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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  1. There's good news for 10,000 acres in Mexico. 

    They've been saved by supporters of the World Land Trust.

    Acre by acre, the supporters and Buy an Acre donors have saved the forest in Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.

    The World Land Trust and Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda have worked together for 10 years to protect the range of forest habitatws in Sierra Gorda.

    The area is home to 100 mammal species, including Black Bear, Jaguar, Neotropical Otter and Puma.  It's also home to 339 speices of birds such as Military Macaws and Great Curassow.

    Protecting the world's forests mean that we will have water, oxygen, climate regulation and beautiful landscapes to enjoy.  We are giving land back to the species who live there.

    "Walking through the reserves we have made is like travelling back in time, back to when Mexican forests were ruled by the jaguar and filled with species we consider rare today."

    Roberto Pedraza Rulz, GESG

    This success is increasing the amount of land within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve that is actually under private proteciton and management by conservationists.  GESG has focused their attention on the most important and threatened areas to create a network of privately protected areas in the eastern part of the reserve.

    The success is thanks to the suppoters of Buy an Acre, and grand funding and generous corporate supporters such as Puro Fairtrade Coffee.  And work continues to protect the area.   Sierra Gorda's habitats include Cloud Forests, Conifer Forests, Oak Forests, Tropical Forests and Riparian Forests. 

    Click here to visit the World Land Trust

     

  2. So over 600,000 trees are to be planted at Doddington North Moor in Northumberland in the UK.

    The scheme will be the largest woodland creation scheme in England in the last 30 years.  The Forestry Commission gave it a thumbs up, and it expects it to generate jobs.


    The trees will include broadleaf and conifer trees and they should cover 350 hectares (i.e. the same space as 650 football pitches would take up).

    Environmentally, it should:

    • Boost red squirrel numbers, currently estimated to be 140,000 (compared with 2.5 million grey squirrels)
    • Store 120,000 tonnes of carbon
    • Manage flood risks

    The scheme has been developed with the help of Government funding.  It will receie grants for planting.  Environment minister Therese Coffey said: "Our forests and woodlands are some of our most vital and cherished natural assets, and planting more trees is at the heart of our ambition to protect the environment for future generations.

    "Doddington North Moor will make a significant contribution to our drive to plant 11 million trees across the nation and is a fantastic example of the kind of tree-planting schemes we want to see more of.

    The Conservatives pledged to plant 11 million trees in five years, a pledge upheld in their 2015.  Unfortunately, what they propose to plant with one hand, they will destroy in the name of "progress" with the other - the HS2 railway being an example.

    The scheme is expected to begin in March 2018 and take two to three years to complete.

    Meantime in India, 66 million saplings were planted by volunteers in just 12 hours in a record-breaking environmental drive.

    School report?  England could and must do better.

     

  3. In South Africa, a Formula E racing car went head-to-head with a cheetah at a remote runway.

    The aim was to highlight the threat to wildlife posed by climate change. 

    The car won - just.  Both car and cheetah hit 60 miles an hour from a standstill in less than 3 seconds.

    Mind you, there was no comparison in beauty and grace, to my mind.  The cheetah won hands down. 

    The founder and CEO of Formula E explained that we have one planet.  Electric cars can play a key role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions around the world. 

     



    Formula E noted that there are only 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild.   The company has a strong desire to raise awareness of the threats they face, such as an ellegal trade of cubs for pets, loss of prey because of habitat loss and the fragmentation made worse by climate change.

    The organisers of Formula E hope the electrified racing series will encourage people to change to smart, electric mobility, and make society a cleaner one for future generations, enabling the habitats of animals such as the cheetah to be preserved.

    Present at filming were a team of experienced animal wranglers, an animal locomotion expert, representatives from Cheetah Outreach, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Animal Issues Matter - they are all trained to monitor the welfare of animals on set. 

  4. A new survey commissioned by entertainment channel W showed that material gifts don’t necessarily bring us great happiness. 

    The survey was done for Davina McCall’s series, The Davina Hour, and the hour focused on happiness. 

    It showed that the simple pleasures in life are the best.   Out of the 2,000 people surveyed, 56 said a kiss and a cuddle was their top treat, then sharing a laugh, the joy of clean sheets, and stroking a pet.

    Nature featured several times in the top 20:

    1. Stroking a pet (4th, 30%)
    2. The smell of freshly mown grass (13th, 16%)
    3. Morning birdsong (18th, 11%)
    4. Walking barefeet in the sand (20th, 10%)

    Doing things for others also featured, including Doing a Good Deed and Giving a Present.   I know I feel happy every time I put the bird feed out and fill up their water bath.  People also felt happy when they heard from an old friend, received kindness from a stranger and had a compliment, so there are a few things we can all do to make the world a happier place, if we don’t do them already. 

    Last year for Christmas, my husband gave a donation to SPANA for their mobile veterinary clinic to help care for working elephants in Myanmar.  Every time I think of this clinic going about its work helping to care for working animals, it gives me a glow.  SPANA do a wonderful job, and I'd far rather have a gift which gave animals the chance to have a happier healthier life, than anything else.

    Friendship also rated well, with 21% saying hearing from an old friend made them happy, and 11% having a cup of tea with a friend.

    The top 20 pleasures which make us happy were:

    1. A kiss and a cuddle – 56%
    2. Laugh with others – 54%
    3. Clean sheets – 38%
    4. Stroke a pet – 30%
    5. Get a bargain – 25%
    6. Receive a compliment – 24%
    7. Find money – 21%
    8. Hear from an old friend – 21%
    9. Do a good deed – 19%
    10. Have a lazy Sunday – 18%
    11. Have a cup of tea with a friend – 17%
    12. Give a present – 17%
    13. Smell of freshly mown grass – 16%
    14. Find out you lost weight – 16%
    15. Sit in front of a log fire – 14%
    16. Kindness from a stranger – 14%
    17. Relax in a warm bath – 12%
    18. Morning birdsong – 11%
    19. Find something you’d lost – 11%
    20. Walk barefoot in the sand – 10%

     

     

  5. One of the most important things we all need to do to help improve the health of the planet is to consider what each of us are doing to help.  Can we reduce the amount of plastic we use, for instance?  Could we recycle more? 

    Change.org has a petition at the moment which is looking to tackle the waste of the coffee cups that are thrown away every single day. 

    Introduce a 5p Charge on Disposable Coffee Cups

    About 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away.  Some will be recycled - but far most end up on landfill sites instead and in fact, the petition on Change.org says that if you were to lay out all these cups from end to end, they would go around the world 2.5 times.

    Sign the petition at Change.org


    The introduction of a 5p charge on carrier bags back in 2015 saw a whopping 83% reduction in their usage, so change is possible.

    Introduce a similar charge on coffee cups, and it may encourage people to bring in a resunable cup to coffee shops to get their cup of coffee.  Plus, it may well encournage people to just stop and think before they buy.  

    A trial run by Cardiff University showed that a small charge would hugely reduce the piles of waste we all create ever year.   This would stop the cutting down of millions of trees every year (i.e. the destruction of millions of animals homes') for a start. 

    As well as taking your own mug into coffee shops, you could also look at making it in a flask to take with you instead.   

    You can find out more about the petition to introduce a charge on coffee cups here and sign it as well. 

    We have to stop filling the planet with waste, for all our sakes, animals and people.