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Russell Mittermeier
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Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier is president of Conservation International, a position he has occupied since 1989. Named a “hero for the planet” by Time Magazine, Mittermeier is regarded as a world leader in the field of biodiversity and tropical forest conservation. Trained as a primatologist and herpetologist, he has traveled widely in more than 150 countries on seven continents, and has conducted field work in more than 20 -– with much of his field work having focused on Amazonia (particularly Brazil and Suriname), the Atlantic forest region of Brazil, and Madagascar. His work in these countries continues, and it is fair to say that he is the only active field biologist to head a major international conservation organization.

Entries by Russell Mittermeier

First-ever World Lemur Festival Celebrated in Madagascar

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 12:30 PM

This post was originally published on Conservation International's blog, Human Nature.

This week marks the first-ever World Lemur Festival in Madagascar, which will culminate in World Lemur Day on October 31. This event is intended to raise awareness of the importance of these wonderful creatures...

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Is There New Hope for Madagascar?

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 3:50 PM

This post was originally published on Conservation International's blog, Human Nature.

Madagascar is one of the world's most unusual countries -- an iconic "hotspot" in every sense of the word. It has also been the site of devastating poverty and environmental destruction, accelerated in recent years by an ineffective, corrupt...

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Remembering Two Field Biology Pioneers

(2) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 4:21 PM

Twenty years ago this month, the conservation community and the world suffered a tragic loss when a small plane flying out of the coastal city of Guayaquil, Ecuador crashed into a cloud-covered mountain.

Out of the seven people on board, four were killed. Among them were two amazing individuals, the...

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Why Monkeys Matter: New Book Provides Comprehensive Guide to World's Primates (PHOTOS)

(8) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 7:44 AM

I have been fascinated by nonhuman primates ever since I was a little boy growing up in the Bronx. It's sometimes hard to explain what piqued my interest in this particular group of animals, but I believe it derived from several early influences.

One was certainly the "

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6 Signs of Progress at UN Biodiversity Conference

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 3:21 PM

My good friend and Conservation International (CI) board member Pavan Sukhdev recently blogged about the main outcome of the recent U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Hyderabad, India: a commitment to double funding for biodiversity from current levels by 2014 and to maintain that funding through...

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Biologists Update List of World's 25 Most Endangered Primates

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 12:53 PM

Over the past week, I have listened to and participated in many important conversations about the dire state of our natural world and how we can pay for the conservation action we need. I have also witnessed a growing awareness -- first observed on a global scale during Rio+20 in...

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100 Years of Tarzan -- and Putting Rainforests on the Map

(2) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 8:53 AM

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic work on the ape man of the jungle. Conservation International's President Russ Mittermeier -- a lifelong Tarzan fan -- reflects on the role the character had in his life, as...

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Madagascar's Lemurs: Thriving in Theaters, Disappearing in the Wild

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 6:37 PM

Most of the world knows about Madagascar from the three DreamWorks films, the latest of which is setting records at the box office as we speak. But the real Madagascar, which I know from more than 80 visits over the course of the last 28 years,...

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Language Diversity Is Highest in Biodiversity Hotspots

(6) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 7:19 PM

In my decades of traveling the world, I've gotten to see firsthand many of the fascinating human cultures inhabiting our planet, from the Kayapó of the Brazilian Amazon to the San people of the Kalahari to the multitude of cultures of Melanesia.

Many people from these cultures, including a...

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Hats Off to Guyana's Outgoing President Jagdeo, a Forest Champion

(17) Comments | Posted January 17, 2012 | 9:00 AM

The Kansas-sized country of Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana and the only English-speaking nation in South America, held elections on November 28, 2011, and voted in a new president, Donald Ramotar. This marked the end of 12 years in office for President Bharrat Jagdeo, under whose leadership Guyana became...

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