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  • Long lives, big impacts: human life expectancy linked to extinctions

    15 April 2014, 4:03 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Since the arrival of Homo sapiens, other species have been going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Most scientists now agree that extinction rates are between 100 and 1000 times greater than before humans existed. Working out what is driving these extinctions…
  • Nearly a thousand environmental activists murdered since 2002

    15 April 2014, 1:34 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    At least 908 people were murdered for taking a stand to defend the environment between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report today from Global Witness, which shows a dramatic uptick in the murder rate during the past four years. Notably, the report appears…
  • Malaysia imperils forest reserves and sea turtle nesting ground for industrial site (photos)

    15 April 2014, 10:33 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Plans for an industrial site threaten one of Malaysia's only marine turtle nesting beaches and a forest home to rare trees and mammals, according to local activists. Recently, the state government of Perak approved two industrial project inside Tanjung Hantu…
  • Ants plant rainforests, one seed at a time

    14 April 2014, 2:08 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Deforestation is destroying forests around the world, but its effects are especially obvious in the Amazon Basin. Due to cattle ranching, soybean farming, logging, and slash-and-burn agriculture, the rainforest is disappearing at a rapid pace. But a recent…
  • Climate change solution? UN touts ambitious (but cheap) investment in renewable energy

    14 April 2014, 10:53 am by: Jeremy Hance

    The world is warming rapidly due to greenhouse gas emissions, threatening everything from our food supply to our ecosystems, but the solution may be surprisingly cheap, according to the third and final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…
  • Riddled with tumors: another blow to the Sumatran rhino species

    14 April 2014, 9:32 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Conservation for Sumatran rhinos suffered another blow last week, only days after Suci—one of only ten rhinos in captive breeding efforts—died at Cincinnati Zoo. Scientists in the Malaysian state of Sabah revealed that a newly captured female, Iman,…
  • Life finds a way: the surprising biodiversity of cities

    11 April 2014, 3:05 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    In the largest global assessment of urban biodiversity to date, researchers examined the biodiversity of urban areas and found that cities are home to a surprising number of species. The study underlines the conservation importance of preserving and creating…
  • Amphibian pandemic may have hit Madagascar, hundreds of species at risk of infection

    11 April 2014, 11:53 am by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Madagascar is one of the world’s hotspots for amphibian diversity, home to so many frog species that many of them don’t even have names. But soon the island may also harbor a fungus causing drastic declines – even extinctions – of frogs around the…
  • Forests in Indonesia's concession areas being rapidly destroyed

    10 April 2014, 7:56 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Forest clearing within areas zoned for timber, logging, oil palm, and mining accounted for nearly 45 percent of deforestation in Indonesia between 2000 and 2010, finds a new study that examined forest loss within industrial concessions.
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? Empowering everyone to watch over forests

    10 April 2014, 5:53 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Nigel Sizer has worked on the forefront of global forest issues for decades. Currently, he is the Global Director of the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Forests Program, whose projects include the Global Forest Watch, the Forest Legality Alliance, and the…
  • A new face for palm oil? How a small co-op is changing the industry in Honduras

    10 April 2014, 3:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Expanding oil palm plantations are among the top reasons for deforestation globally, along with cattle ranching, timber, and soy. However, a small palm oil production outfit recently became the first cooperative in the world to achieve Rainforest Alliance…
  • Giant ibis, little dodo, and the kakapo: meet the 100 weirdest and most endangered birds

    10 April 2014, 12:00 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    The comic dodo, the stately great auk, the passenger pigeon blotting out the skies: human kind has wiped out nearly 200 species of birds in the last five hundred years. Now, if we don't act soon we'll add many new ones to the list: birds such as the giant…
  • Cargill commits to zero deforestation, but environmentalists have questions

    9 April 2014, 7:58 pm by: Rhett Butler

    After years of criticism from environmental groups, Cargill says it will establish policies to eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. But activists aren't yet sure what to make of the agribusiness…
  • Collateral damage: new findings shed light on the full impact of commercial fishing

    9 April 2014, 5:18 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Aside from reducing the populations of the species sought for capture, commercial fisheries are also killing thousands of nontarget creatures such as sharks, albatross, and sea turtles, collectively referred to as “bycatch.” However, the full extent of the…
  • City lights threaten rainforests by deterring bats

    9 April 2014, 1:55 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Fruit-eating bats play an important role in forest regeneration, collecting and spreading seeds far and wide. However, human development may be stymying bat-mediated dispersal. In a new study, researchers found that fruit bats avoid feeding in light-polluted…
  • The enemy of your enemy is your ant bodyguard: spider uses one predator for protection against…

    9 April 2014, 12:20 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The notion of spiders using ants as bodyguards seems a bit contradictory, but that is exactly what occurs on the tropical forest floors of the Philippines. The jumping spider strategically nests within the vicinity of the aggressive Asian weaver ant as a…
  • Emissions from rainforest logging average 16% of those from deforestation

    8 April 2014, 6:47 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Carbon emissions from selective logging operations in tropical rainforests are roughly a sixth of those from outright forest clearing, finds a new study that evaluated 13 forestry concessions in six countries. The study analyzed carbon losses from elements of…
  • Procter & Gamble, Cargill pledge to cut deforestation linked to palm oil

    8 April 2014, 3:55 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Cargill today announced new measures to cut deforestation from their palm oil supply chains. P&G (NYSE:PG), a consumer products giant that owns brands like Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay, pledged to establish traceability of palm…
  • Featured video: Showtime releases first episode of major new climate change series online

    8 April 2014, 3:48 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Although Showtime's landmark new climate change series doesn't premiere until Sunday, the network has released an edited version of the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously to the public (see below). The nine-part documentary series is being billed as…
  • Extinction crisis: rising sea levels will submerge thousands of islands

    8 April 2014, 1:44 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Sea levels are rising at the highest rate in thousands of years, putting at risk low-lying islands around the world. In a new study published in Nature Conservation, researchers found that projected rises in sea level stand to swamp more than 10,000 islands,…
  • Nearly 90 percent of logging in the DRC is illegal

    8 April 2014, 11:48 am by: Jeremy Hance

    The forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is completely out of control, according to a new eye-opening report. Put together by the Chatham House, the report estimates that at least 87 percent of logging in the DRC was illegal in 2011,…
  • Australia proposes banning environmental boycotts

    7 April 2014, 2:36 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    What do you do when a company is repeatedly caught trashing the environment and refuses to change its ways? Boycott! Activists and campaigners often use boycotting a company's products when other methods have failed, yet in Australia such boycotts could soon…
  • From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts

    7 April 2014, 12:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    One of the most iconic species of the ongoing climate change drama, polar bears have dropped in numbers as their habitat melts, with previous estimates forecasting a further 30 percent reduction within three generations. However, their situation may not be as…
  • Indonesian 'legal' timber scheme could be greenwashing illegal products, NGOs warn

    7 April 2014, 1:50 am by: Rhett Butler

    Flaws in the country’s system to verify legal wood products could have implications for trade with Europe, as new research suggests even certified companies in Indonesia may not be meeting EU standards. Indonesian civil society groups have called on their…
  • Will yellow fever drive brown howler monkeys to extinction in Argentina?

    4 April 2014, 3:55 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The brown howler monkey is listed as Critically Endangered in Argentina, where a small number persist in the northeastern portion of the country. Although habitat loss and other human impacts have contributed to the populations’ decline, a new report…
  • Saving rainforests by buying them

    4 April 2014, 1:31 pm by: Rhett Butler

    For more than twenty five years, an international non-profit known as the World Land Trust has been working to protect tropical forests through land purchase and partnerships with local groups. Last year, the U.S. arm of the group decided to rebrand itself as…
  • The incredible shrinking salamander: researchers find another casualty of climate change

    4 April 2014, 12:42 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Climate change is contributing to a slew of global problems, from rising seas to desertification. Now, researchers have added another repercussion: shrinking salamanders. Many amphibian populations around the world are currently experiencing precipitous…
  • U.S. citizens willing to spend billions to protect monarch butterflies

    3 April 2014, 6:55 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    New research shows Americans are willing to pay for the protection of the ailing monarch butterfly, which is experiencing a steep decline in numbers. The study, published in Conservation Letters, found nearly three-quarters of those surveyed placed importance…
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting deforestation to disease

    3 April 2014, 5:11 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Thomas Gillespie is concerned with the connections between conservation and disease, with a particular emphasis on primates. Much of his research examines the places where humans and animals are at a high risk of exchanging pathogens, and how human-caused…
  • Madagascar lemurs share spotlight with primatologist in new IMAX film

    3 April 2014, 2:54 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Tomorrow's opening of the IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar showcases not only endangered primates, but one of Madagascar's top conservationists: primatologist Patricia C. Wright.

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