Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

New species of neon-colored fish discovered off Brazil
By [September 26, 2018, 4:45 am]
In a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil, researchers have found a stunning pink-and-white neon-colored fish that’s new to science. Luiz Rocha, an ichthyologist at the California Academy of Sciences, and his colleague Hudson T. Pinheiro were diving in the waters surrounding Saint Paul’s Rocks, an archipelago off Brail, in June last year, […]

Diversity is key to forests withstanding drought, research finds
By [September 25, 2018, 6:16 pm]
Research published in Nature last week finds that “hydraulically diverse” forests are particularly resilient in the face of drought, which could help inform strategies for restoring forests after they’ve been degraded by wildfires or logging. University of Utah biologist William Anderegg led a team of researchers who compiled data from 40 temperate and boreal forest […]

Dress like a polar bear: learning to love muskoxen at 15 below zero
By Gloria Dickie [September 25, 2018, 12:27 pm]
Biologist Joel Berger endures extreme conditions to study muskoxen and learn about the opportunities — and limits — of behavioral flexibility in a fast changing climate.

Indonesian fish farmers get early-warning system for lake pollution
By M Ambari [September 25, 2018, 10:14 am]
JAKARTA — Officials in Indonesia have released a predictive calendar they hope will give fish farmers in the country’s largest lake a heads-up on water conditions that have previously killed off fish by the millions. The issuance of the calendar on Sept. 13, online and in print, comes in the wake of the death of […]

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report
By Hans Nicholas Jong [September 25, 2018, 1:44 am]
JAKARTA — Pledges by major brands to stop buying palm oil from companies known to destroy rainforests have failed to stop the clearance of a total area of forest the size of Los Angeles in just the last three years. That’s the finding from a new report by Greenpeace, which sought to gauge the progress […]

China’s primates could disappear by end of this century, study warns
By Shreya Dasgupta [September 25, 2018, 1:07 am]
Most primates in China could be wiped out by the end of this century, a new study warns. China is the second-most primate-rich country in Asia, with 25 known species of non-human primates, including lorises, macaques, langurs, snub-nosed monkeys, and gibbons. Since the 1950s, though, primate populations have declined drastically, largely due to clearing of large tracts […]

Indonesian president signs order to accelerate land reform
By Donny IqbalLusia Arumingtyas [September 25, 2018, 12:20 am]
BANDUNG, Indonesia — President Joko Widodo has signed a presidential instruction on agrarian reform, in a bid to accelerate a program to give local communities greater control over land. The signing was announced on the opening day of the Global Land Forum in the city of Bandung on Sept. 24. A final copy of the […]

A herd of dead rhinos
By Jeremy Hance [September 24, 2018, 5:51 pm]
Capturing Sumatran rhinos was one thing. Keeping them alive turned out to be another thing entirely.

Limi Valley: A threatened Shangri-La for wildlife (commentary)
By Yadav Ghimirey [September 24, 2018, 5:07 pm]
Around 18 kilometers southeast of Tibet’s Lake Mansarovar, a sacred lake for both Hindus and Buddhists, there lies yet another pilgrimage site, albeit of a different nature: The Limi Valley, on the other side of the border with Nepal, is considered sacred not because of religious significance but because of its extraordinary richness in highland […]

Chilling images of illegal mining operations in Peru
By Yvette Sierra Praeli [September 24, 2018, 3:22 pm]
Chalcopyrite from the Huanzala Mine in Peru. Photo by James St. John via Flickr.Illegal mining is destroying the Amazon. Most people know this, but it is chilling to see the destruction in aerial images that show details of the mining camps, trucks and backhoes operating 24 hours a day. The images also show dredges extracting material from riverbeds, as well as the continuous movement of dozens of people […]

Traditional groups sowing sustainable crops could save Venezuelan park
By Jeanfreddy Gutiérrez Torres [September 24, 2018, 1:19 pm]
Caura National Park is under pressure from gold miners, but Afro-Venezuelan and indigenous groups have teamed with NGOs and companies to do sustainable agroforestry and safeguard forests.

Amid ongoing evictions, Kenya’s Sengwer make plans to save their ancestral forest
By Anthony Langat [September 24, 2018, 12:22 pm]
EMBOBUT FOREST, Kenya — One morning in May, David Kisang, 50, sat outside his tiny dome-shaped hut, with its walls made of sticks and black polythene for a roof, sipping tea. His two red calves grazed behind the hut while his cattle and merino sheep grazed further afield, outside the bamboo-stick enclosure surrounding his compound. […]

World Gorilla Day: good news and grave threats
By [September 23, 2018, 9:37 am]
September 24 marks World Gorilla Day, when humanity celebrates one of its closest relatives, sharing 98 percent of our DNA as we do, plus we also have a common ancestor that lived not too long ago in evolutionary terms, around 10 million years ago. All species of gorillas are critically endangered according to the Red […]

Latam Eco Review: Black market jaguars, freed green macaws
By [September 23, 2018, 9:08 am]
The most popular stories from our Spanish-language service, Mongabay-Latam, followed trafficking of jaguar parts in Peru and Bolivia, a strategy to limit cattle ranches in Colombia, and liberated macaws in Ecuador. High demand for jaguar parts in Peru In a single week, a team of journalists visiting markets in the Peruvian Amazon port of Iquitos […]

Using space tech to improve palm oil transparency in Colombia
By Andrew J. Wight [September 21, 2018, 2:04 pm]
MEDELLIN, Colombia — Keeping an eye on what is going on out in the vast countryside of Colombia’s palm oil plantations is a challenge. But that may be about to change. Thanks to a combination of satellites, drones and the Internet of Things (IOT), farmers and scientists expect to be able to monitor palm oil […]

Video analysis shows baby birds avoid predators while building strength
By Sue Palminteri [September 21, 2018, 12:55 pm]
Every year, millions of baby birds leave the security of their nests, flying off into the uncertainty of the outside world. A single chick’s fledging takes just a moment, and all chicks in a nest typically fly off within an hour or two, so people, even dedicated birdwatchers, rarely witness it. A team of researchers […]

Activists blast Myanmar timber deal: ‘There is no transparency at all’
By [September 21, 2018, 12:36 pm]
A forestry department ground inspection team checks the timber to be exported and monitors con-tainer loading at the site before sealing the container. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is sounding the alarm over what it calls a “shadowy agreement” made by the Myanmar government to allow the logging and export of 5,000 tons of hardwood timber, including 3,000 tons of highly prized teak. In a statement, the EIA says that the timber deal, first reported by local […]

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, September 21, 2018
By [September 21, 2018, 11:29 am]
Tropical forests People settled Madagascar thousands of years before previously thought, meaning the island’s first human inhabitants didn’t cause the extinction of the elephant bird (Science Magazine). Nestlé, one of the world’s largest corporations, is searching for deforestation on its oil palm plantations using satellite monitoring (Reuters). A newly discovered species of black bird that […]

New species of blood-red coral found off Panama coast
By [September 21, 2018, 2:11 am]
Marine ecologists have described a bright-red species of coral from Panama that’s new to science. The researchers found the coral growing at a depth of 45 to 50 meters (148 to 164 feet) in Hannibal Bank, a coastal seamount 60 kilometers (37 miles) off Panama’s Pacific coast. The bank, which researchers have only started to explore, […]

Scientists uncover what makes deep soil either a carbon sink or source
By [September 20, 2018, 1:26 pm]
Researchers say they have discovered the conditions that determine whether deep soil acts as a source of carbon emissions, releasing heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, or as a sink, sequestering the carbon and keeping it from contributing to global climate change. According to Caitlin Hicks Pries, an assistant professor of biology at Dartmouth College […]