The biggest threat to red pandas is habitat loss and fragmentation. Agriculture and settlement conversions have fragmented forests. These areas have been degraded because of herding and resource harvest. Now there are 400 forest patches – unprotected and isolated. They are reducing the ability of the red pandas to survive
Other threats are livestock herding, free roaming dogs and disease, bamboo lifecycle and world climate change. And wildlife crime is also a worry.
We need to protect red pandas from poachers and restore their forest habitat so that they have everything they need to both survive and thrive!
But the good news...
The Red Panda Network, who celebrate their 15th birthday this year, say there is a LOT to celebrate. For a start, red panda numbers are improving in eastern Napal, a project area, according to population data.
So how can you help the Red Panda Network help red pandas?
Plant a Red Panda Home to reverse the effects of deforestation.
The Red Panda Network is working with local communities to plant trees and to restore and reconnect the habitat of red pandas! This is in Nepal. The aim is to establish a biological corridor, which enables red pandas and other species to survive and which is protected by the community.
This year, over 84,000 trees have een planted, and roughly 10 hectares have been purchased. 54,815 saplings have been planted over 35 hectares!
Since 2019, 336,380 trees have been planted, thus reforesting 461 hectares of red panda habitat in Nepal. The trees are planted and fences installed to protect the saplings. The network buys private lands in key habitat areas - it also helps the local community by giving green jobs to locals.
Not only that, there are now 12 anti-poaching networks in Nepal! In 2021, the teams patrolled for 437 hours. They covered about 197 km in 36 Community forests! That's some going!
From Antarctica, the series moves on to the Himalaya, home to the Pallas’s cat who has incredibly dense fur (needed for the Mongolian winter). And then North of the Great Steppe is the boreal forest, frozen for six months of the year, home to the majestic Siberian tiger who is on the look-out for black bears in winter, as they hibernate in caves.
The Arctic Circle’s tundra is home to musk ox, whose calves face the danger of hungry grizzly bears in spring.
And north of that lies the Arctic Ocean, where the hooded seal lives. Males can produce a bright red balloon out of their left nostrils to make themselves irresistible
All the areas are threatened by climate change.
We still have time to save these frozen wildernesses. But we need to act
Around the world there are many people who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect endangered animals.
Sadly, estimates suggest that over 1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 years. The International Ranger Foundation is the official body representing rangers around the world, and has a Roll of Honour page which makes for very moving reading. There is a lot of information about rangers on their website, so please explore their website. It works with The Thin Green to promote the initiative of World Ranger Day.
World Ranger Day is a chance for all of us to show our appreciation for the work that wildlife rangers and guardians do and offer our support in whatever way we can and to remember those who have died or been injured doing this vital work and to think of the families they leave behind.
The Thin Green Line says that about 150 Rangers die each year protecting wildlife and habitat. Often their families are left behind without any support. Donations and support give a gift of hope and an urgent lifeline to families left behind.
And it’s good to know that there is something you can do to help wildlife and locals in their communities at the same time, and we thought we’d do a roundup of charities and organisations working to help in this way. Sometimes wildlife rangers are called wildlife guardians.
Based in Australia, the Foundation works with ranger groups, ranger associations and conservation partners in over 60 countries. They say it’s estimated that over 1,000 park rangers have been killed n the line of duty over the past 10 years. They are dedicated to providing Rangers worldwide with the assistance they deserve and need.
Other organisations supporting wildlife rangers
Ol Pejeta Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 90,000 acre wildlife conservancy in Kenya. They have 150 rangers who are dedicated to protecting the wildlife there and neighbouring communities. They a lso have a K9 unit, whose dogs work hard also to protect wildlife.
Project Ranger supports a range of patrols such as horse patrols, foot patrols, motorbike, aerial, truck and K9 patrols. In doing so it protects a number of species in national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, conserved land and wildnerness areas. There are plenty of ways to support their work so visit their website to find out more!
The World Land Trust has a Keepers of the Wild initiative. The rangers are working on the front line of conservation, safeguarding some of the world’s most threatened animals and the crucial habitats in which they live. They protect reserves from poaching and logging, and importantly, link to local communities, building trust, helping to change attitudes and find practical solutions to problems. You can support Keepers of the Wild by making a donation.
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation works to support rangers in both Asia and Africa. You can support wildlife rangers here and help them conserve nature. Their work includes carrying out anti-poaching and anti-trafficking patrols across national parks, finding and removing wildlife snares and collecting essential data on endangered speices and their habitats. They also work with communities to raise awareness and mitigate wildlife conflict.
This organisation works to save wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts. It does this by using anti-poaching units, awareness and education and on the ground action, working on wildlife’s problems. You can adopt a ranger (also there’s a K9 poacher tracking unit) – find out what the options are to adopt a ranger here.
Virunga National Park is located on the eastern edge of the Congo Basin in Africa, and it's home to over 1,000 species of mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian and a third of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. It has 750 male and female rangers, all working hard and putting their lives on the line to protect the park and local communities. There's a canine unit as well. Find out more
The Gorilla Organisation has a supporting rangers scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they act as the eyes, ears and voice of the forest. They cut snaes, save injured gorillas, combat the militias running the blood minerals trade, monitor the gorillas’ health and collect vital conservation data every day. Find out more here.
Become an Orangutan Guardian and help the Orangutan Foundation’s 60 Indonesian staff work on the frontline of conservation in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Their role is to guard and patrol the forests and rivers, to rescue and monitor the orangutans and to replant and nurture tree saplings. And crucially, they need to gain the trust and support of local communities. Become an Orangutan Guardian!
The Lewa Security Team consists of field rangers, radio operators, gatekeepers, baby rhino keepers, anti-poaching rangers and the tracker dog unit. The Anti-Poaching Rangers and Tracker Dog Unit work day and night to protect wildlife and keep them safe, especially rhinos and elephants. The tracker dog unit has four dogs and their handlers, the dogs act as efficient trackers, as they can pursue suspects for lengthy distances.
Save the Rhino makes sure that ranger teams have the the equipment they need to do their job as safely as possible. It has expanded canine units across the projects it funds, which in turn helps apprehend criminals. Find out more from Save the Rhino
Polar Bears International have an award to recognise the frontline heroes in the Arctic working o keep polar bears and people safe. Find out more here
The charity Tusk give a Wildlife Ranger Award every year to give international recognition to the men and women who face danger every day to protect the wildlife and its ecosystems in Africa.
There are also rangers in other countries such as Australia and America and the UK, working for organisations such as national parks and they are also essential to protecting the environment and keeping wildlife safe.
And a very big thank you to each and every wildlife ranger working to care for and protect our wildlife and their habitats. And thank you to their families too.
The 21st June is World Giraffe Day. Why the 21st June? Well, it’s the longest day or night in the year, depending on where you live!
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation initiated the day to celebrate this beautiful species, but the event also raises support and awareness of the work the Foundation (and others) are doing to help these incredible animals. Habitat loss is the main threat to giraffes – they have lost nearly 90% of their natural habitat in the last 300 years and now there are only about 117,000 giraffe left in the wild
The country has suffered from years of civil unrest. CGF want to raise US$250,000 to secure a future for giraffe in Mozambique and bring giraffe back to the areas where they have gone locally extinct or are low in numbers.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation has undertaken translocations of giraffe before:
There are now only about 250 giraffe left in Mozambique. So over the next 5 years, GCF will work with the government there and their partners, to move over 350 giraffe to four key parts of the nation
This will achieve the following:
It will double the giraffe population
It will re-establish southern giraffe in their historic range
It will open over 3 million acres of prime habitat for the giraffe to live in
Will you help GCF achieve this goal and help giraffes?
You can donate, and you can support them on social media with any of these hashtags:
The charity has given financial support to the Kenya Wildlife Service and other conservation partners to undertake aerial surveys in northern Kenya.
And good news! The surveys are showing a 30% increase in reticulated giraffe numbers on communal land and private conservancies in the last 6 years.
Meantime, in the south of Kenya, the charity has held the first ever Masai Giraffe Working Group meeting to bring conservation partners together with the Kenya Wildlife Service. The aim was to identify current threats to Masai giraffe and pinpoint measures to protect them.
And there’s more – the charity’s year long surveys in Mwea National Reserve and Ruma National Park show there are double the numbers of Nubian giraffe than previously thought, so this is a great boost to Nubian giraffe there.
There are renewed efforts to update and complete a National Recovery and Action Plan for giraffe in Kenya, held over a two day workshop. The plan will be launched later this year.
Don’t forget – a date for your diary – the 21st June is World Giraffe Day. Why not adopt a giraffe as a gift for someone or for yourself?