Newsletter feed

All news

Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

The Philippines commits to science-anchored fishery policies
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-20]
The agency responsible for looking after the Philippines’ fish stocks has pledged to step up the science behind its management of the resource as it announced new reforms to the sector. “Healthy fisheries are critical to the well-being of all Filipinos, and we are committed to making fishing sustainable nationwide,” said Eduardo Gongona, head of […]






Another Madagascar environmental activist imprisoned
By Edward Carver [2017-10-20]
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — In Madagascar, speaking out against corporate wrongdoing or government corruption can be dangerous business. So it took some courage for Raleva, a 61-year-old farmer, to stand up and ask questions at a meeting in his village in southeast Madagascar on September 27. A Chinese-Malagasy company, previously expelled from the area, had come […]






Belo Monte dam-opposing Brazilian activist wins prestigious environmental award
By Mike Gaworecki [2017-10-19]
Brazilian environmental and human rights activist Antônia Melo da Silva received the Alexander Soros Foundation Award earlier this month in recognition of her work organizing opposition to the Belo Monte dam and other infrastructure projects in the Amazon. Melo founded the “Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre” two decades ago in order to bring together the […]






Could fungi provide an alternative to palm oil?
By Kimberley Brown [2017-10-19]
Fungi – a kingdom grouping that includes mushrooms, mold and yeast – have long been heralded for their beneficial properties. They’ve been used to soak up oil spills, boost your immune system and lower cholesterol, among other environmental and medical feats. Now, researchers have found one more use for fungi – as a possible alternative […]






Deforestation drops 16% in the Brazilian Amazon
By Rhett A. Butler [2017-10-19]
Deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest declined over the past year, reports the Brazilian government. According to preliminary data from Brazil’s national space agency INPE, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon amounted to 6,624 square kilometers (2,558 square miles) between August, 1 2016 and July 31, 2017. The loss is equivalent to 112 Manhattans or half […]






Amazonian manatee migration at risk from disruption by proposed dams
By Claire Salisbury [2017-10-19]
During the wet season, manatees swim Amazon basin floodplains; in dry times they migrate to lakes. Hundreds of planned dams could disrupt that cycle.






Road building threatens forests, water supplies in Kuala Lumpur area
By Kate Mayberry [2017-10-19]
AMPANG, Malaysia – Taman Rimba Ampang was once a peaceful retreat from the bustle of Malaysia’s capital, a place where Kuala Lumpur’s residents could paddle in the shallow waters of the river, shaded by lush jungle canopy. Now it’s being torn apart. A gash of orange-red mud cuts across the road that once brought paddlers […]






Leading US plywood firm linked to alleged destruction, rights violations in Malaysia
By John C. Cannon [2017-10-19]
The sustainability and legality claims of the largest plywood importer in the US have come under question after it was found to have received shipments of Malaysian plywood worth more than $500,000 from a supplier connected to environmental and human rights violations. The 600 cubic meters (21,200 cubic feet) of plywood that Liberty Woods bought […]






Seychelles home to new species of caecilian, a legless amphibian
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-19]
A team of scientists from Seychelles, the United States and the United Kingdom has found a new caecilian, perhaps the smallest species of the legless amphibian on Earth. “As soon as I saw it I knew it was a new species,” Simon Maddock, a conservation biologist at the University of Wolverhampton, said in a statement. […]






‘If it’s going to kill us, OK, we’ll die’: Villagers stand firm as Cambodian dam begins to fill
By Jenny Denton [2017-10-18]
On Sept. 25, amid a continuing crackdown on media, political opposition and civil society described by commentators as “a slide into dictatorship,” Prime Minister Hun Sen officially launched Cambodia’s biggest hydropower project. At the ceremony the gates were closed on the $800 million Lower Sesan 2 dam, a joint venture between China’s Hydrolancang International Energy, Cambodia’s […]






Unfair trade: US beef has a climate problem
By Sean Mowbray [2017-10-18]
When Donald Trump pulled the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), it dashed plans to increase beef exports to Japan. But trade deals like TTP, which don’t address climate change, remain a looming environmental threat, as does rising global beef consumption.






Audio: Indonesian rainforests for sale and bat calls of the Amazon
By Mike Gaworecki [2017-10-18]
This episode of the Mongabay Newscast takes a look at our new investigative series, “Indonesia for Sale,” and also features a new acoustic study of Amazonian bats. We recently published the first installment of a new investigative series Mongabay is doing in collaboration with The Gecko Project. The series is called “Indonesia For Sale,” and […]






Jakarta reclamation project allowed to resume, but opposition remains
By Basten Gokkon [2017-10-18]
JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has allowed work to resume on a $40 billion project to build 17 artificial islands off the northern coast of the capital Jakarta, overturning a suspension imposed last year. Construction activities on three of the reclamation project’s islets were halted in early 2016 following concerns from regulators and opposition from […]






How small is too small? The uncertain fate of Madagascar’s forest fragments
By Rowan Moore Gerety [2017-10-18]
Each dry season, members of the community group VOI Sohisika try to keep brush fires at bay with controlled burns that run along firebreaks on the perimeter of the preserve. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden.ANKAFOBE, Madagascar — When he first told colleagues at the Missouri Botanical Garden that lemurs still lived in the forest in Ankafobe, Jean Jacques Rasolofonirina said he was met with disbelief. “The forest is too small,” he recalled one saying—just 27.76 hectares, to be exact, split into three fragments scarcely larger than three or four […]






One man’s quest to save the world’s wildest places: Hansjörg Wyss
By Rhett A Butler [2017-10-18]
In the late 1950s, a young graduate student from Switzerland named Hansjörg Wyss took a summer job with the Colorado Highway Department. In his free time, he explored, climbed, and camped in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. That summer left an indelible impression on Wyss, who later went on to found a medical device […]






Munduruku standoff against Amazon dam builders potentially explosive
By Sue Branford with Fernanda Moreira and Maurício Torres [2017-10-17]
Last Friday, eighty Munduruku warriors — demanding an apology for destruction of two sacred sites — tried to occupy an Amazon dam; they were met by armed police.






SMART and well-Connected: reserve patrol data system adds communications capacity
By Sue Palminteri [2017-10-17]
Increasingly well-funded poaching gangs, as well as the pressure of ever-growing surrounding human populations, have made protecting wildlife and nature reserves a sometimes dangerous and uncertain way to make a living. To meet these threats with generally understaffed patrol teams, managers at several hundred protected areas globally have enlisted the free, open-source Spatial Monitoring and […]






Study maps out reptiles’ ranges, completing the ‘atlas of life’
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-17]
Across the swath of vertebrate lifeforms that inhabit Earth, scientists have a pretty good idea about where most of the known land mammals, birds and amphibians live. That makes identifying areas for protection where a lot of these animals live relatively straightforward, even if the details of actually protecting these places are far more complicated. […]






Acidifying oceans a bad trip for marine ecosystems
By Alexandra Popescu [2017-10-17]
A more acidic ocean under climate change threatens to reconfigure entire ecosystems by advantaging some fish species to the detriment of others, a new study has found. The research is one of only a few that go beyond the lab to study how species interactions are changing in nature under more extreme conditions. Researchers from […]






When a rhino calls in the forest, this guy hears it: Q&A with a Javan rhino researcher
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-16]
How much can we learn about a species that is rarely ever spotted by humans? The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is among the rarest and most cryptic of mammal species. Although its entire remaining population is now confined to a single park in Indonesia, many aspects of these elusive animals’ lives remain almost completely unknown […]






Features

Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

The Philippines commits to science-anchored fishery policies
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-20]
The agency responsible for looking after the Philippines’ fish stocks has pledged to step up the science behind its management of the resource as it announced new reforms to the sector. “Healthy fisheries are critical to the well-being of all Filipinos, and we are committed to making fishing sustainable nationwide,” said Eduardo Gongona, head of […]






Another Madagascar environmental activist imprisoned
By Edward Carver [2017-10-20]
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — In Madagascar, speaking out against corporate wrongdoing or government corruption can be dangerous business. So it took some courage for Raleva, a 61-year-old farmer, to stand up and ask questions at a meeting in his village in southeast Madagascar on September 27. A Chinese-Malagasy company, previously expelled from the area, had come […]






Belo Monte dam-opposing Brazilian activist wins prestigious environmental award
By Mike Gaworecki [2017-10-19]
Brazilian environmental and human rights activist Antônia Melo da Silva received the Alexander Soros Foundation Award earlier this month in recognition of her work organizing opposition to the Belo Monte dam and other infrastructure projects in the Amazon. Melo founded the “Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre” two decades ago in order to bring together the […]






Could fungi provide an alternative to palm oil?
By Kimberley Brown [2017-10-19]
Fungi – a kingdom grouping that includes mushrooms, mold and yeast – have long been heralded for their beneficial properties. They’ve been used to soak up oil spills, boost your immune system and lower cholesterol, among other environmental and medical feats. Now, researchers have found one more use for fungi – as a possible alternative […]






Deforestation drops 16% in the Brazilian Amazon
By Rhett A. Butler [2017-10-19]
Deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest declined over the past year, reports the Brazilian government. According to preliminary data from Brazil’s national space agency INPE, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon amounted to 6,624 square kilometers (2,558 square miles) between August, 1 2016 and July 31, 2017. The loss is equivalent to 112 Manhattans or half […]






Amazonian manatee migration at risk from disruption by proposed dams
By Claire Salisbury [2017-10-19]
During the wet season, manatees swim Amazon basin floodplains; in dry times they migrate to lakes. Hundreds of planned dams could disrupt that cycle.






Road building threatens forests, water supplies in Kuala Lumpur area
By Kate Mayberry [2017-10-19]
AMPANG, Malaysia – Taman Rimba Ampang was once a peaceful retreat from the bustle of Malaysia’s capital, a place where Kuala Lumpur’s residents could paddle in the shallow waters of the river, shaded by lush jungle canopy. Now it’s being torn apart. A gash of orange-red mud cuts across the road that once brought paddlers […]






Leading US plywood firm linked to alleged destruction, rights violations in Malaysia
By John C. Cannon [2017-10-19]
The sustainability and legality claims of the largest plywood importer in the US have come under question after it was found to have received shipments of Malaysian plywood worth more than $500,000 from a supplier connected to environmental and human rights violations. The 600 cubic meters (21,200 cubic feet) of plywood that Liberty Woods bought […]






Seychelles home to new species of caecilian, a legless amphibian
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-19]
A team of scientists from Seychelles, the United States and the United Kingdom has found a new caecilian, perhaps the smallest species of the legless amphibian on Earth. “As soon as I saw it I knew it was a new species,” Simon Maddock, a conservation biologist at the University of Wolverhampton, said in a statement. […]






‘If it’s going to kill us, OK, we’ll die’: Villagers stand firm as Cambodian dam begins to fill
By Jenny Denton [2017-10-18]
On Sept. 25, amid a continuing crackdown on media, political opposition and civil society described by commentators as “a slide into dictatorship,” Prime Minister Hun Sen officially launched Cambodia’s biggest hydropower project. At the ceremony the gates were closed on the $800 million Lower Sesan 2 dam, a joint venture between China’s Hydrolancang International Energy, Cambodia’s […]






Unfair trade: US beef has a climate problem
By Sean Mowbray [2017-10-18]
When Donald Trump pulled the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), it dashed plans to increase beef exports to Japan. But trade deals like TTP, which don’t address climate change, remain a looming environmental threat, as does rising global beef consumption.






Audio: Indonesian rainforests for sale and bat calls of the Amazon
By Mike Gaworecki [2017-10-18]
This episode of the Mongabay Newscast takes a look at our new investigative series, “Indonesia for Sale,” and also features a new acoustic study of Amazonian bats. We recently published the first installment of a new investigative series Mongabay is doing in collaboration with The Gecko Project. The series is called “Indonesia For Sale,” and […]






Jakarta reclamation project allowed to resume, but opposition remains
By Basten Gokkon [2017-10-18]
JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has allowed work to resume on a $40 billion project to build 17 artificial islands off the northern coast of the capital Jakarta, overturning a suspension imposed last year. Construction activities on three of the reclamation project’s islets were halted in early 2016 following concerns from regulators and opposition from […]






How small is too small? The uncertain fate of Madagascar’s forest fragments
By Rowan Moore Gerety [2017-10-18]
Each dry season, members of the community group VOI Sohisika try to keep brush fires at bay with controlled burns that run along firebreaks on the perimeter of the preserve. Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden.ANKAFOBE, Madagascar — When he first told colleagues at the Missouri Botanical Garden that lemurs still lived in the forest in Ankafobe, Jean Jacques Rasolofonirina said he was met with disbelief. “The forest is too small,” he recalled one saying—just 27.76 hectares, to be exact, split into three fragments scarcely larger than three or four […]






One man’s quest to save the world’s wildest places: Hansjörg Wyss
By Rhett A Butler [2017-10-18]
In the late 1950s, a young graduate student from Switzerland named Hansjörg Wyss took a summer job with the Colorado Highway Department. In his free time, he explored, climbed, and camped in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. That summer left an indelible impression on Wyss, who later went on to found a medical device […]






Munduruku standoff against Amazon dam builders potentially explosive
By Sue Branford with Fernanda Moreira and Maurício Torres [2017-10-17]
Last Friday, eighty Munduruku warriors — demanding an apology for destruction of two sacred sites — tried to occupy an Amazon dam; they were met by armed police.






SMART and well-Connected: reserve patrol data system adds communications capacity
By Sue Palminteri [2017-10-17]
Increasingly well-funded poaching gangs, as well as the pressure of ever-growing surrounding human populations, have made protecting wildlife and nature reserves a sometimes dangerous and uncertain way to make a living. To meet these threats with generally understaffed patrol teams, managers at several hundred protected areas globally have enlisted the free, open-source Spatial Monitoring and […]






Study maps out reptiles’ ranges, completing the ‘atlas of life’
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-17]
Across the swath of vertebrate lifeforms that inhabit Earth, scientists have a pretty good idea about where most of the known land mammals, birds and amphibians live. That makes identifying areas for protection where a lot of these animals live relatively straightforward, even if the details of actually protecting these places are far more complicated. […]






Acidifying oceans a bad trip for marine ecosystems
By Alexandra Popescu [2017-10-17]
A more acidic ocean under climate change threatens to reconfigure entire ecosystems by advantaging some fish species to the detriment of others, a new study has found. The research is one of only a few that go beyond the lab to study how species interactions are changing in nature under more extreme conditions. Researchers from […]






When a rhino calls in the forest, this guy hears it: Q&A with a Javan rhino researcher
By Mongabay.com [2017-10-16]
How much can we learn about a species that is rarely ever spotted by humans? The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is among the rarest and most cryptic of mammal species. Although its entire remaining population is now confined to a single park in Indonesia, many aspects of these elusive animals’ lives remain almost completely unknown […]






Wildtech news

Wildtech

Technology for Conservation

Experts hack away at portable DNA barcode scanner to fight timber and wildlife trafficking
By Julia John [2016-09-08]
Survey responses to the Wildtech needs assessment—especially from field researchers—put portable DNA analysis near the top of the research and conservation technology wish-list. How could we harness DNA barcode technology in an adaptable, handheld device that frontline officials in developing countries could use to combat timber and wildlife trafficking? The DNA Barcode Scanner Hack that […]






Hot stuff: improving chili fence effectiveness (in protecting crops from elephants)
By Sue Palminteri [2016-09-07]
Some tips from a chili fence expert on how to make the most of a low-tech approach to reducing crop raiding and retaliatory killing of elephants






Solving Global Grand Challenges, One MOOC at a Time
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-08-12]
A new online course aims to address the complex challenges facing conservation and development.






Understanding the ghost of the mountain
By Julia John [2016-08-10]
The grayish-white form of the ghost of the mountain slinks through the snowcapped slopes of Central Asia. Its remote, harsh habitat, cryptic coat and elusive nature have impeded investigation and made monitoring the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) arduous, if not impossible. Technological advances, however, are changing that. New population estimates for the big cat, based […]






How to use the Bloomberg Terminal for advocacy work: advanced tools
By Dan Williams [2016-08-08]
An oil-palm plantation with a few remaining rainforest trees in Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Other stories in Mongabay’s series on using the Bloomberg Terminal in advocacy work: Part 1: How to use the Bloomberg Terminal for advocacy work: the basics Part 2: Tracking assets for environmental advocacy work with Bloomberg  The previous two articles in this three-part series detailed some of the basic functions of the Bloomberg Terminal — […]






Identifying the drivers of Amazon deforestation through high-tech maps and stories
By Suzanne Palminteri [2016-08-05]
A new logging road stands out against an otherwise intact rainforestThe MAAP project integrates a range of satellite imagery and analysis tools to detect and disclose deforestation across the Peruvian Amazon.






DART-TOFMS: Finding the chemistry in wood
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-08-03]
Earlier this summer, members of the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA) gathered in Washington, DC for their Semi-Annual Membership Meeting. As a precursor to the upcoming CITES COP17 meeting in September, the FLA member meeting focused on issues pertaining to illegally traded CITES-listed timber species, proposals to add new timber species to the CITES list and […]






Chew on this new way to detect disease in primates
By Julia John [2016-07-28]
Preoccupied with snipping a saliva-soaked plant part with a scalpel and placing it in a little tube of viral transport media, veterinary epidemiologist Tierra Smiley Evans thought she was alone, backed up against a big bush. But someone was watching close by with beady eyes. Suddenly, a shaggy black arm darted under her armpit and […]






Piloting PALM Risk to detect palm oil-driven deforestation
By Julia John [2016-07-20]
What do lipstick, detergent and instant noodles have in common? They all contain palm oil. Half of every packaged product stocking supermarket shelves can be traced back to a ruthless army of oil palm trees rapidly occupying land that naturally supported rich tropical forests. Palm oil production razes and replaces biologically diverse ecosystems with monospecific […]






Wildlife Law Enforcement in Sub-Saharan African Protected Areas: A Review of Best Practices
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-07-15]
“Across Africa, illegal killing and trade in wildlife, especially of iconic species such as elephants and rhinos, has now reached crisis proportions. Illicit wildlife trafficking now comprises the fourth largest illegal trade internationally after arms and drugs trafficking, and trafficking in human beings. In recent years, tens of thousands of elephants have been killed every […]






New map of Malaysia’s limestone hills will help set conservation priorities
By Mike Gaworecki [2016-07-11]
Malaysia’s limestone hills, or karsts, have been described as “arks of biodiversity,” but they’re facing intense pressures from mining and other human activities. Limestone is a vital resource for the construction industry, meaning it is not likely that forest degradation and quarrying in a developing country like Malaysia, where 445 limestone hills have been recorded […]






GDELT: Mining and mapping global wildlife crime news
By Julia John [2016-07-07]
In the eighth grade, at an age most boys spend their time outside school watching sports and playing videogames, Kalev Leetaru was delving into large-scale web mining and founding his first web company. With his continued interest in investigating enormous amounts of data two decades since, he now heads the GDELT Project, a massive open-data platform that analyzes news media […]






Bringing Star Trek tricorder analysis to the 21st century
By Hina Alam [2016-07-04]
Handheld, palm-sized, lightweight DNA preparation and sequencing devices are coming your way soon.






Bridging the Gap between Land and Space
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-07-01]
The United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity aims to expand the use of space technology in conservation.






5 Tech Projects That Are Protecting Sharks
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-06-30]
Annually, approximately 100 million sharks are killed by commercial fisheries. Coupled with climate change and a decrease of food supply from overfishing, some shark populations are teetering on the edge of extinction. Bringing sharks into mainstream media, the brainchild of the Discovery Channel and the longest running cable TV program, Shark Week has aired every […]






A World of Tings
By Taylor Robb-McCord [2016-06-28]
The real-time wildlife sighting app, Latest Sightings, can help to link a global community of wildlife enthusiasts and promote conservation one “ting” at a time.






Combining high-tech and low-tech to turn satellite images into action
By [2016-06-24]
  Since its founding, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has been on the forefront of conservation science, and in recent years the group has been applying remote sensing, mobile phone technologies, and cloud-based mapping tools to its forest and ape habitat conservation work. Today, JGI scientists use a suite of technologies to monitor chimpanzee habitat, […]






Drink beer, help the ocean?
By Julia John [2016-06-14]
Beer may have a bad rep among carb-fearing ab-chiseling fitness fans, but it could now be better for the environment than it was before. Well, at least the new kind packaged using edible six-pack rings from south Florida’s Saltwater Brewery. This Delray Beach microbrewery north of Miami, Florida, just launched the first ever 100% compostable […]






e-Eye of the tiger: Complex surveillance system extends watch over India’s wildlife sanctuaries
By Julia John [2016-06-10]
A new set of eyes is keeping watch over tiger reserves across India. They’re electronic, but they seem to have hawk-like observational faculties. And they may be related to how the country’s tiger population increased from 1,706 in 2010, one year before this digital monitoring system was first implemented, to 2,226 in 2014, the last […]






Tracking assets for environmental advocacy work with Bloomberg
By Dan Williams [2016-06-09]
Oil-palm estate in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Other stories in Mongabay’s series on using the Bloomberg Terminal in advocacy work: Part 1: How to use the Bloomberg Terminal for advocacy work: the basics Part 3: How to use the Bloomberg Terminal for advocacy work: advanced tools The Bloomberg Terminal is Windows-based proprietary software that offers users real-time access to global news sources, financial […]