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  • Deforestation ramping up in Yasuni as Ecuador sets to open up national park to drilling

    29 July 2014, 2:34 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Yasuni National park has been in the conservation spotlight in recent years, with oil drilling threatening the forests and wildlife of this biodiversity hotspot. Recently, disturbance in the park may have ramped up, with satellite data showing a significant…
  • Don't eat or touch bat bushmeat amid worsening Ebola outbreak, UN warns

    29 July 2014, 11:12 am by: Jeremy Hance

    The world's worst Ebola outbreak was likely begun by a hunter shooting a fruit bat for their dinner or the market, according to the UN. The outbreak has killed over 660 people in six months to date, and recently spread via plane to Nigeria. The disease is…
  • Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea

    28 July 2014, 10:18 pm by: Rhett Butler

    An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from…
  • Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade

    28 July 2014, 7:03 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    One of the world's most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence…
  • Invasion of the oil palm: western Africa's native son returns, threatening great apes

    28 July 2014, 3:23 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    As palm oil producers increasingly look to Africa’s tropical forests as suitable candidates for their next plantations, primate scientists are sounding the alarm about the destruction of ape habitat that can go hand in hand with oil palm expansion. A recent…
  • Short-eared dog? Uncovering the secrets of one of the Amazon's most mysterious mammals

    28 July 2014, 9:17 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Fifteen years ago, scientists knew next to nothing about one of the Amazon's most mysterious residents: the short-eared dog. Although the species was first described in 1883 and is considered the sole representative of the Atelocynus genus, biologists spent…
  • No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck

    25 July 2014, 4:43 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Turtles comprise one of the oldest living groups of reptiles, with hundreds of species found throughout the world. Many have been well-researched, and scientists know very specific things about their various evolutionary histories, metabolic rates, and the…
  • Seafood apartments and other experiments in fixing Indonesia's fisheries (Part IV)

    25 July 2014, 4:15 pm by: Tiffany Roufs

    Shrimp farms, industrial plants, and one of Indonesia's busiest thoroughfares make up Java's north coast today. It's a very different scene from the fishing villages with beachfront boat parking that stood here decades earlier. Which begs the question, where…
  • True stewards: new report says local communities key to saving forests, curbing global warming

    24 July 2014, 7:40 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Deforestation is compromising forests around the world, destroying vital habitat and causing greenhouse gases emissions that are contributing to global warming. A new report released today finds a possible solution: protecting forests by empowering the local…
  • A letter to Indonesia's new president on his environmental policy

    24 July 2014, 6:57 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Congratulations on your successful bid for the Indonesian presidency. Although neither you nor your opponent spent much time focusing on the environment, the world hopes your previous record in Surakarta (Solo) and Jakarta, coupled with the idealistic language…
  • It's not just extinction: meet defaunation

    24 July 2014, 4:50 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Get ready to learn a new word: defaunation. Fauna is the total collection of animals—both in terms of species diversity and abundance—in a given area. So, defaunation, much like deforestation, means the loss of animals in all its myriad forms, including…
  • Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions

    24 July 2014, 3:05 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely…
  • Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests

    24 July 2014, 12:34 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia…
  • Targeted enforcement saved a Massachusetts-worth of Amazon rainforest in 3 years

    24 July 2014, 7:00 am by: Rhett Butler

    Targeted law enforcement efforts via Brazil's green municipalities programs were responsible for reducing deforestation by 10,653 square kilometers — an area the size of Massachusetts — between 2009 and 2011, argues a paper published in the journal Land…
  • Brazil could meet all its food demand by 2040 without cutting down another tree

    24 July 2014, 6:40 am by: Rhett Butler

    Better utilization of its vast areas of pasturelands could enable Brazil to dramatically boost agricultural production without the need to clear another hectare of Amazon rainforest, cerrado, or Atlantic forest, argues a new study published in the journal…
  • Scientists ask Australia to strengthen, not weaken, protection for Great Barrier Reef

    24 July 2014, 4:10 am by: Rhett Butler

    A convening of nearly 600 tropical biologists and conservation scientists has called upon the Australian government to strengthen protection of the Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The declaration, issued at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical…
  • Lush Cosmetics launches bid to protect pangolins

    24 July 2014, 3:22 am by: Rhett Butler

    Lush Cosmetics has agreed to support an effort to battle trafficking of the Sunda pangolin.
  • Scientists ask PNG to support conservation research

    24 July 2014, 2:07 am by: Rhett Butler

    The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world's largest group of tropical researchers, is calling on the government of Papua New Guinea to increase support for biology training programs in the densely-forested and wildlife-rich…
  • Rebuilding Kissama: war-torn Angola's only national park affected by deforestation, but refaunation…

    23 July 2014, 8:05 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The story of Kissama National Park is one of perseverance, vision and disaster in waiting. The only functional national park in Angola, a country wracked by war for decades, Kissama (also called Quiçama) lost much of its wildlife, with that which is left…
  • Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment

    23 July 2014, 3:14 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned…
  • Phone-based logging alert system eyes expanding to the Amazon

    23 July 2014, 3:01 am by: Rhett Butler

    After exceeding an ambitious fundraising target to launch a near-real time forest monitoring system in the Congo Basin, a San-Francisco based start-up is now eyeing expansion in the Amazon where it hopes to help an indigenous rainforest tribe fight illegal…
  • NASA: Sumatra fires in the rise

    22 July 2014, 7:03 pm by: Rhett Butler

    The number of fires burning in Sumatra's Riau Province doubled on Sunday, raising concerns that dry conditions could unleash an especially severe haze this dry season in Indonesia.
  • 'A high price to pay': new Indonesian peatland regulation may do more harm than good

    22 July 2014, 5:37 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The Government Regulation on Peatland Ecosystem Protection and Management, initially drafted by the Ministry of Forestry in 2013, is getting mixed acceptance from civil society. On one hand, the regulation would offer more protection to the country’s vast…
  • Rare bird paradise protected in war-torn Colombian mountain range (photos)

    22 July 2014, 3:21 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    A coalition of conservation groups have established a new protected area in one of Latin America's most neglected ecosystems: the Colombian-side of the Serranía de Perijá mountain range. Following decades of bloody conflict and rampant deforestation, experts…
  • Over-depleted and undermanaged: can Indonesia turn around its fisheries? (Part III)

    22 July 2014, 2:18 pm by: Tiffany Roufs

    Compared to maritime ministries worldwide, Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) is a teenaged neophyte. The governing body was formed a mere 13 years ago;a staggering fact for a country made up of two-thirds water where many of the 250…
  • Setting the stage: theater troupe revives tradition to promote conservation in DRC

    22 July 2014, 12:35 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Two years ago, environmental artist Roger Peet set off to the Democratic Republic of Congo to support the new Lomami National Park with bandanas that he designed. This time, Peet is back in Congo to carry out a conservation theater project in remote villages…
  • Monkeys use field scientists as human shields against predators

    22 July 2014, 9:05 am by: Jeremy Hance

    If you're monkey—say a samango monkey in South Africa—probably the last thing you want is to be torn apart and eaten by a leopard or a caracal. In fact, you probably spend a lot of time and energy working to avoid such a grisly fate. Well, now there's a…
  • Scientists blast Australian government's moves to dismantle environmental protections

    21 July 2014, 10:52 pm by: Rhett Butler

    On Tuesday a prominent group of conservation scientists condemned the Australian government's recent moves to eliminate protections for native ecosystems, cut research funding, backtrack on commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and step up…
  • Global warming emissions from meat consumption rising rapidly

    21 July 2014, 8:35 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production have increased by more than 50 percent over the past 50 years and are set to zoom higher as the developing world consumes more meat, finds a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National…
  • Roads through the rainforest: an overview of South America's 'arc of deforestation'

    21 July 2014, 6:01 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    When a new road centipedes its way across a landscape, the best of intentions may be laid with the pavement. But roads, by their very nature, are indiscriminate pathways, granting access for travel and trade along with deforestation and other forms of…

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