Wildlife Conservation News
Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa
The rainforests in Madgascar and the animals living there needs our help.
The rainforests there are affected by two things: climate change – and deforestation on a large scale.
The thing is, that these rainforests are home to wildlife that isn’t found anywhere else on earth. It’s got 101 different lemur species, for example.
Losing Madagascar’s rainforests would lead to an enormous and irreversible loss of biodiversity.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The key is for those in power to do something now to prevent the destruction f their homeland forever.
In Africa’s Cameroon, 60,000 hectares of rainforest are at risk from deforestation.
The area is home to western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, buffalo, panthers and pangolins.
Threat to wildlife living in these hectares
Unfortunately, the government is in the process of allocating 60,000 hectares of rainforest to the Cambert SARL company for palm oil plantation.
Did I mention that Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world where there are gorillas? They, and the Campo Ma’an National Park are in danger from deforestation.
There’s a cost to the fishermen and Bagyeli indigenous people living there, too. They are already suffering the effects of rubber and palm oil plantations and now they risk losing their livelihood.
How to help this rainforest
Rainforest Rescue need as many of us as possible to sign their petition, or call to action.
But what does Camvert actually REALLY want the area for? One possibility is that they want it for wood.
Nearly 40 envrionmental protection organsiations are fighting against this destruction.
Please support the resistance in Cameroon and sign Rianforest Rescue’s petition.
The World Land Trust has great news for forests!
On 16 January 2020, the Governement of Belize signed the declaration of North-eastern Biological Corridor of Belize. It covers an area of nearly 70,000 acres and links the northernmost nature reserve in Belize with more central natural habitats.
It’s really important, because it’s the first step towards achieving a total North-South corridor crossing the whole country as the map shows!
It’s a tremendous example of public-private partnership: the government of Belize, local NGOs, private landowners and many international donors – including the World Land Trust – have been involved.
UNITED FOR CONSERVATION,
WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE BETTER
The corridor connects a system of three protected areas in one system. Deforestation has caused the loss of over 25,000 acres of forest in tihe last 10 years.
This will now allow big animals such as jaguar and Baird’s Tapirs enough space to move freely between protected areas and so ensure their long term survival! It will also help build climate resilience into Belize’s network of protected areas.
Why was this acquisition necessary?
In Belize, about 50% of the country is under natural vegetation cover. About 35% of the country is under some form of protection.
So it is still possible to create biological corridors between protected areas.
It’s vital that these acquisitions take place, and speedily, because agricultural development are increasingly encroaching on forest.
How did supporters of the World Land Trust
– people like you & me –
help in this achievement?
The World Land Trust mobilised its supporters and inspired new ones to raise funds to support this land acquisition. It included 2018’s Big Match Fortnight Jungle for Jaguars campaign, and another Buy an Acre opportunity a few months after that. (The Big Match Fortnight normally comes in October when donations are matched for a specific appeal – it is incredible how much and how speedily this builds up.)
Donate in memory of someone special
I donated to this campaign during the Big Match Fortnight (actually in memory of my wonderful Dad as his birthday is in November and I plant a tree or do a buy an acre on his birthday and at Christmas for him, as Dad loved trees).
Ask someone to donate as a gift for you
I asked my husband to also donate as my early Christmas present and it was by far the best present I had. It really meant something to me. We had made a difference.
I cannot tell you the glow and warm feeling I have in my heart when I think of my jaguar roaming the biological corridor. I call him “my jaguar” – he obviously isn’t, and I’m never going to meet him – but it’s lovely to think that because I donated and my husband has too, we’ve helped him and lots of other animals.
Please do donate to the World Land Trust if you can, and keep an eye on their website. I often post news of their new appeals here, so you can watch this space as well. They are a wonderful charity and it’s good to give a meaningful gift which will last, so if you’re looking for a gift for a wildlife lover, making a donation could be a great way to do something to really make a difference – a win, win, win all round!
This was the You Tube Video for Jungle for Jaguars – it raised £532,000 in the Big Match Fortnight (normally early October) alone and hit the £600,000 target by Christmas, helping to save 8,154 vital acres. A further 1,818 acres were saved a few months later.
Bristol has become the first major city to declare an ecological emergency.
They’ve done this in response to escalating threats to ecosystems and wildlife, as there’s been a worrying decline in numbers and the diveristy of wildlife in the city.
41% of UK wildlife species are in decline and 15% are at risk of extinction
In Bristol the city’s swifts and starling populations are virtually wiped out – with a 96% decline in numbers of these birds between 1994 and 2014
Marvin Rees, Major of Bristol, and the CEO of the Avon Wildlife Trust Ian Barrett, are building on the 2018 declaration of a climate emergency.
Plans to Tackle this Ecological Emergency
Marvin Rees has asked the One City Envrionment and Sustainability Board work with the council and other city partners to look at ways in which the destruction of wildife habitats can be stopped.
He wants them to look at ways to mange land sustainably, which will create wildlife-rich spaces, not just right across Bristol but across the region as well.
Everywhere and everyone needs to support wildlife, including new developments, so that species can grow alongside people.
It’s recognised that is not a quick thing to achieve. Nature takes her time, but she needs a considerable amount of help now.
She needs restoring. Climate breakdown and ecological emergency are everywhere as wild spaces are lost and wildlife with it.
As Ian Barrett says, we can’t wait for national governments or international bodies to lead the way. Collective action is needed so that wildlife can thrive and the natural world can flourish.
This includes of course people like you and me. We can all take action to do things such as planting a single window box for pollinators, walking where possible - and doing beach clean ups on team building days or helping a local wildlife charity.
At the moment, the Avon Wildlife Trust is working with local communities through a project called My Wild City. It’s transforming 8 local wildlife sites across the city, so enhancing important wildlife habitats and providing opportunities for people to visit and enjoy them.
Its urban wildlife site in Stapleton has restored wildlife in the heart of the city; people can learn practical skills in wildlife friendly planting and help fight for nature’s recovery.
Actions you can take:
Volunteer – give your time and energy! It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends and do something really worthwhile with your time that can make a difference.
Take action to help wildlife – there are a number of things you can do, including
- Build a hedgehog home
- Create a hole for hedghogs
- Grow a wild patch
- Attract butterflies to your garden
- Grow a vertical garden
- Provide water for wildlife
- Provide bushes for nesting birds
- Build a bug mansion
- Pick up litter (so wildlife don’t eat it or get harmed on it)
- Take part in a citizen survey
- Buy local produce
- And there are LOTS MORE!