Conservation News

 
 

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught
will we realise we cannot eat money.

Cree Proverb

 

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  1. Butterfly Conservation sent my husband and I information about the work they did to save the Small Blue Butterfly and it makes very interesting reading.

    I thought I’d share how they did it with you.   They are hoping to repeat the success of the Small Blue in the West Midlands with other declining butterflies and moths.


    Conservation efforts to help the Small Blue have been successful ©Peter Eeles Butterfly Conservation

    Here’s the conservation journey Butterfly Conservation took:

    1. Identify the problem

    So by 2009, the Small Blue had become extinct in 4 counties in the West Midlands.  In Warwickshire, it’s numbers had gone down by 87%.  Here, recorders could only find 3 colonies left.

    2. Research declines

    The Small Blue lays its eggs on flowering Kidney Vetch.   But site surveys for the Small Blue showed they were becoming too overgrown with scrub for new Kidney Vetch plants to establish themselves.

    3. Determine Solutions

    These were:

    • To remove scrub
    • To test methods of creating new habitat to encourage Kidney Vetch to germinate
    • To sow Kidney Vetch seed or plant plug plants

    4. Take Action!

    Since 2009, Butterfly Conservation has….. (drum roll please…)

    • Cleared 56 hectares of scrub
    • Created 27  butterfly banks
    • Dug 12 scrapes
    • Planted a whopping 13,000 Kidney Vetch plugs
    • Sowed 34kg of seeds over 60 sites

    4. Do the next steps

    The charity has recruited volunteers to monitor Small Blue numbers and help maintain and restore habitat.  This will help wildflowers and butterflies to flourish.

    5. Yippee!!  This has all been successful

    The Small Blue Butterfly liked the habitat improvements, colonizing restored habitat on occupied sites AND moving back to former sites.  It even went into areas it hadn’t been before

    By 2016, the Small Blue had spread to 19 sites.   This was  a six-fold increase in numbers in only 7 years!

    But there's more.  In this project, Butterfly Conservation says the Small Blue has been a ‘flagship’ or ‘umbrella’ species.  The reasons for this is that other butterflies, moths and invertebrates have been helped by improvements to the habitat.  The Grizzled Skipper, the Dingy Skipper, the Chalk Carpet moth and three of Warwickshire's rarest bumblebees all benefited.  Which just goes to show that conservation projects don't just help one species - they can help a good many.

    And now...

    So now it’s hoped that other butterflies can be helped in the same way.   Our changing climate is one factor, but research is taking place to find out why and then plan a way forward to reverse these declines.

    You can help today by donating to help the High Brown Fritillary.  It was once found in woodland clearings in much of England and Wales.

    Help the High Brown Fritilliary
    © Iain H Leach, Butterfly Conservation


    Since the 1970s, its distribution has declined by 96% and it now only remains in Exmoor, Dartmoor, Morecame Bay Limestones and South Cumbria LowFells and the Glamorgan Brackenlands.

    3 ways to help butterflies generally

    1. Plant a pot for pollinators in your garden – you only need space for a pot, you don’t need acres and acres
    2. Volunteer for your local Butterfly Conservation branch
    3. Have a good look round their website to look for a way to help
  2.  

    Back in 2015, five million acres of Indonesian rainforest were destroyed by fire.

    The impact was devastating on all wildlife there.   And amongst those, many many orangutans were left starving and dying.

    In 2016,  … started a 10,000 Trees campaign and as a result, it was able to start a reforestation project.  And it was able to protect the area during recent forest fires.

    Pematang Gadung is situated closest to the orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang in West Borneo.   The area is home to wild orangutans. 

    And now in 2019, there’s a chance to plant a further 20,000 trees.

    International Animal Rescue needs to raise $20,000 on this Giving Day for Apes.

    The day is organized by the Arcus Foundation in partnership with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. 

    It’s a 24 hour event, and it encourages charitable donations through an online giving platform, hosted by Mightycause. 

    Qualified sanctuaries and rescue centres can compete to raise the most money for their cause, and to win prizes kindly given by sponsors.

    So the question is, will you give your support and sign the pledge to donate to the 20,000 trees on 25 September?

    The reason you’re asked to pledge is that it gives the charity an idea of whether they are likely to raise the required amount.

    By the way, you can donate today on the charity’s Giving Day for Apes Mighty Cause page.  But donate on the 25th September, and you’ll increase charities’ changes of winning extra awards and grants.

    Sign the pledge, and they will send you an e-mail reminder to donate on the 25th September.

    Sign the pledge

     

  3. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust have announced that the Investect Rainforest Ball held on 16 September 2017 raised a swinging £220,426.



    This staggering sum will be used to protect critically endangered Sumatran orangutans and their rainforest habitat.

    The money will be split between the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP).

    Durrell was very grateful to Investec for their support – and the great news is that Investec will be the headline sponsor for the Investec Wildnerness Ball on 28th September 2019.

    The 2019 event will be a very special one indeed because it will both mark Durrell’s 60th Anniversary and also celebrate Durrell’s new vision to ‘Rewild our World’.

    Investect Director Kevin Allen was delighted that the ball was such a great success, and noted that Durrell’s commitment to conservation is aligned to Investec’s values of education, entrepreneurship and the environment, so the company was very pleased to sponsor the 2019 event and thus continue to support Durrell’s work.

    To reserve tables or find out about silver or bronze sponsorship opportunities, please email [email protected]

    Businesses, you can discover ways to give Durrell your corporate support here.

    Meantime, a big thank you to Investec for supporting wildlife conservation and Durrell in this way.  

     

  4. Lions haven’t been in the Liwonde National Park for 20 years.

    But good news!  They’re back!

    They are making a great come-back in Malawi and thanks to the Malawian Government, the Dutch Government, the Lion Recovery Fund and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, African Parks report that Liwonde National Park is welcoming these magnificent animals home.

    African Parks took on management of the park in 2015.  Since then, they have:

    • removed 31,000 snares
    • reintroduced cheetahs after they went extinct 100 years ago
    • established a healthy founder population of lions after their introduction 

    Lions return to the Liwonde National Park
    Lions return to the Liwonde National Park

    African Parks need help to monitor and protect the lions from the threats around them.  Their rangers are on the ground, protecting these lions. 

    So if you can, please support African Parks and help provide for items such as a water filter for the rangers to have clean water when they are out on patrol; a ranger’s uniform; food rations, fuel for the monitoring team, and radio collars to monitor the lions.

    Over 100 years ago, more than 200,000 lions lived across Africa.  Now there are just 20,000, threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, a lack of wild prey and poaching for their body parks. 

    The lions need all the protection we can give them. All this helps people too - tourism revenue has increased by 70% in the last two years.

    Find out more here