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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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Aug 2, 2022

Sonso Chimpanzees in Uganda began using a new method to drink water pooled in logs, 'moss-sponging.' Previously known to use balled-up leaves, the chimps began using this new technique with moss, researchers believe, because it is more effective at getting water into their mouths.

But then, the technique spread to a neighboring community of chimps, leading researchers to believe that this is evidence of cultural evolution in chimpanzees, a behavior previously only thought to exist in humans. Researchers published their findings in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences back in 2018.

This edition of Mongabay Reports is based on the popular article, Tool innovation shows cultural evolution at work among chimpanzees, by Nina Finley. 

To also read & share the story, go here: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/02/tool-innovation-shows-cultural-evolution-at-work-among-chimpanzees/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: Karibu, a member of the Sonso chimpanzee community in Uganda, uses a moss-sponge she made to sip water from a small rainwater pool. Scientists say the recent emergence and spread of this socially learned behavior is evidence of cultural evolution in chimpanzees. Image by Cat Hobaiter

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

Jul 26, 2022

A multi-billion dollar, 958 mile-long, railway project known as the 'Maya Train' threatens to displace locals and degrade or destroy habitats across five states in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. Despite the many legal roadblocks the project has run into, the Mexican government is pushing it through, citing its eventual benefits for tourism and cargo transportation.

This week we speak with Mongabay's Mexico City-based staff writer Max Radwin about the project and the impacts it could have on habitats and the lives of locals. We also speak about the legacy of large infrastructure projects that President Andrés López Manuel Obrador is leaving in Mexico. 

Related Reading:

Full steam ahead for Tren Maya project as lawsuits hit judicial hurdles

‘What’s lacking is respect for Mayan culture’: Q&A with Pedro Uc Be on Mexico’s Tren Maya

Episode artwork: Forest clearing in the municipality of Solidaridad in Quintana Roo for construction of the Maya Train. Image by Fernando Martínez Belmar.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Jul 19, 2022

A report published in the journal Nature concludes that New Guinea is the most floristically diverse and speciose island on the planet. In addition to being the second largest island in the world, New Guinea is the world's largest tropical island. More than two-thirds of its 13,634 plant sepecies are endemic, occurring nowhere else in the world. 

New Guinea is not without its conservation challenges. If you are a regular listener of the Mongabay Explores Podcast you'll recall our third season, which explains the historical context, challenges, and drivers of deforestation on the island over seven episodes. Despite these challenges, New Guinea still retains 80% of its original forest cover, making it the final frontier of tropical species discovery and also the third largest rainforest on the planet, just after the Amazon and Congo basin. 

To also read & share the story, go here: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/08/new-guinea-has-the-most-plant-species-of-any-island/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: Image by Rhett Butler.

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

 

Jul 12, 2022

Human-made 'gray' infrastructure is crumbling, causing some urban areas to lose up to 40% of this precious resource: several major cities across the globe now regularly run out of water or have shortages. Yet our pervasive attempts to control water have actually made accessing it harder, especially as humanity faces the silmultaneously occurring biodiversity, climate and water crises. 

Author and journalist Erica Gies joins the Mongabay Newscast to discuss her new book 'Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge.' She covers non-invasive solutions ('slow water') that could help humanity not just mitigate our water problems, but also restore biodiversity that's been degraded by 'gray' infrastructure. 

Cities such as Chennai, India, are already embracing these slow water practices, many of which are rooted in traditional hydrological knowledge, while other areas like coastal Louisiana contemplate managed retreat from rising water. Solving water access and water infrastructure design isn't a simple one-size-fits-all solution, but there are many measures socieities could take today, and on a local level, to make things easier for us in the future.

Related Reading:

'The volume of water is beyond control’: Q&A with flood expert M. Monirul Qader Mirza

Beyond boundaries: Earth’s water cycle is being bent to breaking point

Episode artwork: A person in an inflatable boat paddles down flooded Highway 610 in the Houston area as rains associated with Hurricane Harvey continue to fall in the area. Image by Mannie Garcia/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 or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Jul 5, 2022

This week the world marks Save the Vaquita Day.

Our featured article examines a threat to this critically endangered marine mammal (Phocoena sinus), a small porpoise that lives only in the Upper Gulf of California, and of which only 8 remain in the wild.

Mongabay reports that a recent CITES decision lifting a prohibition on the export of captive-bred totaoba fish from Mexico could paradoxically spell disaster for vaquitas--which drown in nets that are set to capture the fish illegally, to feed a black market which will likely continue to thrive if a legal trade in farmed totoaba is established.

To also read & share the story, go here: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/06/experts-fear-end-of-vaquitas-after-green-light-for-export-of-captive-bred-totoaba-fish/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: An illustration of a vaquita. Image courtesy of Greenpeace.

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

Jun 28, 2022

We discuss the effectiveness of combining traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge and Western science for conservation and restoration initiatives on this episode.

Our first guest is Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, an ethnobotanist at the University of Arizona, who discusses an ancestral food of the Comcaac people in the state of Sonora in Mexico: eelgrass.

Nabhan explains how eelgrass is making a big comeback thanks to the people's restoration work, and is retaking its place at the table as a sustainable source of food for the Comcaac community while gaining international culinary attention in the process.

Host Mike G. also speaks with Dr. Sara Iverson, a professor of biology at Canada’s Dalhousie University, about a research project called Apoqnmatulti’k that aims to better understand the movements of lobster, eel, and tomcod in two important ecosystems on Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Iverson explains why those study species were chosen by the Mi’kmaq people and why it’s so important that the project combines different ways of knowing, including Western science and traditional Indigenous knowledge, which a Mi’kmaq elder dubbed 'two-eyed seeing.'

Further reading about Apoqnmatulti’k here:

• “In Canada, Indigenous communities and scientists collaborate on marine research”

Listen to episode #145 (June 1, 2022) of this podcast to hear about related Indigenous aquaculture traditions via your favorite podcast provider, or here:

• “Podcast: Indigenous, ingenious and sustainable aquaculture from the distant past to today”

Episode artwork: A conservationist working on a seagrass restoration project. Image courtesy of Seawilding.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Jun 22, 2022

Our featured article this week examines archaeological research revealing details of a massive, Pre-Columbian urban settlement in the Amazon, 4,500 square kilometers in size, that provides valuable insights into how humanity could develop sustainable cities without degrading their environments. 

To also read & share the story, go here: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/06/lost-amazonian-cities-hint-at-how-to-build-urban-landscapes-without-harming-nature/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: Incachaca archaeological site in Bolivia. Image courtesy of Greg Keelen on Unspash.

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

Jun 15, 2022

Host Mike G. dives into new discoveries from the exciting field of marine bioacoustics research that are helping us better understand the lives of whales and dophins, and we feature fascinating recordings from that research.

His first guest is Erin Ross-Marsh, the lead researcher on a study of humpback whales at the Vema Seamount in the South Atlantic off the coast of South Africa. Ross-Marsh tells us about the study’s finding that these humpbacks were making gunshot calls, a type of non-song call that was previously unknown in these particular whales, and plays some humpback songs, non-song calls, and gunshot calls for us to listen to.

He also speaks with Sarah Trabue, a research assistant with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who is the lead author of a recently published paper detailing the findings of a bioacoustic study of bottlenose dolphins in and around New York Harbor.

Trabue discusses what the study reveals about dolphin behavior in the highly trafficked waters around New York City and plays for us some of the dolphin vocalizations recorded as part of the study.

Further reading:

• Mongabay: “What’s popping? Humpbacks off South Africa, new acoustic study finds”

• WCS: “The New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary is a Dining Hotspot During Summer and Autumn Months for Bottlenose Dolphins”

Episode artwork: humpback whales off the coast of Hawaii. Photo Credit: Ed Lyman/NOAA.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Jun 7, 2022

Our featured article this week summarizes a joint investigation Mongabay recently conducted with BBC News and The Gecko Project, uncovering how companies have cut local & Indigenous communities out of the profits from Indonesia's palm oil boom, despite being legally required to share those profits.

Major brands including Kellogg's, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, and numerous others have sourced palm oil from these plantations. 

To also read & share the story, go here: 'A hidden crisis in Indonesia's palm oil sector: 6 takeaways from our investigation.' https://news.mongabay.com/2022/05/a-hidden-crisis-in-indonesias-palm-oil-sector-6-takeaways-from-our-investigation/

Read the responses from consumer goods firms to our plasma investigation: https://thegeckoproject.org/articles/responses-from-consumer-goods-firms-to-our-plasma-investigation/

Read the full investigation here: 'The promise was a lie': How Indonesian villagers lost their cut of the palm oil boom. https://news.mongabay.com/2022/05/the-promise-was-a-lie-how-indonesian-villagers-lost-their-cut-of-the-palm-oil-boom/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: A bag of oil palm fruitlets gathered by the Suku Anak Dalam. Image by Nopri Ismi.

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

Jun 1, 2022

Coastal cultures have often enjoyed abundant lifestyles thanks to the wide array of food, fiber, and other useful resources provided by the world's seas, sounds, estuaries and oceans. Indigenous peoples have also developed strong marine conservation traditions and ingenious methods of ensuring sustainable long-term harvests through practices commonly called 'aquaculture' today.

On this episode we hear from Nicola MacDonald about Kōhanga Kūtai, a project in New Zealand that aims to replace the plastic ropes used by mussel farmers with more sustainable alternatives. MacDonald tells us about the project's basis in blending traditional Maori knowledge with Western science.

We also speak with Dana Lepofsky, a professor in the archaeology department at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Lepofsky tells us about her research into clam gardens on the Pacific coast of North America, some of which have been found to be as much as 3500 years old.

These clam gardens are such a reliable and sustainable source of food that there’s a movement afoot today to rebuild them.

Resources & reading:

‘We have a full pharmacopoeia of plants’: Q&A with Māori researcher Nicola Macdonald

The Clam Garden Network website

Hear our conversation with Dune Lankard of the Native Conservancy about their kelp aquaculture project in Alaska on episode #137 or here: 

"Podcast: Kelp, condors and Indigenous conservation"

Episode artwork: Green-lipped mussels are endemic to New Zealand and are commonly grown in aquaculture operations. Image courtesy of Adrian Midgley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

May 25, 2022

'Rewriting Extinction' is a new conservation funding group trying to reach fresh audiences that has so far raised $180,000 for projects in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Critics of the organization say 'Rewriting Exctinction' has made exaggerated claims about what it can, or has, achieved. Some experts say the effort should still be applauded.

This episode features the popular article "Can celebrities and social media influencers really 'rewrite extinction'?" by James Fair: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/05/can-celebrities-and-social-media-influencers-really-rewrite-extinction/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: Art for Rewriting Extinction created by mxvisoor.

Please send feedback to submissions@mongabay.com, and thank you for listening.

May 18, 2022
Agroecology applies ecological principles to agriculture, and it's a key strategy for mitigating--and adapting to climate change--which also boosts biodiversity and food security--and it is the focus of a special series at Mongabay.

Joining us first to discuss agroecology as a science, a practice, and a movement is Dr. Maywa Montenegro, an assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Then host Mike G. speaks with iconic Indian scientist, activist and Right Livelihood Award winner Dr. Vandana Shiva, whose brand new book, Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture: Sustainable Solutions for Hunger, Poverty, and Climate Change, synthesizes decades of agroecology research and implementation. She's also the founder of Navdanya, which is both an agroecology center and a global food sovereignty movement.

Dr. Shiva shares how agroecology is an effective solution not just to climate change but also for a host of other ecological crises we’re facing, such as water scarcity, land degradation, nutrition and biodiversity loss.

Further reading:

• ”From traditional practice to top climate solution, agroecology gets growing attention” by Anna Lappé 

• "Transitioning to sustainable agriculture requires growing and sustaining an ecologically skilled workforce," Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 96. doi:10.3389/fsufs.2019.00096

Episode artwork: Dr. Vandana Shiva, photo by Kartikey Shiva.

If you enjoy the Mongabay 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

May 11, 2022
Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe.

On March 24th, Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry announced the birth of a new female Sumatran rhino calf at the SRS captive breeding facility at Way Kambas National Park in Indonesia's Lampung province. 

For this bonus episode of Mongabay Explores, we speak with senior staff writer for Indonesia, Basten Gokkon. He explains the significance of this event, the difficulty in breeding Sumatran rhinos, and what this birth means for the future of this critically endangered species.

If you missed the ten part series of Mongabay Explores Sumatra, you can find them via the podcast provider of your choice, or locate all episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here

Related Reading:

Episode Artwork: Rosa and her child. Image courtesy of Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

May 4, 2022

It's a really busy time of year for birds all over the world as they migrate and prepare for a new breeding season, so on this episode we discuss the amazing fierceness and beauty of birds, why they deserve your interest and attention, plus some recent research and avian conservation trends in Nepal.

We welcome back the incomparable and award-winning author Sy Montgomery, whose most recent books are all about our avian friends: The Hawk’s Way: Encounters With Fierce Beauty, which is now in stores, and also 2021's The Hummingbird’s Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal On Wings.

In her signature & wonder-rich way, Montgomery shares some of the truly amazing things learned from personal experiences with falconry and hummingbird rehabilitation, and discusses why we find birds so fascinating.

Host Mike G. also speaks with Mongabay staff writer Abhaya Joshi about the birdlife in his country of Nepal, a new bird-counting app that’s sparking newfound interest there, and some of the most recent conservation actions being taken in the country to protect birds.

Hear Sy Montgomery's previous appearance on this show here (or search for episode #37 in your podcast app):

Further reading about Nepal's birdlife by Abhaya Joshi:

Episode artwork: Fiery-throated hummingbird at Paraiso del Quetzal, Costa Rica, by Joseph C Boone via Wikimedia Commons.

If you enjoy the Mongabay 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Apr 27, 2022
Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe.

By 2025, the edible nut industry will be worth an estimated $2 billion globally. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), a traditional and plentiful staple, the galip nut (Canarium indicum), holds the promise of tapping into that demand.

Its familiarity and the ease with which it can be grown together with coffee and cocoa is adding up to a new source of income for thousands of small scale farmers across PNG while preserving forest cover. 

On this episode of Mongabay Explores, we speak with Dorothy Devine Luana, an entrepreneur from the province of East New Britain, whose company grows galip nuts using agroforestry, a farming technique rooted in traditional knowledge that grows multiple cash crops alongside woody perennials.

We also speak with Nora Devoe, research program manager for a special project focused on the galip nut at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). This project has been funding more than a decade of research seeking to understand the viability and potential of the galip nut to drive the canarium industry in PNG and foster new markets for entrepreneurs and locals like Dorothy to sell the crop.

If you missed the first six episodes of Mongabay Explores New Guinea, you can find them via the podcast provider of your choice, or locate all episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here

Episode Artwork: Tinganagalip Women Cooperative Group Chairwoman Caroline Misiel holds a handful of galip nuts. Image by Conor Ashleigh.

Sounds heard during the intro and outro include the following: rusty mouse-warbler, growling riflebird, raggiana/lesser bird-of-paradise, superb fruit-dove, long-billed honeyeater, little shrike-thrush, brown cuckoo-dove, black-capped lory. Special thanks to Tim Boucher and Bruce Beehler for identifying them.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Apr 20, 2022
After many delays due to the pandemic, final negotiations on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity are happening this year in Kunming, China, and preparations for it just ended in Geneva, so we are pleased to speak with Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations & Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Mrema, about the outcomes in Switzerland, why the world failed to meet the previous Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and how COP15 can provide a roadmap to actually halting biodiversity loss and safeguarding nature.

Because the roles and rights of Indigenous communities are widely agreed to be key to its success, we also speak with Jennifer Tauli Corpuz, a member of the Indigenous Caucus at the Convention on Biological Diversity and senior global policy and advocacy lead for Nia Tero.

Jennifer provides the Indigenous perspective on what’s currently in the draft biodiversity framework, what changes are needed to better support Indigenous land rights, and the overall importance of Indigenous leadership toward preserving Earth’s biodiversity.

Related reading:

If you enjoy the Mongabay 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!

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: Red-eyed tree frog. Photo Credit: Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Please share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Apr 13, 2022

Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe.

The Tanah Merah project sits in the heart of New Guinea covering 2,800 square kilometers (1,100 square miles). Roughly twice the size of Greater London, it threatens not only dense, primary, tropical rainforest and Indigenous land, but also could release as much carbon as the U.S. state of Virginia emits by burning fossil fuels for an entire year.

However, the true owners of the project have been hidden by a web of corporate secrecy for more than a decade. We speak with Philip Jacobson, senior editor at Mongabay, and Bonnie Sumner, investigative reporter at the Aotearoa New Zealand news outlet Newsroom, to discuss the project from inception to present day, the involvement of a New Zealand businessman, and where the project could go next.

Related Reading:

If you missed the first five episodes of Mongabay Explores New Guinea, you can find them via the podcast provider of your choice, or locate all episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here

Episode Artwork: Rainforest in Boven Digoel. Image by Ulet Ifansasti for Greenpeace.

Sounds heard during the intro and outro include the following: rusty mouse-warbler, growling riflebird, raggiana/lesser bird-of-paradise, superb fruit-dove, long-billed honeyeater, little shrike-thrush, brown cuckoo-dove, black-capped lory. Special thanks to Tim Boucher and Bruce Beehler for identifying them.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Apr 6, 2022

It's the start of field research season in many regions--and some scientists haven't gotten afield since the pandemic started--so we're checking in with a couple researchers to hear what they’re planning to work on, out there in the bush.

Our first guest is Meredith Palmer, a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University whose field work this season is testing new conservation technologies like the BoomBox, an open‐source device that attaches to commercially available camera traps and turns them into an automated behavioral response systems.

Also on the show is Ummat Somjee, a researcher based out of the Smithsonian Tropical Institute in Panama. He uses insects as models to understand the evolution of extreme structures in animals, like the tusks of elephants or the horns of antelopes.

Here are their studies mentioned in this episode:

• Palmer, M. S., Wang, C., Plucinski, J., & Pringle, R. M. (2022). BoomBox: An Automated Behavioural Response (ABR) camera trap module for wildlife playback experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 13(3), 611-618. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13789

• Somjee, U., Powell, E. C., Hickey, A. J., Harrison, J. F., & Painting, C. J. (2021). Exaggerated sexually selected weapons maintained with disproportionately low metabolic costs in a single species with extreme size variation. Functional Ecology, 35(10), 2282-2293. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13888

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Mar 30, 2022

A recent study conducted in Malaysian Borneo shows that degraded forests can still provide immense value. The study details five key ecological services provided by degraded forests to Indigenous communities. 

Yet a government effort aims to convert degraded forests in Malaysian Borneo into timber plantations, despite the fact that researchers say these ecological services cannot be replaced with plantations. 

This episode features the popular article, "Even degraded forests are more ecologically valuable than none, study shows," by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong:

https://news.mongabay.com/2022/02/even-degraded-forests-are-more-ecologically-valuable-than-none-study-shows/

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

If you enjoy this series, 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!

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.

Photo Credit: Rainforest rainbow in Sabah. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay

Mar 23, 2022
There’s growing recognition of how vital Indigenous-led conservation practices are to protecting the planet. Because of this, there’s a growing global movement to secure Indigenous land rights, toward safeguarding the Earth’s future.

And there’s plenty of science to support it, such as a World Bank study which found that although Indigenous lands account for less than 22% of the world’s land area, their territories protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. This protection is not passive: in fact, Indigenous-led preservation projects are a vital part of the conservation movement across the world and in the United States.

On this pre-Earth Day episode, we speak with two guests: the director of the Native American Fish and Wildlife SocietyJulie Thorstenson, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe – about how America’s 574 tribes manage more than 140 million acres of land, and which have scientists working to reintroduce and protect endangered or declining wildlife, from bison to condors, salmon, and ferrets.

We also discuss the history of Indigenous-led conservation in North America with award-winning author Michelle Nijhuis, whose latest book “Beloved Beasts” – about the history of the modern conservation movement told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it, including Native Americans – is now out in paperback. Related reading at Mongabay.com, featuring Dr. Thorstensen:

"Underfunded but passionate, Native American conservationists call for more support"

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Episode artwork: Endangered black-footed ferrets have benefited hugely from the conservation work of multiple Native American communities. Image courtesy of Kimberly Fraser/USFWS.

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!

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Mar 16, 2022
Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe.

New Guinea's dense tropical montane forests are home to 12 of 14 tree kangaroo species. Over the past couple of decades, conservationists have leveraged these charismatic, intelligent marsupials to spearhead community development, conservation efforts, and the establishment of protected areas. 

In Papua New Guinea, the Torricelli mountain range is home to three species of tree kangaroo, including the critically endangered tenkile. This mountain range sits in the crosshairs of a road project threatening to encroach upon the region; however, the government is in the process of reviewing a draft proposal to have it officially declared a protected area.  

For this episode of the podcast, we speak with Jim Thomas of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance and Lisa Dabek and Modi Pontio of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program. They detail the successes and challenges of working for nearly two decades in PNG to conserve these intelligent marsupials and the lands they inhabit.

If you missed the first four episodes of Mongabay Explores New Guinea you can find them via the podcast provider of your choice or find all the episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here.

Episode Artwork: A tree kangaroo, photo courtesy of Tom Jefferson/Greenpeace.

Sounds heard during the intro and outro include the following: rusty mouse-warbler, growling riflebird, raggiana/lesser bird-of-paradise, superb fruit-dove, long-billed honeyeater, little shrike-thrush, brown cuckoo-dove, black-capped lory. Special thanks to Tim Boucher and Bruce Beehler for identifying them.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores via Apple Podcasts or wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Mar 9, 2022

On this episode we discuss mangrove restoration and other "nature based solutions" (NBS) to climate change.

Now promoted as the best strategy to slow climate change--and encompassing an array of solutions from reforestation to ecosystem restoration--critics point out that they also have numerous pitfalls that must be guarded against.

Mangrove restoration and other 'blue carbon' projects are a common NBS program one hears about, so host Mike G. speaks with Alfredo Quarto, co-founder of the Mangrove Action Project, who shares why mangrove forests are so globally important & what successful restoration projects look like.

Norah Berk also joins the show: she's a policy advisor on climate change and forests at the Rainforest Foundation UK, who explains that NBS have, in many cases, been co-opted by corporations that are using them as carbon offset schemes, and discusses why she thinks land titling for Indigenous and local communities is a better solution to climate change which the world should be focusing on.

Further reading:

• “At a plantation in Central Africa, Big Oil tries to go net-zero” 

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

Episode artwork: Mangrove trees growing on a beach. Photo via Pixabay.

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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Mar 2, 2022

Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe. Subscribe to the show wherever you get podcasts and stay tuned for subsequent episodes in this season.

Spanning over 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) and being built over the course of decades, the Trans-Papua Highway cuts across the entire length of Indonesian New Guinea’s two provinces, including 7 key protected areas.

While the project is nearly complete, experts warn it will cost billions annually to maintain, and threaten to open up untouched rainforest to palm oil expansion contributing an additional 4.5 million hectares of deforestation by 2036.

For this episode, we interviewed David Gaveau, founder of The TreeMap and Bill Laurance, distinguished professor, and director of the Center for Tropical, Environmental, and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Australia.

Both experts explained the environmental, financial, and social costs of the project, which runs through Indonesia’s Lorentz National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you missed the first three episodes of Mongabay Explores New Guinea you can find it via the podcast provider of your choice or find all the episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here

Episode Artwork: Tearing up trees to expand the road for the Trans West Papua highway. Daniel Beltrá/Greenpeace

Editor's Note: Bill Laurance, is a Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia as well as the founder and director of ALERT (Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers) and a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.

Sounds heard during the intro and outro include the following: rusty mouse-warbler, growling riflebird, raggiana/lesser bird-of-paradise, superb fruit-dove, long-billed honeyeater, little shrike-thrush, brown cuckoo-dove, black-capped lory. Special thanks to Tim Boucher and Bruce Beehler for identifying them.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 23, 2022
A new study reveals that bioacoustics is an underutilized wildlife study tool on one of the world's most biodiverse continents: Africa.

On this episode we discuss this gap by highlighting two new bioacoustics studies of hippos and African manatees - and we of course play recordings of their squeals, squeaks and 'wheeze honks' which can now aid their conservation.

Dr. Nicolas Mathevon joins the show to share the results of a study which showed that vocal recognition is used by hippos, and we welcome Clinton Factheu, a PhD student in Cameroon who recently co-authored a study revealing the first recorded African manatee vocalizations. 

Episode artwork: A hippo in the Chobe River, Botswana, by Joachim Huber via Wikimedia Commons.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to get 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!

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 share your thoughts and ideas! submissions@mongabay.com.

Feb 16, 2022
Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast series that highlights unique places and species from around the globe. Subscribe to the show wherever you get podcasts and stay tuned for subsequent episodes in this season. New Guinea is home to the third-largest tropical rainforest in the world—of which 80% is still intact. The two-nation island also contains 44 species of unique birds-of-paradise and dense biodiverse regions unlike anywhere else on the planet. Because of its one-of-a-kind biodiversity, and relatively undeveloped landscape, New Guinea is in a unique position to conserve its forest cover as part of an economy that serves its local inhabitants, rather than extracting from and deforesting these communities.

For this third episode of the New Guinea season, Mongabay interviews Bustar Maitar, CEO of EcoNusa, and biologist Edwin Scholes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology about the diverse and charismatic birds-of-paradise and the potential for New Guinea to harness ecotourism to power a sustainable economy. 

If you missed the first two episodes of Mongabay Explores New Guinea you can find it via the podcast provider of your choice or find all the episodes of the Mongabay Explores podcast on our podcast homepage here

Episode Artwork: A Cendrawasih (bird of paradise) on a tree in Malagufuk village, located in the rainforest in Kalasou valley, Sorong, West Papua. Copyright: Jurnasyanto Sukarno/Greenpeace

Sounds heard during the intro and outro include the following: rusty mouse-warbler, growling riflebird, raggiana/lesser bird-of-paradise, superb fruit-dove, long-billed honeyeater, little shrike-thrush, brown cuckoo-dove, black-capped lory. Special thanks to Tim Boucher and Bruce Beehler for identifying them.

Please invite your friends to subscribe to Mongabay Explores wherever they get podcasts.  If you enjoy our podcast content, 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! 

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

Feedback is always welcome: submissions@mongabay.com.

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