Amazon rainforest

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In the Amazon, Married Catholic Priests? Perhaps

Vatican proposal would permit the ordination of married men there

(Newser) - It's just a proposal, but the Vatican on Monday opened debate on what would be a very narrow path to the priesthood for married men, specifically those living in remote parts of the Amazon. The AP reports the call for study on the proposal was included in a working... More »

Spiders' Eating Habits Surprise Researchers

One is spotted feasting on an opossum in the Amazon

(Newser) - Scientists watched on in amazement as a dinner-plate-sized tarantula in the Amazon was seen eating an opossum for the first time. "We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn't really believe what we were seeing," says Michael Grundler of the University of Michigan. The finding, recorded... More »

New Government Calls Bundchen a 'Bad Brazilian'

Agriculture minister angered by environmental activism

(Newser) - The agriculture minister in Brazil's new administration has declared that supermodel Gisele Bundchen, one of the country's most famous citizens, is a "bad Brazilian." Her offense: criticizing deforestation and calling for environmental protections. In an interview Monday, Tereza Cristina Dias accused Bundchen of tainting the country'... More »

'Everyone Will Suffer': Latest Rainforest Data Is Grim

Deforestation is on the rise in Brazil

(Newser) - Think deforestation is declining in the Amazon, with all the warnings about climate change? Nope, it just got worse—its highest rate in the past 10 years, the BBC reports. Brazil has released data showing that roughly 3,050 square miles (or nearly 1.5 million football fields) of Earth'... More »

Footage Emerges of Isolated Amazon Survivor

The other members of his tribe were killed in 1996

(Newser) - He's one of the most isolated people on the planet—but video of him has been shared on Facebook and viewed thousands of times. Funai, the Brazilian government's agency for indigenous people, recently released video of an indigenous man who has lived a solitary life in a patch... More »

Prosecutors: Tourist Lynched in Amazon Had Bought a Pistol

Prosecutors say Sebastian Woodroffe is main suspect in shaman's killing

(Newser) - The Canadian man lynched in the Amazon last Thursday is the No. 1 suspect in the death of an octogenarian shaman, prosecutors say. Reuters reports on the new evidence that brought them to that conclusion: a silver-colored pistol prosecutor Ricardo Jimenez says Sebastian Woodroffe purchased in early April. They were... More »

81 Lost Amazon Settlements Are Found

Sites suggest millions might've lived in pre-Columbian rainforest: study

(Newser) - Once it was thought hardly anyone ventured into the Amazon before Europeans arrived in South America, instead keeping close to major rivers. But that was before satellites combed the region. Archaeologists at the University of Exeter who surveyed satellite images in areas of deforestation have uncovered 81 previously unknown Amazon... More »

Amazon's Deforested Areas Could See 73M New Trees

Seeding effort aims to restore 74,000 acres of rainforest

(Newser) - The Amazon rainforest's "arc of deforestation" could soon have 73 million new trees. In an effort to reseed 74,000 acres of the Amazon—20% of which has been destroyed in the last 40 years—Conservation International, the World Bank, Brazil's environmental ministry, and several other groups... More »

US Family Found Floating on Driftwood Days After Pirate Attack

Parents, 2 kids had been missing for 3 days

(Newser) - A nomadic American couple and their two young children were found alive Wednesday, three days after they went missing in an attack by river pirates in Brazil. Police say Adam and Emily Harteau and their daughters, 6-year-old Colette and 3-year-old Sierra, were passengers on a ferry from the Amazon gateway... More »

Amazon Tribespeople Said to Have Been 'Massacred' in Brazil

Gold miners are suspected in the killings

(Newser) - Prosecutors in Brazil are investigating a "massacre" of several members of an uncontacted Amazon tribe. It appears about 10 members of the tribe were out gathering eggs last month when they encountered gold miners by a river in the remote Javari Valley, the New York Times reports. The victims... More »

Rare Species Last Seen in 1936 Spotted in Amazon

Scientist says she burst into tears during sighting

(Newser) - A primate last seen alive 80 years ago has been spotted during a wildly successful expedition in one of the most remote parts of the Amazon, National Geographic reports. The Vanzolini bald-faced saki, a distinctive "flying monkey" that sports shaggy hair with golden highlights around its arms and legs,... More »

Brazil Farmers Attack, Mutilate Tribespeople

Survivors say ranchers attacked with guns, machetes

(Newser) - At least 13 Gamela tribespeople in northeast Brazil were injured Sunday as a decades-old land dispute abruptly turned horrifyingly brutal. Survivors of the attack in Maranhao state say dozens of ranchers armed with guns and machetes descended on a new settlement set up on land the Gamela people have been... More »

Monkeys Help Man Survive 9 Days Lost in Amazon

The tourist doesn't know how he got lost; locals blame a mischievous sprite

(Newser) - Maykool Acuña spent nine days lost in the rainforest—possibly due the machinations of an evil tree sprite—but was kept alive by a group of helpful monkeys. National Geographic , whose reporter was embedded with the team searching for Acuña, has the highly improbable story. Acuña was... More »

Drones Find Hundreds of Stonehenge-Like Spots in Amazon

More than 450 'geoglyphs' date from around the year 0

(Newser) - Scientists flying drones over the Amazon rainforest in Brazil have found more than 450 "geoglyphs" that are similar in size, structure, and possibly purpose to Stonehenge in England. The earthworks were likely used for public gatherings and rituals, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences... More »

New Photos Show Endangered Amazon Tribe

Miners are getting too close to Yanomami, say activists

(Newser) - New photos have emerged of a tribe deep in the Amazon that shuns contact with the modern world, and the photos bring a mix of good and bad news. On the hopeful side, the aerial images show that the small Yanomami community near the border of Brazil and Venezuela seems... More »

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 »

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