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Mongabay Newscast

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the Mongabay.com team. Airs every other Tuesday.
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Now displaying: July, 2020
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 nonproft 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.

Jul 22, 2020

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. And thanks to the COVID pandemic, many of us who are city-dwellers have spent at least part of the past several months on lockdown in our homes.

But living in a city doesn’t mean that you can’t get out and enjoy some nature.

On this episode we explore cities with author Kelly Brenner and urban forester & educator Georgia Silvera Seamans.

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer whose most recent book is called Nature Obscura: A City’s Hidden Natural World. Brenner, who lives in Seattle, Washington, joins us to discuss some of the wildlife encounters she writes about in the book and to provide some tips on how anyone can go about exploring nature in their city.

We also welcome to the program Georgia Silvera Seamans, an urban forester who has spearheaded a number of “hyper local urban ecology” projects in New York City. Silvera Seamans tells us about the Washington Square Park Eco Projects, which include monitoring, education, and advocacy efforts in the iconic NYC park, and shares how urban ecosystems benefit all city-dwellers.

Please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep this 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.

And 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.

Jul 15, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed a trade ban on 201 salamander species in 2016 in order to prevent the import of the the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans ('Bsal') which could be a major threat to the world's salamander hotspot of North America (and the U.S. in particular).

However, the recent discovery that frogs can also carry Bsal has led scientists to urge the American government to ban the import of all salamander and frog species to the country.

But what other policies or regulations could be enacted to prevent Bsal from wiping out this rich amphibian heritage?

In this 5th "Mongabay Explores" bonus episode, host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with Priya Nanjappa, former Program Manager for the Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies, and Tiffany Yap, a Staff Scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, about animal trade policy, differences in the way the United States conducts this policy from other nations, and what the U.S. might do to more effectively combat the threat.

More resources 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 are also helpful in understanding the threats and opportunities presented by Bsal.

Based on a multi-year project Mongabay.com published about Bsal at the site (link above), 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 nonproft 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.

 

Jul 8, 2020

On this episode we take a look at the ongoing debate over trophy hunting 5 years after the killing of Cecil the Lion sparked global outrage: he was a famous attraction for tourists and photographers visiting Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, but in July 2015, an American dentist and recreational hunter killed Cecil just outside the park.

To what degree does trophy hunting support conservation and local communities where iconic wildlife live? What happens to animal populations who've lost members to hunters? Does trophy hunting support or harm scientific inquiry or conservation goals? 

To discuss questions like this and what's changed (or not) in the debate since 2015, we hear from four experts who share a diversity of information and opinions that may change the way you think about this important issue:

  • Iris Ho of Humane Society International
  • conservation icon Jane Goodall
  • Amy Dickman, founder of the Ruaha Carnivore Project
  • Maxi Pia Louis, director of NACSO, a Namibian organization that works with local communities to support conservation efforts.

Please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep this 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.

And 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.

Jul 1, 2020

North America (and the US in particular) is the world’s hotspot of salamander diversity, hosting about 1/3 of all species. Researchers think that about half of these may be susceptible to a deadly fungus called Bsal, and believe it's a matter of time before it gets to North America. If and when it does, it could mean devastation and maybe extinction for a massive amount of amphibians.

To head off the threat, scientists created the Bsal Task Force in 2015 and in this fourth "Mongabay Explores" bonus episode, host Mike DiGirolamo interviews the group's Dr. Jake Kerby who is also the associate chair of biology at the University of South Dakota.  

Dr. Kerby details the working relationships their 'Bsal battalion' has with federal entities in Canada, the US, and Mexico and how they are working together to manage and mitigate the damage of this potential pandemic. 

He also discusses what citizens can do to help protect North America's amazingly diverse salamander species.

More resources 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?"

Based on a special series Mongabay.com published to its website in 2018-19, the next couple episodes of this special podcast series made possible in part by our Patreon supporters will delve further into this topic 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 nonproft 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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