South America: Species Endangered by Palm Oil Deforestation

Dusky Titi Monkey, found in the Amazon rainforest.

As the lush equatorial rainforests of South East Asia are exhausted, increasingly focus is being placed on parts of Central and South America. Oil Palm is a growing commodity there and is found in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Forests of Asia are exhausted, focus is now on #SouthAmerica #Palmoil is a growing problem and animals are going #extinct in #Colombia #Brazil #Ecuador #Guatemala #Mexico @RSPOtweets certification makes no difference #Boycott4Wildlife

#Palmoil in #SouthAmerica is a growing problem Animals are going #extinct in #Colombia #Brazil #Ecuador #Guatemala #Mexico @RSPOtweets is #greenwashing #ecocide #Boycottpalmoil #Fightgreenwashing with your wallet #Boycott4Wildlife

The fertile rainforests of Latin America are home to some of the most exotic and unusual species of animals in the world. These animals must be protected at all costs.

A model of rainforest loss in the Amazon 2010 – 2260

The Amazon rainforest over time
The Amazon rainforest over time

These animals have a IUCN Red List status of Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable and face a threat to their existence from palm oil deforestation, and deforestation from other commodities. Yet there is hope and there are a number of ways you can Take Action to Protect Them.


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What we stand to lose…

New investigation in the Amazon documents impact of palm oil plantations on Indigenous communities Mongabay Newscast

Palm oil plantations look likely to become a new cause of deforestation and pollution across the Amazon: though companies say their supply chains are green and sustainable, critics in Brazil–including scientists & federal prosecutors–cite deforestation, chemical pollution, and human rights violations.   Mongabay's Rio-based editor Karla Mendes investigated one such project in Para State and joins us to discuss the findings of her new report, Déjà vu as palm oil industry brings deforestation, pollution to Amazon.   Beside the health toll of chemical sprays on Indigenous people whose land it encroaches, Mendes studied satellite imagery to disprove claims that the company only plants on land that's already been deforested.   Also joining the show are a scientist who's documented contamination of water sources and related health impacts, Sandra Damiani from the University of Brasília, plus a federal prosecutor in the Amazon region, Felício Pontes Júnior, who is trying to hold palm oil companies accountable for polluting Indigenous communities.     Palm oil is used in a huge array of consumer goods sold in most countries–from snacks to ice cream & shampoo—and is a main cause of rainforest loss in Africa and Southeast Asia. Now, the industry sees the Amazon as prime new ground.    Episode artwork: Fresh palm oil fruit, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Nanang Sujana for CIFOR. Please invite your friends to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever they get podcasts, or download our free app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Store to have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips. If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonproft media outlet and all support helps! Supporting at the $10/month level now delivers access to Insider Content at, too, please visit the link above for details. See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage: or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching for @mongabay. Feedback is always welcome:

Further information

Statista: Palm Oil Industry in Latin America

How Colombia became Latin America’s palm oil powerhouse

Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail industry and influence big palm oil to stop cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join me and stand up for the animals with your art and your supermarket choices!

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