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.
“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.
- First Nations have created a robust conservation economy in Great Bear Rainforest: ReportPosted by Mike Gaworecki on June 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm
Over the past decade, First Nations have created a robust conservation economy in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest old-growth temperate rainforests left in the world, through investments in sustainable development and environmental stewardship projects that link the health of nature to the wellbeing of indigenous communities, according to a new report. The […]
- Norway sees sharp drop in palm oil biofuel consumption after ban on government purchasingPosted by Genevieve Belmaker on June 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm
The consumption of palm oil-based biofuels fell 70 percent in Norway last year, following a government policy change on the purchase of the commodity that is being blamed for rampant deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. In 2017, the Norwegian government issued the new policy in response to mounting concern that palm oil production is having […]
- As Cambodia swelters, climate-change suspicion falls on deforestationPosted by Genevieve Belmaker on June 17, 2019 at 2:20 pm
As the impacts of climate change become more apparent worldwide, members of the public are connecting more weather events to the phenomenon. In March and April, for example, extreme heat baked mainland Southeast Asia. On April 20, Vietnam set an all-time observed record high temperature, 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit), and neighboring Cambodia suffered […]
- Primates lose ground to surging commodity production in their habitatsPosted by John Cannon on June 17, 2019 at 10:04 am
The global trade of products that come at the expense of tropical forest is driving many primate species closer to extinction, a new study suggests. The research, published June 17 in the journal PeerJ, found that the production or extraction of these “forest risk” commodities, such as beef, palm oil, and fossil fuels, led to […]
- Deforested areas bleed heat to nearby forests, drive local extinctionsPosted by malavikavyawahare on June 17, 2019 at 5:48 am
Areas cleared of forests bleed heat to neighboring forests, and this fuels increases in temperatures there, new research has found. Average temperatures in forests around the world are already rising because of climate change; this leaked heat exacerbates the problem and accelerates local extinctions of forest-dwelling species. “The warming is happening from global climate change […]
- Nearly 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 yearsPosted by Shreya Dasgupta on June 17, 2019 at 1:04 am
When plants slide into extinction, they rarely make news. But more species of plants have disappeared from our planet than previously thought, a recent study has found. Since botanist Carl Linnaeus published Species Plantarum, a compendium of every known plant until 1753, at least 571 species of seed-bearing plants have gone extinct around the world. This […]
- Exotic pet trade responsible for hundreds of invasive species around the globePosted by Mike Gaworecki on June 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm
Last April, a male Burmese python led researchers at the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Florida Everglades straight to a 17-foot female that was carrying 73 developing eggs. The researchers had outfitted the male python with a radio transmitter, then let nature take its course. The male, of course, was on the hunt for […]
- In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, June 14, 2019Posted by John Cannon on June 14, 2019 at 11:45 am
Tropical forests A new project in the Democratic Republic of Congo aims to use degraded land to grow biomass that will then power towns and villages (CIFOR Forests News). Companies in Europe need to do more to end deforestation, says a sustainable trade initiative (Bloomberg). A commentator cautions about the permanence of deforestation (Forbes). Under […]
- Leopards get a $20m boost from Panthera pact with Saudi princePosted by John Cannon on June 14, 2019 at 11:28 am
Wild cat conservation group Panthera has signed an agreement with a member of the Saudi royal family to help protect leopards worldwide, especially perhaps the rarest subspecies in the world, the Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr). Panthera chairman Thomas Kaplan signed the deal June 7 in the county of Al-Ula with Bader bin Abdullah bin […]
- Peruvian communities demanding crude cleanup brace for more oil activityPosted by Genevieve Belmaker on June 14, 2019 at 9:41 am
Walking through the tropical forest undergrowth in the Amazonian heat, Elmer Hualinga suddenly stops to observe how tree roots have grown around a rusty barrel. Close by, the remains of an engine lie partially buried, not far from the rusty door of a pickup truck. This forest was once virgin territory. Following exploration and oil […]
- Predator-free by 2050? High-tech hopes for New Zealand’s big conservation dreamPosted by Sue Palminteri on June 13, 2019 at 9:10 pm
When the British explorer James Cook circumnavigated the islands that he would later call New Zealand in 1769, he described the birdsong on the densely forested archipelago as “deafening.” One morning, moored in Tōtaranui at the top of Te Wai Pounamu, the South Island, Cook’s onboard botanist, Joseph Banks, wrote in his journal: “I was […]
- Despite a decade of zero-deforestation vows, forest loss continues: GreenpeacePosted by Shreya Dasgupta on June 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm
In 2010, the Board of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), an organization comprised of around 400 of the world’s retail and manufacturing companies, passed a resolution to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. Acknowledging that deforestation is a major driver of climate change, the forum said it would work toward eliminating deforestation when sourcing commodities […]
- Innovative methods could transform Vietnam’s robusta farms into carbon sinksPosted by Genevieve Belmaker on June 13, 2019 at 12:41 pm
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Coffee is one of Vietnam’s most important agricultural products, a crop that grows so well in the country’s Central Highlands that it has become the world’s second-largest coffee producer. It is also the largest exporter of robusta coffee, the vast majority of which grown is for the commodity market, […]
- CITES to move wildlife trade summit from Colombo to Geneva this AugustPosted by dilrukshi on June 13, 2019 at 11:27 am
More than seven weeks after a series of deadly Easter Sunday bombings rocked Sri Lanka, an international summit on the wildlife trade originally scheduled to take place in Colombo last May has now been shifted to Geneva. The announcement on the rescheduling of the 18th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP18) to the Convention […]
- The Great Insect Dying: How to save insects and ourselvesPosted by Glenn Scherer on June 13, 2019 at 9:50 am
In the fourth and final story of this exclusive Mongabay series, entomologists around the world offer far ranging solutions to curb and reverse the great insect die-off. […]
- Out on a limb: Unlikely collaboration boosts orangutans in BorneoPosted by John Cannon on June 12, 2019 at 10:24 pm
BUKIT BAKA BUKIT RAYA NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — In the heart of Indonesian Borneo, a dwindling population of orangutans is getting a new lease on life thanks to a group of wildlife rescuers and medical professionals who have joined forces. Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) numbers are only about a third of what they were 20 years […]
- Is REDD ready for its closeup? Reports varyPosted by Mike Gaworecki on June 12, 2019 at 4:55 pm
Earlier this year, it was announced that Indonesia would receive the first installment of a total $1 billion in funds pledged by Norway to preserve the Southeast Asian nation’s tropical forests. Brazil was also set to be paid $96 million, in this case by the UN’s Green Climate Fund, for the emissions avoided by the […]
- Did efforts to protect DRC’s elephants and bonobos leave a trail of abuses?Posted by Genevieve Belmaker on June 12, 2019 at 4:40 pm
For almost four years, the teams of researchers traveled by boat up winding rivers, setting up base camps inside dense rainforests for weeks or months at a time as they searched for signs of elusive forest elephants and bonobos. Trekking deep into Salonga National Park, a sprawling tract of protected jungle in the heart of […]
- Audio: Bronx Zoo director says zoos are more relevant to conservation than everPosted by Mike Gaworecki on June 12, 2019 at 4:08 pm
On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we speak with Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo in New York City, about the contributions zoos make to the cause of global biodiversity conservation. Listen here: The Bronx Zoo is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). As executive vice president of zoos and aquariums […]
- Arctic sea ice extent just hit a record low for early June; worse may comePosted by Glenn Scherer on June 12, 2019 at 11:25 am
Though the trend can still change, Arctic sea ice extent could be on track for a record melt year, impacting the jet stream and bringing more extreme weather to the U.S. and world. […]