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Environmental science and conservation news

In Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta, a rapidly disintegrating mangrove forest
(October 22, 2016, 5:37 pm) A southern wildlife sanctuary in Myanmar, Mein-ma-hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve (MKWS), is in the cross hairs of illegal logging, aggressive farming, and lax management.
TripAdvisor bans ticket sales to wild animal attractions
(October 21, 2016, 12:45 pm) Travel website TripAdvisor announced last week that it will no longer sell tickets to tourism experiences that allow physical contact with captive, wild animals or endangered species, such as elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim-with-dolphin attractions.
Powering aquatic research with self-charging tags
(October 20, 2016, 7:30 pm) This piezoelectric implant, powered by the subject’s movement, could enable long-term fish tracking.
Failed economic development plans drive deforestation in Andean Amazon
(October 20, 2016, 1:38 pm) Researchers have discovered a close statistical correlation between coca-growing operations and government infrastructure and other projects in the Andean Amazon, leading them to conclude that coca cultivation, like deforestation itself, is actually the result of economic development projects begun in the 1960s to open the Amazon frontier that failed to deliver the promised benefits for local communities.
Man surrenders pet crocodile he raised for 13 years
(October 20, 2016, 1:13 pm) Indonesian authorities confiscated the beast, a protected species.
Lakes in community hands spur gains for people and fish
(October 20, 2016, 1:03 pm) In a “win-win” for conservation and development, communities in the Brazilian Amazon bolstered their bottom lines and stocks of a giant fish.
Park ranger murdered while trying to protect rare gorillas
(October 20, 2016, 12:01 pm) The ranger, Munganga Nzonga Jacques, died at the age of 26 in the Tshivanga region of Kahuzi Biega National Park in DRC — an area that was previously believed to be safe for the gorillas.
Experts warn more monitoring needed for the Guiana Shield, the ‘greenhouse of the world’
(October 19, 2016, 6:45 pm) Millions of years old and encompassing 6 countries, the Guiana Shield could be at risk without better monitoring of mining and more robust community planning.
Study finds Brazil isn’t counting all deforestation in official estimates
(October 19, 2016, 5:38 pm) Brazil drew widespread praise for drastically lowering Amazon deforestation over the past decade and half. But as forest destruction in the country is on the rise once again, new research finds that Brazil’s official estimates are missing large swaths of deforestation.
World Bank money is helping to finance Asia’s coal boom: report
(October 19, 2016, 12:32 pm) Should the World Bank Group be held accountable when financial institutions it supports invest in projects that threaten forests and communities? After tracing the Group’s links to controversial projects like the Rampal coal power station, the activists behind a new report say, “Yes.”
Illegal Myanmar teak importation widespread to EU, investigation finds
(October 19, 2016, 8:50 am) The Environmental Investigation Agency claims European timber importers, and the government of Myanmar, are knowingly allowing illegally harvested teak onto the EU market.
Environmentalists squirm as Jokowi eyes Lake Toba tourism bonanza
(October 19, 2016, 5:19 am) The Indonesian president aims to turn the enormous lake into the “Monaco of Asia.” Will deforestation and pollution be the result?
Papua New Guinea activist receives prestigious award for protecting forests
(October 18, 2016, 3:29 pm) Paul Palosualrea Pavol of New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG) has won the Alexander Soros Foundation’s Award for Environmental and Human Rights Activism.
Violence against indigenous people high, as land conflicts heat up
(October 18, 2016, 2:25 pm) A new report finds that violence against Brazil’s indigenous people continues to be high, with 137 killings in 2015, often due to land conflicts; Mato Grosso do Sul state had the most killings.
Mongabay Newscast episode 3: Crucial conservation votes at CITES CoP17 and the future of socio-ecological research
(October 18, 2016, 2:25 pm) Mongabay’s India-based staff writer Shreya Dasgupta appears on this episode of the Newscast to discuss key votes held at the seventeenth congress of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, also known as CITES CoP17.
A plan to save the Mekong Delta
(October 18, 2016, 12:33 pm) Rising seas and upstream dams are threatening to hammer the fertile region. Can Vietnam act in time to stave off disaster?
Asian elephant herds lack clear matriarchs, strict hierarchies: new study
(October 18, 2016, 12:05 pm) Unlike African elephants that are characterized by strong matriarch-led, unified families, Asian elephant families appear to be less cohesive and seem to lack clear matriarch-leadership, a new study has found.
Environmental official murdered in Brazilian Amazon
(October 17, 2016, 2:38 pm) Top Altamira environmental official Luiz Alberto Araújo, shot dead in front of family; he assisted in illegal logging investigations, Belo Monte dam inquiry.
New parasitic plant doesn’t use photosynthesis; its flowers never bloom
(October 17, 2016, 10:50 am) The new orchid (Gastrodia kuroshimensis) discovered in Japan parasitizes fungi in the forest soil for its daily dose of nutrition, and produces flowers that never bloom.
Climate deal struck to curb ‘super greenhouse gases’
(October 16, 2016, 1:43 pm) The legally binding agreement reached in Kigali on October 14 promises to drastically cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration and air conditioning.