tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/tropical%20forests1 tropical forests news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T19:54:10Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15059 2015-06-30T19:49:00Z 2015-06-30T19:54:10Z Palm oil plantations used to 'reforest' parts of Brazil despite being wildlife deserts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0630-thumb-Alexander%20C%20Lees_Red-breasted%20Blackbird_Sturnella%20militaris_typical%20of%20young%20plantations%20copy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study systematically documented bird biodiversity within oil palm plantations, finding they contain fewer species than secondary forest and even cattle pasture. As oil palm grows as a commodity in Brazil – and can legally even be used to "reforest" land – how can a country that has made big gains in reducing deforestation in recent years balance this powerhouse industry with environmental welfare? Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.021837 -53.239355 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15051 2015-06-29T18:42:00Z 2015-06-30T21:02:54Z Big reserve expansion gives tigers a boost in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/1029-thumb-morgan-tiger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, there were thirteen times as many tigers in the world as there are today, ranging from Turkey across the Eurasian continent to the eastern coast of Russia. The 13 countries that contain the world’s last tigers today - a mere, 2,500 mature individuals - are challenged with increasing protected tiger habitat to prevent crowding and inbreeding, while facing extreme funding and space constraints. One state in India, however, has found a cost-effective way to give tigers more room. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.243857 75.764144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15008 2015-06-19T22:48:00Z 2015-06-19T22:53:02Z Many tropical species surprisingly resilient, if not actively persecuted <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5138.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Richard Corlett is the current Director of the Center for Integrative Conservation at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a former president of ATBC, and one of the keynote speakers for this year’s conference in Hawaii. Dr. Corlett recently spoke with Mongabay.com about some of the insights he’s gained from his research in tropical ecology and conservation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14908 2015-06-04T16:39:00Z 2015-06-17T00:39:33Z As mangroves disappear at 'an alarming rate,' conservationists urge more protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/panama/150/pan01-0602.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2010, the Jakarta Post reported that, according to a local NGO called People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries, Indonesia lost 2.2 million hectares of mangroves in less than 30 years. Conservationists hope Sri Lanka’s move to protect all its mangroves could help push other South and Southeast Asian mangrove range countries in the same direction. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.602338 81.757777 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14906 2015-06-04T15:37:00Z 2015-06-17T00:38:50Z Sri Lanka becomes first country to completely protect mangroves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi7517.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a press conference held in May 2015 in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, U.S.-based nonprofit Seacology, Sri Lanka-based NGO Sudeesa (formerly known as the Small Fisheries Federation of Sri Lanka) and the government of Sri Lanka announced a joint program that makes Sri Lanka the first country in the world to grant full protection to all its mangrove forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.405939 80.269129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14881 2015-05-29T19:18:00Z 2015-06-16T21:55:25Z Invasive predators, deforestation driving Tasmanian parrot over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529-thumb-swift-juvs-Swift%20and%20Dee-1303.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Tasmania lives the swift parrot (Lathamus discolour), a highly threatened bird found nowhere else in the world. New research published recently in Biological Conservation finds they are more at risk of extinction than previously thought, with introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and logging dealing two big blows to their remaining numbers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.631093 148.212457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14880 2015-05-29T17:54:00Z 2015-05-29T17:55:01Z First-of-its-kind mapping technique sheds new light on tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts have developed vegetation height maps for the entire tropics at very fine spatial scales. These first-of its-kind high resolution maps can help researchers estimate forest cover, monitor biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and manage and monitor timber. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.572850 106.235590 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14876 2015-05-28T22:53:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:03Z Proposed border checkpoint and road threaten critical Cambodian forest and wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tiger-hzell.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A proposed border checkpoint at Kbal Damrei, on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam, together with a new road leading up to it, may harm Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Protected Forest. The proposed border crossing is slated to be developed within Mondulkiri Protected Forest, in Eastern Cambodia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.941064 107.389641 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/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/14836 2015-05-21T08:35:00Z 2015-05-21T23:11:01Z Timber 'mass graves' uncovered as Malaysian authorities pursue illegal loggers A crackdown on illegal logging in Peninsular Malaysia's largest continuous forest complex has uncovered three timber 'mass graves' – burial sites where valuable logs have been stashed beneath tons of earth to hide evidence. The loggers apparently made haste in fleeing the hilly terrain where they left the timber. A joint operation by Malaysia's antigraft agency and Forestry Department found parts of logs sticking out of the ground and the red earth still unsettled, indications their quarry had hurriedly concealed the felled trees. Philip Jacobson 5.543306 101.341206 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14834 2015-05-20T20:51:00Z 2015-06-16T22:00:37Z Primary rainforest cleared for massive palm oil plantations in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0520-thumb-Nueva%20Requena%202%20Aerial-EIA-20150325-014.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 9,400 hectares of closed-canopy Amazonian rainforest has been removed for two oil palm plantations in the Peruvian region of Ucayali since 2011, according to scientists working for MAAP, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project. The two plantations are linked to Czech entrepreneur Dennis Melka. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.254681 -74.815350 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14828 2015-05-19T20:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:01:33Z High pressure: is U.S. policy deterring illegal wood imports? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some countries, such as the U.S., have imposed legislation at the consumer level, banning the import of illegally sourced wood through their borders. A new study finds that such legislation can be effective, with a 2008 amendment to the Lacey Act significantly reducing the influx of illegal wood into the U.S. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.580975 111.495203 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/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 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/14791 2015-05-12T19:38:00Z 2015-05-12T19:39:12Z Satellite data shows how deforestation is impacting our weather and our food <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4463.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The conversion of forests to cropland can drive local temperatures up or down by as much as a few degrees, according to a new report. Ironically, the authors write that these temperature fluctuations can lead to less productivity from the very same agricultural operations the forests were cleared to make way for. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.427806 -54.511761 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/14772 2015-05-08T14:25:00Z 2015-06-16T22:06:40Z Researchers find treasure trove of unique, threatened animals in Philippine forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0508-thumb-Schultz%20Pit%20Viper%203.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of more than 30 researchers is surveying the the forests of Cleopatra's Needle, on the Philippine island of Palawan. They have already found many endemic animals, and hope to use their findings to confer more protection to the region. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.189421 118.939178 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14726 2015-05-01T23:22:00Z 2015-06-16T22:26:20Z Brazilian Amazon nears deforestation threshold past which wildlife may crash, says study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study on the impact of forest loss on biodiversity, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that one-third of the Brazilian Amazon is headed toward or has just passed a threshold of forest cover beyond which species loss accelerates and is more damaging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.997211 -63.061583 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/14709 2015-04-29T16:13:00Z 2015-04-30T14:29:45Z Gov't officials permitted deforestation in Dominican Republic national park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423-thumb-burned-lizard-Miguel-Landestoy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In late 2014, an irregularity in the issuance of permits for agriculture-related deforestation was brought to light by an environmental conservation association working to curb deforestation within the park. On July 30, the Pedernales office of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources granted permission to local landowners to deforest an area within the National Park, close to an area that was being assessed for hutia and solenodon presence by a team of researchers. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.889287 -71.565668 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/14693 2015-04-27T19:55:00Z 2015-06-16T22:32:09Z Report: Borneo could save billions while still meeting conservation and development goals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The three nations that share Borneo could save themselves $43 billion by more closely coordinating their environmental conservation and economic development efforts, according to a report published in the journal Nature Communications. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.616066 114.725184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14690 2015-04-27T05:00:00Z 2015-04-27T05:02:03Z $100M study to look at how rainforests respond to climate change A new $100 million research project will examine how tropical forests interact with the planet's climate system. Rhett Butler 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/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14676 2015-04-22T22:01:00Z 2015-04-22T22:01:15Z Photo essay: the flying fox show <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.flyingfoxessay.IMG_7594.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rain or clear, wind or still, full moon or no. Every night thousands of flying foxes rise from a small mangrove island among the lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia. Around sunset the Sunda flying fox begin to stir in their roots&#8212;their stomachs waking them&#8212;until the boldest among them takes off into the sky. Jeremy Hance -8.606811 119.767311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14673 2015-04-22T16:38:00Z 2015-04-22T17:34:56Z Can shade-grown cocoa help conserve sloths? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.thumb.780px-Choloepus_hoffmanni_(Puerto_Viejo,_CR)_crop.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests support the greatest diversity of species in the world, yet we are rapidly destroying them. Most deforestation in the tropics is due to agricultural development and livestock production, the two greatest causes of declines in terrestrial biodiversity. However, one strategy that has been gaining attention for its potential to preserve biodiversity is shade-grown agriculture. Jeremy Hance 10.651773 -83.855896 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14652 2015-04-17T17:57:00Z 2015-06-16T21:52:39Z Recently discovered 'punkrocker' frog changes skin texture in minutes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-thumb-Skin%20texture%20variation%20in%20mutable%20rainfrog.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, two scientists discovered a tiny new frog species in the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve in north-central Ecuador. They took its photograph and nicknamed it the "punkrocker" frog because of spine-like projections coming out of its skin. For the next three years, they did not find the punkrocker again. But when they did re-discover it in 2009, the team found that the punkrocker had more tricks up its sleeve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.107630 -78.806133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14648 2015-04-16T18:06:00Z 2015-06-16T21:53:36Z Court rules deforestation of Peruvian rainforest for chocolate was legal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-thumb-iquitos-2.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regional court in Loreto, Peru recently ruled that the clearing of more than 2,000 hectares of forest by Cacao del Peru Norte for a plantation to grow cacao, the raw material behind chocolate, was legal, reported the investigative news site OjoPúblico on April 9. The ruling rejects contentions brought by Forestry Department that the company should have sought approval to clear the trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.981594 -73.054271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14622 2015-04-10T17:31:00Z 2015-06-16T21:54:35Z Scientists find new monkey with unique penis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0410-wl-macaque-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers were in for a surprise when they viewed footage from a remote and little-explored area of southeastern Tibet. Among the more than 700 photos of macaques, they spotted several with physical characteristics that hadn't been documented before; namely, genitals that were shaped and colored differently than other known macaques in the region. The scientists say these differences may make these macaques a new species. Morgan Erickson-Davis 29.371931 95.367662 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14606 2015-04-07T20:19:00Z 2015-04-09T18:18:16Z Condition of tropical forests 'worsening', could become 'critical' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/tropical-forest-loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World leaders are continuing to overlook the worsening condition of tropical forests despite the biome's vast potential to help mitigate climate change, support local livelihoods and ecosystem services, and stabilize global agriculture, warns a comprehensive review published by a body founded by Prince Charles. Rhett Butler 1.940683 18.371643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14597 2015-04-06T22:40:00Z 2015-04-06T22:48:41Z Palm oil companies, NGOs endorse new deforestation-limiting toolkit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0727.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forests not only house many of the world's species, but also much of its carbon. Now, a toolkit has been developed by a group of companies and organizations with the aim of helping other companies and NGOs identify High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests. The toolkit was endorsed last week by major NGOs and plantation companies in Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.788594 110.702850 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/14572 2015-04-01T22:44:00Z 2015-04-01T23:08:07Z Tropical soundscapes offer clues to forest and animal community health <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0828.atlantic.S._flavius_SP_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marine biologists were the first to continuously eavesdrop on marine mammals using a technique called passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). By simply listening to these animals' sounds, researchers could collect valuable information about animal population density and distribution, population health, and responses to human disturbance. Given the challenges of studying animal communities as they migrate across the sweep of the world's oceans, acoustic surveys gained popularity as a tool for gathering data from otherwise inaccessible study sites. Brittany Stewart -15.785149 -40.520196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14571 2015-04-01T17:06:00Z 2015-04-01T17:08:18Z Pollution from East Asia affecting air quality in Borneo's rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401-thumb-sabah_kinabatangan_0375.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds that industrial activities in East Asia are polluting the air in the rainforests of Borneo and that, once there, the pollutants could be traveling into the upper atmosphere and impacting Earth’s ozone layer. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.234472 116.230311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14556 2015-03-30T15:24:00Z 2015-03-30T15:55:57Z Large animals invaluable for tree-seed dispersal and regeneration of tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0318_bear_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of tropical forests in Southeast Asia have been degraded by logging, agriculture and other human uses, and their fauna have been decimated by hunting and the bushmeat trade. But if those degraded tropical forests are to recover naturally, they will need to rely on their remaining large wild animals to disperse large tree seeds, according to a new study. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14547 2015-03-27T19:02:00Z 2015-06-17T00:41:52Z Just how useful is forest restoration? New study seeks to find out <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9255.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Across the world, scientists estimate there are about two billion hectares of degraded forestland. In Indonesia alone, 25 million hectares of former logging concessions currently have no management, according to research. A study recently published in mongabay.com’s open access journal Tropical Conservation Science suggests this may represent an important opportunity for biodiversity conservation through restoration. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.208215 103.236197 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14539 2015-03-26T14:39:00Z 2015-06-17T00:40:33Z Mexico’s club mosses at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325-thumb-club-moss.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>All nine species of the club moss genus Phlegmariurus found in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico are at risk of extinction, according to a new study published in the journal Tropical Conservation Science. One of these species, P. orizabae, has not been recorded in the wild since 1854. Morgan Erickson-Davis 18.483162 -95.035593 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14529 2015-03-24T18:10:00Z 2015-03-24T18:13:24Z Reforestation programs may help reduce illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2014.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can the act of planting a tree change one’s attitude towards forests and conservation? Erica Pohnan, Hotlin Ompusunggu, and Campbell Webb, from the conservation NGO Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), set out to answer this question by evaluating the effectiveness of reforestation programs in and around Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.220408 110.136080 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14516 2015-03-20T15:22:00Z 2015-03-20T22:47:22Z Study finds roads in Southeast Asia may be devastating forests, wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0320-thumb-Large%20Indian%20Civet%20roadkill%20on%20state%20road%20156%20-%20WY%20Lam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Habitat loss and illegal hunting are leading drivers behind mammal population decline and extinction in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. But what's driving these drivers? Road infrastructure, according to research. Researchers conducted the first-ever comprehensive study examining the impacts of road infrastructure on mammal populations in Southeast Asia; their findings were recently published in PLOS One. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.083415 106.643333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14507 2015-03-18T16:15:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:30Z Discovery of 'Lost City' spurs conservation pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a 'lost city' below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country. Jeremy Hance 15.744008 -84.675660 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14494 2015-03-13T22:40:00Z 2015-03-13T22:45:01Z Scientists warn of global warming threat to temperate rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00192.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a new study published recently in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, researchers warn that temperate rainforests may be in for big changes in the face of global warming, and they recommend reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it's too late. Morgan Erickson-Davis 40.158450 -124.136958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14492 2015-03-13T16:58:00Z 2015-03-13T21:38:08Z Indigenous leaders present plan to gov't for Suriname's largest official protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313-thumb-2-suriname.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous leaders from southern Suriname took the first steps toward creating the South American country’s largest recognized protected area with a declaration to parliament on March 5. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.744582 -55.454840 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14489 2015-03-12T23:56:00Z 2015-03-13T00:03:17Z Newly discovered Brazilian bird may number fewer than 10 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-4-Cichlocolaptes%20mazarbarnetti%20photoart%20by%20Rolf%20Grantsau.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2002, a team of ornithologists at Murici in northeastern Brazil observed and recorded the call of a bird. At that time, the team believed they had chanced upon a rare bird previously described by other researchers as the Alagaos foliage-gleaner (Philydor novasei). Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.191697 -35.932137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14487 2015-03-12T20:18:00Z 2015-03-12T20:34:27Z New report: commercial agricultural expansion fueling illegal logging and land conflicts in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0312-thumb-Forest%20Trends_cleared%20forest%20for%20agribusiness%20concession%20in%20Tanintharyi%20Region.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Myanmar government has been allocating land for large-scale private agricultural businesses in the country’s biodiversity-rich forests at an alarming rate, according to a new report released by Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-profit organization. And these concessions may be fueling illegal timber harvests and intensifying land conflicts, the report alleges. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.353588 97.496193 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14483 2015-03-12T00:58:00Z 2015-03-12T00:59:02Z Local land rights may be in danger from push for palm oil in Liberia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rights of local and indigenous peoples aren’t being adequately protected in the drive for economic development, according to a report published in February by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a coalition of forest-oriented organizations. For a place like Liberia, reeling from both decades of persistent poverty and the recent Ebola epidemic, economic development seems critical at just about any cost. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.294388 -9.130614 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14480 2015-03-11T16:34:00Z 2015-03-11T16:36:35Z UN report warns of grave consequences if mangroves not protected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_1107.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), global destruction of mangrove forests impacts biodiversity, food security, and the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized communities in the world. Mangroves, which are forests of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs that lie along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics, are also invaluable carbon sinks. And we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them, says a recent report. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.525658 9.418032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14473 2015-03-10T20:06:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:01Z 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/14470 2015-03-10T18:00:00Z 2015-03-10T18:01:49Z Vicious circle: scientists warn peat fires, global warming may intensify each other <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1363.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published recently in Nature Geoscience warns of the consequences of increased smoldering fires as peatlands are drained to make land for agriculture, or dry up due to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.641515 102.328314 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14464 2015-03-06T18:07:00Z 2015-03-06T20:35:15Z New bird species confirmed in Sulawesi 15 years after first sighting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0306-thumb-streaked-flycatcher.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although it’s a hotspot of avian biodiversity, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been “poorly studied ornithologically,” according to a study published in the scientific journal PloS one. Case in point: the subject of the study, a new species of flycatcher first observed in 1997 but not formally described by scientists until November 2014. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.315497 120.042114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14459 2015-03-05T22:04:00Z 2015-03-05T22:33:30Z Firewood fervor may turn Zimbabwe into an 'outright desert' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0305-thumb-Baoobab_tree,_Masvingo_Province,_Zimbabwe.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In developing countries like Zimbabwe and in much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, fuelwood is a major source of energy for cooking and heating for people who can't afford electricity. A 2014 study published in Resources and Environment highlights the severity of this issue in Zimbabwe. Morgan Erickson-Davis -19.509553 30.471161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14457 2015-03-05T18:25:00Z 2015-03-05T18:27:18Z Somali charcoal: funding terrorism through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0371.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Militant terrorist group Al-Shabaab funds itself, in part, through the illegal production and sale of charcoal, turning Somalia’s trees into “black gold.” Because areas of the country controlled by the group aren’t accessible to researchers, it’s difficult to determine just how many trees are cut down to fuel Al-Shabaab’s violent agenda. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.918541 42.611172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14452 2015-03-04T17:11:00Z 2015-03-06T13:58:49Z Madagascar’s frog haven: rich, underexplored, threatened <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-1-thumb-Rhombophryne_matavy_FdAmbre_2008_IMG_0348_photo_F_Glaw.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is a treasure trove of frogs. Located off the east coast of Africa, this large island nation has more than 500 species of frogs, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Much of Madagascar’s rich biodiversity remains understudied. As researchers comb through the country’s forests, they continue to discover previously undescribed species of frogs, adding to Madagascar’s amphibian diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.441990 49.739407 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14450 2015-03-03T20:22:00Z 2015-03-30T22:38:33Z Researchers, locals work together to save Ethiopia's 'church forests' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-thumb-wall-builders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Presenting a workshop on ecosystem services to a roomful of priests in Ethiopia may seem like an unlikely scenario for a conservation biologist to end up in, but for Meg Lowman, it’s an essential part of spreading her passion for bottom-up conservation. “Canopy Meg,” as she’s fondly referred to by her colleagues, believes in the power of local communities to be part of the solution, often in ways that are more effective than researchers can make alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.795124 37.676432 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14449 2015-03-03T17:23:00Z 2015-05-16T19:55:47Z 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/14441 2015-02-27T18:06:00Z 2015-02-27T19:31:38Z Biofuels are bad news for forests, climate, food security, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_4665.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report from the World Resources Institute finds that dedicating land to the production of biofuels, a form of renewable energy made from plants, may undermine efforts to achieve a sustainable food future, combat climate change, and protect forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.497720 -63.127501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14440 2015-02-27T16:57:00Z 2015-02-27T19:19:14Z Reports slam Malaysian timber companies, urge reforms in forest management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0227-thumb-sarawak-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two international NGOs have called out Malaysia in recent months over the country’s widespread illegal logging. Malaysia has been accused of not doing enough to protect its diminishing forests and thwart the illicit timber trade, particularly in Sarawak, the site of the country’s worst deforestation. Lax oversight, endemic corruption and limited transparency have allowed for Malaysia’s forests to be plundered by both the government and the private sector. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.994144 114.270160 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14438 2015-02-26T22:56:00Z 2015-02-26T22:58:16Z Researchers propose improvements for Peru's protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0226-thumb-phasmid-peru-morgan.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a study published recently in PLOS ONE, researchers examined Peru's network of protected areas. They found that many of these don't exist in the areas most important for preserving the country's biodiversity and addressing its threats, and suggest alternatives to make the system more effective. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.616898 -73.076121 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14435 2015-02-26T19:05:00Z 2015-04-20T15:38:18Z 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/14432 2015-02-25T23:24:00Z 2015-02-27T17:03:31Z Reports blame illegal logging for felling Sarawak forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent report by the international affairs think tank Chatham House has highlighted Malaysia’s lack of progress in dealing with illegal logging, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency on the country’s sluggish approach to environmental policy reform. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.653982 114.292133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14427 2015-02-25T19:30:00Z 2015-02-26T19:21:38Z Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225fao-vs-kim-pan_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time. Rhett Butler -0.504437 27.230473 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/14423 2015-02-25T15:38:00Z 2015-02-26T16:57:05Z $7 million could save lemurs from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/madagascar_0591.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, scientists released an emergency three-year plan that they argued could, quite literally, save the world's lemurs from mass extinction. Costing just $7.6 million, the plan focused on setting up better protections in 30 lemur hotspots. However, there was one sticking point: donating to small programs in one of the world's poorest countries was not exactly user friendly. Jeremy Hance -13.846412 48.910876 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14419 2015-02-24T18:16:00Z 2015-02-25T00:12:49Z Critically endangered bird gets new addition to its reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-thumb-brush-finch-nbii.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unassuming brown bird, tiny both in body and population size, hovers on the edge of extinction as its habitat is cleared for agriculture and its nests are parasitized. In response, conservation organizations created a reserve expressly for the species' preservation in the late 1990s; now that reserve is being expanded to try to push one of the world's most endangered bird species farther back from the precipice. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.199193 -79.190149 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14417 2015-02-24T16:00:00Z 2015-02-25T15:17:59Z Locals lead scientists to new population of near-extinct reptile <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223.thumb.A-mro-villagers-with-a-King-Cobra-for-lunch_Photo_Chirag--Roy.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By the early Twentieth Century, the world had pretty much given up on the Arakan forest turtle, named after the hills where it was found in 1875 in western Myanmar. Now, this Lazarus reptile &#8212;which has been dubbed one of the 25 most threatened turtles on the planet &#8212;has more good news: researchers have documented an entirely new population where no one Jeremy Hance 21.483210 92.525138 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14415 2015-02-23T23:35:00Z 2015-06-18T16:35:54Z New Guinea rainforest being leveled for palm oil, revealing gaps in zero deforestation pacts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223ANJ_RSPO_WILMAR-POLICY_2FEB2015_BY_GREENOMICS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian palm oil firm is destroying rainforests in New Guinea despite high profile zero deforestation pledges from its customers, finds research by Greenomics-Indonesia. Landsat imagery acquired and analyzed by Greenomics shows that Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri (ANJ) is clearing high carbon stock forests in the southern part of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula in Indonesian New Guinea. Rhett Butler -1.807874 132.433094 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/14413 2015-02-23T15:42:00Z 2015-02-25T21:53:28Z Are small-scale hydro projects always greener? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0222.thumb.Impact-of-Kadmane-small-hydel-project-on-the-wet-evergreen-forests-of-Western-Ghats--South-India-Photo-Niren-Jain.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rising energy demand and global efforts to mitigate climate change have made renewable energy projects increasingly attractive. One widely known and well-developed source of renewable energy is hydroelectricity. However, past environmental campaigns against large dams have resulted in policy changes in some parts of the world, leading to an increasing number of small hydropower projects. Jeremy Hance 13.825588 74.900236 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14404 2015-02-20T18:39:00Z 2015-02-20T18:41:00Z Scientists sound the alarm on African palm oil investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-3760.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa’s people, forests and wildlife are in trouble if the mostly unbridled expansion of oil palm in West and Central Africa is allowed to continue unchecked, says an organization of African scientists. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.846424 12.366558 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14403 2015-02-20T17:15:00Z 2015-02-20T17:21:33Z Study finds local technicians effective at forest monitoring <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0220-Guyana_463.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An important part of REDD is accurate measurement of carbon stocks. In Guyana, members of native Amerindian communities have been recruited for data collection by Project Fauna, a joint initiative by researchers from different institutions and local indigenous leaders. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.447673 -59.260630 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14401 2015-02-19T23:33:00Z 2015-02-20T17:17:35Z Assessing carbon stock value of forests is tricky business, study finds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0219-Guyana_448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With financial incentives encouraging maintenance of carbon stocks and the increased popularity of carbon trading between countries, a forest has become economically a lot more than a clump of trees that supplements livelihoods. A forest now has an intrinsic value by just existing, a value that can be measured in economic terms. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.047219 -59.029917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14400 2015-02-19T19:20:00Z 2015-02-19T19:25:14Z Illicit timber feeds Indonesia’s industrial forestry sector, alleges new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2216.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Amid government schemes to curb illegal land clearing and systematically enhance a struggling legal wood certification system, a new report analyzing Indonesia’s forestry industry alleges that more than 30 percent of wood used by the country’s industrial forest sector is derived from illegal sources. But some say the report's analysis wasn't deep enough to support its claims. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.608558, 101.721319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14389 2015-02-17T21:27:00Z 2015-02-27T19:42:17Z Indigenous communities in Paraguay threatened by deforestation despite having land rights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0217-1-thumb-ayoreo-woman.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a report by Survival International, the existence of the isolated Ayoreo Totobiegosode people is critically threatened by cattle ranching firms that are destroying their last forest refuge. The report asserts Paraguayan law gives native people the rights to their traditional land. Yet, most of the land in Paraguay is privatized, making these laws in reality difficult to achieve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.074062, -59.029457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14382 2015-02-16T14:43:00Z 2015-02-20T16:24:08Z Sabah shocked by banteng poaching Malaysia's Daily Express recently published graphic photos of poachers in the Malaysian state of Sabah posing proudly with a number of illegally slaughtered large animals, including the incredibly rare and cryptic banteng. Wild, forest cattle, banteng are scattered across parts of Southeast Asia, but Borneo is home to a distinct subspecies: Bos javanicus lowi. Jeremy Hance 4.992757 118.267348 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14378 2015-02-13T18:27:00Z 2015-02-18T21:14:50Z Illegal logging still a big issue in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0213-thumb-cameroon-logging-truck.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cameroon is struggling to make progress in combatting illegal logging. Regulatory budgets are too thin to protect the country’s vast tracts of Congolian Rainforest. And demand domestically and abroad make the financial incentives for both the informal sector and Cameroon’s leaders too difficult to pass up, leading to an illicit timber trade beset with corruption. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.021553 12.245709 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14375 2015-02-12T20:54:00Z 2015-02-12T21:03:51Z Scientists, NGOs race to save 'Millennium Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212-thumb-agathis-australis-gerus.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a tiny area of an isolated archipelago in the southwest Pacific lives a unique tree species on the precipice of extinction. Recent research has shown it is declining dramatically, and mature individuals may be completely gone in 100 years. In response, environmental organizations and scientists are coming together to try and save New Caledonia's Millennium Trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -20.597506 164.775041 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14371 2015-02-11T18:44:00Z 2015-02-11T20:33:30Z Illegal logging contributed to deadly Malaysian floods, according to government minister <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0211-thumb-sabah_0001.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Heavy rains hit peninsular Malaysia in December, leading to severe floods that resulted in at least 21 deaths and the displacement of some 200,000 residents in the states of Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, and Terengganu. Now a minister with the federal government says he has proof that the flooding was caused in part by illegal deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.859060 101.911089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14355 2015-02-05T19:59:00Z 2015-02-06T05:19:47Z Pulpwood company may be denying Sumatran community rights to their land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205-2-thumb-authors-with-comm-leaders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For over a decade, a conflict has been brewing between the local community of Senyerang in Sumatra, Indonesia, and a major pulpwood plantation company, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), according to NGOs operating in the area. In 2004, Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry awarded a license to APP’s subsidiary, PT Wira Karya Sakti (WKS), to clear the village forests for acacia plantations to generate paper pulp. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.850476 103.057980 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/14342 2015-02-04T17:54:00Z 2015-02-04T17:58:50Z Communities create timber company to protect Sumatran forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0204-thumb-bibit-akasia.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>To reduce logging pressures on the surrounding forest, several villages in the Lampung province of Sumatra have been conducting an experiment in community managed timber plantations on public lands. For the last 10 years, instead of logging the forest, members of the local timber cooperative have planted thousands of seedlings such as white teak and acacia in and among the surrounding villages. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.222246 104.326170 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/14336 2015-02-03T18:59:00Z 2015-02-03T19:05:34Z Sulawesi communities build big, unique houses by sustainably managing forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0203-thumb-Toraja9.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Layuk Sarungallo sits in front of a large Tongkonan, the traditional house of the Toraja people characterized by sweeping roofs that resemble a boat or a buffalo horn arching toward the sky. The locals still use traditional construction methods, maintaining their houses with wood, bamboo and reeds. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.772964 119.965208 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14333 2015-02-03T17:03:00Z 2015-02-03T18:45:34Z Rapid development threatening traditional farms, forests in West Papua <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0203-thumb-arfak-ma6.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Through a system of community protected areas and family agricultural rotation, the indigenous people of Demaisi in West Papua have maintained their way of life and the health of the forest for as long as anyone can remember. But now this system is under threat as government-fostered development moves into the region. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.170768 133.887696 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/14326 2015-01-30T17:48:00Z 2015-02-02T19:57:27Z After 10 years vying for protection, Kalimantan community granted legal rights to community forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0130-thumb-Jernih-Setulang-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Perseverance, respect for their ancestors, and a knowledge that the clearing of the forest will result in environmental disaster for them have all helped the community remain solidified in their resistance. Instead of selling out, they created a Tana' Ulen, or community forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.424825 116.429937