Looking through the info I have on Good Being Done, I was delighted to see that forestry authorities in Shaanxi Province have launched an ecological corridor programme.
The province is situated in the north west of China, and the idea behind the programme is to connect habitats of giant pandas which have become fragmented. This means that the pandas will be able to move between the habitats.
By way of bridge construction and road culvert clearance, six such corridors will be built by 2027 in the Qinling mountains areas. The pandas will then be able to move around more easily.
That’s not all – bamboo trees will be planted along the corridors, and vegetation will be restored. This means that the pandas will have more to eat.
The thing is that this defragmentation of panda habitat was all down to human activities again. Human doings such as road traffic and hydropower station construction caused it. And that meant the pandas couldn’t connect and breed – they find breeding hard enough as it is – so it didn’t help the panda population.
Nationwide research showed that there were about 345 wild pandas living in the Qinling areas, so may there be many more in the future!
Here we go again. More trophy hunters after the thrill of the kill.
This time, it’s gorgeous, adorable puffins.
Companies in Iceland (the country, not the supermarket) are offering guided puffin hunts. A hunter can pay $3,650 each for a chance to bag up to 100 puffins at a time. How on earth can you want to do that?
The IUCN’s Red List lists puffins as “vulnerable”. And that means that if things don’t change for the better, they could go extinct.
Over the last 10 years, Iceland’s Atlantic puffin population has fallen by 1.5 million. And Iceland allows hunters to kill thousands of puffins every year. Many end up on plates in local restaurants, served to curious tourists.
And by the way, companies in Iceland also give people the chance to hunt reindeer, goose, and Ptarmigan.
Millions of people want to get a closer look at puffins every year, from the island of Alderney to Norway, the Faroe Islands, the USA and Canada. Many of these places have puffin viewing tours, which give people the chance to see puffins alive and close up.
So why can’t Iceland stop the hunt to kill puffin tours and put more emphasis on having hunt to see, enjoy and love tours instead?
Tell Iceland's president Jóhannesson to protect their puffins, not kill them.
And by the way, Theresa Villiers, Britain’s new environment secretary, is being urged to ban puffins which have been killed in trophy hunts. And also to push CITES to list seabirds for global protection.
They have been able to make important headway in restoring and safeguarding African lions, thanks to their supporters and government partners.
Effective park management, law enforcement, species-specific interventions including reintroduction and translations, and investing in education and local communities have enabled African Parks to create safe havens for lions and other wildlife. They have been able to breed and raise their young. In short, they have the conditions they need to survive and thrive.
Back in 2015, 7 lions were introduced back to the Akagera National Park in Rwanda after they had been hunted out in the 1990s. And they were welcomed there, with children and community members lining the streets. In 4 years, the pride has tripled. Poaching has practically been eliminated, wildlife is thriving and over 44,000 visitors are coming every year. Half of these are Rwandan nationals, so Akagera is 80% self-financing as a result. The youngsters value the lions, and the lions themselves are helping to build a conservation-led economy.
In Benin, in the Pendjari National Park, they are protecting 100 of the 400 remaining critically endangered West African Lions. Thanks to the support from the Lion Recovery Fund, they have collard 10 individuals so that their tracking teams could monitor the lions and better protect them.
In 2003 when African Parks took on the management of Liuwa Plain. At that time there was only one lioness, known as Lady Liuwa. Illegal hunting had killed off all the other lions. Together with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, African Parks undertook a series of translocations to help restore her pride. Lady Liuwa sadly died in 2017, but her legacy exists in a small but growing pride of lions.
Lions in Malawi
Meantime in the Majete, Malawi, working with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), African Parks reintroduced lions in 2012 after they had been hunted out in the 1990’s. Rhinos, elephants and 2,900 other animals were also reintroduced. Thus the reserve was the first Big Five destination in Malawi. Today, thanks to law enforcement efforts and community work, the reserve is flourishing and helping to repopulate other reserves in the country.
In 2018, together with the People's Postcode Lottery, the Dutch Government, the Lion Recovery Fund and the DNPW, African Parks reintroduced nine lions (seven from South Africa and two from Majete) to Liwonde National Park, also in Malawi. Lions had been absent there for at least 20 years.
This just shows how political action, donor support and local community collaboration can lead to the return of Africa’s lions – and the lions themselves can create a host of other benefits to everyone, on a local and regional basis.
The IFAW (that’s the International Fund for Animal Welfare) have planted 1,500 koala trees on Irish comedian Jimeion’s property.
A number of private land owners in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, have taken action to keep the local koalas safe. They are allowing parts of their properties to be re-planted with eucalyptus trees. This means the koalas can have a safe haven and pass through the landscape.
The idea came from Bangalow Koalas who want to restore a koala wildlife corridor from Byron Bay to Repentance Creek. A neighbour of Jimeion kindly let everyone use his paddock so that they could get to the steep land behind Jimeion’s property.
Over 120 people came to help, all wanting to help plant koala trees and secure the species’ future. Amongst them were old and young volunteers – plus tourists from the UK and Germany. Imagine going home after your holiday and telling people you were part of a volunteer group which planted trees to help secure koalas’ future!
The land had been prepared already and the holes pre-dug. Saplings had been provided – and all the volunteers planted 1,500 trees IN ONE HOUR! They trees were the koalas’ favourite local food trees such as red gum, swamp mahogany, tallow wood and the important medicinal melaleuca that koalas eat from instinct when they don’t feel well.
The trees grow quickly in the climate and in a few years they will be home for koalas, birds and native wildlife. And Jimeoin hopes that by planting trees on his land, the koalas will stay.
The key message IFAW want us to take from this is that yes, there are messages of loss and possible extinction of koalas. They are certainly in trouble. But there is hope – and crucially THERE IS A SOLUTION.
IFAW and Bangalow Koalas hope to plant 25,000 trees by the end of the year.
It’s a fantastic thing to do and I hope they make it. A big thank you to both IFAW and Bangalow Koalas, and also to volunteers and – of course – to the land owners who are willing to help the koalas in this way
Visit Bangalow Koalas here – check out their gallery, whatever you do. It has some beautiful photos and videos of the Bangalow Koalas! You can become a member or donate through their website to help.
Here’s a video of another project Bungalow Koalas worked on with the Northern Rivers Community Foundation. They started a wildlife corridor in Binna Burra in the Northern Riveres of NSW to help conserve the local koalas.