Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Deep-sea mining meeting closes without resolving whether mining can start in July
By Elizabeth Claire Alberts [March 31, 2023, 8:31 pm]
As meetings to oversee deep-sea mining on the high seas draw to a close, it remains unclear whether regulators will allow it to commence in the near future. At the March 7-31 meetings in Kingston, Jamaica, of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the U.N.-associated body responsible for regulating deep-sea mining in international waters, delegates were […]

Bioacoustics in your backyard: Q&A with conservation technologist Topher White
By Abhishyant Kidangoor [March 31, 2023, 4:11 pm]
A squirrel and a bird share a bird feeder.Ever wondered about the furry animal you saw scurrying through your backyard? Or the bird singing outside your window? A new eco-device developed by conservation technologist Topher White aims to help you answer those questions, and bring conservation closer to home. Resembling a mini spaceship, Delta can be put up in your backyard or garden. […]

Ecuador court upholds ‘rights of nature,’ blocks Intag Valley copper mine
By Liz Kimbrough [March 31, 2023, 3:40 pm]
Communities in the Intag Valley of Ecuador have won a significant legal victory after a court ruled to halt copper mining in one of the world’s most biodiverse forests. The Imbabura Provincial Court ruled on March 29 that Chilean copper producer Codelco and Ecuador’s Empresa Nacional Minera (ENAMI EP) had violated communities’ constitutional right to […]

Monarch butterflies become a powerful symbol for justice at the U.S./Mexico border (commentary)
By Meg Perret [March 31, 2023, 3:30 pm]
A monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus).Monarch butterflies could go extinct, much to the dismay of environmentalists in the U.S. and Mexico. Monarch butterfly populations in Mexico have dropped 22% in the last year, according to a new World Wildlife Fund report. Eastern monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to the U.S. and down to Mexico to spend their winters in the […]

Indigenous Pataxó demand land demarcation amid rising violence and murders
By Sarah Sax and Hanna Wallis [March 31, 2023, 2:59 pm]
Chief Patiburi Pataxó stands on the beach of the reclaimed Quero-Ver community.PRADO, Bahia — Eliane de Oliveira Conceição heard the roar of gunfire before she could see who was firing. In the early hours of daylight, she could make out three vehicles that slowly approached the farm and opened fire indiscriminately. She darted for a place to hide. Several feet away, her 14-year-old son, Gustavo Conceição […]

What’s black and white and spins? Wind turbines that don’t kill birds
By Elizabeth Claire Alberts [March 31, 2023, 1:54 pm]
Birds flying through wind turbines.Picture yourself driving down a local highway, passing familiar street signs and encountering typical traffic. Then, without warning, you find a cow standing in the middle of the road. You slam on your brakes, but it’s too late to avoid a collision. Something similar happens to seabirds when they encounter wind turbines, especially when they’re […]

Newly described leafless orchid in Sri Lanka named after a precious yellow sapphire
By Malaka Rodrigo [March 31, 2023, 11:04 am]
COLOMBO — The Sinharaja Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site is a large complex of lowland wilderness that is largely fragmented due to human activity. Walankanda and Viharakanda are two fragmented forest areas, and an ongoing project aims to connect these two forest areas through a land corridor. Amila Perera, the project’s coordinator from […]

Rewilding animals could be key for climate: Report
By Liz Kimbrough [March 30, 2023, 5:46 pm]
A Baird's tapir walking at night through her natural habitat.When it comes to climate solutions, your first thought may not be the wildebeest. But in the Serengeti, these buffalo-looking antelopes are the key to carbon capture. Wildebeest eat large amounts of grass and recycle it back into the soil as dung. So when their population plummeted in the early 1900s due to a disease […]

Reconnecting ‘island habitat’ with wild corridors in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
By Jeremy Hance [March 30, 2023, 4:15 pm]
The endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia).In 2007, an NGO began linking up forest fragments in Brazil’s most at-risk biome. Today, Saving Nature has forest corridor projects underway on three continents. Part three of a three-part Mongabay mini-series on island habitat restoration.

Robust river governance key to restoring Mekong River vitality in face of dams
By Carolyn Cowan [March 30, 2023, 4:12 pm]
Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.This is the second article in a Mongabay series focused on changes to the ecology and hydrology of the Mekong River. Read Part One. Niwat Roykaew, an environmental activist based in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand, described the Mekong as a naga, a mythical water serpent and symbol of fertility that brings abundance to […]

Do tiger-dense habitats also help save carbon stock? It’s complicated
By Abhaya Raj Joshi [March 30, 2023, 2:43 pm]
A tiger in water.KATHMANDU — In 2012, when wildlife biologist Kanchan Thapa visited Chitwan National Park, a stronghold of the Bengal tiger in Nepal, a colleague asked him a question: “How much carbon can we save if we save one tiger?” It was an “interesting” question for Thapa, linking the two pressing issues of biodiversity loss and climate […]

Newly published carbon market standards aim to increase integrity, confidence
By John Cannon [March 30, 2023, 2:05 pm]
Clouds reflected in a lake in the Amazon Rainforest.An independent governance body has released a set of rules aimed at boosting the “integrity” of the global carbon market for the exchange of credits meant to address the climate impacts of companies and individuals. “It’s clear we are not acting fast enough to address the climate crisis,” Annette Nazareth, chair of the Integrity Council […]

Jashodhon Pramanik: The farmer guardian of birds in Bangladesh
By Maksuda Aziz [March 30, 2023, 10:03 am]
Jashodhar Pramanik.Mr. Sobhan, a wealthy retired lawyer, decides he wants to do something to improve society. Realizing that the new aquaculture revolution has driven out local fish species, he compiles a list of species that are causing harm and goes to the appropriate government agency to voice his concern. Sadly, the officer makes fun of him […]

Will clean-energy minerals provoke a shift in how mining is done in Africa?
By Malavika Vyawahare [March 30, 2023, 8:43 am]
A cobalt mine in central Africa.While in some corners of the world, the clean energy revolution conjures up images of electric vehicles and expansive wind farms, in countries with mineral reserves critical for producing that clean energy, the transition entails more than switching from a gasoline-powered car to an EV. Demand for transition minerals like the lithium, cobalt, nickel and […]

In central Brazil, mining company ignores Quilombola concerns over gold project
By Sandra Silva/The Mining Observatory [March 29, 2023, 8:22 pm]
Canadian mining company Aura Minerals plans to establish a major gold extraction project in Brazil’s Tocantins state without hearing the Quilombola (slave descendant) community that will be affected by the operations, thus violating their right to free, prior and informed consultation.

Mountain islands: Restoring a transitional cloud forest in Costa Rica
By Jeremy Hance [March 29, 2023, 5:31 pm]
A resplendent quetzal.In 2002, a couple vacationing in Costa Rica, stunned by deforestation there, bought land and regrew a transitional cloud forest — a grassroots model worth emulating: Part two of a three-part Mongabay mini-series on island habitat restoration.

As hydropower dams quell the Mekong’s life force, what are the costs?
By Carolyn Cowan [March 29, 2023, 4:57 pm]
Fishers pull in nets on Tonle Sap Lake in CambodiaThis is the first article in a Mongabay series focused on changes to the ecology and hydrology of the Mekong River. Read Part Two. The Mekong River carves a vast aquatic lifeline through Asia. Rising in glacial streams high in the Tibetan plateau, the river morphs as it tumbles south through rocky ravines, steep-sided valleys […]

Mexico’s Tren Maya hotel construction clears forest reserve without permits
By Maxwell Radwin [March 29, 2023, 2:38 pm]
MEXICO CITY — The sudden, unexpected construction of a hotel in the middle of a protected reserve in southern Mexico has surprised residents and left many conservationists scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen to one of the largest contiguous rainforests in Mesoamerica. Developers broke ground on the project in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, in […]

RSPO suspension of Brazil palm oil exporter tied to Mongabay land-grabbing report
By Karla Mendes [March 29, 2023, 10:00 am]
A Quilombolas man lights candles in the cemetery.A Mongabay investigation into land-grabbing in the Brazilian Amazon has led to the suspension of the sustainability certificate of the country’s second top palm oil exporter, as shown in email correspondence seen by this reporter, in addition to key sources of the case. Agropalma, the only Brazilian company with the sustainability certificate issued by the Roundtable […]

CO2 in, methane out? Study highlights complexity of coastal carbon sinks
By Ruth Kamnitzer [March 29, 2023, 9:22 am]
Coastal ecosystems are very good at pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. But, as new research in the Baltic Sea shows, we also need to look at what they’re putting back in. Vegetated habitats along the coast sequester huge amounts of carbon. In fact, half of all the carbon stored in ocean sediment is in […]