Meet eight female conservation scientists who inform and inspire

first_imgArticle published by Erik Hoffner The International Day of Women and Girls in Science highlights the achievements of female scientists, and is celebrated on February 11 this year.Here we highlight eight women contributing greatly to the conservation sciences. The study and advancement of science is one key to achieving the world’s agreed-to development goals, the UN says. Despite this, half the world’s population, women and girls, are still often excluded from fully participating in science. According to UNESCO, less than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women.The International Day of Women and Girls in Science highlights the contributions and achievements of female scientists, and is celebrated on February 11 this year (follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #WomenInScience).Below, Mongabay presents in no particular order four inspiring female scientists who’ve been recent guests on our podcast, the Mongabay Newscast, and then four others interviewed about their research for the website:Bedazzling bioacousticsAnastasia Dalziell is an ornithologist who studies the superb lyrebird, a species whose vocal mimicry skills are amazingly precise. Female superb lyrebirds are also known to sing songs, which is unusual for birds, and they produce calls that capably mimic other species as well as sounds from their environment, such as the creaking of trees blowing in the wind. Dalziell has published her findings on lyrebirds in a series of research papers, and podcast host Mike Gaworecki spoke with her for the August 2018 show The amazing song skills of the superb lyrebird about what Dalziell’s learned, and he played some of the birds’ amazing calls she’s captured:Listen to Dalziell’s interview here: Flying for penguinsOur guest in October 2018 was Dr. Michelle LaRue, a research ecologist in the Department of Geography at the University of Canterbury who is leading a research project using satellite imagery together with ground and flight surveys to compile population estimates for each of the 54 known emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica. The project’s goal is to compile population estimates every year for an entire decade.When reached for the episode Documenting emperor penguin populations, a dispatch from Antarctica, LaRue had just arrived at McMurdo Station, a research center at the southern tip of Ross Island, on Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound.Hear about her research plans and crazy challenges here: Interviews, Research, Women In Science ‘Annihilation trawling’: Q&A with marine biologist Amanda VincentQ&A: Esther Mwangi on why voices of local community members will be featured at GLF Africa conferenceStudying human behavior to protect orangutans: Q&A with Liana ChuaRecovering conservationist: Q&A with orangutan ecologist June Mary RubisBanner image: National Park Service fisheries staff, 2016, image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Drones and wildlifeFor the episode How to use drones without stressing wildlife, Gaworecki’s guest was Alicia Amerson, a marine biologist, drone user, and science communicator. She explained why it’s critical to have best practices for drones in place not only to guide hobbyists making videos of whales or birds, but especially before companies like Amazon deploy fleets of drones in our skies.Listen to Amerson’s interview here: A primatologist who also studies batsFor the October 2018 show How an African bat might help us prevent future Ebola outbreaks, Gaworecki spoke with Sarah Olson, an Associate Director of Wildlife Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society. With Ebola very much in the news lately due to a recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Olson explained to him how research into hammer-headed fruit bats might help us figure out how Ebola is transmitted from animals to humans — and potentially control or prevent future outbreaks of the viral disease.As a wildlife epidemiologist, Olson’s main focus is great ape health, animals which are just as susceptible to the Ebola virus as humans are. Her work to protect great apes has therefore drawn Olson to study the hammer-headed fruit bat, which is believed to be a potential “reservoir” for the Ebola virus.Listen to Sarah Olson here: You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.Want to hear from more women in the conservation sciences? Here are four interviews the Mongabay team recently conducted for the website:last_img read more

Amazon could be biggest casualty of US-China Trade war, researchers warn

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Soy, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, China’s Demand For Resources, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Grabbing, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation center_img The US is the world’s largest soy producer and historically has exported the majority of its soybeans to China.But after President Donald Trump’s high China tariffs resulted in a Chinese retaliation of a 25 percent import tariff on US agricultural goods last year, United States soy exports to China dropped 50 percent, and Chinese imports of Brazilian soybeans increased significantly.Soy production has been linked to large-scale deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna — Brazil’s two largest and ecologically most important biomes.If the US/China trade war continues, new research suggests that the amount of land dedicated to soy production in Brazil could increase by up to 39 percent in order to fill Chinese demand, causing new deforestation by up to 13 million hectares (50,139 square miles) of forest, an area the size of Greece, researchers estimate. A single surviving tree amid a sea of soy. Photo credit: Jeff Belmonte on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SAThe ongoing US-China trade war, along with devastating floods in the US Midwest this Spring, are making it look like a bad year for soy exports from the United States. But the consequences might be felt more globally. A new Nature journal commentary suggests that the world’s second largest soybean producer — Brazil — could pick up the slack, leading to a rapid increase in deforestation in the Amazon basin.In March 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on Chinese imported goods. In retaliation, the Chinese government imposed tariffs of 25 percent on $110-billion worth of US goods — including soybeans, the US’s most important agricultural export crop. Now fresh demand is being placed on China’s other major soy suppliers to provide up to 37.6 million tons of the bean — the total amount imported by China in 2016.According to researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, the most likely option is that China’s other principal supplier of soybeans, Brazil, will substantially ramp up its production.The authors estimate that if Brazil alone were to cover the demand, the amount of land dedicated to soy production in the Latin American nation could increase by up to 39 percent, with the loss of up to 13 million hectares (50,139 square miles) of forest, an area the size of Greece.Soy oil on store shelves. Global demand for soy-derived products is soaring, and Brazilian producers are responding to the demand, and with that demand has come increased conversion of forests into croplands. Photo credit: Male Gringo on Visual hunt / CC BY-NCA global rise in soy production and consumptionSince 2000, Chinese imports of soy have skyrocketed, with increases of 200 percent from Argentina, 700 percent from the United States, and 2,000 percent from Brazil in order to meet the Asian country’s demand. Much of this exported soy is used to feed China’s hog industry — the largest in the world, and likely to become larger as the Chinese increasingly consume more meat.“Soy [consumption] has risen exponentially in the last decade,” says Richard Fuchs, the lead author on the commentary. “It’s an important crop globally, but the entire system is so fragile that [distribution] can largely shift overnight.”Historically, soybeans have been the US’s largest agricultural export to China. In 2017, the US exported over $12 billion worth of soybeans to China, more than half of its total soybean exports and a third of its overall production. The next largest export — cotton — was worth $1 billion. However, since Trump’s US-China trade war began in 2018, exports of US soy beans to China fell by 50 percent. Predicting how this might ultimately impact the global soy trade is somewhat tricky however, since the US being located in the Northern Hemisphere and Brazil in the South, means their soy production seasons are opposite.“The thing you have to understand about the global soybean trade,“ said Fuchs in a Mongabay interview, “is that it is largely dominated by a few buyers, China and Europe, and only a few suppliers — Argentina, US, Brazil.”Soy grain elevators in Boa Vista Brazil loom over a transformed tropical landscape. Photo credit: michael_swan on Visualhunt / CC BY-NDSoy is now Brazil’s most profitable export, and poised to become larger if the US fades. However, soy production is also a leading driver of deforestation in the Latin American country. The Amazon Soy Moratorium, in which major traders voluntarily agreed not to buy soy grown on lands in Legal Amazonia deforested after July 2006, helped reduce tree-loss significantly in that biome. Statistics published by Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE) reported an 80 percent deforestation reduction there between 2000 and 2015.However, studies show that much of the deforestation from soy merely shifted next door from the Amazon to the Cerrado — a partly wooded grassland rich in biodiversity that covers more than 20 percent of Brazil. Over half of all Brazilian soy is now grown in the Cerrado and a recent report by Global Canopy showed a direct link between savanna municipalities in Brazil with the highest levels of deforestation and with significant soy prouction.Both the Cerrado and Amazon biomes have become increasingly threatened since the election of right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro, who ran on a platform of reducing environmental safeguards, increasing support for agribusiness, and Amazon development. The Nature commentary authors point out that the “political, legal and trade-system interventions that have prevented the expansion of soy production in the Amazon are now being weakened” by Bolsonaro.According to data from Brazilian NGO Imazon, deforestation in the South American nation increased between February and April of 2018 as compared to the year before, coinciding with President Trump’s first threat of tariffs against China made in January.Aerial view of Amazon deforestation. Forest loss in Brazil is often a multistep process, starting with access via new roads, followed by a rapid rise in land prices and land speculation, followed by illegal logging, cattle production, and conversion of pastures to soy plantations. The loss of native vegetation to soy is “part of a much more complicated picture around governance and land use patterns,” said Sarah Lake, a senior advisor at Global Canopy, a UK-based organization that advises corporations on environmental risk related to supply chain investments. Photo credit: SentinelHub on Visual Hunt / CC BYReordering the world soy marketQuestions remain as to how much the US-China trade war will reshuffle global trade partners, especially as the Trump administration put out feelers this April for an international summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease tariffs.Soy exports from the US to the European Union — another major soybean importer — hit a record high of 9 million tons in February of this year, roughly double the amount exported through the end of February 2018, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.  Still, most economic studies estimate that regardless of trade reallocations, the US soy market would suffer the most from a reshuffling of exports.“The US is selling fewer soybeans to China and more soybeans to the rest of the world,” said Patrick Westhoff, director of the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. “However, total US soybean exports are [being] reduced both because China is such a large part of the market, and because China has reduced its total [global] soybean imports.”A study by researchers at Purdue University in 2018, using different economic models, found that Chinese imports from Brazil and other South American countries would increase, in Brazil’s case by as much as 9–15 percent.Since then, distribution pattern shifts — likely instigated by the US-China tariff war — have begun to play out, as the US neared the end of its soy growing season. This February, the US shipped a little over 900,000 tons to China, just a fraction of last February’s 3.35 million tons. At the same time, Brazil soybean exports shot up to a record 6.1 million tons, more than twice the amount from the year before.Even if a US-China trade deal is reached in coming weeks or months, the study authors point out that such export distribution shifts are often hard to reverse, especially as China finds a stable supply of soy in Brazil, allowing it to avoid the trade volatility imposed under Trump.Cargill commodities port in Santarem, Brazil where soy grown in Mato Grosso state is transferred from trucks to barges for the journey downriver for export. Photo credit: JuhaOnTheRoad on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SAFloods, drought and swine fever are soy wildcardsThe recent floods, which have inundated much of the US Midwest came at a critical time for US farmers. But, interestingly, a US Department of Agriculture planting intentions report suggests many farmers had already planned to shift much of their cropland from soy to corn this year, in part because of the reduction of soy prices due to the trade war.“The impact on soybeans depends on if and when land dries out, “Westhoff said. “In a wetter-than-normal-but-not-catastrophic year, soybean acreage can actually increase, as farmers are forced to shift from corn to a crop like soybeans that can be planted later. Of course, if extremely wet conditions continue into mid-June, then soybean acreage will also be reduced.” Forecasts have warned that rainfall could bring more devastating floods this spring to the US Midwest, which if that occurs, could be a disaster for farmers there.While most experts agree the weather damage isn’t enough yet to significantly impact the global soy market, Fuchs believes that record seesawing of weather conditions could point to one of the largest vulnerabilities of the agricultural market.“These type of weather extremes, like floods in the United States or drought in Brazil, and the risk [of their] increase in frequency due to climate change, adds to the uncertainties in global agricultural trade and production,” Fuchs told Mongabay. “We should better prepare for those extremes and vulnerabilities, both economically and environmentally.”Where native vegetation once proliferated, a dual commodities crop of soy (right) and corn (left) now grows. Photo credit: Vini Serafim on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-NDThere are other factors that might play into China’s demand, which fell by almost 8 percent in 2018. African swine fever, which has already wiped out at least a million hogs there, could lower demand for soy, a primary means of fattening hogs.According to Fuchs, the EU, China and other nations should do more to acknowledge the direct effect their trade policies are having on exports and deforestation. This is especially true for a trading partner like the EU that prides itself on its progressive climate policies; a broader agenda would help shift discussions from a purely economic basis to include socio-environmental impacts.“The realization that Europe is often importing goods from deforested land is often a muted discussion.” Says Fuchs. “It would be a first step if China or Europe were to acknowledge the role they play in tropical deforestation.”Banner image: Soy leaves the Amazon by barge, likely for export to Europe or China. Photo credit: JuhaOnTheRoad on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more