Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Madagascar: Conservation official arrested for killing 11 endangered lemurs

By Riana Raymonde Randrianarisoa [2018-03-16]
A critically endangered indri lemur (Indri indri). Ten indris were killed in the recent poaching incident. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. A critically endangered indri lemur (Indri indri). Ten indris were killed in the recent poaching incident. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — Two weeks ago, the bodies of 11 critically endangered lemurs were discovered in Iaroka forest inside the Zahamena Ankeniheny Corridor protected area in eastern Madagascar. The lemurs were allegedly killed by one of the local officials charged with protecting them, to the dismay of conservation leaders. The protected forest is managed jointly […]

Sharp-eyed Mongabay readers spot a jaguarundi (commentary)

By Glenn Scherer [2018-03-16]
Mongabay does its very best to be accurate in its reporting, but sometimes we need a little help from our friends.

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, March 16, 2018

By Mongabay.com [2018-03-16]
Tropical forests Cash convinces forest dwellers to cut down fewer trees, a new study in five developing countries finds (University of Colorado at Boulder/EurekAlert). The loss of Central Africa’s elephants could fundamentally alter the makeup of the region’s forests (Duke University/EurekAlert). “Major” biodiversity reports will headline Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services meeting […]

Better agricultural planning could prevent 88% of biodiversity loss, study finds

By Morgan Erickson-Davis [2018-03-16]
Better planning could save a lot of wildlife, according to results from a study published recently in Global Change Biology. It found that nearly 90 percent of the biodiversity that scientists expect will be lost to future agricultural expansion could be saved if more effective land-use planning directed this expansion to areas with the fewest […]

150 years after being discovered, African monkey with handlebar moustache becomes its own species

By Mike Gaworecki [2018-03-16]
An African monkey first described to science more than 150 years ago has now been elevated to full species status. The Blue Nile patas monkey is found in the Blue Nile basin of Ethiopia as well as in eastern Sudan. Its range is geographically distinct from that of other patas monkeys, as Sudan’s Sudd swamp […]

Save the Sumatran rhino ‘because we can’ (commentary)

By Mongabay.com [2018-03-16]
Senior correspondent Jeremy Hance argues today in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald that we should save the Sumatran rhino, the world’s oldest, smallest, and cutest rhino from extinction not only because losing biodiversity is bad for the health of humanity’s environment, but also “because we can.” Mongabay sent Hance to Indonesia in […]

Report finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goals

By John C. Cannon [2018-03-16]
The camera follows the men through the forest as they arrive at the splintered stump of what looks to have been a massive tree. “For me, the forest is a legacy of our ancestors,” says one of the unnamed men. “We have no gold or diamonds. Our heritage is the forest. We do not like […]

Conservationists rush to save Bolivian turtles threatened by egg trafficking

By Eduardo Franco Berton [2018-03-15]
BENI DEPARTMENT, Bolivia — The sound of hundreds of excited children drowns out the gentle hum of nature. Those closest to the shoreline hold in their hands, some for the first time, the tiny babies of a species of river turtles known locally as peta de río. On the morning of Dec. 9, 2017, the […]

Cerrado: can the empire of soy coexist with savannah conservation?

By Alicia Prager and Flávia Milhorance [2018-03-15]
With Amazon deforestation due to soy production much reduced, agribusiness has vastly expanded into the Cerrado savannah next door; environmentalists are rushing to save what’s left.

Indonesia races to catch tiger alive as villagers threaten to ‘kill the beast’

By Zamzami [2018-03-15]
PEKANBARU, Indonesia — A wildlife conservation agency in Indonesia has deployed two special teams to capture alive a tiger blamed for killing two people this year, amid mounting calls for the animal to be killed. The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Riau province has been on the trail of the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris […]

Five years after zero-deforestation vow, little sign of progress from Indonesian pulp giant

By Hans Nicholas Jong [2018-03-15]
JAKARTA — Local and international watchdogs have criticized Indonesia’s biggest pulp and paper producer for what they deem a failure to live up to its flagship zero-deforestation policy. The joint statement lambasting Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) comes on the fifth anniversary of the launch of the company’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February 2013, […]

Bushmeat hunting threatens hornbills and raptors in Cameroon’s forests, study finds

By Shreya Dasgupta [2018-03-15]
Hornbills, vultures and eagles are being hunted for bushmeat in Cameroon in much greater numbers than previously thought, a new study has found. Previous research has shown that relatively few birds are sold in Cameroon’s markets compared to mammals and reptiles. However, market surveys can be biased toward commercially valuable wildlife, missing animals that are […]

For climate action to take hold, activists need more than just polar bears

By Joshua Parfitt [2018-03-15]
Type “climate change” into any search engine and the results aren’t difficult to predict: you’ll probably see a woeful polar bear on a shrinking patch of ice. Either that or cracked, parched earth. But a new paper published in Global Environmental Change questions the power of nature to motivate climate action. “Frequently, visual and verbal […]

Activists eye bigger roles for local officials, businesses in Indonesia’s orangutan protection plan

By Basten Gokkon [2018-03-15]
JAKARTA — Activists in Indonesia are calling for a set of federal guidelines on orangutan conservation that will compel local authorities and companies to take a more active role in protecting the critically endangered great ape. The call comes in the wake of two violent killings of orangutans in Indonesian Borneo in recent months, and […]

Will Madagascar’s industrial shrimp trawlers make way for local fishers?

By Edward Carver [2018-03-14]
Local fishers in the fishing town of Beheloke in southwestern Madagascar. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — For most people on the west coast of Madagascar, fishing is life. When the sun creeps over the horizon each morning, the men are already out in pirogues, many bearing canvas sails painted in the red, green and white of the Madagascar flag. Some families travel the coastline, past spiny forests and […]

Carol Van Strum, crusader against Agent Orange, wins prestigious environmental award

By Genevieve Belmaker [2018-03-14]
Carol Van Strum, winter 2017. Photo courtesy of Peggy Brewster.Longtime environmental activist Carol Van Strum is now also the recipient of a prestigious environmental protection award for her decades of work. Strum was awarded the international David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding environmental and social justice work on March 1, 2018. Van Strum is the author of “A Bitter Fog,” which tells the […]

Chocolate and agroforestry accelerate in El Salvador

By Anna-Catherine Brigida [2018-03-14]
ZACATECOLUCA, El Salvador — The waist-high trees in Jose Francisco Merino Umaña’s field have sprouted branches and lush green leaves, but their modest size doesn’t convey the full value they hold to this farmer. In a year or two, they will extend much higher and start sprouting oval pods filled with the seeds that are […]

Analysis: U.S. call to drill off all coasts, economic and ecological folly?

By Saul Elbein [2018-03-14]
The Interior Dept. is holding the biggest oil lease sale ever next week, and trying to extend drilling to all U.S. coasts, but experts say Trump’s plan for “energy dominance” is economically and environmentally flawed.

Mysterious new butterfly named after YouTuber Emily Graslie

By Mongabay.com [2018-03-14]
If you’re curious about the natural world, chances are you’ve seen Emily Graslie’s YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop. From wondering about peregrine falcon promiscuity and how owl vomit helps us understand history, to peering into dried Egyptian mummy brains, Graslie, the writer, producer and host of The Brain Scoop, takes viewers behind the scenes at Chicago’s […]

Camera traps nab crop-raiding animals near farms in the Amazon

By Mongabay.com [2018-03-14]
Photographs of crop-raiding animals taken with camera traps and conversations with farmers in the Amazon suggest it’s possible to protect the diversity of life in the world’s largest rainforest while also ensuring that people have enough to eat. “Rural Amazonian communities are some of the world’s poorest, but they live with the world’s highest biodiversity,” […]