Jul 032013
 
Amazonian students help monitor threatened frog populations

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on Earth: currently around 30 percent of the world’s amphibians are listed as threatened with extinction. However this percentage doesn’t include those species about which too little is known to evaluate (26 percent). Amphibians face many threats but […]

Jun 262013
 
60 big cats killed in Brazilian parks in last two years

At least 60 big cats have been killed within national protected areas in Brazil during the past two years according to a recent survey published in mongabay.com’s open access journal Tropical Conservation Science (TCS). The report, which focuses on jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) populations, within Brazilian protected areas shows that reserve management […]

Jun 152013
 
Bird extravaganza: scientists discover 15 new species of birds in the Amazon

From 2000-2009, scientists described on average seven new bird species worldwide every year. Discovering a new bird is one of the least common of any species group, given that birds are highly visible, mobile, and have been scrutinized for centuries by passionate ornithologists and birders. But descriptions this year already blows away the record year […]

Jun 022013
 
Loss of big fruit-eating birds impacting trees in endangered rainforests

The extinction of large, fruit-eating birds in fragments of Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest has caused palm trees to produce smaller seeds over the past century, impacting forest ecology, finds a study published in the journal Science. The researchers — led by Mauro Galetti from Brazil’s Universidade Estadual Paulista — looked at Euterpe edulis palm seeds in […]

Jun 012013
 
Two new arachnids discovered in Brazilian caves (photos)

Scientists have discovered two new species of short-tailed whipscorpions (in the order Schizomida) in limestone caves in Brazil, according to a new paper published in PLoS ONE. The new species—dubbed Rowlandius ubajara and Rowlandius potiguara—add new knowledge to a group of arachnids that is little known in South America outside of the Amazon. “Schizomids occur […]

May 232013
 
Are seagulls killing whales in Patagonia?

It sounds ludicrous, but it could just be true: scientists say seagulls may be responsible for hundreds of southern right whale moralities off the Argentine coastline. Since 2003, scientists have documented the deaths of 605 southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) near Península Valdés which the whales use as a nursery. Notably, 88 percent of these […]

May 212013
 
Featured video: saving sea turtles in Mexico's Magdalena Bay

A new short film, Viva la tortuga documents the struggle to save loggerhead and green sea turtles in Magdalena Bay, Mexico. Once a region for a massive sea turtle meat market, the turtles now face a new threat: bycatch. Loggerhead sea turtles are drowning in bottom-set gillnets, unable to escape from the nets once entangled. […]

May 192013
 
Frankenfish or scientific marvel?: giant GM salmon await U.S. approval

It is hard to think of a more unlikely setting for genetic experimentation or for raising salmon: a rundown shed at a secretive location in the Panamanian rainforest miles inland and 1,500m above sea level. But the facility, which is owned by an American company AquaBounty Technologies, stands on the verge of delivering the first […]

May 172013
 
Unconventional swine: how invasive pigs are helping preserve biodiversity in the Pantanal

Ordinarily, invasive and exotic species are a grave threat to native wildlife: outcompeting local species, introducing parasites and disease, and disturbing local ecological regimes. A unique case in the Brazilian Pantanal, however, has turned the tables; here, an introduced mammal has actually aided the conservation of native wildlife. The impact of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) […]

May 162013
 
Photo: Stunning new pit-viper discovered in Honduras

A stunning new species of pit-viper has been discovered in the cloud forest of Honduras. The venomous snake is described in the journal ZooKeys. The species is named Bothriechis guifarroi in honor of Mario Guifarro of Olancho, a conservationist who was gunned down in 2007 as he was working to set up a reserve for […]

May 162013
 
New insect discovered in Brazil, only third known in its bizarre family (photos)

A new species of forcepfly named Austromerope brasiliensis, was recently discovered in Brazil and described in the open access journal Zoo Keys. This is the first discovery of forcepfly in the Neotropics and only the third known worldwide. The forcepfly, often called the earwigfly because the male genital forceps closely resemble the cerci of the […]

May 042013
 
Bolivia leads the way in wetland protection

Bolivia continues to be a champion for Amazonian conservation. On February 2, 2013, Bolivia celebrated World Wetlands Day with the designation of more than 6.9 million hectares of the Llanos de Moxos to the Ramsar Convention’s Wetlands of International Importance. In addition to being the largest Ramsar designation to date, Bolivia now claims 14.8 million […]

Mar 292013
 
Scientists discover two new remarkably-colored lizards in the Peruvian Amazon (photos)

Scientists have discovered two new species of woodlizards from the Peruvian Amazon. Woodlizards, in the genus Enyalioides, are little-known reptiles with only 10 described species found in South and Central America. Described in a new paper in ZooKeys, both new woodlizards were found in Cordillera Azul National Park, the nations third-largest. “These species were discovered […]