tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/wildlife1 wildlife news from mongabay.com 2014-07-24T09:01:45Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13579 2014-07-24T07:22:00Z 2014-07-24T09:01:45Z Lush Cosmetics launches bid to protect pangolins Lush Cosmetics has agreed to support an effort to battle trafficking of the Sunda pangolin. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13571 2014-07-22T19:21:00Z 2014-07-22T19:36:04Z Rare bird paradise protected in war-torn Colombian mountain range (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0722.Lachrymose-Mountain-tanager---Rainforest-Trust.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of conservation groups have established a new protected area in one of Latin America's most neglected ecosystems: the Colombian-side of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range. Following decades of bloody conflict and rampant deforestation, experts say only five percent of rainforest is left on the Colombian side of this embattled mountain range. Jeremy Hance 10.687218 -72.792140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13568 2014-07-22T13:05:00Z 2014-07-22T13:15:47Z Monkeys use field scientists as human shields against predators <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0722.kenya_1125a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you're monkey&#8212;say a samango monkey in South Africa&#8212;probably the last thing you want is to be torn apart and eaten by a leopard or a caracal. In fact, you probably spend a lot of time and energy working to avoid such a grisly fate. Well, now there's a simpler way: just stick close to human researchers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13555 2014-07-17T13:12:00Z 2014-07-17T13:29:45Z Scientists can now accurately count polar bears...from space Polar bears are big animals. As the world's largest land predators, a single male can weigh over a staggering 700 kilograms (about 1,500 pounds). But as impressive as they are, it's difficult to imagine counting polar bears from space. Still, this is exactly what scientists have done according to a new paper in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 69.108688 -78.727886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13548 2014-07-16T15:22:00Z 2014-07-16T15:41:48Z Please, don't hate us: celebrating World Snake Day! <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0716.1.-Julie-Larsen-Maher_1202_Reticulated-Python-Hatchling_04-09-05_hr.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Okay, so some snakes are so venomous they can kill you in 30 minutes (the inland taipan). And, yes, the fact that they don't have legs is a little creepy to many people. And, admittedly, some scientists have even suggested that humans may have an inborn genetic terror of snakes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13541 2014-07-15T17:38:00Z 2014-07-15T21:34:44Z Coastal wildlife paradise declared biosphere reserve in Argentina (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/DSC_0216-elephant-seal-fight-corr-red-by-G-Harris-WCS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists are celebrating the announcement that UNESCO has dubbed Argentina's Península Valdés a biosphere reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program (MBA). A hatchet-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Southern Atlantic Ocean, the world's newest biosphere reserve is home to a hugely-diverse collection of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. Jeremy Hance -42.617791 -63.944092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13526 2014-07-11T18:15:00Z 2014-07-11T18:16:28Z Downturn in shade-grown coffee putting forests, wildlife, people at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0711-coffee-kids.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Growing coffee in the shade of forests allows native vegetation to persist, thereby reducing the impact of agriculture on the natural landscape. While production of shade-grown coffee surged in recent decades, it is now experiencing a decline. A recent study analyzed the situation, finding that the growth of consumer demand and changes in coffee agronomy has caused coffee production and management to change drastically. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.313004 108.168753 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13516 2014-07-09T17:26:00Z 2014-07-09T19:23:54Z Cats' best friend? A new role for guard dogs in South Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0709-dogfam-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While there has been a surge of recovery and reintroduction programs to combat predator decline, human population growth and limited protected areas have led to increased rates of human-wildlife conflicts in many regions of the world. A study published recently tested the ability of trained guarding dogs to protect livestock in South Africa and found it to be highly effective, protecting humans and predators alike. Morgan Erickson-Davis -31.401423 21.651473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13512 2014-07-09T12:59:00Z 2014-07-09T17:20:02Z Stuff of fairy tales: stepping into Europe's last old-growth forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0709.bison-bialowieza-forest-photo-by-lukasz-mazurek-wildpoland-com-07.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There is almost nothing left of Europe's famed forests, those that provided for human communities for millennia and gave life to the world's most famous fairytales. But straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, the Bialowieza Forest is Europe's last lowland old-growth forest, parts of which have never been cut by man. Jeremy Hance 52.776516 23.876829 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-07-08T15:34:21Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13488 2014-07-03T16:12:00Z 2014-07-03T16:23:59Z A children's book inspired by murder: the 25th anniversary of 'The Great Kapok Tree' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0703-kapok4-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>“The Great Kapok Tree” was written by Lynne Cherry in response to the murder of Brazilian environmental activist Chico Mendes, who was assassinated by a rancher in 1988 in Brazil. Mendes’ murder was a significant international incident galvanizing support for environmental activists working to protect the Amazon forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.759474, -55.773275 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13485 2014-07-02T18:00:00Z 2014-07-02T18:06:56Z Horror movie bugs: new wasp species builds nest with the bodies of dead ants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0702.face.bonehousewasps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If ants made horror movies this is probably what it would look like: mounds of murdered ants sealed up in a cell. The villain of the piece&#8212;at least from the perspective of the ants&#8212;is a new species of spider wasp, which scientists have aptly dubbed the bone-house wasp (Deuteragenia ossarium) in a paper released today in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 29.425675 118.365562 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13476 2014-07-01T16:13:00Z 2014-07-24T17:04:46Z On babies and motherhood: how giant armadillos are surprising scientists (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0701.giantarmadillo.thumb.1-(24).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Until ten years ago scientist's knowledge of the reproductive habits of the giant armadillo&#8212; the world's biggest&#8212; were basically regulated to speculation. But a long-term research project in the Brazilian Pantanal is changing that: last year researchers announced the first ever photos of a baby giant armadillo and have since recorded a second birth from another female. Jeremy Hance -15.849044 -56.212636 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13472 2014-06-30T20:30:00Z 2014-06-30T20:39:58Z Super cute, but tiny, elephant-relative discovered in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0630.Micus_side_Jack-Dumbacher.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forget marsupials, the world's strangest group of mammals are actually those in the Afrotheria order. This superorder of mammals contains a motley crew that at first glance seems to have nothing in common: from elephants to rodent-sized sengi. Last week, scientists announced the newest, and arguably cutest, member of Atrotheria: the Etendeka round-eared sengi. Jeremy Hance 20.7281 14.1305 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13448 2014-06-25T19:39:00Z 2014-06-26T16:06:40Z Size matters: small animals abundant in fragmented forests, large animals not <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-fox-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Habitat fragmentation and hunting are both distinct critical issues facing forests today that require their own countermeasures. Yet, much research has chosen to conflate the two, potentially leading to ineffective ecosystem management. According to a new study, the interaction of both factors can contradict the effects of hunting and fragmentation alone, revealing a research and management gap that urgently needs to be filled. Morgan Erickson-Davis -16.988974 -59.330647 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13435 2014-06-24T13:54:00Z 2014-06-24T14:03:53Z Scientists: Neotropical otter should not be considered threatened The Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) should not be considered threatened by the IUCN Red List, according to a new paper in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science. Currently the species is listed as Data Deficient, but was considered Vulnerable until 2000. Jeremy Hance 0.571782 -60.307379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13433 2014-06-24T12:50:00Z 2014-06-26T17:21:07Z Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0623.800px-Neophron_percnopterus_-_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 11 AM on Thursday, 27 February 2014, Angoulou Enika was lying hidden in the tall grass on the side of a large water hole in the Sahel region of Niger. He was staying as quiet as he could while aiming his custom-made rifle at an Egyptian vulture which had landed nearby to drink from the water. He took a breath, held it and fired. The large bird fell to its side. Jeremy Hance 13.718000 10.483320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13424 2014-06-23T14:54:00Z 2014-06-23T15:07:27Z Regional court kills controversial Serengeti Highway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/tz_2210.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Serengeti ecosystem got a major reprieve last week when the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) ruled against a hugely-controversial plan to build a paved road through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. The court dubbed the proposed road 'unlawful' due to expected environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance -1.795750 34.992381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-06-23T16:54:02Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13415 2014-06-19T17:07:00Z 2014-06-19T17:24:45Z Chinese fishermen get the ultimate phone video: a swimming tiger Two Chinese fishermen got the catch of their lives...on mobile phone this week. While fishing in the Ussuri River, which acts as a border between Russia and China, the fishermen were approached by a swimming Siberian tiger. These tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are down to around 350-500 animals. Jeremy Hance 46.941552 134.076563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13411 2014-06-18T19:41:00Z 2014-06-18T19:42:33Z Billy Joel welcomes New York Senate's approval of ivory ban Musician Billy Joel has weighed in on the ivory bill making its way through the New York State legislature. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13399 2014-06-17T18:18:00Z 2014-06-17T21:09:28Z Camera trap captures first ever video of rarely-seen bird in the Amazon...and much more <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1107.Mosquera--Nocturnal-curassow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A camera trap program in Ecuador's embattled Yasuni National Program has struck gold, taking what researchers believe is the first ever film of a wild nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum). In addition, the program has captured video of other rarely-seen animals, including the short-eared dog and the giant armadillo. Jeremy Hance -0.637516 -76.148906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13391 2014-06-16T01:05:00Z 2014-06-16T01:35:25Z Researchers discover new species of wolf snake in Cambodia, name it after an Australian zoo A new species of wolf snake has been discovered in the Cardamom Mountains of southeast Cambodia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13389 2014-06-15T16:29:00Z 2014-06-15T16:39:17Z Grenades, helicopters, and scooping out brains: poachers decimate elephant population in park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0615.Massacre-site,-photograph-taken-from-aircraft.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last two months, poachers have killed 68 African elephants in Garamba National Park representing around four percent of the population. Poachers have used helicopters, grenades, and chainsaws to undertake their gruesome trade, and, for the first time, the park has recorded that the criminals are removing the elephant's brains in addition to tusks and genitals. Jeremy Hance 4.245461 29.167766 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13376 2014-06-12T22:30:00Z 2014-06-13T14:36:44Z What's an environmental journalist to do with so much good news? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.800px-Virunga_National_Park_Gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As an environmental journalist covering stories from the great Arctic ice melt to the rhino poaching crisis in Africa, you'll forgive me if sometimes in the morning&#8212;before I turn my computer on&#8212;I have a sudden desire to spend a few extra minutes in bed or have a leisurely breakfast with my daughter or just sit in the back yard with a cup of tea and a good book. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13370 2014-06-11T16:54:00Z 2014-06-11T17:02:23Z Oil overthrow: Soco to suspend operations in Virunga National Park after sustained campaign by WWF <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.Rugendo_in_bukima.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a surprise announcement, British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world's Critically Endangered mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups led by WWF. Jeremy Hance -0.176648 29.550871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13368 2014-06-11T13:58:00Z 2014-06-12T23:44:10Z PhD students 'thrilled' to rediscover mammal missing for 124 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.newguineabigearedbat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1890 Lamberto Loria collected 45 specimens&#8212;all female&#8212;of a small bat from the wilds of Papua New Guinea. Nearly 25 years later, in 1914, the species was finally described and named by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, who dubbed it the New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene) after its massive ears. But no one ever saw the bat again. Jeremy Hance -10.127639 148.861417 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13367 2014-06-10T16:55:00Z 2014-06-10T18:11:35Z Despite poaching, Indian rhino population jumps by 27 percent in eight years The world's stronghold for Indian rhinos&#8212;the state of Assam&#8212;has seen its population leap by 27 percent since 2006, despite a worsening epidemic of poaching that has also seen 156 rhinos killed during the same period. According to a new white paper, the population of Indian rhinos in Assam hit 2,544 this year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13362 2014-06-09T15:54:00Z 2014-06-09T18:44:52Z New species has its anus behind its head <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.2.-An-image-of-the-new-species-showing-the-lack-of-eyes.-This-specimen-had-its-flesh-cleared-and-researchers-stained-the-bones-to-show-the-skeleton.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the dark caves of southern Indiana in the United States, scientists have discovered a new species of cavefish that are blind, pinkish, and have their anus behind their heads. This peculiar new cavefish is the first to be described in North America in 40 years, and researchers have named it <i>Amblyopsis hoosieri</i> or Hoosier cavefish. Jeremy Hance 38.134448 -86.097954 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13361 2014-06-09T14:02:00Z 2014-06-09T21:19:36Z Bears, cats, and mystery mammals: camera traps in 'paper park' prove its worth protecting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0609.habitatid.Sun-bear.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Can a single photograph change the fate of a park? A new conservation group, HabitatID, believes so, and is putting this belief into action. Setting up camera traps in Cambodia's Virachey National Park, the group hopes that photos of charismatic and endangered species will help reinvigorate protection for a park that has been abandoned by conservation groups and underfunded by the government. Jeremy Hance 14.297357 107.049167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13347 2014-06-05T20:16:00Z 2014-06-05T21:55:57Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Work locally, relentlessly, and, if necessary, ignore the government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0605.fredriksson.Gabriella_bear-skull.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1997, Gabriella Fredriksson, then a young PhD student, was studying sun bears in East Kalamantan, Indonesia, when massive forest fires broke out in the park. 'It quickly became clear that there was no government agency, NGO, or private company in the area interested in assisting putting out these fires, which were threatening to burn down the entire reserve,' Fredriksson told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 1.459166 117.013715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13344 2014-06-04T22:00:00Z 2014-06-04T23:17:57Z Colorful bird on remote Indonesian islands should be classified as distinct species, say scientists A colorful bird found on the Wakatobi islands south of Sulawesi in Indonesia is sufficiently distinct from birds in nearby areas to be classified as a unique species, argue scientists writing in the current issue of the open-access journal <i>PLoS ONE</i>. Rhett Butler 5.738292 123.921291 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13331 2014-06-03T19:22:00Z 2014-06-03T19:43:04Z Four donors pledge $80 million for big cats Four donors from around the world have pledged $80 million to cat conservation group, Panthera. The money will fund projects working to preserve tigers, lions, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, snow leopards, and cougars over ten years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13327 2014-06-02T21:35:00Z 2014-06-02T21:46:28Z Animals bark, screech, and howl for action on global warming (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0603.zoosfor350.cheetah.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 22nd, zoos and aquariums around the world creatively called for action on global warming. Dubbed 'Show the Wild Face of Climate Change,' the event involved over 70 institutions from 25 countries on all seven continents. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13319 2014-05-30T14:49:00Z 2014-05-30T16:00:53Z Culling elephants leaves an impact on their social structure decades later <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0530-Youngsters-McComb-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers from the University of Sussex studied and compared the social behavior of two elephant herds: one that was severely affected by 1970 and 1980 culling operations and a herd that was relatively unaffected. In their results, the researchers found that the elephant herds that had experienced culling operations exhibited signs of post traumatic stress disorder. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.653080 37.259142 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13318 2014-05-29T22:33:00Z 2014-06-10T15:20:52Z Acoustic surveying: new monitoring technique beats bats at their own game <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0529-myotis-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Species monitoring can be a very invasive form of research. However, the use of non-invasive techniques made possible through advancements in technology has been on the rise. A new study published in <i>Ecological Informatics</i> examined one such technique: an innovative and inexpensive non-invasive monitoring tool, known as acoustic surveying. Morgan Erickson-Davis 55.368002 10.424015 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13314 2014-05-29T20:30:00Z 2014-05-29T20:38:06Z Facebook, Twitter to carry 24 hours of live rainforest animal sightings on Monday <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.orang.rhettbutler.mongabay.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Next week, the rainforests of Southeast Asia are going live. On June 2nd, 11 organizations in the region will be posting lives video, photos, and wildlife sightings over 24 hours on Facebook and Twitter (see #rainforestlive). Dubbed Rainforest: Live, the initiative hopes to raise awareness of quickly vanishing ecosystems and species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13283 2014-05-25T03:42:00Z 2014-05-25T13:04:40Z Indonesia's forests increasingly empty of wildlife Tropical rainforests are the most species-rich ecosystems in the world. Each square kilometer has hundreds of tree species, birds and mammals, and countless other creatures. The idea that these forests could be devoid of animal life therefore seems ludicrous. Still the disappearance of birds, mammals and other species is what is happening in Indonesian forests. The 'empty forest' syndrome is becoming an increasing reality in this country. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13274 2014-05-23T00:26:00Z 2014-05-23T00:30:03Z Emerald-faced reptile discovered in Ecuador Researchers have discovered a colorful lizard species in the cloud forests of northwestern Ecuador. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13265 2014-05-22T06:55:00Z 2014-05-22T12:42:11Z Olinguito, tinkerbell, and a dragon: meet the top 10 new species of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Saltuarius_front.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Out of around 18,000 new species described and named last year, scientists have highlighted ten in an effort to raise awareness about the imperiled biodiversity around us. Each species&#8212;from a teddy-bear-like carnivore in the Andes to a microbe that survives clean rooms where spaceships are built&#8212;stands out from the crowd for one reason or another. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13258 2014-05-21T14:25:00Z 2014-05-22T12:45:48Z Epidemic of elephant calf kidnapping hits Sri Lanka, say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.elephant.IMG_0412-(1).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Sri Lanka, an underground wildlife racket has been simmering for a while. And a recent incident has brought it to a boil. On the night of May 1st, a gang attempted to kidnap a wild elephant calf out of the Uduwalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. But tipped off by alert villagers, police and wildlife officers foiled the abduction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13251 2014-05-20T14:53:00Z 2014-05-20T14:58:19Z Chinese officials seize nearly a thousand dead pangolins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.pangolin.seizure.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In one of the biggest pangolin trafficking cases yet recorded in China, officials confiscated 956 animals stuffed into 189 coolers this month. The dead pangolins were being carried overland in a truck, with the total haul weighing four tonnes. The traffickers were caught at the border of Guangdong Province. If convicted, they face up to ten years in jail. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13250 2014-05-19T17:34:00Z 2014-05-19T17:42:49Z Camera trap catches rare feline attempting to tackle armored prey (VIDEO) One of the world's least known wild cats may have taken on more than it could handle in a recent video released by the Gashaka Biodiversity Project from Nigeria's biggest national park, Gashaka Gumti. Jeremy Hance 7.541676 11.606435 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13248 2014-05-19T12:51:00Z 2014-05-23T12:16:27Z The quiet zoo revolution <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0518.zoos.Tara-Harris-tiger-hand-paw-photo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A quiet zoo revolution has also been occurring over the past twenty-five years. Rather than just stand by the sidelines as species vanish in the wild, many zoos have begun funding on-the-ground conservation efforts. This revolution signals a widening realization by zoos of the positive&#8212;and wholly unique&#8212;role they could play in combating global mass extinction. But are zoos doing enough? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13229 2014-05-15T15:36:00Z 2014-05-15T15:47:50Z Chinese poachers caught with 555 marine turtles, most dead (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0515.20140509-pawikan-fishing-vessel-pnp-01-carousel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, eleven Chinese fishermen were caught by Filipino police with 555 marine turtles, 378 of which were dead. Officials in the Philippines have since released the 177 living turtles. But the incident has sparked an international standoff between the Philippines and China as the Chinese nationals were arrested in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Jeremy Hance 9.784405 118.175065 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13228 2014-05-15T13:33:00Z 2014-05-15T16:09:03Z Vazaha is Malagasy for 'gringo': Conservation, national identity, and conflicting interest in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0514.madagascar_lemurs_0026.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the fight for conservation Madagascar is without a doubt on the front lines. Not only are most of its forests already destroyed&#8212;with a mere 10% of intact forest remaining at best—but there's still much to lose in what remains. Madagascar is listed as having the third highest primate diversity in the world, with all primate species being lemurs. Jeremy Hance -21.380718 47.867544 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13225 2014-05-14T13:04:00Z 2014-05-14T14:32:38Z Scientists uncover new marine mammal genus, represented by single endangered species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0514.hawaiianmonkseal.sullivan_-(48).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This is the story of three seals: the Caribbean, the Hawaiian, and the Mediterranean monk seals. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the Caribbean monk seal was a hugely abundant marine mammal found across the Caribbean, and even recorded by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage, whose men killed several for food. Jeremy Hance 21.725869 -160.086787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13214 2014-05-13T13:21:00Z 2014-05-13T13:33:06Z Scientists release odd-looking, Critically Endangered crocodiles back into the wild (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0513.gahrial.release.4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among the largest and most endangered crocodilians in the world, the gharial is on the verge of extinction today. This harmless fish-eating crocodile has fewer than 200 adult breeding individuals in the wild, their numbers having plummeted rapidly over the past few decades. But among this gloom and doom, conservationists have been working tirelessly to reinstate the wild populations. Jeremy Hance 26.463621 84.602580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13213 2014-05-12T22:26:00Z 2014-05-13T20:26:45Z Leonardo DiCaprio donates $1M toward ending elephant poaching crisis Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped up with a $1 million donation to the Elephant Crisis Fund, an initiative that aims to stop the ivory poaching crisis. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13206 2014-05-12T13:15:00Z 2014-05-12T14:16:28Z After 89-year absence a wolf returns to Iowa...and is shot dead DNA testing has confirmed that an animal shot in February in Iowa's Buchanan County was in fact a wolf, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This is the first confirmed gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the U.S. state since 1925. Jeremy Hance 42.488864 -91.948882 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13197 2014-05-08T15:46:00Z 2014-06-02T17:31:19Z China pledges $10 million to combat poaching in Africa The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. Jeremy Hance 9.000698 38.741573 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13160 2014-05-01T14:48:00Z 2014-05-01T15:07:17Z Bambi in the 21st Century: roe deer not adapting to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0430.IMG_6002.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once almost extinct in parts of Europe in the late 17th century, the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) eventually bounced back, and how: today, it is one of the most widespread deer in Europe. But will its luck dry out in the future? A new study published in PLoSBiology suggests that while roe deer populations are still increasing, it may not be adapting to climate change. Jeremy Hance 48.026433 0.339682 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13159 2014-05-01T13:05:00Z 2014-05-01T14:44:34Z Saudi Prince kills two percent of global population of endangered bird <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0501.712px-Prince_Sultan_bin_Abdulaziz_02.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a three week hunting safari between January 11th and 31st of this year, Saudi Arabian Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his party allegedly shot down 2,100 Asian Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in Balochistan, Pakistan. Scientists aren't certain how many Houbara bustards survive today, but their best estimate is around 100,000 and declining. Jeremy Hance 28.391298 65.162563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13156 2014-04-30T19:44:00Z 2014-04-30T20:00:36Z Featured video: elephant advocates ask Antiques Roadshow to stop appraising ivory The 96 Elephants campaign has asked the television program, Antiques Roadshow, to stop airing appraisals of ivory, even if it is antique. To help convince the PBS program, the campaign produced a satiric video capturing not the worth of ivory, but its cost. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13152 2014-04-30T13:19:00Z 2014-04-30T13:31:20Z Fish-terrorizing, prehistoric-looking turtle actually three species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0430.RS10188_Alligator_Snapping_Turtle_Garry_Tucker_USFWS_Wikimedia_CC_BY_FPWCjpg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>So, you're a fish swimming in a river in Louisiana. Hungry, you see a little worm wiggling out from the river bed. You swoop in for the ambush only to have that little worm turn into the gaping maw of some prehistoric-looking monster out of fishy nightmares. You've been duped: it's too late to escape as the beast's jagged jaws close over you. Meet the alligator snapping turtle...or one of several species. Jeremy Hance 30.385472 -83.171660 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13148 2014-04-29T14:28:00Z 2014-04-29T14:41:24Z Chinese who eat endangered species could face over ten years in jail It's well known that much of the world's massive illegal wildlife trade ends up in China, including poached tigers, pangolins, and bears. But now those who order pangolin fetuses, tiger blood, or bear bile at a restaurant or market may see significant jail time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13139 2014-04-28T14:45:00Z 2014-04-30T17:01:59Z The remarkable story of how a bat scientist took on Russia's most powerful...and won <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0427.bat.2014_SurenGazaryan_06.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a country increasingly known for its authoritarian-style crackdown on activists and dissidents, a bat scientist has won a number of impressive victories to protect the dwindling forests of the Western Caucasus. For his efforts, Gazaryan was awarded today with the Goldman Environmental Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for the environment, along with five other winners around the world. Jeremy Hance 43.585309 39.730085 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13103 2014-04-21T16:28:00Z 2014-04-23T19:17:34Z Small monkeys take over when big primates have been hunted out in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_0864.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The barbecued leg of a spider monkey might not be your idea of a sumptuous dinner, but to the Matsés or one of the fifteen tribes in voluntary isolation in Peru, it is the result of a successful hunt and a proud moment for the hunter's family. However, a spider monkey tends to have only a single infant once every 30 months, which necessarily limits the number of adult monkeys available to subsistence hunters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13094 2014-04-17T14:00:00Z 2014-04-17T14:15:55Z New relative of the 'penis snake' discovered in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0417.caecilian.myanmar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new species of limbless amphibians, known as caecilians, in Myanmar. Dubbing the species, the colorful ichthyophis (Ichthyophis multicolor), the researchers describe the new amphibian in a recent paper published in Zootaxa. The world's most famous caecilian is the so-called penis snake (Atretochoana eiselti) which was rediscovered in Brazil in 2011. Jeremy Hance 16.738413 95.217346 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13082 2014-04-15T14:33:00Z 2014-04-15T16:36:29Z Malaysia imperils forest reserves and sea turtle nesting ground for industrial site (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.tanjung.panorama.5.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plans for an industrial site threaten one of Malaysia's only marine turtle nesting beaches and a forest home to rare trees and mammals, according to local activists. Recently, the state government of Perak approved two industrial project inside Tanjung Hantu Permanent Forest Reserve. But activists say these will not only cut into the reserve, but also scare away nesting turtles from Pasir Panjang. Jeremy Hance 4.315341 100.562672 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13074 2014-04-14T13:32:00Z 2014-04-14T13:46:05Z Riddled with tumors: another blow to the Sumatran rhino species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.sumatranrhino.Pict4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation for Sumatran rhinos suffered another blow last week, only days after Suci&#8212;one of only ten rhinos in captive breeding efforts&#8212;died at Cincinnati Zoo. Scientists in the Malaysian state of Sabah revealed that a newly captured female, Iman, suffers from an assortment of tumors in her uterus, hugely complicating reproduction efforts. Jeremy Hance 5.171292 118.639881 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13066 2014-04-10T16:00:00Z 2014-04-13T14:32:24Z Giant ibis, little dodo, and the kakapo: meet the 100 weirdest and most endangered birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0410.Philippine-Eagle-3_ALAIN-PASCUA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The comic dodo, the stately great auk, the passenger pigeon blotting out the skies: human kind has wiped out nearly 200 species of birds in the last five hundred years. Now, if we don't act soon we'll add many new ones to the list: birds such as the giant ibis, the plains-wanderer, and the crow honeyeater. And these are just a few of the species that appear today on the long-awaited EDGE list. Jeremy Hance -21.538109 165.761064 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13035 2014-04-04T16:42:00Z 2014-04-07T14:34:28Z The incredible shrinking salamander: researchers find another casualty of climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0404-lips-montanus-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is contributing to a slew of global problems, from rising seas to desertification. Now, researchers have added another repercussion: shrinking salamanders. Many amphibian populations around the world are currently experiencing precipitous declines, estimated to be at least 211 times normal extinction rates. Scientists believe these declines are due to a multitude of factors such as habitat loss, agricultural contamination, and the accidental introduction of a killer fungus, among others. Morgan Erickson-Davis 37.933742 -79.776046 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13021 2014-04-02T17:44:00Z 2014-04-03T14:43:51Z How locals and conservationists saved the elephants of Mali amidst conflict and poverty <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0402.mali.elephants.trunk.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At a time when Africa's elephants are facing a relentless poaching crisis, one community has managed to safeguard their elephants in the most unlikely of places: Mali. In a country that has suffered from widespread poverty, environmental degradation, and, most recently, warfare, a collaboration between conservationists and the local community has kept Mali's elephants from extinction. Jeremy Hance 15.662697 -2.605392 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13016 2014-04-01T16:40:00Z 2014-04-01T17:01:01Z Chile turns to owls to combat fatal disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0401.800px-Owlets.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This year the Hanta virus has already caused 15 deaths in Chile, according to reports in The Santiago Times. It isn't always fatal&#8212;the 15 deaths were of a total of 36 cases over six months&#8212;but the symptoms are severe. Those affected experience flu-like symptoms, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and trouble breathing. But now Chile is using a novel method to fight the disease: owls. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13014 2014-04-01T15:24:00Z 2014-07-21T19:57:54Z Death of young Sumatran rhino shouldn't discourage captive breeding efforts say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Terri-and-Suci-2009.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over two weeks ago, conservationists in the Malaysian state of Sabah managed to finally catch a wild Sumatran rhino female after months of failed attempts. But following such hopeful events, comes bad news thousands of miles away: a young female rhino, named Suci, died over the weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo. Jeremy Hance 39.142873 -84.508063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12992 2014-03-27T15:49:00Z 2014-03-30T18:54:23Z Kala: the face of tigers in peril <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.kala.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1864, Walter Campbell was an officer in the British Army, stationed in India when he penned these words in his journal: "Never attack a tiger on foot&#8212;if you can help it. There are cases in which you must do so. Then face him like a Briton, and kill him if you can; for if you fail to kill him, he will certainly kill you." In a stroke of good fortune for the tiger, perceptions in India have changed drastically since Campbell's time. Tiger hunting is now banned and conservationists are usually able to rescue the big cats if they become stranded while navigating increasingly human-occupied areas. But is this enough to save the tiger? Jeremy Hance 21.168602 79.645198 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12982 2014-03-25T19:43:00Z 2014-03-25T20:42:19Z Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.cinereous_vulture-01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (<i>Ectopistes migratorius</i>) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of vulture from Southeastern Asia retain the dubious distinction of having had the most rapid population crash of any avian fauna. They might not have begun with numbers as large as the passenger pigeon, but within the space of a single decade, their populations were reduced by 96 to 99 percent. Jeremy Hance 25.365863 78.632792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12979 2014-03-25T15:00:00Z 2014-03-26T13:40:55Z Long lost mammal photographed on camera trap in Vietnam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.rooseveltsmuntjac.SUNP0044.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1929, two sons of Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy Junior and Kermit) led an expedition that killed a barking deer, or muntjac, in present-day Laos, which has left scientists puzzled for over 80 years. At first scientists believed it to be a distinct species of muntjac and named it Roosevelts' muntjac (Muntiacus rooseveltorum), however that designation was soon cast into doubt with some scientists claiming it was a specimen of an already-known muntjac or a subspecies. The problem was compounded by the fact that the animal simply disappeared in the wild. No one ever documented a living Roosevelts' muntjac again&#8212;until now. Jeremy Hance 20.004510 105.065916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12977 2014-03-24T19:31:00Z 2014-03-24T19:59:04Z Over 9,000 primates killed for single bushmeat market in West Africa every year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0324.bushmeat.tcs.monkeys.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past 25 years, West Africa's primates have been put at risk due to an escalating bushmeat trade compounded with forest loss from expanding human populations. In fact, many endemic primates in the Upper Guinea forests of Liberia and Ivory Coast have been pushed to the verge of extinction. To better understand what’s happening, a recent study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science investigated the bushmeat exchange between these neighboring countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12974 2014-03-24T18:43:00Z 2014-03-24T19:04:51Z Bizarre, endangered bird discovered in high densities The turkey-sized, noisy, fruit-feasting guans are arguably one of the strangest wildlife sightings in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Ancient animals, these birds are members of the Cracidae family&#8212;which also include equally-odd currasows and chachalacas&#8212;and are actually distantly related to megapode, or mound-building, birds of Australiasia. A new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science looks at a particularly endangered guan: the Cauca gaun (<i>Penelope perspicax</i>). Jeremy Hance 3.291219 -76.752808 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12975 2014-03-24T17:19:00Z 2014-03-24T20:27:50Z Indonesia's orangutan action plan failing to save great red apes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0892.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In December 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Indonesia’s Strategy and Action Plan for National Conservation of Orangutans. Quoting the president from his speech, 'this will serve as a blueprint for our efforts to save some of our most exotic but endangered wildlife.' Furthermore, the president said that 'the Orangutan action plan formally endorses Indonesia’s commitment to orangutan conservation as expressed in 2005 when Indonesia signed the Kinshasa Declaration on the Protection of Great Apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.' Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12973 2014-03-24T13:29:00Z 2014-03-24T14:33:53Z Meet Iman: the Sumatran rhino's newest hope for survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0323.iman.Picture2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hopes for one of the world's most imperiled megafauna rose this month when wildlife conservationists succeeded in catching a female Sumatran rhino named Iman in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The female, which experts believe to be fertile, has since been successfully transferred via helicopter to the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary where experts plan to mate her with the local male, Tam. Located in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary is an uncompleted semi-wild enclosure and home to one of several last-ditch efforts to save the vanishing species from extinction. Jeremy Hance 4.936987 117.673531 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12957 2014-03-20T15:06:00Z 2014-03-20T15:20:59Z Panda lemur making a comeback <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0311.Andriantantely-greater-bamboo-lemur-%C2%A9-Hery-Randriahaingo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's biggest populations of greater bamboo lemurs (<i>Prolemur simus</i>)&#8212;sometimes known as the panda lemur&#8212;has doubled in just three years, giving conservationists new hope that the species can be kept from extinction. With the recent arrival of twenty babies, a community conservation project run by the Aspinall Foundation has boosted the local population to over 100 individuals in Andriantantely, one of Madagascar's only surviving lowland rainforests. Greater bamboo lemurs are currently categorized as Critically Endangered, though they were once believed extinct until hidden populations were uncovered in the 1980s. Jeremy Hance -18.700073 48.801227 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12952 2014-03-19T20:35:00Z 2014-03-19T21:04:28Z Scientist discovers a plethora of new praying mantises (pictures) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0319.mantises.70197.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite their pacific name, praying mantises are ferocious top predators with powerful, grasping forelimbs; spiked legs; and mechanistic jaws. In fact, imagine a tiger that can rotate its head 180 degrees or a great white that blends into the waves and you'll have a sense of why praying mantises have developed a reputation. Yet, many praying mantis species remain little known to scientists, according to a new paper in ZooKeys that identifies an astounding 19 new species from the tropical forests of Central and South America. Jeremy Hance -12.970571 -69.553499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12948 2014-03-18T16:52:00Z 2014-03-18T19:04:08Z Several Amazonian tree frog species discovered, where only two existed before <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0318.amazonfrogs.Image-3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>We have always been intrigued by the Amazon rainforest with its abundant species richness and untraversed expanses. Despite our extended study of its wildlife, new species such as the olinguito (<i>Bassaricyon neblina</i>), a bear-like carnivore hiding out in the Ecuadorian rainforest, are being identified as recently as last year. In fact, the advent of efficient DNA sequencing and genomic analysis has revolutionized how we think about species diversity. Today, scientists can examine known diversity in a different way, revealing multiple 'cryptic' species that have evaded discovery by being mistakenly classified as a single species based on external appearance alone. Jeremy Hance -12.356977 -71.375915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12941 2014-03-17T20:21:00Z 2014-03-24T12:56:05Z Blame humans: new research proves people killed off New Zealand's giant birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0317.800px-Euryapteryx.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Moas were a diverse group of flightless birds that ruled over New Zealand up to the arrival of humans, the biggest of these mega-birds stood around 3.5 meters (12 feet) with outstretched neck. While the whole moa family&#8212;comprised of nine species&#8212;vanished shortly after the arrival of people on New Zealand in the 13th Century, scientists have long debated why the big birds went extinct. Some theories contend that the birds were already in decline due to environmental changes or volcanic activity before humans first stepped on New Zealand's beaches. But a study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds no evidence of said decline, instead pointing the finger squarely at us. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12939 2014-03-17T13:53:00Z 2014-03-18T16:11:02Z Mother of God: meet the 26 year old Indiana Jones of the Amazon, Paul Rosolie <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0316.rosolie.interview.10.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Not yet 30, Paul Rosolie has already lived a life that most would only dare dream of&#8212;or have nightmares over, depending on one's constitution. With the Western Amazon as his panorama, Rosolie has faced off jaguars, wrestled anacondas, explored a floating forest, mentored with indigenous people, been stricken by tropical disease, traveled with poachers, and hand-reared a baby anteater. It's no wonder that at the ripe age of 26, Rosolie was already written a memoir: Mother of God. Jeremy Hance -12.418030 -69.268917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12934 2014-03-14T18:43:00Z 2014-03-15T22:08:19Z Frog creates chemical invisibility cloak to confuse aggressive ants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0313frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The African stink ant creates large underground colonies that are home to anywhere from hundreds to thousands of ants, and occasionally a frog or two. The West African rubber frog hides in the humid nests to survive the long dry season of southern and central Africa. However, the ant colonies are armed with highly aggressive ant militias that fight off intruders with powerful, venomous jaws. So how do these frogs escape attack? Rhett Butler 11.818965 0.663815 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12925 2014-03-14T14:04:00Z 2014-03-21T13:35:23Z A Turtle's Tale: researchers discover baby turtles' kindergarten (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0314turtle150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kate Mansfield, at her lab in the University of Central Florida, is holding a baby loggerhead turtle, smaller than her palm, painting manicure acrylic on its shell. When the base coat dries out, she glues on top a neoprene patch from an old wetsuit with hair extensions adhesive. Finally, she attaches a satellite tracker on top, the size of a two "party cheese" cubes, with flexible aquarium silicone, powered by a tiny solar battery. Now the little turtle is ready to be released back into the ocean. Jeremy Hance 27.785146 -65.912109 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12921 2014-03-13T04:45:00Z 2014-03-13T05:08:19Z Photos: Weird aquatic lizard discovered in mountain streams of Peru A 'new' species of lizard has been described from the cloud forests of Peru's Manu National Park, reports SERNANP, the Peruvian National Park Service. Rhett Butler -12.012454 -71.765873 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12918 2014-03-12T18:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:00:00Z Conservationists catch wild Sumatran rhino, raising hope for world's most endangered rhinoceros <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0312.crop.sabah_407.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists have succeeded in catching a wild Sumatran rhino in the Malaysia state of Sabah in Borneo, according to local media reports. Officials are currently transferring the rhino, an unnamed female, to a rhino sanctuary in Tabin National Park where experts will attempt to mate it with the resident male, Tam. The Sumatran rhino (<i>Dicerorhinus sumatrensis</i>) is one of the world's most imperiled species with less than 100 individuals left. Jeremy Hance 4.964906 117.690075 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12915 2014-03-11T16:28:00Z 2014-03-11T16:36:05Z Scientists spy on whales from space Although whales are the biggest animals on the planet, scientists have found in difficult to count them. But a new study in PLOS ONE may change this: researchers tested the idea of counting whales using high resolution satellite imagery. Employing a single image from the WorldView2 satellite, scientists went about counting a pod of southern right whales in the Golfo Nuevo off the coast of Argentina. Jeremy Hance -42.685240 -64.562625 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12907 2014-03-10T20:34:00Z 2014-03-10T20:42:00Z Islamic clerics issue 'fatwa' against poaching, declare the illegal wildlife trade 'haram' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9236.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s Islamic clerics drew praise from conservation groups last week after the top clerical body in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country issued a <i>fatwa, </i>or religious decree, against poaching and wildlife trafficking. The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) announced the <i>fatwa </i>on Tuesday, declaring the illegal wildlife trade to be <i>haram</i>, or forbidden under Islamic law. The <i>fatwa</i> forbids Indonesia’s Muslims from “all activities resulting in wildlife extinction” and is meant in part to help support existing national laws protecting endangered species, which are poorly enforced and have done little to prevent poaching. Rhett Butler -6.185611 106.806915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12900 2014-03-10T14:38:00Z 2014-03-10T14:49:10Z Rare Birds of North America – book review Rare Birds of North America, written by renowned birders Steve N. G. Howell, Ian Lewington, and Will Russell, is a technical tour de force. Its technical expertise is exact and passionate. Reading Rare Birds of North America will simply make you a better birder and better naturalist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12876 2014-03-05T17:05:00Z 2014-03-05T19:06:25Z Rhino with bullet in its brain and hacked off horn wanders for days before being put down <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0405.poachedrhino.kruger.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, visitors in Kruger National Park came on a horrifying sight of the poaching trade: a rhino, still alive, with its horn and part of its face chopped off. The gruesome photo of the young rhino went viral and sent South African authorities scrambling. Five days after the sighting, South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced they found the rhino and put it out of its misery. Jeremy Hance -25.041240 31.488159 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12871 2014-03-04T14:04:00Z 2014-03-04T14:22:46Z Javan rhino population jumps by over 10 percent The Javan rhino population has increased by over ten percent from 2012 to last year, according to new figures released by Ujung Kulon National Park. Using camera traps, rangers have counted a total of 58 Javan rhinos, up from 51 in 2012. Although the species once roamed much of Southeast Asia, today it is only found in Ujung Kulon National Park in western Javan and is known as one of the most imperiled mammals on the planet. Jeremy Hance -6.772353 105.281181 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12870 2014-03-04T14:03:00Z 2014-03-04T14:36:23Z Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record – book review Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record reaches into your imagination and draws you closer to the final days of a variety of extinct animals on Earth. Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record is filled with poignant and powerful first-hand accounts, photographic records, and illustrations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12852 2014-02-28T19:17:00Z 2014-02-28T19:24:42Z South Africa loses nearly 150 rhinos to poachers so far this year Since the first of the year, South Africa has lost 146 rhinos to poachers or approximately 2.5 rhinos every day. This is a slight dip from last year's poaching rate, which hit 1,004 for the whole year or 2.75 a day. South Africa is home to more rhinos than any other country on the planet, but the populations have been hit hard by poachers in recent years seeking rhino horn. Jeremy Hance -24.246965 31.517944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12851 2014-02-28T17:20:00Z 2014-02-28T17:37:21Z Palm oil plantations allegedly poison seven Critically Endangered elephants in Sumatra Wildlife officials suspect foul play in the deaths of seven Sumatran elephants on the outskirts of Tesso Nilo National Park. Officials stumbled on the corpses of one female elephant, five young males, and one male calf in mid-February. Although the males had their tusks hacked off, the officials suspect the elephant were poisoned in revenge for disturbing illegal palm oil plantations inside the park. Jeremy Hance -0.252685 101.712685 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12840 2014-02-27T15:48:00Z 2014-02-27T16:02:11Z Birds of the Serengeti – book review Birds of the Serengeti: And Ngorongoro Conservation Area by Adam Scott Kennedy may be the best birding book available covering the general safari region for northwestern Tanzania and southern Kenya. Filled with firsthand accounts, excellent photographs, and broken down into chapters by habitats, Birds of the Serengeti: And Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the guidebook for the broader non-scientific community. Jeremy Hance -2.246129 34.642181 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12824 2014-02-25T18:24:00Z 2014-02-27T11:01:06Z Lady Gaga gets bitten by venomous primate, sparking outrage over loris trafficking <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0225lorisvsgaga150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the musical artist, Lady Gaga, was 'nipped' by the world's only venomous primate, a slow loris, in a misguided attempt to use the animal in a new music video. After it bit the musician, the idea of using the primate in the video was dropped. This was just as well, according to loris expert Anna Nekaris, who says that slow lorises have become increasingly endangered worldwide by the illegal pet trade after people have seen them on YouTube videos. Rhett Butler 14.40808 106.100035 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12816 2014-02-24T11:10:00Z 2014-02-26T14:16:01Z Why are the tropics so rich with life? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/animals/150/animals_04213.jpg"" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Descending the latitudinal ladder to the tropics, you would likely notice a few things: increasingly equivalent stretches of day and night, warmer weather and beachgoers with more intense sunburns. You may also notice an abundance of plant and animal life. Generations of scientists since the days of Darwin and Wallace have observed that species richness increases as one moves toward the equator. This holds true for nearly every animal group, including micro-organisms, marine invertebrates, insects, amphibians, birds and mammals. But why is this? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12815 2014-02-23T00:08:00Z 2014-02-24T23:58:07Z If Indonesia can't protect its orangutans, why doesn't it just 'sell' them? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0922.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It is obvious that at the moment Indonesia neither has the political commitment nor ability to safeguard its dwindling populations of orangutans. Despite its Presidentially supported Action Plan to stabilize all remaining wild populations by 2017, orangutan habitats in Sumatra and Borneo are disappearing as rapidly as ever. Rhett Butler 0.727825 111.834898 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12804 2014-02-21T14:50:00Z 2014-02-21T14:53:01Z Indonesia pledges to protect manta rays <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0222mantaray150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a move signaling their commitment to CITES agreements on international trade of plants and animals, the Indonesian government declared two species of manta ray 'protected' under Indonesian law. Decree Number 4/KEPMEN-KP/2014 issued by Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries states that two manta ray species, Manta birostris and Manta alfredi, now enjoy full protection throughout their entire life cycle. The decree explicitly extends that protection to all parts of their body. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12789 2014-02-19T15:28:00Z 2014-02-19T15:34:22Z Animals of the Serengeti – book review Animals of the Serengeti: And Ngorongoro Conservation Area by Adam Scott Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy is an easy-to-use guidebook that is also very readable. The region covered by the book is the Greater Serengeti area bounded in the west by Lake Victoria and the east by Lake Manyara in Tanzania, and in the north by southern Kenya. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12786 2014-02-18T14:02:00Z 2014-02-18T14:09:28Z Conservation groups launch new whistleblower site for wildlife and forest crimes Welcome to Wildleaks: a new website that aims to give the global public a secure and anonymous platform to report wildlife trafficking and illegal deforestation. The illegal wildlife trade has become one of the world's largest criminal activities in recent years, decimating elephants, rhinos, tigers, primates, and thousands of lesser known species. Meanwhile, illegal logging is rampant in many parts of the world, imperiling biodiversity, undercutting locals, and robbing governments of revenue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12783 2014-02-17T19:05:00Z 2014-02-17T19:45:39Z Scientists discover new gecko hanging-on in single forest fragment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0217.newgecko.srilanka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of day gecko that is the largest in its genus (<i>Cnemaspis</i>) to be found in Sri Lanka. To date, it has been observed only within the Rammalakanda Reserve in southern Sri Lanka, an area spanning just 1,700 hectares, raising questions about the viability of this population and hence the species' long-term prospects. Jeremy Hance