test feed

Hungryfeed test page plus tablepress.

Sanguila also stresses the importance of conserving what is left of Mindanao’s forests, especially now that we know what a special place it is. Although much of the original forest cover in the lowlands have been lost, she believes it is critical to establish new protected areas to halt the environmentally destructive harvest of natural resources, to promote societal environmental awareness, and to allow habitats to regenerate over several decades.

Siler hopes this paper is only the beginning of a bright future for biodiversity research in the area. He plans to continue working with the University of Kansas, graduate students from the program – many of whom have started their own programs in the United States – as well as their Philippine collaborators.

Myanmar Army: The national armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw.
Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA): A multilateral agreement that calls for political dialogue between the Myanmar army and the country’s ethnic armed organizations. Signed on Oct. 15, 2015 by the Tatmadaw and eight armed groups.
Border Guard Forces (BGFs): Created by the Tatmadaw in 2009 and 2010. They were formed by integrating Tatmadaw soldiers with those from units originally with either ethnic armed organizations or militia groups. The BGFs have served as proxy forces for the Tatmadaw to exercise influence in areas not under their direct control.
Karen National Union (KNU): Formed in the late 1947, the KNU is Myanmar’s oldest ethnic armed opposition group. The KNU initially called for independence, but since 1976 has instead been seeking a federal system. Signed a bilateral ceasefire with the government in 2012 and is part of the NCA.
Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA): Formal armed wing of the KNU. It was founded in 1949.
“Dr. Sanguila is building a wonderful biodiversity program in the southern Philippines that we hope is going to be a thriving centerpiece for biodiversity education and training the next generation of students there to continue all of this work throughout the archipelago, Siler said. “There is so much left to be understood about our planet and the Philippines in absolutely no exception.”

“When you do survey work on Mindanao, two main issues need to be addressed; security-related and local (within site) politics,” Sanguila said. Culturally, Mindanao is incredibly complex and diverse. The island is home to some two dozen ethnolinguistic groups speaking roughly 70 languages, who often have conflicting interests over how to use the island’s rich agricultural and natural resources. Proper precautions had to be taken before researchers could go into the field, including meeting with local authorities, tribal leaders, hunters, police and military for advice.

All that hard work is now paying off. “Having [Sanguila] down there and being one of the more active biodiversity researchers in the southern Philippines is a fantastic position to develop new conservation initiatives and awareness about biodiversity,” Siler said. In 2013, Sanguila came to the University of Oklahoma on a Fulbright scholarship to study genetic sampling techniques as well as the ins and outs of building and caring for a natural history collection. It was there, in collaboration with Siler, that the ambitious project to survey the reptiles and amphibians of Mindanao was born.

Another major goal of the research was to update outdated IUCN conservation status assessments by sorting out unresolved taxonomic questions. That work, the researchers say, has just begun. Many more long-term species surveys are needed to truly understand the diversity and conservation status of the reptiles and amphibians of Mindanao. That will require using modern genetic sampling techniques as well as input from more traditional taxonomists who perform the detailed work of teasing apart species relationships. According to Sanguila, 20 percent of the species recorded require “immediate systematic revisions” before informed decisions can be made regarding their conservation status.

  • Amazon fires trigger protests worldwide
    Posted by Karla Mendes on August 24, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Record devastating Amazon fires trigger protests worldwide demanding Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro take action to save the rainforest or resign. […]

  • Snow leopard population overestimated in Nepal? DNA study suggests it may be
    Posted by Sue Palminteri on August 23, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    In September 2014, Nepali zoologist Madhu Chetri asked his professor Morten Odden a strange question during their fieldwork. “Are you tired?” he asked Odden as the duo from the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences trekked the Annapurna region of Nepal, collecting scats of the elusive snow leopard for a DNA study. “Prof Odden asked […]

  • Hawaii braces for potential mass-coral bleaching event
    Posted by Willie Shubert on August 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Coral reefs in Hawaiian waters are facing the prospect of another major bleaching event as ocean temperatures rise above the norm. “We found the first signs of [coral] bleaching off the coast of Maui [Hawaii] about 10 days ago,” says Greg Asner, Director of Arizona State University’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. “And […]

  • Indigenous communities, nat’l parks suffer as Malaysia razes its reserves
    Posted by Morgan Erickson-Davis on August 23, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    KUALA KOH, Malaysia — On a daytime flight into Kuala Lumpur airport, it’s hard not to feel a certain sense of despair. The land, at times adorned by jungle-clad mountains, all too often descends into rows as uniform as those on a corduroy jacket. These endless green lines, comprised of the unmistakable presence of oil […]

  • Peru aims to eliminate palm oil deforestation by 2021
    Posted by Genevieve Belmaker on August 23, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers’ Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the US-based National Wildlife Federation in collaboration with the local government, growers, and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.  If JUNPALMA honors the deforestation-free agreement, Peru […]

  • Aimed at linking communities, Malaysian highway may damage forests
    Posted by John Cannon on August 23, 2019 at 10:54 am

    This is the third article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.” Read Part One and Part Two. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — When Baru Bian was a boy, it would take him several days to walk to school from his village in northern Sarawak on the island of Borneo, recalled the current minister […]

  • In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, August 23, 2019
    Posted by John Cannon on August 23, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Tropical forests The world’s largest butterfly is also one of the rarest (Mother Jones, Undark). More donors are rescinding their financial support of Brazil’s Amazon Fund as deforestation continues to rise (Earther). The president of the Democratic Republic of Congo says more needs to be done to provide communities living in the world’s second-largest rainforest […]

  • Bid to allow sale of ivory stockpiles rejected at wildlife trade summit
    Posted by Shreya Dasgupta on August 23, 2019 at 9:33 am

    A proposal by Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia that would allow them to sell their ivory stockpiles has been rejected at the ongoing summit of the global wildlife trade body. Countries meeting in Geneva for the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted 101 to 23 […]

  • Half a billion bees dead as Brazil approves hundreds more pesticides
    Posted by Karla Mendes on August 23, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Beekeepers fear an even greater die-off from 2020 onward, as Bolsonaro government approves a swath of pesticides, including those known to be toxic to bees. […]

  • Indonesia eyes palm oil export boost to China amid mounting U.S. trade war
    Posted by Hans Nicholas Jong on August 23, 2019 at 7:12 am

    JAKARTA — Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is anticipating a boost in exports of the commodity to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington. The move also presents Indonesia with a respite from its own trade woes, namely a planned phase-out of […]

  • In Sri Lanka, the sweet smell of agarwood draws calls for trade protection
    Posted by dilrukshi on August 23, 2019 at 12:45 am

    COLOMBO — When forest officer Anura Herath carried out a raid in July 2012, he was ready to seize high-value timber. But instead he discovered strips of blackish bark, stems and other wood chips in the possession of the men he nabbed. Puzzled, he sought expert advice, leading authorities in Sri Lanka to their first […]

  • Satellite images from Planet reveal devastating Amazon fires in near real-time
    Posted by Rhett Butler on August 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    High-resolution images from satellite company Planet are revealing glimpses of some of the fires currently devastating the Amazon rainforest. While many of the images currently being shared on social media and by news outlets are from past fires — some from as long as 15 years ago — satellites can provide a near real-time view […]

  • Australia to ban domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn
    Posted by Shreya Dasgupta on August 22, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Australia will soon ban the domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. The country’s delegates announced the decision at the ongoing 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP18) in Geneva. Asian elephants and most populations of African elephants are listed on Appendix I of CITES, which prohibits all global trade […]

  • In Cambodia, a rare acquittal in a climate of danger for green activists
    Posted by Isabel Esterman on August 22, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    KOH KONG, Cambodia — In a rare ruling, a court in Cambodia has decided to acquit a Spanish environmental activist charged with incitement, the state’s default accusation against most forms of protest. Alejandro-Gonzalez Davidson, the founder of the NGO Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), stood accused of acting as an accomplice to three Cambodian activists who […]

  • Discovery of a metallic-blue tarantula bolsters case for trade protection
    Posted by dilrukshi on August 22, 2019 at 2:37 am

    Researchers in Sri Lanka have described an eye-catching new species of tarantula, in a discovery they hope will underscore ongoing efforts to better regulate the global trade of rare and exotic spiders. Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei was described from a patch of forest spanning just 347 hectares (857 acres), an area about the size of New York […]

  • The Pan Borneo Highway brings wildlife threats to nat’l park doorstep
    Posted by John Cannon on August 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    This is the second article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.” Read Part One. TELOK SERABANG, Malaysia — At the westernmost tip of Borneo sits a dense pocket of mountainous forest, the likes of which have grown rarer in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Logging and oil palm interests have jigsawed the […]

  • Amazon rainforest fires leave São Paulo in the dark
    Posted by Karla Mendes on August 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Forest fires in Brazil jumped 85 percent this year in the wake of soaring deforestation rates, environmentalists say. In the afternoon of August 19, São Paulo’s skies suddenly turned black, spurring discussion about the linkage between the fires and the phenomenon. […]

  • Wild orchid trade in China is huge, overlooked and ‘devastating,’ study finds
    Posted by Shreya Dasgupta on August 21, 2019 at 11:16 am

    If you’re looking to buy orchids from plant markets in southern China, chances are you’ll find plenty of orchids that have been collected from the wild, sometimes illegally. And these vibrant wild orchids are usually priced much cheaper than those grown in nurseries, according to a new study. Researchers have found trade in more than […]

  • Japan builds coal plants abroad that wouldn’t be allowed at home: Report
    Posted by Hans Nicholas Jong on August 21, 2019 at 8:31 am

    JAKARTA — Japan is exporting pollution and endangering public health overseas by funding coal-fired power plants that wouldn’t meet the strict emissions standards it imposes at home, a new report says. Emissions from the plants being financed by Japanese public institutions could lead to 410,000 premature deaths over a 30-year period, according to the report […]

  • Audio: The superb lyrebird’s song, dance and incredible vocal mimicry
    Posted by Mike Gaworecki on August 20, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    It’s summer in the North and we’re on holiday! So for today’s show, we replay one of our favorite Field Notes episodes, featuring field recordings of the superb lyrebird, an Australian songbird known for its elaborate vocal displays and mimicry of other species’ songs. Listen here:   Almost exactly one year ago, on August 21, […]