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Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

New species of neon-colored fish discovered off Brazil
By Mongabay.com [2018-09-26]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-23]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-23]
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 [2018-09-21]
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 [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-20]
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 […]






Features

Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

New species of neon-colored fish discovered off Brazil
By Mongabay.com [2018-09-26]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-25]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 [2018-09-24]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-23]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-23]
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 [2018-09-21]
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 [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-21]
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 Mongabay.com [2018-09-20]
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 […]






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 Nathan Hahn [2016-06-24]
Dr. Lilian Pintea, Vice President of conservation science at the Jane Goodall Institute. Photo courtesy of JGI/Jeff Kerby.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 […]






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 […]