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Environmental science and conservation news

Commercial trade in all eight pangolin species has just been banned
(September 28, 2016, 10:03 pm) Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa for the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (CoP17), voted today to ban the international commercial trade of all eight species of pangolin.
Deforestation jumps into Peru reserve, 1,600 hectares of rainforest lost
(September 28, 2016, 9:59 pm) Recently spotted forest loss for agriculture and gold mining threatens endangered wildlife and indigenous communities in El Sira Communal Reserve.
Field Notes: Can we alter endangered species to be more adaptable?
(September 28, 2016, 4:30 pm) Mongabay offers a glimpse into conservation science in progress: Stephanie Courtney Jones suggests that “pesty” traits that help invasive species spread, could also help endangered species adapt.
Colombia’s peace could pressure the environment
(September 28, 2016, 10:42 am) ith the disbanding of Colombia’s largest military guerrilla group, FARC, Colombia’s forests could come under pressure from developmental goals. Home to almost 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, Colombia is listed as a “megadiverse” country by the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is home to 314 different types of ecosystems. Colombia now faces a unique […]
Missing data puts thousands of illegally traded wild animals at risk
(September 28, 2016, 9:19 am) Records of confiscated live wild animals reported to the CITES represent only a fraction of the actual animals being illegally traded, a new review study has found. Moreover, the fate of most confiscated animals remains unknown.
Innovative tax credit takes aim at deforestation in Peru
(September 28, 2016, 7:46 am) Peruvian agricultural shareholders will now have access to an $88 million line of credit.
Conservationists: It’s time for pangolins to be listed on Appendix I of CITES
(September 27, 2016, 11:08 pm) Increased trade in pangolins is having drastic consequences for their population numbers. In 2008, just two pangolin species were classified as endangered by the IUCN. But now, less than a decade later, all eight are threatened with extinction.
China’s reforestation program a letdown for wildlife, study finds
(September 27, 2016, 8:53 pm) The vast majority of forests restored under China’s Grain-for-Green program are monocultures or compositionally simple “mixed” forests, which scientists say spells bad news for biodiversity.
Madagascar’s largest tortoise could become extinct in 2 years
(September 27, 2016, 7:17 am) Fewer than 100 ploughshare tortoises remain in the wild, conservationists estimate, and continued poaching of these animals for the illegal pet trade is likely to wipe out the last few individuals in the next two to three years.
The Nicaraguan frontier: a treasure trove under siege
(September 26, 2016, 9:38 pm) Nicaragua is home to what is perhaps the last wild frontier of Central America — but its wild areas are under siege by forces that threaten the future of regional biodiversity.
Indonesia seeks foreign funds to aid peat restoration drive
(September 26, 2016, 8:18 pm) The cash-strapped Southeast Asian nation is trying to rehabilitate 2 million hectares of damaged peatlands in the wake of last year’s devastating wildfires.
The thriving oysters of Wellfleet Harbor
(September 26, 2016, 6:46 pm) Richard Elson is a filmmaker who will be presenting his work at next month’s Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York City.
Amazon radio network unites regional opposition to Tapajós basin dams
(September 26, 2016, 5:33 pm) A regional news network is energizing Amazonian people, helping them take informed action regarding plans to turn the Tapajós River and its tributaries into a dammed industrial waterway.
Searching for sawfish following the clues of environmental DNA
(September 26, 2016, 4:13 pm) Scientists are sampling largetooth sawfish DNA soup to identify this highly threatened species’ habitat and inform conservation.
Lao PDR commits to shut its commercial tiger farms
(September 26, 2016, 7:48 am) Last Friday, Lao PDR announced that it was intent on “looking for ways to phase out tiger farms”. Conservationists have applauded this decision.
Alaska’s salmon and Vietnam’s doucs: wildlife narratives by Producer Tim Plowden
(September 26, 2016, 12:26 am) Tim Plowden is a nature filmmaker who will be presenting his work at next month’s Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York City.
How’s my target species recovering? A new tool to help you evaluate
(September 24, 2016, 4:10 am) A short biodiversity monitoring manual is now freely available online
‘We are revolutionaries’: Villagers fight to protect Myanmar’s forests
(September 23, 2016, 9:20 pm) A community-run conservation initiative in southern Myanmar is using local knowledge to preserve both the environment and their ways of life.
Calls for CITES to address the corruption fueling the illegal wildlife trade
(September 23, 2016, 8:30 pm) CITES’ seventeenth major Conference of the Parties (CoP17) begins in Johannesburg, South Africa tomorrow, and it represents a key opportunity to address the corruption fueling the illegal wildlife trade, experts say.
Lao PDR failing to curb pangolin and hornbill trafficking: new reports
(September 23, 2016, 11:21 am) Porous border, gaps in the country’s laws, as well as a lack of law enforcement, are impeding Lao PDR’s efforts to tackle wildlife trafficking, three new reports conclude.