tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/habitat%20loss1 habitat loss news from mongabay.com 2015-03-27T19:23:49Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14547 2015-03-27T19:02:00Z 2015-03-27T19:23:49Z Just how useful is forest restoration? New study seeks to find out <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9255.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Across the world, scientists estimate there are about two billion hectares of degraded forestland. In Indonesia alone, 25 million hectares of former logging concessions currently have no management, according to research. A study recently published in mongabay.com’s open access journal Tropical Conservation Science suggests this may represent an important opportunity for biodiversity conservation through restoration. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.208215 103.236197 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14539 2015-03-26T14:39:00Z 2015-03-26T14:43:50Z Mexico’s club mosses at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325-thumb-club-moss.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>All nine species of the club moss genus Phlegmariurus found in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico are at risk of extinction, according to a new study published in the journal Tropical Conservation Science. One of these species, P. orizabae, has not been recorded in the wild since 1854. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.483162 -95.035593 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14533 2015-03-25T14:29:00Z 2015-03-25T16:30:50Z Illegal cocoa plantations threaten Côte d’Ivoire’s parks and primates <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325_roloway_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, also boasts an ecosystem of great biological richness and species diversity, with over 2,250 endemic plants and 270 vertebrate species. Unfortunately, it also has the highest deforestation rate in all of sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to its rise as a significant player in the global agricultural economy after years of civil unrest. Brittany Stewart 8.779826 -3.509581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14529 2015-03-24T18:10:00Z 2015-03-24T18:13:24Z Reforestation programs may help reduce illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2014.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can the act of planting a tree change one’s attitude towards forests and conservation? Erica Pohnan, Hotlin Ompusunggu, and Campbell Webb, from the conservation NGO Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), set out to answer this question by evaluating the effectiveness of reforestation programs in and around Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.220408 110.136080 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14516 2015-03-20T15:22:00Z 2015-03-20T22:47:22Z Study finds roads in Southeast Asia may be devastating forests, wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0320-thumb-Large%20Indian%20Civet%20roadkill%20on%20state%20road%20156%20-%20WY%20Lam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Habitat loss and illegal hunting are leading drivers behind mammal population decline and extinction in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. But what's driving these drivers? Road infrastructure, according to research. Researchers conducted the first-ever comprehensive study examining the impacts of road infrastructure on mammal populations in Southeast Asia; their findings were recently published in PLOS One. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.083415 106.643333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14497 2015-03-14T22:08:00Z 2015-03-14T22:11:01Z Road rage: scientists denounce $60 trillion infrastructure expansion <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0205.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last November, at the annual G-20 summit - for the 20 wealthiest of the world’s nations - in Brisbane, Australia, a staggering commitment was made to invest $60 to $70 trillion worldwide in new infrastructure over the next 15 years. This is akin to doubling the current value of all global infrastructure put together. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.611646 -69.202151 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14494 2015-03-13T22:40:00Z 2015-03-13T22:45:01Z Scientists warn of global warming threat to temperate rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00192.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a new study published recently in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, researchers warn that temperate rainforests may be in for big changes in the face of global warming, and they recommend reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it's too late. Morgan Erickson-Davis 40.158450 -124.136958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14492 2015-03-13T16:58:00Z 2015-03-13T21:38:08Z Indigenous leaders present plan to gov't for Suriname's largest official protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313-thumb-2-suriname.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous leaders from southern Suriname took the first steps toward creating the South American country’s largest recognized protected area with a declaration to parliament on March 5. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.744582 -55.454840 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14489 2015-03-12T23:56:00Z 2015-03-13T00:03:17Z Newly discovered Brazilian bird may number fewer than 10 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-4-Cichlocolaptes%20mazarbarnetti%20photoart%20by%20Rolf%20Grantsau.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2002, a team of ornithologists at Murici in northeastern Brazil observed and recorded the call of a bird. At that time, the team believed they had chanced upon a rare bird previously described by other researchers as the Alagaos foliage-gleaner (Philydor novasei). Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.191697 -35.932137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14487 2015-03-12T20:18:00Z 2015-03-12T20:34:27Z New report: commercial agricultural expansion fueling illegal logging and land conflicts in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-Forest%20Trends_cleared%20forest%20for%20agribusiness%20concession%20in%20Tanintharyi%20Region.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Myanmar government has been allocating land for large-scale private agricultural businesses in the country’s biodiversity-rich forests at an alarming rate, according to a new report released by Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-profit organization. And these concessions may be fueling illegal timber harvests and intensifying land conflicts, the report alleges. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.353588 97.496193 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14483 2015-03-12T00:58:00Z 2015-03-12T00:59:02Z Local land rights may be in danger from push for palm oil in Liberia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rights of local and indigenous peoples aren’t being adequately protected in the drive for economic development, according to a report published in February by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a coalition of forest-oriented organizations. For a place like Liberia, reeling from both decades of persistent poverty and the recent Ebola epidemic, economic development seems critical at just about any cost. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.294388 -9.130614 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14482 2015-03-11T21:23:00Z 2015-03-11T21:24:25Z Study finds soil releases carbon for decades after forests are felled <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/pittsfield_state_forest_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a study by researchers with Dartmouth College, the carbon stored in mineral soils, which lie underneath the organic soil layer, is released for decades after a forest is cut down. This may have serious implications for how carbon emissions from deforestation are accounted for. Morgan Erickson-Davis 43.356244 -74.552389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14480 2015-03-11T16:34:00Z 2015-03-11T16:36:35Z UN report warns of grave consequences if mangroves not protected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_1107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), global destruction of mangrove forests impacts biodiversity, food security, and the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized communities in the world. Mangroves, which are forests of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs that lie along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics, are also invaluable carbon sinks. And we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them, says a recent report. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.525658 9.418032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14473 2015-03-10T20:06:00Z 2015-03-13T15:41:35Z Endangered forests shrink as demand for soy rises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As battles over labeling genetically modified foods or displaying calorific breakdowns per serving rage on, it appears that a possibly more significant battle is in its infancy - where do all the ingredients on the package actually come from? Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.095052 -41.642175 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14470 2015-03-10T18:00:00Z 2015-03-10T18:01:49Z Vicious circle: scientists warn peat fires, global warming may intensify each other <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1363.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published recently in Nature Geoscience warns of the consequences of increased smoldering fires as peatlands are drained to make land for agriculture, or dry up due to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.641515 102.328314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14466 2015-03-06T20:30:00Z 2015-03-06T20:38:04Z Newly described monkey species found in threatened Amazon forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-C-miltoni-pair-Gambarini.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2011, Julio César Dalponte noticed a peculiar looking titi monkey on the bank of the Roosevelt River in Mato Grasso, Brazil. Titi monkeys, genus Callicebus, are common throughout South America, but this one had a flaming orange tail, light gray forehead stripe and ochre sideburns, which didn’t match any known titi species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.106440 -60.054363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14464 2015-03-06T18:07:00Z 2015-03-06T20:35:15Z New bird species confirmed in Sulawesi 15 years after first sighting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-streaked-flycatcher.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although it’s a hotspot of avian biodiversity, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been “poorly studied ornithologically,” according to a study published in the scientific journal PloS one. Case in point: the subject of the study, a new species of flycatcher first observed in 1997 but not formally described by scientists until November 2014. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.315497 120.042114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14459 2015-03-05T22:04:00Z 2015-03-05T22:33:30Z Firewood fervor may turn Zimbabwe into an 'outright desert' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0305-thumb-Baoobab_tree,_Masvingo_Province,_Zimbabwe.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In developing countries like Zimbabwe and in much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, fuelwood is a major source of energy for cooking and heating for people who can't afford electricity. A 2014 study published in Resources and Environment highlights the severity of this issue in Zimbabwe. Morgan Erickson-Davis -19.509553 30.471161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14457 2015-03-05T18:25:00Z 2015-03-05T18:27:18Z Somali charcoal: funding terrorism through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0371.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Militant terrorist group Al-Shabaab funds itself, in part, through the illegal production and sale of charcoal, turning Somalia’s trees into “black gold.” Because areas of the country controlled by the group aren’t accessible to researchers, it’s difficult to determine just how many trees are cut down to fuel Al-Shabaab’s violent agenda. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.918541 42.611172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14454 2015-03-05T14:52:00Z 2015-03-05T14:59:50Z Bushmeat's dual role: threatened species face off against nutrition and culture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224_bushmeat_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change, and other man-made forces are threatening species around the world. But, often overlooked, overhunting is a rising peril to many animals. On the other hand, bushmeat hunting also helps provide vital protein in rural tropical regions and is an important cultural rite for many indigenous tribes. Thus, there is a dual challenge of maintaining food security for forest-dependent populations and ensuring wildlife conservation. Tiffany Roufs 3.497437 -70.465758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14452 2015-03-04T17:11:00Z 2015-03-06T13:58:49Z Madagascar’s frog haven: rich, underexplored, threatened <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-1-thumb-Rhombophryne_matavy_FdAmbre_2008_IMG_0348_photo_F_Glaw.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is a treasure trove of frogs. Located off the east coast of Africa, this large island nation has more than 500 species of frogs, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Much of Madagascar’s rich biodiversity remains understudied. As researchers comb through the country’s forests, they continue to discover previously undescribed species of frogs, adding to Madagascar’s amphibian diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.441990 49.739407 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14450 2015-03-03T20:22:00Z 2015-03-30T22:38:33Z Researchers, locals work together to save Ethiopia's 'church forests' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-thumb-wall-builders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Presenting a workshop on ecosystem services to a roomful of priests in Ethiopia may seem like an unlikely scenario for a conservation biologist to end up in, but for Meg Lowman, it’s an essential part of spreading her passion for bottom-up conservation. “Canopy Meg,” as she’s fondly referred to by her colleagues, believes in the power of local communities to be part of the solution, often in ways that are more effective than researchers can make alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.795124 37.676432 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14449 2015-03-03T17:23:00Z 2015-03-03T17:30:26Z Colombia proposes protected corridor across South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0307.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to create the world’s largest protected area, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains. Santos plans to propose the protected environmental corridor during the UN climate talks in Paris later this year as a means to combat global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.069027 -71.417806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14445 2015-03-02T15:32:00Z 2015-03-05T14:52:15Z Giant panda population rises by nearly 17 percent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/animals/150/animals_05361.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most iconic animals on the planet got good news this week. The world's giant panda population has risen by 268 individuals over the last decade, hitting a total of 1,864 animals, according to China's fourth decadal survey. This represents a total rise of 16.8 percent. Jeremy Hance 30.737124 104.142824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14441 2015-02-27T18:06:00Z 2015-02-27T19:31:38Z Biofuels are bad news for forests, climate, food security, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4665.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from the World Resources Institute finds that dedicating land to the production of biofuels, a form of renewable energy made from plants, may undermine efforts to achieve a sustainable food future, combat climate change, and protect forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.497720 -63.127501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14440 2015-02-27T16:57:00Z 2015-02-27T19:19:14Z Reports slam Malaysian timber companies, urge reforms in forest management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0227-thumb-sarawak-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two international NGOs have called out Malaysia in recent months over the country’s widespread illegal logging. Malaysia has been accused of not doing enough to protect its diminishing forests and thwart the illicit timber trade, particularly in Sarawak, the site of the country’s worst deforestation. Lax oversight, endemic corruption and limited transparency have allowed for Malaysia’s forests to be plundered by both the government and the private sector. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.994144 114.270160 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14438 2015-02-26T22:56:00Z 2015-02-26T22:58:16Z Researchers propose improvements for Peru's protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-thumb-phasmid-peru-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a study published recently in PLOS ONE, researchers examined Peru's network of protected areas. They found that many of these don't exist in the areas most important for preserving the country's biodiversity and addressing its threats, and suggest alternatives to make the system more effective. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.616898 -73.076121 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14435 2015-02-26T19:05:00Z 2015-02-26T20:04:03Z One of Brazil’s rarest primates still holds out in single patch of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-Image1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, particularly after renowned naturalist Philip Hershkovitz of the Field Museum in Chicago published his valuable taxonomy of Neotropical Primates, Saimiri vanzolinii was considered to be a mere subspecies of the larger Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis). Today, it has the distinction of being one of the most range-restricted primates in all of the Neotropics. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.212502 -65.907542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14432 2015-02-25T23:24:00Z 2015-02-27T17:03:31Z Reports blame illegal logging for felling Sarawak forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent report by the international affairs think tank Chatham House has highlighted Malaysia’s lack of progress in dealing with illegal logging, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency on the country’s sluggish approach to environmental policy reform. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.653982 114.292133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14426 2015-02-25T19:16:00Z 2015-02-26T22:59:20Z Study finds Peru's protected areas aren't where they should be <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's protected areas may not be located in the areas that need them the most, according to a recently published study in the journal PLoS ONE. The study examined the effectiveness of Peru’s existing protected area system in holistically preserving the biodiversity in this megadiverse country, finding it inadequately protecting many of the country's species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.425510 -80.219909 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/14419 2015-02-24T18:16:00Z 2015-02-25T00:12:49Z Critically endangered bird gets new addition to its reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-thumb-brush-finch-nbii.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unassuming brown bird, tiny both in body and population size, hovers on the edge of extinction as its habitat is cleared for agriculture and its nests are parasitized. In response, conservation organizations created a reserve expressly for the species' preservation in the late 1990s; now that reserve is being expanded to try to push one of the world's most endangered bird species farther back from the precipice. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.199193 -79.190149 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14404 2015-02-20T18:39:00Z 2015-02-20T18:41:00Z Scientists sound the alarm on African palm oil investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-3760.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa’s people, forests and wildlife are in trouble if the mostly unbridled expansion of oil palm in West and Central Africa is allowed to continue unchecked, says an organization of African scientists. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.846424 12.366558 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14401 2015-02-19T23:33:00Z 2015-02-20T17:17:35Z Assessing carbon stock value of forests is tricky business, study finds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0219-Guyana_448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With financial incentives encouraging maintenance of carbon stocks and the increased popularity of carbon trading between countries, a forest has become economically a lot more than a clump of trees that supplements livelihoods. A forest now has an intrinsic value by just existing, a value that can be measured in economic terms. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.047219 -59.029917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14400 2015-02-19T19:20:00Z 2015-02-19T19:25:14Z Illicit timber feeds Indonesia’s industrial forestry sector, alleges new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2216.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Amid government schemes to curb illegal land clearing and systematically enhance a struggling legal wood certification system, a new report analyzing Indonesia’s forestry industry alleges that more than 30 percent of wood used by the country’s industrial forest sector is derived from illegal sources. But some say the report's analysis wasn't deep enough to support its claims. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.608558, 101.721319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14395 2015-02-18T22:52:00Z 2015-02-20T16:22:32Z Scientists uncover new seadragon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/rubyseadragon.thumb.16376292497_040e68a10a_z.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For 150 years, scientists have known of just two so-called seadragons: the leafy seadragon and the weedy seadragon. But a new paper in the Royal Society Open Science has announced the discovery of a third, dubbed the ruby seadragon for its incredible bright-red coloring. Found only off the southern Australian coastline, seadragons belong to the same family as the more familiar seahorses: the Syngnathidae. Jeremy Hance -32.030312 115.702296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14389 2015-02-17T21:27:00Z 2015-02-27T19:42:17Z Indigenous communities in Paraguay threatened by deforestation despite having land rights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0217-1-thumb-ayoreo-woman.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a report by Survival International, the existence of the isolated Ayoreo Totobiegosode people is critically threatened by cattle ranching firms that are destroying their last forest refuge. The report asserts Paraguayan law gives native people the rights to their traditional land. Yet, most of the land in Paraguay is privatized, making these laws in reality difficult to achieve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.074062, -59.029457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14378 2015-02-13T18:27:00Z 2015-02-18T21:14:50Z Illegal logging still a big issue in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0213-thumb-cameroon-logging-truck.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cameroon is struggling to make progress in combatting illegal logging. Regulatory budgets are too thin to protect the country’s vast tracts of Congolian Rainforest. And demand domestically and abroad make the financial incentives for both the informal sector and Cameroon’s leaders too difficult to pass up, leading to an illicit timber trade beset with corruption. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.021553 12.245709 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14375 2015-02-12T20:54:00Z 2015-02-12T21:03:51Z Scientists, NGOs race to save 'Millennium Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212-thumb-agathis-australis-gerus.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a tiny area of an isolated archipelago in the southwest Pacific lives a unique tree species on the precipice of extinction. Recent research has shown it is declining dramatically, and mature individuals may be completely gone in 100 years. In response, environmental organizations and scientists are coming together to try and save New Caledonia's Millennium Trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.597506 164.775041 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14371 2015-02-11T18:44:00Z 2015-02-11T20:33:30Z Illegal logging contributed to deadly Malaysian floods, according to government minister <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0211-thumb-sabah_0001.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Heavy rains hit peninsular Malaysia in December, leading to severe floods that resulted in at least 21 deaths and the displacement of some 200,000 residents in the states of Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, and Terengganu. Now a minister with the federal government says he has proof that the flooding was caused in part by illegal deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.859060 101.911089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14365 2015-02-10T17:02:00Z 2015-02-10T17:07:13Z Recently discovered, critically endangered bird gets its first reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210-thumb-Araripe_Manakin.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an 11-square mile strip of forest on the slopes of a plateau in northeastern Brazil lives an entire species, considered by scientists to be one of the most endangered birds in the world. Now, 18 years after it was first discovered by scientists, conservation groups have acquired 140 acres of land to establish the first-ever reserve for the Araripe manakin. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.789060, -40.416852 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14355 2015-02-05T19:59:00Z 2015-02-06T05:19:47Z Pulpwood company may be denying Sumatran community rights to their land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205-2-thumb-authors-with-comm-leaders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For over a decade, a conflict has been brewing between the local community of Senyerang in Sumatra, Indonesia, and a major pulpwood plantation company, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), according to NGOs operating in the area. In 2004, Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry awarded a license to APP’s subsidiary, PT Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), to clear the village forests for acacia plantations to generate paper pulp. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.850476 103.057980 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14324 2015-01-29T20:08:00Z 2015-01-29T20:13:17Z When is a forest a forest? How definitions affect monitoring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_4621.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What exactly is a forest? With forest definitions differing from country to country, and primary forests, secondary forests, and even tree plantations all perceived collectively as "tree cover" by satellite data, how does one accurately keep tabs on land changes? Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.5768616 117.3028865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14319 2015-01-28T22:41:00Z 2015-01-29T20:11:54Z Radical transparency: tracking deforestation through satellite imagery <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0128-thumb-indo-clearing-butler.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Floating softly through the vacuum of space, the Landsat 7 satellite has faithfully provided imaging of the entirety of earth’s surface, every 16 days, since 1999. Now a series of technological developments has made this silent spectator a dominant force in tracking forests worldwide. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.621516 100.049201 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14317 2015-01-28T18:46:00Z 2015-01-28T18:50:59Z China tries out logging ban in northeastern province <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0128-siberian_tiger-10.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China's Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia to its north and east, contains 18.5 million hectares of state forest - more natural forest than any other province in the country. However, since the mid-twentieth century, Heilongjiang has had over 600 million cubic meters of timber extracted from its woodlands. Now, China is trying out a complete ban on commercial logging in the province's state-owned forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 52.272578 124.746463 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14314 2015-01-27T23:45:00Z 2015-01-27T23:46:28Z China’s recent forest tenure reforms threaten panda habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0127-panda2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the 1950s, plantations and second-growth forests in China have been locally managed by village communities as collective forests, which today account for 58 percent of China's forestland. Many of these collective forests lie within mountainous rural areas, some of which are also home to the 1,600 or so wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) that survive today. Morgan Erickson-Davis 31.790358 103.323123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14300 2015-01-22T20:46:00Z 2015-01-22T20:59:52Z Half of Borneo's mammals could lose a third of their habitat by 2080 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but which are also under threat. To better understand the hazards, a study published today in the journal Current Biology examines the effects of climate change and deforestation in the coming decades on mammals living on the island. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.605527 113.329920 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14299 2015-01-22T20:09:00Z 2015-01-22T20:32:41Z Endangered chimp habitat under threat from climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4440.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change could make life more difficult for the world’s rarest chimp subspecies, the Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee, reported a team of scientists in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology earlier this week. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.886592 8.655484 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14283 2015-01-20T18:33:00Z 2015-01-22T20:51:48Z India's tiger population up by more than 500 animals in four years The tiger is in major trouble. In 1900, the global population was over 100,000 animals; today, it is on the precipice of extinction, hovering around just 3,000. In response, tiger range countries have pledged to double to the population by 2022. But there has been little evidence of success until now: India has announced that its tiger population has jumped a remarkable 29 percent in the last four years. Jeremy Hance 18.643618 78.028492 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14255 2015-01-13T18:01:00Z 2015-01-14T17:45:32Z Mother and cub: researchers photograph rare cat with cub in Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0113.Kucing_emas_Kerinci-Seblat-Clouded-Leopard-Project.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers working in Kerinci Seblat National Park have captured a remarkable image of a mother Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) carrying her young in her mouth. The image was taken in mid-2014 as reported by Mongabay Indonesia by the Sumatran Tiger Research Team. Jeremy Hance -0.876586 100.527871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14192 2014-12-23T22:24:00Z 2014-12-23T22:27:50Z Palawan palm oil presence likely to grow, industry rep denies harmful impact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223-thumb-peacock-pheasant-danta-alighieri.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plans to convert eight million hectares of land for palm oil production on Palawan island in the Philippines have been met with opposition from environmental and social advocacy groups, with a petition to cease development sent to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights by an anti-palm oil expansion group. But an industry representative denies claims that all eight million hectares will be cultivated to the detriment of wildlife and human communities, maintaining palm oil expansion will be beneficial to the people of Palawan. Morgan Erickson-Davis 8.989710 117.903717 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14191 2014-12-23T22:23:00Z 2015-01-05T05:43:58Z Advocacy group lashes out against palm oil expansion on Philippine island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223-thumb-aceh_0853.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the first week of November, an anti-oil palm expansion group sent a copy of their petition to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of the Indigenous People for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights hoping to elevate their concerns over land-grabbing issues faced by tribes in Palawan, Philippines, due to planned palm oil expansion in the province. Morgan Erickson-Davis 8.989710 117.903717 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14174 2014-12-18T20:19:00Z 2014-12-18T20:31:44Z Impacts of deforestation on Amazonian river ecosystems could be far-reaching <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study by researchers in Brazil published this week has found that deforestation in the Southern Amazon may impair significantly the structure and function of rivers, and make them less able to support life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.947342 -56.057837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14168 2014-12-17T22:47:00Z 2014-12-18T16:10:23Z Saving the world's rarest primate: can it be done? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb-hainangibbon.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Endemic to China’s southernmost province of Hainan, only around 30 Hainan gibbons survive today. Rapid island-wide deforestation and consequential loss of habitat, uncontrolled hunting, and failed captive breeding attempts have pushed this ape towards the precipice of becoming the first primate species to go extinct in the modern world. Will a multi-stakeholder conservation strategy be able to save it? Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14165 2014-12-17T17:47:00Z 2015-02-06T15:06:52Z Deforestation taking toll on nesting birds in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217-thumb04-endemic.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The tropical montane forests of the Cameroon mountain ranges boast fertile volcanic soils, high biodiversity of grasses and non-woody plants, as well as many endemic bird species that can be found only in this high-altitude region. Yet, many of these endemic bird species may be at risk due to increased nest predation linked with human-induced forest degradation, according to a new study. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.660889 10.235211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14160 2014-12-16T18:55:00Z 2014-12-17T17:56:07Z New mapping technique sheds light on dry forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1216-thumb-Pileated_Gibbon_(Hylobates_pileatus).jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The extreme habitat heterogeneity of Southeast Asian forests makes it difficult to map their different compositions, resulting in a lack of study of many forest types and their underrepresentation in protected area networks. To address this issue, researchers came up with a remote sensing-based method to accurately delineate forest types, which they demonstrate in a study released this week by focusing on one particular forest type: Dry Deciduous Dipterocarp forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.234307 96.538623 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14156 2014-12-15T18:46:00Z 2014-12-17T22:52:07Z Gibbon species pushed towards extinction as island loses its trees <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1215-thumb-gibbons-hainan-endangered-forests.568.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Only about 30 Hainan gibbons currently inhabit our world and all of them are confined to the 2,100-hectare Bawangling National Nature Reserve on the western part of Hainan Island. Endemic to this island, these gibbons primarily inhabited the lowland broadleaf and semi-deciduous monsoon forests that today are almost entirely deforested. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.084163 109.149507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14145 2014-12-11T20:10:00Z 2014-12-11T20:14:28Z Bamboo could help fight global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_maroantsetra_0204.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Restoring degraded land and forests with the world’s fastest growing plant, bamboo, can contribute to major carbon emission reductions. This is according to a new report that discusses the massive potential of bamboo in fighting global warming, with bamboo forests projected to store more than one million tons of carbon by 2050 in China alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.834078 101.983700 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14138 2014-12-10T18:36:00Z 2014-12-11T15:15:53Z Huge swath of forest in Indonesian Borneo slated for clearing by 'sustainable' company <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-thumb-kalbar_2018.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A major wood fiber concession has moved ahead on developing a sizable chunk of forest in one of Indonesia’s most vulnerable provinces before a formal conservation assessment of the land could be completed, Greenomics Indonesia reports. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.796927 110.001526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14133 2014-12-09T19:43:00Z 2015-02-06T15:07:17Z Striking new gecko discovered in Thailand <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1110_gecko150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A research team based in western Thailand has discovered a new gecko species in the Kanchanaburi Province, a region renowned for its number of species found nowhere else in the world. A recent publication describes the Sai Yok bent-toed gecko (<i>Cyrtodactylus saiyok</i>), the sixth reptile species endemic to the region known to science. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.263287 98.934860 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/14097 2014-12-02T16:55:00Z 2014-12-02T17:09:57Z 'New normal' approach to conservation comes under fire <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023_thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study faults adaptive 'Novel Ecosystems' concept with ignoring true values of biodiversity and restoration. Over the past few years a new conservation approach known as the "novel ecosystems" concept has been slowly gathering steam in science, media, and policy-making circles. Based on pragmatism, it presents itself as a way forward in a world where irreversible ecosystem change is inevitable. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14067 2014-11-25T17:17:00Z 2014-11-25T23:33:49Z Saving Myanmar’s red pandas by protecting land, educating people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1125-thumb-Stavenn_Ailurus_fulgens.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Red pandas, bear-like arboreal mammals with red, furry tails, are poached mainly for their fur. Found primarily at higher elevation forests of the eastern Himalayas, these pandas spend most of their time in trees, and feed mainly on bamboo. But much of their forest habitat has been destroyed due to illegal logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14066 2014-11-24T20:24:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:38Z Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world's chameleons <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1124.Kinyongia-tenuis-158-copy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Now, a update of the IUCN Red List finds that this unique group is facing a crisis that could send dozens of chameleons, if not more, to extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14056 2014-11-21T17:37:00Z 2015-02-06T15:11:58Z Scientists capture first-ever footage of wild red pandas in Myanmar (VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1121-4-thumb-Red%20panda%20copyright%20Susan%20A.%20Mainka%20and%20WWF-Canon.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This year, a team of scientists in Myanmar (also called Burma), caught a pair of reclusive red pandas on camera, for the first time ever. The bushy tailed pandas were climbing up a rocky pile of rubble left behind in the region by Chinese loggers. For the scientists, the footage was bitter-sweet. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.557885 97.703755 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14049 2014-11-19T23:06:00Z 2015-02-20T15:17:52Z Gone for good: world's largest earwig declared extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1119.800px-F-auricularia_F_defensive_-_HngVolkstn20090519_46.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world has lost a giant: this week the IUCN Red List officially declared St. Helena giant earwig extinct. While its length of 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) may not seem like much, it's massive for an earwig and impressive for an insect. Only found on the island of St. Helena in the remote southern Atlantic, experts believe the St. Helena giant earwig was pushed to extinction by habitat destruction. Jeremy Hance -15.966195 -5.704836 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14048 2014-11-19T22:15:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:36Z Conflict-fueled deforestation, poaching in Assam continue despite truce <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-samba.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India boasts nearly 44 percent of the country’s dense forests, and contains one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. However, the region lost approximately 548,440 hectares of tree cover—more than 3 percent—from 2001 through 2012. Sonitpur, Assam, has been particularly hard hit as people flooded into the area and cleared forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.009059 92.886862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14046 2014-11-19T17:54:00Z 2014-11-25T23:32:37Z Palm oil interest surges in Papua New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-Dendrolagus_matschiei.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the lands of traditional palm oil powerhouses like Indonesia and Malaysia have become saturated with plantations, companies looking to profit have turned to vast areas of seemingly untouched tropical forest in other parts of the world – places like Papua New Guinea. But, in fact, say advocates of local communities, those forests often support the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who must have their rights taken into account. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.180039 151.389515 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14040 2014-11-18T19:26:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:18Z Disappearing oasis: northeastern India losing forests as people move in <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-thumb-rhino-assam-lip-kee.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India is part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, one of the megadiverse areas of the world. The region boasts more than 60 percent forest cover, compared to the 15 percent for India as a whole. However, not all is pristine when one visits areas designated as forest on the map. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.444599 90.739560 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14012 2014-11-12T20:11:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:40Z Mapping mistake leaves wildlife at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1112-thumb-luama-chimp.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new, endangered plant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in an area that is supposed to be protected as a reserve. However, mapping errors effectively moved the reserve’s boundaries 50 kilometers to the west, opening up the region and its vulnerable wildlife to human disturbance. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.368980 28.808207 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13992 2014-11-07T22:06:00Z 2014-11-25T23:29:44Z New laws may turn Brazil's forests into mines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1107-jaguar-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the world’s largest system of protected areas and a 70 percent drop in the deforestation rate of the Amazon over the past decade, Brazil has made huge strides in safeguarding what’s left of its wilderness. However, this progress now hangs in the balance, with new laws threatening to turn many of the country’s protected areas into mines and dams. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.437387 -52.206640 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13986 2014-11-06T17:02:00Z 2014-11-10T16:56:15Z Indonesia's new president, ministers have big plans for fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0379.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo (or Jokowi, as he’s popularly called) spent half his 11-minute inaugural address thanking God, his partisans and the citizenry at large. For the rest of the speech he talked about oceans. Was this just rhetorical flourish, or does it portend a new seriousness about maritime management? Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.236231 106.805485 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13977 2014-11-04T20:53:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:28Z 91% of Kenya’s protected areas shrank in 100 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1104-kenya-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last century, 91.7 percent of all changes to protected areas in Kenya have involved reductions in their area, known as downsizing, which is an unusual and remarkable statistic from a global perspective. Analyses show, however, that a variety of factors—including some that which occurred half a century ago—could be responsible for the status of forests in Kenya today. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.555898 35.151716 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13969 2014-10-31T19:42:00Z 2014-11-06T17:58:06Z De-protection of Protected Areas ramps up in Brazil, 'compromises the capacity' of ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1031-thumb-paddd1.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil has reserved about 17.6 percent of its land (1.5 million square kilometers) to receive protection from unauthorized exploitation of resources. However, despite significant expansions in protected areas since the mid-2000s, the formation of Protected Areas has stagnated in the country since 2009, and many have had their protections completely revoked. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.585173 -54.480810 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13966 2014-10-31T16:46:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:55Z 'Too many people': Philippine island being deforested despite extensive protections <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-thumb-serpent-eagle.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>About an hour and a half plane ride from the Philippine capital Manila is Palawan, a long, narrow island home to about a quarter of all the animal species found in the country. But the province is losing its forests at a rapid clip due to human population increases, logging, quarrying, mining, and even a huge palm plantation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.134435 118.937569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13965 2014-10-30T17:54:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:44Z Dissolving pulp: a growing threat to global forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-leaf-monkey-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis -27.756190 29.509802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13958 2014-10-29T22:43:00Z 2014-11-06T17:57:32Z Destroyed habitat, fewer resources, Ebola: the many repercussions of Liberia's deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-thumb-pygmy-hippo-public-domain.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Liberia is one of the last strongholds of intact forest in West Africa. These forests are the home of many unique species of plants and animals, and many Liberians rely on the forests for direct economic benefits. The presence of intact forests may even be important for preventing the future outbreak of disease such as Ebola, which can be transmitted to people from animal vectors displaced by deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.357207 -8.300532 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13955 2014-10-29T18:19:00Z 2014-11-06T20:15:58Z Tigers vs. diamonds: India’s protected areas rampantly downgraded to make room for people, industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-5-thumb-tiger-capture.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh lie 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of protected land demarcated as the Panna Tiger Reserve. Recently, however, its protection status has been questioned, and global-scale analyses show Panna is far from alone among India’s many threatened Protected Areas. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.589963 79.941666 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13951 2014-10-28T19:06:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:37Z World's rarest gorilla gets a new protected home <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-3-cross-river-gorilla-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Cross River Gorilla, the rarest and most threatened of gorilla subspecies, has reason to cheer. Last month, on September 29, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, signed a decree to officially create a new protected area – Tofala Wildlife Sanctuary – in the southwestern part of the country. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.624499 9.940404 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13950 2014-10-28T17:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:54Z How protected are they? Report finds world's Protected Areas may relax, shrink, even completely disappear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-oryx-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On March 1, 1872, the United States Congress declared 3,400 square miles of land spanning three states as the country’s - and the world’s - first national park. We call it Yellowstone. Today, there are over 160,000 PAs spanning 12.7 percent of the planet’s land surface. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.077659 -56.315393 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13943 2014-10-24T20:29:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:40Z Conservationists propose Dracula Reserve in Ecuador <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024-dracula-felix-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deep in the dark, cool forests of Ecuador and Colombia live strange and mysterious organisms. Some inhabit the trees and others stay to the ground, and many are threatened by human encroachment. Because of this threat, Rainforest Trust has launched a Halloween fundraising drive to help pay for the creation of the Dracula Reserve--named for its dramatic inhabitant, the Dracula orchid. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.969756 -78.257737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13942 2014-10-24T17:22:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:27Z Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024-gsw-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.719503 29.616324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13940 2014-10-23T18:27:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:14Z Brazil declares new protected area larger than Delaware <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023-Chiropotes-albinasus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this week, the Brazilian government announced the declaration of a new federal reserve deep in the Amazon rainforest. The protections conferred by the move will illegalize deforestation, reduce carbon emissions, and help safeguard the future of the area’s renowned wildlife. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.741395 -58.248986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13936 2014-10-22T19:45:00Z 2014-11-06T17:56:00Z Gold mining expanding rapidly along Guiana Shield, threatening forests, water, wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1022-thumb-ppithecia-hans-hillewaert.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Gold mining is on the rise in the Guiana Shield, a geographic region of South America that holds one of the world’s largest undisturbed tract of rainforest. A new mapping technology using a radar and optical imaging combination has detected a significant increase in mining since 2000, threatening the region's forests and water quality. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.175769 -55.766076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13932 2014-10-21T18:31:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:47Z 'No forests, no cash': palm oil giants commit to sustainability, but will they follow through? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0473.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Four of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers signed a landmark commitment in New York in September to further implement sustainable practices across one of the country’s largest commercial sectors. Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) witnessed the undertaking, which is hoped to expand the country’s palm oil industry while making it more environmentally friendly. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.060740 101.624061 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/13899 2014-10-10T18:12:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:31Z Forest restoration commitments: driven by science or politics? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1010-gorilla-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During September's UN Climate Summit, three African nations were recognized for their commitments to restore collectively millions of hectares of forest. But several organizations declined invitations to sign the pact because they say it fails to lay out “concrete action” to fight climate change, and some experts in the field worry that the announcements are little more than political posturing. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.190025 28.289514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13896 2014-10-09T19:12:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:19Z 'A remarkable conservation achievement': Ecuador reserve expands as forest disappears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1009-cephalopterus-penduliger-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A strip of rainforest running along the northwestern Ecuadorian coast and up through Colombia is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Yet, less than 10 percent of Ecuador’s portion remains intact, with more forest lost every year to human development. But a little more has been saved for now, with 500 hectares added to an area reserve. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.635037 -79.096360 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13890 2014-10-08T20:19:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:06Z Helping orangutans survive: new project aims to connect habitat fragments in Kalimantan (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1008-orang-outrop-5-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two decades ago, a project to convert one million hectares of forest to rice paddies was undertaken by the Indonesian government in southern Kalimantan. The project was a massive failure and was eventually abandoned, but not before it destroyed critical orangutan habitat. Now a new project is trying to knit together what's left and turn the area's isolated orangutan populations into one of Borneo's largest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.930780 112.637781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13885 2014-10-07T18:51:00Z 2014-11-06T17:53:33Z Marooned in shrinking forests, Bornean orangutans hang on as disaster looms (PART I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1007-oran-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The great apes are among some of the most endangered species on Earth, the targets of poachers and the victims of deforestation. However, from time-to-time there comes news of hope. A study published recently describes the dire situation faced by Bornean orangutans, as well as an ambitious project to help save them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.930780 112.637781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13862 2014-10-02T20:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:53:20Z Will 'Asia's unicorn' survive? Hunting and deforestation continue in Vietnam biosphere reserve PART II <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-7-saola-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Encompassing 1.3 million hectares, Western Nghe An Biosphere Reserve the largest such reserve in all of Southeast Asia. Because of the biological importance of the region, it was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2007. But deforestation and bushmeat hunting continue, begging the question: is the wildlife of Western Nghe An Biosphere Reserve truly protected? Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.450894 104.422415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13850 2014-09-30T17:24:00Z 2014-11-06T17:53:07Z The largest biosphere reserve in Southeast Asia: Vietnam’s success story or a conservation failure? PART I <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0930-gibbon5-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2010, poachers shot and killed the last Javan rhino in Vietnam, wiping out an entire subspecies. The Sumatran rhino, the Malayan tapir and the civet otter, too, have disappeared from the country. Moreover, charismatic species like tigers, elephants, gibbons and the secretive saola discovered recently in Vietnam’s forests are at risk of extinction in the coming decades as threats to wildlife continue unabated in the country. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.397772 104.419758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13848 2014-09-30T17:17:00Z 2014-09-30T17:28:05Z Studying common birds could help save rare species in Vietnam Studies in conservation biology often focus on rare, threatened species faced with impending extinction, but what about common animals of least concern? Could they too help conservationists fine-tune their approach? Doctoral researcher Laurel Yohe not only claims that they can, but demonstrates how in a new study. She and five other researchers compared ranges of five babblers with development across Vietnam. Jeremy Hance 12.388128 108.388480 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13833 2014-09-29T16:17:00Z 2014-09-29T16:29:07Z Climate change to boost farmland, diminish harvests, says new study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon-15610.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is likely to alter how we humans grow adequate amounts of food for a swelling global population. Assessing just how much and where those changes will occur has been difficult. But a new study takes aim at those very questions and could provide a guide for the debate over feeding the planet while also preserving biodiversity and the forests that filter out the carbon we produce. Brittany Stewart -1.617103 17.101189 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13841 2014-09-26T17:41:00Z 2014-09-26T22:28:35Z Diverse, deceptive, declining: orchids threatened by deforestation in South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0926-orchid-lithograph-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Pushing past a thick fern leaf, Crain stopped short, overcome by joy. As he broke into dance, his assistant peered curiously at the tiny lentil-shaped fruit dangling from a stem, and resolutely decided Crain was mad. After more than two years studying a rare Puerto Rican endemic orchid species, Crain had finally found his first specimen bearing fruit. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.333539 -76.954968