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. 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.  


  2. 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



    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 :-) 

  4. 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.