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Oil reserves put Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest under the lens

Asian oil interests wanting access to western Canada’s tar sands, the second largest known oil reserves in the world, have prompted a focus on the Great Bear Rainforest by the world’s most celebrated and talented nature photographers, the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) said this week. Home to white spirit bears, ancient forests, and…

Undercover investigation links Indonesian timber traders to trafficking

Investigators pretending to be customers have covertly filmed Indonesian timber traders allegedly talking about how they exported a protected hardwood to China, where environmentalists say it is turned into furniture and building products for use worldwide, including Europe and the U.S. The names and video have been made public. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telapak today…

Russia protects tree species critical to tiger habitat

It’s a case of the protection of one species being good for the protection of another. The Russian government has introduced measures to protect the Korean pine, a key species found in Amur tiger (Siberian tiger) habitat in the Russian Far East, WWF and TRAFFIC said today. “Rising global demand for Korean pine has led…

Canopy map may help find Earth’s ‘missing’ carbon

Scientists have produced the first map that details the height of the world’s forests, NASA said today. “Although there are other local- and regional-scale forest canopy maps, the new map is the first that spans the entire globe based on one uniform method,” the space agency said in a news statement accompanying the release of…

U.S. timber demand threatens uncontacted Peruvian tribe

Illegal mahogany loggers are plundering uncontacted Indians’ land in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon, according to a new report by the Upper Amazon Conservancy (UAC). UAC is a non-profit organization that works to protect the biological and cultural diversity of the headwaters of the Amazon River in Southern Peru. Recently-contacted Murunahua man, south-east Peru.…

Hard-won battles against illegal logging are paying off

By Mason Inman If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? We could ask the same about trees cut down illegally around the world. If governments, watchdog groups, and journalists aren’t there to hear it–that is, to track what’s happening–then it seems it…

Taking stock of mangroves, thin frontlines of diversity

Mark Spalding, a marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy, has spent decades researching mangroves, the rare and critically important forests that grow at the intersection of land and sea. He is also lead author of the World Atlas of Mangroves, the first in-depth look in over a decade of mangroves. (‘Atlas of Mangroves’ highlights global…

‘Atlas of Mangroves’ highlights global loss of tidal forests

Mangroves are the trees and shrubs that flourish at the saline interface between ocean and land. They nurture a multitude of species of land, sea, and air and also provide humans with numerous resources, ranging from coastal shock absorbers from tsunamis and hurricanes to natural hatcheries for replenishment of fisheries. Mostly because of coastal development, Earth has already lost…

Superstorm killed half a billion Amazon trees, researchers say

A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Tulane University said today. AGU, a Washington, D.C.-based international nonprofit scientific association, and Tulane University, in New Orleans, released the findings of an investigation into a 124-mile-wide (200 kilometers) storm…

Will you help EARTH plant Earth’s future?

On World Environment Day–June 5, 2010– EARTH University and its global network of alumni and supporters will plant hundreds of thousands of trees in 26 countries as part of its 20th anniversary commemoration. They’re inviting the rest of us to take part in the event–either by planting a tree, donating U.S.$5 to buy one for…

Madagascar’s rosewood trees in danger of extinction, study finds

Political and social chaos and a lack of international protections have put several species of rosewood trees in Madagascar in danger of becoming extinct from illegal logging, according to a policy forum paper in the latest issue of Science. “Forty-seven of Madagascar’s 48 species of rosewood (Dalbergia) are found nowhere else in the world,” said…

The global benefits of Canada’s logging moratorium

A huge swath of Canada’s boreal forest was protected today. Stuart Pimm, a member of the International Boreal Conservation Science Panel, explains why that’s important for biodiversity and for slowing global warming. By Stuart Pimm Today, 20 companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada and 9 leading environmental organizations agreed to protect 72 million hectares (more…

Mangrove cuckoo among 800 species identified at Biscayne bioblitz

Biscayne National Park, Florida–After 24 straight hours of exploration and documentation, the Biscayne bioblitz provided a snapshot of the many land and water species that live in Biscayne National Park, the National Geographic Society said today. “Led by more than 200 scientists from around the country, thousands of amateur explorers, families and schoolchildren from south…

The poison in paradise

Biscayne National Park, Florida–An abundant and beautiful tree in the Biscayne National Park has a sting. Like poison ivy and poison oak, the poisonwood tree can leave a nasty rash on anyone who brushes against it. Bob Showler of the National Park Service gave volunteers and rookies like myself a lesson about the poisonwood tree…

Sequoias endured 500 years of fiery drought, tree rings show

A 3,000-year record from 52 of the world’s oldest trees shows that California’s western Sierra Nevada was “droughty and often fiery” from 800 to 1300, the University of Arizona said today. Scientists reconstructed the 3,000-year history of fire by dating fire scars on ancient giant sequoia trees, Sequoiadendron giganteum, in the Giant Forest of Sequoia…