Mongabay News

A feed from Mongabay, which seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of nature and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development.


25 May 2018. Palm oil certification? No silver bullet, but essential for sustainability (commentary) As one of the world’s most widely traded food and beverage commodities, palm oil is used in everything from baked goods to biofuels. It is produced in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America and sold to customers around the globe. Because no single jurisdiction governs this trade, it is extremely difficult to drive the broad-scale […]

25 May 2018. Latam Eco Review: Peru’s first environmental court Below are summaries of the most popular stories by our Spanish language service, Mongabay Latam, from the week of May 14 -20. Among the top articles: an environmental court seeks to stop environmental crimes in the most deforested region of Peru. In other news, with elections around the corner in Colombia, experts take a closer […]

25 May 2018. Scientists tackling conservation problems turn to artificial intelligence New technologies are generating far more information than ever before to help scientists assess and predict the health and behavior of species and ecosystems, as well as the threats they face. These include cryptic cameras, acoustic sensors, satellite imagery and citizen science apps. Now, researchers and conservation practitioners analyzing large data sets are exploring artificial intelligence, […]

25 May 2018. In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, May 25, 2018 Here are a few stories published this week by other news outlets. Tropical forests Scientists find that plants make up most of the world’s biomass (The Economist, New Scientist). Efforts to increase food security with a green revolution in Africa hit a roadblock in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters). Illegal gold mining could be […]

24 May 2018. Researchers propose framework for designing PES programs that better deliver socioeconomic benefits Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs have been implemented around the world as a means of delivering environmental conservation outcomes while also allowing for socioeconomic development in communities that live in and rely on the landscapes being protected. The basic idea behind PES is that beneficiaries of environmental services like the provision of clean water […]

24 May 2018. Illegal loggers ‘cook the books’ to harvest Amazon’s most valuable tree Brazilian loggers have faked forest inventories and issued phony timber credits to harvest Ipê trees exported to U.S. and Europe. Importers often turn a blind eye: report.

24 May 2018. Agroforestry gives Kenyan indigenous community a lifeline WEST POKOT, Kenya — The Cherangani people, an indigenous community in Kenya’s Rift Valley, have always called the Cherangani Hills Forest their ancestral home. Also known locally as the Sengwer, they were traditionally reliant on the forest for hunting and gathering, herbal medicines, honey, and sorghum and millet farming. Then the colonial government evicted them from […]

24 May 2018. Guardians of India’s rhinos find it takes a village to fight poachers This is the second article in a two-part series on poaching in Jaldapara National Park. In Part One, interviews with former poachers revealed the inner workings of wildlife trafficking in West Bengal state. JALDAPARA NATIONAL PARK, India — Poachers killed a rhino in Jaldapara National Park, in India’s West Bengal state, in February this year, […]

24 May 2018. Chinese giant salamander is at least five species — all nearly extinct The world’s largest amphibian has become vanishingly rare in the wild, a new study has found. The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach lengths of more than 1.8 meters (6 feet), taller than many humans, making them hard to miss. Yet scientists who spent four years surveying the salamander’s preferred river habitats across 97 counties […]

24 May 2018. Rangers face a ‘toxic mix’ of mental strain and lack of support On April 9, suspected members of an armed militia gunned down five wildlife rangers and their driver in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was the worst attack in Virunga’s bloody history, and the latest in a long line of tragic incidents in which rangers have lost their lives defending the […]

23 May 2018. Making the most of conservation science (commentary) Imagine you are the head of a small NGO trying to conserve vultures. You have limited funds, and have to choose your actions carefully. Would supplementary feeding increase the population? Could you artificially incubate eggs and hand-rear some chicks to release, or would it be better to foster the eggs or chicks of the endangered […]

23 May 2018. Hunters are wiping out hornbills in Ghana’s forests Hunting for meat consumption and the bushmeat trade is threatening several species of hornbills in Ghana, in some cases leading to their complete disappearance, according to a recent study. Ecologist Lars H. Holbech of the University of Ghana said hunters had shifted their focus from the large mammals, now rare in many parts of the […]

23 May 2018. Trio of studies challenges Indian government claim of increasing forest cover ­Natural forests across India are slowly disappearing, a set of new studies shows, contradicting recent government claims about increasing forest cover. The three studies, published over the past seven months, use a mix of satellite data, ground vegetation observations and historical maps. They show the Eastern Ghats, a series of mountains running along India’s eastern […]

22 May 2018. Roads might pose even bigger threat to Southeast Asian forests, biodiversity than previously understood Southeast Asia is a global biodiversity hotspot, and Indonesia and Malaysia are no exception, harboring some of the highest levels of species diversity in the world. Yet those two countries also supply more than 80 percent of the world’s palm oil, and it’s widely acknowledged that the expansion of oil palm plantations in the Indo-Malaysian […]

22 May 2018. Fishing gear poses the greatest danger to young great whites off the West Coast of the U.S. Fishing nets and lines kill more young white sharks living near Mexico and southern California than any other cause of death, a new study has found. A team of researchers led by ecologist John Benson used a relatively “untapped” but ubiquitous storehouse of data to help answer a question that scientists have about great whites […]

22 May 2018. In unsuspecting Indian villages, the international rhino horn trade takes a toll Interviews with former poachers reveal the inner workings of wildlife trafficking in West Bengal state.

22 May 2018. African vultures under the gun as lead ammunition takes a toll Lead bullet fragments in animal carcasses left behind by game hunters could be poisoning vultures in Botswana, according to a new study that echoes similar findings from elsewhere around the world. The African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is already under grave threat. Its populations have declined by as much as 90 percent across much of […]

21 May 2018. Lessons for developing countries in expansion of Madagascar’s protected area network Developing countries worldwide are expanding their protected area networks, and a recent paper that examines how Madagascar greatly expanded its own protected area system over the past decade and a half may have valuable lessons for how they should proceed. The government of Madagascar committed to tripling its protected area system at the World Parks […]

21 May 2018. Venezuela’s hungry hunt wildlife, zoo animals, as economic crisis grows The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has become a crisis for wildlife and zoo animals too, as a hungry, desperate population hunts wild species for food.

21 May 2018. Online network seeks to boost international collaboration against wildlife trafficking in Central Africa Five countries that are home to some of the most iconic and threatened animal species in the world have joined forces in a high-tech collaboration to improve wildlife law enforcement. Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic have formed the Africa Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange […]