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.  

    Have you seen the Orangutan Jungle School on Channel 4?

    It’s been amazing television to my mind and hopefully it will help raise awareness of the danger we are in of losing orangutans.

    One of the things that I’ve noticed about wildlife programmes recently is that quite a few of them have said wildlife are in the state they are in because of human activities such as deforestation, climate change, loss of habitat, pollution and so on.

    But they’ve also given hope – that there is something we can do to turn this around.

    So today I was very pleased to see in my inbox an appeal from the Sumatran Orangutan Society who are actually based in the beautiful county of Oxfordshire in the UK.

    We all have the opportunity to contribute to a new forest home for Orangutans!

    Help create a new forest orangutans - click here to donate Help create a new forest orangutans - click here to donate 
    Photo ©Zac Mills

    The Sumatran Orangutan Society has an amazing opportunity to replant an Indonesian jungle, because a palm oil plantation there is up for sale.

    If the Society can buy it, they can restore the rainforest – and not just for orangutans! Tigers, elephants and many, many species will benefit! 

    But – as usual these things are time sensitive.  There are just a few weeks available to make this happen and secure the land.

    The Oxfordshire based charity is working with a local organization called Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari – YOSL for short.

    The aim is to buy and restore the 890 acre site to its natural glory.   Out with the oil palms, and in with replanting the forest to encourage wildlife to return.  

    This is all the more important because it will extend their habitat from the national park next door.

    YOSL have a really good track record, working with local communities to bring forests back to life.

    So far, they have planted over 1.6 million trees in several other restoration sites in the area.  The great news is that orangutans, elephants and sun bears are coming back to these areas.   So it works!

    Now, as I said, there are just a few weeks to get this done.   By 9 September 2018, the first installment must be raised to secure the land.  The alternative is that the land continue to be a plantation.

    There’s more information on how this plantation will be bought, restored and managed with a number of FAQs here.

    The target is £ 870,000 – find out how it’s doing today and see if you’ll be willing to contribute to actively making a difference to wildlife.   Every penny or cent counts, whatever you can donate.  The more hands to the deck, the better.

    Donate to this appeal here

    I’ve made a donation to this appeal in memory of my father, who died five years ago this August bank holiday weekend.   I still miss him every single day.  He loved making a difference and would rather we go out and do something to better the world than sit and mope.  Planting trees or making a donation like this is one way I can feel his love sprinkled around the world and know I’m doing just that! 

    If you’re looking for a present for an orangutan lover, you could also buy a t-shirt from the Orangutan shop – I’ve bought a t-shirt myself and am really pleased with the quality and feel of it :-) 

  2. Worcestershire Wildlife Trust have come up with a great initiative, asking people to Pledge a Patch for wildlife.

    Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are asking people to pledge a patch for wildlife 

    Although they are asking people in Worcestershire to do this, I thought, what a brilliant idea - and so I wanted to let everyone know about it in the hope more people would follow suit wherever they are and pledge a patch for wildlife!

    There are 46 Wildlife Trusts around the UK - you can find your local here.

    The Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 50th birthday and it now has 75+ nature reserves across Worcestershire.  They describe them as "stepping stones in the landscape" - I love that description.  And they are asking people to join the dogs so that wildlife can move through safely. 

    Wildlife all over the world need wildlife corridors to help them move from one place to another and these are vital to help them reach everything they need to survive and thrive. 

    Ideas of how you can pledge a patch are... (and no, you don't need a garden)...

    • Fill a window box with nectar and pollen rich plants
    • Attach a bug box to the wall of your house
    • Leave a 1m by 1m square of grass longer so that daisies can grow for the bees
    • Put up a nest box for birds
    • Plant a pollinator patch in an area of land - businesses could easily do that
    • Bring your neighbours together and ensure that hedgehogs can get from one garden to another easily
    • Join up with locals to turn an unused patch of land into an areas for butterflies
    • Create a small pond for frogs and toads
    • Offer to manage a local verge and fill it with wild flowers - just sow wildflowers around it and don't mow it so often

    So there's plenty everyone can do wherever you are.  80 peole have already signed up to the Pledge a Patch initiative and you can find out more from their website here.

     

  3.  

    Two key sites have been given the strongest environmental protections available.

    Allfleet’s Marsh and Brandy Hole, part of the Crouch and Roach estuaries, have now been made Special Protection Areas (SPA)Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and designated as a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

    Both sites provide suitable habitat for wintering water birds such as the lapwing, golden plover, brent geese. And they are an integral part of a continuous network of designated coastal habitats extending north from the Thames Estuary to the Colne Estuary.

    The East coast used to be full of vibrant wildlife but human claims for agriculture, together with the forces of nature (coastal erosion and rising sea levels) have taken their toll.

    The new status of both sites have recognised the importance of new mudflats and saltmarsh to offset the losses over the last 400 years.

    The Government sees this protection as a vital way to achieve their 25 year Environmental Plan, and the thing about protecting the aforesaid area is that it is next to the RSPB’s Wallasea Island Wild Coast project

    Find out more about the RSPB's Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project

    The RSPB is working with partners such as Defra and the Environment Agency to create more coastal habitat for people and nature.

    Approximately 95 per cent of the area of our Sites of Special Scientific Interest and about 60 per cent of the total area of our most important or ‘priority’ wildlife habitats is now in good condition for wildlife or has management in place to restore its condition.

    The Dee Estuary is bursting with wildlife

    The Dee Estuary is bursting with wildlife, including hosting avocets, egrets, harriers, noisy redshanks, swallows and swifts.

    Since 2011 the RSPB has established management on approximately 130,000 hectares of land to create new wildlife-rich habitat in the wider countryside.

     

  4. In Central Mexico, the ancient forests of Sierra Gorda are being destroyed.  They are home to the big cat, the hummingbird, And there’s a chance to save some of them.

    They are full of Pinyon Pines, Junipers, Cedars, Sweetgums, Firs and Oaks – some of them hundreds of years old.  They are home to species such as the Monarch Butterfly and the Big-footed Salamander.  Jaguars, pumas, bobcats, margays, ocelots and jaguarondi live here.

    But the forest is all disappearing, thanks to human activity - agriculture, cattle ranching and man-made fires. Fire has a particularly bad impact – it can take a forest years to recover from a man-made fire.

    Enter the World Land Trust.

    The World Land Trust is working with local, family run Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda to conserve habitat in Sierra Gorda.  In the 10 years they’ve been working together, supporters of the World Land Trust have saved over 10,000 acres of these forests already.

    And there’s more.  Every acre the World Land Trust has protected has remained under the guardianship of its Keepers of the Wild programme, that is, wildlife rangers hired from the local community.  They guard the forests and restore them to their natural state.


    So how can you help?

    You can get involved by – I’ll be frank – making a donation.  I’ve made a donation already and it always makes me feel better and that I’ve had an influence on the world’s forests and been able to do something, rather than sit back and do nothing.

    So imagine spending £25.  And it goes towards saving ancient forests in Mexico.   Isn’t that wild?

    Where will your £25 go?

    The thing is, the World Land Trust has the chance to buy and protect an area of 578 acres in Sierra Gorda.   It needs all our support to ensure this forest can be saved for wildlife.

    You can help and get involved by donating to the World Land Trust’s Ancient Forests Appeal.

    A £25 donation will enable the Trust’s partner in Sierra Gorda to buy 1,000m² and put it under protection.

    A £100 donation will protect one acre.

    This is a very easy way to get involved and do something quickly for wildlife. And to feel as though you’ve made a difference.

    Donate to the Ancient Forests appeal today