Animal Behavior Climate Change Environment

Termites actively help save soils during droughts, study finds

Author: Shreya Dasgupta Researchers studying the effects of termites in an old-growth tropical forest in Malaysian Borneo found that both termite numbers and activity increased during the El Niño drought of 2015-2016, resulting in higher leaf litter decomposition and soil moisture compared to a test plot where the termite population had been artificially suppressed. These improvements […]

Conservation Spotlight Indigenous Communities Wildlife Conservation

Engaging communities to protect orangutans: Interview with Liana Chua

Author: James Fair Conservation efforts have traditionally focused too much on wildlife and not enough on human communities, says social anthropologist Liana Chua. When it comes to orangutans, Chua says indigenous communities in Borneo are unlikely to share the concerns and priorities of international conservation organizations. Killing of orangutans by humans is a major threat to […]

Climate Change Ethics Poverty

An Indian perspective on the Poland climate meeting: Not much help for the world’s poor and vulnerable

Top Photo: Bamboo structures on the Brahmaputra river in Majuli, northeastern India, intended to help prevent land erosion in a region experiencing erratic weather patterns and bursts of intense rainfall. AP Photo/Anupam Nath Author: Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan The international climate change conference that concluded in Katowice, Poland on Dec. 15 had limited ambitions and expectations […]

Conservation Spotlight Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Rehabilitation

We train Colombian woolly monkeys to be wild again – and maybe save them from extinction

Woolly monkeys are hard to miss in Colombia’s jungles. Now, they face extinction. Top Photo Credit: Mónica Ramírez Authors: Mónica Alejandra Ramírez, Universidad de los Andes ; Manuel Lequerica Tamara, University of Sydney, and Pablo Stevenson, Universidad de los Andes Colombia’s Andes Mountains used to be loaded with wildlife, including South America’s sole bear species, […]

Climate Change Environment

Climate change linked to specific 2017 extreme weather events

This article originally appeared at Mongabay.com and is republished here under CC BY-ND 4.0 license. According to the seventh annual special report by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) probing the causal links between rising global temperatures and extreme weather events, issued last month, climate change made the Northern Great Plains drought of 2017 some […]

Anthropology Indigenous Communities Legal Personhood

What if nature, like corporations, had the rights and protections of a person?

Top photo: The forest around Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand has been given legal status of a person because of its cultural significance. Paul Nelhams/flickr, CC BY-SA Author: Chip Colwell, University of Colorado Denver In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has solidified the concept of corporate personhood. Following rulings in such cases as Hobby […]

Agriculture Environment Food Production

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Top photo: Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Photo credit: Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr, CC BY Author: David R. Montgomery, University of Washington One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After […]

Environment Indigenous Communities Journalism

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

Top photo: Journalists who cover illegal operations like logging at this site in northern Sagaing division, Myanmar, can face threats and violence. AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe Author: Eric Freedman, Michigan State University From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters […]

Consumerism Ethics Pets

Americans spend $70 billion on pets, and that money could do more good

Photo Credit: star5112, CC BY-SA Author: Sandra Woien, Arizona State University Sylar, the border collie, has his own mansion along with a trampoline and indoor pool. The dog’s adorable features, along with his notable intelligence, earned his owner’s devotion along with many social media fans. Sylar’s mansion, where other pets can visit and indulge in […]

Climate Change Environment

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches

By Lisa Song and Al Shaw, ProPublica  As lawmakers consider disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Florence, projects to rebuild North Carolina’s shrunken shorelines are likely to get a healthy chunk of government money. To their advocates, these so-called beach nourishment initiatives are crucial steps in buffering valuable oceanfront properties from storm damage and boosting […]