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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 October 2020

  1. This blog was first published on 20 June 2019 but with John Bishop's Great Whale Rescue programme which goes out on Monday 10 October 2020 on ITV at 9pm, I thought I'd republish it!

    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.

    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. I’m very excited by news from Spectacled Bear Conservation who work in Peru.

    A camera trap has confirmed bear presence in an area known as Pan de Azucar, which means Sugar Loaf in English.

    Spectacled Bear Conservation has monitored spectacled bears in the dry forest area of northern Peru for 12 years.  They were amazed to see the photo of a bear, because the area is very dry indeed.   The camera was on an arid mountain ridge where water sources are limited and it had been thought that it was too dry for animals to exist there.

    Camera traps are surely a bear necessity in conservation work!

    Image ©Spectacled Bear Conservation

    After finding the photo, five more camera traps were put up.   Sapote and overo trees were discovered – they are key food sources – and bear scat was also found, which suggests that more than one bear had used the area.

    This shows the mountain to be a likely place for bears to find food fruits in the summer and possibly even the winter season. 

    The more signs of bears being in the area the better – it means Spectacled Bear Conservation have more reason to protect the land.

    What’s more, finding bears in the Sugar Loaf gives the chance to create one big habitat range for them.  This includes two national protected areas, Bosque de Pomac and the Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge.

    This find comes with better news:  the national park authorities are keen on the idea of linking the park with habitat outside protected areas.   Bears need big areas to roam.  They won’t stop at the park boundary.   And the parks are giving Spectacled Bear Conservation camera traps to put up so that it can monitor bears in Pan de Azucar.

    Spectacled Bear Conservation is also working with the Peruvian national forestry authority, SERFOR.   The aim is to designate the area as “Habitat Critico” so that key habitats are protected for endangered species – including the spectacled bear!

    And to think – it all started with a photo!

    It just shows how important camera traps and long term monitoring are in protecting a species. 

    Visit Spectacled Bear Conservation’s website

    Donate to Spectacled Bear Conservation




  3. There are some amazing people doing great things for nature and conservation.  

    On the island of Siquijor in the central Philippines, Women have got together to protect marine sanctuaries from poachers and illegal fishers, even though they only have paddles and kayaks.   They are prepared to risk their lives to protect there are.

    The waters are full of rich coral reefs and fish diversity – but they are being impacted by both illegal fishing which has impacted on the coral reefs and reduced fish diversity and its abundance, and climate change.

    This video tells the story of the women.  One woman has been shot at – but she is determined and her efforts resulted in the arrest of the person shooting at her.

    Watch and be inspired…

    The video was supported with a grant from the Earth Journalism Network.



  4. Knowing regular funds are coming in makes a huge difference to wildlife charities.  It can help in all sorts of ways.

    It can enable the charity to respond to situations demanding urgent action – they don’t have to wait until they have raised the money.  In the case of wildlife conservation, this could enable a charity to rescue an animal (or a group of them) or put a deposit on a piece of land to save it from loggers, or restore it.  It can also help them plan for the future whilst carrying out their current work.

    The Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) are looking for Orangutan Guardians. 

    What does the Sumatran Orangutan Society do?

    The society supports high impact frontline projects and also deliver hard-hitting campaigns to ensure a good future for Sumatra’s orangutans, forests and people.  They rescue orangutans, they save forests and so protect their homes, and they work with local communities so that they understand why the forests are important and embrace them in the role of protecting them.

    Orangutan Guardians are critical because they help SOS do all these things mentioned above.

    Become an orangutan guardian and you could win a limited edition Lush soap

    And if you sign up for a monthly donation of £10 or more during October 2020 you will be entered in a draw.  The lucky winner will win a limited edition Lush orangutan soap.  10 winners will be drawn at random and will receive their soap shortly after that.

    This could be a great way to help save orangutans who currently need all the help they can get.

    • £10 a month could support SOS’s longer-term goals of training local people to become guardians of the forest
    • £20 a month could support SOS’s campaigns to tackle the root causes of deforestation.

    Swing over to SOS and donate for Orangutans!

    You could also treat a loved one to something from SOS’s online and rainforest friendly shop


  5. Unite to support Africa's wildlife rangers

    Wildlife rangers throughout Africa are incredibly brave men and women and they all deserve our support and help as they battle to protect wildlife.

    Unfortunately, they are facing severe cuts in salaries their resources.   This means that their families may be destitute – often some rangers won’t see their families for months – and it also means that wildlife may be helpless against poachers.


    So what do rangers do?

    Rangers undertake varying responsibilities but overall they may:

    • protect and conserve wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems.
    • counter poaching
    • monitor wildlife
    • manage infrastructure
    • control invasive species
    • oversee burning programs
    • provide environmental education
    • maintain community relations.

    So what is the Wildlife Ranger Challenge all about?

    On October 3rd, 88 teams of wildlife protectors are going to compete in a 21 km race through the varied terrain of their patrol regions.  They will carry their typical 25kg backpack and equipment as they go.

    Their aim is to raise awareness and funds for their colleagues who are dedicated to defending wildlife and supporting local communities. 

    The Wildlife Ranger Challenge website is the place to go for more information and there are social media streams as well you can follow the event on.

    Join a global community of wildlife rangers and their supporters who are running, walking and riding around the world #forwildliferangers. 

    Wildlife are depending on all of us.  Please share the event with #forwildliferangers 

    It’s not too late to take on the Challenge and to fundraise or donate.

    You can donate through Just Giving and GoFundMe (the latter is if you’re in the US and want to make a tax deductible donation).

    Every dollar donated will be matched by the Scheinberg Relief Fund, doubling your generous contribution.

    Visit the website for the Wildlife Ranger Challenge