tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/south%20america1 south america news from mongabay.com 2015-06-29T17:52:59Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15049 2015-06-29T17:37:00Z 2015-06-29T17:52:59Z Corporations rush to make zero-deforestation commitments, but is it working? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/sabah/150/sabah_362.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, more companies pledge to stop using ingredients whose production cause tropical deforestation. Retailers and brands making voluntary commitments – mostly involving palm oil – include Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Colgate and Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil trader. Among 2014 joiners were Cargill, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin's Donuts and Baskin' Robbins, with 2015 bringing the addition of McDonald's, Archer Daniels Midland and Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell). Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15041 2015-06-26T19:54:00Z 2015-06-26T21:56:40Z New reserve in Peru will protect nearly a million acres of pristine forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0626-thumb-iquitos-forest.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A tract of Peruvian rainforest bigger than California's Yosemite National Park is officially more protected, with formal declaration of the Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area (RCA) made last week in Lima. Those involved with the reserve's formation hope it will safeguard the area's biodiversity as well as the ancestral homeland and way of life of local indigenous communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.704634, -73.182292 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14998 2015-06-18T23:09:00Z 2015-06-19T23:20:40Z Has Amazon deforestation reached a 7-year high in Brazil? Analysis of satellite data suggests deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon may have reached a seven-year high. Rhett Butler -2.123224 -48.577349 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/14980 2015-06-16T23:58:00Z 2015-06-17T00:14:30Z Gold miners invade Amazonian indigenous reserve Illegal miners have invaded an indigenous reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, reveals new analysis of satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -12.892302 -70.631447 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14968 2015-06-16T01:18:00Z 2015-06-16T01:22:11Z Bolivia opens protected areas to oil companies A new law has opened millions of hectares of protected areas in Bolivia to oil and gas extraction. Rhett Butler -12.996889 -68.809580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14967 2015-06-16T00:19:00Z 2015-06-16T00:31:06Z Rainforest parks cut malaria transmission Strictly protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon are associated with lower rates of malaria transmission than extractive reserves, mining zones, and areas with roads, reports a paper published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. The findings add to a growing body of data suggesting that conservation efforts contribute to human welfare. Rhett Butler -10.461996 -64.512468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14952 2015-06-12T15:59:00Z 2015-06-12T20:19:23Z Inside The Toxic Tour: Not for prime-time Ecuador (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0612_bh_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecuador spent $4 million to promote itself during the 2015 Super Bowl as an ecotourism destination. The ad was backed by the Beatles' booming anthem 'All You Need is Love.' The Toxic Tour offers a different perspective: taking visitors into the belly of the beast, the epicenter of Ecuador's petroleum exploitation grid, a trip best accompanied by REM's anti-anthem, 'It's the end of the World.' Tiffany Roufs -3.055813 -79.667354 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/14926 2015-06-08T20:43:00Z 2015-06-08T20:49:42Z Bolivia's aggressive agricultural development plans threaten forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608_ae_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bolivia's government, supported by some small and most large producers, pushes to expand agricultural lands at the expense of the nation's environment. In April 2015, small-scale Bolivian farmers gathered for a summit with stakeholders from a very different part of the agricultural sector: commercial farmers who oversee vast farms and watch international exchange markets just as closely as the weather. Tiffany Roufs -17.826292 -63.029487 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/14875 2015-05-28T20:52:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:57Z New bird uncovered in South American conflict region, researchers urge protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tapaculo-fjeldsa.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, study skins of a bird languished in a dusty drawer in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, classified hurriedly (and erroneously,) as Scytalopus atratus nigricans, a songbird found in lower montane forests. Recently, scientists rediscovered the bird on the Venezuelan slopes of the Perijá Mountains, and were able to use twenty-first century techniques to describe its genetics, ecology and appearance. In doing so, they identified it as a new species: the Perijá tapaculo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.283079 -72.837879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14868 2015-05-27T23:04:00Z 2015-06-16T21:59:18Z China unveils plans for huge railway in South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0298.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China is looking to add another rung to its investment presence in Latin America, with an announcement of plans to build an expansive railway bisecting the continent from Brazil to Peru. The bid has raised the hackles of conservation groups, which are concerned the railway will run through sensitive ecosystems, harm threatened wildlife, and affect indigenous communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.710885 -58.225280 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14866 2015-05-27T18:24:00Z 2015-05-27T19:20:09Z China defends trans-Amazon railway, says it will protect the environment Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has defended a plan to build a railway across the South American continent as a way to protect the environment and grow the region's economy, reports <i>AFP</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14865 2015-05-27T16:52:00Z 2015-06-01T19:42:51Z Amazon deforestation speeding global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/aerial-rainforest/Flight_1022_1554.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human activity has destroyed huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest's biomass as trees are cleared to make way for pasture, soy fields, and other developments. Now, a new study has determined how much that destruction has contributed to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.723046 -70.090514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14844 2015-05-22T15:49:00Z 2015-06-18T01:48:34Z Red tape or repression? NGOs fight for a place in the new Bolivia they helped Evo Morales create <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0522_ae_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For much of Bolivian history, environmental and human rights NGOs joined indigenous communities and the poor in an uphill battle against the entrenched old guard. Under the country's first indigenous president, these organizations face unexpected challenges. Tiffany Roufs -16.547635 -68.033713 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14827 2015-05-19T20:36:00Z 2015-05-20T05:09:33Z 62M ha of Latin American forests cleared for agriculture since 2001 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/colombia/150/colombia_0061.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 62 million hectares (240,000 square miles) of forest across Latin America &#8212; an area roughly the size of Texas or the United Kingdom &#8212; were cleared for new croplands and pastureland between 2001 and 2013, find a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -12.066663 -65.109455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14819 2015-05-18T22:06:00Z 2015-05-19T17:47:31Z Peru eyes the Amazon for one of world’s most powerful dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0518-hill-manseriche-dam-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peru is proposing a huge hydroelectric dam in the Amazon that, if built, will be one of the most powerful on Earth, do significant harm to the environment, and flood the homes of thousands of people. The proposed mega-dam would be constructed at the Pongo de Manseriche, a spectacular gorge on the free flowing Marañón River, the main source of the Amazon River. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14818 2015-05-18T21:04:00Z 2015-06-16T22:02:38Z China’s investment in Latin America taking toll on the environment, setting the stage for conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_055.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China has been investing heavily in Latin America’s natural resources and crude oil. Recently, the country even pledged to invest $250 billion over the next decade to strengthen its presence in the region, and compete with the U.S. But this increasing Chinese trade and investment in Latin America is also increasing environmental and social conflict, finds a new report published by Boston University. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.330873 -53.852581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14813 2015-05-15T23:44:00Z 2015-06-19T00:07:01Z What's the current deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, making it the biggest component in the region's deforestation rate. Helpfully, Brazil also has the best systems for tracking deforestation, with the government and Imazon, a national civil society organization, releasing updates on a quarterly and monthly basis using MODIS satellite data, respectively. Both the Brazilian government and Imazon release more accurate data on an annual basis using higher resolution Landsat satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -2.245333 -61.518783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14800 2015-05-13T21:41:00Z 2015-06-16T22:04:21Z New mapping project uncovers road networks in Peru’s primary forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0991.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A research team unearthed a suspicious network of roads in northern Peru in early 2013. For two years, they watched the network grow to over 150 kilometers in length, split into two networks. The southern part of the network is located entirely in the protected buffer region of the Cordillera de Azul National Park, and is characteristic of roads meant for logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.515847 -75.593051 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14799 2015-05-13T19:29:00Z 2015-05-14T16:05:10Z Zero deforestation commitments bearing fruit in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0513gibbs150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high profile pledge by the world's largest meat company to limit deforestation for cattle production in the Amazon appears to be working, resulting in a dramatic increase in compliance with environmental registries and reduced forest clearing among supplier ranches, finds a comprehensive study published in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -1.254878 -47.981976 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/14777 2015-05-08T22:55:00Z 2015-05-08T23:19:54Z Peru considers fate of Amazon wildlife paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0509la-sierra-del-divisor150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fate of La Sierra del Divisor, a 1.5 million hectare reserve lauded for its megadiversity of wildlife, will soon to be decided. According to <i>El Comercio</i>, next week the Peruvian government is expected to rule whether Divisor will be declared a national park. The designation, which was requested by local groups nearly a decade ago, would strengthen legal protection of the area, which faces logging, mining, coca cultivation, and agricultural encroachment. It would also establish rules for the buffer zone around the potential protected area. Rhett Butler -7.411416 -74.323620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14776 2015-05-08T18:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:05:13Z World's critical habitats lost Connecticut-size area of forest in a decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0507-thumb-Madagascar_Nightjar_-_Tulear_-_Madagascar_S4E8596.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's endangered animals live in only one place, making them hugely susceptible to environmental upset. One fell swoop, and entire species could disappear from existence forever. New analysis shows that possibility may be edging closer and closer to reality in some areas, with forests known to harbor high-risk species losing an area of tree cover the size of Connecticut in a little over a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.485384 29.077941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14732 2015-05-04T15:26:00Z 2015-05-04T15:31:22Z World on course to lose 1 in 6 species to climate change – South America, Australia, New Zealand face even more extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/z_00068.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Renowned biologist E.O Wilson, assessing Earth's sixth great extinction now underway, described the future as a shrinking keyhole through which all species must pass as humanity responds to, and hopefully averts catastrophe. A new study published in the journal Science shows that this keyhole could drastically narrow with each degree increase in global temperature due to climate change. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14725 2015-05-01T17:59:00Z 2015-05-01T18:03:05Z Ongoing overkill: loss of big herbivores leading to 'empty landscapes' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0501.ripple5HR.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ten thousand years from now, human historians&#8212;or alien ones&#8212;may view the current wave of biodiversity loss and extinctions as concurrent with the Pleistocene extinction. At that time, peaking around 11,000 years ago, many scientists argue that human hunters killed off the majority of the world's big species. According to a paper today in history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14716 2015-04-30T17:42:00Z 2015-06-16T22:08:25Z Lost and found, then lost again? Recently rediscovered hummingbird faces extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0430-thumb-closeup-rojas-proaves-Blue-bearded-Helmetcrest.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>No one had seen a single living blue-bearded helmetcrest since 1946, and the species was known only from preserved museum specimens. But that all changed last month when researchers rediscovered the bird in the mountains of Colombia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.054731 -73.675786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14712 2015-04-29T16:48:00Z 2015-05-22T16:20:25Z Featured video: the Uncharted Amazon trailer <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0430.Silky.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The up-coming documentary, Uncharted Amazon, promises to highlight both the little-seen wildlife and the people of the Las Piedras River system in the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most remote wildernesses on the planet. Jeremy Hance -11.902431 -70.133875 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/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14687 2015-04-27T00:53:00Z 2015-04-27T01:00:26Z Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon continues to accelerate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sad150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon &#8212; the planet's largest rainforest &#8212; continues to pace well ahead of last year's rate, reveals data released by Imazon, a Manaus-based nonprofit. Rhett Butler -3.090972 -60.730691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14657 2015-04-20T19:31:00Z 2015-06-18T02:11:54Z Killings of environmental activists jumped by 20 percent last year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0415.murders.activists.gwreport.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The assassination, murder, and extrajudicial killing of environmental activists rose by 20 percent last year, according to a new grim report by Global Witness. The organization documented 116 killings in 2014 across 17 countries with the highest number in Brazil, which saw 29 environmental and land defenders killed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14647 2015-04-16T16:44:00Z 2015-04-16T17:26:37Z Lima to restore pre-Incan aqueducts to alleviate its water crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416_am_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>To tackle a looming water crisis, the city of Lima, Peru, is planning a series of green infrastructure projects, including the restoration of an ancient network of aqueducts in the mountains above the city. With a rapidly growing population of around 8.75 million Lima is the world's second largest desert city, and no stranger to water shortages. Tiffany Roufs -12.047496 -77.043125 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14631 2015-04-13T20:25:00Z 2015-04-14T14:05:14Z A tale of two maps: Brazilian state won’t use new atlas to close Cerrado deforestation loophole <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413_bb2_IMG_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Farmers in north-central Brazil, where the savanna meets the Amazon rainforest, are clearing land at an unprecedented rate. The government hasn’t stopped the cutting, partly because it is using inaccurate, outdated maps that hugely underestimate the extent of its endangered dry forests. Tiffany Roufs -6.390783 -48.131177 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14630 2015-04-13T19:43:00Z 2015-04-13T19:54:13Z Conservation and carbon storage goals collide in Brazil's Cerrado <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413_bb_IMG_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists are raising the alarm about the disparity between biodiversity goals and carbon goals in Brazil's Cerrado. New research is beginning to challenge the idea that the Cerrado is irrelevant to the battle to reduce atmospheric carbon. Tiffany Roufs -24.086285 -49.948627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14616 2015-04-09T23:59:00Z 2015-04-10T00:23:16Z Platform provides near-real time analysis of deforestation in non-Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0409uc150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new platform will provide critical near-real time information and analysis on emerging threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon. Officially announced today, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) in an initiative launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA. Rhett Butler -3.991457 -73.032384 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14615 2015-04-09T22:34:00Z 2015-04-09T22:35:12Z Study finds abandoned pasture is 'a huge resource that is not being harnessed' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-thumb-Chimborazo_sheep.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As tropical forests around the world are cleared for human development, scientists and conservationists are trying to find ways to both stem their loss and reclaim areas already deforested. In a recent study, researchers investigated restoration of abandoned agricultural land in Ecuador, finding that planting trees and even re-establishing pasture may help limit conversion of more forest to farmland. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.106545 -78.252244 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14605 2015-04-07T20:08:00Z 2015-04-07T20:08:56Z Tiny Brazilian opossum could be farmers’ friend <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324_possum_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>André Mendonça pops open the spring-loaded door on the shoebox-sized trap and peeks inside. Two bulging, black eyes glare back at him. He pulls the trap off the tree limb and shakes the stunned, sopping wet creature into a clear plastic bag. “One more!” he says excitedly. Morgan Erickson-Davis -15.890689 -47.843013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14604 2015-04-07T17:33:00Z 2015-04-07T17:37:12Z Brazilian farmers urge return of big cats to Cerrado to protect crops from rampaging peccaries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0407-co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Margie Peixoto was driving her pickup across her farm in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul one February afternoon when she spotted some broken corn stalks and a trio of white-lipped peccaries ambling along the red-clay road as if they owned it. The moment these wild pig relatives spotted the truck, they snorted, snarled and disappeared into the head-high crop, where dozens more likely hid. Morgan Erickson-Davis -17.888114 -54.308152 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14573 2015-04-01T23:24:00Z 2015-04-07T01:33:54Z Illegal deforestation driven by EU appetite for beef, palm oil, soy, say new reports <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401-thumb-amazon-sunset-2.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report finds that the European Union is driving international trade in commodities grown on land cleared outside of the law. In 2012 alone, the report says, the EU imported $6.5 billion worth of illegally sourced beef, leather, palm oil and soy, which amounts to nearly one-fourth of all global trade and some 2.4 million hectares (59.3 million acres) of forest illegally cleared. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.212795 -53.643841 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14563 2015-03-31T17:09:00Z 2015-04-26T18:43:49Z Here comes progress: what will planned megaprojects mean for an Amazon city? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0331-thumb_Publica_MVI_3574-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The city of Itaituba, in western Pará state, is home to several construction projects of strategic interest for the Brazilian government. However, with local infrastructure fragile, residents are worried they will not share in the spoils. Rebecca Kessler -4.043855 -55.995083 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14558 2015-03-30T18:16:00Z 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z 9 months after Amazonian oil pipeline spill, effects and fears linger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330cuninco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Peru's state-run oil company pulled out of this small Kukama Indian village in mid-December after cleaning up an oil pipeline spill, residents thought life could slowly return to normal. But more than three months later, wisps of oil floating down the Cuninico River—along with a larger spill in the neighboring community of San Pedro—are a reminder that the problems are not over. Rhett Butler -4.801399 -75.216092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14530 2015-03-24T21:11:00Z 2015-03-25T01:04:20Z Photos: expedition to Amazon’s white sands may have found new primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324.thumbnail.photo-8A.by-giussepe-gagliardi-urrutia.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people think of the Amazon rainforest as one massive, homogenous ecosystem&#8212;a giant castle of green. However, within the Amazon rainforest lie a myriad of distinct ecosystems, sporting unique characteristics and harboring endemic species. One of the rarer ecosystems in the Amazon is the white sands forest. Jeremy Hance -6.343298 -74.026909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14497 2015-03-14T22:08:00Z 2015-04-20T15:37:26Z Road rage: scientists denounce $60 trillion infrastructure expansion <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0205.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last November, at the annual G-20 summit - for the 20 wealthiest of the world’s nations - in Brisbane, Australia, a staggering commitment was made to invest $60 to $70 trillion worldwide in new infrastructure over the next 15 years. This is akin to doubling the current value of all global infrastructure put together. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.611646 -69.202151 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14492 2015-03-13T16:58:00Z 2015-03-13T21:38:08Z Indigenous leaders present plan to gov't for Suriname's largest official protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313-thumb-2-suriname.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous leaders from southern Suriname took the first steps toward creating the South American country’s largest recognized protected area with a declaration to parliament on March 5. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.744582 -55.454840 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14489 2015-03-12T23:56:00Z 2015-03-13T00:03:17Z Newly discovered Brazilian bird may number fewer than 10 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-4-Cichlocolaptes%20mazarbarnetti%20photoart%20by%20Rolf%20Grantsau.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2002, a team of ornithologists at Murici in northeastern Brazil observed and recorded the call of a bird. At that time, the team believed they had chanced upon a rare bird previously described by other researchers as the Alagaos foliage-gleaner (Philydor novasei). Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.191697 -35.932137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14473 2015-03-10T20:06:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:01Z Endangered forests shrink as demand for soy rises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As battles over labeling genetically modified foods or displaying calorific breakdowns per serving rage on, it appears that a possibly more significant battle is in its infancy - where do all the ingredients on the package actually come from? Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.095052 -41.642175 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14466 2015-03-06T20:30:00Z 2015-03-06T20:38:04Z Newly described monkey species found in threatened Amazon forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-C-miltoni-pair-Gambarini.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2011, Julio César Dalponte noticed a peculiar looking titi monkey on the bank of the Roosevelt River in Mato Grasso, Brazil. Titi monkeys, genus Callicebus, are common throughout South America, but this one had a flaming orange tail, light gray forehead stripe and ochre sideburns, which didn’t match any known titi species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.106440 -60.054363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14449 2015-03-03T17:23:00Z 2015-05-16T19:55:47Z Colombia proposes protected corridor across South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0307.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced plans to create the world’s largest protected area, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains. Santos plans to propose the protected environmental corridor during the UN climate talks in Paris later this year as a means to combat global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.069027 -71.417806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14446 2015-03-02T20:05:00Z 2015-03-05T14:53:23Z How the Sahara keeps the Amazon rainforest going <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0302.amazonsahara.87255_web.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have just uncovered an incredible link between the world's largest desert (the Sahara) and its largest rainforest (the Amazon). New research published in Geophysical Research Letters theorizes that the Sahara Desert replenishes phosphorus in the Amazon rainforest via vast plumes of desert dust blowing over the Atlantic Ocean. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14441 2015-02-27T18:06:00Z 2015-02-27T19:31:38Z Biofuels are bad news for forests, climate, food security, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4665.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from the World Resources Institute finds that dedicating land to the production of biofuels, a form of renewable energy made from plants, may undermine efforts to achieve a sustainable food future, combat climate change, and protect forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.497720 -63.127501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14438 2015-02-26T22:56:00Z 2015-02-26T22:58:16Z Researchers propose improvements for Peru's protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-thumb-phasmid-peru-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a study published recently in PLOS ONE, researchers examined Peru's network of protected areas. They found that many of these don't exist in the areas most important for preserving the country's biodiversity and addressing its threats, and suggest alternatives to make the system more effective. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.616898 -73.076121 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14435 2015-02-26T19:05:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:18Z One of Brazil’s rarest primates still holds out in single patch of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-Image1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, particularly after renowned naturalist Philip Hershkovitz of the Field Museum in Chicago published his valuable taxonomy of Neotropical Primates, Saimiri vanzolinii was considered to be a mere subspecies of the larger Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis). Today, it has the distinction of being one of the most range-restricted primates in all of the Neotropics. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.212502 -65.907542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14431 2015-02-25T21:34:00Z 2015-02-25T21:37:19Z Brazil arrests 'Amazon's biggest destroyer' Authorities in Brazil have arrested a man they claim to be the single biggest deforester in the Amazon, according to a statement issued by IBAMA, Brazil's environmental protection agency. Rhett Butler -6.395543 -55.385044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14426 2015-02-25T19:16:00Z 2015-02-26T22:59:20Z Study finds Peru's protected areas aren't where they should be <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/herps_cnh_0271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's protected areas may not be located in the areas that need them the most, according to a recently published study in the journal PLoS ONE. The study examined the effectiveness of Peru’s existing protected area system in holistically preserving the biodiversity in this megadiverse country, finding it inadequately protecting many of the country's species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.425510 -80.219909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14424 2015-02-25T16:41:00Z 2015-03-02T16:37:30Z Partnering for conservation benefits Tacana people, Bolivian park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1218_Tacana-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kneeling in a small clearing amid tropical trees, Baldemar Mazaro skillfully arranges a circle of sticks and a noose of cord in the community of San Miguel de Bala. He hands a branch to a tourist and asks her to prod the sticks as if the branch were the nose of an animal snuffling around, looking for food. Tiffany Roufs -14.189266 -68.334025 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14419 2015-02-24T18:16:00Z 2015-02-25T00:12:49Z Critically endangered bird gets new addition to its reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-thumb-brush-finch-nbii.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unassuming brown bird, tiny both in body and population size, hovers on the edge of extinction as its habitat is cleared for agriculture and its nests are parasitized. In response, conservation organizations created a reserve expressly for the species' preservation in the late 1990s; now that reserve is being expanded to try to push one of the world's most endangered bird species farther back from the precipice. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.199193 -79.190149 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14414 2015-02-23T20:05:00Z 2015-03-12T15:33:05Z Outgoing government wipes hard drives, slowing environmental progress in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0167.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Non-profit organizations are working with the regional government of Loreto, in northeastern Peru, to replace documents and data reportedly lost or destroyed before newly-elected officials took office. Some hard disks had been removed from computers. Others had been deleted, password protected, or infected with viruses, according to regional government officials who took office at the beginning of the year. Rhett Butler -12.998026 -69.601111 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14402 2015-02-20T12:35:00Z 2015-02-20T18:13:42Z Dams or indigenous land: the battle over the Munduruku frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217_exclusive_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Munduruku indigenous tribe have begun to mark out the limits of their land, in an action that could halt the giant São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric dam, the apple of the Brazilian government's eye. Although sacred, this land will be flooded if the dam goes ahead. 'We are not leaving,' says the village chief. Tiffany Roufs -2.378412 -54.927569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14401 2015-02-19T23:33:00Z 2015-02-20T17:17:35Z Assessing carbon stock value of forests is tricky business, study finds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0219-Guyana_448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With financial incentives encouraging maintenance of carbon stocks and the increased popularity of carbon trading between countries, a forest has become economically a lot more than a clump of trees that supplements livelihoods. A forest now has an intrinsic value by just existing, a value that can be measured in economic terms. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.047219 -59.029917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14397 2015-02-19T15:03:00Z 2015-02-20T18:13:54Z Exclusive: Funai confirms that land threatened by dam projects belongs to indigenous tribe <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1217_tribe_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian government opposes granting traditional land to the Munduruku people since it would jeopardize seven proposed hydroelectric dams on the Tapajós River. For this reason, a year-old report by Funai that supports the Munduruku claim has not been officially published, but a copy of this report was obtained by the Brazilian publication Publica. Tiffany Roufs -2.378412 -54.927569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14393 2015-02-18T14:15:00Z 2015-02-18T14:48:17Z Brazilian indigenous populations grow quickly after first contact devastation Indigenous communities in South America have long experienced devastating impacts from contact with Western society. In the Sixteenth Century, European colonists brought slavery, war, and violence, but disease proved the most devastating. In all, European contact destroyed over 95 percent of the native population. Jeremy Hance -9.891064 -70.165365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14377 2015-02-13T17:54:00Z 2015-02-13T17:59:31Z How do parks affect the poor? Jury’s still out, some experts say <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210_parkspoor_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Peru’s vast northeastern region, where roads are scarce and forests abundant, crackdowns on the illegal plundering of timber, fish, and wildlife are sporadic and expensive. To fill the gap, the Peruvian National Park Service and non-profit conservation organizations encourage community groups to patrol their lakes and forests and control fishing and hunting. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14376 2015-02-13T00:06:00Z 2015-02-13T16:42:42Z 'Sustainable' cacao company allegedly defies government's call to halt plantation development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212gfw-cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A company aiming to be the world’s largest producer of sustainable cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, appears to have ignored orders from the Peruvian government to cease operations for failing to provide justification for having razed what scientists say was more than 2,000 hectares of old-growth Amazonian rainforest. Rhett Butler -3.973468 -73.079946 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14372 2015-02-11T22:47:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:35Z Mining activist released after being charged with terrorism, rebellion in Ecuador Yesterday, mining and environmental activist, Javier Ramírez, walked out of an Ecuadorian courtroom with his freedom. Ramírez, who has long fought against a massive state-owned massive copper mine in the cloud forest village of Junin, was arrested in April last year and subsequently charged with rebellion, sabotage, and terrorism among other thing. Jeremy Hance 0.275663 -78.665073 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14370 2015-02-11T17:11:00Z 2015-06-10T15:45:16Z Innovating Brazil nuts: a business with roots in the rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_Castana-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientist and entrepreneur turn to Brazil nuts to protect Peru's threatened forests. Sofía Rubio was eight years old when she decided she wanted to be a biologist. 'I would skip school to go to the woods with my father or mother,' who did research in what is now the Tambopata National Reserve in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon, she says. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14365 2015-02-10T17:02:00Z 2015-02-10T17:07:13Z Recently discovered, critically endangered bird gets its first reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210-thumb-Araripe_Manakin.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an 11-square mile strip of forest on the slopes of a plateau in northeastern Brazil lives an entire species, considered by scientists to be one of the most endangered birds in the world. Now, 18 years after it was first discovered by scientists, conservation groups have acquired 140 acres of land to establish the first-ever reserve for the Araripe manakin. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.789060, -40.416852 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14351 2015-02-05T17:00:00Z 2015-02-05T17:09:28Z Video: innovative tourism helps protect forests in Amazonian Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/tambopata/Tambopata_1028_4256.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new short documentary highlights the innovative, locally-grown tourist ventures sprouting up in the buffer zone around Peru's Tambopata National Reserve. Not only do these tourist adventures--some specializing in rehabilitating wildlife, others in finding out how locals live, and some even in jungle yoga--help provide jobs and income in a region dominated by extractive industries, but they are also help to keep forests standing. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14341 2015-02-04T17:50:00Z 2015-02-06T15:10:31Z The Amazon's oil boom: concessions cover a Chile-sized bloc of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_303.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hungry for oil revenue, governments and fossil fuel companies are moving even further into one of the world's last great wildernesses, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The total area set aside for oil and gas in the Western Amazon has grown by 150,000 square kilometers since 2008, now totaling more than 730,000 square kilometers&#8212;an area the size of Chile. Jeremy Hance -14.057138 -68.658039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14330 2015-02-02T20:13:00Z 2015-02-02T20:22:26Z Mercury fish: gold mining puts downstream communities at risk in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Artisanal, often illegal gold-mining, has swept across portions of the Peruvian Amazon over last decade, driven in part by a rising price in gold. The unregulated industry has resulted in widespread deforestation leading to an environmental disaster. Now a new study finds that mercury pollution has moved rapidly downstream and could be impacting communities at least 560 kilometers away. Jeremy Hance -13.095034 -70.395907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14325 2015-01-30T15:17:00Z 2015-01-30T15:30:48Z Scientists rediscover endangered Andean toad in Ecuador <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0129-photo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1970 researchers uncovered the Tandayapa Andean toad, previously unknown to science, in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador. Given that only a single individual was discovered, even after further exploration in the following years, the toad was soon presumed to be extinct. Forty-two years later, however, a research team rediscovered the species in Manduriacu, Ecuador. Tiffany Roufs 0.552368 -78.611457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14324 2015-01-29T20:08:00Z 2015-01-29T20:13:17Z When is a forest a forest? How definitions affect monitoring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_4621.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What exactly is a forest? With forest definitions differing from country to country, and primary forests, secondary forests, and even tree plantations all perceived collectively as "tree cover" by satellite data, how does one accurately keep tabs on land changes? Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.5768616 117.3028865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14321 2015-01-29T17:53:00Z 2015-02-11T18:22:54Z Community tourism fills niche around Tambopata National Reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222_Tourism-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Víctor Zambrano retired from the military and returned to his family’s old homestead outside the fast-growing jungle town of Puerto Maldonado in Peru, he got an unpleasant surprise. Strangers had moved in and cleared the trees to raise cattle. As Zambrano tells it, he ran up the Peruvian flag, chased the invaders off, and set to work planting 19,000 native tree seedlings. Tiffany Roufs -12.998029 -69.601103 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14304 2015-01-26T15:17:00Z 2015-01-30T16:17:07Z Video: camera trap catches jaguar hunting peccaries Catching a jaguar on a remote camera trap in the Amazon is a rare, happy sight. But catching a jaguar attempting to ambush a herd of peccaries is quite simply astonishing. Jeremy Hance -3.228753 -73.187293 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14303 2015-01-23T18:09:00Z 2015-01-24T03:21:23Z Brazil's soy moratorium dramatically reduced Amazon deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0123-DEFORESTATION-for-soy-in-the-amazon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The moratorium on forest conversion established by Brazilian soy giants in 2006 dramatically reduce deforestation for soy expansion in the Amazon, and have been more effective in cutting forest destruction than the government's land use policy in the region, finds a study published today in the journal Science. Rhett Butler -10.125296 -55.708507 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14297 2015-01-22T16:57:00Z 2015-01-22T17:37:59Z Indigenous territories play dual role as homelands and protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/manu/Manu_1023_2369a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities claim—and scientific evidence increasingly shows—that indigenous forested territories are as well protected as, or better protected than, government-designated parks. In areas under pressure from roads or development projects, deforestation rates are sometimes even lower in indigenous territories than in official protected areas. Tiffany Roufs -12.647074 -69.417415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14289 2015-01-21T17:58:00Z 2015-01-21T19:39:33Z Environmental wisdom: keeping indigenous stories alive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0116_lakes_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Enchanted lakes and magic hills: how traditional stories support conservation and abundance. 'Long ago, when animals were <i>gente</i>...' Those words, uttered countless times by indigenous Amazonian storytellers, blur the boundary between humans and other creatures in the forests and rivers, revealing a different view of the way human and non-human worlds intertwine. Tiffany Roufs -4.495995 -73.588057 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14286 2015-01-21T16:45:00Z 2015-01-22T20:52:27Z A model forest? Regional park balances local needs and conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1218_Ampiyacu-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Regional conservation area safeguards subsistence and spirituality in the Peruvian Amazon. For Alfredo Rojas, the history of the remote villages along the Ampiyacu River is one of enslavement. Growing up here, Rojas listened to his parents tell stories of the rubber barons who beat and killed the Indians who failed to meet their latex quota. Tiffany Roufs -2.954219 -72.431055 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14284 2015-01-20T21:59:00Z 2015-02-13T00:08:32Z Company chops down rainforest to produce 'sustainable' chocolate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0120cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A cacao grower with roots in Southeast Asia’s palm oil industry has set up shop in the Peruvian Amazon. The CEO of United Cacao has told the international press that he wants to change the industry for the better, but a cadre of scientists and conservation groups charge that United Cacao has quietly cut down more than 2,000 hectares of rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.988978 -73.048351 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14259 2015-01-14T15:34:00Z 2015-01-14T16:09:09Z Road building spree hurts Amazon birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/1214_stewart_roads_biodiversity3_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A city-dwelling crow in Japan strategically drops a nut near a crosswalk into moving traffic. The bird then waits patiently for the light to turn before dropping down to the road and collecting the cracked nut in safety. While this type of animal behavior is fascinating, such adaptation to the human world is not possible for most bird species. Brittany Stewart -5.530500 -52.613134 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14258 2015-01-13T23:25:00Z 2015-01-14T18:12:37Z Deforestation climbing - along with fears - in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/inpe-deter-oct14150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazil Amazon continues to pace well ahead of last year's rate, shows data released today by Imazon. According to the Brazilian NGO's analysis of satellite data, 1,373 square kilometers of rainforest was chopped down between August 2014 and December 2014, a 224 percent increase relative to the prior corresponding period a year before. Rhett Butler -11.599403 -55.322253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14229 2015-01-07T15:49:00Z 2015-01-07T15:55:11Z Time for a checkup: researchers examine the health of lowland tapirs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1229_taiper_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian tapir may get a bad rap in Brazil, where referring to someone as a 'tapir' essentially equates to calling them an 'ass,' but history has shown that this species is deserving of a lot more respect. These hardy 'living fossils' have survived multiple extinction events since the Eocene, yet their ability to survive the ongoing Anthopocene extinction remains uncertain. Tiffany Roufs -12.193784 -57.985572 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14227 2015-01-07T01:59:00Z 2015-01-07T02:09:54Z Peru’s first environment minister dies at 74 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0107egg150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Born to a poor family of coffee farmers on the western slopes of the Andes in 1940, Antonio Brack Egg became one of Peru’s most respected ecologists and led the country in protecting its profound biodiversity. Completing his doctorate at the university of Wurzburg, Germany in 1973, Brack Egg started his life of Peruvian public service with the Ministry of Agriculture, working to reestablish threatened populations of vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), a relative of the llama, honored as Peru’s national animal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14202 2014-12-29T14:32:00Z 2014-12-29T14:35:08Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/okavango/150/okavango_452.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what was widely seen as a possible breakthrough in the battle to coordinate some kind of response to global warming, China and the U.S. announced joint actions this year. On November 12th, the world's two most powerful countries surprised pretty much everyone by announcing that they would work together to tackle the crisis. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14193 2014-12-23T22:52:00Z 2014-12-23T22:52:35Z Ecuador sends aid money back to Germany over planned rainforest visit A visit to a rainforest slated for oil drilling has blown up into a diplomatic row between Ecuador and Germany. Ecuador has said it will no longer partner with Germany on environmental issues and will return aid money, after the South American government discovered that German legislators were attempting to visit the much-embattled Yasuni National Park. Jeremy Hance -1.198430 -75.591814 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14190 2014-12-23T17:22:00Z 2014-12-23T17:34:53Z How a frog with a strange name is helping improve conservation in Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223_frog_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protecting the biodiversity of the Amazon basin is an immense undertaking, and to its credit the Brazilian government has a set procedure for doing so. However, there are gaps in the process that may prevent the authorities from fully protecting the species that call this place home. To investigate this, a recent study uses as an example the brilliant-thighed frog, a species that is found across the Amazon Basin—including the area surrounding the soon-to-be dammed Xingu River. Tiffany Roufs -2.764184 -55.485174 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14181 2014-12-22T16:12:00Z 2014-12-22T20:46:51Z Genetics study sheds light on Chile’s most endangered bird <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1222TCS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A member of the Furnariidae family, the small brown and beige bird possesses rusty “spine-like” tail feathers and inhabits densely vegetated areas. Scientists estimate the total population to range from 140 to 500 individuals. In 2012 the IUCN declared the Masafuera Rayadito to be a Critically Endangered species. Tiffany Roufs -33.776491 -80.800473 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/14169 2014-12-17T23:26:00Z 2014-12-18T17:36:13Z Amazonian peatlands store mega carbon Peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon store ten times the amount of carbon as undisturbed rainforest in adjacent areas, making them critical in the battle to fight climate change, finds a new study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -4.750255 -74.68802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14147 2014-12-12T17:57:00Z 2014-12-12T18:25:19Z Indigenous communities 'among the very few best protectors' of Peruvian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1212-thumb-herps_cnh_0269.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report examines the effects of timber harvesting, gold mining, agriculture, and oil and natural gas drilling that have been on the rise recently in the Peruvian Amazon, and states that ensuring indigenous land rights is a key tool in the fight to protect it. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.191016 -73.965620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:51Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14127 2014-12-07T23:23:00Z 2014-12-08T01:31:46Z Initiative to restore 50M acres of degraded Latin American ecosystems by 2020 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_siquirres_0578.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of governments and organizations today pledged to restore 20 million hectares (50 million acres) of degraded forests and ecosystems across Latin America by 2020 under an initiative that aims to curb boost rural incomes, fight climate change, and increase agricultural production. The effort is backed by $365 million from five impact investors. Rhett Butler -1.695767 -79.508271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14122 2014-12-05T17:51:00Z 2015-02-06T15:11:26Z How an indigenous community in Ecuador stood up to big oil - and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1205-thumb-Gualinga.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sarayaku, a Kichwa indigenous people numbering 1,200 from the Ecuadorian Amazon, won a historic court case in 2012. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the government of Ecuador must publicly apologize, consult with, and recompense the Sarayaku for allowing oil exploration by Argentine Compañia General de Combustibles on their territory without prior consultation Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.867031 -78.073814 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14115 2014-12-04T21:26:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:03Z Giant stone face unveiled in the Amazon rainforest (video) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1204.stoneface.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new short film documents the journey of an indigenous tribe hiking deep into their territory in the Peruvian Amazon to encounter a mysterious stone countenance that was allegedly carved by ancient peoples. According to Handcrafted Films, which produced the documentary entitled The Reunion, this was the first time the Rostro Harakbut has been filmed. Jeremy Hance -12.820287 -71.013726