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New Threats Emphasize Need for Proactive Amazon Jaguar Conservation Planning

Now facing hunting pressure to meet a growing demand for trade in its parts, the jaguar occupies a special place in the history, culture, and traditions of Latin America. Revered for centuries by indigenous peoples for its strength and agility, the jaguar may well depend for its continued existence upon the care and cooperation of those who continue to live with this extraordinary animal.

Celebrating Mexican Cuisine from Maya Forest to Chef’s Plate

By Rane Cortéz, Chief of Party, Mexico REDD+ Program, The Nature Conservancy “You said this was only nine kilometers?” I asked our guide as we emerged from the steamy Mayan jungle into the late afternoon sun. “Nine kilometers through the forest. Now we just have to ride back to the village—but it’s on the road,…

Puppies and Scientists Team Up Against Zika and Other Diseases

In the fight against Zika, bubonic plague, and other infectious diseases in the Amazon, microbial biologist and National Geographic grantee Ryan Jones has found an unlikely and adorable ally: puppies.

1,000 Birds and 1,000 Butterflies: the Madidi Expedition Continues

By Rob Wallace

After a five month break during the wet season, the Identidad Madidi field team is reunited on the fifth leg of its Bolivian scientific expedition. The Andean foothill forests of the upper Hondo River represent our seventh study site in a series of fifteen spanning the unique altitudinal range of almost 6,000 meters in Madidi National Park.

Indigenous Amazonians Reeling From Oil Spills in the Jungle

An oil pipe can burst anywhere, even deep in the Amazon. Even there, not only does the environment suffer, people must struggle with far-ranging damage and contamination.

Monitoring Jaguars and Other Charismatic Species in Bolivia’s Alto Madidi

Alto Madidi, on the upper Madidi River where the Andean foothills flatten out onto to the Amazonian floodplain, is a magical place and the sixth site on our two-year altitudinal transect in Madidi National Park. Extraordinary biological diversity, remote wilderness, and abundant wildlife – much of which seems almost naïve to the presence of people – are an intoxicating combination for the team Identidad Madidi.

Sustainable Gastronomy to Conserve the Amazon’s Cultural and Natural Diversity

By Julie Kunen Last month, I joined a group of fellow conservationists, chefs, journalists, public health experts, and entrepreneurs in the Peru to discuss how sustainable gastronomy might contribute to conserving the cultural and natural diversity of the Amazon. Representing Latin American nations and the United States, we were united in our passion for the…

The Río Marañón Is Moving: Dam Construction in a Volatile Landscape

Explorers launched a raft expedition in Peru to collect data on the Río Marañón, the headwater stem to the Amazon River. The river is under threat of 2 approved dams and almost 20 more proposed dams. The team faced class V rapids and landslides to collect baseline data along the river corridor prior to dam construction.

Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Conserving Biodiversity

By Lilian Painter

On August 9 the world will commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year the focus is on health and wellbeing. That topic engages me particularly as a conservationist working in the Amazon. The Bolivia program of WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has shown that the interests of indigenous peoples and conservation are not only compatible but also dependent on each other.

Identidad Madidi: Exploring the Fantastic Biodiversity of Bolivia

By Rob Wallace

It’s an idea that was four years in the making: to send a group of Bolivian scientists to investigate fourteen different habitats spanning 6,000 meters – from the Andes down to the Amazon – in what is the most biodiverse protected area on the planet. Identidad Madidi, expected to take a year and a half to complete, is a scientific expedition intended to draw attention to the wonders of Boliva’s Madidi National Park.

Cheating Death on the Amazon

West Hansen leads the first attempt to paddle the entire Amazon River from a newly proposed source—but not without facing the wrath of Mother Nature and gun­-toting locals.

Under-the-Radar Environmental Stories for 2015: The Furtive Five

Between crazy weather, international events, and global agreements, 2014 was a year in which climate change took center stage. Whether it was a catastrophic drought in California, accelerated ice melting in Antarctica, or even record-breaking heat disrupting the Australian Open, the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world—and people are starting to…

Five New “Flying Monkeys” Identified in Amazon

Five species of acrobatic monkey that have long flown under the scientific radar have been named in South America, a new study says.

The Ese’Eja: From a Cotton Thread in the Sky to Protectors of the Amazon

The Ese’Eja of the Madre de Dios Amazon region in Peru received a Genographic Project Legacy Fund grant to help preserve their culture, stories and language. As outside pressures mount and the battle with the Peruvian government over resources continues, Ese’Eja President Carlos Dejaviso Poje asks: Will our culture be here tomorrow?

Uncontacted Indians of Acre State, Brazil

  ‘In the forest, we see with our ears,’ says José Carlos Meirelles, an expert on Brazil’s last uncontacted tribes.  During his recent expeditions into the remote rainforest of Acre state, contacted Indians told him that uncontacted Indians imitate different animals to express emotions: wild pig when they are scared, macucau bird to let people…