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: Help a species

  1. One Minute Action: Stop the depletion of forests in Cameroon

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    In Africa’s Cameroon, 60,000 hectares of rainforest are at risk from deforestation.

    The area is home to western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, buffalo, panthers and pangolins.

    Threat to wildlife living in these hectares

    Unfortunately, the government is in the process of allocating 60,000 hectares of rainforest to the Cambert SARL company for palm oil plantation. 

    Did I mention that Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world where there are gorillas?  They, and the Campo Ma’an National Park are in danger from deforestation.

    There’s a cost to the fishermen and Bagyeli indigenous people living there, too.  They are already suffering the effects of rubber and palm oil plantations and now they risk losing their livelihood. 

    Stop the depletion of forests in Cameroon

     

    How to help this rainforest

    Rainforest Rescue need as many of us as possible to sign their petition, or call to action.

    But what does Camvert actually REALLY want the area for?  One possibility is that they want it for wood.

    Nearly 40 envrionmental protection organsiations are fighting against this destruction.

    Please support the resistance in Cameroon and sign Rianforest Rescue’s petition.

    Take action now - Sign the petition

  2. Good news for forests in Belize from the World Land Trust

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    The World Land Trust has great news for forests!

    On 16 January 2020, the Governement of Belize signed the declaration of North-eastern Biological Corridor of Belize.  It covers an area of nearly 70,000 acres and links the northernmost nature reserve in Belize with more central natural habitats.

    It’s really important, because it’s the first step towards achieving a total North-South corridor crossing the whole country as the map shows!

    Jaguars and other wildlife now have room to roam

    ©World Land Trust

    It’s a tremendous example of public-private partnership:  the government of Belize, local NGOs, private landowners and many international donors – including the World Land Trust – have been involved.

    UNITED FOR CONSERVATION,
    WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE BETTER

    The corridor connects a system of three protected areas in one system.  Deforestation has caused the loss of over 25,000 acres of forest in tihe last 10 years.

    This will now allow big animals such as jaguar and Baird’s Tapirs enough space to move freely between protected areas and so ensure their long term survival!  It will also help build climate resilience into Belize’s network of protected areas.

    Why was this acquisition necessary?

    In Belize, about 50% of the country is under natural vegetation cover.  About 35% of the country is under some form of protection. 

    So it is still possible to create biological corridors between protected areas.

    It’s vital that these acquisitions take place, and speedily, because agricultural development are increasingly encroaching on forest.

    How did supporters of the World Land Trust
    – people like you & me –
    help in this achievement?

    The World Land Trust mobilised its supporters and inspired new ones to raise funds to support this land acquisition.  It included 2018’s Big Match Fortnight Jungle for Jaguars campaign, and another Buy an Acre opportunity a few months after that.  (The Big Match Fortnight normally comes in October when donations are matched for a specific appeal – it is incredible how much and how speedily this builds up.)

    Donate in memory of someone special
    I donated to this campaign during the Big Match Fortnight (actually in memory of my wonderful Dad as his birthday is in November and I plant a tree or do a buy an acre on his birthday and at Christmas for him, as Dad loved trees). 

    Ask someone to donate as a gift for you
    I asked my husband to also donate as my early Christmas present and it was by far the best present I had.   It really meant something to me.  We had made a difference.

    I cannot tell you the glow and warm feeling I have in my heart when I think of my jaguar roaming the biological corridor.   I call him “my jaguar” – he obviously isn’t, and I’m never going to meet him – but it’s lovely to think that because I donated and my husband has too, we’ve helped him and lots of other animals.

    Please do donate to the World Land Trust if you can, and keep an eye on their website.  I often post news of their new appeals here, so you can watch this space as well.  They are a wonderful charity and it’s good to give a meaningful gift which will last, so if you’re looking for a gift for a wildlife lover, making a donation could be a great way to do something to really make a difference – a win, win, win all round!

    This was the You Tube Video for Jungle for Jaguars – it raised £532,000 in the Big Match Fortnight (normally early October) alone and hit the £600,000 target by Christmas, helping to save 8,154 vital acres.  A further 1,818 acres were saved a few months later.

     
  3. Australia on Fire: Climate Emergency

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    There’s a programme on Channel 4 tonight (Monday 3 February 2020) at 8pm that I’m not sure I really want to watch, but I can’t help feeling I should.  

    I am watching it and there are graphic images and footage, just to warn you.

    Australia on Fire:  Climate Emergency is the story of the battle to save Australia form the bushfires.  It includes first-hand accounts from firefighters on the front line, and looks at the long-term impact of the fires on the animal population and ecology.

    Drone footage show the extent of the devastation.

    There’s also coverage of those who just escaped their burning properties – and we hear from those who have gone back to properties that are burnt out.

    Thank you to all those everywhere who fought the fires and worked so hard and continue to work hard to help the animals in Australia.

    The GoFundMe fundraiser for Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is still going (up to $7.7 million) and you can still donate to make a difference to Australian wildlife.

     

  4. World Wetlands Day is 2 February

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    Back in 1971 on 2 February, the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar which sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea

    Today, the 2nd February is a really important day for people and wildlife, because it’s a chance to highlight how important wetlands are to us all. They are where land meets sea.  The 2nd February is World Wetlands Day. 

    This year, the theme is “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of wetland biodiversity conservation.

    Where are wetlands?

    Wetlands cover areas such as shores, estuaries, mudflats, floodplains, coastal marshes, local ponds, the bog and pond in your garden, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and rivers.  They cover a very small of the earth’s surface – and yet they are one of the most important habitats on our planet. 


    "If rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood.  As much as we need air to breathe, we need water to live.   The conservation of our wetlands is essential to all life on earth.”  WWT

    Why wetlands matter to people:

    • They provide us with drinking water
    • They store a third of the world’s carbon emissions
    • They buffer us from floods and droughts
    • They are important for our health and wellbeing

    Why do wetlands matter to wildlife?

    40% of all plant and animal species live or breed here.

    They are vital breeding and feeding grounds for migratory birds – stopover points, if you like. Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders, Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China).  These birds use wetlands such as our coastlines to stop, moult, rest, winter or nest.  

    Pantanal Conservation Area (Brazil) is one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

    Sundarbans National Park (India) is formed of tidal rivers, creeks and canals and supports species such as the single largest population of tiger, and aquatic mammals such as the Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins, all under threat.

    So what’s happening to wetlands in our changing world?

     A recent global IPBES assessment identified wetlands as the most threatened ecosystem. This impacts 40% of the world’s plant and animal species that live or breed in wetlands.

    Our wetlands are threatened by:

    • Pollution
    • Climate change
    • Dams
    • Over-exploitation

    Beavering away to address these problems are organisations such as the World Heritage Centre. An example of its work is the Okavango Delta which has incredible biodiversity but is threatened thanks to development pressure.  It’s home to indigenous peoples and wildlife such as the cheetah, white rhinos, black rhinos, lion and the African  wild dog.  In 2019, the State Parties of Namibia, Botswana and Angola agreed a roadmap to explore the boundary extension of the World Heritage Site here to protect the river basin and the unique wetland system.

    In the UK, there’s the WWT –Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust but of course its work extends well beyond the UK.

    WWT say that:

    Between 1970 and 2014, populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptile species declined by a dreadful 60%

    In the last 400 years, England has lost 90% of her wetlands

    30% of known fish species, many at risk amphibians and reptiles, migratory and resident water birds,, and thousands of plant species life here.

    However, the WWT is working hard to create, protect and restore – it believes we can reverse the decline and bring wetlands back to life. Its conservation projects strengthen the link between wetlands, wildlife and people, both in the UK and further afield.  Find out more about their plans for 2020

     At their Llanelli wetland centre, they created new islands, nest boxes, rafts, scrapes and pools.  This gave waterbirds such as the lapwing somewhere to breed.  Find out more here



    At Slimbridge, they have just had two spoon-billed sandpipers have just hatched (after 8 years of trying)!   This is really good news – breeding pairs worldwide are under 200.  The chicks are the size of bumblebees, so that gives you an idea of how small the birds are!

    So what can we all do to help wetland conservation?

     WWT can create new wetlands in a few months and years – so your support can really make a difference quickly.  But there’s something we can all do to help and you’ll find more links and further resources further down. 

    • Create a pond in your garden, local area or school
    • Visit a wetland close to you and spend time there.   Use your senses while you visit.  Listen to the sounds you can hear; look at the sights, smell the scents.
    • Support the conservation work of your local wetlands charity
    • Volunteer for local wetland charities
    • Donate to wetland charities – look out for their appeals
    • Become a member and find out more
    • Spread the word about wetlands and follow #WetlandBiodiversityMatters to see what’s happening
    • Adopt an animal as a gift – you can adopt a swan, duck, crane from the WWT




    Further Resources

    World Wetland Network – a collection of NGOs and Civil Society Groups all working for wetland conservation

    Wetland Link International – a support network for wetland education centres which deliver engagement activities on site.  The WWT in the UK lead it; it has 350 members over 6 continents!

    RAMSAR –  The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. 

    World Wetlands Day – held every year on 2 February to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands and how we can all help

    WWT – the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK.   Visit one of their 10 sites around the UK and/or visit their website to see how you can get involved.

    The Global Wetland Outlook – take a look, it’s fascinating reading

     

  5. Join the Army of People who Knit, Sew and Crochet for Animals in Australia

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    If you can sew, or knit or crochet, then there’s a Facebook page you should take a look at.

    An army of 20,000 people have joined forces to sew, knit and crochet vital equipment for the animals who have been orphaned by the horrible bushfires tearing through Australia.

    There’s a need for joey pouches, bird nests, koala mittens and blankets to go to rescue centres.

    It is now estimated that a BILLION animals have been killed and can’t imagine that number will stop there.  

    The UK Crafters United Group has made items from wool, old bits of clothing and bedhseets to go to Australia.

    People all over the world are knitting, sewing and crocheting for animals...


    It all started when Australian based Animal Rescue Craft Guild put out an appeal.  And it’s grown to such an extent that Niki Cardwell who set up the Facebook group has reported to
    The Times that she’s had to recruit an admin team to co-ordinate the operation.

    People of all ages are knitting, men and women, and the group has released a pattern guide showing how to knit, crochet and sew joey pouches. 

    Bentley, who make cars, have offered to deliver several crates.  The group is talking to airlines BA and Virgin about shipments.

    Find out more through the group’s Facebook page.