Our blog & news: Get involved to help wildlife


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"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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  1. Do you ever hear of an appeal and wonder how many people sign up to it?

    Well, National Geographic had a Big Cats Appeal in honour of World Lion Day on 10 August.  They asked people to help protect lions, cheetahs and other Big Cats.  Big Cats are in trouble because of habitat loss, degradation and conflict with humans.

    3,100 people responded to an appeal for Big Cats.

    And they raised an incredible $199,000.   That money will go straight to fund innovative solutions and technology protecting wildlife and wild places.

    Get involved in the Big Cats Initiative - here's how
    National Geographic Society

    National Geographic has identified 20 populations across 18 countries as priority areas for lions.  These populations encompass almost 1.25 million square kilometres – it’s estimated they have 83% of Africa’s known lion population.

    And they help communities too, as they create conservation programmes which help protect wonderful Big Cats and employ local people too. 

    Find out more and support their work here

    Derek and Beverly Joubert are conservationists and film makers who have been working to help save big cats and other key wildlife species and their habitats for over 30 years.    The Jouberts and National Geographic founded the Big Cats Initiative in 2009 to try to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.

    The Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists who are working to save big cats.   They have built over 1,800 livestock enclosures to protect livestock and so save big cats from retaliatory killings. 

    The Big Cats Initiative takes a three pronged approach to big cat conservation:

    It assesses

    It assesses and maps big cat populations, and it analyses the success of measures put in place to help protect them – this knowledge helps guide the protection efforts the Big Cats Initiative chooses to fund.

    It protects

    The initiative supports protects designed and implemented by people living in areas where they are big cats, creating ways in which local communities and big cats can co-exist

    It communicates

    With Nat Geo WILD, the Big Cats Initiative spreads the word about the big cat decline, thus encouraging the public to find out more through free education initiatives and programming on Nat Geo WILD.

    Find out more about the Big Cats Initiative here

    3 ways to help and get involved:

    1. Donate
    2. Spread the word
    3. Sign up for the newsletter so that you can get updates from the field



  2. 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



  3. 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.


  4. Update 2023:  Unfortunately Nikela is no longer running but there are lots of elephant charities you can look to help here.


    Here’s a great way to get involved and to help reduce the conflict between elephants and people.

    Sponsor a bee hive!

    In fact, you can get your name – or theirs – on a beehive and help save elephants. 

    For a 29 year old called Moses who was deeply passionate about wildlife conservation and rescuing animals, determined that human-wildlife conflict was the most pressing problem in his home area of Tanzania.

    Elephants from nearby reserves were entering farmlands and causing considerable damanage, destroying crops. 

    A solution to the elephants destroying crops was to install 20 bee hive fences along a border next to the Arusha National Park.  

    Moses founded and sorted out a NGO (Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species or AFeWiS). 

    Placing bee hives strategically along the perimeters of farmland surprisingly keeps elephants at bay.  Elephants are afraid of bees, you see,

    Each beehive costs $50.

    Enter Nikela, run by Margrit and Russ. It’s a small US based non-profit organization. And its mission is to “to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.  Nikela helps those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species.”

    So far they have given over $40,000 to 22 projects in 8 countries in Africa. All to those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species, all funded by donations from people all around the world!

    Donate now to Nikela and help Moses help the elephants

    And they sent Moses $500 to get the bee hives off the ground. And there’s good news about the effectiveness of the project, with examples such as this one.

    Mr Baraka reported that over 50 elephants from a neighbouring reserve were entering his fields and destroying his food crops.

    Beehives were mounted – and the number of elephants rapidly dropped to 25.  Within 4 weeks, Mr Baraka was reporting that no elephants had come into his fields, saving his crops.  This means they will have food this season.

    More farmers are asking for beehive fences now and you can sponsor a beehive to be included in a fence.  In fact, you can also sponsor an entire fence – about 10 beehives make up an effective fence in most cases.

    Can Bees be the “Peacemakers” and solve human-wildlife conflicts with Elephants?

    You can dedicate your beehive in honour or in memory of someone.

    So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Remember, to note the exact spelling of the name you wish to see on the beehive, or beehives.

    Sponsor a Bee Hive here and you’ll help reduce conflict between people and elephants.   If you’re not sure, take a look at comments from donors – we can all make a difference 

    Sign up for Nikela’s newsletter


  5. Help Durrell rewild India's grasslands

    The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (founded by Gerald Durrell) have an appeal at the moment.

    Once, the southern foothills of the Himalayas were covered with lush grasslands.  These grasslands were homes to animals such as elephants, rhinos and tigers.

    Today, thanks to human activity, there’s less than 10% of the original grassland left.

    And there are less than 250 pygmy hogs left in the wild.  They rely on this ecosystem – and unless action is taken fast, the grasslands will vanish.  Their home will be gone forever.

    Pygmy hogs and other native wildlife can only thrive if these grasslands recover.

    And that’s where Durrell and you & I come in.

    To protect and restore the grasslands in and around the Manas National Park, Durrell need a 4WD vehicle.   They need to monitor wildlife and understand the threats that this ecosystem faces.  And they need to reach communities and reach important sites across 3 protected areas of grasslands – ensuring that the reintroductions of pygmy hogs goes successfully.

    There are all sorts of ways your donation can help. 

    Donate and you can help save the wildlife and communities who rely on the grasslands.

    Pygmy hogs need help - they need grasslands to recover

    Pygmy hogs are depending on you and I to help them.  I have made a donation – will you?

    Donate here and help Durrell rewild India's grasslands