Our blog & news: Get involved to help wildlife


"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. This blog was first published on 20 June 2019 and then again with John Bishop's Great Whale Rescue programme in October 2020  - and now there's more news!

    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.

    So here's the update:  May 2022

    Little White and Little Gray are released into an open sea sanctuary, where they can adapt and explore.  They will then be released further into the open sea - and monitored to ensure they can live in peace.

    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’ve had an email from Fauna and Flora International (FFI) about an impending crisis that is about to get catastrophically worse.

    The beautiful Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia are being covered in snares. 

    FFI say that the snares are shredding through clouded leopards, ripping elephant trunks in half and snapping the limbs of their calves.  Pangolins, sun bears, moon bears and indeed any mammal than a mouse are being badly impacted, as any animal larger than a mouse can be trapped in these cruel snares.

    To make matters worse, FFI’s project funding in the area has fallen through.  FFI patrol teams are still able to operate in some areas and maintain an effective resistance.  A very generous donor has enabled them to remove countless snares – and so save many, many animals.  FFI had hoped to extend the areas that they were covering.

    Unfortunately, the donor is unable to continue their support – and FFI must fill a £92,345 hole. 

    If FFI cannot fund the project, the warden leaders won’t be able to pay their patrol teams’ wages – and any who have the means won’t be able to have equipment and the backing to mount and maintain an effective resistance. 

    Funds will be spent on boots, machetes, camping gear, hammocks, rucksacks and everything wardens need to wear as they go out on one patrol after another.   The wardens need GPS kits, patrol mapping – and they need to be paid. 

    FFI say time is short. 

    What’s so important about the Cardamom Mountains?  Well, they have dense rainforest, mangroves and wetlands – and they have more than 60 globally threatened animal species and 17 globally threatened trees.  The Cardamom Mountains matter.  These include:

    • Asian elephants
    • Sun bears
    • The clouded leopard,
    • Dholes, a type of wild dog
    • The Sunda pangolin

    This elephant has been injured by a snare - the boot is protecting his leg
    Young elephant wears a protective boot
    to help recovery, after being caught in a snare.
    Credit: Charnwood Photo

    These snares are CRUEL – as the metal clasp tightens, causing the animal terrible pain.  The more they struggle, the tighter the snare gets, cutting more and more deeply into flesh and bone.  It is a terribly cruel and painful way to die.   

    At the same time, the animals have lost their habitat, because of illegal logging, land encroachment and unsustainable agricultural ways of doing things.  Over 10% of the forest has gone in 15 years  So the animals find themselves in smaller spaces, into what is known as a “wall of death”, because it is easy for them to get trapped by a snare.

    Enter the wardens. They are from the local communities and they cover over 100km every month, spotting and removing snares, watching for any signs of illegal poaching or logging, and undertaking biomonitoring and data-gathering activities.   These activities are important because they give a better understanding of the wildlife in the area, and enable the right decisions to be made about how to help them.

    The clouded leopard is well adapted to prowling through the forest

    The clouded leopard is well adapted to prowling through the forest
    Credit:  Bill – Adobe Stock

    Wardens also help by supplying the human-wildlife conflict teams with flashlights and noise-makers.  These can help deter elephants from the boundaries of farms and villages, so preventing damage to crops and property. These things make a huge impact – there have been no retaliation elephant killings since the wardens started such work.

    The warden team is essential to protect the animals of the Cardamom Mountains. 

    Please help today by making a donation.



    “Eden: Untamed Planet” is a new series which looks at the secrets of the few regions that are isolated from the rest of the world and have been  largely protected from human interference.   As the programme’s webpage says,  life exists as nature intended. 

    The series skicks off in Borneo, home to 60,000 species of plants and animals and is very biodiverse indeed.  Watch out for proboscis monkeys, orangutan babies,   caterpillars and a lot more!

    The programme warns that orangutans have lost 80% of their habitats in the last two decades – their numbers have dropped hugely.

    Please visit our page listing orangutan charities to see how you can help and please watch the series.  There are six programmes and I will put up information about ways to help along the way.   

    Find out how you can help orangutans with the Orangutan Foundation
    Find out how you can help orangutans with the Orangutan Foundation
    Swing over to their website here
    Image ©Orangutan Foundation

    Please also take a look at the Bornean Sun Bear Rescue Conservation Centre which is a is a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility being developed in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

    The episodes of "Eden:  Untamed Planet" cover:

    • Borneo: Sacred Forest - home to 60,000 plants and animals, of which 10% are unique.  More species are discovered every day.
    • The Namib:  Skeleton Coast and Beyond which covers the world's oldest desert

    Desert Lion Conservation  gathers data on the desert lions in the area, undertakes research and collaborates with the government and agencies to further lion conservation and reduce human-lion conflict
    Giraffe Conservation works to conserve giraffe populations 
    - The Conservation Institute has informatoin about the Namib Desert
    - Elephant Human Relations Aid  is "to implement practical solutions that help combat elephant-human conflict, and thereby secure a future for Namibia’s desert elephants."

    • Luangwa:  The Emerald Valley, which sits at the end of East Africa's Great Rift Valley, and which experiences an annual flood of the Luangwa River

      Save the Rhino  have a North  Luangwa Conservation Programme works to protect the wildlife and habitats of the North Luangwa National Park and surrounding areas. It is home to the only population of black rhino in Zambia.
      - The North Luangwa Conservation Programme is a partnership between the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Zambian Deparmtent of National Parks and   Wildlife to conserve the North Luangwa ecosystem 
      Conservation South Luangwa works with the community and conservation partners to protect wildlife and habitats in the area.  It’s vision is the long term survival of wildlife and habitats there under the custodian of the Zambian people.  The conservation charity Tusk works with CSL
    • Galapagos:  Enchanged Isle - home to the Giant Tortoises and home to 2,000 species found nowhere else - 97% of its reptiles and mammals are unique

      Galapagos Conservation Trust The UK registered charity focuses on the conservation of the islands. It supports and delivers projects in the Galapagos and responds to threats facing the islands.  It concentrates on restoring natural habitats and conserving threatened species and more!
      - The Galapagos Conservancy is based in the US and it’s dedicated to the long-term protection of the Galapagos Islands.

    • Patagonia:  at the far tip of South America, this is a land frozen in time and called "The End of the World".

      - In Patagonia, the Tompkins Foundation  “protect and rewild nature in urgent response to global biodiversity loss and the climate crisis”.
      - The Wildlife Conservation Society  works in Chile and Argentina, and it has sound, robus scientific approaches to conservation.  It works with partners to manage Chile's Karukinka Natural Park, home to significant marine and terrestrial wildlife. And it works also in the Grand Jason and Steeple Jason Islands/Islas Salvajes*, home to globally important populations of marine bird
    • Alaska: The Last American Frontier - with possibly the richest temperate rainforests at all

      - The Alaska Conservation Foundation  is dedicated “to protecting Alaska’s natural environment and the diverse cultures and ways of life it sustains.” 
      - The Alaska Wildlife Alliance gives a voice to Alaska’s incredible wildlife.  It promotes an ecosystem approach to management from the ground up and you can see its goals here.

    The areas covered are visiting “delicately balanced, species-rich, unique ecosystems” and nature now needs our help to make sure they stay that way.  We cannot do without them.

    Please let’s all see if we can take just even one action to make a difference and protect nature as the series unfolds. 

    Visit the programme’s website on BBC2 here.

    Buy an Orangutan BATH BOMB and help Protect, rewild and regenerate West Toba Forest  From £4.00
    Buy an Orangutan BATH BOMB and help
    Protect, rewild and regenerate West Toba Forest  From £4.00 
    available from Lush.com
     Funds raised will help protect the forest for the future, so people, orangutans and the planet can thrive.

  4. There's a programme on the UK's Channel 4 at 8:15pm on Saturday 7th May 2022 called Devon and Cornwall:  Greener Lives.

    The programme meets locals living in this beautiful part of the UK (it's in the south west) who are working to bring balance back to both land and sea and working hard to protect nature.

    A farmer, Cyril, in Devon is returning to traditional hay meadows
    Previously he was depleting them through intensive farming during the 1960s.  As the programme points out, during and after the war, a nation needed feeding, regardless of the impact the push for growing food had on wildlife and nature.  The farmer wants to put something back to the land and let nature do the work.  He makes hay meadows.  The seeds from the hay meadows are spread quickly in fields on other farms.  Like other farmers, Cyril is returning hay meadows to Devon - and with those come wildlife such as voles and barn owls - and Cyril is looking after the wildlife as well now!

    Volunteers paddle to coves to clear plastic from the beach. 
    For instance, Steve and his beautiful dog Rosie are thinking global but working to make a difference locally.  At times Rosie jumps off Steve's boat to collect rubbish and bring it back to the boat!  And Steve has a band of volunteers helping him, navigating in and out of the coves to collect rubbish.  He is determined to clear beaches of rubbish and to leave the planet in a cleaner place when he leaves it.  You can join a beach clean organised by the Marine Conservation Society.  

    David, Mertle and Bill the horse are busy clearing bracken

    Find out about the island of Lundy
     The beautiful island of Lundy, where the National Trust,
    RSPB, English Nature (now Natural England) and Landmark Trust
    have been working to help the Manx Shearwater.

    And Dean, the warden on Lundy Island, watches for the puffin to reappear. 
    As well as puffins, the Manx Shearwater has made a big comeback to the island - find out more from the National Trust.

    The book "RSPB Spotlight Puffins" is available from the RSPB's online shop

    The book "RSPB Spotlight: Puffins" is available from the RSPB's online shop

    Beavers are back in the River Otter!
    Beavers have been very busy here, building a dam and maintaining it.  And a fox has been spotted checking out the beavers too!  The Devon Wildlife Trust is working with landowners to make sure the beavers don't cause any problems e.g. interfere in cider making!  

    Visit Devon Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust to see how you can help - even from a distance!  And you can find your local  Wildlife Trust in the UK here - there are 46 of them.

    Don't miss it - it would be a great way to be inspired by other people taking action and also to pick up ways to get involved and make a difference! 

    The more people we can all get involved, the better!