Environmental stories from around the web, May 17, 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

With around 80,000 left, koalas have been declared “functionally extinct” in the wild (The Conversation, Inhabitat).

Officials in Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration warn the rest of the world to stay out of the management of the Amazon rainforest (Bloomberg).

Some coffee growers may be compensating for the sliding price of coffee on the world market by cutting down more forest (Reuters).

New dams planned in many Central American rivers could be disastrous for wildlife and local communities (Biographic).

Species’ numbers in intact forests are especially vulnerable to hunting (Cosmos).

Finding ways to reuse agricultural “waste” could avoid adverse environmental impacts and provide a new source of income for farmers (Ensia).

Corrupt government officials maintain the flow of illegally harvested timber from Peru, an investigation has found (Insight Crime).

Other news

A new documentary brings the ecological field experiments of the Serengeti into people’s homes (The New York Times).

A jury finds that the ag giant Monsanto owes a California couple $2 billion for its role in their fight with cancer (The New York Times).

Governments and organizations around the world are making headway in the battle to save life in the ocean (World Resources Institute).

Climate change and plastic pollution are making life doubly difficult for sea anemones (Hakai Magazine).

After the U.N.’s stark warning in early May on the worldwide loss of biodiversity, the authors say that individuals shouldn’t wait for governments to turn the tide (The Washington Post).

Floods could be a whole lot less costly — about $1 billion worth — if coral reefs protecting coastlines stay healthy (Undark).

Australia’s elections on May 18 could decide whether the country leads the fight against climate change (Nature).

A new study suggests that threatened species could be trained to stay clear of invasive predators (The Economist).

Wildlife tourism could be doing more harm than good (National Geographic).

A new book looks at the history of turning the desert in California’s Central Valley into a food-producing powerhouse (Pacific Standard).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has strangled funding for studies on children’s health (Nature).

Banner image of a koala by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. 

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South Africa Today – Environment

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