tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/rainforest1 rainforest news from mongabay.com 2014-09-17T19:53:51Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13793 2014-09-17T19:46:00Z 2014-09-17T19:53:51Z 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may have belonged to slain leaders Peruvian authorities have pulled more human remains from a remote river in the Amazon, which may belong to one of the four murdered Ashaninka natives killed on September 1st. It is believed the four Ashaninka men, including renowned leader Edwin Chota Valera, were assassinated for speaking up against illegal logging on their traditional lands. Jeremy Hance -10.433375 -71.573146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13770 2014-09-11T15:26:00Z 2014-09-12T13:44:14Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Harness the power of marketing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.Diogo-Veri%CC%81ssimo--%C2%A9Laure-Cugnie%CC%80re.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a whole, conservationists have been slow to adapt the strategies of marketing or to market conservation at all. Dr. Diogo Veríssimo, a researcher who works at the interface between social and natural sciences, with a focus on behavior change and evidence-based conservation, thinks this needs to change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13736 2014-09-03T16:00:00Z 2014-09-05T02:29:01Z Mongabay founder, Rhett Butler, wins Field Museum's top conservation prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/boston_091.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Field Museum has honored Rhett A. Butler, the founder of mongabay.com, with this year's prestigious Parker/Gentry Award. The award is giving annually to an 'individual, team or organization whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage and whose actions can serve as a model to others,' according to the museum. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13734 2014-09-02T17:08:00Z 2014-09-02T17:34:32Z Scientists uncover five new species of 'toupee' monkeys in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0831.saki.ci_39968595.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While saki monkeys may be characterized by floppy mops of hair that resemble the worst of human toupees, these acrobatic, tree-dwelling primates are essential for dispersing seeds. After long being neglected by both scientists and conservationists, a massive research effort by one intrepid researcher has revealed the full-scale of saki monkey diversity, uncovering five new species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-09-02T17:50:41Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-08-27T16:58:24Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13699 2014-08-21T21:51:00Z 2014-08-27T19:09:19Z Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Tarsier.from.Dinagat.Isl.photo.Andrew-Cunningham.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate&#8212;known as tarsiers&#8212;in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby relatives, according to a new open-access paper in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 10.168583 125.594253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-08-13T12:36:35Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13590 2014-07-28T13:17:00Z 2014-07-29T19:39:18Z Short-eared dog? Uncovering the secrets of one of the Amazon's most mysterious mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0727.2010.-Los-Amigos.-Oso-at-age-4-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifteen years ago, scientists knew next to nothing about one of the Amazon's most mysterious residents: the short-eared dog. Although the species was first described in 1883 and is considered the sole representative of the Atelocynus genus, biologists spent over a century largely in the dark about an animal that seemed almost a myth. Jeremy Hance -11.888234 -71.407557 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 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 2014-07-25T17:05:36Z 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/13533 2014-07-14T16:07:00Z 2014-07-17T16:00:14Z Only 15 percent of world's biodiversity hotspots left intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0714.Atlantic-Rainforest-Intervales.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's 35 biodiversity hotspots&#8212;which harbor 75 percent of the planet's endangered land vertebrates&#8212;are in more trouble than expected, according to a sobering new analysis of remaining primary vegetation. In all less than 15 percent of natural intact vegetation is left in the these hotspots, which include well-known jewels such as Madagascar, the tropical Andes, and Sundaland. Jeremy Hance -24.263585 -48.415697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13521 2014-07-09T21:23:00Z 2014-07-15T16:35:27Z A garden or a wilderness? One-fifth of the Amazon may have been savannah before the arrival of Europeans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_128.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on the planet, covering about 6.5 million square kilometers, although much has been lost in recent decades.Yet new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that quite recently&#8212;just 500 years ago&#8212;a significant portion of the southern Amazon was not the tall-canopied forest it is today, but savannah. Jeremy Hance -12.770027 -64.469834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13507 2014-07-08T19:21:00Z 2014-07-08T19:35:38Z Pope Francis: 'this is our sin: we exploit the earth' In Southern Italy over the weekend, Pope Francis reiterated his view that environmental destruction constituted a sin. Visiting the largely agricultural region of Molise, the Pope responded to an address by a local farmer attending university. Jeremy Hance 41.559516 14.661415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13486 2014-07-02T19:36:00Z 2014-07-09T15:19:34Z On a whim: Equatorial Guinea building new capital city in the middle of the rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0702-roadconst-oyala-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 8,000 hectares of rainforest are under threat as the nation builds a new $600 million capital city from scratch. Called Oyala, and also known as Djibloho, the city is expected be completed by 2020 and house up to 200,000 people -- about an eighth of the entire population of Equatorial Guinea. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.594485 10.817885 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13458 2014-06-26T20:07:00Z 2014-06-30T15:55:16Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Playing games to understand what drives deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.garcia.innovations.IMGP0355.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Claude Garcia plays games, but you won’t find him betting his shirt at the casino. As leader of the Forest Management and Development Research Group at ETH Zürich, Garcia and his team use participatory modeling and role-playing games, merged with more traditional disciplinary sciences such as ecology, economics, and sociology to understand and manage complex landscape change in the tropics. Jeremy Hance 11.830113 75.908619 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13454 2014-06-25T23:04:00Z 2014-06-26T13:08:25Z Is Cameroon becoming the new Indonesia? Palm oil plantations accelerating deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-cameroon-elephants-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The potential for new laws governing the use of forest resources this year in Cameroon promises an opportunity to stem the rapid loss of forest in the biologically diverse country. But the changes may ultimately not be what’s needed to save Cameroon’s forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.750898 9.993512 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-06-23T16:54:02Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13416 2014-06-19T18:42:00Z 2014-06-26T17:29:13Z Scientists discover carnivorous water rat in Indonesia, good example of convergent evolution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0619-water-rat-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have discovered a new carnivorous water rat on the island of Sulawesi that's so unique it represents an entirely new genus. They believe many more new rodent species await discovery in this relatively undisturbed part of Indonesia, but mining and other types of development may threaten vital habitat before it’s even surveyed. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.712609 119.355464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13399 2014-06-17T18:18:00Z 2014-06-17T21:09:28Z Camera trap captures first ever video of rarely-seen bird in the Amazon...and much more <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1107.Mosquera--Nocturnal-curassow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A camera trap program in Ecuador's embattled Yasuni National Program has struck gold, taking what researchers believe is the first ever film of a wild nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum). In addition, the program has captured video of other rarely-seen animals, including the short-eared dog and the giant armadillo. Jeremy Hance -0.637516 -76.148906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13373 2014-06-12T16:51:00Z 2014-06-13T22:06:16Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Learning from innovations to make REDD+ work <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/062.duchelle.innovations.boy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Brazil, Dr. Amy Duchelle coordinates research on the effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and co-benefits of REDD+ initiatives at the sub-national level in Latin America as part of CIFOR's Gloal Comparative Study on REDD+. Jeremy Hance -5.481673 -59.772298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13368 2014-06-11T13:58:00Z 2014-06-12T23:44:10Z PhD students 'thrilled' to rediscover mammal missing for 124 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.newguineabigearedbat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1890 Lamberto Loria collected 45 specimens&#8212;all female&#8212;of a small bat from the wilds of Papua New Guinea. Nearly 25 years later, in 1914, the species was finally described and named by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, who dubbed it the New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene) after its massive ears. But no one ever saw the bat again. Jeremy Hance -10.127639 148.861417 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13365 2014-06-10T13:44:00Z 2014-06-10T13:50:09Z Mountain forests store 40 percent more carbon than expected It's not easy to measure carbon in mountain forest ecosystems. But a new review study in Biogeosciences found that many estimates of carbon storage in montane tropical forests have been largely underestimated. Jeremy Hance 0.103256 -78.520036 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13361 2014-06-09T14:02:00Z 2014-06-09T21:19:36Z Bears, cats, and mystery mammals: camera traps in 'paper park' prove its worth protecting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.habitatid.Sun-bear.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can a single photograph change the fate of a park? A new conservation group, HabitatID, believes so, and is putting this belief into action. Setting up camera traps in Cambodia's Virachey National Park, the group hopes that photos of charismatic and endangered species will help reinvigorate protection for a park that has been abandoned by conservation groups and underfunded by the government. Jeremy Hance 14.297357 107.049167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13347 2014-06-05T20:16:00Z 2014-06-05T21:55:57Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Work locally, relentlessly, and, if necessary, ignore the government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0605.fredriksson.Gabriella_bear-skull.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1997, Gabriella Fredriksson, then a young PhD student, was studying sun bears in East Kalamantan, Indonesia, when massive forest fires broke out in the park. 'It quickly became clear that there was no government agency, NGO, or private company in the area interested in assisting putting out these fires, which were threatening to burn down the entire reserve,' Fredriksson told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 1.459166 117.013715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13326 2014-06-02T16:40:00Z 2014-06-02T16:54:29Z After throwing out referendum, Ecuador approves oil drilling in Yasuni's embattled heart By 2016, oil drilling will begin in what scientists believe is the most biodiverse place on the planet: remote Yasuni National Park. Late last month, Ecuador announced it had approved permits for oil drilling in Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputinin (ITT) block, an untouched swathe of primary rainforest covering around 100,000 hectares or about 10 percent of the park. Jeremy Hance -1.088304 -75.487242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13321 2014-06-02T13:27:00Z 2014-06-03T14:18:01Z Of jaguars and loggers: new film to showcase one of the least-known regions in the deep Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.tristan.movie.light-trees.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In August, three young filmmakers will go on the expedition of a lifetime. They plan to spend six months filming in one of the most remote, most spectacular, and most endangered ecosystems on the planet: the Las Piedras River system. This unprotected swathe of Amazon jungle contains massive anacondas, prowling jaguars, and even uncontacted indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -12.184542 -69.374536 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13314 2014-05-29T20:30:00Z 2014-05-29T20:38:06Z Facebook, Twitter to carry 24 hours of live rainforest animal sightings on Monday <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.orang.rhettbutler.mongabay.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Next week, the rainforests of Southeast Asia are going live. On June 2nd, 11 organizations in the region will be posting lives video, photos, and wildlife sightings over 24 hours on Facebook and Twitter (see #rainforestlive). Dubbed Rainforest: Live, the initiative hopes to raise awareness of quickly vanishing ecosystems and species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13299 2014-05-28T15:22:00Z 2014-05-28T15:51:00Z Greenpeace accuses controversial palm oil company and Cameroon government of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0528.bulldozers.herakles.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenpeace has just accused one of the world's most controversial oil palm companies, Herakles Farms, of colluding with top government officials to sell off illegally logged timber to China. According to a new report, an agreement between Cameroon's Minister of Forestry and Herkales Farms&#8212;through a shell company&#8212;could torpedo the country's agreement with the EU for better timber management. Jeremy Hance 5.063568 9.285140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13297 2014-05-28T14:32:00Z 2014-05-28T21:34:26Z Scientists discover 'shark' in Sumatran forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0528-ridiangus-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In early April, Indonesian scientists discovered an endangered freshwater fish in the Harapan rainforest of Jambi. The species had never before been observed in the region, and is declining elsewhere throughout its range. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.560901 103.772808 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13273 2014-05-22T19:29:00Z 2014-05-22T21:13:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Linking public health and environmental degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Madagascar2-061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Christopher Golden is an explorer on a mission. As both an epidemiologist and ecologist, he is investigating and expanding the interface between human and ecosystem health. This year, Golden was appointed the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society's HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages</a>) Program. Jeremy Hance -15.508300 49.598895 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13232 2014-05-15T20:29:00Z 2014-05-15T20:44:56Z 53 indigenous activists on trial for police-protester massacre in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1639.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the summer of 2009, on a highway in Peru known as Devil's Curve: everything went wrong. For months, indigenous groups had protested new laws by then President Alan Garcia opening up the Amazon to deregulated logging, fossil fuels, and other extractive industries as a part of free trade agreements with the U.S. Jeremy Hance -12.050560 -77.039993 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13212 2014-05-12T17:19:00Z 2014-05-12T17:41:21Z Chinese luxury furniture linked to murder, near extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0512.eia.rosewood.table.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intricately carved, meticulously designed, and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars: this is "hongmu," or Chinese luxury furniture reflecting the elite styles of the Ming and Qing dynasties. But while the red-colored furniture may be aesthetically beautiful, it comes with a blood price. Jeremy Hance 14.241349 102.996604 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13170 2014-05-02T21:10:00Z 2014-05-05T04:48:56Z Not all used up: why conserving selectively logged forests is important <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0502-logged-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests, which provide rich biodiversity, vital carbon storage, and essential medicines, are being damaged and destroyed at a rapid rate worldwide. Loggers especially target old-growth forests for selective harvesting of their valuable timber. But while selectively logged forests are indeed degraded, these disturbed forests are valuable ecosystems for many species, with higher biological productivity than previously thought, and merit increased conservation attention, argues a new paper published in <i>Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment</i> Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.119325 116.149156 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13150 2014-04-29T15:58:00Z 2014-04-29T19:01:13Z Papua New Guinea pledges to cancel massive land grabs by timber companies Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, released a statement last week saying that hugely controversial land leases under the country's Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) will be cancelled if they are found to be run for extracting timber. Jeremy Hance -4.076401 141.427226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13145 2014-04-28T18:39:00Z 2014-09-16T15:47:06Z Loggers plan to clear 20 percent of tropical island paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.tree.Forest.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seven years ago, a palm oil company set its eyes on Woodlark Island&#8212;a small rainforest island nearly 200 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea&#8212;but was rebuked by the local populace. But locals and conservationists who spoke to mongabay.com at the time felt that wouldn't be the end of it: they were right. Recently, a company, Karridale Limited, has landed machinery on the island. Jeremy Hance -9.145404 152.812027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13132 2014-04-25T13:45:00Z 2014-04-25T19:42:46Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Crowdsourced forest monitoring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0423.brazil_0395.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation alerts are being submitted via smartphones. On the ground technicians send alerts to a database stored in 'the cloud.' This information is added to maps, which, along with satellite imagery, are used to inform law enforcement. And the speed of this process is getting real results. Jeremy Hance -11.091665 -57.459438 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13116 2014-04-22T15:30:00Z 2014-04-22T15:40:30Z Illegal logging makes up 70 percent of Papua New Guinea's timber industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_5011.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corruption, weak governance, and powerful timber barons are illegally stripping the forests of Papua New Guinea, according to a new report from the Chatham House. The policy institute finds that 70 percent of logging in Papua New Guinea is currently illegal, despite the fact that 99 percent of land is owned by local indigenous communities. Jeremy Hance -6.843058 145.777812 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13103 2014-04-21T16:28:00Z 2014-04-23T19:17:34Z Small monkeys take over when big primates have been hunted out in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_0864.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The barbecued leg of a spider monkey might not be your idea of a sumptuous dinner, but to the Matsés or one of the fifteen tribes in voluntary isolation in Peru, it is the result of a successful hunt and a proud moment for the hunter's family. However, a spider monkey tends to have only a single infant once every 30 months, which necessarily limits the number of adult monkeys available to subsistence hunters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13099 2014-04-18T16:04:00Z 2014-04-18T16:58:38Z Rainforests on fire: climate change is pushing the Amazon over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-burning-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From 1999-2010, nearly three percent of the Amazon rainforest burned, and climate forecasts indicate dry conditions conducive to fire will only become more commonplace in the future. A new study indicates that rainforests are more vulnerable to fire than previously thought, and it warns the current combination of climate change and deforestation may be pushing Amazon forests past the breaking point. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.624371 -51.306233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13098 2014-04-18T14:04:00Z 2014-04-18T14:18:22Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Maps for the masses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_3985.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mark Mulligan makes maps for the masses. In his work on tropical forests, Mulligan uses GIS, modeling, remote sensing, and lab experiments to turn research into datasets and policy support systems, which are available online for use in development, decision-making, and education. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13097 2014-04-17T20:55:00Z 2014-04-17T23:04:15Z Is Aru safe? Indonesia suspends plan to clear half the islands' forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0417-aru-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Aru, an area made up of about ninety-five low-lying islands in the Maluku province of eastern Indonesia, has suspended a plan to clear half of its total forest cover for sugar cane. However, the island paradise is still not safe from large-scale deforestation, according to a report from Mongabay-Indonesia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.120256 134.411539 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13086 2014-04-16T16:20:00Z 2014-04-16T16:38:58Z Ecuador will have referendum on fate of Yasuni after activists collect over 700,000 signatures In what is a major victory for environmentalists, campaigners with United for Yasuni have collected 727,947 signatures triggering a national referendum on whether or not oil drilling should proceed in three blocs of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. Jeremy Hance -1.438883 -76.068026 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13082 2014-04-15T14:33:00Z 2014-04-15T16:36:29Z Malaysia imperils forest reserves and sea turtle nesting ground for industrial site (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.tanjung.panorama.5.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plans for an industrial site threaten one of Malaysia's only marine turtle nesting beaches and a forest home to rare trees and mammals, according to local activists. Recently, the state government of Perak approved two industrial project inside Tanjung Hantu Permanent Forest Reserve. But activists say these will not only cut into the reserve, but also scare away nesting turtles from Pasir Panjang. Jeremy Hance 4.315341 100.562672 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13081 2014-04-14T18:08:00Z 2014-04-14T18:30:55Z Ants plant rainforests, one seed at a time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0414-antseed-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is destroying forests around the world, but its effects are especially obvious in the Amazon Basin. Due to cattle ranching, soybean farming, logging, and slash-and-burn agriculture, the rainforest is disappearing at a rapid pace. But a recent study published in the Journal of Ecology offers a unique solution to replanting the deforested landscapes: ants. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.216606 -67.295734 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13068 2014-04-10T21:53:00Z 2014-04-10T22:14:00Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Empowering everyone to watch over forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0410.NigelSizer_image.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nigel Sizer has worked on the forefront of global forest issues for decades. Currently, he is the Global Director of the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Forests Program, whose projects include the Global Forest Watch, the Forest Legality Alliance, and the Global Restoration Initiative. These programs work with governments, businesses, and civil society with the aim of sustaining forests for generations to come. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13067 2014-04-10T19:00:00Z 2014-04-11T13:15:51Z A new face for palm oil? How a small co-op is changing the industry in Honduras <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0403-tanya-locals-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Expanding oil palm plantations are among the top reasons for deforestation globally, along with cattle ranching, timber, and soy. However, a small palm oil production outfit recently became the first cooperative in the world to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification for sustainable growth of African palms, employing a number of innovations to ensure the prosperity of both forests and local communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.444187 -87.588480 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13059 2014-04-08T19:48:00Z 2014-04-08T20:25:55Z Featured video: Showtime releases first episode of major new climate change series online <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/ford.orangutan.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although Showtime's landmark new climate change series doesn't premiere until Sunday, the network has released an edited version of the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously to the public (see below). The nine-part documentary series is being billed as a "groundbreaking" exploration into the many ways that climate change is already wreaking havoc on the lives of people around the world. Jeremy Hance 0.010477 101.530569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13057 2014-04-08T15:48:00Z 2014-04-09T13:29:11Z Nearly 90 percent of logging in the DRC is illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0408.754px-Congo_maluku.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is completely out of control, according to a new eye-opening report. Put together by the Chatham House, the report estimates that at least 87 percent of logging in the DRC was illegal in 2011, making the DRC possibly the most high-risk country in the world for purchasing legal wood products. Jeremy Hance -1.809386 21.981180 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13031 2014-04-03T21:11:00Z 2014-04-05T04:17:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting deforestation to disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0403.gillespie.portait.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thomas Gillespie is concerned with the connections between conservation and disease, with a particular emphasis on primates. Much of his research examines the places where humans and animals are at a high risk of exchanging pathogens, and how human-caused disturbances, such as deforestation, can change disease dynamics and impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13023 2014-04-02T19:46:00Z 2014-04-02T19:55:09Z Featured video: celebrities speak out for Yasuni A group of celebrities, including recent Academy Award winner Jared Leto, <i>Law and Order</i>'s Benjamin Bratt, and <i>Kill Bill</i>'s Daryl Hannah, have lent their voices to a new Public Service Announcement to raise signatures to protect Ecuador's Yasuni National Park from oil drilling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13013 2014-03-31T20:47:00Z 2014-03-31T21:02:46Z Brief lives linked to Amazon biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0331-treegen-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The South American Amazon rainforest is renowned for being one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, boasting an estimated 16,000 different tree species. However, the distribution of these diverse tree species is curiously uneven. What is the reason behind this irregular diversity? According to a new study, the answer lies within short durations between tree generations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.729702 -60.724478 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12995 2014-03-27T21:41:00Z 2014-03-27T22:04:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Quantifying the cost of forest degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.Phil-w-stump-clipped.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>How much is a forest really worth? And what is the cost of forest degradation? These values are difficult to estimate, but according to Dr. Phillip Fearnside, we need to do a better job. For nearly forty years, Fearnside has lived in Amazonia doing ecological research, looking at the value of forests in terms of environmental or ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water cycling, and biodiversity preservation. Fearnside then works to convert these services into a basis for sustainable development for rural populations. Jeremy Hance -3.094940 -59.989343 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12990 2014-03-26T22:41:00Z 2014-03-26T23:18:02Z Just how bad is the logging crisis in Myanmar? 72 percent of exports illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0326.EIA.logging.myanmar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just days before Myanmar, also known as Burma, implements a ban on exporting raw logs, the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) has released a new report that captures the sheer scale of the country's illegal logging crisis. According to the EIA, new data shows that 72 percent of logs exported from Myanmar between 2000-2013 were illegally harvested. Jeremy Hance 26.304355 97.194069 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12970 2014-03-21T15:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:51:30Z The power of connections: India to establish Asia's largest protected forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0321-karnataka1-morgan-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India has stepped up forest conservation efforts in recent years, with a major project underway to establish a large swath of uninterrupted habitat through the designation of additional protected areas and expanding those already under protection. If realized, these areas would converge to become Asia’s largest unbroken forest, encompassing approximately 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles) over three states. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.509241 75.091853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12958 2014-03-21T00:45:00Z 2014-03-27T22:01:55Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Offer health care for forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0320.health.Danzer_027545.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Kinari Webb has a superpower: the ability to provide high-quality health care in a remote and rural landscape. And she uses her power not only to save lives, but also to protect the remaining Bornean rainforests. Twenty-one years ago, Kinari Webb traveled to Borneo to work with orangutans. She witnessed the faltering health of both the people and the environment and saw that the two issues were inseparable. When families must choose between the health of their children and the health of the forest that supports them, everyone loses. But in the region of Gunung Palung National Park &#8212; where an estimated 10 percent of the world's orangutans live &#8212; illegal logging and slash and burn farming methods paid the bills and locals saw few alternatives. Kinari vowed to study medicine and return with more to offer. Jeremy Hance -0.961310 109.975687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12959 2014-03-20T19:27:00Z 2014-03-21T13:42:24Z Oil or rainforest: new website highlights the plight of Yasuni National Park A new multimedia feature story by Brazilian environmental news group, ((o))eco, highlights the ongoing debate over Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, arguably the most biodiverse place on the planet. Jeremy Hance -1.425451 -75.992689 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12957 2014-03-20T15:06:00Z 2014-03-20T15:20:59Z Panda lemur making a comeback <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0311.Andriantantely-greater-bamboo-lemur-%C2%A9-Hery-Randriahaingo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's biggest populations of greater bamboo lemurs (<i>Prolemur simus</i>)&#8212;sometimes known as the panda lemur&#8212;has doubled in just three years, giving conservationists new hope that the species can be kept from extinction. With the recent arrival of twenty babies, a community conservation project run by the Aspinall Foundation has boosted the local population to over 100 individuals in Andriantantely, one of Madagascar's only surviving lowland rainforests. Greater bamboo lemurs are currently categorized as Critically Endangered, though they were once believed extinct until hidden populations were uncovered in the 1980s. Jeremy Hance -18.700073 48.801227 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12950 2014-03-19T17:28:00Z 2014-03-19T17:31:10Z Featured video: indigenous tribe faces loggers, ranchers, and murder in bid to save their forests A new short film, entitled <i>La Trocha</i>, highlights the plight of the Wounaan people in Panama, who are fighting for legal rights to their forests even as loggers and ranchers carve it up. The conflict turned violent in 2012 when local chief, Aquilo Puchicama, was shot dead by loggers. Jeremy Hance 8.041062 -81.577309 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12948 2014-03-18T16:52:00Z 2014-03-18T19:04:08Z Several Amazonian tree frog species discovered, where only two existed before <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0318.amazonfrogs.Image-3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>We have always been intrigued by the Amazon rainforest with its abundant species richness and untraversed expanses. Despite our extended study of its wildlife, new species such as the olinguito (<i>Bassaricyon neblina</i>), a bear-like carnivore hiding out in the Ecuadorian rainforest, are being identified as recently as last year. In fact, the advent of efficient DNA sequencing and genomic analysis has revolutionized how we think about species diversity. Today, scientists can examine known diversity in a different way, revealing multiple 'cryptic' species that have evaded discovery by being mistakenly classified as a single species based on external appearance alone. Jeremy Hance -12.356977 -71.375915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12939 2014-03-17T13:53:00Z 2014-03-18T16:11:02Z Mother of God: meet the 26 year old Indiana Jones of the Amazon, Paul Rosolie <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0316.rosolie.interview.10.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Not yet 30, Paul Rosolie has already lived a life that most would only dare dream of&#8212;or have nightmares over, depending on one's constitution. With the Western Amazon as his panorama, Rosolie has faced off jaguars, wrestled anacondas, explored a floating forest, mentored with indigenous people, been stricken by tropical disease, traveled with poachers, and hand-reared a baby anteater. It's no wonder that at the ripe age of 26, Rosolie was already written a memoir: Mother of God. Jeremy Hance -12.418030 -69.268917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12917 2014-03-12T16:24:00Z 2014-03-12T18:28:23Z New web tool aims to help indigenous groups protect forests and navigate REDD+ A new online tool, dubbed ForestDefender, aims to help indigenous people understand and implement their rights in regard to forests. The database, developed by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), brings together vast amounts of legal information&#8212;both national and international&#8212;on over 50 countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12909 2014-03-11T13:42:00Z 2014-03-11T13:55:23Z Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/thumb.cut.roatan_forest_burning_0.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers. Jeremy Hance 15.667404 -86.826363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12899 2014-03-10T14:38:00Z 2014-03-10T14:58:29Z Does haze from burning forests affect marine life? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0449.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two scientists are calling on researchers, NGOs, and governments to begin studying the impact of burning forests and peatlands in Indonesia on the already-threatened marine ecosystems of Southeast Asia. Every year, Indonesian farmers set forests, vegetation, and peatlands alight to clear them for agriculture, often palm oil, and pulp and paper plantations. Not only do these practices destroy hugely-diverse tropical forests, but the resulting haze spreads to many parts of Southeast Asia, threatening regional health and impacting economies. Now, a new paper argues that the sinister impacts of Indonesia's burning may extend as far as the oceans. Jeremy Hance 0.597093 131.501257 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12891 2014-03-07T14:06:00Z 2014-03-08T07:51:29Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Privatizing conservation management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0307.Sabah-2013-(6).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Is it possible to equitably divide the planet’s resources between human and non-human societies? Can we ensure prosperity and rights both to people and to the ecosystems on which they rely? In the island archipelago of Indonesia, these questions become more pressing as the unique ecosystems of this global biodiversity hotspot continue to rapidly vanish in the wake of land conversion (mostly due to palm oil, poor forest management and corruption. For 22 years, Dr. Erik Meijaard has worked in Indonesia. Now, from his home office in the capitol city, Jakarta, he runs the terrestrial branch of an independent conservation consultancy, People and Nature Consulting International (PNCI). Jeremy Hance -0.785983 112.680982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12881 2014-03-06T14:11:00Z 2014-03-06T14:26:18Z Dietary diversity: key to defending tropical ecosystems A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) points to the homogenization of global diets over the past fifty years. It shows that worldwide production of traditional staples such as millet, rye, sorghum, yams and cassava have been in decline. Instead, the world's population increasingly relies on a relatively small number of 'megacrops' like wheat, corn and soy, raising serious concerns for global food security, human nutrition, and the genetic diversity of crops. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12872 2014-03-04T15:10:00Z 2014-03-04T15:28:57Z Europe not doing enough to stop illegal logging imports says Greenpeace Europe is failing to fully enforce its one-year-old EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), alleges Greenpeace, with illegally-logged wood still slipping into the continent, especially from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Jeremy Hance -6.970049 23.732758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12871 2014-03-04T14:04:00Z 2014-03-04T14:22:46Z Javan rhino population jumps by over 10 percent The Javan rhino population has increased by over ten percent from 2012 to last year, according to new figures released by Ujung Kulon National Park. Using camera traps, rangers have counted a total of 58 Javan rhinos, up from 51 in 2012. Although the species once roamed much of Southeast Asia, today it is only found in Ujung Kulon National Park in western Javan and is known as one of the most imperiled mammals on the planet. Jeremy Hance -6.772353 105.281181 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12861 2014-03-03T20:00:00Z 2014-03-03T20:50:13Z Amazon trees super-diverse in chemicals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0303Aerial_1026_3240_dark150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the Western Amazon&#8212;arguably the world's most biodiverse region&#8212;scientists have found that not only is the forest super-rich in species, but also in chemicals. Climbing into the canopy of thousands of trees across 19 different forests in the region&#8212;from the lowland Amazon to high Andean cloud forests&#8212;the researchers sampled chemical signatures from canopy leaves and were surprised by the levels of diversity uncovered. Jeremy Hance -4.477856, -76.479494 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:57:27Z 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/12788 2014-02-19T15:42:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:19Z The making of Amazon Gold: once more unto the breach <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0219.amazongold.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Sarah duPont first visited the Peruvian Amazon rainforest in the summer of 1999, it was a different place than it is today. Oceans of green, tranquil forest, met the eye at every turn. At dawn, her brain struggled to comprehend the onslaught of morning calls and duets of the nearly 600 species of birds resounding under the canopy. Today, the director of the new award-winning film, Amazon Gold, reports that "roads have been built and people have arrived. It has become a new wild west, a place without law. People driven by poverty and the desire for a better life have come, exploiting the sacred ground." Jeremy Hance -11.867351 -70.764771 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12786 2014-02-18T14:02:00Z 2014-02-18T14:09:28Z Conservation groups launch new whistleblower site for wildlife and forest crimes Welcome to Wildleaks: a new website that aims to give the global public a secure and anonymous platform to report wildlife trafficking and illegal deforestation. The illegal wildlife trade has become one of the world's largest criminal activities in recent years, decimating elephants, rhinos, tigers, primates, and thousands of lesser known species. Meanwhile, illegal logging is rampant in many parts of the world, imperiling biodiversity, undercutting locals, and robbing governments of revenue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12773 2014-02-13T16:53:00Z 2014-06-17T21:10:33Z Featured video: camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest These are sights that have rarely been seen by human eyes: a stealthy jaguar, a bustling giant armadillo, and, most amazingly, a sloth slurping up clay from the ground. A new compilation of camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorean Amazon shows a staggering array of species, many cryptic and rare. Jeremy Hance -0.636851 -76.147327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12768 2014-02-12T17:44:00Z 2014-02-12T19:41:34Z Ivory trade's shocking toll: 65% of world's forest elephants killed in 12 years (warning: graphic image) Forest elephants have suffered unprecedented butchery for their ivory tusks over the past decade, according to new numbers released by conservationists today in London. Sixty-five percent of the world's forest elephants have been slaughtered by poachers over the last dozen years, with poachers killing an astounding nine percent of the population annually. Lesser-known than their savannah cousins, a genetics study in 2010 found that forest elephants are in fact a distinct species, as far removed from savannah elephants as Asian elephants are from mammoths. These findings make the forest elephant crisis even more urgent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12718 2014-02-04T12:57:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:42Z Gas company to drill in Manu National Park buffer zone, imperiling indigenous people The Peruvian government has approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to move deeper into a supposedly protected reserve for indigenous peoples and the buffer zone of the Manu National Park in the Amazon rainforest. The approval follows the government rescinding a highly critical report on the potential impacts of the operations by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and repeated criticism from Peruvian and international civil society. Jeremy Hance -11.813588 -72.499695 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12715 2014-02-03T13:26:00Z 2014-02-03T13:48:16Z Australia proposes removing old-growth forests from World Heritage Site Last year, after decades of fighting, environmentalists and the forestry industry reached a landmark agreement that added 170,000 hectares of old-growth forest in Tasmania as a part of a World Heritage Site. But less than a year later and that so-called peace agreement is in danger of unraveling. The new Australian government, under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is going ahead with removing 74,000 hectares (43 percent) from the World Heritage site. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12712 2014-01-31T16:28:00Z 2014-01-31T16:34:30Z L'Oreal pledges to wipe out forest destruction from its products by 2020 French cosmetics giant, L'Oreal, has pledged to stop using palm oil linked to deforestation for its products by 2020. Palm oil, which is found in both cosmetics and many food items, has been linked to widespread deforestation in places like Indonesia and Malaysia, decimating biodiversity and contributing to global warming. The crop, which is both high-yield and lucrative, is now becoming increasingly popular in Africa and Latin America as well. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12638 2014-01-15T18:42:00Z 2014-01-15T19:00:55Z Tree growth accelerates with age <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0115.LargeScotspine_Nature.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Old, large trees may be even more important ecologically than long-believed, according to a new study in <i>Nature</i>. Looking at over half a million individual trees from over 400 species (both tropical and temperate), scientists have determined that most trees actually grow faster in their dotage than in their youth. 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/12613 2014-01-09T13:24:00Z 2014-01-09T13:49:01Z Tree islands more effective way to replant the world's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0109.Omar_6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Worldwide, large swaths of land lay barren in the wake of agricultural expansion, and as global forest cover continues to decline, carbon and water cycles, biodiversity, and human health are impacted. But efforts to restore abandoned pastures and agricultural plots back into functioning forest ecosystems are often hindered by high costs and time requirements. Fortunately, scientists have developed a new method for a more cost effective solution to forest restoration, the establishment of 'tree islands.' Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12596 2014-01-06T13:35:00Z 2014-02-20T19:13:53Z Brazil begins evicting illegal settlers from hugely-imperiled indigenous reserve Months after closing sawmills on the fringes of an indigenous reserve for the hugely-imperiled Awá people, the Brazil government has now moved into the reserve itself to evict illegal settlers in the eastern Amazon. According to the NGO Survival International, Brazil has sent in the military and other government agents to deal with massive illegal settlements on Awá land for logging or cattle. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2013-12-27T03:54:13Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12524 2013-12-17T17:30:00Z 2014-02-22T23:19:39Z New Guinea animals losing vital tree cavities to logging, hunting practices <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.382px-Petaurus_breviceps_2_Gould.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Across New Guinea, deforestation is occurring at increasing levels. Whether it be industrial logging, monoculture plantations, hunters felling trees in pursuit of arboreal wildlife, or other forms of forest conversion, deforestation is depleting not only forest carbon stocks and understory environments, but habitats for species who call tree cavities "home." A new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, evaluated whether a variety of man-made nest boxes could function as suitable substitutes for tree cavities. Jeremy Hance -5.967034 147.190397 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12528 2013-12-16T22:30:00Z 2014-01-19T03:05:14Z Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century - a new tapir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia. The new mammal, hidden from science but known to local indigenous tribes, is actually one of the biggest animals on the continent, although it's still the smallest living tapir. Described in the Journal of Mammology, the scientists have named the new tapir Tapirus kabomani after the name for 'tapir' in the local Paumari language: Arabo kabomani. Jeremy Hance -4.609278 -69.810333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12521 2013-12-16T19:55:00Z 2013-12-16T20:31:07Z Scientists: well-managed forest restoration benefits both biodiversity and people In November this year, the world was greeted by the dismaying news that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon jumped 28% in the past year. The year 2013 also holds the dubious distinction of being the first time since humans appeared on the planet, that carbon concentrations in the atmosphere rose to 400 parts per million. A map by Google revealed that Russia, Brazil, the United States, Canada and Indonesia all displayed over 10 million hectares of gross forest loss from 2000-2012, with the highest deforestation rate occurring in Malaysia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12520 2013-12-16T17:34:00Z 2013-12-16T18:42:42Z Camera traps find less mammals than expected in Costa Rican corridor A new study using camera traps in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science has surveyed the diversity of medium and large-sized predators in the San Juan-La Selva biological corridor in Costa Rica, whilst also demonstrating how alteration of habitat is affecting the use of this corridor. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12519 2013-12-16T16:27:00Z 2013-12-16T17:56:56Z Odd porcupine hugely imperiled by hunting, deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1215.porcupine.brazil.tcs.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The thin-spined porcupine, also known as the bristle-spined rat, is a truly distinct animal: a sort of cross between New World porcupines and spiny rats with genetic research showing it is slightly closer to the former rather than the latter. But the thin-spined porcupine (Chaetomys subspinosus), found only in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, is imperiled by human activities. In fact, a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science found that the species remains a target for hunters, despite a reputation for tasting terrible. Jeremy Hance