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. Researchers doing some photo monitoring in the Vorontsov Land of the Leopard National Park have identified 91 adult leopards, as well as 22 cubs!

    As a rule, a qualitative increase is possible when the population has at least twice as many females as males. The high percentage of cubs too is good news. 

    The new trend amongst Far Eastern Leopards suggests stabilisation of this rare cat’s population.  They are also known as Amur Leopards.

    The Land of the Leopard National Park accounts for about 70% of the leopard’s natural habitat.  This was a key decision:  it means that the Far Eastern Leopard can now live safely on an area of almost 2,800 square kilometres.  

    To count the wild cats, national park employees went through nearly a million camera trap images.  About 10,000 of them had leopards on them!



    To complete the picture, experts from the Russian national park are eagerly waiting for the results that their Chinese colleagues are producing; they too have been monitoring photos.

    These data are vital now that the Land of the Leopard has become a “birth centre” for the spotted cats; many young leopards move to the Chinese borders to look out new territories.  Some return, but a certain number stay in China – and that means that the leopard population can grow!

    Far Eastern Leopards is an autonomous non-profit organisation. Far Eastern Leopards’ mission is “to protect and restore the Far Eastern Leopard population in its historical habitat in the Russian Far East.

    It supports the photo monitoring at Land of the Leopard and the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve.  About 360,000 hectares are being monitored in the national park.  400 automatic camera traps can be found in the national park, so it’s the largest camera trap network in Russia!

    Camera trap images enable scientists to do several things:

    • to determine the size of the animal population
    • to monitor changes in their life cycle
    • to estimate their physical condition
    • to determine their behavioural traits. 

    Find out about Far Eastern Leopards here – there’s lots of information on Far Eastern Leopards and also the organisation trying to protect and restore the species.

    Reasons for the very low numbers of these leopards are:

    • Reduced feeding supply – the prey they live off have been dying out because of poaching and deforestation
    • Habitat destruction and infrastructure development – forest fire risks have increased because of deforestation and mining;  roads make the areas more accessible to humans
    • Poaching – leopard skin and body parts are used in oriental medicine

     

  2. Giraffes are in trouble.  The giraffe population is already down between 36 to 40%.

    For the first time ever, 5 African countries are proposing to add the giraffe to the list of protected species.  This would really make a difference.

    How you can help giraffes with a click

    There’s a petition calling on CITES to launch and fund an Africa-wide Giraffe Action Plan.  The Plan would:

    • Recover giraffe populations
    • Protect giraffe habitats
    • Support local communities living alongside giraffes

    The petition can be found at Avaaz.org.  Avaaz.org is a world-wide community with nearly 50 million members.  It has petitions you can set up and sign to give your support to proposed changes or messages about causes you care about and want to help

    Please sign this petition to help giraffes today!

    When you go through to Avaaz and the petition, there’s a picture of someone called Tess and a dead giraffe, just to warn you. 

    Avaaz say that Tess killed the giraffe for fun. She's certainly got a big smile on her face. There are no words to describe how I feel about people who do this.

    Why this petition to help giraffes now?

    Very shortly, countries from across the world will meet for a crucial global wildlife summit.

    Back in January 2019, 57 proposals to amend the list of species subject to CITES regulations were submitted by 90 countries for consideration.   This consideration will take place from 23 May to 3 June 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

    (I can’t help feeling that if they spent less time making up titles like that, and more on protecting wildlife, we might make more progress.)

    So how could this CITES meeting affect giraffes?

    For the first time ever, five African countries have proposed adding giraffes to the list of protected species.

    You can see the species here that the meeting will consider, and find out about the proposal to protect giraffes here

    Sign the Petition at Avaaz.org now,

    Then please share the petition widely to help make the senseless killing of this giraffe into a new direction for giraffes.

     

     

  3. There’s a new Petition on Avaaz which is called World Leaders, Protect Half our Planet.

    The petition is calling for world leaders to forge a new agreement such that at least 50% of our lands and oceans must be protected and restored.  

    A global study has just found that every insect on the planet is on track to be wiped out – causing life on Earth to collapse – and that includes humans.

    Sign the Petition here

     

    The petition says:

    To world leaders:

    "We global citizens are deeply concerned by scientists warning that ecosystems critical to sustaining life on Earth could collapse in our lifetimes. We call on you to meet existing targets to protect biodiversity, forge a new agreement so that at least 50% of our lands and oceans are protected and restored, and ensure our planet is completely sustainably managed. This must take into consideration the needs of human development and have the active support of indigenous peoples. This long-term goal for nature can restore harmony with our home."

    Nature has never needed such a strong voice and scientists are offering a way to defend nature and people too – put half the planet under protection.  At the moment, France, Germany, Canada and other countries are about to hold talks to look at the idea before a global summit on extinction. 

    This is all happening at the time Sir David Attenborough’s programme Our Planet streams on Netflix, hoping for an audience in 190 countries.  It could be over ONE BILLION people watch it – that’s one in seven (give or take a few) on the planet. 

    The petition calls on these leaders to back protection for half the earth. 

    Sign here

     

  4. Did you know there’s research being undertaken to find out how badly school children are affected by pollution every day?

    The Daily Mail reports that 250 pupils in schools across London are gathering data for one week.  They are carrying pollution sensors made by Dyson in lightweight backpacks.  The sensors only weigh just over 1kg and take one pocket, so the rest of the space in the backpack can be used for books etc.

    The sensors can measure both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels and will enable the researchers to gain a better understanding of which pollutions are the most harmful. 

    The study is being run by King’s College London and it’s hoped that the findings will discover at which points and on which routes youngsters are most exposed to toxic pollutants. 

    As I’m so fond of saying, you can’t expect to be healthy if your environment isn’t healthy too. 


    If we can improve the air for people, it will help animals as well.