Conservation News

 
 


Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

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  1. Thank you everyone for your support

    The Giving Day for Apes took place on 25 September 2018 and one of the 37 sanctuaries involved in the event was International Animal Rescue

    The charity was hoping to raise enough funds to plant 20,000 trees. 

    The good news is that sufficient funds were raised to reforest a vital area of orangutan habitat.  The charity raised over $16,000 on the day with donations continuing to come in after the event, it was - at the time of writing - just a couple of hundred from its $20,000 target!

    The charity also won several prizes during the event amounting to $10,000 in total, for receiving the most unique donations of any organisation and for raising the most funds of any Asian sanctuary taking part.

    Thanks to kindness and generosity of the donors, the orangutans living in Pematang Gadung will have a better chance. 

    Visit International Animal Rescue

     

  2. Every panda needs their sleep

    Forestry authorities in China's north western Shaanxi Province have launched an ecological corridor programme.

    The programme will connect fragmented giant panda habitat, making it easier for pandas to make their way across the region safely.   Six such corridors will be built by 2027 using bridge construction and road culvert clearance.

    In addition to building the corridors, bamboo trees are to be planted and vegetation restored along the route.  This means that the pandas willl have plenty to eat along the way.

    Human activities, road traffic and hydropower station construction meant that panda habitat was being divided into six parts in the Qinling area - it was hard for pandas to connect and move about. 

    Research shows that about 345 pandas live in the Qinling area.  May there be many more! 

    Useful information and ways to help pandas

    US charity Pandas International is busy working hard to help with panda conservation in China. 

    ″Endangered means we have time, extinction is forever.″ 

    Pandas International 

    Visit their website to find out more.

     

     

  3. The Environmental Investigation Agency fulfils a number of roles:

    • Its undercover investigations expose transnational wildlife crime, focusing on elephants, pangolins and tigers, as well as forest crimes e.g. illegal logging and deforestation for crops such as palm oil
    • It safeguards global marine ecosystems by addressed threats presented by plastic pollution, bycatch and commercial exploitation of whales, dolphins and purposes
    • It reduces the impact of climate change, campaigning to eliminate greenhouses gases, exposing related illicit trade and improving energy efficiency.
    • And it uses its findings in hard-hitting reports to campaign for new legislation, improved governance and crucially more effective enforcement.

    In 2018, the EIA set up a dedicated Pangolin Project but it has already been busy gathering seizure data – you can see this on their interactive Pangolin trade map.

    Data is vital information; it shows the trends in the illegal trade and so is key for law enforcement and academics examining trends and for advocates of the international ban on the trade of all species of pangolins, which was secured in September 2016.

    The Pangolin Project will enhance enforcement against the criminal syndiates trafficking pangolins.  It gives actionable information to the authorities and ensures they have the capability to properly implement the protection of pangolins.

    The data gathered on the criminal networks will help raise awareness of the pangolin trade amongst the judiciary;  and provide training to a new intelligence unit in one of the key countries.

     

    How you can help pangolins

    You can help by making a donation and also by making sure that you never buy products containing pangolins, especially if you live in or travel to China or Vietnam.

    If you buy Traditional Chinese Medicine ‘herbal’ products, check ingredients don’t include “Chuan Shan Jia”, also written as 穿山甲

     

     

  4. 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