- January 2020 was a record-setting traffic month for Mongabay with more than 11.2 million pageviews across Mongabay.com and Mongabay.co.id.
- Below are the 10 news.mongabay.com stories that racked up the most traffic during the month.
- This list does not include stories from our Indonesia, Latam, India, or Brazil bureaus.
January 2020 was a record-setting traffic month for Mongabay with more than 11.2 million pageviews across Mongabay.com and Mongabay.co.id. Below are the ten news.mongabay.com stories that racked up the most traffic during the month.
Women from the Xingu Territory unite against threats from Bolsonaro administration
(12/18/19) Written by Maria Fernanda Ribeiro – 694,270 pageviews.
- In May 2019, some 200 representatives from 16 different ethnicities gathered for the first women’s summit in the Xingu Indigenous Territory’s in the state of Mato Grosso. Feeling under threat from policies regarding native peoples under the Jair Bolsonaro administration and tired of their community roles being restricted to domestic tasks, the women met to discuss ways to occupy leadership roles alongside men and, in doing so, gain strength to protect their territory.
- Even though many men in the Xingu still disapprove of female empowerment, the event itself already led to changes in local gender relationships: During the summit, some domestic partners took responsibility for household tasks and childcare while the women were away. In the village where the event was held, the men took over traditional female jobs like collecting food, fishing and cooking for the hundreds of women present.
- This is a particularly delicate time in the region: 147 square kilometers (57.8 square miles) of the forest were destroyed in the Xingu Socio-environmental Biodiversity Corridor between July and August 2019 — 172% more than occurred during the same period last year. A mosaic composed of 21 indigenous reserves and nine conservation units, the corridor is home to one of Earth’s largest concentrations of environmental diversity.
Eu / Chinese soy consumption linked to species impacts in Brazilian Cerrado: study
(12/24/19) Written by Sarah Sax – 188,390 pageviews.
- The Brazilian Cerrado, the world’s largest tropical savanna, is a biodiversity hotspot with thousands of unique species and is home to 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity.
- However, half of the Cerrado has already been converted to agriculture; much of it is now growing soy which is exported abroad, particularly to the European Union (EU) and China, primarily as animal feed. But tracing soy-driven biodiversity and species losses to specific commodities traders and importing nations is challenging.
- Now a new groundbreaking study published in the journal PNAS has modeled the biodiversity impacts of site-specific soy production, while also linking specific habitat losses and species losses to nations and traders.
- For example, the research found that the consumption of Brazilian soy by EU countries has been especially detrimental to the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), which has lost 85 percent of its habitat to soy in the state of Mato Grosso.
Tool use in puffins may point to ‘underestimated’ intelligence in seabirds
(1/8/20) Published under under Mongabay’s generic byline – 187,981 pageviews.
- A camera trap in Iceland captured video of an Atlantic puffin using a stick to scratch itself.
- The discovery, along with a similar observation in Wales in 2014, is the first evidence of tool use in seabirds.
- The findings suggest that seabirds like puffins may be more intelligent or possess greater problem-solving skills than once thought.
Photos: Top 15 new species of 2019
(12/26/19) Written by Shreya Dasgupta – 183,796 pageviews.
- In 2019, Mongabay covered several announcements of new-to-science species.
- The “discovery” of a new-to-science species is always an awe-inspiring bit of news; the outcome of dogged perseverance, months or years of field surveys, and long periods of sifting through hundreds of museum records.
- In no particular order, we present our 15 top picks.
Agroforestry ‘home gardens’ build community resilience in southern Ethiopia
(12/5/18) Written by Tesfa-Alem Tekle – 129,426 pageviews.
- The village of Bule is believed to be the birthplace of traditional “home garden” agroforestry in Ethiopia.
- Farmers here practice this ancient multi-storied agroforestry system — the growing of trees, shrubs and annual crops together in a forest-mimicking system — around their homesteads, hence the name home garden.
- Trees provide fruit, timber, fodder or soil-building properties and shade for mid-story crops like coffee and enset, with vegetable and medicinal herbs growing on the forest floor.
- Farm families are more food secure, because the system provides economic, ecological and environmental attributes and provide year-round and marketable harvests.
Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worried
(1/22/20) Written by Nanditha Chandraprakash – 107,268 pageviews.
- A plan to plant 2.42 billion trees by the Isha Foundation along the Cauvery River has attracted the chagrin of some scientists.
- While scientists say the project is well-meaning, they don’t believe it will cure the Cauvery River’s ills as promised.
- The Isha Foundation has yet to announce a number of details of the project, including what tree species will be planted.
- India’s rivers are suffering from numerous issues, but researchers contend mass tree planting is too simplistic to fix them all.
2019: The year Sri Lanka’s stunning new species came to light (Commentary)
(1/6/20) Written by Amila Prasanna Sumanapala – 106,987 pageviews.
- In 2019, biodiversity-rich Sri Lanka yielded up more than 50 species new to science, most of them endemic to the Indian Ocean island.
- Description of invertebrates scaled a new high with 32 new species discoveries recorded in a single year.
- The newly described species are mostly range-restricted species known from very limited localities that require immediate conservation efforts.
- This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.
Protecting India’s fishing villages: Q&A with ‘maptivist’ Saravanan
(1/10/19) Written by Mahima Jain – 97,920 pageviews.
- Fishing communities across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are fighting to protect their traditional lands as the sea rises on one side and residential and industrial development encroaches on the others.
- To support these communities, a 35-year-old local fisherman is helping them create maps that document how they use their land.
- By creating their own maps, the communities are taking control of a tool that has always belonged to the powerful.
- Their maps allow them to speak the language of the state so they can resolve disputes and mount legal challenges against industries and government projects encroaching on their land and fishing grounds.
Palm oil, fire pushing protected areas in Honduras to the ‘point of no return’
(12/31/19) Written by Leonardo Guevara and Lesly Frazier – 88,736 pageviews.
- According to the Honduran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), 190,000 hectares of oil palm are being cultivated in Honduras. They extend from the Cortés department to the Colón department along the country’s Atlantic coast.
- African oil palm has taken over 20 and 30 percent of the land in Punta Izopo National Park and Jeanette Kawas National Park, respectively.
- In 2016, a fire in Jeanette Kawas National Park consumed 412 hectares of land. Fire also damaged Punta Izopo National Park in August 2019.
Indonesian man jailed for smuggling 7,000 ‘living fossil’ horseshoe crabs
(12/3/19) Written by Ayat S. Karokaro – 83,795 pageviews.
- A court in Indonesia has sentenced a boat captain to 15 months in jail and fined him $3,500 for attempting to traffic thousands of dead horseshoe crabs to Thailand.
- All three horseshoe crabs found in Indonesian waters are protected under the country’s laws, but conservationists say the illegal trade continues largely unchecked.
- Horseshoe crabs have existed for nearly half a billion years, but today face rapidly declining populations across their range as a result of overfishing for use as food and bait, production of biomedical products derived from their blood, and habitat loss from coastal development and erosion.