Environmental stories from around the web, February 1, 2019

  • There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.
  • Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.
  • If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.
  • Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content.

Tropical forests

After last week’s dam collapse in Minas Gerais state, an official says Brazil has almost 4,000 other dams at risk of failure (Reuters).

A major food producer in China plans to toughen restrictions on soy-caused deforestation (Business Green).

Scientists find often-murky correlations between deforestation and disease outbreaks (The Scientist)…

… While another study connects poverty with high deforestation rates in Latin America (UPI).

A local leader in Vanuatu is working to strengthen regulations meant to curb deforestation (Al Jazeera).

Scientists press Madagascar’s new president to honor commitments to stopping deforestation (Nature News).

A viral video of an endangered lemur may have ignited a surge in demand for the animals as pets (PLOS One/EurekAlert).

Ghanaian government official declares war on illegal logging in the country (Joy Online).

Hershey says it is working to root out deforestation for the cacao it uses to make its chocolate (Supply Chain Dive).

The government of Myanmar has confiscated 63 tons of illegal timber in a state forest reserve (Xinhua).

Peru plans to join the Tropical Forest Alliance, the country’s vice president said at the World Economic Forum (Eurasia Review).

A conservation photographer’s picture of a frog ends up on a currency note in Madagascar (Conservation International).

Photos used to show deforestation as part of the trending “10-year challenge” could be misleading (AFP).

Other news

New research shows that we may have to rethink our understanding of climate change’s effects on ocean circulation (The Washington Post).

A man caught on camera killing bear cubs in Alaska was sentenced to three months in jail (The New York Times).

Work on oil and gas leases continued by the Trump administration during the U.S. government shutdown (The Washington Post).

With no one to keep them off a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore, elephant seals have staked out new territory during the shutdown (The Washington Post).

Coal plants in China are continuing to release methane, despite promises to cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas (The New York Times).

Warmer ocean temperatures could be disastrous for cod (The Guardian).

Researchers have set out on an expedition to catalog the potential effects of a dam project in Nepal (Nepali Times, Part 1 of the series).

Conservationists use drones to plant poison bait to get rid of rodents on islands (Nature News).

Scientists search for clues in the spike in turtle strandings on Cape Cod (PLOS One/EurekAlert).

It could take centuries for Joshua Tree National Park to recover from the damage it suffered during the shutdown (The Hill, The Guardian).

Carbon emissions could reach new heights again in 2019 (Bloomberg).

Scientists call on Hollywood to make more realistic climate change disaster films (Scientific American).

Marie Kondo’s message to eschew rampant consumerism could have environmental benefits (International Policy Digest).

The number of wintering monarch butterfly numbers at a study site in Mexico are up, though scientists are concerned that the species is still struggling (Associated Press).

Researchers identify a new species of shark in a fish market in India (Forbes).

Democrats in the U.S. Congress charge that the Department of Transportation censored a letter on the effects of climate change (The Washington Post).

The forests of Iran’s Zagros Mountains are “plagued by deforestation” (Tehran Times).

Pandas may have turned to eating bamboo under pressure from humans, new research suggests (The Economist).

Efforts are underway in Australia to reinvigorate its coastal kelp forests (bioGraphic).

Banner image of a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) by the U.S. National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).

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