- During the month of March, Mongabay published more than 400 stories, which attracted nearly 11 million pageviews, across its bureaus.
- Here’s a look at the ten most visited on the global English site during the month.
- Interviews and camera trap-related stories accounted for half of the top ten.
During the month of March, Mongabay published more than 400 stories, which attracted nearly 11 million pageviews, across its bureaus. Here’s a look at the ten most visited on the global English site during the month.
Interviews and camera trap-related stories accounted for half of the top ten.
Note: the traffic data presented below is only for the month of March and therefore doesn’t include traffic in prior months for stories published earlier than March.
Rare black jaguars caught on camera in Panama
(3/12/21) Written by Yvette Sierra Praeli – 118,883 pageviews
- Two melanistic jaguars have been documented by camera traps in Panama’s Mamoní Valley.
- Researcher Kimberly Craighead with the Kaminando—Habitat Connectivity Initiative working there says they have identified 15 individual jaguars in the area, which is covered in primary and secondary forest.
- In addition to the two melanistic animals there, the team knows of three others elsewhere in Panama.
- Melanism is thought to be caused by habitat characteristics, particularly humidity: studies indicate that it occurs more frequently in humid forests.
“Securing Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems”: Q&A with Nia Tero CEO Peter Seligmann
(2/23/21) Written by Rhett A. Butler – 65,807 pageviews
- One of the dominant trends in conservation over the past 20 years has been growing recognition of the contributions Indigenous peoples have made toward conservationists’ goals of protecting biodiversity, wild places, and ecosystem functions.
- This view is a departure from historical conservation approaches, which have tended to marginalize, undervalue, or even criminalize Indigenous peoples. The transition unfolding across conservation is an important development for the sector, but going from talking about change to actually implementing meaningful reforms will be a challenge.
- For these reasons, Peter Seligmann – one of the best-known and most influential figures in conservation – is an important figure to watch. In 2017 Seligmann launched a new organization called Nia Tero that puts Indigenous peoples at the center of its strategy: “For us, it was clear that humanity’s fate is directly dependent upon the ability of nations, and the public, to support Indigenous territorial rights and embrace Indigenous peoples’ belief in the reciprocal relationship between all beings and the Earth.“
- Seligmann spoke about Nia Tero’s ambitions in a February 2021 interview with Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.
Battle at the bat box: Camera trap captures ocelot standoff in restored forest
(3/29/21) Written by Liz Kimbrough – 43,364 pageviews
- Rare camera trap footage from Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula captured a tense standoff between an ocelot and a coati. Another video shows an opossum making a daring escape.
- These standoffs occurred at the entrance of bat boxes, built to attract bats to an area that was once cattle pasture and is now being restored back into a forest by the NGO Osa Conservation.
- The bat boxes were installed as part of an ongoing reforestation experiment. Plots of land were planted with different ratios of balsa, a fast-growing, pioneer tree species, and other native trees, while some plots were left alone.
- The bat boxes are among “rewilding elements” aimed to recreate some of the habitat complexity seen in a more mature forest such as large cavities in trees and fallen logs. Habitat complexity brings in more diverse wildlife, which can spread seeds and control pests, aiding forest restoration.
‘Everything on this planet is connected’: Q&A with WWF’s Marco Lambertini
(2/22/21) Written by Rhett A. Butler – 43,073 pageviews
- As the world works to emerge from the devastation and hardship brought by the pandemic, there has been much talk about the recovery being an opportunity to drive transformative change toward a more sustainable, equitable society that recognizes that human well-being is underpinned by a healthy planet.
- Much of the focus on this concept has been on cutting carbon emissions from transportation and energy production. There’s been less emphasis on protecting and restoring nature, but the “Nature Positive” campaign is working to change that. WWF, which is arguably the best known conservation group in the world, is among the NGOs leading the charge on Nature Positive.
- Marco Lambertini, the director-general of WWF International, says we’re well past the time for taking action on the loss of nature: ““Science has been telling us for decades that our activities are destroying nature at a rate far faster than it can replenish itself… Tackling nature loss requires us to fundamentally transform our productive sectors, but to do that we need a clear time-bound goal that drives ambition and that governments, businesses and consumers can all contribute to achieving and be held accountable to.”
- Lambertini discussed the Nature Positive movement, the need for change, and several other topics during a February 2021 conversation with Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.
Chinese triads target Bolivia’s jaguars in search of ‘American tiger’ parts
(3/2/21) Written by Vanessa Romo – 42,017 pageviews
- An intelligence-gathering investigation by Earth League International and the Dutch national committee to the IUCN has revealed that Chinese-controlled trafficking syndicates are responsible for smuggling jaguar body parts out of Bolivia.
- These groups hide behind legitimate businesses like restaurants and shops, which also serve as fronts for the transit of other wildlife and illegal drugs, the investigation found.
- An influx of Chinese investment into infrastructure projects in Bolivia in recent years has coincided with a rise in poaching, with traffickers targeting jaguars as a replacement for nearly depleted tiger populations back in Asia.
- Some Bolivian officials are pushing for legal reforms that will impose heavier sentences for wildlife, but the country’s political crises has held up those efforts for now.
Pig nest-building promotes tree diversity in tropical forest: Study
(3/15/21) Written by John C. Cannon – 40,537 pageviews
- New research from a tropical forest in Malaysia reveals that wild pigs, better known for their destructive tendencies on farms and in ecosystems, may actually help encourage tree diversity in forests.
- Expectant mother pigs will build nests amid clumps of saplings, which are usually from a set of tree species common to the forest.
- When the sow kills these saplings for the nest, she’s effectively providing a check on any one species becoming dominant in the forest.
- The research demonstrates the benefits that pigs can bring to forest health, but they also note that pig populations that grow too numerous could — and do, in places — keep the forest from regenerating.
Ecuador court orders end to gas flaring by oil industry in Amazon
(3/9/21) Written by Antonio José Paz Cardona – 40,374 pageviews
- In the Ecuadoran Amazon, at least 447 flares have been burning gas for decades.
- Local communities say these flares are responsible for the high cancer rates in the area.
- The Sucumbíos Provincial Court ruled in January that the Ecuadoran state had ignored the rights of nine girls to live in a healthy environment.
- It also found that the government had violated their rights to good health by not providing clean technologies that would avoid contamination.
‘We attack,’ Indonesia declares in joint bid with Malaysia to shield palm oil
(3/2/21) Written by Hans Nicholas Jong – 40,186 pageviews
- Indonesia and Malaysia plan to mount a joint offensive to shore up the palm oil industry against criticism of the deforestation and conflicts associated with the production of the commodity.
- The leaders of the two countries allege that the EU, which plans to phase out palm-based biodiesel as a renewable energy, is discriminating to protect its own vegetable oil producers.
- Top government and industry leaders in Indonesia have declared a “black campaign” against their European competitors and against Indonesian NGOs calling for a more sustainable palm oil industry.
- Activists have expressed dismay at the prospect of a PR war, saying the money and effort would be better spent on bringing actual reforms aimed at sustainability.
Rewilding public lands in Patagonia and beyond: Q&A with Kris Tompkins
(3/9/21) Written by Rhett A. Butler – 35,527 pageviews
- In the early 1990s, Kris and Doug Tompkins began buying up vast amounts of land in Chile and Argentina and setting it aside for conservation.
- Since the early 2000s, their non-profit Tompkins Conservation has donated over 800,000 hectares (2 million acres) of wilderness in Chile and Argentina, which spurred the permanent protection of nearly 6 million hectares (15 million acres) and the establishment of 13 new national parks.
- The Tompkins had performed “a kind of capitalist jujitsu move” as Kris Tompkins put it in her 2020 TED talk: “We deployed private wealth from our business lives and deployed it to protect nature from being devoured by the hand of the global economy.”
- Kris Tompkins spoke about her organization’s conservation work, rewilding, and the costs of our current industrial model during a February 2021 conversation with Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.
Header image: Yanomami community in northern Brazil saying ‘Go away, mining companies’. Image credit: Victor Moriyama/ISA.