Biodiversity

Loggers vs. “Invisible” Tribes: Secret War in Amazon?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 12, 2003   View Article

East of the Andes Mountains, deep in the Amazon River Basin in the southeastern region of Peru known as Madre de Dios, loggers congregate in the village of Monte Salvado. The loggers come from throughout the region to Madre de Dios to extract mahogany from the forests.

Close to the village of Monte Salvado, across the Las Piedras River, lies a newly-created reserve for indigenous people. Anthropologists believe these indigenous people are living in voluntary isolation from the rest of the world. Though they may know the outside world exists, they want nothing to do with it.

Rich Coral Reefs in Nutrient-Poor Water: Paradox Explained?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 7, 2001   View Article

Coral reefs are the rain forests of the oceans, teeming with a biological diversity that boggles the mind. Just how did such profusion of life come to thrive in crystal-clear—and thus nutrient poor—water? The question has eluded scientists since Charles Darwin took his famous voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle in the 1830s.

Now, a team of German and Jordanian researchers may have the answer to this so-called coral reef paradox: an abundance of sponges that dwell inside the nooks and crannies of reef interiors.

Satellites Aid Sustainable Land Use in Amazon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 31, 2001   View Article

Computers and satellites are being successfully harnessed to the problem of biodiversity conservation in the Amazon rain forest.

Scientists believe that at least half of the world’s animal, plant, and insect species reside in the rain forest, an area half the size of the continental United States.

Cloud Forest Fading in the Mist, Their Treasures Little Known

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 13, 2001   View Article

They are nature’s “water towers,” providing billions of gallons of fresh, clean, filtered water. They are home to thousands of indigenous peoples, and storehouses of biodiversity, at least 80 percent of which has not yet been catalogued.

Yet in as little as ten years’ time, biologists warn, the world’s cloud forests—evergreen mountain forests that are almost permanently shrouded in mist and clouds—may be all but gone.

Book Report: Nature Returns to America’s Cities

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 23, 2001   View Article

The concrete jungle isn’t just for people anymore. Thirty years of good environmental stewardship combined with wildlife’s innate ability to adapt has given rise to a resurgence of nature in America’s urban centers.

In New York City, raccoons have walked through the front door and into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator. In southern California, mountain lions have been seen cooling off under garden sprinklers and breaking into homes near Disneyland. In Chicago, beavers gnaw and fell trees and snarl traffic.

New Mapping Tool Shows Impacts of Development Across the Globe

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 19, 2001   View Article

Step back and take in the big picture. Thousands of scientific studies assess the environmental impacts of a single road, or oil well, or mountain lodge, but the conclusions of these studies are generally disconnected. That is beginning to change.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has developed a global mapping technique, called GLOBIO, that combines these myriad conclusions into a comprehensive picture of the cumulative toll that infrastructure development is having on the planet.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach