September 19, 2021


Through Education Matters

Mongabay’s 15 most popular conservation posts in January 2021

  • Mongabay’s site-wide traffic in January 2021 amounted to 14.3 million pageviews, a 28% increase over January 2020.
  • Below is a list of the 15 most popular articles for January 2021. Traffic totals are for the month of January only.

Mongabay’s site-wide traffic in January 2021 amounted to 14.3 million pageviews, a 28% increase over January 2020.

The most read posts on Mongabay’s global English news site in January 2021 were 2020 year-in-review wrap-ups, including a list of our 2020 investigations, the December 2020 most popular, and the 2020 most popular.

Below is a list of the 15 most read posts for January 2021. Traffic totals are for the month of January only.

(12/31/20) Written by – 186,674 pageviews

  • Over the course of 2020, Mongabay published more than 5,200 stories, which collectively had on-site readership of 140 million pageviews.
  • The reach of this content was further amplified by readership within social media and by the many third party outlets that syndicate our stories.
  • This post reviews some of the investigations we undertook in 2020. Some of these investigations were collaborative efforts with other news outlets and agencies.

(1/4/21) Written by – 143,303 pageviews

  • Mongabay’s site-wide traffic in December 2020 amounted to 12.3 million pageviews, a 55% increase over December 2019.
  • Aggregate time on the site in December set a new all-time high, surpassing the previous peak from the initial pandemic lockdown period form April-June 2020.
  • For the year Mongabay attracted 142 million pageviews, a 40% increase over 2019.
  • Below is a list of the 25 most popular articles for December 2020. Traffic totals are for the month of December only.

(12/30/20) Written by – 134,884 pageviews

  • Mongabay published more than 5,000 posts in 2020.
  • These are the ten most popular stories on, the global English news web site.
  • Overall, Mongabay’s on-site traffic in 2020 amounted to 140 million pageviews, a 38% increase over 2019.

(12/29/20) Written by Loren Bell – 130,325 pageviews

  • 2020 has been a momentous year for Indonesia’s environment, and for the regulations and regulators put in place to protect it.
  • Perhaps most far-reaching is the passage of a massive deregulation bill critics warn will cater to the business community at the expense of the environment and social interests.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on conservation efforts in the country, putting the brakes on key conservation programs and potentially driving an increase in deforestation and poaching.
  • Here, Mongabay reviews five of the key stories and trends from Indonesia in 2020.
Deforestation in Borneo. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

(12/28/20) Written by Rhett A. Butler – 102,235 pageviews

  • 2020 was supposed to be a make-or-break year for tropical forests. It was the year when global leaders were scheduled to come together to assess the past decade’s progress and set the climate and biodiversity agendas for the next decade. These included emissions reductions targets, government procurement policies and corporate zero-deforestation commitments, and goals to set aside protected areas and restore degraded lands.
  • COVID-19 upended everything: Nowhere — not even tropical rainforests — escaped the effects of the global pandemic. Conservation was particularly hard in tropical countries.
  • 2019’s worst trends for forests mostly continued through the pandemic including widespread forest fires, rising commodity prices, increasing repression and violence against environmental defenders, and new laws and policies in Brazil and Indonesia that undermine forest conservation.
  • We don’t yet have numbers on the degree to which the pandemic affected deforestation, because it generally takes several months to process that data. That being said, there are reasons to suspect that 2020’s forest loss will again be substantial.

(1/5/21) Written by Malavika Vyawahare – 91,912 pageviews

  • Humans are driving wildlife to extinction 1,000 times faster than the natural rate, robbing the planet not just of species but also of functional and phylogenetic diversity, the authors of a new paper argue.
  • Different kinds of human activities affect biodiversity differently, with hunting having the largest impact on terrestrial mammals, the research found.
  • Millions of years of evolution are encoded into species that coexist with humans today; to lose them is also to lose that biological heritage.
  • The research maps out the relationship between species richness and functional and phylogenetic loss for individual countries to aid national-level policymaking.

(12/21/20) Written by Callie Steffen, Emma Critchley, and Douglas McCauley – 86,463 pageviews

  • Marine scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, share their list of the top 10 ocean news stories from 2020.
  • Hopeful developments this year included some long-overdue attention to Black and other underrepresented groups in marine science; new technologies to prevent deadly ship-whale collisions and track “dark” vessels at sea remotely; and surprising discoveries in the deep sea.
  • At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more trash than ever being dumped in the sea, and stalled international negotiations aimed at protecting waters off Antarctica and in the high seas. 2020 also brought the first modern-day marine fish extinction.
  • This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay.

(12/21/20) Written by Milan Sime Martinic – 75,972 pageviews

  • A sighting of one of the rarest mammals in the world, the elusive Chacoan fairy armadillo, was recently documented by a team of Bolivian biologists.
  • Seldom seen, the animal–which lives among the Gran Chaco dry forests of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay–has a population that is considered ‘data deficient’ by the IUCN, and is likely quite small.
  • The species uses its huge claws and strong front legs to ‘swim’ into the Chaco’s sandy soils: its armor and tail are similarly adapted to facilitate their subterranean lifestyle.
  • “This was a dream come true to see this animal,” one expert told Mongabay, since such sightings top the wishlists of mammal enthusiasts around the world.

(1/13/21) Written by Ian Morse – 68,560 pageviews

  • Volunteers and officials successfully pushed a whale shark back out to sea after it got stranded in shallow water in Indonesia’s Kendari Bay.
  • The incident, which one rescuer said was a first, has highlighted the consequences of the rapid silting of the bay amid a spate of development projects in the area.
  • The clearing of land allows dirt to run into waterways, with the accumulated sediment halving the depth of Kendari Bay and making flood prevention more difficult.
  • Amid the silting, fishing catches have declined and there are indications of heavy-metal contamination of the water.
A jaguar killing an ocelot in northern Guatemala. Image by WCS.

(1/8/21) Written by Elizabeth Claire Alberts – 68,272 pageviews

  • Camera trap footage revealed a jaguar killing an ocelot at a waterhole in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of northern Guatemala.
  • While this kind of killing event is considered rare, it can occur when two predator species are competing with each other over resources such as water.
  • Prolonged drought, compounded by climate change, may have influenced this event by making water scarcer than usual, according to the researchers who documented the incident.
  • However, other experts say that climate change wouldn’t have necessarily influenced this behavior since ocelots and jaguars have lived together for a long time.

(12/30/20) Written by John C. Cannon – 66,586 pageviews

  • In the upside-down world of 2020, books provided both a sanctuary for restless minds and a conduit for vicarious travel.
  • The list below features a sample of the important literature on conservation and the environment released this year.
  • Inclusion in this list does not imply Mongabay’s endorsement of a book’s content; the views in the books are those of the authors and not necessarily Mongabay.

(12/30/20) Written by David Brown – 64,303 pageviews

  • A vast experiment in land and water use management is now underway in the Mekong Delta, the part of Vietnam most threatened by the destabilizing effects of climate change.
  • Competing visions for how to manage the delta in a new era of rising seas and upstream dam building have pitted adaptive fixes against more mechanical ones.

(1/8/21) Written by Aristyo Rizka Darmawan – 63,774 pageviews

  • The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued its strategic outlook on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF), which it estimates costs tens of billions of dollars of lost revenue for legal fishers every year.
  • While the outlook doesn’t identify any particular region as a priority, it appears likely that the South China Sea will be an area of focus, building on wider U.S. policy to contain China’s growing clout in the region.
  • South China Sea nations such as Indonesia will welcome the effort to tackle IUUF, but will not want to see a militaristic approach by the U.S. that risks escalating tensions with China, the author argues.
  • This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.
Fences and platforms for Wayamasapi eel fishing on Lake Poso in Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. Local people fear plans to reshape the flow of the Poso River will bring this fishing tradition to an end. Image by Ian Morse for Mongabay.

(1/12/21) Written by Carinya Sharples – 61,901 pageviews

  • A study into gender-inclusion approaches on Fiji, Vanatu and Solomon Islands finds most focus on women while overlooking the role of men and gender relations.
  • Respondents report confusion over what gender means, lack of capacity, and cultural and traditional barriers.
  • Researchers call on fishing practitioners and managers to partner with gender and development organizations, and see gender as “cross-cutting” — interwoven, like climate change, “into every single thing that we do.”

(1/7/21) Written by Genevieve Glatsky – 55,988 pageviews

  • The Escazú Agreement is an unprecedented regional treaty in Latin America and the Caribbean that provides access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making, and measures to protect environmental activists.
  • The treaty’s ratification by 11 countries is the final step for the agreement to enter into force, the end of an eight-year process that has been marked throughout by the deep involvement of civil society groups.
  • Experts say the success of the treaty will depend on the political will of the signatory countries, and on the continued efforts of civil society actors to hold those governments accountable.
  • The agreement still faces heavy opposition within many countries in the region, from groups who claim that it will compromise state sovereignty, threaten business interests, and open up internal affairs to international interference.