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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.

Website: http://www.mongabay.com/


rhett (at) mongabay.com

Scientists Urge Ban On Roads In Intact Wilderness Areas
March 22, 2014 04:15 PM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM

A group of prominent scientists chose to mark the second International Day of Forests by urging the world to support an initiative that aims keep wild areas free of roads. Roadfree, an initiative led by Member of the European Parliament Kriton Arsenis, has been growing in prominence over the past year, gaining supporters ranging from indigenous rights leaders to deep ecologists. Now the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT), a group of prominent conservation scientists, has thrown its weight behind the concept.

Leftover trees enhance the biodiversity of new forests
March 20, 2014 08:34 AM - Nicholas Barrett, MONGABAY.COM

Trees left standing after deforestation have a discernible impact on the composition of local biodiversity in secondary growth forests, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. Researchers working on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica discovered that remnant trees could affect species composition of regenerated forests up to 20 years after being logged.

Blame Humans: New Research Proves People Killed Off New Zealand's Giant Birds
March 19, 2014 11:13 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Moas were a diverse group of flightless birds that ruled over New Zealand up to the arrival of humans, the biggest of these mega-birds stood around 3.5 meters (12 feet) with outstretched neck. While the whole moa family—comprised of nine species—vanished shortly after the arrival of people on New Zealand in the 13th Century, scientists have long debated why the big birds went extinct. Some theories contend that the birds were already in decline due to environmental changes or volcanic activity before humans first stepped on New Zealand's beaches. But a study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds no evidence of said decline, instead pointing the finger squarely at us.

Mountain Thermostats
March 17, 2014 08:10 AM - Dominic Rowland, MONGABAY.COM

What do mountains have to do with climate change? More than you'd expect: new research shows that the weathering rates of mountains caused by vegetation growth plays a major role in controlling global temperatures. Scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield have shown how tree roots in certain mountains "acted like a thermostat" for the global climate. In warmer climates, tree roots grow faster and deeper (aided by the decomposition of leaf litter), breaking up rock that combines with carbon dioxide. This weathering process removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, lowering the global temperature and decreasing the growth rate of vegetation.

Can Penguins Cope with Climate Change?
March 14, 2014 08:01 AM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM

Human-caused climate change is altering the habitat of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). In an article recently published in PLOS ONE, a team of researchers led by Amélie Lescroël from the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) in France, found that changes in sea-ice content and newly formed icebergs significantly impacted Adélie penguin communities in the Ross Sea.

La cocaína: La nueva cara de la deforestación en América Central
March 12, 2014 08:22 PM - Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa , MONGABAY.COM

En 2006 México intensificó su estrategia de seguridad, formando un ambiente inhóspito para las organizaciones de tráfico de drogas (OTD’s) dentro de la nación. Los cárteles de la droga respondieron creando nuevas rutas comerciales a lo largo de la frontera con Guatemala y Honduras. Pronto los envíos de cocaína desde América del Sur comenzaron a fluir a través del Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano CBM. Esta franja multinacional de bosque, que abarca varios parques nacionales y áreas protegidas, fue creado originalmente para proteger a las especies en peligro de extinción, como el tapir de Baird (Tapirus bairdii) y el jaguar (Panthera onca), así como la segunda barrera coralina más grande del mundo. Hoy en día, su futuro depende de los productores y consumidores de drogas del mundo. Recientemente, un informe publicado en la revista Science por siete investigadores que trabajan en los bosques de América Central, examina los efectos de las políticas mexicanas sobre drogas en el CBM, instando a los responsables políticos para atacar la devastación ecológica como una consecuencia no deseada del énfasis sobre las políticas de reducción de la oferta de drogas. Destacan este desafortunado efecto secundario de la aplicación de la exitosa ley de México: la deforestación de áreas prístinas dentro de los países más pequeños como Honduras y Guatemala, no preparados para una afluencia de drogas.

Cocaine: The New Face of Deforestation in Central America
March 12, 2014 11:45 AM - Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa , MONGABAY.COM

In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers.

Supergene defines butterfly patterns
March 11, 2014 10:58 AM - Aathira Perinchery, MONGABAY.COM

Scientists have discovered the gene enabling multiple female morphs that give the Common Mormon butterfly its very tongue-in-cheek name. Doublesex, the gene that controls gender in insects, is also a mimicry supergene that determines diverse wing patterns in this butterfly, according to a recent study published in Nature. The study also shows that the supergene is not a cluster of closely linked genes as postulated for nearly half a century, but a single gene controlling all the variations exhibited by the butterfly's wings.

Los árboles del Amazonas, diversos en productos químicos
March 5, 2014 07:28 PM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, MONGABAY.COM

En el oeste de la Amazonía, posiblemente la región con mayor biodiversidad, los científicos del mundo han descubierto que no sólo es el bosque súper rico en especies sino también en productos químicos. Escalando entre miles de árboles, a lo largo de 19 bosques diferentes en la región, desde las tierras bajas del Amazonas hasta los altos bosques en las nubes Andinas, los investigadores tomaron muestras de las hojas más altas de los árboles y fueron sorprendidos por los niveles de diversidad química descubierta.

Amazon Trees Diverse in Chemicals
March 4, 2014 08:17 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

In the Western Amazon—arguably the world's most biodiverse region—scientists have found that not only is the forest super-rich in species, but also in chemicals. Climbing into the canopy of thousands of trees across 19 different forests in the region—from the lowland Amazon to high Andean cloud forests—the researchers sampled chemical signatures from canopy leaves and were surprised by the levels of diversity uncovered.

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