VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Category archives for Forests
Monitoring of biodiversity is a challenge, but visiting Ducke reserve in the Amazon I am able to see one of the gold standards for long-term biodiversity research.
by Dr. R. Scott Winton As we peer through the fog in the pre-dawn twilight, the birds we see are anonymous silhouettes. Once the tropical sun breaks through the thickness of the cloud forest, bright jewels of color are illuminated. “There it is!” says José, somehow both whispering and shouting. In the branches overhead appears…
Touring through the Amazon I had the unique opportunity to spend a day visiting the small seasonally flooded islands of the Rio Negro. This dynamic landscape plays a huge role regulating local biodiversity.
The Amazon is not typically a place one thinks of as insular, but the Parque Nacional de Anavilhanas in Brazil has over 400 islands in the Rio Negro.
In the 1992 film Medicine Man, biochemist Robert Campbell, played by actor Sean Connery, searches for new drugs in the Amazon’s vast rainforests. There Campbell finds a cure for cancer not in the rainforest’s rare flowers – which don’t have “juju,” or the power to heal – but in an indigenous ant species. All is looking…
“If you want a confession, I found God and His creation, pure nature, in the old growth forest. And at that moment I decided I had to do everything possible to protect it so my children could see it for real, not just in books and museums.” Radu Vlad, Forest & Regional Project Co-ordinator for WWF’s Danube-Carpathian Programme, cuts an imposing figure, unmistakably a man of the Transylvanian forests he’s been campaigning to protect for over a decade.
It is difficult to reconcile the need for food with the long-term need for wildlife conservation. It is clear that hunting at current rates drives certain wildlife species’ populations down to unsustainable sizes. Habitat destruction and fragmentation add to the problem. Not only is this harmful in terms of destabilizing food security, it also creates a cascade of harmful environmental impacts.
By Sophie Grig, Survival International campaigner “We’re proud that we still have the forest,” Temenggung Grip says, standing tall, waving at the vast expanse of trees. “We feel proud to be Orang Rimba, everything we have talked about still exists, people ask about tigers, how big are they, what are they like, and we know…
It is the black before dawn at the gate to the Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the highlands of central India. The still air carries a dank, penetrating chill. But it is hardly quiet. A buzzing line of tourists is forming at the ticket booth, peddlers are pouring steaming cups of tea. Groups of green-uniformed rangers chat…
I have come to realize over the course of my visit that this is an incredibly sensitive complex concern, one that needs a multi-prong strategy, as one solution does not fit all the regional contexts.
Voices and stories from around Tonle Sap Lake and communities affected by the Lower Sesan II dam.
The humble mangrove forest is one of the most biologically important ecosystems that border our oceans. They act as the skin of our coastlines, managing the energy exchange between land and sea; and provide vital ecosystem services such as waste treatment, habitat, food resource, and recreation.
I have been on many research expeditions throughout the Gulf of California, Mexico, where I study these ecosystems and photograph them in action: acting as a nursery for yellow snappers, hosting migratory birds after their long flight, and buffering coastlines against storms.
“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”
I have now reached the final push in deploying cameras in the canopy. I’m sitting at in the library of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station near Yasuní National Park after placing cameras in six Ficus trees spread across the trails near the research facility. I’ve also got cameras running at the Yasuní Research Station, two hours up the river, where I’ll return to set up a few more cameras later this week.
The past few days have involved a lot of climbing, most of which has been in trees I had never climbed before. The canopy habitat is dynamic, changing frequently as storms weaken structures and animals move in and out of their homes. Because of this, even on familiar trees, every climb is new to some extent, but I tend to find the first ascent of a new tree holds the most surprises, delightful or otherwise.
The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. In the recent past, drones have exploded into the public eye. A subject of constant controversy, they summon debates about personal privacy, the dynamics of political…