tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/featured1 featured news from mongabay.com 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13771 2014-09-11T16:35:00Z 2014-09-11T19:05:21Z Meet the newest enemy to India's wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.leopard.road.Image-1-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A boom in infrastructure and population has forced India's wildlife to eke out a creative existence in an increasingly human-modified environment. Big cats such as the leopard are often spotted within large cities, on railway tracks, and sadly, on India's burgeoning and sprawling road network. Jeremy Hance 11.945419 76.221074 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/13765 2014-09-10T19:45:00Z 2014-09-12T19:03:42Z Bolivian vice president proposes unprecedented agricultural expansion (PART 1) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-dinomys-branickii-frable-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On August 14, the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, made a startling announcement: by 2025, Bolivia was going to make two striking developments - first, it would expand all cultivated land to 2.5 times its present area, and second, it would triple food production from 15 to 45 million tons. Morgan Erickson-Davis -16.141641 -66.036958 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/13736 2014-09-03T16:00:00Z 2014-09-05T02:29:01Z Mongabay founder, Rhett Butler, wins Field Museum's top conservation prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/boston_091.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Field Museum has honored Rhett A. Butler, the founder of mongabay.com, with this year's prestigious Parker/Gentry Award. The award is giving annually to an 'individual, team or organization whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage and whose actions can serve as a model to others,' according to the museum. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13730 2014-08-29T18:51:00Z 2014-08-30T01:41:10Z More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-tar-sands-op-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits. Morgan Erickson-Davis 57.694984 -111.396673 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13723 2014-08-27T23:55:00Z 2014-09-03T00:20:53Z Meeting an Illegal Logger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827logger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains. Tiffany Roufs -3.483145 104.340247 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-09-02T17:50:41Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 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/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/13709 2014-08-22T21:56:00Z 2014-08-22T22:07:08Z Indonesia to hear indigenous peoples' grievances on land disputes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_0709.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Public hearings into alleged violations of indigenous peoples' land rights will open next week in Palu on the island of Sulawesi. This is the beginning of a series of hearings by the Commission on Human Rights to explore conflicts affecting indigenous people in forest areas. The Commission will travel throughout Indonesia, providing concerned parties an opportunity to meet and discuss land disputes, before submitting the results of their findings to the next president. Rhett Butler -0.899125 119.834549 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13708 2014-08-22T19:37:00Z 2014-08-23T18:01:38Z An uncertain future: world's last wild Siberian tigers threatened by illegal logging, global warming, disease (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0822-primorsky-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, between 20 and 30 tigers are poached. Illegal logging is reducing the tigers' habitat, and illegal hunting is reducing its food supply. However, these are not the only threats to wild tiger survival -- other problems are cropping up and taking a toll on the iconic big cat. Morgan Erickson-Davis 46.646831 136.404467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13699 2014-08-21T21:51:00Z 2014-08-27T19:09:19Z Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Tarsier.from.Dinagat.Isl.photo.Andrew-Cunningham.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate&#8212;known as tarsiers&#8212;in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby relatives, according to a new open-access paper in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 10.168583 125.594253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13692 2014-08-20T22:17:00Z 2014-08-20T22:20:58Z Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and expansion could devastate the environment. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.603479 27.070837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13687 2014-08-19T18:23:00Z 2014-08-22T19:52:58Z Logging of Russian Far East damaging tiger habitat, few intact forests protected (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0819-siberian-cub-derek-ramsey-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world’s largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, with more than half of the world’s coniferous forests. However, worldwide demand for high quality timber, along with weak regulations, has led to widespread logging of Russia’s trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis 49.072346 138.014209 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13676 2014-08-15T18:00:00Z 2014-08-17T17:35:49Z Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0815-siberian-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies. Morgan Erickson-Davis 63.712223 40.854324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13663 2014-08-13T20:44:00Z 2014-08-16T03:36:31Z 'Natural Reserves' no more: illegal colonists deforest huge portions of Nicaraguan protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813-watsa-tapir-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In southeastern Nicaragua, abutting the coastal Caribbean town of Bluefields, lie two nature reserves - Cerro Silva and Punta Gorda - that are embroiled in a bitter battle for survival against the speedily encroaching agricultural frontier. The forest is all but decimated here, with disconnected patches whose very existence rests precariously in the hands of its occupiers - both legal and illegal. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.435397 -84.015472 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13659 2014-08-13T14:39:00Z 2014-08-13T15:03:01Z Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Asian-tapir-1-in-Khlong-Saeng-e1406263277651.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If someone told you there was a place where 200 million year old coral reefs had erupted from beneath the sea and were now draped in the oldest rain forest in the world, a place where marbled cats and clouded leopards prowl the sharp crags and their dark caves in search of dead bats and small prey, would you believe them? Jeremy Hance 9.058377 98.645914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-08-13T12:36:35Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13656 2014-08-12T20:43:00Z 2014-08-12T22:12:16Z A paradise being lost: Peru's most important forests felled for timber, crops, roads, mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0812-watsa-9-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1988, when British environmentalist Norman Myers first described the concept of a “biodiversity hotspot," he could have been painting a picture of the highly threatened Peruvian Andes mountain range. Today, the Andes are an immediate and looming portent of the fate of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.229730 -70.769231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13627 2014-08-05T14:41:00Z 2014-08-05T15:26:36Z How did Ebola Zaïre Get to Guinea? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805ebola150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The vicious Ebola outbreak that has already killed over 800 people this year was not a strain endemic to the region as initially believed. Instead the University of Edinburgh found that the strain is the same as the Ebola Zaïre found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaïre. Does this mean the strain could have come from illegally-trafficked great apes instead of fruit bats as widely reported? Tiffany Roufs -1.421960 17.311584 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13624 2014-08-04T20:13:00Z 2014-08-04T20:19:09Z Tin mining, palm oil plantations wreaking havoc on small Indonesian island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-tarsier-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Belitung, a picturesque island off the east coast of Sumatra, has experienced an uptick in tourism recently due to its unspoiled white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But next to all of the beauty, an environmental tragedy is quietly unfolding: the island’s primary forests are being cut down at an alarming rate in favor of mining and palm oil plantations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.939268 107.975917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13621 2014-08-04T16:53:00Z 2014-08-05T05:05:40Z Where have all the big animals gone? Indian park devoid of many species, further threatened by forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-bengal-nam-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Namdapha National Park is part of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot. However, locating many species in the park is becoming increasingly difficult, the region has lost thousands of hectares of forest in the past decade, and studies project the situation may simply worsen in the coming years. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.502373 96.445155 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/13614 2014-07-31T12:53:00Z 2014-08-04T17:41:09Z Seeking justice for Corazón: jaguar killings test the conservation movement in Mexico <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0731.0731.2009-06-June-27---Corazon---Los-Pavos.ac.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eight years ago, a female jaguar cub was caught on film by a motion-triggered camera trap set in the foothills of canyons, oak forest, and scrubland that make-up the Northern Jaguar Reserve, just 125 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Three years later, in 2009, the jaguar reappeared on film as an adult. They called her 'Corazón' for the distinctive heart-shaped spot on her left shoulder. Jeremy Hance 29.056000 -109.231003 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13609 2014-07-30T18:00:00Z 2014-07-30T18:10:02Z The world's best mother: meet the octopus that guards its eggs for over four years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/07290.deepseaoctopus.76619.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ultimate goal of all species on the planet is procreation, the act of making anew. But few mothers could contend with a deep-sea octopus, known as Graneledone boreopacifica, which researchers have recently observed guarding its eggs for four-and-a-half years (53 months), before likely succumbing to starvation soon after. Jeremy Hance 36.782289 -121.833888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13608 2014-07-30T17:05:00Z 2014-08-01T23:05:44Z The future of tropical biology research and conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0730AUS_7002150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) held its 51st annual meeting in Cairns, Australia. In addition to the normal symposia, plenaries, and poster sessions on a wide range of conservation topics, the convening produced a declaration calling for stronger protection of the Great Barrier Reef and two resolutions on expanding research funding in Papua New Guinea and >imploring Australia to restore its environmental leadership. Rhett Butler -16.927503 145.777812 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13590 2014-07-28T13:17:00Z 2014-07-29T19:39:18Z Short-eared dog? Uncovering the secrets of one of the Amazon's most mysterious mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0727.2010.-Los-Amigos.-Oso-at-age-4-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifteen years ago, scientists knew next to nothing about one of the Amazon's most mysterious residents: the short-eared dog. Although the species was first described in 1883 and is considered the sole representative of the Atelocynus genus, biologists spent over a century largely in the dark about an animal that seemed almost a myth. Jeremy Hance -11.888234 -71.407557 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13589 2014-07-25T20:43:00Z 2014-08-04T00:27:24Z No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0725-leatherbackthumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Turtles comprise one of the oldest living groups of reptiles, with hundreds of species found throughout the world. Many have been well-researched, and scientists know very specific things about their various evolutionary histories, metabolic rates, and the ways in which their sexes are determined. But there was one very obvious thing that has been largely left unknown by science until very recently. Turtles can make sounds. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.175781 -54.056661 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13588 2014-07-25T20:15:00Z 2014-07-31T14:49:46Z Seafood apartments and other experiments in fixing Indonesia's fisheries (Part IV) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716KAYE-PART-4-3_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shrimp farms, industrial plants, and one of Indonesia's busiest thoroughfares make up Java's north coast today. It's a very different scene from the fishing villages with beachfront boat parking that stood here decades earlier. Which begs the question, where will fish live in this new 'coast without mangroves, without coral, without seagrass,' asks Alan Koropitan, a marine biologist based at Bogor Agricultural University. Tiffany Roufs -6.630277 110.281225 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/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13570 2014-07-22T18:18:00Z 2014-07-25T20:23:21Z Over-depleted and undermanaged: can Indonesia turn around its fisheries? (Part III) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716KAYE-PART-3-4_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Compared to maritime ministries worldwide, Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) is a teenaged neophyte. The governing body was formed a mere 13 years ago;a staggering fact for a country made up of two-thirds water where many of the 250 million people depend on fish for both protein and income. Mongabay.org's SRI Fellow Melati Kaye reports on the state of Indonesian fisheries in the third installment of a four-part series. Tiffany Roufs -6.630277 110.281225 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13561 2014-07-18T18:57:00Z 2014-07-22T21:49:42Z Is there hope for bonobos? Researchers, NGOs, gov't officials, local communities band together to save iconic ape (Part III) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0718-bonobo.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sankuru Nature Reserve was established in 2007 primarily for bonobo protection. The largest continuous protected great ape habitat in the world, Sankuru is still losing large swaths of forests to burning and other activities, primarily along roads that transect the center of the reserve. However, hope exists, both from human efforts – and from the apes themselves. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.677297 24.333928 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13560 2014-07-18T17:09:00Z 2014-07-25T20:23:39Z Boom but mostly bust: fighting over sardines in Indonesia's Bali Strait (Part II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0708_lemuru_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifty-five crewmen, stripped to their briefs, sing Madurese sea shanties to synchronized gestures as they haul in giant seine nets, hand-over-hand, onto the swaying wooden deck of the M/V Sinar Indah out in the middle of the Bali Strait. This morning they had offloaded a bumper haul at their homeport of Muncar: seven tons of lemuru sardines Sardinella lemuru, the local specialty, for which dockside cannery agents offered $3,500. Tiffany Roufs -8.409964 114.358389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13559 2014-07-17T22:03:00Z 2014-07-22T21:50:15Z Poaching, fires, farming pervade: protecting bonobos 'an enormous challenge' (Part II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0717-bonobo1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sankuru Nature Reserve in the DRC was established in 2007 to safeguard the 29,000 to 50,000 bonobos that remain in existence. However, while touted as the largest swath of protected continuous great ape habitat in the world, the reserve is still losing thousands of hectares of forest every year. Burning, bushmeat hunting, and agricultural expansion are taking a large toll on the endangered great ape. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.677297 24.333928 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13553 2014-07-16T20:58:00Z 2014-07-22T21:50:35Z Will the last ape found be the first to go? Bonobos' biggest refuge under threat (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716-bonobo-juv-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bonobos have been declining sharply over the past few decades. In response, several non-profit organizations teamed up with governmental agencies in the DRC to create Sankuru Nature Reserve, a massive protected area in the midst of bonobo habitat. However, the reserve is not safe from deforestation, and has lost more than one percent of its forest cover in less than a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.002762 23.551818 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13547 2014-07-16T15:18:00Z 2014-07-18T15:21:31Z Fishing for coherent regulations along Fiji's coral reefs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0716-west-parrotfish150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Will Fiji implement a much-needed update to its fisheries laws before the September election? If you want to quiet a room in Fiji or feel like a lobster in a boiling pot, bring up coastal fishing rights, and ask what's happening with the plan to update the country's fisheries laws. Tiffany Roufs -17.677202 179.373661 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13542 2014-07-15T18:18:00Z 2014-07-24T02:44:28Z On track to 'go beyond the critical point': Sri Lanka still losing forests at rapid clip <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0715-pf-langur-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the latter half of Sri Lanka's civl war, between 1990 and 2005, Sri Lanka suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, losing about 35 percent of its old growth forest and almost 18 percent of its total forest cover. The conflict ended in 2009, and while deforestation has slowed somewhat, Sri Lanka is still losing forest cover at a fast pace. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.553656 80.579493 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/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13522 2014-07-09T22:24:00Z 2014-07-10T17:16:22Z The last best place no more: massive deforestation destroying prime chimp habitat in Uganda <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0709-kafu-chimp-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Kafu River, which is about 180 kilometers (110 miles) long, is part of a vast chimpanzee habitat that includes forest reserves and several unofficial protected areas. However, this region of Uganda is losing a significant portion of valuable chimpanzee habitat, and at least 20 percent of the forest cover along the Kafu River has disappeared since 2001. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.442119 31.210102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13521 2014-07-09T21:23:00Z 2014-07-15T16:35:27Z A garden or a wilderness? One-fifth of the Amazon may have been savannah before the arrival of Europeans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_128.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on the planet, covering about 6.5 million square kilometers, although much has been lost in recent decades.Yet new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that quite recently&#8212;just 500 years ago&#8212;a significant portion of the southern Amazon was not the tall-canopied forest it is today, but savannah. Jeremy Hance -12.770027 -64.469834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13512 2014-07-09T12:59:00Z 2014-07-09T17:20:02Z Stuff of fairy tales: stepping into Europe's last old-growth forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0709.bison-bialowieza-forest-photo-by-lukasz-mazurek-wildpoland-com-07.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is almost nothing left of Europe's famed forests, those that provided for human communities for millennia and gave life to the world's most famous fairytales. But straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, the Bialowieza Forest is Europe's last lowland old-growth forest, parts of which have never been cut by man. Jeremy Hance 52.776516 23.876829 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13510 2014-07-08T21:17:00Z 2014-07-11T20:45:14Z APP won't acquire companies that continue to destroy forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5260.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) will not acquire companies that continue to destroy forests, according to a new procedure for association introduced by the Indonesian forestry giant. The procedure, developed after months of consultations with NGOs, effectively closes a loophole some environmentalists feared would allow APP to sidestep its zero deforestation commitment by acquiring companies that continued to clear forest after its February 5, 2013 deadline. Rhett Butler 0.641314 101.788231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13502 2014-07-08T15:34:00Z 2014-07-25T20:24:22Z A tale of two fish: cyanide fishing and foreign bosses off Sulawesi's coast (Part I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0703_grouper_4_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In spring and summer, after the monsoon storms have passed, the fishing boats set out again from tiny Kodingareng Island in the Spermonde Archipelago off the coast of South Sulawesi. In the afternoon heat, Abdul Wahid joins his fellow fishermen in the narrow shade of the beachfront village houses to check out the daily fish prices. Tiffany Roufs -5.105219 119.285172 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/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13486 2014-07-02T19:36:00Z 2014-07-09T15:19:34Z On a whim: Equatorial Guinea building new capital city in the middle of the rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0702-roadconst-oyala-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 8,000 hectares of rainforest are under threat as the nation builds a new $600 million capital city from scratch. Called Oyala, and also known as Djibloho, the city is expected be completed by 2020 and house up to 200,000 people -- about an eighth of the entire population of Equatorial Guinea. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.594485 10.817885 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13476 2014-07-01T16:13:00Z 2014-07-24T17:04:46Z On babies and motherhood: how giant armadillos are surprising scientists (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0701.giantarmadillo.thumb.1-(24).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Until ten years ago scientist's knowledge of the reproductive habits of the giant armadillo&#8212; the world's biggest&#8212; were basically regulated to speculation. But a long-term research project in the Brazilian Pantanal is changing that: last year researchers announced the first ever photos of a baby giant armadillo and have since recorded a second birth from another female. Jeremy Hance -15.849044 -56.212636 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13465 2014-06-29T23:04:00Z 2014-07-04T17:33:22Z Despite moratorium, Indonesia now has world's highest deforestation rate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/ANNUAL-primary-forest-loss-indonesia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a high-level pledge to combat deforestation and a nationwide moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions, deforestation has continued to rise in Indonesia, according to a new study published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Annual forest loss in the southeast Asian nation is now the highest in the world, exceeding even Brazil. Rhett Butler -4.127285 104.840697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13456 2014-06-26T16:44:00Z 2014-07-08T15:36:21Z Unrelenting population growth driving global warming, mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.strike-51212_640.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we've septupled that. In fact, over the last 40 years we've added an extra billion approximately every dozen years. And the United Nations predicts we'll add another four billion&#8212;for a total of 11 billion&#8212;by century's end. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13450 2014-06-26T04:45:00Z 2014-06-26T13:17:27Z Despite early headwinds, Indonesia's biggest REDD+ project moves forward in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-rimba-ryra-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over a year ago, the Indonesian government officially approved the country's first REDD+ forest carbon conservation project: Rimba Raya, which aims to protect more than 64,000 hectares of peat forest in Central Kalimantan. The approval came after years of delays from the Ministry of Forestry and a substantial reduction in the project's concession area. But InfiniteEarth, the firm behind the project, pressed on. Now a year later, Rimba Raya's is not only still in business, but is scaling up its operations. Rhett Butler -3.262548 112.030914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13454 2014-06-25T23:04:00Z 2014-06-26T13:08:25Z Is Cameroon becoming the new Indonesia? Palm oil plantations accelerating deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-cameroon-elephants-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The potential for new laws governing the use of forest resources this year in Cameroon promises an opportunity to stem the rapid loss of forest in the biologically diverse country. But the changes may ultimately not be what’s needed to save Cameroon’s forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.750898 9.993512 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13442 2014-06-24T23:41:00Z 2014-07-02T17:19:30Z Discarded cell phones to help fight rainforest poachers, loggers in real-time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-topher-gear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A technology that uses discarded mobile phones to create a real-time alert system against logging and poaching will soon be deployed in the endangered rainforests of Central Africa. Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a San Francisco-based non-profit startup, is partnering with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time anti-deforestation technology at sites in Cameroon. 30 RFCx devices &#8212; recycled from old Android handsets &#8212; will monitor 10,000 hectares or nearly 40 square miles of rainforest, listening for audio signals associated with logging and poaching. Rhett Butler 3.967289 14.271044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13433 2014-06-24T12:50:00Z 2014-06-26T17:21:07Z Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0623.800px-Neophron_percnopterus_-_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 11 AM on Thursday, 27 February 2014, Angoulou Enika was lying hidden in the tall grass on the side of a large water hole in the Sahel region of Niger. He was staying as quiet as he could while aiming his custom-made rifle at an Egyptian vulture which had landed nearby to drink from the water. He took a breath, held it and fired. The large bird fell to its side. Jeremy Hance 13.718000 10.483320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13425 2014-06-23T18:49:00Z 2014-06-24T15:31:06Z Dying for Fiji's Sea Cucumbers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0620-west-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Redfish, Greenfish, Blackfish. Pinkfish, Curryfish, Lollyfish. They sound like Dr. Seuss characters and certainly look like they should be. Yet these sausage-shaped, rubbery animals stippled in fleshy bumps are not fish at all, but an invertebrate in the group that includes sea stars, sea urchins and sand dollars. Sea cucumbers, referred to as 'bêche-de-mer' or 'trepang' when sold as dried food have a high value - an individual in Fiji can fetch about $80 US. Tiffany Roufs -17.855063 178.027836 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/13401 2014-06-17T20:02:00Z 2014-06-18T21:22:23Z Feather forensics: scientist uses genes to track macaws, aid bird conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0617-macaw-360thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When a massive road project connected the ports of Brazil to the shipping docks of Peru in 2011, conservationists predicted widespread impacts on wildlife. Roads are a well-documented source of habitat fragmentation, interfering with access to available habitat for many terrestrial and tree-dwelling species. However, it wasn’t clear whether or not birds are able to fly over these barriers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.854049 -70.857122 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13399 2014-06-17T18:18:00Z 2014-06-17T21:09:28Z Camera trap captures first ever video of rarely-seen bird in the Amazon...and much more <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1107.Mosquera--Nocturnal-curassow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A camera trap program in Ecuador's embattled Yasuni National Program has struck gold, taking what researchers believe is the first ever film of a wild nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum). In addition, the program has captured video of other rarely-seen animals, including the short-eared dog and the giant armadillo. Jeremy Hance -0.637516 -76.148906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13386 2014-06-13T21:52:00Z 2014-06-14T00:20:00Z Protecting rainforests could sequester equivalent of a third of global emissions annually <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0613-carbon-emissions150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>liminating deforestation, peatlands and forest degradation, and forest fires in the tropics could reduce global carbon emissions by two billion tons a year, or nearly a fifth, argues a new study published in <i>Global Change Biology</i>. The research analyzed various emissions sources and sinks across the tropics. They found that carbon emissions from activities that damage and destroy forests are nearly counterbalanced by forest regrowth, reforestation, and afforestation. Rhett Butler -2.427252 -75.214005 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13376 2014-06-12T22:30:00Z 2014-06-13T14:36:44Z What's an environmental journalist to do with so much good news? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.800px-Virunga_National_Park_Gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As an environmental journalist covering stories from the great Arctic ice melt to the rhino poaching crisis in Africa, you'll forgive me if sometimes in the morning&#8212;before I turn my computer on&#8212;I have a sudden desire to spend a few extra minutes in bed or have a leisurely breakfast with my daughter or just sit in the back yard with a cup of tea and a good book. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13373 2014-06-12T16:51:00Z 2014-06-13T22:06:16Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Learning from innovations to make REDD+ work <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/062.duchelle.innovations.boy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Brazil, Dr. Amy Duchelle coordinates research on the effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and co-benefits of REDD+ initiatives at the sub-national level in Latin America as part of CIFOR's Gloal Comparative Study on REDD+. Jeremy Hance -5.481673 -59.772298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13369 2014-06-11T16:37:00Z 2014-06-11T17:16:27Z Survey finds huge biological value in Baja California, stalls resort development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0611-4-cabo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent survey conducted by researchers from the U.S. and Mexico has uncovered staggering levels of biodiversity in the delicate desert environment of Cabo Pulmo in Baja California. Their findings have stymied construction of a proposed $3.6 billion resort, but developers are not giving up. Morgan Erickson-Davis 23.339200 -109.497145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13368 2014-06-11T13:58:00Z 2014-06-12T23:44:10Z PhD students 'thrilled' to rediscover mammal missing for 124 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.newguineabigearedbat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1890 Lamberto Loria collected 45 specimens&#8212;all female&#8212;of a small bat from the wilds of Papua New Guinea. Nearly 25 years later, in 1914, the species was finally described and named by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, who dubbed it the New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene) after its massive ears. But no one ever saw the bat again. Jeremy Hance -10.127639 148.861417 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13362 2014-06-09T15:54:00Z 2014-06-09T18:44:52Z New species has its anus behind its head <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.2.-An-image-of-the-new-species-showing-the-lack-of-eyes.-This-specimen-had-its-flesh-cleared-and-researchers-stained-the-bones-to-show-the-skeleton.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the dark caves of southern Indiana in the United States, scientists have discovered a new species of cavefish that are blind, pinkish, and have their anus behind their heads. This peculiar new cavefish is the first to be described in North America in 40 years, and researchers have named it <i>Amblyopsis hoosieri</i> or Hoosier cavefish. Jeremy Hance 38.134448 -86.097954 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13361 2014-06-09T14:02:00Z 2014-06-09T21:19:36Z Bears, cats, and mystery mammals: camera traps in 'paper park' prove its worth protecting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.habitatid.Sun-bear.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can a single photograph change the fate of a park? A new conservation group, HabitatID, believes so, and is putting this belief into action. Setting up camera traps in Cambodia's Virachey National Park, the group hopes that photos of charismatic and endangered species will help reinvigorate protection for a park that has been abandoned by conservation groups and underfunded by the government. Jeremy Hance 14.297357 107.049167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13347 2014-06-05T20:16:00Z 2014-06-05T21:55:57Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Work locally, relentlessly, and, if necessary, ignore the government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0605.fredriksson.Gabriella_bear-skull.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1997, Gabriella Fredriksson, then a young PhD student, was studying sun bears in East Kalamantan, Indonesia, when massive forest fires broke out in the park. 'It quickly became clear that there was no government agency, NGO, or private company in the area interested in assisting putting out these fires, which were threatening to burn down the entire reserve,' Fredriksson told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 1.459166 117.013715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13346 2014-06-05T18:36:00Z 2014-06-05T19:23:03Z In cutting deforestation, Brazil leads world in reducing emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0605-nepstad-brazilian-amazon-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil's success in reducing deforestation in the world's largest rainforest has been much heralded, but progress may stall unless farmers, ranchers and other land users in the region are provided incentives to further improve the environmental sustainability of their operations, argues a study published this week in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler -9.990491 -52.496109 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13345 2014-06-05T13:04:00Z 2014-06-08T22:34:58Z Oil company breaks agreement, builds big roads in Yasuni rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112-5_Karla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When the Ecuadorian government approved permits for an oil company to drill deep in Yasuni National Park, it was on the condition that the company undertake a roadless design with helicopters doing most of the leg-work. However, a new report based on high-resolution satellite imagery has uncovered that the company, Petroamazonas, has flouted the agreement's conditions, building a massive access road. Jeremy Hance -0.942388 -75.716907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13332 2014-06-03T20:58:00Z 2014-06-04T17:29:07Z Singapore intercepts massive illegal shipment of Madagascar rosewood <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0603sri-lank-rosewood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in Singapore have made the largest-ever international seizure of rosewood logs, providing further evidence that industrial-scale smuggling of Madagascar's rainforest timber continues despite an official ban on the trade. Details of the seizure remain sparse since the investigation is still active, but leaked correspondence between officials in Madagascar indicates that the shipment amounts to 3,000 tons, or more than 29,000 illicit rosewood logs. Rhett Butler -14.901171 50.282244 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/13317 2014-05-29T21:58:00Z 2014-06-02T19:30:03Z Tipping the scale: how a political economist could save the world’s forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0529_ostrom150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can Elinor Ostrom’s revolutionary ideas halt climate change, improve people’s livelihoods, and save the world’s forests? The Nobel-prize winning economist famously said, 'There’s a five-letter word I’d like to repeat and repeat and repeat: Trust.' Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative Fellow Wendee Nicole reports on Ostrom's innovative ideas of global forest conservation. Tiffany Roufs -1.080691 29.661261 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13305 2014-05-28T20:52:00Z 2014-05-28T21:33:11Z Trawling: destructive fishing method is turning seafloors to 'deserts' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0528-nematode-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Previous research has linked trawling to significant environmental impacts, such as the harvest of large numbers of non-target species, collectively termed “bycatch,” as well as destruction of shallow seabeds. Now, a new study finds this method is also resulting in long-term, far-reaching consequences in the deeper ocean and beyond. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.010986 -20.714111 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13299 2014-05-28T15:22:00Z 2014-05-28T15:51:00Z Greenpeace accuses controversial palm oil company and Cameroon government of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0528.bulldozers.herakles.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenpeace has just accused one of the world's most controversial oil palm companies, Herakles Farms, of colluding with top government officials to sell off illegally logged timber to China. According to a new report, an agreement between Cameroon's Minister of Forestry and Herkales Farms&#8212;through a shell company&#8212;could torpedo the country's agreement with the EU for better timber management. Jeremy Hance 5.063568 9.285140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13277 2014-05-23T11:34:00Z 2014-05-23T13:37:04Z Indonesian activist: strong company commitments, media push government on forest issues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0523SUM_4068150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has become notorious for its high rate of forest loss, but there are nascent signs of progress. The central government has implemented a moratorium across some 14.5 million hectares of forest and peatlands, while a handful of Indonesian companies have adopted policies that establish social and environmental safeguards. Rhett Butler 0.810215 101.798923 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 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/13258 2014-05-21T14:25:00Z 2014-05-22T12:45:48Z Epidemic of elephant calf kidnapping hits Sri Lanka, say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.elephant.IMG_0412-(1).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Sri Lanka, an underground wildlife racket has been simmering for a while. And a recent incident has brought it to a boil. On the night of May 1st, a gang attempted to kidnap a wild elephant calf out of the Uduwalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. But tipped off by alert villagers, police and wildlife officers foiled the abduction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13252 2014-05-20T17:26:00Z 2014-05-21T02:02:01Z Hope in the Heart of Darkness: huge population of chimpanzees discovered in the DRC <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0520-chimp-orphan-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study describes a new population of chimpanzees, which forms a continuous cultural group inhabiting an area of at least 50,000 square kilometers (19,000 square miles). The population, estimated to consist of many thousands of individuals, shares a unique set of learned skills that are passed on from generation to generation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.177192 23.517760 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13248 2014-05-19T12:51:00Z 2014-05-23T12:16:27Z The quiet zoo revolution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0518.zoos.Tara-Harris-tiger-hand-paw-photo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A quiet zoo revolution has also been occurring over the past twenty-five years. Rather than just stand by the sidelines as species vanish in the wild, many zoos have begun funding on-the-ground conservation efforts. This revolution signals a widening realization by zoos of the positive&#8212;and wholly unique&#8212;role they could play in combating global mass extinction. But are zoos doing enough? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13239 2014-05-16T16:34:00Z 2014-05-25T03:43:50Z Connecting forests, saving species: conservation group plans extensive wildlife corridor in Panama <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0516-azuero-monkey-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the cooperation of hundreds of ranchers and researchers, Azuero Earth Project aims to replant a swath of tropical dry forest, connecting the dry tropical forest on the coast to cloud forest further inland. The trees along the 140-kilometer (80-mile) wildlife corridor will create a continuous habitat for the Critically Endangered Azuero spider monkey (<i>Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis</i>) and improve the soil for people who farm and ranch along the way. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.492517 -80.544818 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13230 2014-05-15T17:34:00Z 2014-05-16T16:32:56Z Former Miss South Pacific steps into new conservation role <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0512_Amy150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Alisi Rabukawaqa, an articulate, vibrant, 26-year-old Fijian known in Oceania as Miss South Pacific 2011, has set her sights on a novel conservation program in Fiji. The Conservation Officer program, created in 2013, supports natural resource management within villages in Fiji and links them with the government arm overseeing the needs of indigenous Fijians. Mongabay.org Special Reporting Initiative Fellow Amy West sits down for an interview. Tiffany Roufs -17.865520 177.709233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13227 2014-05-14T17:49:00Z 2014-06-25T02:00:13Z New report reveals human rights abuses by corporations, governments in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0514-child-thumb.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Regnskogfondet (the Rainforest Foundation of Norway) recently released a 52-page report that gives an in-depth account of the conflicts activists and indigenous peoples (IPs) are having with corporations and governmental agencies. It relays a situation that does not look good. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.762623 -54.709464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13223 2014-05-13T19:20:00Z 2014-05-15T13:58:31Z '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/13199 2014-05-08T18:25:00Z 2014-05-29T21:49:12Z Special Report: Lake Toba indigenous people fight for their frankincense forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0508TPL150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was a cool and foggy day in Dolok Ginjang forest, but that did not stop villagers of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta in North Sumatra from heading to work to extract frankincense from the trunks of its tall trees. Frankincense, an aromatic tree resin used in perfumes and incense, is the primary source of income for local people in the area. However, that routine has been disrupted for the past few years as land conflict has erupted between villagers and wood pulp producer PT Toba Pulp Lestari over the forest area. Rhett Butler 2.319884 98.644155 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13195 2014-05-08T13:45:00Z 2014-05-08T15:28:16Z Underwater horrors: shells of marine life melting off the coast of the U.S. <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0508.LimacinaHelicinaNOAA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It could be the plot of a horror movie: humans wake up one day to discover that chemical changes in the atmosphere are dissolving away parts of their bodies. But for small marine life known as sea butterflies, or pteropods, this is what's happening off the West Cost of the U.S. Increased carbon in the ocean is melting away shells of sea butterflies. Jeremy Hance 34.549557 -120.797515 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13182 2014-05-05T17:10:00Z 2014-05-07T16:26:00Z Seeing the Forest for the Trees: How 'One Health' Connects Humans, Animals, and Ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0501nicole150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The emerging One Health movement recognizes the inextricable connections between human, animal, and ecosystem health and is leading not only to new scientific research but also to projects that help people rise out of poverty, improve their health, reduce conflicts with wildlife, and preserve ecosystems. Mongabay.org SRI Fellow Wendee Nicole reports. Tiffany Roufs -1.080616 29.661389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13163 2014-05-01T18:36:00Z 2014-05-02T13:07:00Z A sketch of the yeti: saving the Himalayan brown bear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0501-bear-ears-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Overall, the brown bear is one of the most widespread and numerous bear species in the world. However, a subspecies called the Himalayan brown bear is not so fortunate. It occupies higher reaches of the Himalayas in remote, mountainous areas of Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and India. Its populations are small and isolated, and it is extremely rare in many parts of its range. Morgan Erickson-Davis 34.970485 75.471831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13159 2014-05-01T13:05:00Z 2014-05-01T14:44:34Z Saudi Prince kills two percent of global population of endangered bird <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0501.712px-Prince_Sultan_bin_Abdulaziz_02.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a three week hunting safari between January 11th and 31st of this year, Saudi Arabian Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his party allegedly shot down 2,100 Asian Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in Balochistan, Pakistan. Scientists aren't certain how many Houbara bustards survive today, but their best estimate is around 100,000 and declining. Jeremy Hance 28.391298 65.162563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13151 2014-04-29T20:50:00Z 2014-05-06T04:05:29Z Dangerous work: how one man empowered communities and stopped a coal mine <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0427-agrawalspeaking-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, Ramesh Agrawal has worked to spread awareness of the environmental repercussions of India's coal industry to local residents, empowering them with information and speaking out on their behalf. In 2012, his tireless efforts shut down development of a major coal mine, which would have been the largest in the state of Chhattisgarh. Morgan Erickson-Davis 21.854783 83.372482 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13145 2014-04-28T18:39:00Z 2014-09-16T15:47:06Z 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/13139 2014-04-28T14:45:00Z 2014-04-30T17:01:59Z The remarkable story of how a bat scientist took on Russia's most powerful...and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0427.bat.2014_SurenGazaryan_06.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a country increasingly known for its authoritarian-style crackdown on activists and dissidents, a bat scientist has won a number of impressive victories to protect the dwindling forests of the Western Caucasus. For his efforts, Gazaryan was awarded today with the Goldman Environmental Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for the environment, along with five other winners around the world. Jeremy Hance 43.585309 39.730085 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13142 2014-04-28T03:41:00Z 2014-04-28T18:07:23Z APP commits to conserve, restore 1M ha of Indonesian forest; WWF pledges support <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1382.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company and a long-time target of environmental campaigners, has committed to protect and restore a million hectares of forest across Indonesia. The pledge, which represents an area equivalent to the total plantation area from which it sourced pulp in 2013, was immediately welcomed by WWF, which until today has remained one of APP's staunchest critics. Rhett Butler 0.071068 102.396301