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  • Agam, the adorable baby elephant that captured hearts in Indonesia, is dead

    30 October 2014, 1:29 am by: Rhett Butler

    Agam, an orphaned two year old Sumatran elephant, died over the weekend presumably from injuries suffered during a fall last May.
  • Amazon rainforest is getting drier, confirms another study

    30 October 2014, 12:02 am by: Rhett Butler

    Parts of the Amazon rainforest are getting considerably less rain, leading trees to absorb less carbon, finds a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Fashion industry making progress in cutting deforestation from clothing

    29 October 2014, 11:51 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Several more clothing companies have committed to eliminate fiber produced via destruction of endangered forests, adding momentum to a zero deforestation movement within the fashion sector, argues a new report published by Canopy, an environmental non-profit.
  • APP acknowledges historic land-grabbing in China, pledges reform

    29 October 2014, 11:44 pm by: Rhett Butler

    While Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has made considerable progress on addressing social and environmental problems associated with its operations in Indonesia, the forestry giant still has much to do to rectify historic social grievances in China, says a report…
  • Destroyed habitat, fewer resources, Ebola: the many repercussions of Liberia's deforestation

    29 October 2014, 6:43 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Liberia is one of the last strongholds of intact forest in West Africa. These forests are the home of many unique species of plants and animals, and many Liberians rely on the forests for direct economic benefits. The presence of intact forests may even be…
  • Local communities rise to the forefront of global conservation practice (commentary)

    29 October 2014, 3:57 pm by: Rhett Butler

    A few weeks ago, a remote aboriginal community in western Australia made headlines when it completed the establishment of an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) containing over 4.2 million hectares of desert and grassland. The Kiwirrkurra IPA, as the area is…
  • By killing off older fish, overfishing may lead to lost migratory patterns

    29 October 2014, 3:22 pm by: Tiffany Roufs

    Catching older fish may impact a school's ability to migrate from spawning grounds to feeding areas, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The study’s scientists believe that fish schools may retain a collective…
  • Tigers vs. diamonds: India’s protected areas rampantly downgraded to make room for people,…

    29 October 2014, 2:19 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    In India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh lie 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of protected land demarcated as the Panna Tiger Reserve. Recently, however, its protection status has been questioned, and global-scale analyses show Panna is far from…
  • Will 2014 be the warmest year on record?

    29 October 2014, 11:31 am by: Jeremy Hance

    With the news that September was the warmest on record globally, 2014 takes one step closer to being the warmest year since record-keeping began in the late 19th Century. Last week, NOAA announced that September was 0.72 degrees Celsius (1.30 degrees…
  • Bunge commits to zero deforestation palm oil

    28 October 2014, 6:39 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Agribusiness giant Bunge has joined the growing ranks of companies that have established zero deforestation policies for their palm oil supply chains.
  • The inconvenient solution to the rhino poaching crisis

    28 October 2014, 5:34 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Daily, we read or hear of more rhino being poached to satisfy the seemingly insatiable demand from Asia for rhino horn. With countless articles and papers having been published on the subject - and the Internet abuzz with forums, including heated debates…
  • World's rarest gorilla gets a new protected home

    28 October 2014, 3:06 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The Cross River Gorilla, the rarest and most threatened of gorilla subspecies, has reason to cheer. Last month, on September 29, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, signed a decree to officially create a new protected area – Tofala Wildlife…
  • How protected are they? Report finds world's Protected Areas may relax, shrink, even completely…

    28 October 2014, 1:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    On March 1, 1872, the United States Congress declared 3,400 square miles of land spanning three states as the country’s - and the world’s - first national park. We call it Yellowstone. Today, there are over 160,000 PAs spanning 12.7 percent of the…
  • Artists, musicians, writers protest government plans for massive coal plant in the Sundarbans

    28 October 2014, 11:02 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Over the weekend, Bangladeshi artists performed plays, sang songs, and recited poetry all in a bid to protect the Sundarbans—the world's biggest mangrove forest—from the threat of a massive coal plant. Construction is already under way on the hugely…
  • In shakeup, Jokowi merges Indonesia's forest and environment ministries

    27 October 2014, 7:31 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Indonesia's newly elected president Joko Widodo has merged the country's ministries of forestry and environment into a single entity and installed a woman at its head.
  • Between the forest and the sea: life and climate change in Guna Yala - Part I

    27 October 2014, 2:19 pm by: Tiffany Roufs

    The island-dwelling Guna people of Panama are one of the most sovereign indigenous communities in the world, but now severe weather and sea level rise are causing regular flooding on many of the islands, and will likely force the Guna to have to abandon their…
  • Photos: slumbering lions win top photo prize

    27 October 2014, 11:32 am by: Jeremy Hance

    The king of beasts took this year's top prize in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is co-owned by the Natural History Museum (London) and the BBC. The photo, of female lions and their cubs resting on a rock face in the Serengeti National…
  • Scientific association calls on Nicaragua to scrap its Gran Canal

    27 October 2014, 8:46 am by: Jeremy Hance

    ATBC—the world's largest association of tropical biologists and conservationists—has advised Nicaragua to halt its ambitious plan to build a massive canal across the country. The ATBC warns that the Chinese-backed canal, also known as the Gran Canal, will…
  • With drones, satellites, and camera traps proliferating, conservation needs better networking

    26 October 2014, 10:36 pm by: Rhett Butler

    With scientists rapidly adopting and using a range of remote sensing tools for monitoring environmental change, tracking wildlife and measuring biological processes, conservation needs to scale up networking capabilities to maximize the potential of this…
  • Conservationists propose Dracula Reserve in Ecuador

    24 October 2014, 4:29 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Deep in the dark, cool forests of Ecuador and Colombia live strange and mysterious organisms. Some inhabit the trees and others stay to the ground, and many are threatened by human encroachment. Because of this threat, Rainforest Trust has launched a Halloween…
  • Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house

    24 October 2014, 1:22 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house.
  • When cute turns deadly – the story of a wildlife biologist who was bit by a venomous slow loris,…

    24 October 2014, 11:41 am by: Brittany Stewart

    Slow lorises are YouTube stars. A quick search on the website will greet you with several videos of these endearing little primates--from a slow loris nibbling on rice cakes and bananas, to a loris holding a tiny umbrella. Lady Gaga, too, tried to feature a…
  • Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction

    23 October 2014, 4:23 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil,…
  • Brazil declares new protected area larger than Delaware

    23 October 2014, 2:27 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Earlier this week, the Brazilian government announced the declaration of a new federal reserve deep in the Amazon rainforest. The protections conferred by the move will illegalize deforestation, reduce carbon emissions, and help safeguard the future of the…
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? Recognize the value of novel forests

    23 October 2014, 10:45 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Think first before you eradicate non-native species says Dr. Ariel E. Lugo, the current director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry within the USDA Forest Service, based in Puerto Rico. Lugo, an accomplished ecologist, supports the idea that…
  • Demand for rhino horn drops 38 percent in Vietnam after advertising campaigns

    22 October 2014, 4:21 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    A new poll finds that consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has dropped precipitously following several advertising campaigns. According to the poll by the Humane Society International (HIS) and Vietnam CITES, demand has plunged 38 percent since last year.
  • Gold mining expanding rapidly along Guiana Shield, threatening forests, water, wildlife

    22 October 2014, 3:45 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Gold mining is on the rise in the Guiana Shield, a geographic region of South America that holds one of the world’s largest undisturbed tract of rainforest. A new mapping technology using a radar and optical imaging combination has detected a significant…
  • Saving the survivor: China scrambles to keep the finless porpoise from extinction

    22 October 2014, 10:35 am by: Tiffany Roufs

    On the morning of July 14, 2002 Qi Qi ate breakfast as he always did. As the world’s only captive baiji – or Yangtze river dolphin – Qi Qi was something of a celebrity in China and his caretakers kept a close eye on his health. That care may explain why,…
  • Colombia reports drop in deforestation

    21 October 2014, 5:11 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Colombia has for the first time released an annual report on deforestation, revealing that forest loss during 2013 was lower than the recent average. The government says some 120,933 hectares of natural forest were cleared between January and December 2013.
  • 'No forests, no cash': palm oil giants commit to sustainability, but will they follow through?

    21 October 2014, 2:31 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Four of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers signed a landmark commitment in New York in September to further implement sustainable practices across one of the country’s largest commercial sectors. Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the…

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