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  • Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines?

    21 August 2014, 5:51 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate—known as tarsiers—in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby…
  • Running to reforest: communities, NGOs work to save Ugandan reserve in the midst of massive…

    21 August 2014, 1:17 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Stung by massive loss of forest cover in Bugoma central forest reserve, part of a vast chimpanzee habitat in the western part of Uganda, seven private local and international organizations in the east African country have joined hands to raise awareness of…
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging

    21 August 2014, 10:56 am by: Jeremy Hance

    As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things…
  • Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs

    21 August 2014, 1:03 am by: Rhett Butler

    Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in Biotropica. The research assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve…
  • Indonesia's forests so damaged they burn whether or not there's drought

    20 August 2014, 9:02 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Air pollution caused by fires set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia. While these fires are often termed forest fires, the reality is much of the area that burns each year has already been deforested and today…
  • New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered

    20 August 2014, 6:55 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species—dubbed the Ankarafa…
  • Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm

    20 August 2014, 6:17 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and…
  • Challenging the 'tragedy of the commons': new documentary explores how humans and nature can coexist…

    20 August 2014, 12:03 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    In Guatemala, a vast community forest has prospered for centuries despite an ever-growing population, challenging the idea that human inhabitation of an area will inevitably lead to its ecological degradation.
  • Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing…

    19 August 2014, 5:58 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten—or possibly more—you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to…
  • Logging of Russian Far East damaging tiger habitat, few intact forests protected (Part I)

    19 August 2014, 2:23 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The destruction of Russian forests to supply timber to international markets is becoming one of the biggest threats to the world’s largest cat, the Siberian tiger. Russia has more forests than any other country, with more than half of the world’s…
  • 20 percent of Africa's elephants killed in three years

    19 August 2014, 12:11 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant…
  • Norway puts $1.6B into rainforest conservation

    19 August 2014, 1:18 am by: Rhett Butler

    Since 2008 Norway has been the single largest foreign donor to tropical forest conservation, putting more than 10 billion Norwegian Krone, or $1.6 billion, toward programs in several countries under its International Climate and Forest Initiative. But how…
  • 20 orangutan pictures for World Orangutan Day

    18 August 2014, 9:44 pm by: Rhett Butler

    August 19 is World Orangutan Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about the great red ape, which is threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and hunting. Once distributed across much of southeast Asia, today orangutans are only found on the islands…
  • When forests aren't really forests: the high cost of Chile’s tree plantations

    18 August 2014, 12:49 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    At first glance, the statistics tell a hopeful story: Chile’s forests are expanding. On the ground, however, a different scene plays out: monocultures have replaced diverse natural forests while Mapuche native protesters burn pine plantations, blockade roads…
  • 13 newly-discovered birds declared extinct

    18 August 2014, 9:50 am by: Jeremy Hance

    In a recent update of the IUCN Red List, scientists have identified 13 new bird species that have gone extinct since 1500. In total the list now finds that at least 140 bird species gone extinct in the past five hundred years, representing 1.3 percent of the…
  • Google Earth spurs discovery of a 'new' chameleon species

    17 August 2014, 4:14 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Google Earth has spurred the discovery of another new species. In this case, the creature is a pygmy chameleon, one of four previously unknown Rhampholeon chameleon species described from the remote ‘sky islands’ in Mozambique. The Mount Mabu pygmy…
  • Indonesian govt reiterates plan to clear 14M ha of forest by 2020

    16 August 2014, 3:43 pm by: Rhett Butler

    The Indonesian government is pressing forward with plans to clear 14 million hectares of forest between 2010 and 2020 despite a commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Bali uprising: Plan to convert protected area into golf courses, mall spurs outrage

    16 August 2014, 2:48 pm by: Rhett Butler

    In a reversal sparking outrage from locals, and concern from environmentalists, the Governor of Bali, Indonesia has given the green light to a controversial development project in Benoa Bay. The plan would convert 700 acres of theoretically protected mangrove…
  • Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth…

    15 August 2014, 2:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development.…
  • ConAgra adopts greener palm oil policy

    14 August 2014, 7:59 pm by: Rhett Butler

    U.S. food giant ConAgra has adopted a new sourcing policy that will exclude palm oil produced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands.
  • Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations

    14 August 2014, 7:15 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes. The number of Sumatran elephants poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in…
  • China and Europe's outsourcing of soy production impacts the Amazon

    14 August 2014, 3:36 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Soy consumption in China and Europe is having significant ecological impacts in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, finds a study published in Environmental Research Letters.
  • Indonesia cracks down on illegal burning, investigates more suspect companies

    14 August 2014, 2:52 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian forest are illegally burned by development companies. However, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, is optimistic that legal charges over such fires can be completed – even though he has…
  • Big palm oil companies move forward on carbon study

    14 August 2014, 12:41 am by: Rhett Butler

    Seven palm oil giants have agreed to fund a study that will define what constitutes "High Carbon Stock" (HCS) forest, a move that will potentially determine the fate of ecosystems around the world as more companies commit to "zero-deforestation" policies based…
  • 'Natural Reserves' no more: illegal colonists deforest huge portions of Nicaraguan protected areas

    13 August 2014, 4:44 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    In southeastern Nicaragua, abutting the coastal Caribbean town of Bluefields, lie two nature reserves - Cerro Silva and Punta Gorda - that are embroiled in a bitter battle for survival against the speedily encroaching agricultural frontier. The forest is all…
  • Aceh backtracking on mining moratorium, continues to issue permits

    13 August 2014, 3:38 pm by: Rhett Butler

    The Governor of Aceh Province, Indonesia appears unwilling to implement a mining moratorium, despite repeated statements he intends to do so. Governor Zaini Abdullah, a co-founder of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), has said on several occasions that…
  • Titanium vs. Millipedes: new species discovered in Madagascar threatened by mining

    13 August 2014, 1:37 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    A team of scientists from the United States and Germany has recently described seven new species of Malagasy giant pill-millipede. All but one of these species are considered “microendemics,” in that they have only been found in small, isolated forest…
  • Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary

    13 August 2014, 10:39 am by: Jeremy Hance

    If someone told you there was a place where 200 million year old coral reefs had erupted from beneath the sea and were now draped in the oldest rain forest in the world, a place where marbled cats and clouded leopards prowl the sharp crags and their dark caves…
  • Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail

    13 August 2014, 8:22 am by: Jeremy Hance

    With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the…
  • Governors pledge massive cuts in deforestation

    12 August 2014, 6:34 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Governors from 13 states have pledged to reduce deforestation 80 percent by 2020 provided rich companies step forward with adequate levels of financial support.

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