Newsletter 2020-07-23



Photos: In southern Papua, navigating an alien world built on palm oil by Albertus Vembrianto [07/22/2020]

– In June 2019, photographer Albertus Vembrianto spent three weeks on assignment in the southern lowlands of Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province, for Mongabay and The Gecko Project. He traveled through the villages of Indigenous Papuans whose land had been taken over by palm oil conglomerates.
– A decade ago, the Indonesian government promoted investment by plantation firms in this region with a vision of turning it into a major agribusiness hub. Today, Indonesia is the world’s top producer of palm oil, but many Papuans have lost their land and are struggling to acclimatize to a very new world, with their traditional food sources dwindling.
– Albertus’s photos were featured in an investigation into the operations of one of the these companies, the Korindo Group, recently published by The Gecko Project and Mongabay in collaboration with the Korean Center for Investigative Journalism-Newstapa and 101 East, Al Jazeera’s Asia-Pacific current affairs program.
– In this photo essay, Albertus, who is Indonesian, writes about his experience reporting in Papua.

Environmental defenders voice concerns as COVID-19 crisis deepens by Lauren Crothers [07/21/2020]

– The Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) has collected firsthand testimonies from women who are environmental defenders.
– In the recordings, they share their perspectives on family life, their conservation work, criminal and corporate abuse of the environment, and life at home in the time of COVID-19.
– Local groups are trying to respond to food shortages and lack of personal protective equipment, while also trying to mitigate loss of livelihoods.

World’s biggest meatpacker JBS bought illegally grazed Amazon cattle: Report by Sam Cowie [07/20/2020]

– Brazil’s meatpackers have long been accused of “laundering cattle,” a process in which young calves are fattened on newly and illegally deforested lands within indigenous reserves and on other conserved tracts, then transferred to “legal ranches” where no deforestation has occurred, before being sold to meat processors who turn a blind eye.
– The Brazilian government has abetted this illicit accounting sleight of hand by not requiring tagging and tracking cattle from birth, and allowing incomplete accounting records. So laundered beef is sold to China, the European Union and other nations, as well as to Brazilian consumers, all unaware of the Amazon deforestation connection.
– Now Amnesty International has documented cases in which they allege that JBS, the world’s biggest meat processor, bought cattle illegally reared on the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous reserve and the Rio Jacy-Paraná and Rio Ouro Preto extractive reserves in Rondônia state, epicenter of 2019’s Amazon fires and of Brazilian deforestation.
– JBS has denied the charges, but has often had such allegations made against it in the past.

International investors urge Brazil to take real action to stop deforestation by Fernanda Wenzel/oeco [07/17/2020]

– Jan Erik Saugestad, executive vice president of Norway’s Storebrand Asset Management, who has led an international pressure campaign against deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, says the government must back up its promises with action to reverse the rising trend.
– In an exclusive interview, he describes his recent meeting with Vice President Hamilton Mourão, where there were initial commitments made to reduce deforestation rates and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples and human rights.
– Saugestad says investors need evidence that the Brazilian government and companies, particularly in the beef industry, will follow up on these commitments with meaningful action.
– Saugestad also says climate change has already caused damage to some economic sectors, and adds that “we are only seeing the beginning of some of these risks.

Nigeria’s wildlife traders, who weathered Ebola, eye post-COVID-19 boom by Orji Sunday [07/17/2020]

– Restrictions imposed by the Nigerian government to slow the spread of COVID-19 have hampered field operations of conservation agencies and NGOs, who are turning to creative and high-tech solutions to maintain operations.
– Conservationists fear that a reduction in patrols and enforcement leaves Nigeria’s biodiversity — already under pressure due to a vast wildlife trade — extremely vulnerable.
– In Nigeria’s wildlife markets, some traders report a downturn due to a generally slow economy, and to movement restrictions on customers. However, they say a ban on interstate travel has not stopped the flow of wildlife products between forests and cities.

World Bank-funded factory farms dogged by alleged environmental abuses by John C. Cannon [07/16/2020]

– The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided funding totaling $120 million to Ecuadoran pork and chicken producer Pronaca, despite widespread and evidence-backed concerns about the effects of industrial-scale livestock farming on water sources, air quality and the climate.
– IFC investments are intended to boost the economies of developing countries.- But the Pronaca case and others described in a series by Mongabay in cooperation with The Guardian newspaper and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism raise questions about the impacts of these investments on local communities and the environment.
– Mongabay spoke with residents of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, where Pronaca has more than 30 farms, who said that complaints to the IFC’s Compliance Adviser/Ombudsman over the past decade have done little to improve the situation.



Mozambique’s trailblazing Gorongosa Park celebrates 60th anniversary, announces 60 new schools (commentary) by Dominique Gonçalves [Thu, 23 Jul 2020]
– July 23, 2020 marks the 60th birthday of Mozambique’s flagship national park: Gorongosa. The official ceremony featured just 20 guests due to the pandemic, but one of them was the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi.
– Once at the center of the country’s civil war, the park emerged battered but has recovered remarkably in recent decades, and is now recognized as a place where successful restoration is benefitting nature, wildlife, and humans.
– The park’s strong focus on employment and education of local people is a cornerstone of its redevelopment, so it is fitting that the construction of 60 new schools was announced during the anniversary ceremony.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

As reef bleaching intensifies, lab-grown corals could help beat the heat by Johan Augustin [Thu, 23 Jul 2020]
– The Great Barrier Reef suffered its third major coral bleaching event since 2016 this past March, with scientists saying the extent of the damage was far greater this time.
– Up to 60% of the reef was affected in the latest bleaching, which occurs when warming waters force the corals to flush out their life-giving algae.
– But scientists say they’re encouraged by the results of ongoing lab research to create “enhanced” corals, gene-edited to make them more resilient to rising water temperatures.
– Lab and field tests show the hybrid corals have up to 26 times better heat tolerance, which would make them ideal candidates for repopulating bleached reefs.

Narwhals beware: Killer whales are on the rise in the Arctic by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Thu, 23 Jul 2020]
– Climate change has led to dramatic ice loss in the Arctic, allowing killer whales to access parts of the Canadian Arctic it previously couldn’t.
– A new study found that a population of 136 to 190 killer whales spent the warmer summer months in Canada’s northern Baffin Island region between 2009 and 2018, and preyed on as many as 1,504 narwhals each season.
– While the overall narwhal population isn’t in immediate danger, a steady influx of killer whales could lead to ecosystem transformation through a top-down trophic cascade, according to the study.

Study values women’s long-overlooked contribution to fisheries at $5.6b per year by Cassie Freund [Thu, 23 Jul 2020]
– A new study attempts to quantify the number of women involved in small-scale fishing around the world and their economic contribution to a sector where policies have tended to overlook them in favor of men.
– In Indonesia alone, women catch fish valued at an estimated quarter of a billion dollars a year, yet their work often goes unpaid and is socially or culturally considered to be their domestic duty.
– The lack of formal recognition and support for these women dissuades them from identifying themselves as fishers, creating a circular loop perpetuating the myth that women don’t fish.
– The authors of the study say there needs to be more targeted efforts by governments, particularly the Indonesian government, to count how many women are actually involved in fishing.

Study: Chinese ‘dark fleets’ illegally defying sanctions by fishing in North Korean waters by Ashoka Mukpo [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– The study used a novel combination of satellite imagery to track more than 900 Chinese fishing vessels operating in North Korea in 2017, and an additional 700 in 2018.
– The vessels were harvesting Todarodes pacificus, also known as Pacific flying squid, a key staple food in the region.
– The U.N. Security Council passed sanctions on North Korea in late 2017, making any international fishing inside its borders a violation of international law.
– Unable to compete with the more technologically advanced Chinese vessels, local North Korean fishermen have been forced to make long, perilous journeys into Russian waters.

Protected areas in Paraguay hit hard by illegal marijuana farming by Aldo Benítez [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– Agriculture has deforested much of eastern Paraguay’s Upper Parana Atlantic Forest, an endangered ecoregion of which less 10% remains today.
– More recently, illegal marijuana cultivation has become a driving force of deforestation in the region. Even protected areas are not immune from destruction, with satellite data and drone footage confirming large swaths of protected primary forest have been cleared for marijuana cropland over the past year. Sources say timber and charcoal are also being produced as by-products of clearing for marijuana and are illegally transported out of protected areas.
– Four protected areas have been particularly affected: Mbaracayú Reserve, San Rafael National Park/Proposed National Reserve, Morombí Reserve and Caazapá National Park.
– Forest rangers working in the protected areas say there aren’t enough enforcement staff to combat the illegal encroachment.

Podcast: Finding nature in cities by Mike Gaworecki [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– Today we’re exploring nature in cities with author Kelly Brenner and urban forester Georgia Silvera Seamans.
– To help us dive into urban ecology, we speak with Kelly Brenner, a naturalist and writer whose most recent book is called Nature Obscura: A City’s Hidden Natural World. Brenner, who lives in Seattle, Washington, joins us today to discuss some of the wildlife encounters she details in the book and to provide some tips on how anyone can go about exploring nature in the city they live in.
– We also welcome to the program Georgia Silvera Seamans, an urban forester who has spearheaded a number of “hyper local urban ecology” projects in New York City. Silvera Seamans is here to tell us about the Washington Square Park Eco Projects, which include monitoring, educational, and advocacy efforts in the iconic NYC park, and to tell us how urban ecosystems benefit all city-dwellers.

New report asks, do land titles help poor farmers? by John C. Cannon [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– A new report by the Oakland Institute, a policy think tank, outlines cases of land privatization around the world.
– The report’s authors caution that privatizing land, especially when it has been traditionally managed communally, could sideline the interests of Indigenous groups and local communities.
– They cite evidence that governments and agencies see private land titles as a way not to help poor farmers, but rather to “unlock the economic potential of the land.”

A Brazilian forest community shows certified timber really does work by Maria Fernanda Ribeiro [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– In Pará, the Brazilian state with the highest deforestation rate, communities inside Tapajós National Forest have for the past 15 years run one of the most successful native timber management projects.
– Eighteen of the 24 communities in the conservation area are part of the project, which involves an average of 130 people. Forest management is their main source of income.
– In 2013, the communities earned FSC certification.
– Today, their products are sold around the world, thanks to partnerships with renowned designers to produce quality sustainable furniture and decorative objects.

Forest restoration, not just halting deforestation, vital to Amazon by Sarah Sax [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– The Brazilian state of Maranhão has lost more than three-quarters of its original forest cover and the remaining old-growth forest is severely threatened, with the “Amazon forest [in the state’s west] on the edge of collapse,” say researchers. This threat heightens the importance of conserving secondary forest in the state.
– But new zoning of Legal Amazonia in Maranhão’s west passed in May will reduce the amount of standing forest farmers must preserve, which could lead to largescale legal deforestation of secondary forests and reward previous illegal deforestation.
– The State Forest Policy currently being debated for passage by the Maranhão parliament could implement safeguards to protect secondary forests (though likely won’t). Without those safeguards, warn researchers, these forests that provide important ecological services and economic benefits could further disappear.
– Scientists say that agroforestry and forest restoration should be prioritized by the Brazilian national and state governments in order to generate sustainable livelihoods and protect secondary forests, aiding in climate change mitigation, water and soil conservation, and providing sustainable livelihoods.

Sumatran rhino planned for capture is another female, Indonesian officials say by Yovanda [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– Conservation officials in Indonesia have revealed that a wild Sumatran rhino planned for capture for a breeding program is a female, not a male.
– The rhino, named Pari, will join another female already at a breeding center in the Indonesian province on East Kalimantan.
– Female rhinos in captivity have been found to develop reproductive problems and infertility as a result of prolonged absence from a male, and conservationists fear this could happen to the rhino currently in captivity
– The Sumatran rhino is critically endangered, with fewer than 80 believed to be remaining in the wild.

Sri Lanka: Rich in biodiversity, and human-wildlife conflict by Dennis Mombauer [Wed, 22 Jul 2020]
– Human-wildlife encounters have increased rapidly in recent years and go beyond elephants and leopards. Competition has grown over the shared space between humans and wildlife due to encroachment, deforestation, habitat degradation, and climate change, putting humans and animals in conflict over land, water and resources.
– Humans often clash with macaques and langurs as the monkeys are attracted by garbage, are being fed or try to find new habitats due to deforestation. Peafowl are emerging as top agricultural pests due to their expanding range and distribution over the last decade.
– Crocodile attacks mainly affect poorer communities that are dependent on unsafe bodies of water, and they often lack awareness of the animals’ behavior.
– There is an urgent need to increase awareness around human-wildlife conflict and crop foraging as well as to employ non-violent mitigation measures that take into account the interests of both humans and animals, including fences, garbage management and habitat conservation.

Sea turtles often lose their way, but always reach their destination by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Tue, 21 Jul 2020]
– A new study found that green sea turtles rely on a “crude map” to navigate the ocean, often going several hundred kilometers off course before successfully arriving at their destination.
– Using GPS tracking devices, the research team tracked the migrations of female green turtles from nesting grounds on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean to foraging grounds on isolated oceanic islands.
– Green turtles demonstrate a particularly high fidelity to foraging grounds, which made them an ideal species to study.
– The researchers say they hope their findings will help inform conservation efforts to protect green turtles, which are an endangered species.

Scientists measure Amazon drought and deforestation feedback loop: Study by Shanna Hanbury [Tue, 21 Jul 2020]
– Researchers have warned about the Amazon rainforest-to-savanna tipping point for years, but a clearer picture of how this may happen is emerging with new research.
– A recent study covering the years 2003-2014 in the Amazon basin found that the deforestation-drought feedback loop accounts for 4% of the region’s drought, and 0.13% of deforestation per millimeter of rainfall lost (for example, a rainfall decrease of 200 millimeters would then trigger an additional 26% increase in deforestation).
– Experts not connected with the study say that the actual percentages could be higher, because Brazilian politics have shifted since 2003-14, leading to major deforestation, while climate change impacts have intensified. The authors agree their results may be underestimated, but say the figures are useful in setting a baseline for climate models.
– Deforestation and drying in the Amazon could cause the rainforest to spiral into becoming a degraded, dry savanna if nothing is done to deactivate the feedback loop. However, it is difficult to say how soon that tipping point will be reached.

What is the yellow-throated marten? Candid Animal Cam investigates by [Tue, 21 Jul 2020]
– Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Indonesia presses China for witness in deaths of fishing boat crews by Basten Gokkon [Tue, 21 Jul 2020]
– Indonesia is calling for a Chinese witness to testify in a human trafficking probe over the deaths of four Indonesian sailors on board Chinese fishing vessels.
– Police in Indonesia have pressed charges against three worker placement agencies that recruited the men, but need further evidence to charge a fourth agency, responsible for recruiting two of the four men who later died.
– Three of the victims died at sea and were dumped overboard; the fourth died at a South Korean port.
– The vessel where two of the men died, the Long Xing 629, is suspected of engaging in illegal fishing; experts note that slavery at sea and illegal fishing are strongly intertwined.

Sediment plumes from deep-sea mining could pollute vast swaths of the ocean, scientists say by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– A new opinion piece suggests that deep-sea mining would generate damaging sediment plumes and noise pollution that would negatively affect the midwater column, a critical ocean ecosystem that begins 200 meters (660 feet) below the surface of the sea.
– Mining plumes will likely distribute sediment and dissolved metals across vast parts of the ocean, compromising organisms’ health and introducing heavy metals into the pelagic food chain, according to the paper.
– While deep-sea mining has not yet begun, numerous companies have contracts to explore the seabed for minerals, and the International Seabed Authority is set to release regulations governing mining in international waters sometime this year, paving the way for mining to move forward.
– The authors say research into the possible impacts of deep-sea mining has tended to focus on seafloor ecosystems but much remains unknown about the effects on midwater ecosystems.

Energy-guzzling McMansions make the American dream a climate nightmare by [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– A new study finds that wealthy Americans living in spacious houses in upscale neighborhoods are responsible for 25% more greenhouse gas emissions on average than those living in smaller homes in poorer areas.
– The U.S. has one of the highest per capita emissions of any country, and residential properties account for almost a quarter of the country’s total carbon footprint, larger than the total emissions for Germany.
– By looking at energy consumption patterns of nearly 100 million households from 2015, the researchers found out that Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin were the largest consumers of energy that year.
– Only if homes are smaller and more tightly packed together, the power grid is cleaner, and energy consumption is reduced, would the U.S. be able to achieve emissions reductions targets for homes laid down in the Paris Agreement, the study says.

Population and consumption: challenges we can win (commentary) by Enrique Ortiz [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– The coronavirus pandemic has sparked greater awareness of humanity’s role in creating conditions for infectious diseases to flourish by increasing interactions with pathogens through exploitation of wild animals and encroachment on their habitat, crowding into dense cities, and undermining the health of ecosystems that sustain us.
– Enrique G. Ortiz, Senior Program Director at the Andes Amazon Fund, argues that if we want to increase the resilience of the planet to future disasters, whether they be pandemics or damage wrought by climate change, we need to address two critical societal issues: population and consumption.
– Ortiz says that progress is possible in both areas. Population is expected to peak mid-century, but shifting consumption patterns will require profound changes in how we go about our lives.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

The wild plants in your pantry—where did they come from? by Liz Kimbrough [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– Wild-harvested plants seldom come from large, corporate operations. The first point in the supply chain tends to be local harvesters. Around 3,000 medicinal and aromatic plant species are traded internationally and anywhere from 60% to 90% of these are collected from the wild, according to a new report by the non-profit TRAFFIC.
– The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have increased demand for herbal remedies, some containing plant species that already face pressures due to over-harvesting.
– Plant and animal parts and products intended for medicinal use comprised 23% of all seizures of illicit trade items reported by EU member states in 2018 — the largest reported category.
– TRAFFIC is encouraging individuals to look for the wild plant ingredients in products and companies to use voluntary market mechanisms, such as the FairWild Standard, to help with providing evidence of sustainable and equitable trade.

‘Every tool in the box’ to save Sumatran rhinos: Q&A with Nina Fascione of IRF by Jeremy Hance [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– In March 2020, Nina Fascione was named the new executive director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF).
– The IRF works to protect all five rhino species, but none is as imperiled at the Sumatran rhino, which numbers fewer than 80.
– Mongabay spoke with Fascione about her background, her new job, and her organization’s plans to save the Sumatran rhino.

Where there’s cattle ranching and soybean farming, there’s fire, study finds by Marcelo Coppola [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– Most of the fires in the Amazon rainforest last year were associated with industrial agriculture, according to a study cross-referencing NASA satellite data with corporate supply chains.
– Researchers transposed the satellite imagery of fire alerts with the locations of the largest meatpacking plants and soybean silos in the region.
– Of the 981,000 fire alerts that occurred in Brazil between July and October last year, half were in meatpackers JBS and Marfrig’s “potential buy zones” and in the areas surrounding Bunge and Cargill’s soybean silos.
– The study doesn’t aim to make a direct link between the companies and the fires, but rather to show the proximity of the fires within the regions in which they work.

Pac-Man: The jaguar hunted for parts in Mexico by Alejandro Melgoza Rocha / Diálogo Chino [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– Local wildlife protectors cannot stop the trafficking of jaguars linked to demand for traditional Chinese medicine.

Brutus or Caesar? Now visitors can identify individual leopards at Sri Lanka park by Malaka Rodrigo [Mon, 20 Jul 2020]
– A citizen science initiative that identifies and visually records leopard behavior at Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park, world famous for its leopards, hopes to give visitors a better insight into each of the big cats.
– The new information center was commissioned soon after the COVID-19 lockdown to educate visitors on how to identify the park’s many leopards individually, adding more value to their wildlife experience.
– The data generated through the initiative is expected to support leopard conservation initiatives in the region and assist wildlife rangers to monitor and manage the park’s leopard population more effectively.

Amazon fires rage despite official ban, Greenpeace photos reveal by [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– Landholders in the Brazilian Amazon are continuing to burn forests despite an official government ban on burning in the region, photographs released today by Greenpeace Brazil reveal.
– The photos, captured during flyovers conducted between July 7th and 10th in the state of Mato Grosso, documented fires in recently cleared areas and adjacent forests.
– Greenpeace’s photos come a week after Brazil’s national space research institute INPE released data showing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased for the past 15 consecutive months, putting the 12-month rate 96% higher than when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January 2019.
– Independent assessments of the situation in the Amazon by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO, and the Amazon Conservation Association’s MAAP Initiative, an international NGO, are consistent with INPE’s data, showing a strong increase in forest loss this year.

A fire and a firing: Double whammy for Madagascar environmental regulator by Malavika Vyawahare [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– Madagascar’s top environmental regulator has been hit by a one-two punch of its headquarters going up in flames and its director-general being fired, all within the space of just two days this past week.
– An inquiry has been ordered into the cause of the fire on July 15 at the National Office for the Environment (ONE), which houses important documentation relating to environmental permits and impact assessments
– ONE also hosts an environmental information system on its office server, which environment ministry officials say escaped the flames; its website remained inaccessible as of July 17.
– Complicating efforts to deal with the fallout of the fire, and fanning speculation on social media, is the firing of the ONE director-general on July 16, which an environment ministry official said was unrelated to the fire.

Sounding the alarm about illegal logging? There’s an app for that by Liz Kimbrough [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– Illegal timber accounts for 15% to 30% of the timber trade globally and is worth more than $100 billion. A significant share of this illegally harvested timber is sold in European markets.
– In the vast territories of both the Amazon and the Congo, the largest tropical rainforests in the world, authorities largely lack the capacity to monitor for illegal mining and logging activities.
– Using the customizable app ForestLink, people living within and around the forests can send alerts about illegal logging and mining activities to authorities and other stakeholders from remote areas without mobile connectivity or internet service.
– Community alerts have triggered more than 30 verification and enforcement missions by civil society organizations and local authorities in Cameroon, the DRC and Ghana in 2019 alone.

Only a few ‘rotten apples’ causing most illegal Brazil deforestation: Study by Sarah Sax [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– It is well known that agribusiness — especially cattle and soy production — is the major driver of illegal deforestation in Brazil, which has seen soaring rates of forest destruction since the election of Jair Bolsonaro. Many of those agricultural commodities end up being exported to the European Union.
– But little has been done to curb the problem, partly due to lack of government will, and partly due to the fact that the precise amount of illegal deforestation linked to exported meat and soy has never been identified, while ranches and plantations and their owners mostly responsible are difficult to pinpoint.
– Now a new potentially game changing study finds that while around 20% of all agricultural exports from Brazil to the EU appear to come from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna, only about 2% of producers are responsible for the majority of that illegal deforestation.
– The study methods have the potential to advance supply chain traceability, showing that it is now possible to trace agricultural products from illegal deforested areas all the way to foreign consumers, making it far easier for nations and companies to curb deforestation — if they have the will.

Sea temperature a critical factor in success of coral reef outplants by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– As the world’s coral reef systems decline due to mass bleaching events and other stressors, coral reef gardening or outplanting, the practice of growing coral fragments and planting them on ailing reefs, is being used to restore reefs.
– A new study finds that the survival of coral reef outplants dropped below 50% if the sea surface temperature rose above 30.5° Celsius (89.6° Fahrenheit).
– Coral outplants were also more likely to survive in marine environments with variable temperatures, which might increase their resilience to temperature change, according to the authors.
– Ocean warming is projected to continue to increase, so choosing appropriate coral outplant sites based on temperature will help ensure the success of coral restoration projects, the study suggests.

New study quantifies impact of hunting on migratory shorebird populations by [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– Hunting might be a major threat for thousands of migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), one of the major corridors for migratory birds in the world.
– A new study shows that hunting has contributed to the demise of at least a third of migratory shorebirds in the flyway since the 1970s.
– The flyway, which spans 22 countries from the Arctic to Australia, is the most threatened flyway among the nine migratory bird corridors in the world, with habitat loss and climate change the main drivers of the plummeting population.
– Around 50 million waterbirds pass through the flyway on an annual basis, but recent data shows a 61% decline in migrating waterbird species.

Keystone mammal plunges 87% in Mesoamerica by Francesca Edralin [Fri, 17 Jul 2020]
– White-lipped peccaries, the pig-like mammals that range from Mexico to Argentina, are in “precipitous decline” in their Mesoamerican range, according to a new study.
– Their numbers in this region may have dropped by as much as 90% over the past 40 years, sparking a push for a new conservation assessment.
– The main threat to the species is the destruction of its rainforest habitat, largely attributed to the expansion of agriculture and cattle pasture.
– Conservationists say the loss of peccaries will have significant ramifications for rainforest ecosystems, which the animals are important in shaping through seed dispersal, tree control, and creation of watering holes.

Our most popular conservation news stories from June 2020 by [Thu, 16 Jul 2020]
– Mongabay navigated the tumultuous second quarter of 2020 by continuing to produce high quality content from Nature’s frontline.
– June was another strong month for traffic, topping 11 million pageviews, up 53% over a year ago.
– Below are the most read stories on from June 2020 and for the year to date.



In the battle to save forests, a make-or-break moment for REDD+ by Carol J. Clouse [07/15/2020]
Risking death and arrest, Madagascar fishers chase dwindling sea cucumbers by Chris Scarffe [07/15/2020]
The U.N.’s grand plan to save forests hasn’t worked, but some still believe it can by Carol J. Clouse [07/14/2020]
‘In the plantations there is hunger and loneliness’: The cultural dimensions of food insecurity in Papua by Sophie Chao [07/14/2020]
Perfume coalition’s conservation-first approach: Q&A with Heather D’Angelo by [07/13/2020]
For the world’s rarest gorillas, a troubled sanctuary by Linus Unah [07/13/2020]
‘On the edge’: Endangered forest cleared for marijuana in Paraguay by Aldo Benitez [07/09/2020]
Traditional villages dread living in shadow of Amazon tailings dams by Thais Borges and Sue Branford [07/09/2020]