Articles by Rhett A. Butler

Rhett Butler is the founder and CEO of Mongabay. Rhett founded Mongabay out of his passion for wildlife and wild places. He has traveled widely in the tropics and enjoys photography, hiking, and scuba-diving.

Fungi in Yunnan, China. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Rainforests: storylines to watch in 2019

2018 wasn't a great year for tropical rainforests, with major conservation setbacks in Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and the United States coming on top of back-to-back years of…
Fungi in Yunnan, China. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
Google Earth image of the Manambolo River Canyon.

The river of blood (insider)

Madagascar has been called the “Great Red Island,” and from space, astronauts have remarked it looks like it is bleeding to death. Soil conditions and poorly vegetated hillsides mean Madagascar…
Google Earth image of the Manambolo River Canyon.
Glass frog in Siquirres, Costa Rica. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Inspiration from frogs (insider)

Frogs are incredible creatures. Usually born in water, most live the first stages of their life essentially as a fish, before undergoing a radical metamorphosis that transforms them into an…
Glass frog in Siquirres, Costa Rica. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Earth has more trees now than 35 years ago

Despite ongoing deforestation, fires, drought-induced die-offs, and insect outbreaks, the world's tree cover actually increased by 2.24 million square kilometers — an area the size of Texas and Alaska combined…

The tropics are in trouble, warn scientists

Plants and animals in the tropics are disproportionately threatened by a range of dangers, including habitat loss, overexploitation, and climate change, warn researchers writing in the journal Nature. Conducting an…

Rainforests: the year in review 2017

Between America's abandonment of leadership on conservation and environmental policy, Brazil's backtracking on forest conservation, massive forest fires worldwide, and the revelation of a sharp increase in global forest loss…