Conservation News

Life's most persistent and urgent question is:  what are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King Jr 

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  1. Travel group TUI is running a programme to protect turtles.  The travel group now has a target to save one million new-born turtles by 2020.

    The TUI Turtle Aid programme has been created to protect the welfare of one million new-born turtles by 2020.

    It is working with local organisations in Cape Verde, Turkey and Greece  -‘Project Biodiversity’ and BIOS.CV on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, Archelon in Greece and DEKAMER in Turkey. The project is expected to expand to other countries in the months ahead.

    The project will pioneer innovative research and protection methods to help safeguard the endangered global sea turtle population.

    Experts estimate that only one in a thousand baby turtles survives to adulthood, and the projects TUI is supporting is aiming to protect turtle nests on beaches and increase hatchling survival rates.

    Out of the 7 species of marine turtle, 6 are considered critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.

    Threats to turtles:

    • Suffocation because they’ve ingested plastic bags;
    • poachers;
    • irresponsible beach use which leads to the destruction of turtles nests
    • killing of hatchlings
    • coastal development
    • climate change
    • illegal trade

    Turtles in Cape Verde

    The third largest loggerhead nesting populations in the world resides here. Five of the seven existing marine turtle species are in the Cape Verdean waters.  The plan is to engage with the local community and local stakeholders.  Local tour guides are taught about best practices and they give advice to visitors to help them holiday responsibly. Hotel partner involvement is vital to foster responsible beach use and waste management, and sustainable outings for tourist.

    Turtles in Greece 

    Conservationists will work with local companies and the tourism industry on Crete anda in the Peloponnese to implement management measures on loggerhead nesting beaches.  It is hoped that 60,000 loggerhead hatchlings will be born every year.

    Turtles in Turkey

    On Turkish beaches there are efforts to involve national and regional government, local businesses and visitors in the turtle-protection activities. A rescue centre will help care for injured turtles along the coast.  The partnership will enable DEKAMER to develop international research and conservation porjects, including the satellite tracking of turtles, the sex ratio estimate of turtles under global warming and more.

    Well done, TUI!   Let's hope this really expands to other turtle sites.


  2. Elephants and other wild animals are being protected in India by protective barricades around open wells in reserve and revenue forest.

    This is because the animals were falling into wells.

    After a survey of the wells, they were nearly all found to be abandoned and unsafe for wild animals.

    Reports suggest there are about 360 such abandoned wells in the reserve and revenue forest.

    Rescuing the trapped elephants was an enormous task which took several hours to do, so the Dhenkanal Forest division has taken steps to stop this happening and to prevent elephants and other wild animals from falling into them in the first place.


    The Times of India's You Tube video



  3. African Parks is responsible for the rehabilitation and long term management of national parks and protected areas.

    They do this in partnership with governments and local communities, and the goal is to make teach park ecologically, socially and financially sustainable in the long term.

    And at the end of 2017, they were responsible for managing 14 protected areas in 9 countries (it’s now 15).   The areas spanned 40,540 square miles covering 7 of the 11 ecological biomes on the continent.  They have a large counter-poaching force with 1,000 rangers and over 5,000 staff across the parks.

    They are undertaking various active management interventions:

    • Extreme species translocations and reintroductions
    • Providing security to create safer spaces for humans and wildlife
    • Ensuring that local people benefit

    Where security has been restored and governance established, they’ve seen the rise of civility and a better way of life has returned. 

    There is tremendous momentum to make this rehabilitation happen and to continue to build on successes that African Parks has so far achieved.  

    Founded in 2000, it’s a non-profit conservation organisation.

    Their Annual Report for 2017 Restoration:  Nature’s Return highlights:

    • The Chinko team achieved success on the ground keeping 10,000km2 free of cattle and giving wildlife a chance to return
    • 39 elephants were collared in one of the largest elephant collaring exercises in Africa, giving them better protection from armed poachers
    • The successful reintroduction of 18 black rhinos from South Africa to the Akagera Park in Rwanda, 10 years after they had locally become extinct.   7 years were spent making the park safe and reducing poaching to an all time low.  Singing children lined the route between Kigali and Akagera to celebrate their return.
    • The park received 37,000 tourists for the year, making it 75% self-sustaining
    • In August, 520 elephants were translocated from the Liwonde National Park and the Majete Wildlife Reserve to the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.  Tourism is on the rise here, and back in Liwonde the human-wildlife conflict has dropped dramatically as a result
    • A long term agreement was signed with the Government of Benin for the Penjari National Park, the largest remaining intact ecosystem in all of West Africa, and a stronghold for the critically endangered West African lion and African elephant
    • In December, African Parks signed a 25 management agreement with the Government of Mozambique to manage the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, the first marine reserve in its portfolio
    • And HRH Prince Harry joined African Parks as their President.

    African Parks’ model for its protected area management

    1. Law enforcement for the long term sustainability of the parks
    2. Biodiversity conservation, with active management of the wildlife and their habitats
    3. Community development – the process of building constituencies for conservation through economic development
    4. Tourism and enterprise – well managed parks contribute directly to the local and national economy
    5. Management and infrastructure – essential for governance and effective park management

    African Parks goal is to manage 20 African parks by 2020.    You can be a part of this journey and give your support.   

    Sign up for African Parks’ newsletter

    Donate to African Parks 

  4. National Trust supporters and donors have enabled the National Trust to acquire 30 acres of Norfolk coastline.

    The site is at Salthouse, and the Trust is working in partnership with the current grazier, who will manage the land as the National Trust’s tenant.

    The Norfolk coast is home to a wide diversity of wildlife, and the space inland will enable the animals to move, adjust and retreat as the coastline changes.

    The area is home to over-wintering wildfowl such as Brent Geese

    ©National Trust

    The area is home to over-wintering wildfowl such as Brent Geese.

    The land sits next to land already in the National Trust’s care, and that land is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

    The new acquisition will enable the National Trust to widen and join up habitats – and this will help make nature more resilient along the coastline.

    The donors were giving to the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign which has supported the Trust’s work to care for coastline for 50 years, and will help it well into the future.

    You can find out more about the Salthouse area here

    Donate to the National Trust Neptune Coastline Campaign here.