Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Let’s reduce poverty & deforestation via greater EUDR traceability requirements (commentary)
By Julia Christian [July 12, 2024, 4:39 pm]
The EU’s regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR) was hailed as a watershed in the fight to protect the world’s forests when it came into force in 2023. The world’s first law its kind, the EUDR requires companies selling certain high-risk goods on the EU market – including palm oil, cocoa and soy – to prove […]

More industrial minerals on Brazil’s borders with Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia
By Timothy J. Killeen [July 12, 2024, 8:59 am]
The mineral resources that characterize the High Andes of Peru are conspicuously absent north of the Huancabamba Gap, the altitudinal low point in the Andes linked to the deflection zone that created the Amazon Rift Valley. There is, however, an unusual mountain range located east of the Cordillera Oriental on the border between Peru and […]

Sumatra pulp & paper giants violate zero-deforestation pledge, activists allege
By Hans Nicholas Jong [July 12, 2024, 5:16 am]
JAKARTA — Activists allege that two of the world’s biggest pulp and paper companies have violated their zero-deforestation pledge by clearing natural forests and peatlands in Indonesia. An investigation by a coalition of Indonesian NGOs found deforestation within and around the concessions of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd. […]

Java farmers vow to live under own steam as geothermal project falters
By Irfan Maulana [July 12, 2024, 4:21 am]
The Padarincang community rejecting the geothermal project. They are worried that it will have a negative impact on their lives in the future.PADARINCANG, Indonesia — On a white-hot afternoon in June, people from Padarincang subdistrict gathered near a mountain lake to recite an istighosah, an Islamic prayer blended with Indigenous context here in Indonesia’s Banten province. “We aren’t asking anything from the government,” Eha Suhaeni, a mother from Padarincang, told Mongabay Indonesia. “We want to live in peace: What’s […]

Panama’s ‘Caribbean Corridor’ highway threatens three protected areas, critics say
By Maxwell Radwin [July 11, 2024, 5:55 pm]
A lawsuit has temporarily stalled construction on a controversial highway project in north-central Panama, which allegedly bypassed environmental regulations and could damage several protected areas along the Caribbean coast. The highway, known as the “Caribbean Corridor,” is supposed to travel 28.4 kilometers (17.6 miles) from the towns of Quebrada Ancha to María Chiquita, with the […]

“Game over” for the Amazon forest and global climate if Trump wins? (commentary)
By Philip M. Fearnside [July 11, 2024, 5:18 pm]
Would another Trump presidency be “game over” for the Amazon forest and global climate? At least there is still a question mark at the end of that sentence! Global warming is very close to escaping from human control, and the chances of this happening would be significantly increased if Donald Trump (Figure 1) wins a […]

Shrimp farms threaten Mexico’s mangroves and the jaguars that inhabit them
By Sarah Brown [July 11, 2024, 11:13 am]
Jaguar in a river in Mexico. Photo credit: Gerardo CeballosAmong the spindly saline roots of the mangrove trees that line western Mexico’s coast, the jaguar is the ecosystem’s apex predator. Yet despite being at the top of the food chain, its existence is threatened by the abundance of another, much smaller species: the whiteleg shrimp. Aquaculture of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), or Pacific white […]

After historic 2023 drought, Amazon communities brace for more in Brazil
By Amanda Magnani [July 10, 2024, 7:32 pm]
In the Brazilian Amazon, low river levels and insufficient rain might lead to 2024’s dry season being worse than 2023’s historic drought.

In Peru, conservationists and archaeologists unite to save a threatened gecko
By James Hall [July 10, 2024, 4:46 pm]
LIMA — For more than two decades, José Pérez Zúñiga, a researcher at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, has set out at night to search by the light of a flashlight through the pre-Inca ruins of the city for hidden treasure — not ancient artifacts of gold, but a tiny gecko with gold-flecked eyes. “When […]

Indonesia’s oil palm smallholders get a boost in bid for sustainability
By Hans Nicholas Jong [July 10, 2024, 4:20 pm]
Soil fertilization process in an oil palm plantation.JAKARTA — NGOs working with Indonesian smallholder farmers have developed a set of guidelines aimed at helping oil palm farmers prove that their products are deforestation-free, allowing them a foothold in markets increasingly demanding sustainably produced goods. Launched on June 24, the deforestation-free smallholder toolkit, the first of its kind, is a participatory step-by-step guide […]

As aquaculture hits historic highs, let’s ensure sustainability is prioritized (commentary)
By Erika Feller [July 10, 2024, 3:52 pm]
A salmon farm in Bugoynes, Finnmark, Norway.Just two years ago, global consumption of aquatic animal foods soared to an estimated 165 million tons, growing at nearly twice the annual rate of the world population since 1961. Ensuring the sustainable and responsible production of aquatic foods should be standard practice. But how close are we to the mark? The State of World […]

Frog ‘saunas’ may help threatened frogs fight off deadly fungus
By Liz Kimbrough [July 9, 2024, 8:32 pm]
Researchers have developed simple, sun-heated shelters that allow frogs to raise their body temperatures and fight off infections. These frog “saunas” may bring hope for populations threatened by a deadly fungal disease, according to a new study published in Nature. Researchers found that providing artificial “hotspot” shelters allows frogs to quickly bake off infections by […]

Indigenous communities in Sarawak left in the dark about hydropower proposal
By Mike DiGirolamoRachel Donald [July 9, 2024, 8:01 pm]
Abang Johari Openg, the premier of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, recently announced three new dam projects on Bornean rivers and suggested that local communities there had given their approval. But Celine Lim, managing director of civil society organization SAVE Rivers, based in the Sarawak town of Miri, tells the Mongabay Newscast that her community […]

As drought parches Mexico, a Yaqui water defender fights for a sacred river
By Aimee Gabay [July 9, 2024, 6:36 pm]
Guasimas Bay has been contaminated by agrochemicals and waste that is released from shrimp farms not far from the coast.YAQUI VALLEY, Mexico — On Sept. 11, 2014, Mario Luna Romero was arrested by state judicial police in Obregón, a city on the periphery of his tribe’s territory in Sonora, and transported to a maximum-security prison. They accused him of being involved in the kidnapping of a man with links to the state government and […]

Allegations widen against Indonesian palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari
By Hans Nicholas Jong [July 9, 2024, 4:10 am]
JAKARTA — Allegations of illegal activity and land-grabbing against Indonesia’s second-largest palm oil company continue to mount as a new report reveals the firm’s violations appear to be more extensive than initially documented. The report alleges that subsidiaries of PT Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) are cultivating oil palms illegally inside forest areas; intimidating and criminalizing […]

Global migratory freshwater fish populations plummet by 81%: Report
By Liz Kimbrough [July 8, 2024, 4:02 pm]
A new global report reveals a stark reality: populations of migratory freshwater fish species, including salmon, trout, eel and sturgeon, are declining dramatically. The 2024 update on the Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fishes shows an average 81% decrease in these fish populations between 1970 and 2020. “The catastrophic decline in migratory fish populations […]

Is ‘legal personhood’ a tool or a distraction for Māori relationships with nature?
By Monica Evans [July 8, 2024, 7:00 am]
Lupine flowers in sunshine in Milford Sound, New Zealand. Image by Aneta Hartmannová via Unsplash.RAGLAN, Aotearoa New Zealand — The wide, steep-cliffed Whanganui River ferries spring water and snowmelt from Mount Tongariro to the west coast of Aotearoa New Zealand’s North Island. Tracing its length by waka (Māori canoe), the steady surge of deep-green, mist-trimmed freshwater invokes a powerful presence. For local iwi (Māori tribes), that presence is especially […]

Africa’s great ape sanctuaries are feeling the heat from climate change
By Tina Deines [July 5, 2024, 10:07 pm]
In April 2024, above-average rainfall caused Kenya’s Ewaso Nyiro River to burst its banks, flooding the area and wreaking havoc for residents, including more than two dozen rescued chimpanzees at Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Recent research predicts that in the next three decades Africa’s apes will be increasingly affected by climate change, facing more extreme events […]

It’s the bee’s needs: Study finds best plants for bee health, conservation
By Liz Kimbrough [July 5, 2024, 4:48 pm]
A bee with a sunflower in Tokyo.What’s on the menu for a healthy bee? A team of researchers has delved into the world of bee nutrition, analyzing pollen to identify the best food sources for these vital pollinators. Their findings could have implications for bee conservation efforts and pollinator-friendly landscaping. The research, published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, analyzed the […]

Brasil, Venezuela and Peru: the geography of industrial metals
By Timothy J. Killeen [July 5, 2024, 4:38 pm]
There are a multitude of mineral ores used to produce industrial metals, which can be organized into four major groups with similar geological histories. Iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) are essential components to steel and, as such, are in constant demand by manufacturers and the construction industries. Ferro-manganese ores are found within the ancient sedimentary […]