For restoration, microbes below ground are just as crucial as the plants above

Fungi in the forests of Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.JAKARTA — How do you supercharge vegetation growth for a reforestation project? Bring in the microorganisms. That’s the finding from a new study, which shows that incorporating a microbial community of fungi, bacteria, algae and archaea into ecosystem restoration can accelerate plant biomass production by 64% on average. Researchers say this application holds plenty of […]

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Mexico dismantles illegal fishing cartels killing off rare vaquita porpoise

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Some of the country’s most ambitious and successful wildlife traffickers are now in jail, officials announced. Mexico’s navy confirmed in a press conference that members of cartels dedicated to the trafficking of totoaba have been arrested and put in prison, effectively dismantling some of the main organized crime groups contributing to […]

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Mexican restoration dominated by non-environmental interests

seedlingWith its towering natural walls, Sumidero Canyon National Park is one of the main tourist attractions in Chiapas state in southern Mexico. Protecting mostly dry tropical forest — one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world — the 22,000-hectare (54,360-acre) reserve is home to more than 1,700 species of fauna and flora, of which […]

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‘Bizarre’ newly classified scorpionfly shines light on Nepal’s insect diversity

Lulilan obscurus is a newly discovered scorpionfly from Nepal. Image courtesy of Rainer WillmannKATHMANDU–  When German professor Jochen Martens and his associate W. Schawaller visited subtropical forests in Nepal in 1988, they collected samples of different insects found in eastern Nepal, including a “bizarre” one that had a long tail with a pincer resembling that of scorpions.  Martens, who paid several visits to Nepal along with his associates between […]

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Island shopping: Cambodian officials buy up the Cardamoms’ coast

The developers on Koh Toteung smothered the island's corals in sand while creating an artificial beach in June 2022.KOH S’DACH, Cambodia — Bristling with coral reefs, marine life and palm trees, the islands dotting Cambodia’s western and southwestern coasts have long lured tourists and investors alike with white sandy beaches sloping into the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Beyond the postcard views, limited regulation and the availability of 99-year leases for […]

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Fears for academic freedom as Indonesia doubles down on scientists’ ban

An orangutan.JAKARTA — Indonesian academics have called out the government for banning five foreign scientists after they questioned official claims of an increase in the country’s orangutan population, warning that the move sets a disturbing precedent for academic freedom. In a statement to the government, scientists grouped under the Academic Freedom Advocacy Team called the ban […]

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Historic EU law against deforestation-linked imports ignores Brazil’s Cerrado

Officials and NGOs have hailed the European Union’s agreement on a law banning the import of commodities associated with deforestation, but say it falls short of protecting areas typically not considered forests yet nevertheless of huge ecological importance. Among the responses to the law are that it’s a “landmark,” “groundbreaking,” “radical,” a “great opportunity” for […]

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