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
Japan's earthquake disaster may boost rainforest logging in Borneo
March 14, 2011 09:22 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
Malaysian loggers say Japan's recovery from last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami will boost demand for rainforest timber, reports the Borneo Post. AmResearch, an investment research firm based in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, said logging companies that export plywood to Japan are poised to benefit from reconstruction.
Elephants cooperate as well as chimps
March 9, 2011 08:32 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
A new study proves that elephants understand how sometimes two is better than one. Working with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, researchers reconstructed a classic cooperation test that was originally developed for chimpanzees. Subjects must pull on a rope to receive a reward, such as food, however—and here's the crux—the treat is only released if two subjects cooperate by pulling on two different ropes simultaneously. The paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that elephants were as capable of cooperation as chimpanzees.
Birnam Wood in the 21st Century: northern forest invading Arctic tundra as world warms
March 7, 2011 08:22 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
In Shakespeare's play Macbeth the forest of Birnam Wood fulfills a seemingly impossible prophecy by moving to surround the murderous king (the marching trees are helped, of course, by an army of axe-wielding camouflaged Scots). The Arctic tundra may soon feel much like the doomed Macbeth with an army of trees (and invading species) closing in. In a recent study, researchers found that climate change is likely to push the northern forests of the boreal into the Arctic tundra—a trend that is already being confirmed in Alaska.
Eastern cougar officially declared extinct
March 3, 2011 07:16 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The Eastern cougar, a likely subspecies of the mountain lion, was officially declared extinct today by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, ending 38 years on the Endangered Species List (ESA). The cougar, which once roamed the Eastern US, had not been confirmed since 1930s, although sightings have been consistently reported up to the present-day.
Gulf of Mexico bottom still coated in oil, recovery long way off
February 23, 2011 08:58 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia has seen the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and the view wasn't pretty. Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Joye told the conference that she found places where oil lay on the Gulf floor nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters) thick. Joye's findings contradict rosier pictures of the overall damage caused by the 2010 BP oil spill, including a recent statement by Kenneth Feinberg, the US government czar for oil compensation, that the Gulf would largely recover by next year.
Bushmeat trade pushing species to the edge in Tanzania
February 8, 2011 02:51 PM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
Hunters are decimating species in the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, a part of the Eastern Arc Mountains in Southern Tanzania, according to a new report compiled by international and Tanzanian conservationists. Incorporating three research projects, the report finds that bushmeat hunting in conjunction with forest degradation imperils the ecology of the protected area.
World Bank offers to save Serengeti from bisecting road
February 1, 2011 08:57 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The World Bank has offered to help fund an alternative route for a planned road project that would otherwise cut through Tanzania's world famous Serengeti National Park, according to the German-based NGO Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). When announced last year, the road project raised protests from environmentalists, scientists, and Tanzanian tour companies, but the Tanzanian government refused to shift plans to an alternative southern route for the road, thereby bypassing the park.
Egyptian jackal is actually ancient wolf
January 27, 2011 08:58 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The Egyptian jackal, which may have been the inspiration for the Egyptian god Anubis, is actually not a jackal at all but a member of the wolf family. New genetic research in the open-access journal PLoS ONE finds that the Egyptian jackal is Africa's only member of the gray wolf family. The new wolf, dubbed by researchers as the African wolf, is most closely related to the Himalayan wolf.
American cougars on the decline: 'We’re running against the clock,' says big cat expert
January 18, 2011 09:32 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM
It holds the Guinness World Record for having the most names of any animal on the planet, with 40 in English alone. It's also the widest-ranging native land animal in the Americas, yet is declining throughout much of its range. Mongabay talks with big cat expert Dr. Howard Quigley about the status and research implications of the elusive, enigmatic, and unique cougar.
Amount of carbon absorbed by ecosystems each year is grossly overstated, says new study
January 17, 2011 09:38 AM - Emily Kirkland, MONGABAY.COM
According to a new paper published in Science, current carbon accounting methods significantly overstate the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by forests, plains, and other terrestrial ecosystems. That is because most current carbon accounting methods do not consider the methane and carbon dioxide released naturally by rivers, streams, and lakes.