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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Category: Lifestyle changes can make a difference

  1. Bristol declares ‘ecological emergency’

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    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.

    Find out more here about Bristol’s response to the ecological emergency

    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:

    Donate to the Avon Wildlife Trust and help its work

    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

    1. Build a hedgehog home
    2. Create a hole for hedghogs
    3. Grow a wild patch
    4. Attract butterflies to your garden
    5. Grow a vertical garden
    6. Provide water for wildlife
    7. Provide bushes for nesting birds
    8. Build a bug mansion
    9. Pick up litter (so wildlife don’t eat it or get harmed on it)
    10. Take part in a citizen survey
    11. Buy local produce
    12. And there are LOTS MORE!

    Become a member or give a gift membership – there’s even a business membership

     

     

     

  2. 5 easy ways to make a difference to climate change from the National Trust

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    As a member of the National Trust, I receive its magazine.

    One of the things the Spring 2020 magazine covers was climate change and what the Trust is doing to care for the places in its care as they are affected by it.

    Things like daffodils appearing earlier; rope bridges being closed to visitors more frequently because of high winds; paintings being affected by the temperatures in the summer all point to a changing climate.  Houses close because of the heat, since it affects collections and the fabric of the building.  More pests and diseases are having an impact on the plants in the garden. 

    Together they make a picture that’s uneasy and that the Trust is trying to deal with.  

    The National Trust itself is taking measures to tackle climate change, such as a renewable energy investment programme. It’s pledged to reduce its use of fossil fuels by 50% by 2021.  It’s creating or restoring 25,000 hectares of natural habitats because areas such as wetland and woodland can capture and store thousands of tonnes of carbon. 

    And the Trust has created Fit for the Future, which brings together some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners to fight the impact of climate change and rising energy costs.

    So there’s lots the National Trust is doing, but as it points out, we all need to start lowering our impact on the world and start making changes.

    Find out how the National Trust is tackling climate change

     

    The National Trust says there are five easy ways to make a difference are:

    1. Waste less – less food, less energy and less water
    2. Turn heating down and layer up (this is something Polar Bears International ask us all to do – they even have a Thermostat Challenge)
    3. Use an online carbon calculator to find out your carbon footprint and to work out how you can reduce it. 
    4. Can you walk, bike, car share or use public transport?
    5. Get involved in Leap for Nature on 29 February and make a promise for nature this year.

    Read the National Trust's 2019 wildlife and weather reviewRead the National Trust's 2019 wildlife and weather review

    A great and truly giving way to help them is to dig deep and be willing to make changes ourselves to help wildlife. Do it for the koalas, the polar bears, the penguins, the puffins…. your favourite wildlife...

     
  3. Double your money with a donation to ZSL by 31 December 2019

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    Saving wildlife starts with people.

    ZSL have established a project to help both people and wildlife on the edges of national parks in Nepal and Kenya.

    Life is very difficult here. Elephants trample crops; tigers attack livestock.   Families risk their lives as they enter the forest to gather firewood and graze their cattle.  These activities damage wildlife habitats.

    Unfortunately, some people become involved in wildlife crime, such as hunting bushmeat, to feed their families.  Worse, they can be exploited by the international illegal wildlife trade.

    For People For Wildlife

    So ZSL are tackling the problem with a project to help people – and so help wildlife – with a project For People For Wildlife



    ZSL are teaming up with communities to help them establish sustainable livelihoods.  They will help with start-up costs e.g. training nature guides, fencing to safeguard crops, starting a salon – and also develop ways to live alongside wildlife peacefully.

    The plan is that families will then have a reliable, sustainable income and escape poverty, and thus be better placed to help protect the forest and its wildlife, and indeed to help it survive and thrive.

    The donations will help tackle various threats to people and wildlife.  And they will help wildlife through science, education and conservation.

    Every donation will be doubled by the UK Government up to 31 December 2019 (up to £2 mililon)

    £1 really does = £2 if you donate by 31 December 2019!
    Donate here


    You can help by making a donation - and for every £1 donated by 31 December 2019, the UK Government will MATCH your donation, up to £2 million. 

    Find out more and DONATE here

     

  4. Slipped up with plastic? Donate your guilt!

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    So with the best will in the world, there will be times when we forget to bring along a re-usable bag, or we need to buy a plastic bottle of water.

    And we think, “Oh dear, I shouldn’t have done that.  I must be more organised next time,” or “Oh dear, that’s one more bottle to add to the millions that will end up in a whale’s stomach…” or “I must do better next time” or “Oh well, it doesn’t happen very often”  etc etc

    Slipped up with plastic?  Donate your guilt!

    Well, the Marine Conservation Society have come up with a way to help us all overcome those moments of guilt!

    Donate your guilt to the Marine Conservation Society!!  Yes, you can now donate your guilt and help the MCS continue its work to stem the plastic tide.

    You can donate in different ways:

    • Donate money
    • Donate your time – clean up a local beach, for instance
    • Donate a share online with this idea – let’s spread it about!

    Remember, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse Repurpose, Recycle.  I repurpose all the water we don’t use e.g. in water glasses – it goes straight onto the garden. 

    Donations will help the MCS organise more beach cleans and run more campaigns to encourage the UK government to bring in vital legislation.  It will also help them hold companies, industry and governments to account.

    Find out more here

    Make a donation here

     

     

  5. World Environment Day is on the 5th June every year. The theme in 2019 is Beat Air Pollution

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    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.