Our Editorial and News Affiliates
With more than one million unique visitors per month, Mongabay.com is one of the world's most popular environmental science and conservation news sites. The news and rainforests sections of the site are widely cited for information on tropical forests, conservation, and wildlife.
Mongabay.com aims to raise interest in wildlife and wildlands while promoting awareness of environmental issues. Originally the site was based around a text on tropical rainforests written by Rhett A. Butler, but today the site has expanded to other topics (like Madagascar [WildMadagasacar.org]) and is available in versions for kids and in more than two dozen non-English languages. Mongabay.com is also publisher of Tropical Conservation Science, a peer-reviewed, open-access academic journal that seeks to provide opportunities for scientists in developing countries to publish their research in their native languages.
rhett (at) mongabay.com
Acoustic Sanctuaries for Marine Mammals
January 12, 2016 07:24 AM - Mike DiGirolamo, MONGABAY.COM
Imagine living in an environment of constant noise where you cannot get anything accomplished. Ocean noise pollution caused by shipping, oil and gas development, and other human activities is making this the reality for marine mammals in many places, interfering with their ability to detect prey and communicate with one another. Yet some areas of the ocean remain refuges of quiet. A new study has identified some of these acoustic sanctuaries off the coast of British Columbia in the hope that they may be protected.
California Methane Leak leads to State of Emergency
January 11, 2016 07:26 AM - Mike Gaworecki, MONGABAY.COM
An ongoing methane gas leak at a facility in Southern California — what’s been called “the nation’s biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill” — has officially been declared an emergency by Governor Jerry Brown.
Natural gas, or methane, first started leaking from Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility on October 23 last year.
Some 2,300 homes have been evacuated in nearby Porter Ranch, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, after residents began experiencing nosebleeds, rashes, headaches and other serious health impacts due to the gas leak and the sulfur-like smell that is blanketing their community.
2015 Year in Review
December 31, 2015 07:10 AM - Mike Gaworecki, MONGABAY.COM
As 2015 comes to a close, Mongabay is looking back at the year that was. This year saw President Obama reject the Keystone pipeline as historic droughts and a vicious wildfire season wracked the western US and Canada. The world committed to climate action in Paris as Southeast Asia was choking on the worst Indonesian haze in years, Shell aborted its plans to drill in the Arctic for the “foreseeable” future, and ExxonMobil is being investigated for lying to the public about climate risks. Here, in no certain order, are the top 15 environmental stories of 2015.
Tourists may bring more home than just souvenirs
November 23, 2015 07:17 AM - Amy McDermott, MONGABAY.COM
Invasive species are great hitchhikers. They float in the ballast of ships, lurk in luggage, stick to unwashed sports gear, and cling to the soles of hiking boots. Scientists focus on stopping them from spreading because, once a new species gets rooted, it is expensive to manage and nearly impossible to remove.
Shipping and industry are the major pathways for invasive species, but studies have also shown that tourists can spread them into protected wilderness.
To Kill or Not to Kill: The Great Specimen Debate
November 12, 2015 07:20 AM - Shreya Dasgupta, MONGABAY.COM
Indeed, museum collections are fascinating. Many of us probably still gawk at stuffed collections of extant and extinct birds, beetles, vibrantly-colored butterflies, and other animals that fill up glass cases and exhibition halls. Many of these collections were borne out of expeditions to remote parts of the world; treks that involved trapping, killing, preserving and cataloging animals that explorers encountered. Many of these collections have been useful in shaping what we know of the natural world. However, species conservation or scientific advancement was not always the goal of animal-collection. Often, it was done simply to suit the aesthetic whims of society’s elite.
Noise pollution harms wildlife, degrades habitats
October 5, 2015 09:11 AM - Shreya Dasgupta, MONGABAY.COM
Traffic noise is just another inconvenience for many of us. But for wildlife, noise from honking, and zooming vehicles can often be an insidious threat: it can degrade habitats without leaving any physical evidence of change, warns a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Road noise — even in moderate levels — pushes migrating birds away from their stopover habitats, researchers from Boise State University in Idaho found. Those that stay back become weak.
“I was initially surprised that even moderate road noise — comparable to a suburban setting — would have such a wide-ranging impact on migrating birds,” William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay. “On reflection, however, I guess such migrators have to be hyper-vigilent about noise, as they’re constantly moving to new areas where unseen predators could be lurking.”
Sierra Nevada snowpack at historic low
October 3, 2015 06:52 AM - Mike Gaworecki , MONGABAY.COM
On April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown stood in a Sierra Nevada meadow atop parched, brown grass — at an elevation of 6,800 feet, where there would normally be five feet of snow at that time of year — and announced the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions.
The Golden State is still in the grip of a severe drought that began in 2012, and new research suggests it is one of the worst in centuries.
The day Gov. Brown announced the statewide water restrictions, snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas was reported to be at just 5 percent of its historical average, as calculated from records dating back to the 1930s.
New Sensor Tag Technology Could Link Animal Behavior and Conservation Science
October 1, 2015 08:07 PM - Caleb O Brien, MONGABAY.COM
For wild sockeye salmon, the trip upriver from the ocean to their spawning grounds is fraught with peril and hardship. But quantifying exactly how obstacles along the way, fluctuations in water temperature and other factors impact fish survival has long eluded researchers. New advances in biological sensor tags are now allowing scientists to precisely measure animals’ energetics, their interactions with humans, and their responses to rapidly changing environments.
In 2014, for example, Nicholas Burnett and colleagues used accelerometer tags to measure how salmon needed to swim in order to traverse a dam in the Seton-Anderson watershed of British Columbia, Canada and how likely they were to survive the remainder of their journey. They found that when salmon resort to strenuous anaerobic swimming, they were significantly more likely to die days or even hours later.
Acidic Arctic Ocean Threatens Food Web
July 16, 2015 08:59 AM - Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa, MONGABAY.COM
One byproduct of rising carbon-dioxide levels is increasing ocean acidity — a phenomenon that scientists have termed an existential threat to marine life. The waters of the Arctic and the far-north Pacific are particularly prone to acidification as a result of several natural factors, so scientists regard the region as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world's oceans. A new study shows that within just fifteen years these waters may be too acidic for a range of marine animals to build and maintain their shells year round.
Siaga population cut in half in less than a month
May 29, 2015 07:02 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
No one knows what's killing them, but scientists estimate that almost half of the world's saiga (Saiga tatarica) have perished since May 10th. To date, researchers on-the-ground unofficially estimate that 120,000 saiga have died in Kazakhstan from what appears to be a wildly virulent disease, although no cause has been ruled out. Saiga are bizarre-looking, Ice Age antelopes that once roamed Central Asia in the millions, but are now listed as Critically Endangered.