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News & Politics Podcasts

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.


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News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.






Songs and sounds of Bering Sea whales and seals reveal a story of change

The songs, calls, clicks, and bumps of beluga whales, bearded seals, bowhead whales, ribbon seals, and walrus are the stars of this episode, which also features the co-author of a recent study that used bioacoustics to assess how variation in sea surface temperature and sea ice extent affects these animals' populations in the northern Bering Sea. Dr. Howard Rosenbaum is the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ocean Giants Program, and his team is creating an acoustic baseline...


Technology delivers cutting edge conservation, discussion with Shah Selbe

Shah Selbe is a rocket scientist who put his engineering skills into building a lab that uses open-source technologies to empower local communities to solve conservation challenges. His team has been deploying technologies like drones, sensor networks, smartphone apps, and acoustic buoys to monitor protected areas, wildlife, and biodiversity. But their big news is the launch of the open-source hardware and online platform FieldKit that anyone can use to deploy a local sensing network and...


Conservation is a growth industry for Africa, Fred Swaniker says

Fred Swaniker is the founder of the African Leadership University, which recently launched a School of Wildlife Conservation to help young Africans develop the skills and knowledge necessary to “own and drive” the conservation agenda on the African continent. Swaniker sees Africa's natural heritage as a strategic advantage for the continent, and argues on this episode that the immense young workforce can be engaged in its conservation in many ways, from management to filmmaking, science...


Mongabay Newscast trailer

Top scientists, authors, and activists appear on the Mongabay Newscast to discuss their latest research, describe newly discovered animal species, or share their views on conservation and the environment: subscribe to this free show via Android, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, Pandora, or wherever you get your podcasts. We recommend listening to the most recent shows first, for the freshest news. Mongabay is a 20+ year-old nonprofit news service with 40+ million...


Galina Angarova on the indigenous relationship to land, conservation, and the sacred feminine

‘Without the land, indigenous people cannot exist’ the new leader of Cultural Survival, Galina Angarova, tells host Mike G. in this new episode. Raised in a Buryat community in Siberia, she's had a number of top roles through the years, but her recent appointment to this key indigenous rights organization is perhaps the most important one yet. She grew up eating wild berries, mushrooms, nuts, wild garlic, deer, and more on the shores of Lake Baikal, and therefore has a strong sense of...


How the sweet sounds of tropical katydids can benefit rainforest conservation

Laurel Symes is a biologist who uses bioacoustics to study tropical katydids in Central America, and she joins us to play some of her hypnotic rainforest recordings and say how tracking these insects' interesting sounds can aid rainforest conservation. Based on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, she uses machine learning to detect and identify these creatures, which are grasshopper-like insects that are important to the rainforest food web, because they eat a lot of plants and are in turn...


Top conservation photographer Ami Vitale discusses rhinos, pandas, hope and more

Ami Vitale is an award-winning war correspondent turned conservation photographer, and her iconic images of animals like Sudan the Rhino adorn the pages of National Geographic and other top outlets often. But she's so much more than a woman with a camera, rather, she's a force of nature helping create change and grassroots conservation all over the world through her work, words, and advocacy. She joins the podcast to talk about the most inspiring and heartbreaking moments from her recent...


Best animal calls and songs of 2019

For this last episode of 2019, we take a look back at some favorite bioacoustics recordings featured here on the Mongabay Newscast and play them for you. As regular listeners will know, bioacoustics is the study of how animals use and perceive sound, and how their acoustical adaptations reflect their behaviors and relationships with their habitats and surroundings. Bioacoustics is a fairly young field of study but it is already being used to study everything from how wildlife populations...


Cleared for coca: Chris Fagan on his new investigation from Peru's rainforest

We speak with National Geographic writer Chris Fagan about the investigative report he just filed for Mongabay revealing a massive invasion of national parks in the Peruvian Amazon, in an area relied upon by isolated indigenous communities. Traveling up the Sepahua River with indigenous guides, Fagan counted more than 250 plots of land illegally cleared for cocaine production in recent months. He met some of these growers and describes for us a very 'Wild West' scene that Peruvian officials...


Haunting gibbons' songs could aid their conservation

Dena Clink is a primatologist studying individuality and variation in Bornean gibbon calls, which she says could aid these primates' conservation. She joins this episode to play some recordings of these fascinating songs & calls she’s made in the course of her research, and explain how they're used and what they may mean to the species. We’ve featured a wide variety of bioacoustics studies here on the Mongabay Newscast, from whales to bats and birds, but these are usually recordings of...


All zoos should put themselves out of business, Damian Aspinall argues

Damian Aspinall is chairman of the Aspinall Foundation, a UK charity that works to conserve endangered animals and return them to the wild. Despite his foundation operating two zoos, he's a vocal critic of how zoos are generally run, and feels their focus should be upon breeding rare animals and reintroducing them to the wild, vs keeping them in captivity for public entertainment, as he says. "European zoos spend at least 15 million pounds a year, at least, on looking after their elephants...


Buzzfeed's Katie Baker details their explosive investigation of WWF

Katie Baker is a reporter for the Buzzfeed News team investigating human rights violations committed against local & indigenous people by park rangers paid by the major environmental NGO WWF to protect creatures like rhinos from poachers. "No one is saying that [WWF's rangers] don't have really difficult jobs...but just because they have a difficult job doesn't mean they can rape and kill and torture with impunity or arrest people without evidence," she tells host Mike G, and adds that the...


Deep sea diva: A dive to the ocean floor with biologist Diva Amon

Plans for ocean floor mining are moving forward globally -- especially around thermal vents that create deposits of metals like gold, silver, copper, manganese, cobalt, and zinc -- but humans have explored less than 1% of the deep sea, so it’s fair to say that we really have no idea what’s at risk. On this episode we speak with deep sea biologist Dr. Diva Amon about what we do -- and don’t -- know about biodiversity at the bottom of the ocean. Raised on the shores of Trinidad & Tobago, Dr....


Hitting the highway in Borneo to assess diversity and development

Mongabay's adventurous Middle East-based staff writer John Cannon just traveled the length of the Pan Borneo Highway and shares what he discovered on the journey about biodiversity, development, and the natural future of this, the world's 3rd largest island. It took him 3 weeks to travel the route proposed to connect the rainforest-rich Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak as well as the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo--to make commerce and travel easier in a region that is...


Are humpback whale groups sharing their songs?

For this episode we speak with Jim Darling, a marine biologist whose team found that the songs of different humpback whale groups can be so similar to each other that the conventional wisdom of these being distinct groups might be wrong. These whales may be sharing and singing each others' songs across groups and regions, he thinks. Darling joins the show to play recordings of these remarkably similar humpback whale songs and discuss the implications. Please invite your friends to...


"I'm excited!" Climate action star Rev Yearwood on the UN, youth and women's leadership & more

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Reverend Lennox Yearwood about the upcoming UN Climate Summit in New York City and what it’s going to take to pass legislation and policies that can effectively tackle the enormity of the climate crisis. Undaunted by the challenge, Rev Yearwood rather is "very excited," he says, about the new energy and effective leadership he sees coming from youth, women, people of color, and more, who are all urging the world toward meaningful...


Return of the amazing superb lyrebird

For an encore edition during this show's brief hiatus, we replay one of our most popular Field Notes interviews of all time, featuring Australian researcher Anastasia Dalziell who's doing trailblazing work with superb lyrebirds. Listen to her recordings of these songsters and be amazed by these animals, who are so adept at replays themselves. Host Mike G. explored with her the incredible ability these creatures have to mimic sounds in their environment, ranging from predators and possums to...


Baltimore, urban rats, and environmental justice

Urban pests like rats have been in the news due to the US President calling Baltimore “rat and rodent infested.” He isn’t the first American politician to use this kind of rhetoric to demean communities that are predominantly made up of people of color (while ignoring the fact that policies deliberately designed to marginalize communities of color are at the root of the pest problems), he's just the latest. Dawn Biehler actually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to rodent...


Celebrated author David Quammen on inspiring ecological restoration, evolutionary science, and more

David Quammen is an award-winning science writer, author, and journalist covering the most promising trends in conservation and evolutionary science for the past 30 years. We invited him on the show to discuss his latest feature for National Geographic, where he is a regular contributor, about Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique — once touted by none other than E.O. Wilson in a podcast interview with Mongabay as a place where inspiring restoration efforts are underway and benefitting...


Right whales discovered singing for the first time: new recordings

Jessica Crance is a research biologist who recently discovered right whales singing for the first time. While some whales like humpbacks and bowheads are known for their melodious songs, none of the three species of right whale has ever been known to sing. Crance led the research team at NOAA that documented North Pacific right whales breaking into song in the Bering Sea, and on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, she will play recordings of two different right whale song types and...