Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Rewilding animals could be key for climate: Report

By Liz Kimbrough [2023-03-30]
A Baird's tapir walking at night through her natural habitat.When it comes to climate solutions, your first thought may not be the wildebeest. But in the Serengeti, these buffalo-looking antelopes are the key to carbon capture. Wildebeest eat large amounts of grass and recycle it back into the soil as dung. So when their population plummeted in the early 1900s due to a disease […]

Reconnecting ‘island habitat’ with wild corridors in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest

By Jeremy Hance [2023-03-30]
The endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia).In 2007, an NGO began linking up forest fragments in Brazil’s most at-risk biome. Today, Saving Nature has forest corridor projects underway on three continents. Part three of a three-part Mongabay mini-series on island habitat restoration.

Robust river governance key to restoring Mekong River vitality in face of dams

By Carolyn Cowan [2023-03-30]
Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.This is the second article in a Mongabay series focused on changes to the ecology and hydrology of the Mekong River. Read Part One. Niwat Roykaew, an environmental activist based in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand, described the Mekong as a naga, a mythical water serpent and symbol of fertility that brings abundance to […]

Do tiger-dense habitats also help save carbon stock? It’s complicated

By Abhaya Raj Joshi [2023-03-30]
A tiger in water.KATHMANDU — In 2012, when wildlife biologist Kanchan Thapa visited Chitwan National Park, a stronghold of the Bengal tiger in Nepal, a colleague asked him a question: “How much carbon can we save if we save one tiger?” It was an “interesting” question for Thapa, linking the two pressing issues of biodiversity loss and climate […]

Newly published carbon market standards aim to increase integrity, confidence

By John Cannon [2023-03-30]
Clouds reflected in a lake in the Amazon Rainforest.An independent governance body has released a set of rules aimed at boosting the “integrity” of the global carbon market for the exchange of credits meant to address the climate impacts of companies and individuals. “It’s clear we are not acting fast enough to address the climate crisis,” Annette Nazareth, chair of the Integrity Council […]

Jashodhon Pramanik: The farmer guardian of birds in Bangladesh

By Maksuda Aziz [2023-03-30]
Jashodhar Pramanik.Mr. Sobhan, a wealthy retired lawyer, decides he wants to do something to improve society. Realizing that the new aquaculture revolution has driven out local fish species, he compiles a list of species that are causing harm and goes to the appropriate government agency to voice his concern. Sadly, the officer makes fun of him […]

Will clean-energy minerals provoke a shift in how mining is done in Africa?

By Malavika Vyawahare [2023-03-30]
A cobalt mine in central Africa.While in some corners of the world, the clean energy revolution conjures up images of electric vehicles and expansive wind farms, in countries with mineral reserves critical for producing that clean energy, the transition entails more than switching from a gasoline-powered car to an EV. Demand for transition minerals like the lithium, cobalt, nickel and […]

In central Brazil, mining company ignores Quilombola concerns over gold project

By Sandra Silva/The Mining Observatory [2023-03-29]
Canadian mining company Aura Minerals plans to establish a major gold extraction project in Brazil’s Tocantins state without hearing the Quilombola (slave descendant) community that will be affected by the operations, thus violating their right to free, prior and informed consultation.

Mountain islands: Restoring a transitional cloud forest in Costa Rica

By Jeremy Hance [2023-03-29]
A resplendent quetzal.In 2002, a couple vacationing in Costa Rica, stunned by deforestation there, bought land and regrew a transitional cloud forest — a grassroots model worth emulating: Part two of a three-part Mongabay mini-series on island habitat restoration.

As hydropower dams quell the Mekong’s life force, what are the costs?

By Carolyn Cowan [2023-03-29]
Fishers pull in nets on Tonle Sap Lake in CambodiaThis is the first article in a Mongabay series focused on changes to the ecology and hydrology of the Mekong River. The Mekong River carves a vast aquatic lifeline through Asia. Rising in glacial streams high in the Tibetan plateau, the river morphs as it tumbles south through rocky ravines, steep-sided valleys and expansive flooded […]

Mexico’s Tren Maya hotel construction clears forest reserve without permits

By Maxwell Radwin [2023-03-29]
MEXICO CITY — The sudden, unexpected construction of a hotel in the middle of a protected reserve in southern Mexico has surprised residents and left many conservationists scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen to one of the largest contiguous rainforests in Mesoamerica. Developers broke ground on the project in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, in […]

RSPO suspension of Brazil palm oil exporter tied to Mongabay land-grabbing report

By Karla Mendes [2023-03-29]
A Quilombolas man lights candles in the cemetery.A Mongabay investigation into land-grabbing in the Brazilian Amazon has led to the suspension of the sustainability certificate of the country’s second top palm oil exporter, as shown in email correspondence seen by this reporter, in addition to key sources of the case. Agropalma, the only Brazilian company with the sustainability certificate issued by the Roundtable […]

CO2 in, methane out? Study highlights complexity of coastal carbon sinks

By Ruth Kamnitzer [2023-03-29]
Coastal ecosystems are very good at pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. But, as new research in the Baltic Sea shows, we also need to look at what they’re putting back in. Vegetated habitats along the coast sequester huge amounts of carbon. In fact, half of all the carbon stored in ocean sediment is in […]

How do oil palm companies get away with disregarding Indonesian law? (commentary)

By Tania Li [2023-03-29]
A worker sorts through harvested oil palm.“Please tell me how I can make companies obey the law,” the official said. He was exasperated by the companies whose oil palm plantations saturated the subdistrict he headed in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer. Their managers refused to give him information, address complaints or even come to his office when called, he […]

Indigenous communities and Mennonite colonies clash in Colombia

By NATALIA BRITO [2023-03-29]
In the first half of the 20th century, Mennonite communities fled Europe for South America and, over the intervening decades, established large colonies in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia. In 2015, three colonies arrived in Colombia, attracting controversy due to deforestation for large-scale agriculture in protected areas and Indigenous […]

‘Hope is action.’ David Suzuki retires into a life of determined activism

By Richard Schiffman [2023-03-28]
David Suzuki was one of the first voices to call for action to curb climate change, but he is probably best known as a broadcaster and prolific author of 52 books. In an interview conducted in late 2022, Canada’s highest profile scientist and environmental activist reflected back on his long career, the rapid decline of […]

Can a new regional pact protect the Amazon from environmental crime? (commentary)

By Carolina AndradeMelina RissoRobert Muggah [2023-03-28]
Overflight of illegal mining within the Yanomani Indigenous territory, Roraima, Brazil, April 2021. Image by Christian Braga for Greenpeace.Illegal deforestation, wildcat mining, drug trafficking, and lethal violence: Name your scourge and the Amazon Basin seldom disappoints. But as an unusual compact between police officers, prosecutors, environmental protectors, and money-laundering experts convened last week in Manaus shows, ruin can also give way to reflection – and even prospects for rapid response and building local […]

From ukuleles to reforestation: Regrowing a tropical forest in Hawai‘i

By Jeremy Hance [2023-03-28]
The vulnerable ʻiʻiwi (Drepanis coccinea).Two musical instrument makers wanted to save Hawai‘i’s rare koa tree. In the process, they restored a tropical forest on the slopes of the Big Island’s Mauna Loa volcano. Part one of a three-part Mongabay mini-series on island habitat restoration.

Citizen-run conservation booms in South America, despite state neglect

By Shanna Hanbury [2023-03-28]
Forest in Peru.When Teresa Chang first saw the plot of land that now makes up the Amotape Dry Forest Private Conservation Area in the Tumbes municipality of northern Peru, she was horrified. It was 1997 and she was looking for a place near the sea to retire with her husband. But the barren 123-hectare (300-acre) lot that […]

Gordon Moore, tech legend and conservation philanthropist, has died at 94

By Mongabay.com [2023-03-28]
Gordon Moore. Courtesy of the Moore Foundation.Technology entrepreneur and conservation philanthropist Gordon Moore has died, as reported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation on Friday. He was 94. While most widely known for his career in technology, including predicting the pace of semiconductor chip development — which became known as Moore’s Law — and co-founding Intel, Moore and his wife […]