2015 nature picture highlights
Jan04

2015 nature picture highlights

During the course of my reporting in 2015 I took nearly 20,000 photos. Here are some of the...

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Capturing the Wild: Jaguars in Belize
Oct31

Capturing the Wild: Jaguars in Belize

Commentary and photos by: Fabienne Lefeuvre The native inhabitants of Suriname referred to him as a God. He is the third largest cat in the world after the tiger and the lion. The Native American called him ‘yaguar’ which means ‘he who kills with one leap’: the jaguar. The jaguar (Panthera onca) can be found in 18 Latin American countries. Today they are mainly concentrated between Southern Arizona and New...

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Santa Lucia: a Gem amongst Ecuador’s Cloud Forest Reserves (Photos)
Oct29

Santa Lucia: a Gem amongst Ecuador’s Cloud Forest Reserves (Photos)

Photo Essay and Commentary By: Etienne Littlefair The time is 6:30 am, a faint glimmer of light is just breaking the horizon revealing gnarled epiphyte laden trees still dripping from the rains that had passed through earlier in the morning. In the distance the piercing call of a Wattled Guan cuts through the morning air. I think to myself how lucky I am, as the remnant cloud cover seems to evaporate away leaving a crisp, still...

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Reporter’s Journal: A story sans words
Oct10

Reporter’s Journal: A story sans words

Special Reporting Initiatives photographer Dominic Bracco II tries to capture the aquaculture scene at Liangzi Lake.  A local fishfarmer attempts to capture his own view.  Dominic’s photos will appear with Erik Vance’s reporting on the demand for sustainable fisheries products in China.

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Reporter’s Journal: It isn’t a beluga
Sep30

Reporter’s Journal: It isn’t a beluga

Special Reporting Initiatives Fellow Erik Vance gets up close and personal with a finless porpoise housed at Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan, China.  Vance and his colleague, photographer Dominic Bracco II, are reporting on the market for sustainable fisheries in China. Photo credit: Shouqi...

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An armadillo the size of a golf ball
Sep26

An armadillo the size of a golf ball

Meet Rica, the baby three-banded armadillo.  Rica is a tiny new arrival at the Edinburgh Zoo born on August 24th and weighing in at just 81g or roughly the size of a golf ball.  She was born to proud parents Rio and Rodar who only arrived at the zoo in March of 2014. “This is the first birth of any armadillo species at Edinburgh Zoo and it is amazing how quickly little Rica is growing up! She is just amazing to watch; always full of...

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Reporter’s Journal: Bomb Harvest
Aug06

Reporter’s Journal: Bomb Harvest

Porters sort and tally a week’s worth of landings from a bomb fishing crew before carrying the catch to the docks in Makassar, Indonesia. Each plastic basket is worth Rp. 100,000 ($8). The full tally for this boat was Rp. 18,800,000 or $1404. The porters get paid a percentage for shuttling the catch to shore and selling the fish to wholesale distributors in the city. This photo was taken by Mongabay.org’s Special Reporting...

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Reporter’s Journal: A Wood & Glass View
Jul31

Reporter’s Journal: A Wood & Glass View

Wood and glass goggles used by traditional divers throughout Sulawesi. Though produced near-exclusively by the Bajau sea gypsies, “traditional” goggles are commonly used, regardless of ethnic group, when spear-fishing, cyanide fishing or collecting sea cucumbers, groupers or fish killed with bombs that are detonated underwater. However rubber recreational dive masks are becoming more prevalent. This photo was taken by Mongabay.org’s...

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Reporter’s Journal: Times are getting dark
Jul29

Reporter’s Journal: Times are getting dark

By Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative Fellow Ruxandra Guidi. Photo by Roberto Guerra. This is the season of hurricanes and heavy storms. But the archipelago of Kuna Yala, located south of the hurricane belt, is typically spared the damage and strong winds that hit islands further north in the Caribbean, year after year. In recent years, however, rains have forced the people living in these islands — an estimated 30,000 — to start...

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Reporter’s Journal: Infant Shrimp
Jul02

Reporter’s Journal: Infant Shrimp

A technician checks on week-old shrimp larvae or nauplius, at the world’s largest shrimp and mollusk broodstock center in Bugbug, Indonesia. The center hopes to become a major supplier inexpensive and healthy “parent” shrimp to Indonesia’s domestic shrimp farming industry, to reduce reliance on pricier and occasionally disease-ridden imports from abroad. Indonesia is one of a handful of shrimp-producing countries unaffected by...

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Reporter’s Journal: Fishermans’ Wives
Jun27

Reporter’s Journal: Fishermans’ Wives

Fishermens’ wives negotiate a price for freshly caught sardines in Negara, a town on the shores of the Bali Strait. The strait is about to become Indonesia’s first region to be managed under an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. This photo was taken by Mongabay.org’s Special Reporting Initiatives fellow Melati Kaye, who is reporting on the state of the fishing industry in...

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The allure of the Amazon: real or imagined?
May19

The allure of the Amazon: real or imagined?

Commentary by Nick Werber What is it about the Amazon that fires the imagination? For as long as I can recall it has been a symbol for the Earth as it wants to be; a flourishing paradise perhaps, a place of explosive variegation, the jungle in full bloom. Like the untamed areas outside of the cities in Brave New World, The Heart of Darkness and The Lost World, the jungle has formed an archetype for all that is natural and untouched by...

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Reporter’s Journal: Disappearing Home
May07

Reporter’s Journal: Disappearing Home

By Melati Kaye A boy takes in the sunset on Barang Lompo, one of the Spermonde Islands in Indonesia. The loss of local reef cover from destructive fishing practices and soil runoff from the nearby city of Makassar exposes islands like Barang Lampo to extreme weather. Over the last thirty years, this tiny island, like others in the region, has lost a tenth of its landmass from the erosive force of storm surges and increasingly larger...

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Reporter’s Journal: From Panama
Apr16

Reporter’s Journal: From Panama

By SRI Fellow Ruxandra Guidi Don Jesus was tasked with the logistics for the conference, and Don Feliciano would be taking care of all the meals for more than 25 people. This was no small feat for these two septuagenarian men, who had to do a lot of phone calling and running around in order to try to secure things like ice and a motorboat and a generator. In the end, ice was the only thing they couldn’t get — and that’s because...

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Reporter’s Journal: Fighting poachers and Mother Nature
Apr07

Reporter’s Journal: Fighting poachers and Mother Nature

Fijians communities are largely in charge of managing their waterfront. Volunteer fish wardens in the village, appointed by the chief or the Minister, are the only official members of a village who can legally stop poachers. Though they rarely have any equipment to enforce protection of their tabus (swaths of temporarily protected marine areas inside their fishing grounds), they are harder pressed to fight the effects of climate...

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Reporter’s Journal: The Lesser Fish
Apr01

Reporter’s Journal: The Lesser Fish

In Fiji’s capital city of Suva, middlemen buy directly from the fishers. The majority of the fish arrive early Saturday morning, indicating many of the reef fish are caught at night while many fish are asleep, making them easy targets for spearfishers.  In the past, larger quantities of fresh fish was available daily. Now the sellers make fewer catches stretch across the week. The overwhelming concern about the region’s...

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Reporter’s Journal: Dock Boys
Mar27

Reporter’s Journal: Dock Boys

By Melati Kaye “Dock boys” take a swim break from sorting and carrying fish at Makassar’s Paotere harbor, where fish caught with hook and line, homemade bombs, and cyanide are brought to port and sold. This photo was taken by SRI fellow Melati Kaye, who is reporting on the State of Indonesian Fisheries.

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Reporter’s Journal: The forests of Uganda
Mar26

Reporter’s Journal: The forests of Uganda

In late January through early February I traveled to Uganda as part of the first Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) to report on “the next big thing in tropical forest biodiversity conservation.” I’m a world traveler, and I have a special passion for tropical rainforests — having seen them in Australia, the Peruvian Amazon, Asia, and Central America. Africa was my last continent to visit (OK, does...

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Camera-trap Ecotourism: the next big thing in conservation?
Mar06

Camera-trap Ecotourism: the next big thing in conservation?

By Gregory McCann, Habitat ID Ecotourism is a popular growing trend, and this is especially true in tropical countries that have a wealth of biodiversity to offer the interested trekker. Cambodia is no exception. I have been visiting Virachey National Park in northeastern Cambodia for the past five years, but my most recent trip involved a special purpose: setting up 14 motion-triggered camera-traps throughout the park. Without giving...

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Nelson Mandela, elephants and youth
Jan07

Nelson Mandela, elephants and youth

Commentary by Isabel  S. Abrams Most people think of Nelson Mandela as a fighter for racial equality in South Africa. To me, he is also a powerful advocate for protecting wilderness and empowering youth. In 2002, I was in the audience at the World Conference on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa where I heard Mandela address delegates from more than 100 nations. “Many don’t want (conservation areas) set aside for...

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