Actions for Animals

 
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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» Listings for 2020

  1. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is going to partner with several leading research institutions to breed koalas and protect the future of the species!   And the koalas will be released into the wild!

    The goal is to have up to 60 breeding koalas on site. 

    In the first instance, these will be sourced from the mid north coast, with a view to releasing selected offspring to certain areas within a couple of areas.  Selected koalas from other New South Wales locations will be bred in separate areas for eventual release back to their places of origin.

    The hospital is partnering with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, the Australian Museum and the University of Sydney.

    Each partner brings its own specialist knowledge and expertise:

    The Australian Museum specialises in population genetics, and by applying DNA-based tools, it will be possible to gain a better understanding of the unique history and habitat requirements of specific threatened populations, and that will enable the partners involved in the project to develop more targeted management strategies.

    The University of Sydney has expertise in genetics and understanding how to improve breeding and translocation decisions for koalas. 

    The incredible part of all this is that the breeding facility is going to be funded by the donations made from the public to the Go Fund Me fundraiser during the terrible bushfires of 2019/2020. 

    It’s a very exciting development for koalas and will help the hospital stop the decline of koala populations and establish new koala groups in New South Wales.

    The Go Fund Me fundraiser is still going, and you can donate here.

     

     

  2. Watch out for Waterhole:  Africa’s Animal Oasis, a three part series coming from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit.

    It starts at 9pm on Friday 4th December on BBC2.  The second episode is a week later, Friday 11th Decermber, but at 8pm. 

    The fabulous Natural History Unit is working with Mwiba Wildlife Reserve in Tanzania.  As water becomes scarcer, the reserve decided to create a water-hole.   And they've done it with the BBC's Natural History Unit 

    They  created the world’s first waterhole with build-in specialist camera rig.  The cameras are half sub-merged and weatherproof.  There are 20 cameras which are monitored 24/7 using infra-red, and there's a drone in the air too.

    Waterholes are essential to Africa’s ecosystem.   Hundreds of species meet at waterholes and compete for water.  Chris Packham and biologist Ella Al-Shamahi disocver the dynamics of the waterhole for the first time. 

    As they say, give wildlife water and they will come whether it's in the wild or your garden... By day 10, 40 species of animal had come to have a drink...

    The programme is filmed across three periods:

    • The middle of the dry season
    • The hottest time of the year
    • The height of the rains


    Subscribe to the BBC Earth's You Tube Channel here


    The team want to find out how the animals use it.   How long would it take the animals to find the water hole?  (45 minutes, it didn't take long.) Will they share?  How many species will use it?  Will they keep coming back?  Will it be safe for them to visit?  They discover how truly important water is, especially given the climate changes taking place.

    The programme’s website has lots of interesting clips, including how the programme was made; and what it’s like to live alongside the wildlife of Africa, and why they built it in the first place.  Take the Waterhole personality test to find out which animal you are!  (I'm a buffalo.)

    I think this programme should be fascinating and give us a very good insight into the way African wildlife survive.

    Visit the programme’s website here

    There's a list of African conservation charities here and elephant charities here 

    Here's the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute

    Help provide water for wildlife

    Tigers4Ever on Global Giving have a fundraiser to give water to Bandhavgarh's tigers - find out more  and donate here.

    The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust  work to provide permanent and temporary water sources to relieve suffering in Kenya, mostly in the Tsavo and Lamu Conservation Areas.

    Friends of Hwange is on a mission to develop and maintain water resources in Hwange National Park for the benefit of its wildlife, in collaboration with the Authorities responsible for the Park.   Find out more here

    The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has a fundraiser looking to take water to koalas and other wildlife.  It is still raising funds as it more than hit its target, and the plan now is to breed koalas for release into the wild. 

    The Brooke and SPANA both have virtual gifts on their shop with the purpose of providing water troughs, permanent and moveable, to hard working animals such as horses, donkeys and mules in a number of countries.

    In the UK, the Wildlife Trusts have information about providing water for wildlife, whether at home or elsewhere.

    The WWF have information on  establishing a network of artificial watering holes for Saiga Antelop in Russia.  Find out more

     

  3.  

    The 4th December is International Cheetah Day.

    Cheetahs are most numerous in the wild in Namibia.  Currently there are about 7,100 to 7,500 cheetahs in the wild.  They are the world’s fastest land animal, capable of doing speeds from 0 to 60mph in 3 seconds, which is an incredible feat.   They can go up to 70 mph! They use their tails to steer and change direction when they are running, a bit like a rudder on a boat.

    This year, the Cheetah Conservation Fund celebrates its 30th Anniversary.   It has been working to protect and build healthier ecosystems for cheetahs so that they can survive and thrive in the wild.

    For the cheetahs face problems:

    1. Habitat loss
    2. Human-wildlife conflict
    3. The illegal wildlife/pet trade


     

    Support the Cheetah Conservation Fund's project 
    to feed orphan cheetahs in Namibia via Global Giving


    9 Ways to Help Cheetahs

    Support the Cheetah Conservation Fund!  There are a number of ways you can do this:

    1. As always spread the word on Social Media about International Cheetah Day, cheetahs, the threats facing them and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.  There are social media materials here.
    2. Join the Twitter storm for cheetahs!
    3. Donate!  There’s a match fund until 31 December up to the tune of $275,000.    If you donate, you can also choose a gift with your donation while supplies last. 
    4. Sponsor a cheetah being cared for at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s headquarters – the most difficult bit will be choosing which cheetah to sponsor!  They came in as orphaned cubs, or were being kept as pets, or were injured and came to the centre for help.
    5. Teachers and students can help spread the word and discover lots about cheetahs  - there are resources here
    6. Buy a book on cheetahs
    7. Buy a cheetah themed item of clothing such as a t-shirt or hoodie from Bonfire.com
    8. Shop at Etsy.com   and a proportion of the sale supports cheetahs and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
    9. Take a look at the charity’s wish list – they need some veterinary supplies too – and see what you can do to provide them.

    Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund's website here

     

     

  4. Sign Care2’s petition demanding that they abandon the proposed facility in Australia, and ban the use of exotic skins from its products completely!

    Where does the material for handbags and shoes come from?

    Well, Hermès, the French fashion brand, want to build a new facility in Australia.  Here 50,000 crocodiles will be born into captivity.  They will be skinned and turned into handbags and shoes.

    Incredibly, the project has been granted development and environmental approvals.

    How is it that someone can say it’s okay to breed crocodiles into captivity to be skinned for handbags and shoes?

    The fashion brand plan to steal eggs from mother crocodiles in the wild.  This will cause fear, stress and aggression.

    When the eggs hatch in the factory farm walls, the baby crocs will kept in tight concrete enclosures.  Their movement will be restricted and they will have no stimulation. 

    Sign the petition to tell Hermes to abandon plans for their crocodile breeding facility and ban the use of exotic skins from its products


    And when they have grown big enough, their skin will be ready to be harvested.

    PETA have reported that on other crocodile farms, crocodiles are electrocuted. Their bodies shake and protest wildly.

    Some may even still be alive as their necks are slit.  Metal rods are rammed down their spine in an attempt to kill them.  Some have been seen to be alive as the skinning starts.

    Hermès says it "has defined and implemented a very strict, science-based, animal welfare policy."

    Hmm...really?

    Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry have banned exotic animal skins in their products.  They use vegan alternatives which look the same.

    Tell Hermès that’s not too late to join the right side of history. Sign the petition demanding that they abandon the proposed facility in Australia, and ban the use of exotic skins from its products completely!

    Please sign the petition here

     

     

     

  5. Good news for Gorillas

    Tea plantation operators will not be allowed in the Kafuga Forest, Uganda.

    A court has put the forest under the stewardship of the local district, and they’ve also said the forest must be made into a protected area within a year!

    This area is on the borders of gorilla habitat and the forest keeps threats at a distance from the Bwindi National Park.   The park is home to about a third of the last mountain gorillas on earth – less than 1,100. 

     The Kafuga Forest is safe
    The Kafuga Forest is safe
    image ©CC BY-SA 2.0

     

    And Kafuga Forest is home to hundreds of species of birds, rodents and chimpanzees.

    The struggle has been going on for years, with 12 people being arrested for cutting down trees there in 2016.  

    The High Court wanted evidence from the envrionmentalists that the suspects had done this inside of the Kafuga Forest – and the area had been mapped, with the financial support of Rainforest Rescue.  This mapping was crucial because it showed the court that the defendants’ claim that they were felling trees on their property wasn’t right.

    A quarter of a million people signed a petition with Rainforest Rescue about it and many people donated towards it as well.

    Rainforest Rescue report that the next step is to make the forest a protected area in the next year!

    Visit Rainforest Rescue's website here.