Wildlife Conservation News

Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


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  1. A key way forward to ensure the survival of wildlife is to work with people. 

    And the work IFAW are doing for jaguars in the Americas is a great example. Joaquin de la Toore Ponce, Dr Erika Flores and Polen Cisneros are working right on the front lines to protect biodiversity in this part of the world.

    Jaguars are top predators in their environment.  They help maintain a balanced food web and promote biodiversity.  Lose the jaguar – and hundreds of other species could be threatened as well such as deer, peccaries and capybaras who would overpopulate without jaguars. This could have a devastating impact on landscapes and wildlife. 

    Jaguar numbers plummeted during the twentieth century, thanks to hunting and agricultural development.  They are an elusive big cat, so it’s difficult to know exact jaguar numbers – but one thing is for certain, conservationists are sure that the jaguar is at tipping point. 

    So how are IFAW helping jaguars? 

    They are working with people across the community to tackle problems:

    Working with local communities, to tackle the problem of local dogs attracting the jaguars

    The problem:
    Jaguars were preying on dogs on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen in Mexico.  The big cats were in search of land and food – deforestation, mining and development had damaged their natural habitat.

    As the jaguars attacked their dogs, so the people retaliated and killed the jaguars.   Human-wildlife conflict developed.  And there was the danger of the big cats getting deadly diseases such as canine distemper from dogs who weren’t vaccinated;  a dog killed by a jaguar and brought home to feed cubs on, could wipe out a jaguar family, if they had such a disease.

    Find out about how IFAW is helping jaguars

    The solution:

    Erika and Joaquin hired community members to build blue wooden dog-houses – and with good shelter, nutrition and better health, the dogs didn’t roam so much. IFAW’s local partner Coco’s Animal Welfare helped sterilise and vaccinate dogs, and their numbers stabilised.  Diseases fell.  The initiative spread to other towns.  Now Erika and the team from Coco’s Animal Welfare do wellness checks in communities; they supply dog houses, and make chicken coops predator proof; they offer free vet services.  And the animals and people are all co-existing.

    Working with law enforcement agencies to tackle the illegal wildlife trade

    The problem: 
    The illegal wildlife trade

    There’s a booming market in Latin America and Asia for jaguar fangs, pelts and claws – even though the jaguar is protected by CITES.   International trade of live jaguars and jaguar parts is illegal but the market still exists through networks of poachers and traders.

    The solution:
    Joaquin and Polen held a wildlife enforcement training session in Guyana, South America.  They united police officers, customs agents, airport authorities and park wardens to make them a stronger network who are united under the goal of protecting threatened species and enforcing repercussions for illegal wildlife trade.  They all support each other.

    Working with higher level officials to protect jaguars

    Joaquin has been able to strengthen the policies which provide greatear protection for jaguars.   Jaguars are now included in the Appendix I + II of the Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species.  Members countries are committed to assuring that jaguar habitat and migration corridors are protected.

    There are certainly challenges ahead but the IFAW example shows how important it is for conservation organisations to work with every level of communities and how much local communities can be such a vital tool in successful wildlife conservation. 

    Find out more here from IFAW




    Do you ever feel like a change, and getting rid of old stuff and creating room for a new you?

    Well, why not make a start on National Old Stuff Day.

    I have no idea who came up with the idea, but it’s a great chance to sweep away the old and let the winds of change bring in the new.

    Now, we’re not just talking about old stuff, as in items you own, or clutter you’ve acquired.  We’re talking about old approaches to life as well, perhaps old habits which aren’t doing you any favours e.g. being on your phone before you try to sleep.

    1. It’s a great chance to look at the way you manage your time and make more of the day.  Why not wake up a few minutes early and give nature a chance to be your first sound of the day?  Imagine lying in bed for a few minutes and listening to the birds welcoming the dawn of a new day with their birdsong.

    2. Why not make any walking you do a nature walk – can you see any litter which could harm wildlife that you could pick up and so protect them from eating things, getting cut on things,  or finding their heads are stuck in cans and tins. How much nature can you see en route?  Do you see a wild flower? Smell it and take in its scent.  Enjoy the sight of it.  Take a picture on your phone and send it to your friends.

    3. If you’ve got a garden, make sure you get into the habit of leaving a corner of it untidy for wildlife.  They like things untidy, and it saves you having to tidy it up. 

    4. Watch the stars in the sky last thing at night as you lie in bed.   What’s the sky like? Is it clearer than the night before?

    5. Have greater patience with people.  For instance, if someone cuts you off in the car, rather than blast at them with your horn, take a minute and think, “Wow, I wonder why they did that?” Could they be under incredible pressure because someone in their family has died or is very ill?  It must be awful to feel so rushed and aggressive all the time.

    6. Make it a habit to do a kindness every day.  It’s amazing how great you feel afterwards!  You get an inner glow!

    7. For your next birthday, don’t ask people for stuff.  Ask them to make a donation for your favourite charity.  Or choose an appeal and ask them to donate to that, so that they know specifically where their money is going to.  It gives them a chance to find out about a cause that’s important to you, and who knows, they may get involved!

    8. Find out about a new cause or appeal which excites you.  What could you do to help?  It could give you a completely new purpose in life and make you spring out of bed in the morning or after sleep to see what you can do to make a difference to it. 




  3. The Sierra Club (a grassroots environmental organisation in the US) has announced that there’s big, exciting news from a bank!

    JPMorgan Chase have announced at its annual Investor Day that:

    • It will not finance oil and gas extraction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
    • It will not continue financing many coal-related enterprises, including thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plants across the world.

    The bank is by far the leading US investor in fossil fuels, and environmentalists and indigenous peoples have put pressure on the bank for years trying to move away from projects which threaten the climate.

    They promised to stop investing in and providing services to companies which derive “the majority of their revenues from the extraction of coal” by 2024, and not to provide financing to offshore and onshore oil and gas extraction in the Arctic

    Goldman Sachs also made a similar commitment not to financial oil drilling in the Arctic two months ago.

    Now, it’s vital that we put the pressure on other big banks to follow suit. 

    I wonder...

    Could their executives and shareholders live with themselves if there was an accident drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic which they had agreed to finance?  It only takes ONE spill to do unrepairable damage.  As the Sierra Club say, “Clean air, safe drinking water, wildlife and wild places are under attack-and once they're gone, they're gone for good.” 

    Dive in and put pressure on the banks
    © istockphoto.com Mario Hoppmann

    Tell These Big US Banks That Arctic Drilling Is Bad Business!

    The Sierra Club say that banks worldwide are refusing to fund Arctic drilling.  Some US banks are dragging their feet.  But Goldman Sachs have done it;  they were the trail-finders who have ruled out financing Arctic oil and gas drilling, thermal coal mines and coal-fired power projects around the world.  Thank you, everyone at Goldman Sachs.

    Sierra Club

    Big banks don’t want to fall behind on industry trends.  

    The Sierra Club is asking us all to focus our efforts on the other US funders which, they say, are notorious for propping up dirty fuels:  Wells Fargo, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley.

    The Sierra Club are asking everyone to:

    Send a message to the CEOs of the other major US banks, telling them that bankrolling Arctic drilling isn’t just bad business -- it’s a threat to Indigenous human rights and to the climate.

    Add your name here and you can send a message too, if you want to add power to it.

    Let’s all fight for wildlife and indigenous peoples and drill hard and deep for change in the right direction.  Let’s put pressure on. 


  4. On 23 February, there was a BBC Radio 4 Appeal by Angela Rippon – journalist and broadcaster – for EIA’s Tiger Campaign.

    And if you missed the broadcast, don’t worry – you can listen to it here:  And it’s being broadcast again on Radio 4 on Thursday 27 February at 3:27pm.  

    So who are the EIA?

    Find out more about it here.

    What's happening with tigers?

    There are only about 4,000 tigers in the wild because of poaching and habitat loss.

    Thousands more are captive in tiger farms, to meet rising demand for their skins, teeth, claws and meat.  Even dead tiger cubs born in commercial captivity are used to make tiger wine.

    In China, there’s a massive tiger farming industry.  Close to 6,000 are captive – their skins are used for luxury home décor, or they are used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.

    Another 2,000 tigers are held captive in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.  In Vietnam, adults and cubs are bred in cages in the backyards of ordinary houses – and they are sold by the kilo.

    How can you help?

    Donate to the BBC Radio 4 appeal  and help tigers and other threatened species a chance at a future, enabling EIA to continue their work exposing environmental crime.

    Visit the EIA here (that’s the Environmental Investigation Agency) to find out more about the work they do and to spread the word

    Visit the Programme’s website here – it has details of how to don 
  5. I’m a big fan of the World Land Trust and I always thinking it’s very exciting to see where they are going to work to save land next and follow the appeals.

    The new appeal they have just launched (end February 2020) is in Columbia and here it is:

    Here it is!

    ©World Land Trust

    WLT are working with Fundacion Biodiversa Colombia to save 260ha of lowland forest and wetlands. 

    They need to raise £295,000 to ensure these habitats are safe.  The area has already suffered from extreme deforestation and degradation – a whopping 90% of the original forests have been lost, so it’s vital to protect the remaining 10%.

    Hop over to the World Land Trust's website and help©World Land Trust

    Many endangered species live there, from the American Manatee and Magdalena River Turtle to the Lowland Tapir and Jaguar.  There are a lot of monkeys there – the White-footed Tamarin, the Brown Spider Monkey and the Varied White-fronted Capuchin.

    The World Land Trust works closely with local conservation organisations and it speaks very well of FBC’s track record of conservation.

    Your donation and mine will make a difference.
    If you can't donate, please please spread the word

    Our support will mean that this area is immediately protected – either that, or the logging industry will get it.

    Support land purchase for conservation and help ensure that healthy, biodiverse habitats survive.