Celebrate #WorldRhinoDay by leaving the forests alone and #Boycottpalmoil to save imperilled Sumatran & Javan Rhinos

Indonesia manage to conserve two of the world’s five rhinoceros species. Both the Javan rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus and the Sumatran rhino Dicerorhinus sumatrensis still exist today, uniquely only in the country. Extractive industries and large-scale palm oil plantations have transformed the landscape of Sumatra. As a result, the Sumatran rhino’s populations were driven to theContinue reading “Celebrate #WorldRhinoDay by leaving the forests alone and #Boycottpalmoil to save imperilled Sumatran & Javan Rhinos”

September 21st: International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Plantations

Today is ‘International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. World Rainforest Movement have produced a powerful video to highlight the Ugandan people’s struggle against BIDCO an international company partly owned by global palm oil giant Wilmar, who are taking land by force from locals by making false promises and using coercion and violence. They do so under the greenwashing protection of the RSPO

Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi

Philippine Eagles are classified as Critically Endangered due to enormous habitat decline and anthropogenic threats. There are estimated to be 180-600 eagles left in the wild. Forest destruction and fragmentation, through commercial timber extraction and shifting cultivation, is the principal long-term threat. Much of the land surrounding Davao has been converted from forest land to agricultural to grow banana, coffee, cacao, palm oil and another oil-producing plant called jatropha.

Reasons to Hope: Palm Oil Alternatives Made Without Deforestation

Environmental organisation Milieudefensie have calculated that every second, around 169 trees are cut down in tropical rainforests. So the race is on to find a real solution to stop this! Right now, several new technologies are furiously competing with each other to create a healthier, lab-created alternatives to palm oil. Palm oil has been historically grown inContinue reading “Reasons to Hope: Palm Oil Alternatives Made Without Deforestation”

Giant Otter Pteronura brasiliensis

The agile and graceful tumbling Olympians of the Amazonian rivers, Giant Otters are able to swim 100 metres in less than 30 seconds. They are also known as the Lobo de Rio (the River wolf), Los Lobos del Rio (Wolves of the River) and Ariranha. They are most active in the mornings and evenings and take a siesta during the hottest parts of the day.

The most significant threats to giant otters are anthropogenic pressures of deforestation for palm oil, soy and meat, pollution from mining and climate change. They are also illegally hunted and traded for their pelts or killed in retribution by fishermen.

Every day deserves to be World Orangutan Day

Although #WorldOrangutanDay falls on the 19th of August, in our opinion, every day deserves to be World Orangutan Day! So here is an infographic that you can download, print and share however you please.

All three species of orangutan are classified as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ in S.E. Asia. Their main threat is palm oil deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia

Jaguar Panthera onca

Jaguar populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation for palm oil, soy and meat along with illegal murder for trophies/illegal trade in body parts. They are also the victims of pro-active or retaliatory killings associated with livestock depredation and competition for wild meat with human hunters.

A ‘mystery monkey’ in Borneo may be a rare hybrid between a Proboscis Monkey and Silvery Lutung

By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues Originally published by Science News. A new study has found that fragmentation of forests in Malaysian Borneo due to palm oil and mining has pressured two species of monkey (the Proboscis Monkey and Silvered Leaf Monkey/Silvery Lutung) to mate causing an unusual hybrid offspring. This has scientists worried as it indicates the animalsContinue reading “A ‘mystery monkey’ in Borneo may be a rare hybrid between a Proboscis Monkey and Silvery Lutung”

Without tropical forests, global temperatures would be 1°c warmer

Lausanne, Switzerland (24 March)—New research released today offers the most comprehensive and detailed evidence to date that forests are more important to the climate (globally and locally) than we think due to the way in which they physically transform the atmosphere. The first-ever research to pinpoint the local, regional and global non-carbon dioxide benefits ofContinue reading “Without tropical forests, global temperatures would be 1°c warmer”

Anthropologist and author of ‘In the Shadow of the Palms’ Dr Sophie Chao: In Her Own Words

Dr Sophie Chao is an environmental anthropologist and environmental humanities scholar interested in the intersections of capitalism, ecology, Indigeneity, health, and justice in the Pacific.

Palm Oil Detectives is honoured to interview to Dr Sophie Chao about her research into the impacts of palm oil on the daily lives of Marind people and other sentient beings in West Papua.

​I wrote In the Shadow of the Palms because I wanted the world to understand how deforestation and industrial oil palm expansion are undermining Indigenous ways of being in West Papua.

Palm oil industry lobbying and greenwashing is like Big Tobacco – World Health Organisation (WHO) Bulletin

What does the $60 billion USD palm oil industry have in common with Big Tobacco? A lot according to this report by the World Health Organisation. Palm oil industry lobbying tactics are used to influence research into the health impacts of palm oil and also to influence consumer buying habits. The dire health and environmental impacts of palm oil are hidden from consumers by clever marketing. These lobbying, marketing and greenwashing tactics are reminiscent of tobacco and alcohol health lobbying.

Climate change is forcing human and non-human beings to become climate refugees

The definition of refugee or displaced person is someone fleeing a life-threatening crisis. The emerging refugees of this century are fleeing unliveable environmental conditions brought about by climate change and other complex interrelated factors including conflict, disease and famine. Humans and non-human beings alike are becoming climate change refugees. The choices are stark and clear – move and live or stay where you are and perish.

Indigenous and local communities key to successful nature conservation

Indigenous and local communities are key to successful nature conservation and for protecting animals from extinction. Story via Eureka Alert and the University of East Anglia. Indigenous Peoples and local communities provide the best long-term outcomes for conservation, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and partners in France. Lead author,Continue reading “Indigenous and local communities key to successful nature conservation”

What elephants’ unique brain structures suggest about their mental abilities

Bob Jacobs, Colorado College Conservationists have designated August 12 as World Elephant Day to raise awareness about conserving these majestic animals. Elephants have many engaging features, from their incredibly dexterous trunks to their memory abilities and complex social lives. But there is much less discussion of their brains, even though it stands to reason thatContinue reading “What elephants’ unique brain structures suggest about their mental abilities”

Back from extinction: a world first effort to return threatened pangolins to the wild

The reintroduction of pangolins has not been easy. But it’s vital to prevent this shy, mysterious creature from being lost forever. Pangolins are one of the most illegally trafficked animals on the planet and are suspected to be linked to the current coronavirus pandemic. Pangolins are also one of the world’s most threatened species butContinue reading “Back from extinction: a world first effort to return threatened pangolins to the wild”

Why Peanut Butter Might Trigger the Next Pandemic

Palm oil is found in roughly 50 percent of packaged household products ranging from peanut butter to lipstick. Now, researchers link its harvesting to disease outbreaks that could spread to humans. This is the first study to examine the cause-and-effect relationship between changes in forest cover and subsequent disease outbreaks on a global scale.

Chimpanzees once helped African rainforests recover from a major collapse

Most people probably think that the rainforest of central and west Africa, the second largest in the world, has been around for millions of years. However recent research suggests that it is mostly just 2,000 or so years old. The forest reached roughly its modern state following five centuries of regeneration after it was massivelyContinue reading “Chimpanzees once helped African rainforests recover from a major collapse”

Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius Extant (resident) Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d’Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of;Continue reading “Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius”

Treespiracy: Forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy

The world’s forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy. This article was originally published in The Ecologist magazine, 28th March, 2022 A complex web of financial instruments allowing crime, corruption and wrong-doing, hidden behind shell corporations and offshore companies was exposed with the release of the Panama Papers.  This shadow networkContinue reading “Treespiracy: Forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy”

Insect decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a thousand cuts

Although conservation efforts have historically focused attention on protecting rare, charismatic, and endangered species, the “insect apocalypse” presents a different challenge. In addition to the loss of rare taxa, many reports mention sweeping declines of formerly abundant insects [e.g., Warren et al. (29)], raising concerns about ecosystem function.