tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/rivers1 rivers news from mongabay.com 2015-06-19T14:32:13Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15003 2015-06-19T14:25:00Z 2015-06-19T14:32:13Z New solidarity in struggle to protect Turkey's 'life spaces' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0526_jh_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Emerging regional and national networks seek to build connections between local communities and provide support to their fights against dams, mines, and other environmental threats. Rebecca Kessler 41.203944 41.820140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14996 2015-06-18T19:15:00Z 2015-06-18T19:19:03Z It can be done! – Building better dams in the Andean Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0618_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 150 dams are currently planned for five of the six major Andean tributaries of the Amazon River. Damming those large, free-flowing streams would provide hydropower to half a dozen South American countries – meeting their energy needs for decades to come, but with unknown, potentially calamitous environmental and social impacts. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14946 2015-06-11T17:53:00Z 2015-06-11T18:50:42Z Tapajós and other Amazon dams not sustainable development say reports <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0611_mg_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plans to build hydroelectric dams globally -- especially in the Amazon and other tropical locales -- are often touted as 'sustainable development.' However, according to a trio of new reports, these large infrastructure projects will do enormous harm to rainforest ecosystems and indigenous peoples, while also emitting far more greenhouse gases than the U.N. and other organizations officially estimate, with potentially disastrous results. Tiffany Roufs -3.304500 -55.265448 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14940 2015-06-10T17:03:00Z 2015-06-10T17:05:51Z 151 dams could be catastrophic to Amazon ecological connectivity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0610_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As South American countries begin to move beyond fossil fuels, many are looking to hydropower. The rivers flowing from the Andes Mountains down into the Amazon basin could provide a wealth of liquid potential to meet the energy demands of expanding populations, economies, and development. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14909 2015-06-04T16:43:00Z 2015-06-12T13:43:46Z Proposed Andean headwater dams an ecological calamity for Amazon Basin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0604_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>High in the Andes Mountains, countless minor streams begin their pilgrimage downward, joining forces with the rain to form the tributaries of the Amazon River. The sediments and organic matter they carry with them on their journey seaward are the nutrient-rich lifeblood that nurtures and sustains the vast aquatic and terrestrial web of life in the Amazon Basin. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14904 2015-06-03T18:43:00Z 2015-06-03T18:49:29Z Cajamarca: Let them Eat Gold <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0603_vg_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mega-dam projects on the main stem of the Marañón River would drown Peru's Breadbasket. The Marañón River is one of the mighty Amazon's most important tributaries. It runs through a region of northern Peru where two of South America's most important bioregions merge: the mountainous highlands of the Andes joining the dense tropical rainforest of the Amazon. It is one of the most biologically rich, rapidly changing and threatened areas of the world. Tiffany Roufs -3.518783 -71.806600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14783 2015-05-11T17:03:00Z 2015-05-11T20:42:06Z Brazilian firm's mega-dam plans in Peru spark major social conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504_dh_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'I don't want to sell my land because I've lived here since I was 17,' declared 82 year old María Araujo Silva. 'This was where my children were born. I want to die here. That's why I'm not in agreement. I'm not in agreement with the dam.' Araujo Silva is outraged at plans by Peru's government and Brazilian company Odebrecht to build a hydroelectric dam just downriver from her village, Huarac, on the Marañón River. Tiffany Roufs -4.283083 -69.951595 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14755 2015-05-06T17:40:00Z 2015-05-29T15:30:45Z Activist deported from Cambodia continues fighting dam from abroad <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505_RHarbinson_Tree_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Alex Gonzalez-Davidson has been campaigning to prevent construction of a proposed dam on the Areng River in the Cardamom Mountains. The Cambodian government deported him in February, but evidence is mounting that the dam project may have stalled. Rebecca Kessler 11.986773 103.419316 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14697 2015-04-28T14:09:00Z 2015-04-30T19:08:09Z Peru's mega-dam projects threaten Amazon River source and ecosystem collapse <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peru is planning a series of huge hydroelectric dams on the 1,700-kilometer (1,056-mile) Marañón River, which begins in the Peruvian Andes and is the main source of the Amazon River. Critics say the mega-dam projects could destroy the currently free-flowing Marañón, resulting in what Peruvian engineer Jose Serra Vega calls its 'biological death'. Tiffany Roufs -3.518783 -71.806600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14683 2015-04-24T17:24:00Z 2015-06-16T22:09:24Z Conservation in Myanmar: a cause for optimism? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0424-thumb-brending-irrawaddy-dolphin.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifty years of relative political and economic isolation have yielded slow economic growth and contributed to the conservation of many of Myanmar’s native species. However, the dissolution of Myanmar’s military junta in 2011 marked the beginning of a new age of increasing political and economic liberalization and international engagement. Many experts fear that possible rapid development fueled by international investment, improved infrastructure and expanded transport networks, pose a grave risk to Myanmar’s biodiversity and forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 20.582989 96.906613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14641 2015-04-15T14:50:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:11Z Featured video: 'A river in dispute' documentary explores how a planned dam in the Amazon is affecting traditional communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0415_Mdk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Under the threat of losing their lands to a hydroelectric power plant project strategic to the Brazilian government, communities along the Tapajós River, one of the most pristine in Brazil, prepare to defend what is theirs. A video documentary tells their story. Rebecca Kessler -4.180831 -55.934658 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14558 2015-03-30T18:16:00Z 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z 9 months after Amazonian oil pipeline spill, effects and fears linger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330cuninco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Peru's state-run oil company pulled out of this small Kukama Indian village in mid-December after cleaning up an oil pipeline spill, residents thought life could slowly return to normal. But more than three months later, wisps of oil floating down the Cuninico River—along with a larger spill in the neighboring community of San Pedro—are a reminder that the problems are not over. Rhett Butler -4.801399 -75.216092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14501 2015-03-17T16:09:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:48Z Conservationists catch-and-release record-smashing freshwater fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0317.stingrayrelease.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists and scientists have managed to catch-and-release what could be the world's biggest freshwater fish ever for an upcoming episode of Ocean Mysteries. Naturalist and host of the show, Jeff Corwin&#8212;along with wildlife veterinarian, Nantarika Chansue, and the tourist fishing group, fishsiam.com&#8212;managed to reel in a giant freshwater stingray. Jeremy Hance 13.964295 99.604843 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14468 2015-03-09T19:46:00Z 2015-03-09T19:52:52Z Photo essay: filming in the remote Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0309.A-silky-anteater.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>You wake up at 4:30 AM, a little before the first rays of tropical sun begin to dance behind the treetops. You put on your wet clothes from the previous day, pack your bag, and pick up your tripod. The jungle is shrouded in a thick mist from the previous nights rain. As you walk, you recognize many of the strange calls that echo between the trees. Jeremy Hance -12.318441 -69.260806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14263 2015-01-14T18:20:00Z 2015-02-06T15:05:58Z Amazon gold rush destroying huge swaths of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0114-thumb-huepetuhe.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rainforests of South America face many threats. The deforestation occurring on the continent is among the highest in the world and results in losses of habitat, biodiversity and massive amounts of sequestered carbon. While the usual culprits such as farming, ranching and logging are well known, gold mining is fast extending its destructive reach into some of the world’s most untouched landscapes, according to new research. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.722233 -69.795456 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14204 2014-12-29T17:55:00Z 2014-12-29T17:58:59Z Endangered mussel still harvested for food in Laos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1229-mussel-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Only one freshwater pearl mussel species is known to inhabit tropical water systems. However, despite being listed as Endangered by the IUCN, it is also still a part of the diet of villagers in Northern Laos. A study published recently found that the dwindling populations of the bivalve would benefit from a ban on their capture. Morgan Erickson-Davis 22.124416 101.960561 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14174 2014-12-18T20:19:00Z 2014-12-18T20:31:44Z Impacts of deforestation on Amazonian river ecosystems could be far-reaching <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study by researchers in Brazil published this week has found that deforestation in the Southern Amazon may impair significantly the structure and function of rivers, and make them less able to support life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.947342 -56.057837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14130 2014-12-09T17:50:00Z 2014-12-09T17:55:09Z Groups call on world leaders to stop incentives for big dams Nearly 200 civil society organizations have called on world leaders to exclude large hydroelectric projects from receiving green climate funds and other incentives. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14101 2014-12-03T18:17:00Z 2014-12-03T18:21:25Z Old fishermen document declining range of the Indus River dolphin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1203-sanders-river-dolphin1-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is an endangered freshwater mammal found only in the Indus River and tributaries draining the Himalayas. Since 1879, the dolphin—locally known as the bhulan—has vanished from 80 percent of its range. Now, a study using interviews with dozens of elders in the Pakistani fishing communities along the river documents when dolphins disappeared from different river sections. Brittany Stewart 30.064276 70.462308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14092 2014-12-01T14:01:00Z 2014-12-01T14:18:24Z Egyptian art helps chart past extinctions of big mammals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1129.image-2.egypt.extinction.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Life in modern Egypt clings to the Nile River. This crowded green strip within the desert supports more than 2,300 people per square kilometer (6,000 per square mile). But 6,000 years ago, all of Egypt was green and vibrant, teeming with life much like the current Serengeti. Over time, this rich ecosystem fell apart. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14021 2014-11-14T21:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:07Z Man plants forest, becomes film star <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-thumb-indian-elephant.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng is a 51-year-old man who lives in India’s north-eastern state of Assam in the village of Aruna Chapori. A member of Assam’s indigenous Mising tribe, Payeng is better known as the “Forest Man" for spending the last 35 years planting a forest bigger than New York City's Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.847090 94.162522 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14018 2014-11-13T20:49:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:18Z One man plants forest larger than Central Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-thumb-Kaziranga_Rhinoceros_unicornis.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng resides in northeast Assam’s Jorhat district in the village of Aruna Chapori. Here, for the past 35 years, he has worked to plant trees on a sandbar island in the river near his home—and in the process, single-handedly established a forest larger than New York City’s Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.848009 94.164410 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13906 2014-10-14T15:06:00Z 2014-10-15T00:54:51Z 'River wolves' recover in Peruvian park, but still remain threatened inside and out (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1014.L183_Capitulo2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Lobo de río, or river wolf, is the very evocative Spanish name for one of the Amazon's most spectacular mammals: the giant river otter. This highly intelligent, deeply social, and simply charming freshwater predator almost vanished entirely due to a relentless fur trade in the 20th Century. But decades after the trade in giant river otter pelts was outlawed, the species is making a comeback. Jeremy Hance -11.890522 -71.402772 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13634 2014-08-06T00:57:00Z 2014-08-06T01:00:08Z Oil palm, mining prompts local govt in Borneo to declare water unsafe for drinking The Environment Ministry of Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia declared that the water in many rivers and lakes is unsuitable for consumption due to high levels of pollution. Rhett Butler 0.364606 111.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13525 2014-07-10T21:31:00Z 2014-11-06T17:39:32Z DRC deforestation escalates despite resource shortages, protests, rape, homicide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0710-trucks-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Road construction, the promise of employment, and the conversion of forest to farmland – the effects of logging tropical forests are often not confined to the boundaries of the concessions, where, in the best case, a timber company has gained legal access to harvest trees. Along the Congo River in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo, recent data showing probable forest loss demonstrate the often-unforeseen consequences of timber harvesting. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.196384 22.471333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13503 2014-07-08T15:45:00Z 2014-11-06T17:38:59Z An end to India's 'Wild West'? Meghalaya bans coal mining... for now <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0708-meg3-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Meghalaya, a state in India’s northeast, has thick forests above ground and valuable minerals below. Uncontrolled mining in the area has cleared forests, degraded rivers, and led to many accidents and deaths as few health and safety standards exist for mine workers. A ban effected earlier this year halted all mining in the state, but is set to be reconsidered at a hearing scheduled for August. Morgan Erickson-Davis 25.698215 91.443553 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13475 2014-06-30T21:54:00Z 2014-06-30T22:57:56Z Oil palm plantations degrade local water quality relative to community forests Oil palm plantations are not only encroaching on forests, they are also degrading water quality, finds a new study published in the <i>Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:43:04Z 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/13381 2014-06-13T18:11:00Z 2014-06-13T21:46:38Z Oil drilling causes widespread contamination in the Amazon rainforest Decades of oil extraction in the Western Amazon has caused widespread pollution, raising questions about the impact of a new oil boom in the region, according to a team of Spanish researchers presenting at a conference in California. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13371 2014-06-12T13:10:00Z 2014-06-12T13:23:20Z Chile drops hugely controversial mega-dam project in wild Patagonia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.Ri%CC%81o_Baker_03.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most controversial mega-dam projects met its likely end this week when Chile's Committee of Ministers voted to cancel the permits for the HidroAysén project. Costing around $8 billion and expected to produce about 2.75 gigawatts, the project involved building five large dams on two wild rivers in Chile's famously-unspoiled Patagonia region. Jeremy Hance -47.023442 -72.831504 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13249 2014-05-19T16:23:00Z 2014-11-25T23:23:01Z Dams be damned: study finds large dams are too expensive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0519-congo-river-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hydroelectric power, supplied mostly from dams, provides approximately 20 percent of the world's electricity, an amount of energy equivalent to 3.6 billion barrels of oil. However, a recent study by researchers at Oxford University has found that large dams cost so much money and take so long to build that they may not be economically viable. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.555227 13.565246 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13214 2014-05-13T13:21:00Z 2014-05-13T13:33:06Z Scientists release odd-looking, Critically Endangered crocodiles back into the wild (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0513.gahrial.release.4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among the largest and most endangered crocodilians in the world, the gharial is on the verge of extinction today. This harmless fish-eating crocodile has fewer than 200 adult breeding individuals in the wild, their numbers having plummeted rapidly over the past few decades. But among this gloom and doom, conservationists have been working tirelessly to reinstate the wild populations. Jeremy Hance 26.463621 84.602580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13152 2014-04-30T13:19:00Z 2014-12-30T22:47:21Z Fish-terrorizing, prehistoric-looking turtle actually three species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0430.RS10188_Alligator_Snapping_Turtle_Garry_Tucker_USFWS_Wikimedia_CC_BY_FPWCjpg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>So, you're a fish swimming in a river in Louisiana. Hungry, you see a little worm wiggling out from the river bed. You swoop in for the ambush only to have that little worm turn into the gaping maw of some prehistoric-looking monster out of fishy nightmares. You've been duped: it's too late to escape as the beast's jagged jaws close over you. Meet the alligator snapping turtle...or one of several species. Jeremy Hance 30.385472 -83.171660 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/12799 2014-02-20T18:39:00Z 2014-02-20T18:41:44Z Nicaragua Canal could cause ecological disaster, warn experts Nicaragua's plans for a canal linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans could trigger an environmental disaster through habitat destruction and alteration, introduction of non-native species, pollution, and sedimentation, warns a commentary published in this week's issue of <i>Nature</i>. Rhett Butler 11.738302 -85.304718 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12681 2014-01-23T19:28:00Z 2015-01-14T05:29:16Z New dolphin discovered in the Amazon surprises scientists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0123-Inia_araguaiaensis150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have discovered a new species of river dolphin from the Amazon. Writing in the journal <i>Plos One</i>, scientists led by Tomas Hrbek of Brazil's Federal University of Amazonas formally describe <i>Inia araguaiaensis</i>, a freshwater dolphin that inhabits the Araguaia River Basin. It is the first true river dolphin discovered since 1918. Rhett Butler -5.244811 -49.269669 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12157 2013-10-02T17:31:00Z 2013-10-02T17:38:10Z Pet fish invade ecosystem, upending nutrients and impoverishing fishers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0930fish150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you, or someone you know, owns a freshwater aquarium, chances are you have seen the peculiar little creature attached face-first to the glass in effort to find a morsel of algae. This algae eater, popularly known as the sucker fish, is the sailfin catfish, or plecos. It is one of the most commonly purchased fish in the freshwater aquarium fish trade, and, according to recent research in The Royal Society B, aquarists often reintroduce the sucker-fish into the wild with detrimental consequences. Tiffany Roufs 16.741428 -93.132935 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12102 2013-09-19T17:00:00Z 2013-09-19T17:31:07Z Judge halts construction of Amazon dam on Brazil's Teles Pires river A federal judge in Brazil has ordered the suspension of construction activities on the Teles Pires due to shortcomings in the environmental licensing process, including the project's impacts on three local tribes, reports International Rivers. Rhett Butler -9.340587 -56.776842 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11770 2013-07-15T14:57:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:33Z Forgotten species: the arapaima or 'dinosaur fish' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0715.arapaima.IMG_6174.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Let's go back some 14,000 years (or up to 50,000 depending on who you talk to), since this is the first time humans encountered the meandering, seemingly endless river system of the Amazon. Certainly, the world's first Amazonians would have been astounded by the giant beasts of the region, including ground sloths and mastodons (both now extinct), as well as giant anteaters, armadillos, and tapirs, currently the biggest land animal on the continent. But these first explorers might have been even more surprised by what dwelled in the rivers: anaconda, caiman, and the arapaima. Wait, the what? Jeremy Hance 3.664936 -58.700556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11755 2013-07-09T23:03:00Z 2013-07-16T03:07:24Z Stand up paddleboarding in the Amazon for conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0709SUP-training-in-Brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This week an international team is setting off on a unique journey, aiming to be the first to descend the Amazon River using inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards. The group, led by Dr. Mika Peck, a conservation biologist from the University of Sussex with years of work in Ecuador and Colombia, includes Brazilian and Colombian researchers as well as an indigenous community leader. Rhett Butler -3.821607 -70.260328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11748 2013-07-07T18:41:00Z 2013-07-07T19:01:54Z Yangtze finless porpoise drops to Critically Endangered The newest update to the IUCN Red List has downgraded the status of the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) from Endangered to Critically Endangered, reflecting the deteriorating state of arguably the world's most degraded river system. The downgrade follows a survey last year that counted only 1,000 animals, a 50 percent decline from 2006. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11616 2013-06-18T19:38:00Z 2013-06-18T19:50:41Z Pesticides decimating dragonflies and other aquatic insects <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0618.pesticides.aquatic.57927.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While recent research (and media attention) has focused on the alleged negative impacts of pesticides on bees, the problem may be far broader according to a new study in the Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Looking at over 50 streams in Germany, France, and Australia, scientists in Europe and Australia found that pesticide contamination was capable of undercutting invertebrate biodiversity by nearly half. Jeremy Hance 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/11574 2013-06-11T13:45:00Z 2015-02-11T23:06:50Z Conserving the long-neglected freshwater fish of Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_2472.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Borneo is a vast tropical island known for orangutans, rhinos, elephants, sun bears, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, and ubiquitous leeches. Conservationists have championed all of these species (aside from the leeches) in one way or another, but like many tropical regions Borneo's freshwater species have long been neglected, despite their rich biodiversity and importance to local people. But a new organization, the Kinabatangan River Spirit Initiative, is working to change that. Jeremy Hance 5.624186 118.367844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11564 2013-06-09T04:02:00Z 2013-06-09T04:10:16Z China to build $17B worth of dams in Indonesian Borneo Two Chinese companies &#8212; China Power Investment Corporation and Anhui Conch Cement &#8212; will invest $17 billion in dams in North Kalimantan, Indonesia's newest province located on the island of Borneo, reports the <i>Jakarta Globe</i>. Rhett Butler 3.535352 116.504087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11499 2013-05-28T19:02:00Z 2015-02-09T23:01:09Z Scientists discover high mercury levels in Amazon residents, gold-mining to blame <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0528.IMG_1408.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Madre de Dios region in Peru is recognized for its lush Amazon rainforests, meandering rivers and rich wildlife. But the region is also known for its artisanal gold mining, which employs the use of a harmful neurotoxin. Mercury is burned to extract the pure gold from metal and ore producing dangerous air-borne vapors that ultimately settle in nearby rivers. 'Mercury in all forms is a potent neurotoxin affecting the brain, central nervous system and major organs,'Luis Fernandez, an ecologist and research associate at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, told mongabay.com. 'At extremely high exposure levels, mercury has been documented to cause paralysis, insanity, coma and death.' Jeremy Hance -12.588073 -69.192982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11494 2013-05-28T14:06:00Z 2015-02-09T23:00:56Z Water crisis widening: 4.5 billion people live near 'impaired water sources' The majority of the 9 billion people on Earth will live with severe pressure on fresh water within the space of two generations as climate change, pollution and over-use of resources take their toll, 500 scientists have warned. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11460 2013-05-21T23:01:00Z 2013-05-21T23:05:15Z Mystery of Amazon River carbon emissions solved Bacteria living in the Amazon River digest nearly all wood plant matter that enters the river before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean, triggering the release of carbon locked up in the vegetation instead of sequestering it in the deep ocean, finds a new study published in <i>Nature Geoscience</i>. The research explains the mechanism by which the world's largest river 'exhales' large amounts of CO2. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11458 2013-05-21T15:59:00Z 2013-05-21T16:26:03Z China approves another mega-dam that will imperil endangered species Chinese environmental authorities have approved construction plans for what could become the world's tallest dam, while acknowledging that the project would affect endangered plants and rare fish species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11430 2013-05-14T17:04:00Z 2013-05-16T00:38:09Z Amazon's flood/drought cycle becoming more extreme, less predictable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0495.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Amazon River's hydrological cycle has become more extreme over the past two decades with increasing seasonal precipitation across much of the basin despite drier conditions in the southern parts of Earth's largest rainforest, finds a new study published in <i>Geophysical Research Letters</i>. The research analyzed monthly Amazon River discharge at Óbidos, a point that drains 77 percent of the Amazon Basin, and compared it with regional precipitation patterns. Rhett Butler -1.921904 -55.522213 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11427 2013-05-13T23:30:00Z 2013-05-14T01:37:30Z Rainforest tribe urges Norwegian king to recall energy executive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0513baram150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an unusual bid to stop a series of dams that will flood their rainforest home, a group of tribesmen in Borneo are urging King Harald V of Norway to call one of his subjects home. The subject is Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, a Norwegian citizen who is the CEO of Sarawak Energy, a Malaysian firm that is building several dams in the state of Sarawak. The hydroelectric projects are controversial because they require the forced displacement of indigenous communities and will flood large tracts of rainforest. Rhett Butler 3.383056 114.567778 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11425 2013-05-13T19:16:00Z 2013-05-16T00:39:36Z Deforestation will undercut effectiveness of rainforest dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0513belo-monte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation may significantly decrease the hydroelectric potential of tropical rainforest regions, warns a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Science</i>. The study, used climate, hydrological, and land use models to forecast the impact of potential forest loss on hydropower generation on the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon where the world's third largest dam &#8212; Belo Monte &#8212; is currently under construction. Rhett Butler -3.547688 -51.902161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11402 2013-05-09T23:34:00Z 2013-05-10T01:39:50Z New endangered list for ecosystems modeled after 'Red list' for species The IUCN has unveiled the first iteration of its new Red List of Ecosystems, a ranking of habitats worldwide. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11390 2013-05-08T14:53:00Z 2013-05-08T15:05:22Z Uranium mine at edge of Grand Canyon National Park approved <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/grandcanyon/0617_canyon_03-th.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Uranium mining on the doorstep of the Grand Canyon national park is set to go ahead in 2015 despite a ban imposed last year by Barack Obama. Energy Fuels Resources has been given federal approval to reopen its old Canyon Mine, located six miles south of the canyon's popular South Rim entrance, that attracts nearly 5 million visitors a year. Jeremy Hance 36.264207 -112.777863 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11361 2013-05-03T19:32:00Z 2013-09-19T06:05:59Z Tribesmen launch 'occupy' protest at dam site in the Amazon rainforest On Thursday roughly 200 indigenous people launched an occupation of a key construction site for the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon. The protestors, who represent communities that will be affected by the massive dam, are demanding immediate suspension of all work on hydroelectric projects on the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers until they are properly consulted, according to a coalition of environmental groups opposing the projects. Rhett Butler -2.868293 -51.994858 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11344 2013-05-03T02:15:00Z 2015-03-16T03:05:13Z Mekong region has lost a third of its forests in 30 years, may lose another third by 2030 The Greater Mekong region of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam will lose a third of its remaining forest cover by 2030 unless regional governments improve management of natural resources and transition toward a greener growth model, warns a new report issued by WWF. Rhett Butler 13.219224 105.984421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11327 2013-04-30T21:46:00Z 2015-03-16T03:16:45Z Indigenous tribes say effects of climate change already felt in Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0430wren-shaman-1-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tribal groups in Earth's largest rainforest are already being affected by shifts wrought by climate change, reports a paper published last week in the British journal <i>Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.</i> The paper, which is based on a collection of interviews conducted with indigenous leaders in the Brazilian Amazon, says that native populations are reporting shifts in precipitation patterns, humidity, river levels, temperature, and fire and agricultural cycles. These shifts, measured against celestial timing used by indigenous groups, are affecting traditional ways of life that date back thousands of years. Rhett Butler -11.275387 -53.283691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11314 2013-04-29T14:19:00Z 2013-04-29T14:29:36Z Featured documentary: Damocracy, highlighting the battles over the Belo Monte and Ilisu dams A new short documentary highlights the battles over monster dam projects imperiling local people and wild rivers. Examining the Belo Monte dam in Brazil and the Ilisu dam in Turkey, the documentary argues that such hydroelectric projects cannot be deemed "green" energy as they overturn lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Jeremy Hance 37.525112 41.847389 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11289 2013-04-23T14:45:00Z 2013-04-23T15:07:07Z The river of plenty: uncovering the secrets of the amazing Mekong <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0423.6799022660_06814e41d7_h.boat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Home to giant catfish and stingrays, feeding over 60 million people, and with the largest abundance of freshwater fish in the world, the Mekong River, and its numerous tributaries, brings food, culture, and life to much of Southeast Asia. Despite this, little is known about the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mekong, which is second only to the Amazon in terms of freshwater biodiversity. Meanwhile, the river is facing an existential crisis in the form of 77 proposed dams, while population growth, pollution, and development further imperil this understudied, but vast, ecosystem. Jeremy Hance 18.033586 101.890783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11253 2013-04-17T15:05:00Z 2013-04-17T15:42:04Z Judge halts military-backed dam assessment in Brazil's Amazon A federal court in Brazil has suspended the use of military and police personnel during technical research on the controversial São Luíz do Tapajós Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. The military and police were brought in to stamp down protests from indigenous people living along the Tapajós River, but the judge decreed that impacted indigenous groups must give free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) before any furter studies can be done on the proposed dam. However, the decision is expected to be appealed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11245 2013-04-16T16:30:00Z 2015-02-09T22:49:26Z Yangtze porpoise down to 1,000 animals as world's most degraded river may soon claim another extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0416.yangtzeporpoise.WEB_105591.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A survey late last year found that the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) population has been cut in half in just six years. During a 44-day survey, experts estimated 1,000 river porpoises inhabited the river and adjoining lakes, down from around 2,000 in 2006. The ecology of China's Yangtze River has been decimated the Three Gorges Dam, ship traffic, pollution, electrofishing, and overfishing, making it arguably the world's most degraded major river. These environmental tolls have already led to the likely extinction of the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer), or baiji, and possibly the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius), which is one of the world's longest freshwater fish. Jeremy Hance 29.118574 116.283188 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11177 2013-04-08T12:35:00Z 2013-04-08T12:45:45Z Indigenous group: Brazil using military to force Amazon dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1873.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Amazonian community has threatened to "go to war" with the Brazilian government after what they say is a military incursion into their land by dam builders. The Munduruku indigenous group in Para state say they have been betrayed by the authorities, who are pushing ahead with plans to build a cascade of hydropower plants on the Tapajós river without their permission. Jeremy Hance -3.381824 -55.230103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11121 2013-03-26T21:51:00Z 2013-03-26T22:06:43Z After decades of turning a blind eye, Peru declares state of emergency due to oil contamination in Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0495.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Peruvian government has declared an environmental state of emergency after finding elevated levels of lead, barium, and chromium in the Pastaza River in the Amazon jungle, reports the Associated Press. Indigenous peoples in the area have been complaining for decades of widespread contamination from oil drilling, but this is the first time the Peruvian government has acknowledged their concerns. Currently 84 percent of the Peruvian Amazon is covered by potential oil blocs, leading to conflict with indigenous people and environmental degradation. Jeremy Hance -2.575769 -76.663313 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10894 2013-02-19T14:55:00Z 2015-02-09T22:30:12Z Jaguars, tapirs, oh my!: Amazon explorer films shocking wildlife bonanza in threatened forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0219.jaguar.Screen-Shot-2013-02-07-at-8.56.21-AM.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Watching a new video by Amazon explorer, Paul Rosolie, one feels transported into a hidden world of stalking jaguars, heavyweight tapirs, and daylight-wandering giant armadillos. This is the Amazon as one imagines it as a child: still full of wild things. In just four weeks at a single colpa (or clay lick where mammals and birds gather) on the lower Las Piedras River, Rosolie and his team captured 30 Amazonian species on video, including seven imperiled species. However, the very spot Rosolie and his team filmed is under threat: the lower Las Piedras River is being infiltrated by loggers, miners, and farmers following the construction of the Trans-Amazon highway. Jeremy Hance -12.055437 -69.818916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10873 2013-02-13T19:52:00Z 2013-02-13T20:00:05Z Brazilian agency rejects Canadian company's bid to mine controversial Amazon dam site for gold Brazil's Federal Public Ministry rejected a proposed gold mining project adjacent to a controversial dam site in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, reports Amazon Watch, an environmental activist group that is campaigning against both the mine and the dam. Rhett Butler -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10852 2013-02-08T19:30:00Z 2015-01-18T05:22:29Z Amazon river ecosystems being rapidly degraded, but remain neglected by conservation efforts The world's largest river system is being rapidly degraded and imperiled by dams, mining, overfishing, and deforestation, warns a study published last week by an international team of scientists. Rhett Butler -2.405299 -54.388733 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10723 2013-01-17T22:39:00Z 2015-02-09T22:22:23Z Fish unable to pass through dams in U.S. presents 'cautionary tale' for developing world Dams create a largely impenetrable barrier for fish even when the dams were installed with specially-built passages, according to a new study in Conservation Letters. The scientists found that migrating fish largely failed to use the passages in the U.S., resulting in far fewer moving through the state-of-the-art hydroelectric dams than had been promised. The researchers say that their findings are a "cautionary tale" for developing nations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10691 2013-01-15T18:59:00Z 2013-01-16T16:01:45Z Gold mine approved in French Guiana's only national park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0115.IMG_3094.limonade.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tensions have risen in the small Amazonian community of Saül in French Guiana after locals discovered that the French government approved a large-scale gold mining operation near their town&#8212;and inside French Guiana's only national park&#8212;against their wishes. Run by mining company, Rexma, locals and scientists both fear that the mine would lead to deforestation, water pollution, and a loss in biodiversity for a community dependent on the forest and ecotourism. Jeremy Hance 3.616133 -53.2007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10646 2013-01-07T18:38:00Z 2013-02-03T00:19:22Z Environment ministry drops copper mine in Zambezi park A proposed copper mine set to be built in Lower Zambezi National Park has been rejected by Zambia's environmental management agency. Australian company Zambezi Resources Ltd, a subsidiary of Proactive Investors, had scheduled the $494 million Kangaluwi Copper Project to begin production in 2015. But their proposal sparked an outcry from environmentalists and government lobbyists concerned about the effects of the open pit mine in the park. Though mining is not generally permitted in the park, Zambezi Resources obtained a Large-Scale Mining License from the government which would have allowed them to mine for 25 years right in the middle of Lower Zambezi National Park. Jeremy Hance -15.310678 29.632416 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10554 2012-12-10T20:26:00Z 2012-12-10T20:30:52Z China plans over 300 dam projects worldwide A new report by the NGO, International Rivers, takes an in-depth look at the role China is playing in building mega-dams worldwide. According to the report, Chinese companies are involved in 308 hydroelectric projects across 70 nations. While dams are often billed as "green energy," they can have massive ecological impacts on rivers, raise local conflict, and even expel significant levels of greenhouse gases when built in the tropics. Jeremy Hance 18.669381 32.053292 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10541 2012-12-08T03:48:00Z 2013-05-03T19:37:33Z Dams are rapidly damning the Amazon Dam-builders seeking to unlock the hydroelectric potential of the Amazon are putting the world's mightiest river and rainforest at risk, suggests a new assessment that charts the rapid expansion of dams in the region. Rhett Butler -2.781195 -52.015457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10519 2012-12-04T23:21:00Z 2015-02-09T22:19:47Z Forests, farming, and sprawl: the struggle over land in an Amazonian metropolis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/IMG_1827.cowandfarmer.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The city of Parauapebas, Brazil is booming: built over the remains of the Amazon rainforest, the metropolis has grown 75-fold in less than 25 years, from 2,000 people upwards of 150,000. But little time for urban planning and both a spatial and mental distance from the federal government has created a frontier town where small-scale farmers struggle to survive against racing sprawl, legal and illegal mining, and a lack of investment in environmental protection. Forests, biodiversity, and subsistence farmers have all suffered under the battle for land. In this, Parauapebas may represent a microcosm both of Brazil's ongoing problems (social inequality, environmental degradation, and deforestation) and opportunity (poverty alleviation, reforestation, and environmental enforcement). Jeremy Hance -6.076377 -49.894524 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10489 2012-11-30T23:03:00Z 2012-12-03T19:53:05Z Brazilian bank approves $10.8 billion loan for controversial Amazon rainforest dam Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) on Monday announced it has approved a $10.8 billion (22.5 billion Brazilian reais) loan to the consortium that is building the controversial Belo Monte dam in the state of Par&acute; in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, reports International Rivers, a group that is campaigning against the dam. The loan in the largest in the bank's 60-year history, according to the group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10488 2012-11-30T22:03:00Z 2012-11-30T23:24:27Z Introducing the 'Obama-fish' Scientists have named five newly discovered fish after former and current U.S. political leaders, including President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and Teddy Roosevelt, reports the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and Scientific American. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10370 2012-11-07T12:46:00Z 2012-11-07T13:36:14Z Controversial dam gets approval in Laos Laos has given approval to the hugely-controversial $3.5 billion Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River, reports the BBC. The massive dam, which would provide 95 percent of its energy production to Thailand, has been criticized for anticipated impacts on the river's fish populations, on which many locals depend. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10353 2012-11-01T17:38:00Z 2015-02-09T22:09:41Z Artificial 'misting system' allows vanished toad to be released back into the wild <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/animals_02633.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1996 scientists discovered a new species of dwarf toad: the Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis). Although surviving on only two hectares near the Kihansi Gorge in Tanzania, the toads proved populous: around 17,000 individuals crowded the smallest known habitat of any vertebrate, living happily off the moist micro-habitat created by spray from adjacent waterfalls. Eight years later and the Kihansi spray toad was gone. Disease combined with the construction of a hydroelectric dam ended the toads' limited, but fecund, reign. Jeremy Hance -8.465384 35.66831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10318 2012-10-25T22:20:00Z 2012-10-25T22:39:41Z Future of the Tongass forest lies in salmon, not clear-cut logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/TongassStream(byIanMajszak).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Parnell administration's Timber Task Force recently unveiled a proposal to carve out two million acres of the Tongass National Forest for clear-cut logging under a state-managed "logging trust." The stated goal is to revive Southeast Alaska’s timber industry that collapsed two decades ago amid changing market conditions, logging cutbacks and evolving public opinion about timber harvesting on national forests. Jeremy Hance 59.481358 -139.296112 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10283 2012-10-22T13:30:00Z 2012-10-22T13:58:52Z El Salvador mulls total ban on mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/llwelyn.DSCF1586.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On hot days the broken stone and dried up silt from the San Sebastian mine in Eastern El Salvador bake in the sun. The slew of refuse is freckled with rock stained bright blue with cyanide, open to the elements that on rainier days will wash it downhill into the Rio San Sebastian below. The openings of passages into the mine dot the mountainside, and further downhill a bright orange stream with a chemical stench flows into another. The American Commerce Group ceased operating here in 1999 but sought to return when the price of gold began its current escalation. Jeremy Hance 13.715372 -89.151764 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10251 2012-10-09T19:35:00Z 2012-10-09T19:52:54Z Indigenous groups re-occupy Belo Monte dam in the Amazon Construction on Brazil's megadam, Belo Monte, has been halted again as around 150 demonstrators, most of them from nearby indigenous tribes, have occupied the main construction site at Pimental. Over a hundred indigenous people joined local fishermen who had been protesting the dam for 24 days straight. Indigenous people and local fishermen say the dam will devastate the Xingu River, upending their way of life. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10117 2012-09-10T17:56:00Z 2015-02-08T23:22:03Z Photos: camera traps capture wildlife bonanza in Borneo forest corridor <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Picture15_Sunbear.kina.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Camera traps placed in a corridor connecting two forest fragments have revealed (in stunning visuals) the importance of such linkages for Borneo's imperiled mammals and birds. Over 18 months, researchers with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) have photographed wildlife utilizing the corridor located in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysian Borneo. Jeremy Hance 5.603856 118.349862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10073 2012-08-29T00:33:00Z 2012-08-29T22:32:35Z Brazil's controversial Belo Monte back on track after court decision overruled Brazil's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered work on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon to resume, overturning a lower court order that suspended the project less than two weeks ago. Construction activities by the Norte Energia, the consortium building the dam, resumed immediately, according to the Associated Press. Rhett Butler -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10064 2012-08-27T14:22:00Z 2012-08-27T14:32:36Z Mekong dam spree could create regional food crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_2420.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fish are a hugely important protein source for many people around the world. This is no more evident than along the lower Mekong River delta where an estimated 48 million people depend directly on the river for food and livelihoods. But now a new study in <i>Global Environmental Change</i> cautions that 11 planned hydroelectric dams in the region could cut vital fish populations by 16 percent while putting more strain on water and land resources. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10060 2012-08-24T17:26:00Z 2012-08-29T22:32:13Z Construction of controversial Belo Monte dam stopped Belo Monte dam developer Norte Energia, S.A. has stopped all work on the Belo Monte dam after receiving formal notification of the decision last week by the Brazilian Federal Appeals Court to suspend the project, reports International Rivers. Norte Energia said it would take 'all available measures to reverse the decision.' Rhett Butler -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10046 2012-08-21T17:51:00Z 2012-08-22T12:59:22Z Chinook salmon return to Olympic National Park after dam demolished In March of this year the Elwha Dam, which had stood for 99 years, was demolished in the U.S. state of Washington. Five months later, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) made their way down 70 miles of long-blocked off habitat and entered Olympic National Park. Jeremy Hance 48.146217 -123.564481 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10021 2012-08-15T19:53:00Z 2012-08-29T22:33:06Z Belo Monte mega-dam halted again by high Brazilian court, appeal likely but difficult <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0323belomonte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high federal court in Brazil has ruled that work on the Belo Monte dam in the Brazilian Amazon be immediately suspended. Finding that the government failed to properly consult indigenous people on the dam, the ruling is the latest in innumerable twists and turns regarding the massive dam, which was first conceived in the 1970s, and has been widely criticized for its impact on tribal groups in the region and the Amazon environment. In addition the Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF1) found that Brazil's Environmental Impact Assessment was flawed since it was conducted after work on the dam had already begun. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9917 2012-07-26T15:58:00Z 2012-08-16T14:10:29Z Indigenous tribes hold 3 engineers hostage over Belo Monte dam Three engineers are being held hostage by the Juruna and Arara indigenous tribes as tensions rise over the on-going construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, reports the Indigenous rights NGO Amazon Watch. The company building the dam, Norte Energia, has confirmed that three of its employees were being held against their will. Tribal groups in the region say the massive dam will upend their way of life, and that construction is already making travel along the Xingu river difficult. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9840 2012-07-15T00:17:00Z 2012-07-24T16:56:12Z Controversial Xayaburi dam in Laos officially suspended Work on the controversial Xayaburi dam in the People's Democratic Republic of Lao has been suspended, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9828 2012-07-12T14:28:00Z 2012-07-12T14:45:00Z Indigenous tribes end occupation of Belo Monte After occupying the construction site of the massive Belo Monte dam for 21 days, some 300 indigenous people have left and gone home. The representatives from nine Amazonian tribes abandoned their occupation after two days of meeting with the dam's builder, the Norte Energia consortium. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9826 2012-07-12T05:57:00Z 2012-07-17T19:10:23Z Proliferation of mountain roads a hazard to the environment in SE Asia Mountain roads in rural Southeast Asia are providing market access for remote communities but causing significant environmental harm, including deforestation, landslides, and soil erosion, sometimes undermining the benefits they offer, warns a commentary published in <i>Nature Geoscience</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9801 2012-07-10T00:06:00Z 2012-07-10T00:15:01Z Indigenous leaders demand suspension of Belo Monte dam Indigenous leaders from six Amazon tribes have asked the Brazilian government to immediately suspend the installation license for the controversial Belo Monte dam, reports <i>Amazon Watch</i>, an activist group that is campaigning against the project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9772 2012-07-03T17:46:00Z 2012-07-10T00:26:31Z Indigenous tribes occupy Belo Monte dam for over 10 days As of Tuesday, the occupation of Belo Monte dam by indigenous tribes entered its 13th day. Indigenous people, who have fought the planned Brazilian dam for decades, argue that the massive hydroelectric project on the Xingu River will devastate their way of life. According to a statement from the tribes, 17 indigenous villages from 13 ethnic groups are now represented at the occupation, which has successfully scuttled some work on the dam. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9703 2012-06-20T00:36:00Z 2012-06-20T12:30:59Z Photo: Human canvas on Rio beach protests Brazil's dam-building spree in the Amazon Nearly 1500 people formed a human banner on a beach in Rio de Janeiro today to protest plans to build dozens of dams in the Amazon basin, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO campaigning against Brazil's controversial Belo Monte dam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9608 2012-06-04T14:19:00Z 2012-06-04T14:37:05Z The vanishing Niger River imperils tourism and livelihoods in the desert <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/hamada.Mar-08-2012_0486_edited-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Severely affected by recent turmoil across its northern frontiers, Nigerien tourism pins hope on river valley attractions to play a major role in rebuilding its tourism industry in the upcoming years. Even though the river itself is threatened. Located in the heart of the Sahel Region, the vast desert lands of Niger have captivated European tourists seeking a taste of its immensely varied natural landscapes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9544 2012-05-21T16:08:00Z 2012-05-22T03:15:51Z Charting a new environmental course in China <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/tnc.china.thumb.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works in more than 30 countries and has projects in all 50 of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of wild-lands and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. TNC has taken an active interest in China, the world's most populated nation, and in many important ways, a critical center of global development. The following is an interview with multiple directors of The Nature Conservancy's China Program. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9475 2012-05-03T17:19:00Z 2015-02-05T01:18:26Z Exploring Asia's lost world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/mccann.waterdragon.P1070954.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Abandoned by NGOs and the World Bank, carved out for rubber plantations and mining by the Cambodian government, spiraling into a chaos of poaching and illegal logging, and full of endangered species and never-explored places, Virachey National Park may be the world's greatest park that has been written off by the international community. But a new book by explorer and PhD student, Greg McCann, hopes to change that. Entitled Called Away by a Mountain Spirit: Journey to the Green Corridor, the book highlights expeditions by McCann into parts of Virachey that have rarely been seen by outsiders and have never been explored scientifically, including rare grasslands that once housed herds of Asian elephants, guar, and Sambar deer, before poachers drove them into hiding, and faraway mountains with rumors of tigers and mainland Javan rhinos. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9460 2012-05-01T14:43:00Z 2012-05-01T14:53:04Z Over 30 Yangtze porpoises found dead in China as population nears extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-Neophocaena_phocaenoides_-Miyajima_Aquarium_-Japan-8a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Six years after the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer), or baiji, was declared "functionally extinct" by scientists, another marine mammal appears on the edge of extinction in China's hugely degraded Yangtze River. In less than two months, 32 Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis), a subspecies of the finless porpoise, have been dead found in Dongting and Poyang Lakes in the Yangtze, reports the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9403 2012-04-18T21:15:00Z 2015-03-07T04:58:56Z Will mega-dams destroy the Amazon? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0418belomonte150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 150 new dams planned across the Amazon basin could significantly disrupt the ecological connectivity of the Amazon River to the Andes with substantial impacts for fish populations, nutrient cycling, and the health of Earth's largest rainforest, warns a comprehensive study published in the journal <i>PLoS ONE</i>. Scouring public data and submitting information requests to governments, researchers Matt Finer of Save America’s Forests and Clinton Jenkins of North Carolina State University documented plans for new dams in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9411 2012-04-18T19:21:00Z 2012-04-18T20:48:40Z Pictures: Destruction of the Amazon's Xingu River begins for Belo Monte Dam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0418belomonte150a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Xingu River will never be the same. Construction of Belo Monte Dam has begun in the Brazilian Amazon, as shown by these photos taken by Greenpeace, some of the first images of the hugely controversial project. Indigenous groups have opposed the dam vigorously for decades, fearing that it will upend their way of life. Environmentalists warn that the impacts of the dam&#8212;deforestation, methane emissions, and an irreparable changes to the Xingu River's ecosystem&#8212;far outweigh any benefits. The dam, which would be the world's third largest, is expected to displace 16,000 people according to the government, though some NGOs put the number at 40,000. The dam will flood over 40,000 hectares of pristine rainforest, an area nearly seven times the size of Manhattan. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9344 2012-04-02T15:35:00Z 2012-04-02T16:13:50Z Judge suspends Brazilian dam that would flood sacred waterfalls A federal judge has suspended the construction of a 1,820 megawatt dam on the Teles Pires River in the Amazon. The judge found that indigenous communities were not properly consulted about the dam, which would flood a sacred site, known as the Seven Waterfalls, as well as imperil the livelihoods of indigenous fishermen. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9314 2012-03-27T20:01:00Z 2012-03-27T20:10:37Z Mining cancellation throws wrench into Sarawak dam-building spree <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-BakunDam.568.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's third largest mining company, Rio Tinto, and a local financial and construction firm, Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), have cancelled plans for a $2 billion aluminum smelter to be constructed in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The cancellation calls into question Sarawak's plan to build a dozen massive dams&#8212;known as the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative&#8212;that were proposed, in part, to provide power to the massive aluminum smelter. However, the mega-dam proposal has been heavily criticized for its impact on Sarawak's rivers, rainforest and indigenous people. Jeremy Hance