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Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

RSPO loses key backer in Australia: ‘We just can’t trust them anymore’
(October 28, 2016, 10:26 am) The NGO said it had lost confidence in the ability of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to enforce its standards.
Food shortages fueling bear-human conflicts in Bolivian Andes
(October 27, 2016, 9:57 pm) A survey of Andean bears is being carried out in Bolivia to see if hunting due to retaliation for attacking livestock is affecting their populations.
Global wildlife populations on pace for two-thirds decline by 2020
(October 27, 2016, 7:25 pm) If current trends persist, the population abundance of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish could decline an average of 67 percent by 2020.
Efforts to stop deforestation in DRC may be misplaced, study finds
(October 27, 2016, 4:06 pm) Recent research challenges the assumption that subsistence agriculture is the major cause of deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Recognizing environmentalists under threat
(October 27, 2016, 3:34 pm) An interview with environmental and indigenous rights philanthropist Alex Soros.
Only 3 Irrawaddy dolphins remain in Laos
(October 27, 2016, 10:32 am) The Irrawaddy dolphin is now “functionally extinct” in Laos, scientists say.
Is it time for a moratorium on commercial fishing of Pacific bluefin tuna?
(October 26, 2016, 9:54 pm) The Pacific bluefin population has dropped by 97.4 percent from its historic, pre-fishing levels, and some experts are saying that it may be time to consider a commercial fishing ban to ensure the survival of the species.
UNESCO urges Bangladesh to cancel or relocate Sundarbans coal plant
(October 26, 2016, 12:20 pm) A recent UNESCO report concludes that the Rampal power plant project poses a serious threat to the Sundarbans, a World Heritage Site, and should be canceled or relocated to an alternate, safer site.
Logged but not out: Altered landscapes important for conservation
(October 26, 2016, 11:55 am) Research points to similar levels of biodiversity in logged and old-growth forests, suggesting that they should be included in conservation planning.
Hectare by hectare, an indigenous man reforested a jungle in Indonesia’s burned-out heartland
(October 26, 2016, 2:53 am) Welcome to Jumpun Pambelom, a regenerating peat swamp forest on the island of Borneo.
Quantifying the ecological impacts of the 20th century trade in Amazonian furs
(October 25, 2016, 5:31 pm) New research shows that, because our understanding of the resilience of Amazonian ecosystems to hunting has largely been based on studies that are temporally or spatially restricted and focused mostly on terrestrial species, it appears we might have failed to properly account for the far more drastic effects hunting has had on populations of aquatic and semi-aquatic species.
Another pipeline spill reported in Peruvian Amazon as indigenous protests enter eighth week
(October 25, 2016, 3:25 pm) As a protest by Peruvian Amazonian indigenous communities against oil pollution on their lands entered its eighth week, tensions rose on October 23 after a new pipeline oil spill and a shooting incident in which at least one protester was wounded.
Over 200 snow leopards killed every year: new report
(October 25, 2016, 11:07 am) Between 220 to 450 snow leopards have been illegally killed every year since 2008, mostly in retaliation for livestock depredation or for illegal trade, according to a new report.
Company poised to destroy critical orangutan habitat in breach of Indonesia’s moratorium
(October 24, 2016, 10:25 pm) The third largest orangutan population in West Kalimantan in danger of losing its home, warns Erik Meijaard, an ecologist with the Borneo Futures initiative.
Irregular Arctic climate reduces sea ice to another record low
(October 24, 2016, 6:37 pm) As temperatures in higher latitudes consistently ranging from three to five degrees Celsius above normal fall averages combine with warmer ocean temperatures, Arctic sea ice has begun displaying irregular, unexpected patterns of melting and freezing. The views expressed are those of the author.
Rhino killed in India’s Kaziranga Park, highlighting the ever-present threat of poachers
(October 24, 2016, 1:41 pm) India has made remarkable strides in protecting its rhino population, but poaching remains a constant problem. Following a recent string of arrests another rhino was killed last week. Despite the specter of poaching, conservationists are optimistic about the species’ future.
Belize suspends oil exploration near World Heritage Site after public outcry
(October 24, 2016, 11:49 am) Seismic surveys for offshore oil exploration began a day earlier than scheduled in the Atlantic-Caribbean waters, very close to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, angering environmentalists, tourism groups, and other stakeholders.
Hunted to the brink: Mammals in crisis
(October 24, 2016, 8:50 am) A new study reveals that hundreds of land mammals face the threat of extinction due to hunting for food or medicinal use.
In Myanmar’s Irrawaddy 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.