tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/parks1 parks news from mongabay.com 2015-06-25T13:49:45Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15033 2015-06-25T13:47:00Z 2015-06-25T13:49:45Z Video: camera traps highlight wildlife diversity of 'forgotten' park Things appeared to be on the upswing in Cambodia's vast Virachey National Park in the early 2000s. Conservation groups were surveying the area and the World Bank had committed $5 million in funds. But then the Cambodia government handed out a mining exploration permit covering 90 percent of the park. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14967 2015-06-16T00:19:00Z 2015-06-16T00:31:06Z Rainforest parks cut malaria transmission Strictly protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon are associated with lower rates of malaria transmission than extractive reserves, mining zones, and areas with roads, reports a paper published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. The findings add to a growing body of data suggesting that conservation efforts contribute to human welfare. Rhett Butler -10.461996 -64.512468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14784 2015-05-11T20:50:00Z 2015-05-16T18:58:09Z Videos reveal rare birds, wild monkeys, and jaguar family in oil-exploited park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0511.THUMB.cameratrapvids.sloth.salt.Screen-Shot-2015-05-11-at-3.26.58-PM.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A compilation of new camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park shows off rarely seen species like the rufuos-vented ground cuckoo and the short-eared dog as well as odd behavior, like sloths licking salt from the ground. The compilation is produced by Diego Mosquera, manager and head of the camera trap program at Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Jeremy Hance -0.575146 -76.077377 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14512 2015-03-19T17:42:00Z 2015-03-19T17:46:26Z DRC mulls changing Virunga's boundaries for oil Last Friday, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced it was considering changing the boundaries of Virunga National Park to accommodate oil exploitation. Africa's oldest park, Virunga is home to around a quarter of the world's mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species, many of them threatened with extinction. Jeremy Hance -0.303687 29.568020 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14425 2015-02-25T17:38:00Z 2015-02-25T21:54:30Z Protected areas receive 8 billion visits a year, but still underfunded <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/Yasuni_519.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world loves its protected areas, according to a new study in the open access PLOS Biology. U.S. and UK researchers estimated that the world's protected areas received eight billion visits every year. Moreover, the research found that the world's 140,000 protected areas likely brought in at least $600 billion to national economies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14350 2015-02-05T13:58:00Z 2015-02-05T14:25:16Z World Parks Congress talks the talk, but future depends on action <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0177.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, more than 6,000 people gathered for the World Parks Congress 2014, an event held around every ten years by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The World Parks Congress discusses myriad issues related to protected areas, which recent research has shown are in rough shape. Jeremy Hance -33.905271 151.144906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14339 2015-02-03T20:03:00Z 2015-02-20T15:12:01Z Super-rare carnivore photographed in Yosemite after missing for nearly a century <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0203.thumb.Sierra_Nevada_red_fox_in_Yosemite_2014-12-13.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For years, biologists believed the Sierra Nevada fox was down to a single population of around 20 animals in California's Lassen Volcanic National Park. But then in 2010, biologists found a small population near Sonora Pass. Now, more good news: last week, scientists documented the first Sierra Nevada fox in Yosemite National Park in nearly 100 years. Jeremy Hance 37.978532 -119.856589 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14323 2015-01-29T19:53:00Z 2015-01-30T15:13:19Z Videos: new film series highlights bringing Gorongosa back to life Tracking lions, photographing bats, collecting insects, bringing elephants home: it's all part of a day's work in Gorongosa National Park. This vast wilderness in Mozambique was ravaged by civil war. However, a unique and ambitious 20-year-effort spearheaded by Greg Carr through the Gorongosa Restoration Project is working to restore this rich and little-studied African wilderness. Jeremy Hance -18.812994 34.331024 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14287 2015-01-21T17:33:00Z 2015-01-30T16:17:23Z Video: clouded leopards and elephants grace drowned forest in Thailand Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of Asian elephant. The camera traps were set by HabitatID, an organization devoted to using remote camera traps to prove to government officials that wildlife still flourishes in forgotten places. Jeremy Hance 8.972407 98.790539 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/14163 2014-12-17T15:28:00Z 2015-02-20T15:15:15Z Scientists reintroduce agoutis in rainforest in city of 12 million <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1216.agouti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When one thinks of Rio de Janeiro, one usually doesn't think: rainforest. However, in the heart of the city sits a massive rainforest sprung over long-gone sugar and coffee plantations. The forest&#8212;protected today as the Tijuca National Park&#8212;is home to hundreds of threatened species, but no agoutis, a common ground mammal in Latin America. Jeremy Hance -22.953406 -43.286334 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/13971 2014-11-03T15:05:00Z 2014-11-03T15:33:13Z Russia and China blamed for blocking Antarctic marine reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1102.Dmawsoni_Head_shot.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Another year, another failed attempt to protect a significant chunk of the Ross Sea, which sits off the coast of Antarctica. According to observers, efforts to create the world's biggest marine protected area to date were shot down by Russia and China during a meeting in Hobart, Tasmania of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13944 2014-10-27T12:46:00Z 2014-10-27T12:55:10Z Scientific association calls on Nicaragua to scrap its Gran Canal ATBC&#8212;the world's largest association of tropical biologists and conservationists&#8212;has advised Nicaragua to halt its ambitious plan to build a massive canal across the country. The ATBC warns that the Chinese-backed canal, also known as the Gran Canal, will have devastating impacts on Nicaragua's water security, its forests and wildlife, and local people. Jeremy Hance 11.456933 -85.501372 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/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/13847 2014-09-30T13:26:00Z 2014-10-01T14:36:36Z Armed conflict decimates tigers, rhinos, and swamp deer in Indian park The human cost of war is horrendous. However, while most attention is focused on the suffering caused to people&#8212;and rightly so&#8212;an understudied element is the impact on wildlife conservation. This is worrying given that many of the world’s conflict zones are situated in biodiversity hotspots. Jeremy Hance 26.717212 90.830000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13782 2014-09-15T12:54:00Z 2014-12-30T22:33:13Z Protected areas do work, concludes study Protected areas are working. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of over 80 different studies on the efficacy of parks and nature reserves in safeguarding wildlife. Published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE, the new study finds that in general protected areas house higher abundances of wildlife as well as greater biodiversity than adjacent areas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:27Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13713 2014-08-25T14:56:00Z 2015-02-20T16:01:36Z Featured video: new Netflix documentary highlights the work of Sylvia Earle to save the oceans Sylvia Earle is one of the ocean's staunchest defenders. A National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence and former chief scientist with NOAA, Earle has spent a lifetime documenting the rapid decline of the world's oceans and calling for more action to defend the body of water that cradles the world's continents. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13699 2014-08-21T21:51:00Z 2014-12-30T22:34:49Z Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Tarsier.from.Dinagat.Isl.photo.Andrew-Cunningham.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate&#8212;known as tarsiers&#8212;in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby relatives, according to a new open-access paper in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 10.168583 125.594253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13616 2014-07-31T15:14:00Z 2014-07-31T15:34:05Z World Ranger Day: honoring our wildlife protectors Like Memorial Day, when we honor our nation's military veterans, World Ranger Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the thousands of rangers who put their lives on the line as they protect wildlife and natural resources around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13571 2014-07-22T19:21:00Z 2014-07-29T19:42:17Z Rare bird paradise protected in war-torn Colombian mountain range (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0722.Lachrymose-Mountain-tanager---Rainforest-Trust.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of conservation groups have established a new protected area in one of Latin America's most neglected ecosystems: the Colombian-side of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range. Following decades of bloody conflict and rampant deforestation, experts say only five percent of rainforest is left on the Colombian side of this embattled mountain range. Jeremy Hance 10.687218 -72.792140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13569 2014-07-22T16:35:00Z 2014-11-25T22:13:36Z Setting the stage: theater troupe revives tradition to promote conservation in DRC <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0722-lomami-masks-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two years ago, environmental artist Roger Peet set off to the Democratic Republic of Congo to support the new Lomami National Park with bandanas that he designed. This time, Peet is back in Congo to carry out a conservation theater project in remote villages near the proposed Lomami National Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.551053 22.468529 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13541 2014-07-15T17:38:00Z 2014-07-15T21:34:44Z Coastal wildlife paradise declared biosphere reserve in Argentina (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/DSC_0216-elephant-seal-fight-corr-red-by-G-Harris-WCS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists are celebrating the announcement that UNESCO has dubbed Argentina's Península Valdés a biosphere reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program (MBA). A hatchet-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Southern Atlantic Ocean, the world's newest biosphere reserve is home to a hugely-diverse collection of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. Jeremy Hance -42.617791 -63.944092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13512 2014-07-09T12:59:00Z 2015-05-07T14:20:34Z Stuff of fairy tales: stepping into Europe's last old-growth forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0709.bison-bialowieza-forest-photo-by-lukasz-mazurek-wildpoland-com-07.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is almost nothing left of Europe's famed forests, those that provided for human communities for millennia and gave life to the world's most famous fairytales. But straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, the Bialowieza Forest is Europe's last lowland old-growth forest, parts of which have never been cut by man. Jeremy Hance 52.776516 23.876829 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:39:34Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13427 2014-06-23T20:05:00Z 2014-06-23T20:10:41Z World Heritage Committee takes ten minutes to reject Australia's bid to strip forests of protection The UNESCO World Heritage Committee today unanimously rejected a controversial proposal by the Australian government to strip 74,000 hectares of temperate rainforest from a World Heritage Site in Tasmania. In an embarrassing setback for the Australia government, it took the committee less than ten minutes to unanimously reject the proposal. Jeremy Hance -42.623219 146.551314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13424 2014-06-23T14:54:00Z 2014-06-23T15:07:27Z Regional court kills controversial Serengeti Highway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/tz_2210.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Serengeti ecosystem got a major reprieve last week when the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) ruled against a hugely-controversial plan to build a paved road through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. The court dubbed the proposed road 'unlawful' due to expected environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance -1.795750 34.992381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13407 2014-06-18T17:34:00Z 2014-11-05T22:37:39Z Bigger than Mexico? Obama announces major expansion of Pacific protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0618.800px-Coral_at_Jarvis_Island_National_Wildlife_Refuge.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>President Obama announced yesterday he intends to drastically expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument making what will likely be the largest marine protected area on the planet. While the full extent of the ocean park has yet to be determined, it could potentially protect over two million square kilometers, an area larger than Mexico. Jeremy Hance 5.892872 -162.061203 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13370 2014-06-11T16:54:00Z 2014-06-11T17:02:23Z Oil overthrow: Soco to suspend operations in Virunga National Park after sustained campaign by WWF <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.Rugendo_in_bukima.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a surprise announcement, British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world's Critically Endangered mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups led by WWF. Jeremy Hance -0.176648 29.550871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13361 2014-06-09T14:02:00Z 2014-12-30T22:42:00Z Bears, cats, and mystery mammals: camera traps in 'paper park' prove it's worth protecting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.habitatid.Sun-bear.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can a single photograph change the fate of a park? A new conservation group, HabitatID, believes so, and is putting this belief into action. Setting up camera traps in Cambodia's Virachey National Park, the group hopes that photos of charismatic and endangered species will help reinvigorate protection for a park that has been abandoned by conservation groups and underfunded by the government. Jeremy Hance 14.297357 107.049167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13345 2014-06-05T13:04:00Z 2014-06-08T22:34:58Z Oil company breaks agreement, builds big roads in Yasuni rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112-5_Karla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When the Ecuadorian government approved permits for an oil company to drill deep in Yasuni National Park, it was on the condition that the company undertake a roadless design with helicopters doing most of the leg-work. However, a new report based on high-resolution satellite imagery has uncovered that the company, Petroamazonas, has flouted the agreement's conditions, building a massive access road. Jeremy Hance -0.942388 -75.716907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13335 2014-06-04T01:21:00Z 2014-06-04T01:27:19Z Guatemala establishes new reserve for endangered animals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0604sierra-carral150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Guatemala has formally established a 19,000-hectare (47,000-acre) reserve that protects several endangered bird and amphibian species, reports the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). The Sierra Caral Water and Forest Reserve received overwhelming support during a vote by Guatemala's Congress. It is the first new protected area designated by Congress since 2005 Rhett Butler 15.432997 -88.575066 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13307 2014-05-29T12:47:00Z 2015-01-20T03:29:07Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Making community protection economically viable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0528.tree.Other-Tanzania-411.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After years of discovering new species and setting up protected areas, Neil Burgesses' career changed. Currently he is focused on community-driven conservation and on how to improve protected areas in Africa's Eastern Arc mountains region. Neil Burgess has worked in the conservation field for over twenty years, mainly in Tanzania where he also lived for five years. Jeremy Hance -6.067019 29.888210 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13288 2014-05-27T15:39:00Z 2014-05-27T16:00:25Z Plan to shrink World Heritage forest in Tasmania 'clearly inappropriate,' says IUCN <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0527.800px-Sarcophilus_harrisii_taranna.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has roundly criticized Australia's proposal to remove 74,000 hectares of temperate rainforest from the World Heritage Committee. In a report to the global organization, the IUCN argues that the removal of these forests would "impact negatively" on the site's overall value. Jeremy Hance -42.821920 146.650494 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13263 2014-05-21T18:00:00Z 2014-05-25T14:22:02Z Happy Amazon: $215 million raised for world's largest protected area network <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0521.Aerial_1026_3240.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By all standards the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program is gargantuan: the network includes over 90 parks, covers 51 million hectares, and comprises 15 percent of Brazil's Amazon. But protecting an area bigger than Spain isn't cheap or easy. Today, a broad coalition of government donors and private funders have announced $215 million to secure ARPA over the next 25 years. Jeremy Hance 1.291254 -53.169408 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13144 2014-04-28T16:17:00Z 2014-04-28T16:38:49Z Australians rally to save World Heritage Site from chopping block Yesterday, nearly 2,000 people held a rally to show support for a Tasmanian forest that the Australian government wants stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage Sites and logged. Jeremy Hance -42.452532 146.510582 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13139 2014-04-28T14:45:00Z 2014-12-30T22:49:21Z The remarkable story of how a bat scientist took on Russia's most powerful...and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0427.bat.2014_SurenGazaryan_06.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a country increasingly known for its authoritarian-style crackdown on activists and dissidents, a bat scientist has won a number of impressive victories to protect the dwindling forests of the Western Caucasus. For his efforts, Gazaryan was awarded today with the Goldman Environmental Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for the environment, along with five other winners around the world. Jeremy Hance 43.585309 39.730085 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13102 2014-04-21T05:27:00Z 2014-04-21T05:31:00Z Brazil strips protected status from 5.2M ha While Brazil led the world in establishing new protected areas in recent years, it has also stripped legal protected status from some 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) of land, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Conservation Biology</i>. Rhett Butler -3.995781 -59.097033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12858 2014-03-01T16:15:00Z 2015-02-14T14:37:10Z Sharp jump in deforestation when Amazon parks lose protected status Areas that have had their protected status removed or reduced have experienced a sharp increase in forest loss thereafter, finds a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler -9.102097 -61.952333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12821 2014-02-25T00:53:00Z 2015-02-14T05:52:58Z Ecotourism pays: study finds lower poverty where nature-based tourism is prevalent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_aerial_0375.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study has quantified a point long advocated by advocates of setting aside protected areas: ecotourism pays. The research, published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS), finds that communities neighboring conservation areas in Costa Rica had lower rates of poverty relative to other areas. Rhett Butler 10.310697 -84.796779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2015-02-24T21:05:22Z The lemur end-game: scientists propose ambitious plan to save the world's most imperiled mammal family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to the wonderful idiosyncrasies of evolution, there is one country on Earth that houses 20 percent of the world's primates. More astounding still, every single one of these primates&#8212;an entire distinct family in fact&#8212;are found no-where else. The country is, of course, Madagascar and the primates in question are, of course, lemurs. But the far-flung island of Madagascar, once a safe haven for wild evolutionary experiments, has become an ecological nightmare. Overpopulation, deep poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging for lucrative woods, and a booming bushmeat trade has placed 94 percent of the world's lemurs under threat of extinction, making this the most imperiled mammal group on the planet. But, in order to stem a rapid march toward extinction, conservationists today publicized an emergency three year plan to safeguard 30 important lemur forests in the journal <i>Science</i>. Jeremy Hance -18.659257 48.441009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12777 2014-02-14T19:36:00Z 2014-02-14T19:38:33Z REDD+ should finance corridors between protected areas, argues study The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program should finance protection of corridors linking existing protected areas in order to better safeguard biodiversity while simultaneously helping mitigate climate change, argues a study published last month in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12752 2014-02-10T18:48:00Z 2014-02-10T18:56:04Z Cambodia protects forest for giant ibis Cambodia has set aside an area of forest just slightly smaller than Singapore to protect the country's national bird: the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea). Listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, the giant ibis is down to just a few hundred birds. Jeremy Hance 14.616807 107.505112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12735 2014-02-06T15:24:00Z 2014-02-10T13:31:22Z Proposed rail and road projects could devastate Nepal's tigers and rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0206.chitwan.rhino.DSC03514.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chitwan National Park is a conservation success story. Since its establishment in 1973 the park's populations of both Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) have quintupled, a success achieved during a time when both species have been under siege globally by poachers. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the park is also a vital economic resource for locals: last year the park admitted over 150,000 tourists who brought in nearly $2 million in entry fees alone. But all this is imperiled by government plans for a new railway that would cut the park in half and a slew of new roads, according to a group of international conservationists known as the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT). Jeremy Hance 27.474161 84.628944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12716 2014-02-03T17:25:00Z 2014-02-03T17:40:50Z Total says it will not drill in any World Heritage Sites One of the world's largest oil and gas companies, Total, has committed to leave the planet's UNESCO World Heritage Sites untouched, according to the United Nations. The UN says the French energy giant has sent written confirmation that it will not explore or extract fossil fuels from any of the world's over 200 natural World Heritage Sites. Jeremy Hance -0.081711 29.518147 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12684 2014-01-24T21:27:00Z 2014-01-24T21:30:33Z Key highland habitat for rare condor protected in Ecuador Conservationists have acquired a 2,800-ha (7,000-acre) property that completes the acquisition of some 108,000 ha of key Andean Condor habitat in Ecuador. Rhett Butler -0.483393 -78.140366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12645 2014-01-16T20:26:00Z 2014-12-30T22:55:41Z Snow leopards and other mammals caught on camera trap in Uzbekistan (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0116.CAM43590-2013-11-16_14-31-13.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists knew that snow leopards (Panthera uncia) still survived in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, but late last year they captured the first ever photos. Camera traps in the Gissar Nature Reserve took photos of the big cats, along with bear, lynx, ibex, wild boar, and other mammals. The camera trap program was led by biologists Bakhtiyor Aromov and Yelizaveta Protas working with Panthera, WWF's Central Asia Program, and Uzbekistan's Biocontrol Agency. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12631 2014-01-14T15:33:00Z 2014-01-14T19:36:24Z High-living frogs hurt by remote oil roads in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0114.0043595_imgp5387-edit.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Often touted as low-impact, remote oil roads in the Amazon are, in fact, having a large impact on frogs living in flowers in the upper canopy, according to a new paper published in PLOS ONE. In Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, massive bromeliads grow on tall tropical trees high in the canopy and may contain up to four liters of standing water. Lounging inside this micro-pools, researchers find a wide diversity of life, including various species of frogs. However, despite these frogs living as high as 50 meters above the forest floor, a new study finds that proximity to oil roads actually decreases the populations of high-living frogs. Jeremy Hance -1.124996 -75.79196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12610 2014-01-08T22:03:00Z 2014-12-30T22:56:28Z Lions face extinction in West Africa: less than 250 survive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0108.Henschel_Lion_Niokolo-Koba_NP_SenegalCREDIT.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The lions of West Africa, which may represent a distinct subspecies, are on the precipice of extinction. A sober new study in PLOS ONE reports that less than 250 mature lions survive in the region. Scientists have long known that West Africa's lions were in trouble, but no one expected the situation to be as dire as it was. In fact, in 2012 scientists estimated the population at over 500. But looking at 21 parks, scientists were shocked to find lions persisted in just four with only one population containing more than 50 individuals. Jeremy Hance 11.248102 1.598455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12522 2013-12-16T21:17:00Z 2015-02-12T00:00:05Z A bird's eye view of hornbills in northeast India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.4HBs_Shreya.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hornbills are as peculiar, as they are magnificent. Their calls especially, can sound rather strange to the uninitiated - some grunt, some growl, and some cackle maniacally. These queer birds, with their large brightly-colored curved beaks, and a distinctive cavity-nesting habit, are also totem animals for many tribes in India. Jeremy Hance 27.454389 96.540694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12511 2013-12-12T16:25:00Z 2013-12-12T16:49:16Z Big data shows tropical mammals on the decline <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1212.ci_34523868_Full.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest remote camera trap initiative&#8212;monitoring 275 species in 17 protected areas&#8212;is getting some big data assistance from Hewlett-Packard (HP). To date, the monitoring program known as the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network has taken over 1.5 million photos of animals in 14 tropical countries, but conservationists have struggled with how to quickly evaluate the flood of data. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2014-12-28T19:57:48Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12480 2013-12-04T16:39:00Z 2015-02-11T23:59:02Z Sky islands: exploring East Africa's last frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1204.Taveta-two-horned-chameleon-(Kinyongia-tavetana),-South-Pare-Mts.-Tanzania.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The montane rainforests of East Africa are little-known to the global public. The Amazon and Congo loom much larger in our minds, while the savannas of East Africa remain the iconic ecosystems for the region. However these ancient, biodiverse forests&#8212;sitting on the tops of mountains rising from the African savanna&#8212;are home to some remarkable species, many found only in a single forest. A team of international scientists&#8212;Michele Menegon, Fabio Pupin, and Simon Loader&#8212;have made it their mission to document the little-known reptiles and amphibians in these so-called sky islands, many of which are highly imperiled. Jeremy Hance -12.077428 37.631686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12430 2013-11-21T20:26:00Z 2014-02-22T01:54:01Z Asia's most precious wood is soaked in blood <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1121.%C2%A9FREELAND-Foundation---Rosewood-Poachers-Photographed-by-Cameratrap-2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deep in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia grows a rare and beautiful tree whose wood is so highly prized that men will kill to possess it. Wild rosewood, famous since antiquity in China and Japan for its unique, blood-hued luster and intricate grain, was once only used for the finest religious statues and princely ornaments. Now, China's nouveau riche lust for decorative baubles and furniture made of rosewood as a sign of status leading to a massive surge in demand for this precious timber that shows no signs of abating. In just a few short years the price has skyrocketed from just a hundred dollars a cubic meter to over $50,000 today. Jeremy Hance 14.268376 102.060013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12381 2013-11-14T19:04:00Z 2015-02-11T23:56:22Z Scientists identify 137 protected areas most important for preserving biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1114.Varecia-rubra_R.A.Mittermeier.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save the world's biodiversity from mass extinction? Then make certain to safeguard the 74 sites identified today in a new study in <i>Science</i>. Evaluating 173,000 terrestrial protected areas, scientists pulled out the most important ones for global biodiversity based on the number of threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians found in the parks. In all they identified 137 protected areas (spread over 74 sites as many protected areas were in the same region) in 34 countries as 'irreplaceable.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12324 2013-11-07T15:54:00Z 2014-02-22T01:56:15Z Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1107.Mosquera-Jaguar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Even ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine: clear-as-day footage of a jaguar plodding through the impenetrable Amazon, or a bicolored-spined porcupine balancing on a branch, or a troop of spider monkeys feeding at a clay lick, or a band of little coatis racing one-by-one from the dense foliage. These are things that even researchers who have spent a lifetime in the Amazon may never see. Now anyone can: scientists at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park have recently begun using camera trap videos to take movies of animals few will ever view in their lifetimes. The videos&#8212;following years of photo camera trapping&#8212;provide an intimate view of a world increasingly threatened by the oil industry. Jeremy Hance -0.638117 -76.149784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12287 2013-10-30T17:52:00Z 2013-10-30T18:19:02Z Rebranded as the Rainforest Trust, green group launches push to protect 6M acres of Amazon rainforest The Rainforest Trust, which from 1988 until last month was known as the World Land Trust-US, has kicked off an effort to preserve some 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of rainforest in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon. Rhett Butler -7.411495 -74.15308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12212 2013-10-17T13:59:00Z 2013-10-25T13:23:26Z Map reveals gas company flying over Manu National Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1017.ANEXO3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A map in an internal Peruvian government report reveals that gas company Pluspetrol has been flying over the protected Manu National Park (MNP) in the south-eastern Peruvian Amazon where UNESCO says the biodiversity "exceeds that of any other place on earth." The over-flight was done via helicopter on 3 February, 2012 by Pluspetrol personnel together with a team from the National Institute e Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afroperuvian Peoples (INDEPA). Jeremy Hance -12.068867 -71.386871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12182 2013-10-10T13:19:00Z 2015-02-11T23:44:10Z Tapirs, drug-trafficking, and eco-police: practicing conservation amidst chaos in Nicaragua <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/jordan.PICT0021.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nicaragua is a nation still suffering from deep poverty, a free-flowing drug trade, and festering war-wounds after decades of internecine fighting. However, like any country that has been largely defined by its conflicts, Nicaragua possesses surprises that overturn conventional wisdom. Not the least of which is that the Central American country is still home to big, stunning species, including jaguars, giant anteaters, pumas, and the nation's heaviest animal, the Baird's tapir (<i>Tapirus bairdii</i>). Still, not surprisingly given the nation's instability, most conservationists have avoided Nicaragua. But tapir-expert Christopher Jordan, who has worked in the country for over four years, says he wouldn't have it any other way. Jeremy Hance 13.982629 -83.465123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12159 2013-10-03T15:13:00Z 2014-02-22T01:57:19Z Over 100 scientists warn Ecuadorian Congress against oil development in Yasuni <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_22.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 100 scientists have issued a statement to the Ecuadorian Congress warning that proposed oil development and accompanying roads in Yasuni National Park will degrade its "extraordinary biodiversity." The statement by a group dubbed the Scientists Concerned for Yasuni outlines in detail how the park is not only likely the most biodiverse ecosystems in the western hemisphere, but in the entire world. Despite this, the Ecuadorian government has recently given the go-ahead to plans to drill for oil in Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs, one of most remote areas in the Amazon rainforest. Jeremy Hance -0.668091 -76.026192 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12153 2013-10-01T15:58:00Z 2013-10-07T18:50:34Z Wildlife in Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve suffers from lack of a transition zone <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1001.399px-Nilgiri_Tahr_Adult.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in southern India acts as a conduit between the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats, a mountain range parallel to the western coast of India and its eastern counterpart, the Eastern Ghats. Established in 1986 by Government of India, the 5,520 square kilometer reserve was recognized by UNESCO in 2000. However a new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science finds that the lack of a transition zone in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve has undercut the aims of this crucial protected area. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12145 2013-09-30T17:12:00Z 2014-02-22T02:07:18Z Has Brazil turned against its progressive environmental policies? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0507.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Brazil rolled back crucial parts of its landmark Forestry Code, potentially opening vast tracts of forest for destruction; it is also moving ahead on a number of Amazon dams, including the infamous Belo Monte, despite international condemnation and conflict with indigenous people. Meanwhile, a new law under consideration proposes allowing large-scale mining in protected areas. Given this a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that Brazil has thrown off its once admired mantle of environmental legislation, imperiling hundreds of thousands of species in the most biodiverse country on Earth. Jeremy Hance -15.80001 -47.864525 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12083 2013-09-17T15:03:00Z 2015-02-11T23:39:02Z Lions rising: community conservation making a difference for Africa's kings in Mozambique <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0917.LICM-11--Newst-male-lion-in-the-area.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Everyone knows that tigers, pandas, and blue whales are threatened with extinction&#8212;but lions!? Researchers were shocked to recently discover that lion populations have fallen precipitously: down to around 30,000 animals across the African continent. While 30,000 may sound like a lot, this is a nearly 70 percent decline since 1960. In addition, lion populations are increasingly fragmented with a number of populations having vanished altogether. However, there is hope: one place where lion populations are actually on the rise is Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. Here, lion populations have risen by around 60 percent in just seven years. In part this is due to the effort of Colleen and Keith Begg. Jeremy Hance -12.004398 37.446442 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12049 2013-09-10T22:59:00Z 2014-02-20T19:26:02Z Brazil establishes 2 Amazon parks covering 2.4m acres The Brazilian government has designated 952,000 hectares of remote public land in the Amazon as two new protected areas. Rhett Butler -5.430085 -58.174324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12036 2013-09-10T13:57:00Z 2015-02-11T23:39:57Z Protecting predators in the wildest landscape you've never heard of <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0910.DSC_3198lion2bw-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Serengeti, the Congo, the Okavango Delta: many of Africa's great wildernesses are household names, however on a continent that never fails to surprise remain vast wild lands practically unknown to the global public. One of these is the Ruaha landscape: covering 51,800 square kilometers (20,000 square miles) of southern Tanzania's woodlands and savannah, Ruaha contains the largest population of elephants in East Africa, over 500 bird species, and a wealth of iconic top predators, including cheetah, hyena, wild dogs, leopard, and&#8212;the jewel in its crown&#8212;10 percent of the world's lions. But that's not all, one of Africa's least-known and secretive tribal groups, the Barabaig, also calls Ruaha home. Jeremy Hance -7.490133 35.01646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12040 2013-09-09T21:43:00Z 2013-09-10T13:28:17Z Loose laws threaten Australia's wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0909.antilopine-wallaroo-at-risk-of-extinction-(Euan-Ritchie).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kookaburras, koalas and kangaroos&#8212;Australia is well known for its charismatic animals and vast, seemingly untamable, wild spaces. But throughout the country, the national parks and reserves that protect these unique animals and ecosystems have come under increasing threat. New rules and relaxed regulations, which bolster immediate economic growth, are putting pressure on Australia's already-threatened biodiversity. Jeremy Hance -19.508667 144.201679 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12034 2013-09-09T15:26:00Z 2013-09-17T15:22:43Z A year after devastating attack, security returns to the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0905.Okapi-Giluka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On June 24th of last year, MaiMai Simba rebels, led by an elephant poacher known as Morgan, launched a devastating attack on the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Epulu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The attack, which was reportedly in response to a crack down on poaching and illegal mining in the park, left buildings burned, equipment destroyed, and six people dead including two rangers. The militia also left with 28 women hostages, many of them minors. As if to add insult to injury, the militia didn't leave until they shot dead all 14 captive okapis at the headquarters, which were used as wildlife ambassadors for the local community. Jeremy Hance 1.402248 28.577144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12023 2013-09-05T18:04:00Z 2015-02-11T23:40:13Z Scientists outline how to save nearly 70 percent of the world's plant species In 2010 the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) pledged to set aside 17 percent of the world's land as protected areas in addition to protecting 60 percent of the world's plant species&#8212;through the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC)&#8212;by 2020. Now a new study in Science finds that the world can achieve both ambitious goals at the same time&#8212;if only we protect the right places. Looking at data on over 100,000 flower plants, scientists determined that protecting 17 percent of the world's land (focusing on priority plant areas) would conserve 67 percent of the world's plants. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12021 2013-09-05T03:07:00Z 2013-09-05T12:46:21Z Indonesia should convert logging concessions to protected areas to stop deforestation for plantations, argues study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Reclassifying logging concessions as permanent forest estates and thereby barring them from conversion to industrial plantations would be an effective strategy for helping conserve Indonesia's fast-dwindling forests, argues a new study published in <i>PLoS ONE</i>. The study analyzed forest loss in areas zoned for different uses in Indonesian Borneo. It found that deforestation rates in timber concessions and protected areas were 'not significantly different' provided logging concessions were not reclassified as industrial plantation concessions. Rhett Butler -0.53836 114.596786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11961 2013-08-26T16:41:00Z 2013-08-26T17:01:55Z Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, announced on August 15th that he was abandoning an innovative program to spare three blocs of Yasuni National Park from oil drilling, it seemed like the world had tossed away its most biodiverse ecosystem. However, environmental groups and activists quickly responded that there may be another way to keep oil companies out of Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs: a national referendum. Jeremy Hance -1.183693 -75.605621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11936 2013-08-19T14:03:00Z 2015-02-11T23:16:11Z Iraq gets its first national park: just call it Eden Late last month, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved the nation's first national park: the Mesopotamian marshes, which some scholars believe were the site of the historical Garden of Eden. The establishment of the park is a major milestone for a nation still plagued by violence with the park itself linked to the ravages of the Saddam Hussein regime. Jeremy Hance 31.601931 47.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11928 2013-08-16T17:31:00Z 2013-08-16T18:11:23Z Colombia establishes giant rainforest park to protect 'uncontacted' tribes Next week the Colombian government will officially double the size of its largest national park, reports <i>El Espectador</i>. Rhett Butler 1.341583 -72.853303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11900 2013-08-12T12:16:00Z 2015-02-11T23:15:14Z Little NGO takes on goliath task: conserving the vanishing ecosystems of Paraguay <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0812.Forest-Guards-in-Cerrado-%C2%A9Rolex-Awards_Kirsten-Holst.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Landlocked in the navel of South America, the forests, wetlands and savannahs of Paraguay boast rich biodiversity and endemic species, yet the unique landscapes of Paraguay also face increasing threats, primarily from agricultural expansion. Controlled burns and clear cutting have become common practice as wildlands are converted for soy and cattle production. In some areas this land conversion is rapid: the Paraguayan Chaco, for instance, is being lost at a rate of 10% per year. One organization is working to reverse this trend. Para La Tierra (PLT) is a small NGO dedicated to the conservation of threatened habitats in Paraguay. Located on the Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, in-between two of South America's most threatened habitats: the Atlantic Forest and the vast topical savannah known as the cerrado, PLT is in a unique position to champion conservation. Jeremy Hance -23.809729 -56.283653 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11879 2013-08-05T13:57:00Z 2013-08-05T14:20:14Z Featured video: Sumatra's last elephants versus palm oil A new video by The Ecologist documents the illegal destruction of the Leuser protected area in Sumatra for palm oil production, a vegetable oil which has become ubiquitous in many mass-produced foods and cosmetics. The destruction of the forest has pushed elephants and people together, leading to inevitable conflict with casualties on both sides. Elephants are increasingly viewed as agricultural pests for crop-raiding while locals&#8212;some of them squatting in protected land&#8212;lack the means and resources to keep elephants at bay. Meanwhile, palm oil plantations often see elephants as a threat to the palms. Jeremy Hance 4.707828 96.293335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11813 2013-07-23T16:59:00Z 2013-07-24T14:09:27Z Dominican Republic sends bulldozers to destroy wildlife reserve, home to endangered species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0723.ricordisiguana.049.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last Wednesday, bulldozers entered the Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve (LCABR) in the Dominican Republic and began clearing vegetation for agricultural development. The move stunned local conservationists who had not been notified ahead of time of the project. Although Charco Azul Biological Reserve is home to a wealth of threatened species&#8212;including the world's largest population of the Critically Endangered Ricordi's iguana (<i>Cyclura ricordi</i>)&#8212;the destruction of the reserve was signed off by the Dominican Republic's Minister of the Environment, Bautista Rojas Gómez. Jeremy Hance 18.466584 -71.35643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11777 2013-07-16T17:27:00Z 2013-07-16T23:37:00Z Plan to preserve the world's 'last ocean' killed by Russia As the most pristine marine ecosystem on the planet, Antarctica's Ross Sea has become dubbed the world's "last ocean." Home to an abundance of penguins, whales, orcas, seals, and massive fish, the Ross Sea has so far largely avoided the degradation that has impacted much of the world's other marine waters. However, a landmark proposal to protect the Ross Sea, as well as the coastline of East Antarctica, has failed today due to opposition by Russia. Jeremy Hance -74.590108 -167.753913 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11771 2013-07-15T18:12:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:40Z Scientists: lions need funding not fences <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0715.Lion_waiting_in_Namibia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fences are not the answer to the decline in Africa's lions, according to a new paper in <i>Ecology Letters</i>. The new research directly counters an earlier controversial study that argued keeping lions fenced-in would be cheaper and more effective in saving the big cats. African lion (<i>Panthera leo</i>) populations across the continent have fallen dramatically: it's estimated that the current population is around 15,000-35,000 lions, down from 100,000 just 50 years ago. The animal kings are suffering from booming human populations, habitat loss and fragmentation, prey decline, trophy hunting, and human-lion conflict. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11692 2013-06-30T14:10:00Z 2013-07-05T16:56:35Z Conservationists urge Costa Rica to maintain environmental leadership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/costa_rica/150/costa_rica_4418.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A body representing hundreds of biologists and conservation scientists has urged the government of Costa Rica not to jeopardize its reputation as an environmental leader by allowing carve-outs from protected areas for industrial development. In a declaration issued Thursday at the conclusion its 50th annual meeting, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), applauded Costa Rica's pathbreaking efforts to integrate environmental protection into its national development strategy. But the group warned that proposed projects that would require de-gazetting of national parks for energy projects could undermine Costa Rica's green credentials. Rhett Butler 10.7866 -85.293245 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11642 2013-06-25T15:09:00Z 2013-06-25T15:12:38Z Decades-long fight leads to old-growth forest protection in Tasmania <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0625.800px-Upper_Florentine_Protest_Camp_3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Almost 200,000 hectares of Tasmania's old growth forest have been world heritage listed, bringing hope that a three-decade fight between environmentalists, politicians and loggers is over. The World Heritage Committee has extended the heritage listed boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by more than 170,000 hectares after accepting a proposal from the Australian government which will give the areas the highest level of environmental protection in the world. Jeremy Hance -42.827639 146.181107 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11639 2013-06-24T22:13:00Z 2013-06-26T18:13:38Z Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region&#8212;plans that are currently pending approval by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). Jeremy Hance -11.697962 -71.85379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11635 2013-06-24T18:24:00Z 2013-06-25T23:55:17Z 60 big cats killed in Brazilian parks in last two years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At least 60 big cats have been killed within national protected areas in Brazil during the past two years according to a recent survey published in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science. The report, which focuses on jaguar (<i>Panthera onca</i>) and puma (<i>Puma concolor</i>) populations, within Brazilian protected areas shows that reserve management and use restrictions impact the level of big cat hunting. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11632 2013-06-24T12:22:00Z 2013-06-24T13:31:36Z Local people provide wildlife and forest data in park plagued by conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0624tiger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are often many obstacles for scientists when gauging wildlife decline and forest loss, and one of the most difficult is civil conflict, like the situation in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in India. But a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science (TCS) finds that local communities may be used to gauge forest loss and wildlife decline for baseline data when conflicts or other obstacle prevent long-term research and monitoring. Jeremy Hance 21.631899 86.379089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11631 2013-06-23T17:10:00Z 2015-02-11T23:08:09Z Solving 'wicked problems': ten principles for improved environmental management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0225.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As agriculture continues to expand at the expense of forests in the tropics, humanity struggles to meet environmental protection goals. Despite global efforts towards sustainable agriculture and some progress towards the gazetting of protected areas, there are as yet no general and effective solutions for meeting both conservation goals and food needs, and thus the loss and degradation of natural habitats continues. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated a 70% increase in food production will be needed by 2050 to feed a population that will exceed 9 billion. How can such food production be met in ways that conserve the environment while also alleviating poverty? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11621 2013-06-20T16:50:00Z 2013-06-20T17:06:55Z Building a new generation of local conservationists: how improving education in Uganda may save one of the world's great forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/kibale.IMG_3752.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation work is often focused on the short-term: protecting a forest from an immediate threat, saving a species from pending extinction, or a restoring an ecosystem following degradation. While short-term responses are often borne of necessity, one could argue that long-term thinking in conservation and environmental work (as in all human endeavors) is woefully neglected, especially in the tropics. This is why programs like the Kasiisi Project are so important: by vastly improving education for primary kids near a threatened park in Uganda, the project hopes to create a "generation of committed rural conservationists," according to founder and director, Elizabeth Ross. Jeremy Hance 0.443569 30.417652 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11584 2013-06-12T17:26:00Z 2013-06-12T17:37:56Z 11,000 barrels of oil spill into the Coca River in the Amazon On May 31st, a landslide ruptured an oil pipeline in Ecuadorean Amazon, sending around 11,000 barrels of oil ( 420,000 gallons) into the Coca River. The oil pollution has since moved into the larger Napo River, which borders Yasuni National Park, and is currently heading downstream into Peru and Brazil. The spill has occurred in a region that is notorious for heavy oil production and decades of contamination, in addition to resistance and lawsuits by indigenous groups. Jeremy Hance -0.443569 -76.997738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11557 2013-06-06T21:07:00Z 2015-02-11T23:06:30Z Saving one of Africa's most stunning parks through biomass briquettes and fuel-efficient stoves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0606.newnature.investigatingkuchumbricks.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Rebecca Goldstone and Michael Stern first arrived in Uganda's Kibale National Park in 2000 to study monkeys, little did they know then that they would stay on to kick-start an innovative organization, The New Nature Foundation, connecting locals to the park through videos and visits. Nor did they know they would soon tackle the biggest threat to Kibale: deforestation for cooking fuel wood. Since 2006, the couple's organization has implemented a hugely-successful program that provides biomass briquettes for environmentally-friendly fuel for locals, cutting down on the need for forest destruction. Jeremy Hance 0.465541 30.402231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11545 2013-06-04T18:26:00Z 2013-06-04T19:09:47Z Chewbacca bat, beetle with explosive farts among oddities spotted on Mozambique expedition <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0604Gorongosa_10_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The 'Chewbaka' bat, a cave-dwelling frog, and a diminutive elephant shrew were among hundreds of species documented during a one-month survey of a park that was ravaged during Mozambique's 17-year civil war. The findings suggest that biodiversity in Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique is well on the road towards recovery, opening a new chapter for the 4,000-square-kilometer protected area. Rhett Butler -18.539513 35.304136 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11528 2013-05-30T16:29:00Z 2015-02-09T23:01:29Z Saving Gorongosa: E.O. Wilson on protecting a biodiversity hotspot in Mozambique <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0530.gorgongosa.wilson.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you fly over the Great African Rift Valley from its northernmost point in Ethiopia, over the great national parks of Kenya and Tanzania, and follow it south to the very end, you will arrive at Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique. Plateaus on the eastern and western sides of the park flank the lush valley in the center. Dramatic limestone cliffs, unexplored caves, wetlands, vast grasslands, rivers, lakes, and a patchwork of savanna and forest contribute to the incredible diversity of this park. What makes this place truly unique, however, is Mount Gorongosa&#8212;a towering massif that overlooks the valley below. Jeremy Hance -18.890695 34.573059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11466 2013-05-22T16:30:00Z 2013-05-22T17:27:18Z Compromise on Serengeti road?: build an elevated highway Famed anthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey has proposed a possible solution to the hugely controversial Serengeti road: build an elevated highway. Leakey made the remarks during a conference at Rutgers University on May 14th, as reported by Live Science. The Tanzanian government's plans to build a road through the remote, northern Serengeti has come under both environmental and international criticism, as scientific studies and leaked government reports have found the proposed road would hugely hamper the world famous migration across the plans. Jeremy Hance -1.697139 35.029678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11462 2013-05-21T23:58:00Z 2013-05-22T00:47:39Z World's largest tropical park may have protected status revoked Tumucumaque National Park, a sprawling reserve that covers 38,874 square kilometers (15,010 sq mi) of rainforest in northeastern Brazil, may see its protected status revoked due to insufficient consultation with local municipalities prior to its creation. Rhett Butler 2.295528 -54.988404