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Mongabay Newscast

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests from scientists to authors discussing global environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity, rainforests, wildlife conservation, animal behavior, marine biology and more.
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Now displaying: Page 2
Mar 3, 2021

Once drained for palm oil or other agricultural uses, Indonesia's peatlands become very fire prone, putting people and rich flora and fauna--from orchids to orangutans--at risk.

Over a million hectares of carbon-rich peatlands burned in Indonesia in 2019, creating a public health crisis not seen since 2015 when the nation's peatland restoration agency was formed to address the issue.

To understand what is being done to restore peatlands, we speak with the Deputy Head of the National Peatland Restoration Agency, Budi Wardhana, and with Dyah Puspitaloka, a researcher on the value chain, finance and investment team at CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research.

Restoration through agroforestry that benefits both people and planet is one positive avenue forward, which Dyah discusses in her remarks.

For more on this topic, see the recent report at Mongabay, "Indonesia renews peat restoration bid to include mangroves, but hurdles abound."

Episode artwork: Haze from fires in a peatland logging concession pollutes the air in Jambi Province, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Greenpeace Media Library.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 24, 2021

Landscape rewilding and ecosystem restoration are likely our last/best chances to maintain life on Earth as we know it, the guests on this week's show argue.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration just began, so we invited author Judith Schwartz to discuss her new book The Reindeer Chronicles and Other Inspiring Stories of Working with Nature to Heal the Earth, which documents numerous restoration projects around the globe and highlights how the global ecological restoration movement is challenging us to reconsider the way we live on the planet.

We’re also joined by Tero Mustonen, president of the Finnish NGO Snowchange Cooperative, who tells us about the group’s Landscape Rewilding Programme which is restoring & rewilding Arctic and Boreal habitats using Indigenous knowledge and science.

He previously joined us to discuss the 'dialogue' between Indigenous knowledge and western science for a popular episode in 2018, a theme we also explored with David Suzuki for another popular show about how Indigenous knowledge is critical for human survival.

Episode artwork: Reindeer calf at Lake Inari in northern Finland © Markus Mauthe / Greenpeace. 

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 17, 2021

The Sumatran rhino is a ridiculously cute but cryptic species that teeters on the brink: with an estimated 80 individuals left in the wilds of its super dense rainforest home, experts are also divided on *where* they are. With conflicting and sometimes misleading data on their whereabouts, it is exceedingly difficult to track them down, and to therefore protect them.

To discuss this 'rhino search and rescue' as she calls it, host Mike DiGirolamo contacted repeat guest Wulan Pusparini, who studied them as a species conservation specialist with the Wildlife Conservation Society before pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental Conservation at Oxford University.

Articles discussed in this episode:

Episode artwork: Rosa is the wild-born female Sumatran rhino noted by Wulan during the interview who now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park. Image courtesy of Terri Roth/Cincinnati Zoo.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts. We also offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, providing instant access to our latest episodes and previous ones.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all of our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 10, 2021

Two technologies being promoted as climate solutions, biomass and hydropower, actually have big environmental consequences and might not be sustainable at all. Can we burn and dam our way out of the climate crisis?

We speak with Justin Catonoso, a Wake Forest University journalism professor and Mongabay reporter, who describes the loopholes in renewable energy policies that have allowed the biomass industry to flourish under the guise of carbon neutrality, even though the burning of trees for energy has been shown to release more carbon emissions than burning coal.

We also talk to Ana Colovic Lesoska, a biologist who was instrumental in shutting down two large hydropower projects in her Balkan country’s Mavrovo National Park. This recent Goldman Environmental Prize winner says there is a tidal wave of 3,000+ other hydropower projects still proposed for the region, and discusses whether hydropower can be a climate solution at all, at any scale.

Articles mentioned in this episode:

Read all of Mongabay's coverage of biomass here and hydropower here.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 2, 2021

The Sumatran orangutan is a lowland species that has adapted to life among this Indonesian island’s highlands, as it has lost favored habitat to an array of forces like deforestation, road projects, plus the trafficking of young ones to be sold as pets, so this great ape is increasingly in trouble.

On this episode, Mongabay speaks with the founding director of Orangutan Information Centre in North Sumatra, Panut Hadisiswoyo, about these challenges plus some hopeful signs.

His center is successfully involving local communities in this work: over 2,400 hectares of rainforest have been replanted by local women since 2008, creating key habitat for the orangutans, which also provides the villagers with useful agroforestry crops, for instance.

Related reading from this episode:

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts. We also offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, providing instant access to our latest episodes and previous ones.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all of our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Jan 27, 2021

Ever drink 'shade grown' coffee or eat 'bird friendly' chocolate? Then you've enjoyed the fruits of agroforestry, an ancient agricultural technique practiced on a huge scale across the world which also sequesters a staggering amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

Agroforestry is poised for growth as the world searches for solutions to the climate crisis, and this one is special because it also produces grains/fruits/vegetables/livestock, builds soil and water tables, and is highly biodiversity-positive.

Today we discuss its power and promise with three guests: Mongabay's agroforestry series editor Erik Hoffner; the director the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri, Sarah Lovell, who discusses agroforestry’s history and extent in the United States, plus what the Biden Administration might do with it; and a true icon in the field, Roger Leakey, an author, researcher, and vice president of the International Tree Foundation. Leakey explains how helps build food security, boosts biodiversity, and reduces conditions that lead to deforestation and migration.

Mongabay’s entire series on agroforestry can be viewed here, but here are some features discussed on the show:

Episode artwork: chocolate thrives under a mix of fruit and timber trees, image via World Agroforestry.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Jan 21, 2021

The Sumatran elephant is a small species of Asian elephant whose numbers are dwindling as their lowland forest habitats are converted to crops like oil palms. Experts say that Indonesia has 10 years to turn this trend around and save them from the eternity of extinction--and that doing so will have many additional benefits for human communities and wildlife. 

To explore the issues surrounding the species' conservation, we spoke with 3 guests: Leif Cocks, the founder of the International Elephant Project, Sapariah “Arie” Saturi, Mongabay-Indonesia's Senior Writer who's reported regularly on the issue; and Dr. Wishnu Sukmantoro an elephant expert at Indonesia's Bogor Agricultural University.  

Two recent articles Arie reported for Mongabay on the topic:

Episode artwork courtesy of World Wildlife Fund's Sumatran elephant program.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify or Audible, or wherever they get podcasts.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Jan 13, 2021

From fires to COVID, 2020 was a *bit* of a rough year for forest conservation efforts. But what’s in store, and hopeful, for 2021?

On this episode, we catch up with Mongabay's founder and CEO Rhett Butler to hear what's on his radar for the year--from the Amazon to Africa and Indonesia--plus for a forest focus on Africa, we ask Joe Eisen, the executive director of the NGO Rainforest Foundation UK, for his take on the past year and the major issues and events likely to impact Africa’s tropical forests over the course of 2021.

Here's Rhett's latest article: Rainforests: 11 things to watch in 2021

Related episodes mentioned during the show:

• “New Latin American treaty could help protect women conservation leaders — and all environment defenders” (28 October 2020)

• “What can we expect from tropical fire season 2020?” (13 May 2020)

• “Reporter Katie Baker details Buzzfeed’s explosive investigation of WWF” (29 October 2019)

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Dec 23, 2020

Valuable minerals are regularly dug out of sensitive ecological areas like rainforests, and a growing slice of this mining is of the small, "artisanal," and unregulated kind.

The result is often a moonscape devoid of trees that is difficult to restore. But a new tech interface called Project Inambari, which was recently named a winner of the Artisanal Mining Challenge, aims to change that with technology, so that communities and authorities can better protect their resources. Bjorn Bergman is an analyst for SkyTruth and is one of the project's developers, and he joins the podcast to describe their vision.

Also joining us to discuss the impacts of mining and its mitigation is Dr. Manuela Callari, a Mongabay contributing writer who recently wrote about the tens of thousands of abandoned and shuttered mine sites in Australia and what communities are doing about them.

Episode artwork: satellite view of artisanal mining in rainforests of Madre de Dios, Peru, courtesy of SkyTruth.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Dec 16, 2020

The wildlife rich island of Sumatra is experiencing a road building boom, causing some of its iconic creatures to be seen by construction workers: a photo of a Sumatran tiger crossing a highway work-site went viral this summer, for example. 

This smallest of all tiger subspecies still needs its space despite its stature: up to 250 square kilometers for each one's territory. A single road cut into their forest habitat encroaches on these key areas, where less than 400 of these critically endangered animals persist.

Road building creates access to impenetrable forests that are home to all kinds of creatures, though, enabling illegal hunting and fragmenting habitats.

To discuss the impact of - and alternatives to - such infrastructure projects as the billion dollar Trans-Sumatran Highway, we reached Hariyo “Beebach” Wibisono, a research fellow at the San Diego Zoo Global & director of SINTAS Indonesia, plus Bill Laurance, a distinguished professor at James Cook University, who is also head of ALERT, the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers.

Related reading:

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify or Audible, or wherever they get podcasts.

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Episode artwork: a critically endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica). Image courtesy of the Zoological Society of London.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Dec 9, 2020

On this episode we look at how the largest and most biodiverse tropical savanna on Earth, Brazil's Cerrado, may finally be getting the conservation attention it needs.

We’re joined by Mariana Siqueira, a landscape architect who’s helping to find and propagate the Cerrado’s natural plant life, and who is collaborating with ecologists researching the best way to restore the savanna habitat.

Arnaud Desbiez also joins the show: he's founder and president of a Brazilian wildlife research NGO who describes the Cerrado as an important part of the range for the giant armadillo, an ecosystem engineer which creates habitat for many other species. So conserving their population will have positive effects for the savanna's overall biodiversity, he argues.

Read more about the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project here & view all of our recent coverage of the Cerrado here.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

Episode artwork: A giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), photo courtesy of Giant Armadillo Conservation Program.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Dec 3, 2020

North Sumatra is home to 1 of only 8 known great ape species in the world, the newly described Tapanuli orangutan, first classified in 2017 after its habits and DNA proved them to be unique. As with many animals in Sumatra, they are amazing creatures that are critically threatened, with a maximum of 800 individuals estimated to be living in an increasingly fragmented habitat.

Now a hydroelectric dam proposed for the center of the animals' tiny territory further challenges this special species' chances of survival, as well as that of 23 other threatened species which also live in the area. 

To understand what's interesting about this animal and how the proposed Batang Toru dam would impact it, we speak with a biologist who helped discover its uniqueness, Dr. Puji Rianti of IPB University in Bogor, and Mongabay staff writer Hans Nicholas Jong in Jakarta, who has been covering the controversy over the project, as it's been called into question by activists and funders alike and faces numerous delays.

The saga is definitely not over, and this episode explains why.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify or Audible, or wherever they get podcasts.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Nov 25, 2020

We're taking a look at the importance of securing Indigenous & local communities’ land rights -- and the global push for privatization that can deprive such people access to their territories -- with two guests on this episode.

A 2018 study found that Indigenous Peoples steward about 38 million km2 of land in 87 countries, that's more than a quarter of the world’s land surface, making them the most important conservationists on the planet, you might say. But governments and corporations increasingly want access to these lands, too, so the issue of land rights and titles is heating up.

To discuss the issue and learn how people are gaining title to their lands, we welcome Daisee Francour, a member of the Oneida nation of Wisconsin (U.S.) who is also director of strategic partnerships and communications for the NGO Cultural Survival, plus Anuradha Mittal who's executive director of the Oakland Institute, a think tank that recently released a report titled Driving Dispossession: The Global Push To Unlock The Economic Potential Of Land.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Episode artwork: In Zambia, a resident displays a map of her village's land. Villagers confirm that individual plots of land are accurately depicted and will be given a certificate conferring rights to farm and use the land. Photo courtesy of Sandra Coburn/Oakland Institute.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Nov 18, 2020

Sumatra contains some of the largest tracts of intact rainforest left in the world, but it's at the center of a complicated web of deforestation drivers, many of which began during the Dutch colonial era and are now spurred further by corruption and the global demand for cheap palm oil used in a wide range of consumer products.

To understand the rapid expansion of industrial-scale agribusinesses that market both palm oil and pulp & paper to the global market from this, the largest island in the Indonesian Archipelago, podcast host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with Nur “Yaya” Hidayati and Philip Jacobson.

Hidayati is the national executive director of Walhi, the largest and oldest environmental advocacy NGO in Indonesia, while Jacobson is a contributing editor at Mongabay who has been covering Indonesia for six years.

They discuss what causes the massive deforestation in Sumatra in particular and Indonesia in general, why it’s so difficult to control, what exacerbates efforts to stop it, and what can be done globally and locally to slow or stop the expansion of continued land exploitation.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Nov 11, 2020

We have amazing recordings of indri lemur songs (click for the choruses, stay for the roars) and the award-winning architect of protected areas that house Madagascar’s rich plant life on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast.

Mongabay has a special tie to this biologically-rich East African country--our name comes from an island just off its shores--so we're thrilled to return for this episode.

Jeannie Raharimampionana is a Malagasy botanist who identified 80 priority areas for conservation of plant life there, 11 of which have now been protected: this achievement recently won her the National Geographic Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation in Africa and the title of National Geographic Explorer.

We also speak with Valeria Torti from University of Turin who researches critically endangered indri lemurs in the protected forests of the Maromizaha region. Torti tells us about the threats indris are facing and plays for us a number of wild recordings of their calls.

Episode artwork is of an indri lemur in the Analamazaotra Special Reserve, photo by Charles J Sharp.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Nov 5, 2020

Sumatran rhinos are unlike anything else in this world: small in stature and docile by nature, they sport a coat of fur and sing songs reminiscent of a dolphin. In other words, this ancient species surprises and enchants anyone lucky enough to encounter it.

But Sumatran rhinos are also one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet. While its population is difficult to pinpoint, experts estimate there could be as many as 80 – or as few as 30 – still in the wild, leaving their future in doubt.

To understand the wonder and worry associated with this species, Mongabay Explores podcast host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with two guests, Wulan Pusparini and Jeremy Hance, about the unique challenges of conserving them, what is being done for them currently, and what needs to happen in order to save them from extinction.

Pusparini studied them as a species conservation specialist with the Wildlife Conservation Society before pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental Conservation at Oxford University, while Hance is Mongabay’s senior correspondent who’s traveled Sumatra extensively to cover the species (and is the author of a new book about such travels, “Baggage“).

To learn more, see Mongabay's twin series authored by Hance on the conservation efforts and the scientific advances made in their captive breeding, here:

Music heard during this episode is by Sorbatua Siallagan, chief of the Dolok Parmonangan Indigenous community. The song is called "Gondang  tu Mulajadi," where Gondang means ‘music’ and also ‘prayer,’ and Mulajadi means God. This kind of music is typically performed when Indigenous communities in Batak areas of Sumatra conduct rituals. Series theme music heard at the beginning and end is called “Putri Tangguk” and was licensed via Pond5.

Sounds of Sumatran rhinos heard during the show courtesy of Save the Rhino International.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Oct 28, 2020

Women are key leaders in Amazon conservation, and we're taking another look at this issue with a discussion of an international agreement that could help protect environmental defenders — of all genders — in Latin America, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be an environmental activist, especially as a woman. Joining us to discuss is Osprey Orielle Lake, founder and executive director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), who talks about the Escazu Agreement and some of the inspiring indigenous female conservationists whose work and safety would be supported by it.

We also speak with journalist Nicolas Bustamente Hernandez about a young Colombian conservationist whose work he recently chronicled for Mongabay, Yehimi Fajardo, who is founder of the Alas Association, which is helping people in her rainforest region of Putumayo in Colombia become bird watchers and forest stewards.

Read more about these women leaders at Mongabay.com:

Mongabay covered the Escazu Agreement here in 2018 & an update can be viewed at its official UN website here.

Episode art: Photo of Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani leader of the Ecuadorian Amazon by Mitch Anderson/Amazon Frontlines.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

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See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Oct 22, 2020

"Sumatra is like a fossil relic of rare species...a giant, rhino horn-shaped island blanketed in the richest rainforest you can imagine...there's nothing like it," one of our guests declares.

The 6th largest island in the world and the 2nd largest economy in Indonesia, Sumatra is the only place in the world where you can you find tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans all living together in an incredibly rich landscape of rainforests that, until recently, were largely untouched by human activities. 

But that's changing rapidly, and this new biweekly series from Mongabay Explores dives into what's special about Sumatra, its amazing biodiversity heritage, and what's at stake as forests fall for uses like oil palm plantations, mines, and hydropower dams. We'll also discuss positive trends for conservation and solutions that meet human and nonhuman needs.

Host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with two guests: Rudi Putra, a biologist who won the Goldman Environmental Prize for his inspiring conservation work in Sumatra and who now serves as chairman of the Leuser Conservation Forum, plus Greg McCann, a biologist and Assistant Professor at Taiwan's Chang Gung University, whose People Resources and Conservation Foundation team is exploring and documenting the incredible richness of Sumatra so that it can be better conserved. 

View all of Mongabay's news coverage from Sumatra here, visit Rudi Putra's organization Leuser Conservation Forum's website to learn more about their work, and Greg McCann's organization PRCF has multiple projects in Indonesia described here (and details on the project in Dolok Simalalaksa/ Hadabuan Hills he discusses are here).

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Series theme song "Putri Tangguk" is inspired by traditional Indonesian gamelan music and licensed via POND5.

Episode artwork: Sunset over Sumatran rainforest by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Oct 14, 2020

The Cross River gorilla is one of the world’s rarest great ape subspecies, with only 300 individuals estimated to be living in Nigeria's Cross River State, but creative efforts to conserve their population and habitat there are changing their fortunes and reduce human-gorilla conflict.

Joining the show is Hillary Chukwuemeka, host of the radio program “My Gorilla My Community” that is heard by nearly 4 million listeners in communities on the frontlines of gorilla conservation there. Chukwuemeka talks about why it's an effective means of community engagement, and the impacts he’s seen among local communities.

We also speak with Inaoyom Imong, program director for the Cross River landscape with Wildlife Conservation Society-Nigeria and a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group. Inaoyom discusses the major threats to Cross River gorillas, barriers to their conservation, and why community-based conservation measures are so important in this context.

Here are some recent Mongabay articles referenced in this episode:

Gorilla radio: Sending a conservation message in Nigeria

For the world’s rarest gorillas, a troubled sanctuary

Camera snaps first ever glimpse of a troop of the world’s rarest gorilla

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Sep 30, 2020

Slowing climate change will require a massive increase of renewable energy assets while reducing use of fossil fuels. And who wouldn't like to have a quiet, clean, electric car?

But renewable energy technologies from wind turbines to solar panels and rechargeable batteries to power your Tesla Roadster require large amounts of mined metals and minerals.

That's a problem because mining creates significant environmental impacts on land, and now, there’s a concerted effort to open up vast areas of the ocean floor to mining for this purpose.

On this episode speak with journalist Ian Morse and MiningWatch Canada's research coordinator Catherine Coumans about the overarching implications of mining things like metallic nodules and vents on the sea floor to huge areas of Indonesia for nickel used in rechargeable batteries. Our guests also explain how recent improvements to recycling of existing mined metals could supplant the need for risky projects like deep sea mining.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Episode artwork: an electric car charging station in South Korea by hssbb79, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Sep 16, 2020

Conservation of great apes in Africa relies on forest protection, and vice versa: on this episode we discuss a campaign in Cameroon to protect the second-largest rainforest in the world and its incredibly diverse (and mysterious) ape inhabitants, and share an intriguing tale of forest gardening by chimps.

Ekwoge Abwe is head of the Ebo Forest Research Project in Cameroon, and shares how he became the first scientist to discover chimpanzees there use tools to crack open nuts. He also discusses ongoing efforts to safeguard Ebo Forest against the threats of oil palm expansion and logging, against which it just won a surprise reprieve.

We also speak with Alex Chepstow-Lusty, an associate researcher at Cambridge University who shares the incredible story of how chimpanzees helped Africa’s rainforests regenerate after they collapsed some 2,500 years ago, by spreading the forests seeds (a phenomenon known as 'zoochory') and why that makes chimps important to the health of forests like Ebo Forest both today and into the future, as well.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Sep 2, 2020

Women everywhere are key voices for conservation, and an increasing body of research now recognizes the direct link between gender equality and environmental protection.

Mongabay has published a number of stories lately focused on successful Amazonian conservation initiatives led by women activists and scientists, and we wanted to highlight the issue on this episode of the podcast.

Sarah Sax recently wrote about the Women Warriors of the Forest, an all-female indigenous group that is employing new tactics and building new alliances to protect the forests they call home. Sax joins us to discuss the Women Warriors and some of her other recent reporting that has centered on women conservation leaders in the Amazon.

We’re also joined by Dr. Dolors Armenteras, who was the subject of a recent profile published by Mongabay. Armenteras is known as a pioneer in the use of remote sensing to monitor Amazon forests and biodiversity, and has been named one of the most influential scientists studying forest fires.

Despite her prominence, Armenteras has faced discrimination as a woman scientist, and shares with us how she has navigated that and how she supports the next generation of women scientists to overcome such biases.

Episode artwork of Maisa Guajajara at the march of Indigenous women in Brasilia, 2019, courtesy Marquinho Mota/FAOR.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Aug 19, 2020

Bioacoustics studies help scientists discover things never before known about all kinds of animals, but especially marine life -- on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we go under the waves to share new recordings of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) from southern Africa and hear from researchers what they think the sounds & songs may mean.

Dr. Tess Gridley's team recently discovered that humpback whales sing in South Africa’s False Bay, and she plays some brand new recordings they just captured.

Sasha Dines also joins the show to share her PhD studies of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, which focuses on these animals' signature whistle calls.

*Turn up the volume to fully appreciate these songs, roars, growls and whistles!

Host Mike G. also discusses the upcoming African Bioacoustics Community conference with his guests, this is a virtual event aimed at bringing more researchers into the acoustic sphere to better understand the continent's incredible natural heritage.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Aug 4, 2020

For the 100th episode of the Newscast, we revisit Mongabay's groundbreaking Conservation Effectiveness series which asked a simple question:

How can we know if conservation methods are working if we don't test their effectiveness?
 
From marine protected areas to parks and certification schemes like 'green' labels on lumber, our team reviewed published studies and evaluated the evidence for each method. 
 
On this episode we speak with Mongabay's founder and editor-in-chief Rhett Butler about the Conservation Effectiveness series & the ongoing need to test conservation outcomes, and with Sven Wunder, a principal scientist at the European Forest Institute in Barcelona, who is also a senior associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), about the effectiveness of several of these conservation methods, like "payments for ecosystem services."
 
Review all the features from the series here, https://news.mongabay.com/series/conservation-effectiveness/

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips, please download it and let us know what you think via the contact info below!

If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, please visit the link above for details.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, via Pandora or Spotify, or wherever they get podcasts.

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Jul 29, 2020

Hellbenders are North America’s largest salamanders, living in rivers and growing to an incredible length of over two feet. Eastern newts are tiny and terrestrial, but both are susceptible to a fungal pathogen called Bsal. While Bsal has yet to make an appearance in the global hotspot of salamander diversity that is North America, it has wreaked havoc on populations in Europe, so biologists worry its impact could be even worse if it does.

Eastern newts' susceptibility to Bsal coupled with their notable mobility mean they could act as “super-spreaders” of Bsal if the fungus ever gets to North America. For hellbenders, which are already listed as endangered and suffer from habitat degradation, a new pathogen is hardly good news. 

On this episode we speak with Dr. Becky Hardman from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Dr. Anna Longo of the University of Florida about these fascinating and unique species, and discuss what is being done to prepare for a Bsal invasion that experts say is inevitable.

More on this topic:

To hear Part 1 of this special salamander series, see bonus episode #94, "Mongabay Explores the Great Salamander Pandemic, Part 1: Are we ready?" -- Part 2 (bonus episode #95) discussed the amazing diversity of salamanders, "Why are salamanders so diverse in North America?" Parts 3, 4, & 5 are also helpful in understanding the conservation community's response to the threat (and some opportunities) presented by Bsal.

Based on a multi-year article series that Mongabay.com published about Bsal, episodes of this special podcast series delve further to learn what's known about this issue, now. 

If you enjoy this show, please invite your friends to listen and subscribe via AndroidApple Podcasts, Google PodcastsStitcher, Spotify, Pandora, or wherever they get podcasts.

See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: news.mongabay.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay.

Please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep this show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at Mongabay.com, too, visit the link above for details.

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

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