Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: References

Erosion and Its Effects



J. Omang ("In the Tropics, still rolling back the rain forest primeval," Smithsonian (March 1987) reported the rate of erosion in Costa Rica.

Photograhper Frans Lanting made the comment that from space it looks as if Madagascar is bleeding to death from rampant erosion in A World Out of Time-Madagascar, New York: Aperture Foundation, Inc., 1990.

UNESCO/UNEP/FAO, in Tropical Forest Ecosystems, 1978 provides the erosion rates for different vegetation types in an Ivory Coast study.

A discussion on the worst coral bleaching on record in 1998 can be found in Wilkinson et al., (Wilkinson, C., O. Linden, H. Cesar, G. Hodgson, J. Rubens, and A. E. Stong, "Ecological and socioeconomic impacts of 1998 coral bleaching in the Indian Ocean: an ENSO impact and a warning of future change?" Ambio, 1999) the U.S. Department of State's "Coral Bleaching, Coral Mortality, and Global Climate Change," Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs U.S. Department of State, March 5, 1999; and Wilkinson, C. and Hodgson, G. ("Coral reefs and the 1997-1998 mass bleaching and mortality," Nature and Resources Vol. 5, No. 2, Apr-June 1999).

Magrath and Areans (Magrath, W. and P. Arens., The costs of soil erosion on Java: a natural resource accounting approach, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1993) estimate the annual cost of erosion for Java in terms of rice production.

Loss of Species Important to Forest Regeneration


The decline in North American migratory birds over the 1978-1988 period is reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in its Breeding Birds Survey 1990 and further detailed in Terborgh, J.W., Where Have All the Birds Gone? Essays on the Biology and Conservation of Birds that Migrate to the American Tropics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1989.

Increase of Tropical Diseases


H.J. Van der Kaay discusses the threat of emerging pathogens resulting from increased forest loss and contact with primary disease hosts in "Human diseases in relation to the degradation of tropical rainforests," Rainforest Medical Bulletin, Vol. 5, no. 3, Dec. 1998.

In her work, The Coming Plague (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994), L. Garrett reviews the gamut newly emerging diseases and suggests the importance of deforestation in bringing some pathogens in closer contact with human populations. For a popular and thrilling account of one such virus, the hemorrhagic Ebola virus, read R. Preston's The Hot Zone (New York: Random House, 1994). S. Morse, ed. also provides a comprehensive overview in Emerging Viruses, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Y. Baskin discusses the role of human activities in creating new disease vectors in the tropics ("The Work Of Nature," Discover Vol. 16, No. 8, Aug 1995).

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN 1994) estimates the death rate from malaria among the Yanomani in Brazil and Venezuela at 20%.

Martin and Lefebvre raise the concern that global climate change will impact the distribution of malaria in "Malaria and climate: sensitivity of malaria potential transmission to climate," Ambio Vol. 24 No. 4, June 1995, while Binder et al. estimates malaria pediatric fatalities in Sub-Saharan Africa in "Emerging infectious diseases: public health issue for the 21st century," Science Vol. 284, No. 5418 (1311-1313) 21-May-1999.

According to Binder et al., infectious disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in the United States ("Emerging infectious diseases: public health issue for the 21st century," Science Vol. 284, No. 5418 (1311-1313) 21-May-1999).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported to a congressional committee in 1997 that 10% of people who died before the age of 50 in 1994 did so suddenly and mysteriously possibly from some unidentified infection. In addition, the CDC noted that the U.S. spent only $42 million annually on infectious disease surveillence.

In the World Populaztion Profile: 1998 (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999), the U.S. Bureau of the Census revealed the sobering impact of AIDS in the developing world.

E. Hooper (The River, Boston: Little, Brown and Company 1999) provides an excellent overview of the theories on origin of AIDS. He discusses the merits each of these in the course of describing the OVP/AIDS hypothesis he has come to adopt. This hypothesis says AIDS originated from the contimanation of a live polio vaccine with a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) during the mid to late-1950s. The other leading hypothesis, that of a "natural transfer" between SIV-infected chimpanzees and humans, is promoted in a widely read paper by F. Gao et al. ("Origin of HIV-1 in the Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes troglodytes," Nature, Vol. 397 (436-441), 1999).

At the 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco, B. Korber announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory had traced the divergence of AIDS from SIV to around 1930 (Korber, B. et al., "HIV Databases and Analysis Projects at Los Alamos: An Overview," 1/30/00). The study assumed genetic changes in the virus occur at a constant rate. Should this dating prove correct it would undermine OPV/AIDS hypothesis supported by Hopper 1999.

 

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