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Environmental science and conservation news

New species of orange-red scorpionfish discovered in the Caribbean
(July 28, 2016, 5:27 am) The newly-discovered bright orange-red scorpionfish occurs at depths of 95 to 160 meters and is the deepest-living member of its genus in the western Atlantic Ocean, researchers say.
Video: Endangered baby tapir plays with his father
(July 28, 2016, 4:48 am) In a video released by the RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, baby Baku, a two-month old endangered baby Malayan tapir, tries to play with his father.
The ‘raven’ whale: scientists uncover new beaked whale
(July 27, 2016, 8:19 pm) How did a huge mammal hide in plain sight for so long?
New initiative to further creation of a single map in Indonesia’s Riau
(July 27, 2016, 7:32 pm) The World Resources Institute’s Riau One Map campaign aims to advance a government initiative in the country’s top palm oil-producing province.
Samarco chief faces criminal investigation over collapsed Brazil dam
(July 27, 2016, 4:41 pm) An environmental crime investigation has been launched against Samarco CEO Roberto Carvalho over the dam collapse that poured 50 million tons of mining waste into the Doce River.
China’s coal use has peaked ‘sooner than expected’
(July 27, 2016, 3:30 am) China’s coal use peaked in 2014, a new study suggests. And this decline may be permanent.
Indonesia declares national park in top palm oil-producing province
(July 27, 2016, 2:37 am) Zamrud National Park encompasses an area inhabited by a variety of birds, fish and mammals in Riau on the island of Sumatra.
Failure of Indonesia’s palm oil commitment ‘not bad news’ [commentary]
(July 27, 2016, 12:29 am) Scott Poynton is the founder of The Forest Trust (TFT), an international non-profit that works with corporations to address environmental challenges. In this editorial, Poynton says there is “no time for NGO Handwringing: IPOP was a distraction. Its demise is not bad news”. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.
On World Mangrove Day, 9 things to know about these tough plants
(July 26, 2016, 8:19 pm) Over half of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost in the last century, but conservationists and governments are increasingly recognizing them as important carbon sinks, habitat for commercial seafood species, and storm buffers.
Sri Lanka set to become first nation to protect all mangroves
(July 26, 2016, 8:09 pm) Today, on World Mangrove Day, Sri Lanka’s president announced new mangrove protection measures – and inaugurated a museum that aims to teach people about the value of these globally threatened, coastal forests.
Study concludes conservation NGOs might be better off working outside the RSPO
(July 26, 2016, 6:37 pm) Conservation non-governmental organizations, palm oil producers, and other players in the industry have all promoted the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s efforts, but a new study published in the journal Conservation and Society looks at how effective NGOs’ participation in the RSPO scheme truly is.
Mexico bans gillnets to protect rare vaquita porpoise
(July 26, 2016, 7:00 am) To protect the world’s rarest and most threatened marine mammal, Mexico will permanently ban the use of gillnets throughout the range of vaquita porpoise from September, and phase out night fishing by the end of this year.
Why helping civil society investigate illegal timber is about much more than protecting forests and forest peoples [commentary]
(July 25, 2016, 10:23 pm) Sam Lawson is the founder of Earthsight, a London-based nonprofit whose mission is to promote the use of in-depth investigations to expose environmental and social crime, injustice and the links to global consumption. The views expressed here are his own.
Fish farms need not be outlawed in Indonesia’s Lake Toba: minister
(July 25, 2016, 9:05 pm) Local officials had sent in the security forces to dismantle villagers’ floating cages, part of an effort to boost tourism and clear out pollution in the country’s giant Lake Toba, but the farmers want more time to complete the harvest, or else to receive compensation.
Health concerns, food insecurity linger months after Peruvian oil spills
(July 25, 2016, 6:09 pm) Cleanup crews have gone home and emergency food supplies have ended, yet indigenous communities affected by two oil spills early this year remain on edge.
“Ecological recession”: Researchers say biodiversity loss has hit critical threshold across the globe
(July 25, 2016, 3:37 pm) An international team of researchers has concluded that biodiversity loss has become so severe and widespread that it could affect Earth’s ability to sustain human life.
Ivory poaching kingpin gets 20 years in jail
(July 25, 2016, 5:42 am) A Kenyan court sentenced Feisal Ali Mohamed to 20 years in jail and fined him $200,000.
On eve of Olympics, Amazon deforestation surges in Brazil
(July 25, 2016, 12:57 am) Dry conditions, Brazil’s weak currency, and political instability may be creating conditions that could reverse the country’s historic progress in curbing rainforest destruction.
Haze epicenter receives environmental award in Indonesia
(July 23, 2016, 10:29 pm) Siak is one of 143 cities and districts across the archipelago to get one of this year’s Adipura Awards.
Military sent to clear fish farms in Indonesia’s Lake Toba
(July 22, 2016, 8:36 pm) In the wake of a mass fish die-off in one of the region’s villages.