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. 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

     

     

  2. 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.

     

     

     

  3. Polar bears heading to unusual places as sea ice melts

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    I had an interesting email from Polar Bears International (PBI) today.

    They have noticed that polar bears are showing up in odd places.   An exhausted polar bear was seen recently in a village on Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula – and that’s 600 kilometers plus from its home range.

    Their Senior Director of Conservation, Geoff York, thinks this could be that the bear hitched a ride on an ice floe and drifted south, as the ice broke up earlier in the Bering and Chukchi seas this spring. 

    Unusual and fast ice loss this year has displaced polar bears form their preferred hunting areas.   Seals give birth to their pups in spring In snow lairs or on the sea ice surface.  This makes the polar bear’s dinner more abundant and accessible than at any other time of the year.

    However the Russian polar bear was far from this area.

    It was decided to air-lift him back north, to Chukotka in the Russian Arctic.

    But there have been other unusual occurrences in the region over several months.  Some have been far from the sea.   This could be because of unstable ice cover.

    Sustained early sea ice is bad news for polar bears

    Polar Bears International know from other regions that sustained early sea ice break up doesn’t do polar bears any good. 

    • Fewer hunting opportunities
    • Decreased body condition
    • Impacts on reproduction which aren’t good
    • Negative impacts on survival, especially the old and  young

    If there’s less sea ice in the Arctic, it gets more difficult for polar bears to make a living from the frozen ocean.  Of course people living on the Arctic rely on stable ice to get around on, and to gather food.  We all need a frozen Arctic ecosystem to regulate our climate.    So we ALL need the Arctic to be in good health.


    Polar Bears International works in 3 ways:

    Education and outreach.  As more polar bears appear onshore, the charity works to help keep polar bears and people safe, with outreach on best practices for avoiding human-polar bear conflict.   These include getting rid of things such as open garbage dumps and installing bear-proof ones. 

    Research – the charity is studying the effectiveness of using surveillance radar to detect approaching polar bears.  This means alerts can be given before a bear enters town.  PBI help with research on the best deterrants – and that includes putting together a  history of polar bear attacks, and their causes to help avoid future conflicts.

    Climate Action. PBI is one working to solve the climate crisis, sharing their knowledge of polar bears and coming up with solutions.  This includes the Climate Alliance training program for zoo staff members, outreach to motivate citizen involvement, and advocacy to policy makers on the urgent need to act.

    Get involved and help polar bears

     

     

  4. Children take part in air pollution study - pollution affects us all

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    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.