Amazon rainforest

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More Than Half of Amazon Tree Species Are Threatened

Study marks percentage of endangered trees for first time

(Newser) - More than half of the Amazon's 15,000 tree species may be facing extinction if governments can't curb deforestation, a new study says. Researchers reached this conclusion by comparing ground-level data on trees—about their leaves, branches, diameters, and so on—to projected deforestation across the vast South... More »

'Amazon Yellowstone' Is Now Protected

Peru creates huge new national park

(Newser) - The creation of a vast new national park in Peru is excellent news for jaguars, tapirs, sloths, and probably quite a few species completely new to science. The Sierra del Divisor National Park, which holds a Connecticut-sized chunk of largely unexplored rainforest, is home to thousands of species and has... More »

Peru to Make First Contact With Remote Amazon Tribe

Mashco Piro has been emerging on its own, a potentially risky move

(Newser) - A tribe that lives deep in the Amazon rainforest is about to get a visit from the government: Peru says it will take the controversial step of making contact with the Mashco Piro, reports Live Science . The government has a hands-off policy when it comes to such tribes because their... More »

1% of Amazon's Tree Species Suck Half the Carbon

Big, long-lived trees dominate carbon sink

(Newser) - There are an estimated 16,000 different tree species in the Amazon rainforest—far more than in Europe and the US combined—but it's just a small fraction of them that do most of the carbon-capturing that's vital to the planet's health, according to new research. Just... More »

Brazil: 'Biggest Amazon Deforester' Arrested

Suspect blamed for 20% of forest loss

(Newser) - Brazil has detained a land-grabber thought to be the Amazon's single biggest deforester, the country's environmental protection agency says. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources says Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, who was detained Saturday in the state of Para, operated a network that illegally seized federal... More »

How a Drone Could Settle Debate Over the Ancient Amazon

Researchers will scan ground in search of geoglyphs

(Newser) - Experts are divided over how ancient people lived in what is now Brazil, and they're turning to a drone to help them learn the answers. "While some researchers think that Amazonia was inhabited by small bands of hunter-gatherers and shifting cultivators who had a minimal impact on the... More »

'Uncontacted' Amazon Tribe Attacks Peru Village

Some 200 men from Mashco-Piro tribe stole food, killed animals

(Newser) - Peru is evacuating a remote village near the Brazilian border after an unusual display of aggression from one of the 15 or so "uncontacted" tribes that live in its Amazon forests. Earlier this month, 200 men from the tribe, called Mashco-Piro , raided the village of Monte Salvado armed with... More »

Man Says He'll Be Eaten Alive by Anaconda

Paul Rosolie claims he'll journey into the belly of the beast for Discovery Channel

(Newser) - Naturalist Paul Rosolie believes "you have to go head first." What he's referring to is shoving his head into the mouth of an anaconda, letting it swallow him, and filming the experience for a Discovery Channel special called Eaten Alive, reports. According to the... More »

Amazon Jungle's Nutrient Source: Dead African Fish

Researchers: Powdered bones, scales are feeding Amazon—for now

(Newser) - Researchers have made one of the strangest-sounding discoveries in a while: Long-dead African fish are helping feed the Amazon. How, you ask? Well, millions of tons of dust blow west from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic Ocean each year. The dust, which acts as a natural fertilizer where it... More »

Skyscraper Rising in Middle of the Amazon

Observatory is far from human settlement

(Newser) - At 1,066 feet, a tower rising in Brazil will be taller than New York City's Chrysler Building—or any skyscraper in South America—but it won't have any neighbors in sight. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, around 100 miles from the city of Manuas, is designed to... More »

Isolated Tribe Makes First Contact, Promptly Catches Flu

The 5 men, 2 women all contracted influenza in matter of days

(Newser) - When an isolated tribe emerged from the Amazon in recent weeks and initiated contact with Brazilian scientists in the village of Ashaninka near the Peruvian border, some called the move "potentially tragic" —and, indeed, though they were quickly quarantined for their own safety, all five men and two... More »

Man Finds Lost Mom Living in Amazon Tribe

David Good seeks new life with mother in Venezuela

(Newser) - Imagine reconnecting with your long-lost mother—in a tribe that has no written language, electricity, or medicine. Or word for "love." That's what David Good experienced when he found his mother, Yarima, in the Yanomami tribe in Venezuela, the New York Post reports. He had long claimed... More »

First in a Century: New River Dolphin Species

Rapids separated it from Amazon river system

(Newser) - River dolphins worldwide are rare and endangered, but a new species has been added to their number for the first time in almost a century. Scientists in Brazil, writing in the journal PLOS One , say the Araguaia dolphin, named after the river where it was found, is a distinct species... More »

Ugly Number: Amazon Deforestation Up 28%

Rise follows 4 years of decline

(Newser) - A year after reporting the lowest rates of Amazon deforestation since monitoring began, Brazil has noted a big change this time around: a 28% surge in deforestation from August 2012 to this July. During that period, 2,255 square miles were destroyed, compared with 1,765 square miles during the... More »

Big Threat to Amazon: Unseen Forest Fires

They cause more damage than deforestation with their slow burns

(Newser) - Someone flying above the Amazon in a plane would see nothing amiss, but scores of small, slow-moving fires beneath the canopy of trees are destroying more land than deforestation, reports LiveScience . New satellite imaging from NASA has revealed these so-called "understory fires." Flames are only a few feet... More »

Loggers Threaten Remote Amazon Tribe

Despite court order, outsiders refuse to leave Awa lands

(Newser) - Illegal loggers and settlers deep in the Brazilian rainforest are refusing a court order to leave land that belongs to the shrinking Awa tribe, some of whose members have never encountered outsiders, reports LiveScience . A Brazilian judge ordered the loggers off the Awa land last year and gave them a... More »

Ecuador to China Oil Barons: Amazon Rainforest for Sale

Indigenous groups not happy

(Newser) - Tree-huggers will be really displeased to hear this: Ecuador is planning to auction off more than 7 million acres of the Amazon ... to Chinese oil companies. Politicians pitched bidding contracts to oil company reps in Beijing on Monday, the Guardian reports. Needless to say, indigenous groups living on the land... More »

How Many Trees in the Rainforest? Brazil to Count

Census to inform policy decisions

(Newser) - Brazil doesn't know enough about its tropical forest, says its environmental minister—so it's going to take a census of its trillions of trees. Over the next four years, officials will travel the country, stopping at 20,000 locations, each about 12 miles from the next. There, they'... More »

Amazon Destruction Sinks to Lowest Level

But lawmakers are looking to ease tough restrictions

(Newser) - Brazil's Amazon rainforest lost an area about the size of Delaware in the year ended in July, but there's a silver lining to that stat: It's the lowest level of destruction since tracking began in 1988, reports the AP . The deforestation peaked in 1995, with the staggering... More »

Your New 7 Wonders, Maybe

Grand Canyon didn't make the cut

(Newser) - A controversial contest to name the new 7 Wonders of Nature has picked its "provisional" winners. They won't be confirmed until early next year, notes MSNBC . (Skeptics will want to read this Guardian story, with allegations that organizers are just trying to make a buck by charging countries... More »

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