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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.
rhett (at) mongabay.com
Chinese Traditional Medicine Threatens Turtle Populations
August 11, 2014 08:53 AM - Erin Crandall, MONGABAY.COM
For thousands of years turtles have been used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Originally published in the journal Radiata and recently republished HerpDigest David S. Lee and Liao Shi Kun write, "[In Chinese culture] turtles are symbolic of long life, personal wealth, fertility, strength, and happy households."
Elephants Under The Sea
August 7, 2014 09:33 AM - Shreya Dasgupta, MONGABAY.COM
Bumphead parrotfish are noisy feeders. They break off large branches of corals using their powerful beaks, grind them up in their bodies to extract nutrients, and expel the undigested material in large cloudy plumes of feces. Their voracious feeding is, however, not just a loud, messy affair. During the course of their feeding, bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) also change the coral reef ecosystem in numerous ways, a new study published in Conservation Biology has found.
How Did Ebola Zaire Get To Guniea?
August 6, 2014 04:13 PM - Daniel Stiles, MONGABAY.COM
Is the great ape trade responsible for the current outbreak of Ebola? The vicious Ebola virus outbreak that has already killed more than 800 people this year, in addition to sowing panic, fear and confusion throughout West Africa, was not a strain endemic to the region as initially believed. Instead the University of Edinburgh found that the strain is the same as the Ebola Zaïre found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaïre. TheRobert-Koch Institute in Germany confirmed the finding.
Underestimating the Impacts of Old-Growth Logging
August 1, 2014 09:28 AM - Rhett A. Butler, MONGABAY.COM
Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal Current Biology. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Burivalova, together with co-authors Cagan Sekercioglu and Lian Pin Koh, found that biodiversity is inversely proportional to logging intensity.
Turtle Talk: Exactly how do turtles communicate?
July 29, 2014 08:49 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM
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 ways in which their sexes are determined. But there was one very obvious thing that has been largely left unknown by science until very recently. Turtles can make sounds.
Two Years After Coming Into Effect, Australia Kills Carbon Tax
July 18, 2014 05:00 PM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
In a significant victory for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Australian Senate has voted to repeal the country's two-year-old carbon tax. Abbott made dismantling the tax one of the cornerstones of his campaign last September even as Australia remains one of the highest carbon emitters per capita in the industrialized world.
Fertilizer Threatens Grasslands Globally
July 15, 2014 05:10 PM - Paul Sutherland, MONGABAY.COM
The world's grasslands are being destabilized by fertilization, according to a paper recently published in the journal Nature. In a study of 41 grassland communities on five continents, researchers found that the presence of fertilizer weakened grassland species diversity. The researchers surveyed grasslands in countries around the world, such as China, the U.S., Switzerland, Tanzania and Germany, and discovered that grassland communities that had not been managed by humans contained more species. They also had greater species asynchrony, which means that different species thrive at different times so that the grassland produces more consistently over time, resulting in more stable biomass production.
La Amazonia: Una Sabana antes de ser un Bosque
July 14, 2014 09:02 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, MONGABAY.COM
La Amazonia es la selva tropical más grande del planeta, la cual abarca alrededor de 6.5 millones de kilómetros cuadrados, aunque se ha perdido mucho (alrededor de 18-20 por ciento) en las últimas décadas. El gran bosque muy probablemente también contiene la mayor biodiversidad de especies en la tierra; por ejemplo, una sola hectárea en el Parque Nacional Yasuní contiene más especies de árboles que todos los EE.UU. y Canadá juntos. Sin embargo, una nueva investigación publicada en las Actas de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias (PNAS) encuentra que hace muy poco, apenas unos 500 años, parte importante del sur de la Amazonía no era el bosque de altura con dosel que es hoy, sino que era sabana.
The Amazon: A Savannah before a Forest
July 11, 2014 08:11 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on the planet, covering about 6.5 million square kilometers, although much has been lost (around 18-20 percent) in recent decades. The great forest also, very likely, contains the highest biodiversity of species on land; for example a single hectare in Yasuni National Park contains more tree species than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Yet new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that quite recently—just 500 years ago—a significant portion of the southern Amazon was not the tall-canopied forest it is today, but savannah.
Nuevo software predice cuándo el impacto humano será demasiado.
July 9, 2014 09:11 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM, MONGABAY.COM
Los grupos indígenas controlan aproximadamente la mitad de las áreas con vegetación en el mundo. Dado que la globalización cambia la forma en que las comunidades tradicionales interactúan con la tierra en la que viven, es importante ser capaz de predecir cómo el ambiente que nos rodea responderá.