, which demonstrates human health benefits yielded from protecting Earth's biodiversity. It's designed to be the new "flagship publication," acting as a primary source of information that supports the upcoming 2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14501 2015-03-17T16:09:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:48Z Conservationists catch-and-release record-smashing freshwater fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0317.stingrayrelease.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists and scientists have managed to catch-and-release what could be the world's biggest freshwater fish ever for an upcoming episode of Ocean Mysteries. Naturalist and host of the show, Jeff Corwin&#8212;along with wildlife veterinarian, Nantarika Chansue, and the tourist fishing group, fishsiam.com&#8212;managed to reel in a giant freshwater stingray. Jeremy Hance 13.964295 99.604843 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14499 2015-03-16T16:14:00Z 2015-03-16T16:44:50Z King of the jungle returns to Gabon after nearly 20 year absence There's a new cat in town. For the first time since 1996, conservationists have proof of a lion roaming the wilds of the Central African country of Gabon. The lion&#8212;a healthy-looking, young male&#8212;was caught on camera trap in Batéké Plateau National Park, a 20,200 hectare expanse of grasslands and gallery forests. Jeremy Hance -2.158285 14.007680 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14479 2015-03-11T16:30:00Z 2015-03-11T16:32:49Z Hunters and birdwatchers make good conservationists in the U.S. What do hunters and birdwatchers have in common? Both groups are much more likely to support conservation than the average rural American, according to new research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14475 2015-03-10T22:31:00Z 2015-03-11T17:31:55Z Citizen scientists help demystify Serengeti's wildlife with photos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0310_serengeti150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's Serengeti conjures up romantic images of millions of migrating wildebeest and zebras, prides of lions feasting on their prey, and hyenas prowling in the background. But not everyone is fortunate to see them up close. Snapshot Serengeti, a citizen science project, is changing that. It lets anyone, with or without a background in science or ecology, become a part of Africa's wilderness from their homes. Brittany Stewart -2.333344 34.833328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14467 2015-03-09T15:06:00Z 2015-03-09T15:09:24Z Human impacts are 'decoupling' coral reef ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/IMG_9120.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is a growing consensus among scientists that we have entered the age of the Anthropocene, or the epoch of humans. In other words, at some point between the 12,000 years separating the beginning of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution, humans became the dominant source of change on the planet, shaping everything from the land to the atmosphere to even the geologic record where we etch our reign. Jeremy Hance 5.878344 -162.077018 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14454 2015-03-05T14:52:00Z 2015-03-05T14:59:50Z Bushmeat's dual role: threatened species face off against nutrition and culture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224_bushmeat_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change, and other man-made forces are threatening species around the world. But, often overlooked, overhunting is a rising peril to many animals. On the other hand, bushmeat hunting also helps provide vital protein in rural tropical regions and is an important cultural rite for many indigenous tribes. Thus, there is a dual challenge of maintaining food security for forest-dependent populations and ensuring wildlife conservation. Tiffany Roufs 3.497437 -70.465758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14451 2015-03-04T16:32:00Z 2015-03-04T16:46:11Z Last ditch: Mexico finally gets serious about saving the vaquita <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are likely less than 100 vaquita on the planet. Found only in the northern pocket of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the vaquita is a tiny, shy porpoise that has been brought to the very edge of extinction due to drowning in gillnets used for shrimping. But after years of stalling, Mexico now appears to be making a final effort to save the world's most endangered cetacean. Jeremy Hance 31.107045 -114.150787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14448 2015-03-03T15:58:00Z 2015-03-05T19:44:48Z Employing shame for environmental change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303.shame.bookcover.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Anyone who has ever felt the sting of shame, knows its power. Shame has long been used by societal institutions&#8212;families, communities, governments, religions&#8212;for making individuals tow the line of the majority. But a new book explores another&#8212;arguably more positive&#8212;side of shame: its potential to challenge rule-breaking and ethically-defunct corporations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14445 2015-03-02T15:32:00Z 2015-03-05T14:52:15Z Giant panda population rises by nearly 17 percent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/animals/150/animals_05361.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most iconic animals on the planet got good news this week. The world's giant panda population has risen by 268 individuals over the last decade, hitting a total of 1,864 animals, according to China's fourth decadal survey. This represents a total rise of 16.8 percent. Jeremy Hance 30.737124 104.142824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14436 2015-02-26T19:25:00Z 2015-02-27T05:37:03Z Jokowi's environmental commitments in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0456.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last fall Indonesia elected its first president with no ties to the established political order or the military. Joko Widodo's election was widely heralded by reformers who hoped the politician's capable management in his stints as mayor of the town of Solo and metropolis of Jakarta could transform Indonesia's chronically underperforming bureaucracy, potentially ushering in a new era of improved human rights, better environmental stewardship, reduced corruption, and healthier economic growth. Rhett Butler -6.659257 106.131028 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14433 2015-02-26T16:14:00Z 2015-02-27T15:32:04Z To keep big cats out, use a cat door <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0102_b_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a hunter searches for prey, heat radiates off the sun stroked horizon distorting the landscape. At the snap of a twig and a rustle in thorny acacia the hunter is off. Keen eyed hearing pinpoint its prey: the cheetah spots an impala and immediately gives chase. The chase won't last long though. The impala lives on a farm and is protected by a high fence to keep predators out. But these fences aren't fool proof. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14425 2015-02-25T17:38:00Z 2015-02-25T21:54:30Z Protected areas receive 8 billion visits a year, but still underfunded <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/Yasuni_519.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world loves its protected areas, according to a new study in the open access PLOS Biology. U.S. and UK researchers estimated that the world's protected areas received eight billion visits every year. Moreover, the research found that the world's 140,000 protected areas likely brought in at least $600 billion to national economies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14424 2015-02-25T16:41:00Z 2015-03-02T16:37:30Z Partnering for conservation benefits Tacana people, Bolivian park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1218_Tacana-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kneeling in a small clearing amid tropical trees, Baldemar Mazaro skillfully arranges a circle of sticks and a noose of cord in the community of San Miguel de Bala. He hands a branch to a tourist and asks her to prod the sticks as if the branch were the nose of an animal snuffling around, looking for food. Tiffany Roufs -14.189266 -68.334025 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14423 2015-02-25T15:38:00Z 2015-02-26T16:57:05Z $7 million could save lemurs from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/madagascar_0591.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, scientists released an emergency three-year plan that they argued could, quite literally, save the world's lemurs from mass extinction. Costing just $7.6 million, the plan focused on setting up better protections in 30 lemur hotspots. However, there was one sticking point: donating to small programs in one of the world's poorest countries was not exactly user friendly. Jeremy Hance -13.846412 48.910876 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14417 2015-02-24T16:00:00Z 2015-02-25T15:17:59Z Locals lead scientists to new population of near-extinct reptile <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223.thumb.A-mro-villagers-with-a-King-Cobra-for-lunch_Photo_Chirag--Roy.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By the early Twentieth Century, the world had pretty much given up on the Arakan forest turtle, named after the hills where it was found in 1875 in western Myanmar. Now, this Lazarus reptile &#8212;which has been dubbed one of the 25 most threatened turtles on the planet &#8212;has more good news: researchers have documented an entirely new population where no one Jeremy Hance 21.483210 92.525138 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14414 2015-02-23T20:05:00Z 2015-03-12T15:33:05Z Outgoing government wipes hard drives, slowing environmental progress in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0167.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Non-profit organizations are working with the regional government of Loreto, in northeastern Peru, to replace documents and data reportedly lost or destroyed before newly-elected officials took office. Some hard disks had been removed from computers. Others had been deleted, password protected, or infected with viruses, according to regional government officials who took office at the beginning of the year. Rhett Butler -12.998026 -69.601111 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14413 2015-02-23T15:42:00Z 2015-02-25T21:53:28Z Are small-scale hydro projects always greener? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0222.thumb.Impact-of-Kadmane-small-hydel-project-on-the-wet-evergreen-forests-of-Western-Ghats--South-India-Photo-Niren-Jain.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rising energy demand and global efforts to mitigate climate change have made renewable energy projects increasingly attractive. One widely known and well-developed source of renewable energy is hydroelectricity. However, past environmental campaigns against large dams have resulted in policy changes in some parts of the world, leading to an increasing number of small hydropower projects. Jeremy Hance 13.825588 74.900236 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14399 2015-02-19T16:55:00Z 2015-02-20T17:19:17Z Authorities catch kingpin responsible for killing 20 rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0218.thumb.800px-One_horned_Rhino.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the aid of Interpol, authorities have arrested the leader of a rhino poaching gang responsible for killing a 20 Indian rhinoceros in Nepal. Last month, authorities nabbed Raj Kumar Praja in Malaysia where he had been evading capture for two years. Kumar was already evicted of 15 poaching incidents in absentia and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14396 2015-02-18T23:52:00Z 2015-02-23T20:05:52Z Selective logging causes long-term changes to forest structure <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2813.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging is causing long-term changes to tropical forests in Africa by facilitating the growth of weeds and vines, which reduces plant diversity and diminishes carbon storage, reports a new paper published in the journal <i>Ecological Research</i>. The paper is based on field data from more than 500 plots in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon and Gabon. Rhett Butler 7.341270 -11.236710 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14392 2015-02-18T04:02:00Z 2015-02-18T04:22:28Z Campaign asks consumers to directly support forest conservation A new campaign is calling on consumers to directly support forest conservation with their wallets. Stand For Trees is an initiative launched by Code REDD, a marketing platform for a group of organizations running REDD+ forest conservation projects. Rhett Butler 8.4052892 -77.2588007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14382 2015-02-16T14:43:00Z 2015-02-20T16:24:08Z Sabah shocked by banteng poaching Malaysia's Daily Express recently published graphic photos of poachers in the Malaysian state of Sabah posing proudly with a number of illegally slaughtered large animals, including the incredibly rare and cryptic banteng. Wild, forest cattle, banteng are scattered across parts of Southeast Asia, but Borneo is home to a distinct subspecies: Bos javanicus lowi. Jeremy Hance 4.992757 118.267348 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14377 2015-02-13T17:54:00Z 2015-02-13T17:59:31Z How do parks affect the poor? Jury’s still out, some experts say <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210_parkspoor_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Peru’s vast northeastern region, where roads are scarce and forests abundant, crackdowns on the illegal plundering of timber, fish, and wildlife are sporadic and expensive. To fill the gap, the Peruvian National Park Service and non-profit conservation organizations encourage community groups to patrol their lakes and forests and control fishing and hunting. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14370 2015-02-11T17:11:00Z 2015-06-10T15:45:16Z Innovating Brazil nuts: a business with roots in the rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_Castana-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientist and entrepreneur turn to Brazil nuts to protect Peru's threatened forests. Sofía Rubio was eight years old when she decided she wanted to be a biologist. 'I would skip school to go to the woods with my father or mother,' who did research in what is now the Tambopata National Reserve in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon, she says. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14360 2015-02-06T17:54:00Z 2015-02-06T17:57:39Z Madagascar establishes a sanctuary for sharks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0206ZebraShark-(JurgBrand)150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The government of Madagascar has established the Indian Ocean island's first shark sanctuary in an area famous for its marine biodiversity, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Rhett Butler -15.719525 49.829292 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14351 2015-02-05T17:00:00Z 2015-02-05T17:09:28Z Video: innovative tourism helps protect forests in Amazonian Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/tambopata/Tambopata_1028_4256.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new short documentary highlights the innovative, locally-grown tourist ventures sprouting up in the buffer zone around Peru's Tambopata National Reserve. Not only do these tourist adventures--some specializing in rehabilitating wildlife, others in finding out how locals live, and some even in jungle yoga--help provide jobs and income in a region dominated by extractive industries, but they are also help to keep forests standing. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14350 2015-02-05T13:58:00Z 2015-02-05T14:25:16Z World Parks Congress talks the talk, but future depends on action <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0177.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, more than 6,000 people gathered for the World Parks Congress 2014, an event held around every ten years by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The World Parks Congress discusses myriad issues related to protected areas, which recent research has shown are in rough shape. Jeremy Hance -33.905271 151.144906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14349 2015-02-05T13:25:00Z 2015-02-05T13:29:23Z World Bank's forest carbon program falls short on indigenous peoples' rights, argues report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5249.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Countries poised to receive World Bank funds for achieving reductions in deforestation have insufficient safeguards for ensuring that local communities don't lose out in the rush to score money from the forest carbon market, argues a new report published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14347 2015-02-05T04:48:00Z 2015-02-07T23:32:48Z Scientists, conservationists call for more inclusive efforts to save forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205fsscas150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco brought together 167 scientists, educators, civil society leaders, artists, and interested members of the public at the Forest Solutions Summit to discuss approaches for bolstering protection and wiser use of global forests. Rhett Butler 37.770334 -122.466017 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14346 2015-02-05T00:42:00Z 2015-02-05T00:44:58Z Mapping local communities' efforts to protect forests in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0203indonesiacommunitymap150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Local and indigenous communities play an important role managing and protecting forests. Research published in 2014 by World Resources Institute and the Rights and Resources Initiative concluded that community-managed forests experienced an average deforestation rate that is eleven times lower than land outside their borders. Rhett Butler