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
Two more species declared extinct in Florida
August 2, 2013 06:13 AM - Alexander Holmgren, MONGABAY.COM
Conservationist's faced a crushing blow last month as two butterfly species native to Florida were declared extinct. "Occasionally, these types of butterflies disappear for long periods of time but are rediscovered in another location," said Larry Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife state supervisor for ecological services. We think it's apparent now these two species are extinct." Neither species has been seen in any environment for at least nine years, the latter of the two not being seen since 2000.
Meet Thor's Shrew: Scientists Discover New Mammal with Superior Spine
July 31, 2013 11:42 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
In 1917, Joel Asaph Allen examined an innocuous species of shrew from the Congo Basin and made a remarkable discovery: the shrew's spine was unlike any seen before. Interlocking lumbar vertebrae made the species' spine four times strong than any other vertebrate on Earth adjusted for its size. The small mammal had been discovered only seven years before and was dubbed the hero shrew (Scutisorex somereni), after the name give to it by the local Mangbetu people, who had long known of the shrew's remarkable abilities.
Climate change has the potential for significant impacts on coffee
July 30, 2013 06:05 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
An inconvenient truth is not what most people want to hear before theyâ€™ve had their first cup of coffee in the morning. Our coffee break is â€œme time,â€ and we want to enjoy it. If the temperature is too high, put some ice in your cup. But for some 26 million people around the world who make it their business to produce our coffee, change is impossible to ignore.
Illegal marijuana cultivation threatens Nigeria's forests and chimps
July 29, 2013 08:49 AM - Liz Kimbrough, MONGABAY.COM
The world's highest deforestation rate, the execution of eight environmental activists including a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and ongoing turmoil surrounding oil operations in the Niger River Delta has created a notoriously disreputable environmental record for the West African country. Now, a new threat is rising in the already-compromised forests of Nigeria: illegal marijuana cultivation.
Cheetah Don't Overheat During Hunts
July 26, 2013 08:55 AM - Emily Eggleston, MONGABAY.COM
Study finds that contrary to popular opinion, cheetah don't overheat during hunts. But their body temperature rises after successful hunts due to stress that another predator may seize their prey. In a 4,500 hectare cheetah rehabilitation camp in the middle of Namibia, researchers observe the large, spotted carnivores as they readjust to wild life. This week one such researcher, physiologist Robyn Hetem from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, used her observations to disprove a theory about cheetah that has been treated as common knowledge for decades, that a cheetah's running speed causes its body to overheat while hunting.
Oil palm genome mapped, could boost yields, reduce pressure on rainforests
July 25, 2013 08:46 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
A team of Malaysian and American researchers have mapped the genome of the oil palm, the oilseed that is widely used as a cooking oil and in cosmetics, cleaning products, and processed foods. The genome sequencing, which was published today in the journal Nature, identified the gene responsible for regulating the crop's oil yield. The results could be used to boost palm oil yields, thus potentially reducing the need to clear wildlife-rich rainforests and carbon-dense peat swamps for plantations. The gene, dubbed the "Shell gene", controls "how the thickness of its shell correlates to fruit size and oil yield," according to Rajinder Singh, first author of the paper and a scientist at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), a government agency.
Long-term health of Congo forests threatened by human activity
July 23, 2013 06:40 AM - Rhett A. Butler, MONGABAY.COM
Unsustainable hunting of forest elephants, gorillas, forest antelopes, and other seed-dispersers could have long-term impacts on the health and resilience of Congo Basin rainforests, warns a study published today in a special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B. Conducting a review of more than 160 papers and reports on trends in wildlife populations, hunting, and land use in the Congo Basin, a team of researchers from Oxford University, the University of Queensland, the University of Stirling, and the Wildlife Conservation Society conclude that unless effective management plans are put into place, hunting pressure in the region is likely to increase, with knock-on ecological effects.
Galapagos sea lions threatened by human exposure
July 22, 2013 08:56 AM - Hannah Lindstrom, MONGABAY.COM
A recent study conducted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on endangered Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) has revealed that the animals are more susceptible to starvation as a result of their exposure to humans. Over a span of more than 18 months, conservationists tagged and monitored the behavior and physiology of two groups of 60 Galapagos sea lions, one in San Cristobal, which is inhabited by humans, and one in Santa Fe, where there are no humans, dogs, cats, mice, or rats.
Scientists build app to automatically identify species based on their calls
July 18, 2013 08:46 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
New technology makes it possible to automatically identify species by their vocalizations. The software and hardware system, detailed in the current issue of the journal PeerJ, has been used at sites in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica to identify frogs, insects, birds, and monkeys. Many of the animals identified by the system are typically difficult to spot in their natural environment, but audio recordings of their calls reveal not only their presence but also their activity patterns. The platform, which is called the Automated Remote Biodiversity Monitoring Network (ARBIMON), could potentially allow scientists to monitor species in remote sites without having a physical presence on the ground, according to the study's lead author Mitchell Aide of the University of Puerto Rico.
80% of Rainforests in Malaysian Borneo Logged
July 18, 2013 08:43 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
0 percent of the rainforests in Malaysian Borneo have been heavily impacted by logging, finds a comprehensive study that offers the first assessment of the spread of industrial logging and logging roads across areas that were considered some of Earth's wildest lands less than 30 years ago. The research, conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Tasmania, University of Papua New Guinea, and the Carnegie Institution for Science, is based on analysis of satellite data using Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite), a freely available platform for measuring deforestation and forest degradation. It estimated the state of the region's forests as of 2009.