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Latam Eco Review: Resistance, hope and camera traps

Capybaras, Colombia. Image by Rhett Butler for Mongabay

Capybaras, Colombia. Image by Rhett Butler for Mongabay

The recent top stories from Mongabay Latam, our Spanish-language service, include a call to cover climate change, the dangers of opposing Colombia’s largest hydropower plant, and the most inspiring conservation news of 2018.

‘We are not doing enough’: 25 media groups commit to cover climate change

“Journalists across the continent have a profound obligation to understand the science behind the entire planet’s transition to a different model of growth and development,” says a statement signed by 25 media organizations, including Colombia’s influential El Espectador and Bolivia’s El Deber newspapers, Argentine environmental magazine Claves 21, Peru’s, and Mexico’s Lado B. The editorial was published by each group, including Mongabay Latam.

Image that accompanied the statement on Instagram.

Camera traps: The most talked-about videos of 2018

Andean bears, jaguars, pumas, brocket deer and mountain tapirs were among the species captured on camera traps across Latin America last year. This important tool allows researchers to observe behavior without disturbing animals in remote zones and to learn more about their habits for conservation efforts. Last year Mongabay Latam shared videos from the forests of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, among others.

On an expedition to the Amazonas region, photographer Michael Tweddle captured this image of a golden Andean bear for the first time. Image by Michael Tweddle.

Top 10 most popular conservation interviews

A researcher who lived alone on an island for two years to study penguins; the park ranger who’s worked in Peru’s Manú National Park for 33 years; and the photographer who traveled for 83 days in the most remote site in Chile’s Katalalixar reserve were among the most popular interview subjects by Mongabay Latam last year. Teddy Cairuna Cauper, a Shipibo indigenous leader in Peru who is an expert in drones; Luis Añez, the former manager of the Zulia Metropolitan Zoo in Venezuela; and Walter Bustos, the former director of Galapagos National Park were also featured.

Carlos Gaymer was instrumental in the creation of four marine reserves in Chile. Image by Esmoi.

The year of living dangerously: Colombia’s Hidroituango murders

The murder last year of two activists who opposed Hidroituango, Colombia’s largest hydropower project, illustrates the threats that environmental defenders continued to face in the country last year. In 2017, an environmental activist was murdered every two days in Colombia. By February last year, the death toll had surpassed 29 victims.

Hidroituango will be the largest hydropower project in Colombia. Image by EPM.

Top 8 most inspiring conservation stories

A biocultural map created by Waorani communities in Ecuador in defense against oil drilling was the most inspiring conservation story picked by Mongabay Latam’s editorial team for 2018. Other stories included female rangers who protect sea turtle eggs on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast; and a Peruvian reserve that has helped bring vicuñas back from the brink of extinction.

Turtles nesting in La Flor-San Juan del Sur Wildlife Refuge in Nicaragua. Image by Paso Pacifico.

Top 8 ocean stories

An investigation into an iron ore company accused of polluting Chile’s ocean; an interview with the researcher who first found 337 beached whales in Tierra del Fuego; and the revelation that one in three Peruvians unknowingly eat shark were chosen by the Mongabay Latam team for their popularity and news value.

The seas off Peru are home to 66 shark species; at least 32 are caught by small-scale fishers. Image courtesy of Oceana.

Read these stories in Spanish via Mongabay Latam here.

Banner image of capybaras in Colombia by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.

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