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. Today – Wednesday 5th June 2019 – is World Environment Day.

    #BEATAIRPOLLUTION is the theme.

     

    There are events taking place all over the world.

    Join in World Environment Day


    The UN says understanding the different types of pollution and how it affects our health and environment will understand how we can move forward and take steps to improve the air quality around us.

    The thing is, I don’t think politicians care enough about all this.  They – like too many in the business sector – are too busy thinking short term, about securing their next vote, or their next profit, or capturing the next market.  If they are caring now, it’s because we, many of the public, are kicking off and saying enough is enough. 

    It’s time we all said, enough is enough.  We need to re-evaluate how we use energy, what we can do to lessen our use of it, and how we can change our own lives to change the way we use the earth’s resources.

    Have a go at a Carbon Footprint Calculator

    What changes can you make to your life

    to cut your carbon footprint?

    I’ve done mine and I’ve earmarked several ways I can cut down.   Am I perfect? No.  Do I fail sometimes? Yes.  But I have to keep going and just put it right next time.  It’s a bit like being on a diet.  You always get things you could do better.  Don’t berate yourself – just start afresh straight away.

    We need to keep looking at this and keep making changes.  It will mean better air quality for all of us and could mean more money in our pockets if we cut back on energy bills.

    This World Environment Day,

    Take the Mask Challenge

    It may mean walking or cycling or using public transport instead of taking the car – which is possible for a good many of us. It could mean making a concentrated effort to drop the kids off further away from school so they have to walk and get exercise and fresher air along the way.  We have legs to use, not to lie idle!

    It may mean putting an extra jumper on and turning the heating down or off, and getting used to cooler air in our homes again.

    It could mean having to put the walking out on an airer or line to dry and spending a few minutes bending and stretching to do this rather than chucking clothes into a tumble drier.  How good for us is some bending and stretching!  It’s very refreshing.

    It could mean doing something for leisure which doesn’t involve so much of the use of the earth’s resources.  Gardening – grow your own – sewing – make and mend – knitting, reading.  Grow wildlife friendly hedges, not fences; plant wildlife friendly flowers and bushes, not decking or artificial grass.

    We can all cut back on our intake of meat and dairy – there are lots of other alternatives now, and one of the biggest reasons for deforestation is the need for land to grow crops.  Not for people, but for livestock.   Reduce the need for meat and diary, then the need for livestock, then more of our forests will remain standing to be the lungs for our planet.

    It means cutting back on the use of plastic – we managed without it before so we have we become such a throw away society?  We must change.  Make your own sandwiches rather than doing a take-away, take a flask filled with your own hot drink, use a resuable water bottle and watch your bills go down.

    Anyway, the good thing is that there are a lot of good things happening in the world today and there are a lot of people who are taking action and doing things about our environment, even if our politicians aren’t doing anything or enough.  Some are doing things – we all need to keep the pressure on to make sure they keep these up.   We have the power to kick out those who think it doesn’t matter.

    And we all need to think about pro-creating.  We need to cut back on the numbers of people this world is producing and each of us need to reduce our demands on the planet.  

    As Mahatma Gandhi said back in the 1950s, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”  The planet only had about 3 billion people on it then.  We're now up to 7.6 billion and rising.

    Join in the noise on World Environment Day

    and let’s all make a difference.

     

     

     

  2. There’s a new protected area in Bolivia! It spans over 12,000 square kilometres – that’s 4,650 square miles.  And it includes well-conserved forests – it’s home to 300 species of birds and 100 species of jaguars, pumas and night monkeys.  It’s home too to the Ayoreo indigenous community which is voluntarily isolated.

     “Ñembi Guasu” means “the great hideout” or “the great refuge.”  The creation of the protected area is expected to help to offset deforestation in Bolivia’s Gran Chaco region.

    The Ñembi Guasu Area of Conservation and Ecological Importance is the second-largest protected area in the Gran Chaco.   The jaguar, puma, the southern night monkey, the southern tamandua live here.



    The area is one of the few places in Bolivia where long-term plans can be made for jaguars and other large animals there.

    The territory is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and at least 80 species of reptiles and amphibians.   The area is described as “a large area where animals can hide”.

    Some threats put the territory at risk – the extraction of oil is one.  The Bolivian government approved an order that allows the extraction of oil in natural areas.  Land invasions are another problem. 

    The forest is virgin forest – with lots of wildlife – and it needs protecting 

     

  3. There’s a Pangolin Crisis Fund that’s managed by the Wildlife Conservation Network.

    Save Pangolins have technical oversight of it.   It’s governed by expert advisors in the field in conservation and philanthropy.

    The Pangolin Crisis Fund has one goal: 

    To eliminate the demand, trafficking and poaching criss that puts all 8 species of pangolins at risk of extinction.

    The fund will invest in projects that are in keeping with the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group’s strategies, such as:

    • Reducing demand for pangolin scales and meat by targeted campaigns to consumers and building relationships with government policy makers
    • Envorcement – strenthing those agencies protecting pangolins and their habitats – anti-oaching units, helping customs and protected area management
    • Combating trafficking – reducing the illegal trade of pangolins at every level, with judicial reform and anti-trafficking tools.  Close alliances with law enforcement and policymakers with be needed
    • Raising the profile of pangolins to start changing behavioiur and encourage conservation support
    • Working with local communities living next to pangolin habitat so that they can see these animals as worth more alive than poached

    Find out more about Save Pangolins here

    Find out more about the Pangolin Crisis Fund here

     

  4. This August 2019, Birdfair takes place in Rutland in the UK.

    Every year, this huge event raises money for conservation – big money.  In 2018, it raised £322,000 to create a haven for Flamingos at Mar Chiquita in Argentina

    23,000 people went to the fair – you can see its size – and all helped contribute towards creating this haven for 3 species of flamingo and other bird species. 

    BirdLife International will work with Aves Argentinas, its partner in Argentina, to create the country’s newest national park there.

    In 2019, Birdfair takes place between 16 to 18 August.

    Proceeds from the tickets, exhibitor fees, sponsorship and events will all go towards this year’s project.

    The 2019 Birdfair project is for the Big Five in Cambodia.

    Western Siem Pang has 40% of the logbal population of White-shouldered Ibis, over 20% of the global population of Giant Ibis and 0% of the Cambodian population of vultures – actually up to 84 of the 121 left.


    The Indian Spotted Eagle, Green Peafowl, Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant and Great Slaty Woodpecker, Eld’s Deer, Clouded Leopard and Sun Bears also live there.

    The location of the site is all the more important because of its location, connecting the Virachey National Park in Colombia to the Xe Pian National Protected Area in Laos.

    It creates a unique block of protected forests which means that some of the rarest large mammal and bird species in Asia can move freely.

    BirdLife International’s involvement in the area isn’t new.  It’s been there for 15 years helping to make sure it was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2016.

    How will Birdfair 2019 help wildlife in Cambodia?

    The money raised from BirdFair 2019 will go to improving relationships with local people to protect the species living there.   Authorities there will be better able to tackle illegal activities and provide site management support to manage and protect the forest effectiveliy.  And the Ministry of Environment needs help, too:  to develop a zoning plan for the huge new site and ensure the rangers have the training and organization they need.   Rules need to be enforced.

    Introducing the Ibis Rise Initiative

    One of the things I find particularly exciting about the work being done and to be done is to expand the scope of an initiative called Ibis Rise.  It’s an enterprise working with Cambodian farmers to protect the ecosystem, whilst offering better of life and livelihoods.

    The aim is to expand wildlife-friendly rice farming to 200-300 families who agree to the “no hunting, no logging, no encroaching” rules in exchange for a premium price for their produce.


    Finally, BirdLife has been working to improve the reproductive success of the areas’ five Critically Endangered bird species by restoring wetlands and monitoring their populations.  If their breeding efforts can be supported, it is hoped they will be able to expand back into more of a natural range.

    There are 700,000 hectares, so this is a BIG project for wildlife!

    More information

    Find out more about BirdFair (dogs aren’t allowed, apart from Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs)