tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/featured1 featured news from mongabay.com 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14558 2015-03-30T18:16:00Z 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z 9 months after Amazonian oil pipeline spill, effects and fears linger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330cuninco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Peru's state-run oil company pulled out of this small Kukama Indian village in mid-December after cleaning up an oil pipeline spill, residents thought life could slowly return to normal. But more than three months later, wisps of oil floating down the Cuninico River—along with a larger spill in the neighboring community of San Pedro—are a reminder that the problems are not over. Rhett Butler -4.801399 -75.216092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14530 2015-03-24T21:11:00Z 2015-03-25T01:04:20Z Photos: expedition to Amazon’s white sands may have found new primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324.thumbnail.photo-8A.by-giussepe-gagliardi-urrutia.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people think of the Amazon rainforest as one massive, homogenous ecosystem&#8212;a giant castle of green. However, within the Amazon rainforest lie a myriad of distinct ecosystems, sporting unique characteristics and harboring endemic species. One of the rarer ecosystems in the Amazon is the white sands forest. Jeremy Hance -6.343298 -74.026909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14509 2015-03-19T01:12:00Z 2015-03-19T01:23:53Z Who's funding palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0319sabah_0587x150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil may be the single most important crop that you never heard of. A vegetable fat that resembles reddish butter at room temperature, palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Both nutritious and highly versatile, palm oil is now an important component of products ranging from biofuels and food to soaps and cosmetics. Estimates indicate that as much as 50 percent of the products used by the average Western consumer every day contain palm oil or its derivatives. Rhett Butler -1.687367 112.950424 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14507 2015-03-18T16:15:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:30Z Discovery of 'Lost City' spurs conservation pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a 'lost city' below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country. Jeremy Hance 15.744008 -84.675660 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14481 2015-03-11T19:50:00Z 2015-03-12T19:10:10Z New study argues the Anthropocene began in 1610 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0311.Prospero_and_miranda.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1610, William Shakespeare began penning one of his greatest plays, The Tempest, which some critics view as a commentary on European colonization of far-away islands and continents. Along those lines, a study today in Nature argues that 1610 is the first year of the human-dominated epoch, known as the Anthropocene, due to the upheavals caused by the 'discovery' of the New World. Jeremy Hance 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/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/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/14427 2015-02-25T19:30:00Z 2015-02-26T19:21:38Z Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225fao-vs-kim-pan_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time. Rhett Butler -0.504437 27.230473 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/14402 2015-02-20T12:35:00Z 2015-02-20T18:13:42Z Dams or indigenous land: the battle over the Munduruku frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217_exclusive_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Munduruku indigenous tribe have begun to mark out the limits of their land, in an action that could halt the giant São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric dam, the apple of the Brazilian government's eye. Although sacred, this land will be flooded if the dam goes ahead. 'We are not leaving,' says the village chief. Tiffany Roufs -2.378412 -54.927569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14397 2015-02-19T15:03:00Z 2015-02-20T18:13:54Z Exclusive: Funai confirms that land threatened by dam projects belongs to indigenous tribe <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217_tribe_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian government opposes granting traditional land to the Munduruku people since it would jeopardize seven proposed hydroelectric dams on the Tapajós River. For this reason, a year-old report by Funai that supports the Munduruku claim has not been officially published, but a copy of this report was obtained by the Brazilian publication Publica. Tiffany Roufs -2.378412 -54.927569 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/14376 2015-02-13T00:06:00Z 2015-02-13T16:42:42Z 'Sustainable' cacao company allegedly defies government's call to halt plantation development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212gfw-cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A company aiming to be the world’s largest producer of sustainable cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, appears to have ignored orders from the Peruvian government to cease operations for failing to provide justification for having razed what scientists say was more than 2,000 hectares of old-growth Amazonian rainforest. Rhett Butler -3.973468 -73.079946 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14374 2015-02-12T19:59:00Z 2015-02-13T18:50:45Z U.S. Central Plains and Southwest will likely face apocalyptic drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212.thumb.800px-Dust-storm-Texas-1935.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the recent film Interstellar, a mysterious phenomenon known as "the blight" is wiping out agriculture around the world until only corn&#8212;for some reason&#8212;survives. Humanity is on the brink of starvation. While the blight may be science fiction, global warming is not, and a new study finds that future warming could decimate the western U.S. over the next century. Jeremy Hance 42.414898 -99.888738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14370 2015-02-11T17:11:00Z 2015-02-11T20:35:05Z 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/14356 2015-02-05T20:31:00Z 2015-02-07T23:33:04Z Forestry giant's zero deforestation commitment put to test <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An independent audit of the world’s largest pulp and paper producer found that the company had achieved a wide range of results in meeting promises to end deforestation and resolve conflicts with forest communities. In 2013 Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which included a pledge to end deforestation among its suppliers, improve communication and conflict resolution with forest communities, protecting peatlands, and sourcing fiber only from responsible suppliers. Rhett Butler 0.645332 101.490370 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/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/14341 2015-02-04T17:50:00Z 2015-02-06T15:10:31Z The Amazon's oil boom: concessions cover a Chile-sized bloc of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_303.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hungry for oil revenue, governments and fossil fuel companies are moving even further into one of the world's last great wildernesses, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The total area set aside for oil and gas in the Western Amazon has grown by 150,000 square kilometers since 2008, now totaling more than 730,000 square kilometers&#8212;an area the size of Chile. Jeremy Hance -14.057138 -68.658039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14321 2015-01-29T17:53:00Z 2015-02-11T18:22:54Z Community tourism fills niche around Tambopata National Reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_Tourism-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Víctor Zambrano retired from the military and returned to his family’s old homestead outside the fast-growing jungle town of Puerto Maldonado in Peru, he got an unpleasant surprise. Strangers had moved in and cleared the trees to raise cattle. As Zambrano tells it, he ran up the Peruvian flag, chased the invaders off, and set to work planting 19,000 native tree seedlings. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14305 2015-01-26T19:01:00Z 2015-01-26T20:55:17Z Accounting for natural capital on financial exchanges <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1308.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, Norway's stock exchange, the Oslo Børs, introduced a way for investors to use their money to promote sustainability. A new list by the stock exchange highlights green bonds, financial products issued by companies to raise capital for environmentally friendly projects. Notably, the list requires that issuing companies obtain and publicize outside opinions on the projects' environmental features. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14297 2015-01-22T16:57:00Z 2015-01-22T17:37:59Z Indigenous territories play dual role as homelands and protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/manu/Manu_1023_2369a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities claim—and scientific evidence increasingly shows—that indigenous forested territories are as well protected as, or better protected than, government-designated parks. In areas under pressure from roads or development projects, deforestation rates are sometimes even lower in indigenous territories than in official protected areas. Tiffany Roufs -12.647074 -69.417415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14294 2015-01-22T14:22:00Z 2015-01-22T14:36:41Z Palm oil giant launches online platform to support zero deforestation push <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0122KencanaAgri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil company, has unveiled a tool it says will help eliminate deforestation from its global supply chain. The tool is an online dashboard that maps the company's supply chain, including the names of locations of its refineries and supplier mills. Rhett Butler 0.729198 121.270847 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14291 2015-01-21T20:01:00Z 2015-01-21T20:11:10Z Sundarbans still reeling from effects of December oil spill <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0121.kid_cleanup-1024x768.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, an estimated 350,000 liters of fuel oil spilled into the Sundarbans delta on the Bay of Bengal. An oil tanker that had collided with a cargo vessel on December 9th sank into the Shela River, spilling its oil into a protected sanctuary for the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) and the Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica). Jeremy Hance 21.968151 89.527303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14289 2015-01-21T17:58:00Z 2015-01-21T19:39:33Z Environmental wisdom: keeping indigenous stories alive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0116_lakes_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Enchanted lakes and magic hills: how traditional stories support conservation and abundance. 'Long ago, when animals were <i>gente</i>...' Those words, uttered countless times by indigenous Amazonian storytellers, blur the boundary between humans and other creatures in the forests and rivers, revealing a different view of the way human and non-human worlds intertwine. Tiffany Roufs -4.495995 -73.588057 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14286 2015-01-21T16:45:00Z 2015-01-22T20:52:27Z A model forest? Regional park balances local needs and conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1218_Ampiyacu-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Regional conservation area safeguards subsistence and spirituality in the Peruvian Amazon. For Alfredo Rojas, the history of the remote villages along the Ampiyacu River is one of enslavement. Growing up here, Rojas listened to his parents tell stories of the rubber barons who beat and killed the Indians who failed to meet their latex quota. Tiffany Roufs -2.954219 -72.431055 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14284 2015-01-20T21:59:00Z 2015-02-13T00:08:32Z Company chops down rainforest to produce 'sustainable' chocolate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0120cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A cacao grower with roots in Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has set up shop in the Peruvian Amazon. The CEO of United Cacao has told the international press that he wants to change the industry for the better, but a cadre of scientists and conservation groups charge that United Cacao has quietly cut down more than 2,000 hectares of rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.988978 -73.048351 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14282 2015-01-20T14:29:00Z 2015-01-20T14:55:56Z Scandal and intrigue overshadow environment at the Simandou mine in Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_stiles_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Critically Endangered chimpanzees stand to lose their home over giant iron mine in West Africa. When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa decades ago well-laid plans often crumbled to dust in the unpredictable confusion of life there. We just muttered with resignation, 'WAWA' – West Africa wins again. The Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea could be one of the biggest WAWAs the region has ever produced. Tiffany Roufs 9.165131 -9.166323 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14267 2015-01-15T22:32:00Z 2015-01-16T18:33:46Z Ocean's 15: meet the species that have vanished forever from our seas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0115.Steller's-sea-cow-Labeled-Peter-Schouten.600.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the last 500 years, the oceans have suffered far fewer extinctions than on land&#8212;at least that we know of. According to a recent study in Science, 15 animals are known to have vanished forever from the oceans while terrestrial ecosystems have seen 514 extinctions. The researchers, however, warn that the number of marine extinctions could rise rapidly as the oceans are industrialized. Jeremy Hance 34.889942 -154.673320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14265 2015-01-15T19:01:00Z 2015-01-16T18:35:14Z Empty seas? Scientists warn of an industrialized ocean <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/pink-skunk-anemonefish-(Amphiprion-perideraion)---Malin-Pinsky-300.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This is obvious, but still important: humans are not a marine species. Even as we have colonized most of our planet's terrestrial landscapes, we have not yet colonized the oceans. And for most of our history, we have impacted them only on the periphery. A new review in Science finds that this has saved marine species and ecosystems from large-scale damage&#8212;that is, until the last couple centuries. Jeremy Hance 32.139061 -78.793072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14266 2015-01-15T18:43:00Z 2015-01-15T19:15:23Z No experience necessary: how studying tamarins led to an innovative research organization in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0114_primates_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While conducting doctoral research on tamarin reproductive biology in the Peruvian Amazon, Mrinalini Watsa realized she needed help in the field. Rather than hiring seasonal assistance she, along with Gideon Erkenswick, decided to create a life-changing non-profit organization, PrimatesPeru. The new NGO would allow students to conduct field research in one of the most biodiverse, yet threatened, places on Earth. Tiffany Roufs -12.195950 -72.133971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14260 2015-01-14T16:55:00Z 2015-01-14T17:13:44Z Did palm oil expansion play a role in the Ebola crisis? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0114.Eidolon_helvum_fg01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Ebola outbreak in West Africa may have been the result of complex economic and agricultural policies developed by authorities in Guinea and Liberia, according to a new commentary in Environment and Planning A. Looking at the economic activities around villages where Ebola first emerged, the investigators analyzed a shift in land-use activities in Guinea's forested region, particularly an increase in oil palm. Jeremy Hance 8.571239 -10.128214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14253 2015-01-12T19:20:00Z 2015-01-12T19:40:26Z Casting for another job: will fishers take up a new livelihood? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0111_fisheries150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can alternative income programs save Fiji's reef fish? Many implicate the failure of Fiji's government to prioritize sustainable management over fisheries development projects, or suggest that Fijians' mindsets must dramatically shift first. Tiffany Roufs -17.865520 177.885014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14232 2015-01-07T17:38:00Z 2015-01-20T03:22:47Z How black rhinos and local communities help each other in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0107.Photo-1-(credit-Dave-Hamman-Photography)-_-A-desert-adapted-black-rhino-in-north-west-Namibia.150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's rhinos are in a state of crisis. Poaching for their horn has resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals and pushed the continent's two species&#8212;the white and black rhino&#8212;against the wall. Yet, despite the crisis, there are pockets of rhino territory where poaching remains rare and rhinos live comparatively unmolested. Indeed, one of the brightest spots for rhinos is in Namibia. Jeremy Hance -18.820276 15.165756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14213 2015-01-02T17:28:00Z 2015-02-26T19:44:17Z Rainforests: 10 things to watch in 2015 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_2477.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2014 was a landmark year for tropical rainforests</a>, with dozens of major companies committing to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains, the launch of new platforms for monitoring forests, and sharp drop in clearing in the Brazilian Amazon, among other big developments. Here's a quick look ahead at what might be in store for tropical forests in 2015. Rhett Butler -1.414087 -76.659226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14208 2014-12-30T19:40:00Z 2015-01-10T02:17:03Z 2014: the year in rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/YIR-sabah_sepilok_0390_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2014 could be classified as 'The Year of the Zero Deforestation Commitment'. During 2014, nearly two dozen major companies, ranging from palm oil producers to fast food chains to toothpaste makers, established policies to exclude palm oil sourced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands. Rhett Butler 2.864823 17.489353 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14206 2014-12-30T17:23:00Z 2014-12-31T16:23:26Z Meet Biofaces: the Facebook for wildlife enthusiasts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1229.leonardo.thumb.98504.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Love wildlife? Wish you had a place online to share your photos, videos, and stories with other wild enthusiasts&#8212;kind of like a Facebook for wildlife lovers? Well, look no further than Biofaces, a new website meant to "make wildlife loving people happy," according to its creator, Leonardo Avelino Duarte. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14202 2014-12-29T14:32:00Z 2014-12-29T14:35:08Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/okavango/150/okavango_452.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what was widely seen as a possible breakthrough in the battle to coordinate some kind of response to global warming, China and the U.S. announced joint actions this year. On November 12th, the world's two most powerful countries surprised pretty much everyone by announcing that they would work together to tackle the crisis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14196 2014-12-24T19:02:00Z 2014-12-24T23:42:33Z Favorite nature and wildlife photos from 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/malaysia/150/sabah_tawau_0149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the course of my reporting in 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to several countries and take some pictures in the field. Below are some of my favorite images from the year. Most of these photos are from Sumatra (Indonesia), Sabah (Malaysia), and Queensland (Australia), although there are a few from the United States. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14180 2014-12-22T14:35:00Z 2014-12-23T15:38:52Z Edited Reality: What I Learned from Filming Eaten Alive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/2332.pr.eatenalive.4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On November 3, 2014, I woke up to check my flight status from Bangalore to New York. What I found when I opened my laptop was a mindboggling amount of emails, hate mail, death threats, and interview requests. The numbers were staggering. The night before, the Discovery Channel had aired the first trailers for the show they decided to call Eaten Alive. Jeremy Hance -12.546168 -69.339244 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14178 2014-12-20T02:23:00Z 2014-12-22T20:08:19Z Pictures: the top new animal discoveries of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1220-top-new-species-2014_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seemingly every year scientists set a new record with the number of species they describe. 2014 will be no exception. Below are some of the 'new species' highlights from the past year. The list includes species whose descriptions were first published in 2014. Some of the 'discoveries' occurred in years prior. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14172 2014-12-18T17:36:00Z 2014-12-18T17:53:18Z Tropical deforestation could disrupt rainfall globally <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1802.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Large-scale deforestation in the tropics could drive significant and widespread shifts in rainfall distribution and temperatures, potentially affecting agriculture both locally and far from where forest loss is occurring, concludes a study published today in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler -9.015302 -62.634773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14155 2014-12-15T18:17:00Z 2015-01-21T20:14:26Z Children 'clean' oil spill with kitchen utensils in the Sundarbans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1214.oilspill.sundarbans.4.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 9th, a tanker slammed into another vessel along the Shela River in the world's largest mangrove forest: the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The tanker sank, spilling an estimated 75,000 gallons (350,000 liters) of fuel oil into waterways that are a part of a reserve for threatened Ganges river dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins. Jeremy Hance 22.143775 89.702728 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14144 2014-12-11T17:10:00Z 2014-12-11T21:33:52Z New film highlights local resistance to Nicaragua's canal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1211.grancanal._DSC0638.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This fall, filmmakers Tom Miller and Nuin-Tara Key with Pretty Good Productions found themselves in Nicaragua where they heard about a stunning project: the Gran Canal. Approved last year, the canal is meant to compete with the Panama Canal to the south. Built by a Chinese company, it will cut through 278 kilometers, destroying forests and driving through the largest freshwater body in Central America. Jeremy Hance 12.163097 -83.692639 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14139 2014-12-10T19:30:00Z 2014-12-11T14:45:20Z To collect or not to collect? Experts debate the need for specimens <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/800px-Berlin_Naturkundemuseum_tote_Voegel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1912, a group of intrepid explorers led by Rollo and Ida Beck, widely acknowledged to be the foremost marine bird collectors of their time, embarked on a most remarkable effort to catalogue South America's oceanic birds. Museums of the day held opportunistically collected specimens from scattered sources, but rarely did these include ocean-bound birds that spent little time near the coast. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2014-12-08T17:57:12Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14117 2014-12-05T04:56:00Z 2014-12-05T05:10:34Z Tradeoff: Sabah banks on palm oil to boost forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month Sabah set aside an additional 203,000 hectares of protected forest reserves, boosting the Malaysian state's extent of protected areas to 21 percent of its land mass. But instead of accolades, Sabah forestry leaders were criticized for how they went about securing those reserves: allowing thousands of hectares of deforested land within an officially designated forestry area to be converted for oil palm plantations Rhett Butler 4.471707 117.439298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14107 2014-12-03T19:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:11:49Z One-two punch: farming, global warming destroying unique East African forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-thumb-atheris-5.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lush mountains speckle East Africa's grasslands and desert, from Mozambique to Ethiopia. These isolated habitats are home to a plethora of species, and are considered by scientists to be some of the most biodiverse regions in the world. However, their forests are being cut down for farmland and are threatened by global warming, putting at risk multitudes of species that have nowhere else to go. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.725780 36.574009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14106 2014-12-03T18:53:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:16Z New survey finds surprisingly large population of endangered owl <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1202.Anjouan-Scops-owl---A.-Van-Norman.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Anjouan scops owl&#8212;an elusive owl found only on its tiny eponymous island&#8212;was once considered among the world's most endangered owls, and even the most threatened birds. However, the first in-depth survey of the owls on the island finds that, in fact, the population is far larger than initially estimated. Jeremy Hance -12.227030 44.417853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14074 2014-11-26T15:32:00Z 2014-12-01T20:32:45Z New calendar celebrates primates and raises money for their survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1125.primatescalendar.cover.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens, are really just upright apes with big brains. We may have traded actual jungles for gleaming concrete and steel ones, but we are still primates, merely one member of an order consisting of sixteen families. We may have removed ourselves from our wilder beginnings, but our extant relatives&#8212;the world's wonderful primates&#8212;serve as a gentle living reminder of those days. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14070 2014-11-25T19:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:27Z Meet the world's rarest chameleon: Chapman's pygmy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Rhampholeon-chapmanorum-Female---Colin-Tilbury.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In just two forest patches may dwell a tiny, little-known chameleon that researchers have dubbed the world's most endangered. Chapman's pygmy chameleon from Malawi hasn't been seen in 16 years. In that time, its habitat has been whittled down to an area about the size of just 100 American football fields. Jeremy Hance -16.904995 35.196914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14069 2014-11-25T18:30:00Z 2014-12-01T21:12:51Z Reeling in religious messages: how faith impacts fisheries in Fiji <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118_west_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marrying religion and conservation could be key to making Fiji's fisheries sustainable. Fijians have strong religious beliefs, which were primarily introduced by Christian missionaries in the 1835, and today profoundly guide their daily lives. Fijians primarily depend on fisheries close to shore for their survival, which is the case for most small Pacific island countries. Tiffany Roufs -17.750460 178.137699 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14050 2014-11-19T23:29:00Z 2015-02-05T18:38:28Z Jane Goodall: 5 reasons to have hope for the planet <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119jane-freud150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jane Goodall is not only arguably the most famous conservationist who ever lived, but also the most well-known and respected female scientist on the planet today. Her path to reach that stature is an unlikely as it is inspiring. Told to 'never give up' by her mother, Goodall set out in her 20s to pursue her childhood dream: to live with animals in Africa. By the time she was 26 she doing just this. Rhett Butler -4.701242 29.616242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14041 2014-11-18T22:39:00Z 2014-11-25T23:31:38Z A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1118.800px-Asha%CC%81ninka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him&#8212;or others. Jeremy Hance -14.153426 -69.134704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14038 2014-11-18T16:46:00Z 2014-11-18T17:08:24Z Using games to teach kids the value of nature and philanthropy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118jre150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kids are spending more time using tablets and smart phones for learning and entertainment. But hours spent gaming, Tweeting, and playing on Instagram and Facebook, may mean less engagement with nature, potentially making it more difficult for conservation organizations to inspire and influence the next generation of donors and decision makers. Given the state of the world's environment, that is a troubling thought. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14029 2014-11-17T17:02:00Z 2014-11-18T02:28:09Z A nature photographer's dream: staff photographer for the Wildlife Conservation Society <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1117Natalie-Cash-4413-Julie-Larsen-Maher-with-African-elephant-calf150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Julie Larsen Maher has what many wildlife photographers would consider a dream job: staff photographer for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a non-profit that runs five zoos and aquariums in New York City as well as numerous site-based field programs in the U.S. and overseas. As staff photographer, Maher helps tell the stories behind WCS's conservation work, which ranges from veterinary procedures with Bronx Zoo animals to working with local communities in remote parts of Zambia to protect wildlife. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14020 2014-11-14T01:27:00Z 2014-11-14T14:09:06Z Surprising reasons to be optimistic about saving forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-peru_aerial_0795_rainbow150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1990s, the world watched with alarm as vast tracts of tropical rainforest were torn down for timber and croplands, dug up for minerals and energy, and flooded for hydroelectric projects. Conservation groups, governments, philanthropists, and institutions like the World Bank collectively spent billions of dollars on programs to stop the carnage. But as viewed from satellites high above Earth's surface, those efforts barely dented deforestation rates. Rhett Butler -4.287527 -70.002351 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14019 2014-11-13T21:15:00Z 2014-11-18T23:50:43Z New tapir? Scientists dispute biological discovery of the century <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly a year ago, scientists announced an incredible discovery: a new tapir species from the western Amazon in Brazil and Colombia. The announcement was remarkable for a number of reasons: this was the biggest new land mammal discovered in more than 20 years and was only the fifth tapir known to the world. But within months other researchers expressed doubt over the veracity of the new species. Jeremy Hance -8.602194 -66.198026 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14014 2014-11-12T22:45:00Z 2014-11-12T22:54:07Z Prelude to Paris: China and U.S. surprise world with joint climate deal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0000.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely have major ramifications for a new climate agreement in Paris in 2015, China and the U.S. surprised everyone today by announcing a joint climate deal. At a press conference in Beijing, China President, Xi Jingping, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, outlined climate actions for both juggernauts up to 2030. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14011 2014-11-12T17:58:00Z 2015-01-20T03:30:06Z Local people are not the enemy: real conservation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/Heather_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Saving one of the world's most endangered primates means re-thinking conservation. When Noga Shanee and her colleagues first arrived in Northeastern Peru on a research trip to study the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda), she was shocked by what she observed. Tiffany Roufs -3.015252 -71.958190 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14009 2014-11-12T16:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:27:27Z 'Guns kill trees too': overhunting raises extinction threat for trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112.moonbear.BEAR2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper confirms what ecologists have long feared: hunting birds and mammals drastically raises the risk of extinction for tropical trees. Following the long-lifespan of a single canopy tree, Miliusa horsfieldii, researchers discovered that overhunting of animals could increase the chances of extinction for the species fourteen times over a century, from 0.5 percent to seven percent. Jeremy Hance 15.396805 99.164255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14003 2014-11-11T16:07:00Z 2014-11-11T20:35:59Z Chief Curiosity Correspondent tackles sexism, aids conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107_graslie_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Have you ever been offered the job of your dreams without knowing you were being interviewed? Have you ever communicated with a 5-year-old about the wonders of Salmonella? Have you ever been disappointed not to have larvae hatching from your skin? If you answered yes to all three questions, then you are either Emily Graslie herself or you should subscribe to her YouTube channel. Immediately. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13999 2014-11-10T21:43:00Z 2014-11-11T01:35:05Z Peru has massive opportunity to avoid emissions from deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1110carbon-zoom-amazon-mainstem150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly a billion tons of carbon in Peru's rainforests is at risk from logging, infrastructure projects, and oil and gas extraction, yet opportunities remain to conserve massive amounts of forest in indigenous territories, parks, and unprotected areas, finds a study published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS). Rhett Butler -5.298827 -76.268806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13987 2014-11-06T18:51:00Z 2014-11-09T16:52:49Z Indigenous uprising earned tribe territories, but greatest challenges lie ahead <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1007_panama_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1925, Nele Kantule led a revolution that would make Guna Yala an independent and sovereign indigenous territory within Panama. Since then, the Guna have maintained a way of life that has allowed them to preserve their natural resources and mainland forest to an exceptional degree. But today, like many indigenous groups around the world, the Guna face some of their greatest challenges yet: the impacts of climate change, encroaching outside influences, and a younger generation that many elders feel is drifting from its roots. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13985 2014-11-06T16:32:00Z 2014-12-30T22:27:49Z Is the world moving backwards on protected areas? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1106.2-Julie-Larsen-Maher-6451-American-Bison-in-wild_bulls-grazing-by-river-YELL-05-06-06---reduced-size---no-sky---Copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protected areas are undoubtedly the world's most important conservation success story. But, despite this, progress on protected areas is stalling and in some cases even falling behind. According to a sobering new paper, only 20-50 percent of the world's land and marine protected areas are meeting their goals, while the rest are hampered by lack of funding, poor management, and government ambivalence. Jeremy Hance 2.146985, 31.811975 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13970 2014-11-03T17:17:00Z 2014-11-10T04:37:28Z Indonesian government's concession policy prioritizes companies over forest communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5260.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) analyzes 100 conflicts around the world in the mining, oil and gas, logging and agricultural sectors and examines how and why they come about. The report focuses on several emerging economies, including Brazil, Colombia, Liberia, Peru, and Indonesia. Rhett Butler -7.975598 140.364711 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13968 2014-10-31T19:10:00Z 2014-11-07T16:26:48Z Between the Forest and the Sea: The Yarsuisuit Collective - Part II <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1031_01_guerra_kuna_yala150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this multimedia piece by SRI fellow Bear Guerra, we follow Andrés de León and the Yarsuisuit collective, a group of men who grow and harvest food sustainably in the Guna mainland forest. They also run a store on the island of Ustupu that helps support their families, serving as a model for the wider community. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:10Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13963 2014-10-30T15:16:00Z 2014-10-30T16:16:40Z The Search for Lost Frogs: one of conservation's most exciting expeditions comes to life in new book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/_MG_0205.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent years was the Search for Lost Frogs in 2010. The brainchild of scientist, photographer, and frog-lover, Robin Moore, the initiative brought a sense of hope&#8212;and excitement&#8212;to a whole group of animals often ignored by the global public&#8212;and media outlets. Now, Moore has written a fascinating account of the expedition: In Search of Lost Frogs. Jeremy Hance 9.559564 76.929016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13946 2014-10-27T15:32:00Z 2014-10-27T15:55:29Z Photos: slumbering lions win top photo prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1027.nhm.fennec.nhm.fennec.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The king of beasts took this year's top prize in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is co-owned by the Natural History Museum (London) and the BBC. The photo, of female lions and their cubs resting on a rock face in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, was taken by Michael 'Nick' Nichols, a photographer with National Geographic. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13938 2014-10-23T14:45:00Z 2014-10-23T21:41:09Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Recognize the value of novel forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1022.Ariel-Lugo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Think first before you eradicate non-native species says Dr. Ariel E. Lugo, the current director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry within the USDA Forest Service, based in Puerto Rico. Lugo, an accomplished ecologist, supports the idea that both native and non-native plants have important roles to play in conservation efforts. Jeremy Hance 18.213006 -66.532471 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13934 2014-10-22T14:35:00Z 2014-10-22T14:45:04Z Saving the survivor: China scrambles to keep the finless porpoise from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1017_chinafish35_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On the morning of July 14, 2002 Qi Qi ate breakfast as he always did. As the world’s only captive baiji – or Yangtze river dolphin – Qi Qi was something of a celebrity in China and his caretakers kept a close eye on his health. That care may explain why, after being injured by fishermen, he lived an impressive 22 years in the Freshwater Dolphin Research Center in Wuhan, China. Tiffany Roufs 30.584078 114.275665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13928 2014-10-21T17:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:34Z Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.beach.IMG_0163.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -9.1579 152.779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13925 2014-10-20T18:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:21Z Indonesia developing mega coal mine five times larger than Singapore <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-L1050236-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global miner BHP Billiton and Indonesian partner PT Adaro are developing what could become the single largest mine in Indonesia in terms of land area, with BHP owning 75 percent. The IndoMet mine complex in Central and East Kalimantan provinces on Borneo comprises seven coal concessions, which cover 350,000 hectares, or about five times the size of Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.060110 114.873573 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13922 2014-10-20T14:08:00Z 2014-10-21T15:05:26Z Walking the walk: zoo kicks off campaign for orangutans and sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/kalteng_0897.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you see people wearing orange this October, it might not be for Halloween, but for orangutans. Chester Zoo’s conservation campaign, Go Orange for Orangutans, kicks off this month for its second year. The campaign aims to raise money, and awareness, for orangutans in Borneo, which have become hugely impacted by deforestation often linked to palm oil plantations. Jeremy Hance 53.224664 -2.884033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13920 2014-10-17T20:44:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:08Z Indonesia’s tough choice: capping coal as Asian demand grows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1017-fogarty-L1050446-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> Indonesia cannot build power stations fast enough. And neither can most of its Asian neighbors. Rapid economic and population growth are driving equally rapid demands for electricity as the region builds out power grids to connect up millions of people to fuel prosperity. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13914 2014-10-16T16:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:56Z Indonesia tries to clamp down on coal sector’s worst excesses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/fogarty2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Out of the jungles of East Borneo in Indonesia comes the fire that fuels Asia’s burgeoning economies: coal. Miners dig deep open pits, clearing forests and farmlands to extract coal from thick black seams, which is then crushed and loaded onto trucks and barges for shipment to China, India, Japan and other destinations in Asia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13908 2014-10-14T20:28:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:44Z India plans huge palm oil expansion, puts forests at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1014-mizoram-6-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest importer of palm oil, India is seeking to slake its thirst domestically. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that India has the potential to cultivate oil palm in 1.03 million hectares of land--nearly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut--and produce four to five million metric tons of palm oil per year. Morgan Erickson-Davis 23.194185 93.040281 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13906 2014-10-14T15:06:00Z 2014-10-15T00:54:51Z 'River wolves' recover in Peruvian park, but still remain threatened inside and out (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1014.L183_Capitulo2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lobo de río, or river wolf, is the very evocative Spanish name for one of the Amazon's most spectacular mammals: the giant river otter. This highly intelligent, deeply social, and simply charming freshwater predator almost vanished entirely due to a relentless fur trade in the 20th Century. But decades after the trade in giant river otter pelts was outlawed, the species is making a comeback. Jeremy Hance -11.890522 -71.402772 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13902 2014-10-13T15:03:00Z 2014-10-14T16:09:27Z Jane Goodall joins mongabay <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/AP0299-32-LR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Famed primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall&#8212;whose image is known the world over&#8212;has joined the advisory board of mongabay.org. This is the non-profit branch of mongabay.com, an environmental and science website with a special focus on tropical forests. Goodall first came to global prominence at the age of 26 when she set off to Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania to study chimpanzee behavior. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13895 2014-10-09T16:27:00Z 2015-01-20T03:29:35Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Empower youth leaders <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_0717.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save forests? Don't forget the youth, says Pedro Walpole, the Chair and Director of Research for the Environmental Science for Social Change, a Jesuit environmental research organization promoting sustainability and social justice across the Asia Pacific region. 'Youth leadership in environmental management is key,' Walpole told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 8.495517 123.303646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13887 2014-10-08T14:49:00Z 2014-10-21T15:32:31Z The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1008.Steveand2Cubs.100.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000 square kilometers. His recent work highlighted the cost of global warming to these incredible animals and the sea ice they so closely depend on. Jeremy Hance 72.875466 -132.455211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13882 2014-10-07T14:37:00Z 2014-10-08T14:08:22Z Saving Peru's sea turtles and marine birds: conservationists and fishermen partner to tackle bycatch <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1006.prodelphinus.release.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marine conservationists often view fisheries as an enemy of sorts, vacuuming up fish with little thought to the long-term consequences and using equipment that also ends up killing other species, i.e. bycatch like sea turtles and marine birds. However, Joanna Alfaro Shigueto, the President of the Peruvian NGOProDelphinus and winner of a 2012 Whitley Award, has chosen a different tact. Jeremy Hance -13.982917 -76.336242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13877 2014-10-06T14:36:00Z 2014-10-06T16:27:46Z The Zanaga iron ore mine – a test of best laid plans for preserving wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-zanaga150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the largest iron ore deposits in Africa is located in a strip 47 kilometers long and three kilometers wide in the Republic of the Congo (RoC), bordering Gabon. A core section of the Guineo-Congolian Forest rises above this vast mineral deposit, and provides a home to flagship endangered species like western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and forest elephants. Tiffany Roufs -2.862806 13.819685 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13861 2014-10-02T15:23:00Z 2014-10-03T04:05:48Z Despite high deforestation, Indonesia making progress on forests, says Norwegian official <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-stig-traavik150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official. Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than it is today. Rhett Butler 5.252333 95.678852 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13859 2014-10-02T13:55:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:56Z What makes the jaguar the ultimate survivor? New books highlights mega-predator's remarkable past and precarious future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1002.thumbnail.9781597269964.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For thousands of years the jaguar was a God, then it was vermin to be destroyed, and today it is the inspiration for arguably the most ambitious conservation effort on the planet. A new book by renowned big cat conservationist, Alan Rabinowitz, tells this remarkable story from the jaguar's evolutionary origins in Asia to its re-emergence today as a cultural and ecological symbol. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13832 2014-09-24T20:56:00Z 2014-11-06T17:52:52Z Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0728.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From the Andes to the Amazon, Peru houses some of the world's most spectacular forests. Proud and culturally-diverse indigenous tribes inhabit the interiors of the Peruvian Amazon, including some that have chosen little contact with the outside world. And even as scientists have identified tens-of-thousands of species that make their homes from the leaf litter to the canopy. Jeremy Hance -13.256860 -68.993973 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13811 2014-09-22T13:36:00Z 2014-09-23T00:10:27Z Extinction island? Plans to log half an island could endanger over 40 species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/plullulaeopti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Woodlark Island is a rare place on the planet today. This small island off the coast Papua New Guinea is still covered in rich tropical forest, an ecosystem shared for thousands of years between tribal peoples and a plethora of species, including at least 42 found no-where else. Yet, like many such wildernesses, Woodlark Island is now facing major changes: not the least of them is a plan to log half of the island. Jeremy Hance -9.038617 152.610839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-11-06T17:51:17Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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 2014-11-06T17:51:04Z 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 2014-11-06T17:48:52Z 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 2014-11-20T20:34:04Z 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