Mongabay Newscast-logo

Mongabay Newscast

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.


United States


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.






Mongabay Explores Sumatra: Elephants and eternity

The Sumatran elephant is a small species of Asian elephant whose numbers are dwindling as their lowland forest habitats are converted to crops like oil palms. Experts say that Indonesia has 10 years to turn this trend around and save them from the eternity of extinction--and that doing so will have many additional benefits for human communities and wildlife. To explore the issues surrounding the species' conservation, we spoke with 3 guests: Leif Cocks, the founder of the International...


What's in store for the world's forests in 2021?

From fires to COVID, 2020 was a *bit* of a rough year for forest conservation efforts. But what’s in store, and hopeful, for 2021? On this episode, we catch up with Mongabay's founder and CEO Rhett Butler to hear what's on his radar for the year--from the Amazon to Africa and Indonesia--plus for a forest focus on Africa, we ask Joe Eisen, the executive director of the NGO Rainforest Foundation UK, for his take on the past year and the major issues and events likely to impact Africa’s...


New conservation tech to clean up mining sector

Valuable minerals are regularly dug out of sensitive ecological areas like rainforests, and a growing slice of this mining is of the small, "artisanal," and unregulated kind. The result is often a moonscape devoid of trees that is difficult to restore. But a new tech interface called Project Inambari, which was recently named a winner of the Artisanal Mining Challenge, aims to change that with technology, so that communities and authorities can better protect their resources. Bjorn Bergman...


Mongabay Explores Sumatra: Tiger on the highway

The wildlife rich island of Sumatra is experiencing a road building boom, causing some of its iconic creatures to be seen by construction workers: a photo of a Sumatran tiger crossing a highway work-site went viral this summer, for example. This smallest of all tiger subspecies still needs its space despite its stature: up to 250 square kilometers for each one's territory. A single road cut into their forest habitat encroaches on these key areas, where less than 400 of these critically...


Cerrado solutions: Creative conservation for Brazil's massive savanna

On this episode we look at how the largest and most biodiverse tropical savanna on Earth, Brazil's Cerrado, may finally be getting the conservation attention it needs. We’re joined by Mariana Siqueira, a landscape architect who’s helping to find and propagate the Cerrado’s natural plant life, and who is collaborating with ecologists researching the best way to restore the savanna habitat. Arnaud Desbiez also joins the show: he's founder and president of a Brazilian wildlife research NGO...


Mongabay Explores Sumatra: Will the world's newest great ape species face a dammed future?

North Sumatra is home to 1 of only 8 known great ape species in the world, the newly described Tapanuli orangutan, first classified in 2017 after its habits and DNA proved them to be unique. As with many animals in Sumatra, they are amazing creatures that are critically threatened, with a maximum of 800 individuals estimated to be living in an increasingly fragmented habitat. Now a hydroelectric dam proposed for the center of the animals' tiny territory further challenges this special...


Land rights, and wrongs: How Indigenous and local communities are fighting to gain title to their territories

We're taking a look at the importance of securing Indigenous & local communities’ land rights -- and the global push for privatization that can deprive such people access to their territories -- with two guests on this episode. A 2018 study found that Indigenous Peoples steward about 38 million km2 of land in 87 countries, that's more than a quarter of the world’s land surface, making them the most important conservationists on the planet, you might say. But governments and corporations...


Mongabay Explores Sumatra: Deforestation demystified

Sumatra contains some of the largest tracts of intact rainforest left in the world, but it's at the center of a complicated web of deforestation drivers, many of which began during the Dutch colonial era and are now spurred further by corruption and the global demand for cheap palm oil used in a wide range of consumer products. To understand the rapid expansion of industrial-scale agribusinesses that market both palm oil and pulp & paper to the global market from this, the largest island in...


Lemur love and award-winning plant passion in Madagascar

We have amazing recordings of indri lemur songs (click for the choruses, stay for the roars) and the award-winning architect of protected areas that house Madagascar’s rich plant life on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. Mongabay has a special tie to this biologically-rich East African country--our name comes from an island just off its shores--so we're thrilled to return for this episode. Jeannie Raharimampionana is a Malagasy botanist who identified 80 priority areas for...


Mongabay Explores Sumatra: Saving the singing rhino

Sumatran rhinos are unlike anything else in this world: small in stature and docile by nature, they sport a coat of fur and sing songs reminiscent of a dolphin. In other words, this ancient species surprises and enchants anyone lucky enough to encounter it. But Sumatran rhinos are also one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet. While its population is difficult to pinpoint, experts estimate there could be as many as 80 – or as few as 30 – still in the wild, leaving their future...


Amazon defenders, especially women, are set to get new protections

Women are key leaders in Amazon conservation, and we're taking another look at this issue with a discussion of an international agreement that could help protect environmental defenders — of all genders — in Latin America, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be an environmental activist, especially as a woman. Joining us to discuss is Osprey Orielle Lake, founder and executive director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), who talks about the Escazu Agreement...


Mongabay Explores Sumatra, Episode 1: A land like no other

"Sumatra is like a fossil relic of rare species...a giant, rhino horn-shaped island blanketed in the richest rainforest you can imagine...there's nothing like it," one of our guests declares. The 6th largest island in the world and the 2nd largest economy in Indonesia, Sumatra is the only place in the world where you can you find tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans all living together in an incredibly rich landscape of rainforests that, until recently, were largely untouched by human...


Gorilla Radio: innovation in conservation of super rare great apes

The Cross River gorilla is one of the world’s rarest great ape subspecies, with only 300 individuals estimated to be living in Nigeria's Cross River State, but creative efforts to conserve their population and habitat there are changing their fortunes and reduce human-gorilla conflict. Joining the show is Hillary Chukwuemeka, host of the radio program “My Gorilla My Community” that is heard by nearly 4 million listeners in communities on the frontlines of gorilla conservation there....


Can the planet support a renewable energy transition?

Slowing climate change will require a massive increase of renewable energy assets while reducing use of fossil fuels. And who wouldn't like to have a quiet, clean, electric car? But renewable energy technologies from wind turbines to solar panels and rechargeable batteries to power your Tesla Roadster require large amounts of mined metals and minerals. That's a problem because mining creates significant environmental impacts on land, and now, there’s a concerted effort to open up vast...


Great ape forest gardeners of Africa benefit from big conservation victory

Conservation of great apes in Africa relies on forest protection, and vice versa: on this episode we discuss a campaign in Cameroon to protect the second-largest rainforest in the world and its incredibly diverse (and mysterious) ape inhabitants, and share an intriguing tale of forest gardening by chimps. Ekwoge Abwe is head of the Ebo Forest Research Project in Cameroon, and shares how he became the first scientist to discover chimpanzees there use tools to crack open nuts. He also...


In the Amazon, women are key to forest conservation

Women everywhere are key voices for conservation, and an increasing body of research now recognizes the direct link between gender equality and environmental protection. Mongabay has published a number of stories lately focused on successful Amazonian conservation initiatives led by women activists and scientists, and we wanted to highlight the issue on this episode of the podcast. Sarah Sax recently wrote about the Women Warriors of the Forest, an all-female indigenous group that is...


Singing cetaceans: New whale & dolphin recordings intrigue researchers

Bioacoustics studies help scientists discover things never before known about all kinds of animals, but especially marine life -- on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we go under the waves to share new recordings of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) from southern Africa and hear from researchers what they think the sounds & songs may mean. Dr. Tess Gridley's team recently discovered that humpback whales sing in South Africa’s False Bay, and she plays some brand new recordings they just...


From parks to payments, which conservation methods work best?

For the 100th episode of the Newscast, we revisit Mongabay's groundbreaking Conservation Effectiveness series which asked a simple question: How can we know if conservation methods are working if we don't test their effectiveness? From marine protected areas to parks and certification schemes like 'green' labels on lumber, our team reviewed published studies and evaluated the evidence for each method. On this episode we speak with Mongabay's founder and editor-in-chief Rhett Butler...


Mongabay Explores the Great Salamander Pandemic, Part 6: Hellbenders and super spreaders

Hellbenders are North America’s largest salamanders, living in rivers and growing to an incredible length of over two feet. Eastern newts are tiny and terrestrial, but both are susceptible to a fungal pathogen called Bsal. While Bsal has yet to make an appearance in the global hotspot of salamander diversity that is North America, it has wreaked havoc on populations in Europe, so biologists worry its impact could be even worse if it does. Eastern newts' susceptibility to Bsal coupled with...


Finding nature in the city: urban ecology during lockdown and beyond

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. And thanks to the COVID pandemic, many of us who are city-dwellers have spent at least part of the past several months on lockdown in our homes. But living in a city doesn’t mean that you can’t get out and enjoy some nature. On this episode we explore cities with author Kelly Brenner and urban forester & educator Georgia Silvera Seamans. Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer whose most recent book is called Nature...