Wildlife Conservation News

Please sign this petition:  Stop shooting black rhinos!

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: Forest Conservation

  1. Sustainable chocolate and helping gorillas

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    What links gorillas and chocolate?

    If you ever needed a reason to stop yourself before you buy chocolate, here’s one. 

    In Nigeria, 96 percent of the country's forests are gone.  In the south east, the forests in Cross River State are still home to gorillas.

    In 2017, over 16,000 hectares of rivers in the Cross River State were destroyed.  How?

    • Deforestation
    • Illegal logging
    • Palm oil plantations
    • The production of charcoal

    Cocoa plantations are encroaching on protected forests.  Our demand for chocolate is driving the devastation of chocolates.

    The Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the world leaders in cocoa production. Nearly all of Côte d’Ivoire’s protected areas have been plundered.  Ghana holds the world record for its rate of deforestation in 2018.

    What will happen in Nigeria?  Nigeria is the third largest cocoa exporter in the world.

    Gorilla habitat is shrinking day by day.  The gorillas have less and less habitat to call home as their forests are destroyed by humans.

    Most chocolate makers, say Rainforest Rescue, buy all the cocoa they can get without asking any questions.  It is very difficult for consumers to find out if chocolate they buy was produced in a sustainable way.

    Environmentalists are working to get the EU to regulate the market – but gorillas need help NOW.


    Help gorillas now and sign Rainforest Rescue's petition

    The Governor of Cross River State could do the most to help these beautiful animals.  He’s Ben Ayade and Rainforest Rescue have a petition asking him to strengthen the protection of his state’s forests. 

    Please sign this petition here.


  2. More forest land bought up for safe keeping with the Cumberland Forest Project

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    The non-profit organisation the Nature Conservancy announced on Monday that  it has partnered up with private investors to acquire 101,000 hectares of forest land. 

    This forest land lies in the coalfields of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

    The Cumberland Forest Project will do several things:

    • Protect the land
    • Make money through sustainable forestry, recreational leases and the eventual sale of the properties.
    • Help offset carbon
    • Benefit wildlife
    • Help water quality

    The forest lands cover 100,000 acres in Kentucky & Tennessee.   Some 153,000 acres are in south-west Virginia.  As such, this project’s land is one of the largest conservation efforts the group has taken up in the east of the US. Theland was bought from timber investment management companies for $130,000.

    The Cumberland Forest Project won’t own the mineral rights of the land.  This means mining could still take place – but the Nature Conservancy says just a small percentage of the land would be subject to mining and the group would have  a say in the process.

    The area includes the central Appalachians which are especially important to preserve biodiversity and help wildlife adapt to climate change. 

    The Nature Conservancy hopes that this model can be done in other areas, so that long term, a super highway of protected land could be created along the mountain range. 

    It means conservation can happen on a scale which can’t be achieved through philanthropy on its own.

    Conservation needs all the help it can get and it also needs new ways of working so it will be interesting to what this model can achieve. 

    Visit the Nature Conservancy here to see how you can help


  3. Land donated - Presidential Estates in Eastern USA

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    The West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, and his family have made a donation to the future of Virginia.

    They have donated 4,500 acres in Virginia and in doing so have forfeited hundreds of development rights.   That’s about 7 square miles.

    The area will remain as timberland and for agriculture – but at least it won’t be full of sprawling housing developments and shopping malls.  

    Known as Presidential Estates, 2,657 acres of the property are ranked as having “High” or “Very High” forest conservation value, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.   The property also has over 18 miles of watercourses.  These contribute to the aquatic habitat and public drinking water supplies of communities downstream.

    There are plenty of opportunities for us all to make land donations and every single square foot we can donate help.  

    Pledge a patch for wildlife - you don't need thousands of acres to make a difference.

    Pledge a patch for wildlife - you don't need thousands of acres to make a difference.   

    Every square foot helps.  
    Your patch can be as big as this pot with wildlife friendly flowers in it!
    pic copyright to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.

    Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are asking people in the area to Pledge a Patch – which means dedicating an area to wildlife.   This patch could be in your garden, school, community or work place.  It could be a window box, woodland, a bed full of wild-flowers, a tiny pond – anything that makes a difference to wildlife.

    The more of us who can do this, the better.  We have turned our garden over to wildlife and consider it theirs, as much as ours.

    Meantime, donations such as Governor Justice and his family make also help considerably, of course, so if you have a patch of land…. please consider leaving it to a local conservation charity or work out ways to make the most of for wildlife.   Keep it safe from human development. 


  4. Good news for Rainforests from the Sumatran Orangutan Society

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    We need all the good news we can get for rainforests at the moment, and there's two sets of good news from the Sumatran Orangutan Society today!

    Temporary Moratorium set to become a Permanent one!

    Good News for Rainforests!

    In an email, SOS sent a link to Mongabay which report that a temporary moratorium which prohibits the issuing of new permits to clear primary and peat forests is set to become permanent later this year.   There is more that can be done to strengthen this action, such as including secondary forests, say environmental activists.  

    When it was first introduced back in 2011, the moratorium was largely ineffective in stemming deforestation;  but since 2016, it has been shored up by peat-protection regularions which have helped to slow the loss of forest cover.  And fears that the move would harm the economy have been unfounded. 

    There's also a need to close a loophole which allows primary and peat forests to be razed for rice, sugarcane and other crop planatations.  

    But the move to make the moratorium permanent is a start.  Indonesia has pledged to slash its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 29% by 2030.   Although it is one of the top emitters world-wide, most of the emissions come from deforestation and not the burning of fossil fuels.

    Swing over to Mongabay for more information. 

    And there's more!

    Palm oil plantations to be cleared ready for new forest

    From 2018 to 2019, SOS ran an urgent appeal - the Rainforest Home Appeal.   They needed to raise £870,000 to buy 890 acres. 


    Clearing oil palms starts on Monday 17 June 2019 so that reforestation take place
    Visit SOS, the Sumatran Orangutan Society

    The public did it and the money was raised - and on 17th June 2019, a restoration team will start to clear the oil palm trees using chainsaws.   Once the oil palms have gone, the next phrase of restoration will start, bringing the land closer to being forest again!