Conservation news feed

  • Shaping the next generation of Indigenous rangers: Interview with Manni Edwards
    on July 18, 2024

    Manni Edwards credits his journey to preserving the wisdom of his elders to an encounter with goondoi 40 years ago. At the age of 8, Edwards says, he saw up to 14 colorful goondoi, or southern cassowaries (Casuarius casuarius) moving together in herds, socializing and breeding across the vast wetlands of the cassowary coast in

  • Nepal’s shifting biodiversity research landscape: Interview with Karan Bahadur Shah
    on July 18, 2024

    KATHMANDU — Professor Karan Bahadur Shah is a distinguished researcher from Nepal, renowned for his extensive work in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. His career spans several decades and includes significant contributions to the understanding of Nepal’s rich biodiversity. Shah’s academic journey began at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, where he earned his Zoology

  • How Europe’s only Indigenous group is inspiring a greener Christianity
    on July 17, 2024

    In Arctic Norway, among the Indigenous Sámi people, there is a custom: When cutting down a tree, tap its trunk three times. On the one hand, it’s simply practical advice: Only old, dead trees will ring hollow. Test the trunk, and you’ll know which trees are young and healthy, and leave them more time to

  • After 2-year wait, Sonoran wilderness protection law gets closer to reality
    on July 17, 2024

    SAHUARIPA, Mexico — Where saguaro cacti give way to palm trees, some 130 miles south of the U.S. border, a small ranching town is quietly obsessed with jaguars (Panthera onca). Jaguar murals adorn walls, and local ranchers, usually demure and mustachioed, treasure their printouts of big cats caught on camera traps. Sahuaripa is the nearest

  • ‘A harmonious human-primate society’: Interview with Whitley winner Kuenzang Dorji
    on July 17, 2024

    Kuenzang Dorji’s lifelong passion for wildlife, fostered since childhood, set the stage for his distinguished career in conservation. His professional journey began as a park ranger at Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park under the Royal Government of Bhutan. In this role, he was tasked with wildlife protection, forest management and law enforcement. A keen interest

  • Ecuador’s Indigenous Cofán show how to have your turtle and eat it too
    on July 17, 2024

    At the end of the 1980s, the Indigenous Cofán community of Zábalo, inside Ecuador’s Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, was alarmed by what was happening on the banks of the Aguarico River. Like in all the other tributaries of the Amazon, heavy hunting of yellow-spotted Amazon river turtles (Podocnemis unifilis) and harvesting of their eggs was causing

  • ‘Fungibility’ could sink Convention on Biodiversity’s funding mechanism Decision 15/9 (commentary)
    on July 17, 2024

    That common sense is anything but common is a truism. Professors of economics often invoke common sense to explain resource allocation. The fungibility problem is exemplary. This esoteric term comes from finance and is synonymous with “adverse selection”: an economic policy selects adversely whenever the beneficiaries would have taken the same action anyway, the action

  • Space mission that maps forests in 3D makes an early comeback
    on July 17, 2024

    Call it the force’s doing, but it has been surprises galore for the GEDI mission. In early 2023, the lidar mission that maps the Earth’s forests in 3D was to be burned up in the atmosphere to make way for another unrelated mission on the International Space Station. A last-minute decision by NASA saved its

  • Report reveals widespread use of smuggled mercury in Amazon gold mining
    on July 17, 2024

    According to a report from Brazilian think tank the Escolhas Institute, up to 73% of all mercury used in Brazil's gold mines is of unknown origin; the country’s environmental agency states practically all mines in Brazil use illegal mercury.

  • Garifuna land rights abuses persist in Honduras, despite court ruling
    on July 17, 2024

    Since the early 17th century, the Garifuna Afro-Indigenous peoples of Honduras have lived on the country’s northern Caribbean coast, where they collectively own large tracts of rich coastal land and sustain their livelihoods on subsistence agriculture and small-scale fishing. But ever since palm oil plantations, tourist developments and other harmful practices have expanded across their

  • To end turtle hunting, an African island state embraced the hunters
    on July 17, 2024

    Five of the world’s seven species of marine turtles come to the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, to breed or forage. The islanders patrol nesting sites, survey adult turtles at sea, educate students about the animals’ life cycle, work for ecotourism operations, and sell jewelry made from plastic waste

  • Thai tiger numbers swell as prey populations stabilize in western forests
    on July 17, 2024

    The tiger population density in a series of protected areas in western Thailand has more than doubled over the past two decades, according to new survey data. Thailand is the final stronghold of the Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), the subspecies having been extirpated from neighboring Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam over the past decade due

  • Harnessing ‘invisible forests in plain view’ to reforest the world
    on July 16, 2024

    Tony Rinaudo had been attempting to reforest degraded land in Niger in the 1980s at a rate of 6,000 trees a year, but most of them died. While driving to a village hosting one such project, he caught sight of what he initially thought was a bush. Upon closer inspection, though, it turned out to

  • ‘Extinct’ trees found in Tanzania sparks hope for ecosystem recovery
    on July 16, 2024

    In July 2023, botanist Andrea Bianchi was driving in the Nguru Mountains of eastern Tanzania when the broad pods on a tree growing in a maize field near the road caught his eye. He pulled over and found not one but two Millettia sacleuxii trees, a species scientists had feared was extinct. Thousands of their

  • Loss of water means loss of culture for Mexico’s Indigenous Yaqui
    on July 16, 2024

    YAQUI VALLEY, Mexico — Without the Yaqui River, survival is almost impossible for the Yaqui tribe in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. A lack of water affects the food production and cattle raising, the tribe’s main form of subsistence. But beyond basic biological needs, it also threatens the culture of the Yaqui peoples. As

  • African markets tackle food insecurity and climate change — but lack investment
    on July 16, 2024

    Zimbabwe’s Mbare agricultural market in Harare, the biggest local market in the country’s capital city, opens at 5 a.m. and bustles. Between morning and noon, traders arrive from different parts of the country with more than 100 varieties of vegetables and fruits that need to be sorted for redistribution to other trading markets. In Mbare,

  • A year after toxic tar sands spill, questions remain for affected First Nation
    on July 16, 2024

    Living downstream from one of the world’s largest industrial projects isn’t easy — especially when things go wrong. When the community of Fort Chipewyan in Alberta, Canada, learned there had been a major spill of toxic wastewater from Imperial Oil’s Kearl tar sands site, it was chaos, says Melaine Dene, acting director of the Mikisew

  • Institutional conflict puts successful Spix’s macaw reintroduction at risk
    on July 16, 2024

    This is the second in a two-part report about the reintroduction of the Spix’s macaw, a bird declared extinct in the wild, and the uncertain future of its return. Read Part One here. RIO DE JANEIRO — In 2022, the Spix’s macaw, one of the world’s most threatened parrots, started being reintroduced into Brazil’s semiarid

  • Loopholes allow multilateral development banks to fund captive coal in Indonesia: Report
    on July 16, 2024

    JAKARTA — Publicly funded multilateral development banks (MDBs) like the World Bank might finance a wave of “captive” coal expansion in climate-vulnerable countries vulnerable to climate change, which will speed up global warming. A new report reveals that the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has indirectly financed at least one

  • Traditional foods have the potential to help Kashmir communities adapt to climate change: study
    on July 16, 2024

    In the western Himalayas of Kashmir, mountain communities are eating their way to preserving traditional knowledge. Local food advocates are trying to get more of the rich array of wild edible plant species, traditionally cultivated by communities from forests, like gucchi (Morchella esculenta), onto peoples’ plates. A new study published in Forest Policy and Economics