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Mongabay.com was founded by Rhett Ayers Butler in 1999 out of his passion for wildlife and rainforests. Originally a side project which consumed nights and weekends, Rhett quit his day job to run mongabay full-time in 2004. In March 2009 Jeremy Hance became mongabay's first hire.
Mongabay is financed primarily through advertising, the majority of which is served by Google. However some of mongabay's most important projects, including the kids education initiative and our news reporting, now require resources that are unfortunately not fully met by advertising revenue. Therefore in June 2012 Mongabay.com launched a non-profit organization: mongabay.org, which as a public charity has tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Mongabay.org are deductible to U.S. taxpayers under section 170 of the Code.
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Why support Mongabay?
The purpose of mongabay is to raise interest in environmental issues and foster appreciation of wildlife and wild places. The site provides quality information on rainforests and environmental issues, reaching more than two million people per month. To learn more about the mission of mongabay, check out the preface of A Place Out of Time.
Mongabay.org has the specific mission of raising awareness about social and environmental issues relating to forests and other ecosystems. It has five focal areas:, which are explained here.
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You can show your support of several ways.
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Rhett Butler, mongabay founder and director.
Rhett's inspiration, as told at TEDxYouth
World's biggest palm oil company makes zero deforestation commitment
(12/05/2013) Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil trader and a long-time target of environmentalists, has signed a landmark policy that commits the company to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain. The deal, if fully implemented, has the potential to transform the palm oil industry, which has emerged over the past decade as one of the world's most important drivers of tropical forest destruction.
Sky islands: exploring East Africa's last frontier
(12/04/2013) The montane rainforests of East Africa are little-known to the global public. The Amazon and Congo loom much larger in our minds, while the savannas of East Africa remain the iconic ecosystems for the region. However these ancient, biodiverse forests—sitting on the tops of mountains rising from the African savanna—are home to some remarkable species, many found only in a single forest. A team of international scientists—Michele Menegon, Fabio Pupin, and Simon Loader—have made it their mission to document the little-known reptiles and amphibians in these so-called sky islands, many of which are highly imperiled.
Animal Earth: exploring the hidden biodiversity of our planet
(12/03/2013) Most of the species on Earth we never see. In fact, we have no idea what they look like, much less how spectacular they are. In general, people can identify relatively few of their backyard species, much less those of other continents. This disconnect likely leads to an inability in the general public to relate to biodiversity and, by extension, the loss of it. One of the most remarkable books I have read is a recent release that makes serious strides to repair that disconnect and affirm the human bond with biodiversity. Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures written by Ross Piper, a zoologist with the University of Wales, opens up the door to discovery.
Reversing local extinction: scientists bring the northern bald ibis back to Europe after 300 years
(12/02/2013) The northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), also called the hermit ibis or waldrapp, is a migratory bird. Once, the bald ibis lived in the Middle East, northern Africa and southern and central Europe, but due to hunting, loss of habitat and pesticide-use, the birds disappeared from most of these areas and is currently considered Critically Endangered. It became extinct in Europe 300 years ago; the bird is almost gone in Syria, with only a single individual recorded at the country's lone breeding site in 2013; and the only stronghold left is a small population of around 500 birds in Morocco. But now, a team of scientists from Austria is working to reestablish a self-sustaining, migratory population of bald ibis in Europe.
New project works to raise the profile of the world's littlest bear
(12/02/2013) The world's least-known bear also happens to be the smallest: sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), so called for the yellowish horseshoe mark on its chest, are found across Southeast Asia. But despite their telltale markings, super-long tongues, and endearing cuteness, sun bears remain little-studied and little-known compared to many of the region's other large mammals. Now, a new project is working to raise the profile of the sun bears of Borneo—Survival of the Sun Bears—which are a smaller subspecies of the mainland animals.
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