Miners, drug traffickers and loggers: Is Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park on the verge of collapse?

News articles and opinion pieces have popped up in the pages of different Costa Rican newspapers over the past several years, warning of the imminent collapse of Corcovado National Park, one of the country’s most treasured protected areas. The park is in “agonizing” condition and “on a downward spiral,” some of the opinion pieces said. […]

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New report pieces together toll of environmental damage in Venezuela in 2021

While trying to put together a review of what happened to Venezuela’s environment in 2021, conservationists ran into a problem. The government publishes virtually no statistics on things like deforestation, infrastructure or mining, and it often actively blocks researchers from investigating threats to local ecosystems. Last year, the government appeared to lean more heavily on […]

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Pandemic hit the pause button on the discoveries of new species

Smithsonian Museum field workIn November 2011, when a pregnant beaked whale drifted ashore on New Zealand’s Waiatoto Spit, Ramari Stewart, an Indigenous whale watcher, noticed that the whale looked slightly different to those usually stranded. It measured about 5 meters (17 feet) long, and after its skeleton was prepared and featured in the National Museum of New Zealand, […]

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In Panama, a tiny rainfrog named after Greta Thunberg endures

Up in the trees of a misty sky island, folded into the foliage, a tiny rainfrog bears the name of a climate giant. The new-to-science species, found on a mountain in Panama, has been named after climate activist Greta Thunberg. Greta Thunberg’s rainfrogs (Pristimantis gretathunbergae) are minuscule (about 3 to 4 centimeters or 1.1 to […]

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Mongabay’s top Amazon stories from 2021

Fire line moves through a degraded forest area in an undesignated public forest area in Porto Velho, Rondônia on July 29, 2021. Photo © Christian Braga / GreenpeaceThe world’s greatest tropical rainforest continued to come under pressure in 2021, due largely to the policies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Deforestation rates hit a 15-year-high, while fires flared up again, combining to turn Brazil’s portion of the Amazon into a net carbon source for the first time ever. But the rainforest as a […]

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Top 15 species discoveries from 2021 (Photos)

With humans sending probes to explore Mars and the sun, one might think we’ve already explored the full extent of our own planet. But scientists say we’ve only begun to find and describe the riches here on Earth. “I think most people believe that we know most species on Earth … but in the best-case […]

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