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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» Listings for March 2021

  1. Update:   Fantastic News!

    The fundraiser hit its target (it was £716 in the end) and now the tigers' solar pumps can be mended so that they, and other wildlife in the area, have water to drink.   The background story is below.

    However, it's not too late to donate to give tigers water!  Tigers4ever have another Global Giving campaign called Water For Bandhavgarh's Tigers - Reducing Conflict and they still need donations for that.  Read the background to this appeal here.

    Background Story....

    A herd of wild elephants have moved to Bandhavgarh.  And they have been very naughty and destroyed two solar pumps which power the borewell pumps at two waterhole sites.

    The tigers in the area are more than a bit miffed, and they are worried, too, because the drought season is rapidly approaching, and they need water to survive.  As do many other animals in the area.

    As a result of the elephants’ actions, the tigers need the solar pumps to be mended and of course they don’t have any money.

    Please will you help the tigers?

    It’s easy to do.  

    Tigers4ever, an amazing charity which works to give tigers a future, has a Global Giving campaign. They need to raise £803, and you can contribute to the campaign here. 

    Tigers4ever aim to do two things with this campaign:

    1. Replace the broken solar panels so that water under the ground can be pumped to the surface again – then the animals will have a source of water and won’t need to go into villages looking for water.

    2. Put up fencing around the solar pump that’s elephant proof so that the solar pumps will be protected.   They are looking at using chilli fences and beehive fences to deter the elephants but these will need to be funded.

    Anyway, the tigers and the other animals in the area would really appreciate your help.  They want and need access to water to survive and thrive.  Please help them and contribute towards giving them water.

    Please donate to help the tigers' ongoing water appeal here

  2. Explorers Against Extinction have a remarkable way to mark 2021.

    They are championing the work of 21 conservation projects around the world, many of which are small projects that have been badly hit by Covid-19 in 2020.  They are calling this initiative 21 for 21 and all the fundraising and donations this year are going towards it.

    Firstly, a bit about Explorers Against Extinction:

    It is a registered working name of The Real World Conservation Trust, a UK registered charity.   There’s another working name called Sketch for Survival. Their mission is to promote the conservation of rare and endangered species and the protection of their environments;  to advance the education of the public in the conservation issues around rare and endangered species and the threats to their environment; and to help local communities impacted by proximity to rare species benefit from their protection.


    Do a charity challenge or get creative for conservation or simply donate to help!

    About 21 For 21

    There are 21 projects and you can nominate a specific project from the 21 For 21 Directory to fundraise for or split your fundraising across several or all of the projects.  There are some UK projects but equally there are projects overseas – and this will help raise awareness of the work they are doing. 

    In each case, human activity is the biggest driver of destruction so this amazing initiative gives us all the chance to really and truly contribute to worldwide conservation from our homes – just £21 will support the 21 projects, unless you prefer to focus on one or a couple, for example.  So this is a very exciting chance to really make a difference while sitting at home!

    You could help sun bears in Borneo

    The 21 For 21 Projects are:

    1. Seagrass Restoration UK
    2. Saving the last West African Giraffe, Niger
    3. Kit for Conservation K9s
    4. Protecting Pangolins, South Africa
    5. Big Cat Conservation, Tanzania
    6. Protecting Ol Pejeta, Kenya
    7. Sowing Seeds to Save Gorillas, Uganda
    8. Whale Shark Conservation, Indian Ocean
    9. Turtle Watch, Sri Lanka
    10. Manta Ray Research, Indian Ocean
    11. Big Cats of Bandipur, India
    12. Elephant Sanctuary Support, Cambodia
    13. Saving the World’s Smallest Bear
    14. Trees for Koalas, Australia
    15. Saving New Zealand’s Dophins
    16. Wild Water Whales, Southern Ocean
    17. Spotlight on Alabratrosses, South Georgia
    18. Rewilding in the Pantanal, Brazil
    19. Floating Classroom, Galapagos
    20. Safeguarding the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor, Belize
    21. Wildlife Protection Programme, US and Africa

    There's more information on each project and you can access that on the 21 For 21 Directory of projects here

    Your donation could help protect pangolins in South Africa

     

    Ways to help are:

    • To simply donate – you could donate £21, with one pound going to each project, or £2.10
    • To get involved in Challenge yourself for Charity
    • To get creative for conservation – submissions are invited until 30 June 2021; there are three categories, namely Stories for Survival, Sketch for Survival and Focus for Survival

    Your donation could help protect the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor in Belize

    One of the things I LOVE about the 21 For 21 initiative is that if, like me, you find it really difficult to choose between all the conservation projects, you can choose to support them all in one go with £21 or whatever you choose to donate!  I always feel bad for choosing one project over another so this makes it easy for me to support the lot! 

    Go to Explorers Against Extinction here

    Just make a donation here

    All images on this particular blog are ©Explorers Against Extinction

  3. Have you ever stopped to think about the impact rat poison has on rats?

    Two inspiring women, one in her teens, have put a website together called Rat Poison Facts to help people understand the impact.

    Ways to keep rats and mice away from your home humanely

    They want to bring an end to animal mistreatment and the poisoning of the ecosystem by stopping the use of rat poison.

    So the goal of Rat Poison Facts is to raise awareness:

    • How some rodent control methods are inefficient
    • How some rodent control methods could be dangerous for children, pets and other wildlife
    • How some rodent control can harm our ecosystems
    • How cruel and inhumane some methods to get rid of rats can be
    • Humane alternatives to dealing with rats

    When a rat takes in rat poison, there are all sorts of possible implications for the rat, such as internal bleeding, dehydration and dramatically bloated stomachs from overfeeding substances containing gas).  Death can be very slow and painful.

    Rat poison can be dangerous to people as well – young children end up in hospital every year because of it.  Pets may eat it by mistake.

    The website has information on things such as where to release a rat


    The site has very helpful education resources, with useful links, including how you can get rid of rats in a humane way, with humane ways to keep your house rat-free that work.

    You can find more information  on RatPoisonFacts website.

     

  4. WCS Argentina has a new initiative!  And it involves dogs, sheep and pumas.

    WCS is working to reduce conflict between herders and the wild carnivores who stalk their sheep flocks. 

    The dogs are a mix of Anatolian shepherd and Great Pyrenees.   They watch over the domestic goats and sheep herds, protecting them from pumas, foxes, condors and other predators.

    And because the dogs are protecting their flocks, the herds have stopped resorting to shooting, poisoning or trapping wildlife.  And there are a couple of wins here:

    • Wild carnivores have a better future – many are endangered, such as the Andean cat
    • Herds don’t need so many animals in a herd – and that means there’s less overgrazing and desertification is reduced.

    Find out more from WCS Argentina

     

  5. 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