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Exploring Brazil’s biodiverse Cerrado region and the impacts of agriculture

On this episode we discuss the impacts of agriculture on Brazil’s Cerrado region, an incredibly biodiverse savannah supporting more than 10,000 plant species, 900 kinds of birds, and 300 different mammals. But it has long been overlooked by scientists and environmentalists alike, and as protecting the Amazon Forest became more of a priority, much agricultural production in Brazil has moved from the rainforest to the vast Cerrado. Mongabay sent two reporters there to learn about the effects...


Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine on stopping illegal rainforest wood from becoming guitars

On this episode we speak with James Valentine, the multiple-Grammy-winning guitarist for Maroon 5 about his work to keep illegal and unsustainable rainforest wood out of musical instruments, and efforts to make concert tours more environmentally friendly. He has been to Peru and Guatemala to see the effects of illegal logging there, and he talks with us about his motivations for stopping this destructive trade. If you like what you hear, please subscribe via Android, Google Play, iTunes,...


Exploring our deep connection to water, plus the sounds of Sandhill crane migration

On this episode, we discuss humanity’s deep connection to water and hear sounds of one of the most ancient animal migrations on Earth, that of the Sandhill crane. Our first guest is marine biologist and sea turtle conservationist Wallace J. Nichols, the author of Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, & Better at What You Do. Then we speak with a team using bioacoustics to document the ecology and...


How effective is environmental restoration?

How effective is environmental restoration? On this episode, we seek answers to that question with Claire Wordley of Cambridge University, which has just debuted a much needed new project collecting the evidence, and examples of restoration from around the globe. We also speak with Becky Kessler, editor of Mongabay’s ongoing series that examines how well a range of other conservation efforts work, about what this project has revealed. Plus we round up the recent top environmental &...


Exploring the minds and inner lives of wild animals

On this episode we discuss the amazing minds and lives of animals — their memories, how even electric eels dream, the fact that some creatures like to get drunk (and why) — and we’ll hear all about Mongabay's newly launched bureau in India. Author Sy Montgomery teamed up with her friend and fellow animal writer Elizabeth Marshall Thomas to write Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind. Sy is the author of numerous other fascinating animal behavior titles, including "The...


New eyes in the sky monitor Earth systems like never before

On this episode we dive into cutting-edge remote sensing technologies invented by Heinz Award-winner Greg Asner, the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, which his team uses to monitor ecosystems like rainforests and coral reefs. This airborne laser-guided lab can even see underwater to map reefs, find record-breaking individual rainforest trees that have escaped detection, and more. We also listen to bioacoustic recordings that are used to analyze species richness in tropical forests with a...


David Suzuki on why indigenous knowledge is critical for humanity's survival

On today’s episode we feature a conversation with iconic Canadian scientist, author, television presenter, and activist David Suzuki. Suzuki is a biologist who’s just as well known for his outspoken views on the need to protect nature. He is the author of more than 50 books and the host of the long-running science program The Nature of Things. He’s also the founder of the David Suzuki Foundation and the Blue Dot Movement, which aims to enshrine the right to a healthy environment in the...


Climate lessons from indigenous peoples, plus the mysterious night parrot

On the first episode of 2018, we speak with the author of a new book about the resilience of indigenous peoples in the face of climate change, and a researcher shares recordings of Australia's elusive night parrot. Plus we round up the recent top environmental news! Please help us improve the Mongabay Newscast by leaving a review on its page at Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or wherever you subscribe to it. And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and tell a...


Massive Amazonian medicine encyclopedia gets an update, and Madagascar conservation efforts examined

We speak with Christopher Herndon, a medical doctor who as co-founder and president of Acaté Amazon Conservation, has been helping indigenous Matsés people document their traditional healing and plant knowledge in a massive 1,000 page encyclopedia, and in creating living pharmacies for the future. Also on the show is Mongabay contributor Rowan Moore Gerety, the writer behind our recent series on the effectiveness of conservation projects in Madagascar. The island nation has been a global...


Margaret Atwood talks about birds, ecology, and her graphic novel series

Award-winning iconic writer Margaret Atwood recently tackled a medium she is not as well-known for: comic books. Her superhero series Angel Catbird "was a conservation project from the get-go," she tells us in this edition of the podcast, being an effort to shine a light on the plight of wild birds and the house cats who love to stalk them, plus other ecological themes. We also discuss her smash hit "The Handmaid's Tale" and other 'possible futures,' as she calls them. Then we speak with...


Jane Goodall on being proven right that animals have personalities, and more

Mongabay is lucky to have Jane Goodall on its Advisory Board, and just before founder and CEO Rhett Butler was scheduled to speak with her most recently, research came out that vindicated her contention, which she’s held for nearly 60 years, that animals have personalities, so we recorded her thoughts about that for the Mongabay Newscast. “Quite honestly I think almost everybody recognized that animals have personalities, whether they were in the wild or whether they weren't,” she says....


Gas drilling vs wildlife in Peruvian Amazon and a Goldman Prize winner on mercury contamination

In this episode we discuss new science on the impacts on birds and amphibians of drilling for natural gas in the tropics with a Smithsonian researcher, and a Goldman Prize winner discusses her ongoing campaign to rid mercury contamination from the environment, which is (still) having alarming human health effects. Plus we round up the top environmental news. Please help us improve the Mongabay Newscast by leaving a review on its page at Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or...


Bat calls from the Amazon plus how Indonesia's rainforests became palm plantations

Mongabay editor Phil Jacobson joins the Newscast to discuss a new investigative reporting project in collaboration with The Gecko Project called “Indonesia For Sale” about the land deals — and the powerful politicians and businessmen behind them — that have converted vast areas of Indonesian rainforest to industrial palm oil plantations for personal profit. Then we speak with Adrià López-Baucells, whose acoustic studies of bats in the central Amazon reveal the effects of Amazon forest...


Javan rhino calls and an analysis of 'green' forest certification

On this week's show we speak with Princeton University's Zuzana Burivalova about whether forest certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are actually achieving their environmental, social, and economic goals. Whether they do or not has massive implications for forest conservation worldwide, and while the evidence is hard to find, this tropical forest ecologist has interesting findings to share. Our second guest is Steve Wilson, who has just written a new paper on...


Legendary musician Bruce Cockburn on music, activism, and hope

Bruce Cockburn is well known for his outspoken support of environmental and humanitarian causes, and his multi-decade career has yielded 33 records, including his latest, Bone On Bone. This week, he will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside another outspoken icon, Neil Young. We spoke with Cockburn about how he came to his ecological worldview, why he wrote iconic songs like "If a Tree Falls" and "If I Had A Rocket Launcher," as well as similar songs on his new...


From AI to remote sensing, tech and conservation a powerful combo

On this episode we take a look at the role technology plays in conservation efforts. First we speak with Topher White of Rainforest Connection, which deploys used cell phones in tropical forests around the world to provide real-time monitoring of forests and wildlife. Its network alerts local communities when illegal logging activities are taking place and can then be stopped, for example. Then we speak with Matthew Putman, he's the CEO of Nanotronics and an applied physicist with a keen...


New Madagascar mine worries locals and lemurs; plus, banjo frogs and whistling ducks in Australia

Our first guest for this edition of the Mongabay Newscast is Eddie Carver, a Mongabay contributor based in Madagascar who recently reported about a troubled company that is hoping to mine rare earth elements in Madagascar’s Ampasindava peninsula, to make electronic gadgets. This is a highly biodiverse region that is home to numerous endangered lemur species, some of which live nowhere else on Earth. Then we speak with Jo Wood, an Environmental Water Project Officer in Victoria, Australia....


Speaking from the heart on climate change with Katherine Hayhoe

“It was a complete breakthrough for me to realize that sharing from the heart, which is the opposite of what we’re taught to do as scientists, was the way for me to connect with people,” Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist, tells us in this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. She is an acclaimed climate communicator and a professor at Texas Tech University and last year, she teamed up with her local TV station to write and produce a web series called "Global Weirding," which tackled...


Taiwan's natural soundscapes and a critique of the global hydropower building boom

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we speak with Sarah Bardeen, the communications director for the NGO International Rivers. Bardeen wrote a commentary for Mongabay recently after attending an international gathering of river defenders, who face harassment, intimidation, and worse for their opposition to massive hydropower projects. We also speak with Yannick Dauby, who has been making field recordings throughout the small country of Taiwan. In this Field Notes segment, Dauby plays...


A wildlife DJ and a children’s book author inspiring the next generation of conservationists

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a break from our usual science reporting to look at some of the ways nature inspires people to create art — and how they in turn use that art to inspire others to protect the natural world and its inhabitants. Our first guest is Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone, an explorer, wildlife DJ, educator, and television presenter who creates music from the sounds of nature to help inspire conservation efforts. He'll explain the art and science of his...


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