- February 2020 set a record in terms of traffic across Mongabay.com and Mongabay.co.id, averaging 369,000 visitors per day.
- Below are the 15 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.
February 2020 set a record in terms of traffic across Mongabay.com and Mongabay.co.id, averaging 369,000 visits per day.
Below are the 15 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.
(1/26/20) Written by Mongabay.com – 432,602 pageviews.
- In an effort to curb further spread of the deadly Coronavirus, China has temporarily banned the sale of wildlife.
- The virus outbreak that has killed 56 people in China has been traced to a market that sells wildlife.
- NGOs have embraced the move, and are calling for it to be made permanent.
- This comes as China prepares to host the 2020 Convention on Biological Diversity, a major conservation congress that aims to curb the current extinction crisis, in October.
(12/18/19) Written by Maria Fernanda Ribeiro – 197,594 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.
(1/22/20) Written by Nanditha Chandraprakash – 132,665 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.
(1/20/20) Written by Rosamaria Loures;,Sue Branford* – 98,714 pageviews.
- In 2013, during the building of the Teles Pires dam in the Brazilian Amazon, the Teles Pires Hydroelectric Company (CHTP) dynamited Karobixexe (Seven Rapids), a sacred site of the Munduruku, Apiaká and Kayabi peoples. Located just outside an indigenous reserve, it received no government protection.
- Also during construction, the firm removed funeral urns from a sacred site without indigenous permission and refused to return them. In December, 70 Munduruku occupied the Natural History Museum in Alta Floresta in Mato Grosso state, and took back the 12 funeral urns, plus other artifacts of theirs.
- The construction of the Teles Pires dam and destruction of Karobixexe both occurred without prior consultation of the Mundurku as required under law according to the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169, of which Brazil is a signatory.
- Other human remains were found by CHTP and 270,000 artifacts were removed to which the Munduruku now have no access. They have also been barred from another sacred site, Dekoka’a (Monkey Hill) impacted by the construction of the São Manoel Hydroelectric Power Station, also located on the Teles Pires River.
(1/18/20) Written by Rodolfo Chisleanschi – 91,405 pageviews.
- Officially established in October 2014, Argentina’s Impenetrable National Park partially opened to the public in early 2018.
- The park is home to an estimated 600 species of vertebrates including jaguars and giant anteaters. Conservation organizations and Argentina’s National Parks Administration are planning on reintroducing marsh deer to the park, which have been driven to local extinction in most of their Argentinian range.
- Impenetrable National Park is located in the largely semiarid Gran Chaco ecoregion. The Chaco is one of the most deforested areas on the planet, losing more than 2.9 million hectares (7.2 million acres) of its forest between 2010 and 2018. Argentina is home to 60% of the Chaco – but it’s the site of 80% of Chaco deforestation as farmers clear more and more land for cattle and soy.
- Park officials say hunting is also taking a toll on wildlife, and satellite imagery reveals wildfire burned through more than 1,000 hectares of park forest in late 2019.
(12/5/18) Written by Tesfa-Alem Tekle – 89,173 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.
(1/6/20) Written by Amila Prasanna Sumanapala – 84,192 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.
(12/26/19) Written by Shreya Dasgupta – 81,521 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.
(12/24/19) Written by Sarah Sax – 77,762 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.
(2/15/20) Written by Dilrukshi Handunnetti – 71,314 pageviews.
- Identifying the feeding habits and foraging preferences of pangolins is key to informing Sri Lanka’s pangolin conservation efforts, a new study says.
- It shows that forests are the preferred foraging sites for the island’s endangered Indian pangolins, and that rubber plantations come second.
- With forests shrinking, policymakers should consider maintaining rubber plantations and similar preferred foraging habitats for long-term pangolin conservation, the study’s authors say.
- The study also identifies termites rather than ants as pangolins’ favorite food — a finding with lessons for rescue and captive-breeding centers that currently serve pangolins an artificial diet short on natural feeds.
(11/21/19) Written by Mongabay.com – 71042 pageviews.
- In Nepal, fewer than 100 mature adult gharials are estimated to remain, with only one population in the Narayani and Rapti Rivers of Chitwan National Park known to be breeding until recently.
- Now, researchers have recorded nesting sites and more than 100 gharial babies in yet another site, in Bardia National Park in southwest Nepal.
- The last time gharials were recorded breeding in Bardia was in 1982.
(2/4/20) Written by Rhett A. Butler – 70367 pageviews.
- Tommy Apriando, an esteemed investigative journalist and chairperson of the Yogyakarta branch of Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), died Sunday at the age of 30 after being hospitalized for complications from diabetes.
- In a country where environmental reporting is potentially deadly, Apriando wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power. He took on politicians who used their connections with oligarchs to enrich themselves, exposed abuses by mining and palm oil companies, and told the complex stories that underpin entrenched land conflicts.
- Apriando won deep respect from his peers for his courageous reporting, which regularly appeared on Mongabay, China Dialogue, The Pangolin Reports, and The Wire. In 2019, he was elected to lead AJI in Yogyakarta, where he was an outspoken advocate for press freedom and the welfare of other journalists.
- Apriando is survived by his wife, Wiwid Ervita, his mother, Jamsiah, and his younger sister, Dwi Unzirzam.
(12/31/19) Written by Leonardo Guevara and Lesly Frazier – 61857 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.
(1/10/19) Written by Mahima Jain – 57592 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.
(1/8/20) Written by Sam Cowie – 51528 pageviews.
- Jó Farah, president of Mata Viva, a local NGO, fights to save a stream called Água Branca, which means “white water,” that he says is the last clean waterway, or igarapé, in the city of Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state.
- Once used for leisure, navigation and fishing, almost all of the 150 igarapés in Manaus are totally polluted, with experts saying it could take up to 30 years for them to recover, while others are considered “dead.”
- Igarapés are important for natural drainage during rainy season, experts say. They warn the problems of flooding will only get worse over time, especially with climate change and related extreme weather conditions, if the issue not addressed properly.
Banner image: Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.