Actions for Animals

 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead, American anthropologist, 1901-1978
 

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Category: Wildlife Habitat: Ocean & Sea Conservation

  1. Beluga Whales Little Gray and Little White make their move!

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    This blog was first published on 20 June 2019 and then again with John Bishop's Great Whale Rescue programme in October 2020  - and now there's more news!

    Hot on the news that the Greeks have created the world’s first dolphin sanctuary, two Beluga Whales from an aquarium in Shanghai have just arrived in Iceland 6,000 miles away to go to a whale sanctuary there.

    The whales – Little Grey & Little White – are 12 years old.  They’ve been in captivity since they were about 2 years old and performed in font of crowds as “entertainment”. 

    The British Firm that runs the aquarium – Merlin Entertainment – bought the Changfeng Ocean World Zoo in 2012.  And it started to look for a home for Little Grey & Little White.

    Head of the British Conservation Charity, Sea Life Trust, explained that preparations have been on-going for about 18 months to prepare the whales for their journey.


    They travelled by plane on a Cargolux freighter to Iceland, then, truck and a ferry from the mainland to the island where they will live.  Teams monoitored the whales to ensure they were safe and comfortable during the flight.  A Cargolux engineer and a team of global veterinary experts with experience in transporting marine mammals were also on board to check on the whales’ welfare.

    Their new home is the world’s first open water Beluga sanctuary – it will provide a more natural sub-Arctic environment for them, with wilder habitat.  The bay will be protected to protect the two female whites as it is thought they won’t survive on their own in the wild.  The Sanctuary is in a natural and beautiful sea inlet, in Klettsvik Bay.  There’s a landside care facility, and a visitor centre minutes away – so you can visit!

    The sanctuary was created in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation.  It’s run by the SEA LIFE Trust with a donation from Merlin Entertainments.   

    Scientists are going to study Little Grey & Little White to see how they adapt to their new natural home.  And depending on how they get on, the sanctuary could become home to other Belugas as well.

    So here's the update:  May 2022

    Little White and Little Gray are released into an open sea sanctuary, where they can adapt and explore.  They will then be released further into the open sea - and monitored to ensure they can live in peace.

    Find out more about the two Beluga Whales here

    Good luck in your new home, Little Grey & Little White and a big thank you to Cargolux Airlines for your help and role in moving Little Grey & Little White to sanctuary.  

    And if you're in the UK, why not check out The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, which rescues and rehabilitates grey seals pup from around the Cornish Coastline.

     

  2. The Green Match Fund 2021 is from 22nd to 29 April 2022 - don't miss it! One donation, double the impact!

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    The Big Give's Green Match Fund 2022 takes place from 22nd to 29th April 2022.

    Whilst match funds last, donations you make to the incredible environmental charities who are taking part will be doubled! 

    “One donation, twice the impact!”

    Don't miss this opportunity to let your £5 donation become £10 without any extra effort from you! 

    Use the Filter facility to find Animal and/or Environment/Conservation charities taking part.

    Charities taking part include

    • Virunga Foundation (gorillas)
    • Devon Environment Foundation
    • Beaver Trust
    • RSPB
    • South Downs National Park
    • Scottish Seabird Centre
    • WWT (Curlews)
    • Population Matters
    • Rainforest Concern (leatherback turtles)
    • Bat Conservation Trust
    • Thin Green Line Foundation to protect Sumatran wildlife
    • Sumatran Orangutan Foundation
    • Westcountry Rivers
    • Ghost Fishing
    • Organisation Cetecea
    • Great Bustard Group
    • Chipembele Trust
    • Trees for Life (red squirrels)
    • Rainforest Trust UK (African rainforests)
    • Buglife
    • A number of Wildlife Trusts
    • Whitley Fund for Nature
    • ZSL - Year of the Tiger
    • David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
    • Heribean Whale and Dolphin Trust
    • Global Canopy
    • Earthwatch
    • Surfers against Sewage
    • UK Antarctic Heritage Trust
    • International Tree Foundation 
    • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
    • Rewilding Britain
    • Action for Conservation
    • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
    • John Muir Trust
    • Cool Earth Action
    • Bees for Development Trust
    • Blue Marine Foundation
    • Trees for Cities
    • Butterfly Conservation
    • Cheetah Conservation Fund  UK
    • Orangutan Foundation
    • Environment Justice Foundation
    • Salmon and Trout Conservation UK
    • Hammersmith Community Gardens Association (beekeeping)

    and there are many more!  The match is available whilst funds last so don't delay,  leap to find out more and/or donate now - please spread the word! 

     

  3. Stop this oil refinery from operating on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands

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    Care2.com have a petition about an enormous oil refinery on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

    It has laid dormant for nearly years – it was forced to shut down after committing dangerous environmental breaches.

    Donald Trump re-opened it in his last weeks of office -     his full plan went into effect on 4 February 2021. 

    Three days later, Care2.com say the sky rained oil.

    A vapour cloud released by the refinery went up into the air, glided to the community of Clifton Hill which is nearby, filled homes, gardens and toys – and then it burst, a mixture of petroleum and water covering cars, toys, and more with oil.

    This was over two months ago.

    Residents say the oil is still stuck to food sources such as avocado and fruit.  It cannot be washed out.


    An oil refinery rained petroleum on wildlife, people, and homes. Shut down this foul plant, now!

     

    The island is surrounded by marine life – coral reefs, sharks and whales.   If the oil keeps going into the soil and water around the island, it could poison people and animals for years to come.

    There is a huge human rights issue as well.

    Care2.com say that most of the residents are black, descendants of Africans who were enslaved and brought to work on sugar and cotton plantations.

    The Biden administration has already started an investigation and revoked a number of permits.

    But the plant is still open.

    Please tell the Biden administration to shut this toxic oil refinery down.   Force its operators to clean up their pollution.

    Please sign here

     

  4. The Green Match Fund 2021 is from 22nd to 29 April 2021 - don't miss it! One donation, double the impact!

    Posted on

     

    The Big Give's Green Match Fund 2021 takes place from 22nd to 29th April 2021.

    Whilst match funds last, donations you make to the incredible environmental charities who are taking part will be doubled! 

    “One donation, twice the impact!”



    Don't miss this opportunity to let your £5 donation become £10 without any extra effort from you! 

    Charities taking part include

    • RSPB
    • Blue Marine Foundation
    • Friends of the Earth
    • Highlands and Islands Environment Foundation
    • Space for Giants
    • Conservation Collective
    • Virunga Foundation
    • Trees for Life
    • Global Canopy
    • Rainforest Foundation UK
    • Surfers against Sewage
    • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
    • A number of Wildlife Trusts
    • Rewilding Britain
    • Marine Conservation Society
    • World Land Trust
    • Whitley Fund for Nature
    • Tree Sisters
    • David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
    • Plantlife
    • Trees for Cities
    • Garden Organic
    • John Muir Trust
    • Scottish Seabird Centre
    • Heribean Whale and Dolphin Trust
    • Cheetah Conservation Fund  UK
    • Orangutan Foundation
    • Environment Justice Foundation
  5. 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 Water”.

    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