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Mongabay’s What-To-Watch list for May 2022

A caracal in Africa.

A caracal in Africa. Image by Gopal Vijayaraghavan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

  • Mongabay’s April videos show why Indigenous communities in Brazil turned to videography and graffiti to raise awareness, how wind farms in India have their downsides, and what journalists can do to cover reforestation better.
  • Watch camera trap footage of Côte d’Ivoire’s chimpanzees’ unique way of drinking water using sticks during the dry season, and videos of the elusive caracal that are not so elusive anymore in South Africa.
  • Get a peek into the various segments of the environment across the globe. Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on YouTube.

In April, Mongabay spoke with Indigenous women in Brazil who have taken the lead in bold, innovative ways to raise awareness about their communities. Three young women from the Munduruku Indigenous group run an audiovisual collective that uses social media to raise awareness about illegal miners and loggers in their territory in the Amazon. In the city of Manaus, Indigenous graffiti artists are painting murals recounting the history of Indigenous people and honoring their culture in the city.

In Africa, two videos — of the critically endangered western chimpanzees in Côte d’Ivoire and the elusive caracal in South Africa — show the behaviors of the two animals. Watch how both species’ lives and habits are affected by human activities surrounding them.

In India, the welcome development of the renewable energy sector continues to be accompanied by complications to the local communities and biodiversity. After exploring the snags in solar parks in previous videos, Mongabay-India now looked into how wind farms are handling the local predicaments.

Mongabay also hosted a webinar for journalists and writers on how to cover reforestation for news outlets. Experts discussed reforestation events and issues, best practices, project transparency, and environmental/human impacts.

Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on Mongabay’s YouTube channel.

Camera trap footage reveals chimps’ unique way of drinking water during the dry season

With the help of camera-trap footage, researchers found that the chimps in Côte d’Ivoire’s Comoé National Park display unique types of behaviors not found in other chimp populations in West Africa. They chew the ends of sticks to make a sort of brush, dip the brush end of the stick into tree cavities where water has accumulated, and then suck on the end of the brush after pulling it out.

Read more: Côte d’Ivoire’s chimp habitats are shrinking, but there’s hope in their numbers

Manipur’s push for dams threatens local ecology and communities

Dams are considered clean sources of energy. In Manipur the constructions of dams have caused more damage than gains to villages around operational, incomplete, and failed dams. Many villages lost farmlands and forest resources undergoing significant changes that impact local ecology and livelihoods of people.

WILDLIFE IN CITIES

How humans and caracals share the city of Cape Town, South Africa

Researchers have spent years trapping and tracking the elusive caracal on the edges of the South African city of Cape Town to better understand the needs of these wild cats. Urban caracals have adapted their behavior in a number of ways to survive on the margins of the city, including hunting more during the day.

Read more: ‘Studying a ghost’: In Cape Town, urban caracals give researchers lots to ponder

INDIGENOUS FIGHT FOR RIGHTS

To fight invaders, Munduruku women wield drone cameras and cellphones

Three young women from the Munduruku Indigenous group in the Brazilian Amazon run an audiovisual collective that uses social media to raise awareness about illegal invasions of their territory. The Munduruku living in the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Territory say the anti-Indigenous rhetoric of the Jair Bolsonaro administration has emboldened illegal loggers and miners, and put native defenders under greater risk.

Read more: To fight invaders, Munduruku women wield drone cameras and cellphones

Graffiti brings Manaus’s Indigenous roots to light

Graffiti artists are painting murals recounting the history of Indigenous people and honoring their culture in the capital of Amazonas, the Brazilian state with the largest Indigenous population. Indigenous community leaders say they hope the movement will increase the visibility of Indigenous people living in cities, who often face poverty, housing insecurity and stigma that discourages many from maintaining their culture and identity.

Read more: History on the walls: Graffiti brings Manaus’s Indigenous roots to light

MONGABAY WEBINAR

How to Cover Reforestation for Journalists and Writers | Mongabay Webinars

Reforestation—the replanting of tree cover on previously forested land—is becoming an increasingly used practice to address the simultaneous crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, among others. Mongabay hosted a webinar for journalists on how to cover reforestation for news outlets on March 24th, 2022 to discuss reforestation, best practices, project transparency, and environmental/human impacts. The expert panel featured Robin Chazon, Erin Axelrod, and journalist Nithin Coca.

WIND ENERGY IN INDIA

The wind farm paradox in southern Tamil Nadu

Muppandal in Tamil Nadu houses India’s largest operational onshore wind farm. The benefits and drawbacks though, are interlaced. For almost every person who regrets the decline of agriculture, at least one person in their family works at a wind or solar farm. Young people find the wind farms beneficial and say that the appreciation in land prices, jobs and continuous electricity have improved their lifestyles while the old rue the loss of agriculture.

Read more: The wind farm paradox in southern Tamil Nadu

Expanding windmills affect unique thorn forests and wildlife in Kachchh

Sangnara, a village in Gujarat’s Kachchh district, is putting up a solitary fight to save its thorn forest against wind farms that have mushroomed all over the region. The windmills and transmission lines have impacted wildlife in the area, especially peacock, the national bird.

Read more: Expansion of windmills in Kachchh impact unique thorn forest and wildlife

Banner image: A caracal in Africa. Image by Gopal Vijayaraghavan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).