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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Category: Creating & preserving wildlife habitat

  1. Mansion House Declaration is signed commiting bank signatories to tackle illegal wildlife trade

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    The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be about £18 billion.  And it’s linked to extreme violence and drugs/weapons trafficking.

    In London from the 11-12 October 2018, the UK Government is hosting an international illegal wildlife trade conference. 

    And ahead of the conference, the  Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, hosted a meeting of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce for the signing of the Mansion House Declaration

    Over 20 banks are clamping down on money laundering by criminal gangs who are involved in poaching elephants, rhinos, tigers and other threatened species. 

    HSBC, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered and the Bank of America Merrill Lynch are all signing an agreement committing them to training their staff to spot transactions which are linked to the trade in rhino horn, ivory and other animal parts.

    The Duke met with senior staff from the banks back in May and they agreed to join a new wildlife financial taskforce set up by United for Wildlife.  Traffic (a wildlife trade monitoring network) and the Royal United Services Institute are also signing.

    The Duke of Cambridge launched the initiative and the commitment made by these financial institutions is laid out in the Mansion House Declaration. The six commitments in the declaration are:  

    1. Increasing awareness of how the financial industry can combat IWT
    2. Providing training to identify and investigate suspicious activity
    3. Providing intelligence to regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies
    4. Reviewing intelligence alerts received through the Taskforce and taking appropriate actions
    5. Considering additional actions such as policy amendments
    6. Supporting and promoting the work of the Taskforce and external supporting

    The Duke of Cambridge thinks that the wealthy overseeing the trade need to be tracked down as well as the poachers.

    Britain’s Penny Mordaunt, the UK’s International Development Secretary, will also sign.  She will also announce that the Government will give £3.5 million to an international project to tackle money laundering by gang leaders who profit from the illegal wildlife trade.

    In part, the money will help improve detection and the sharing of intelligence by law enforcement bodies in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Uganda and the Ivory Coast.

    If the UK can protect these species, it will also help some of the world’s poorest people to benefit from sustainable jobs which depend on the nautral world and endangered, wild animals.

    The creation of the Financial Taskforce follows on from the success of the of United for Wildlife’s Transportation Taskforce.  In March 2016, the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016 was signed.  It saw global transport industry leaders unite to identify ways the transport sector can close down criminal supply routes to thwart traffickers as part of efforts to tackle the poaching crisis.  Find out here.

    Go to United for Wildlife here

     

  2. Help the Sumatran Orangutan Society reclaim and restore forests for orangutans

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     Reclaim and restore forests for orangutans

    Reclaim and restore forests for orangutans

    Back in August, the Sumatran Orangutan Society launched its Rainforest Home Appeal.

    The appeal is aiming to buy an oil palm plantation on the edge of the Leuser Ecosystem, so that the land can be reclaimed and restored for orangutans and other wildlife.  It means the habitat will be extended from the neighbouring national park.  

    The Sumatran Orangutan Society will work with its Indonesian partners - Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari (YOSL) to buy and restore this 890 acre site to its former natural glory.

    There’s a very helpful FAQs page so that you can find out why this land matters, how it will be kept safe and how local communities will be involved.

    There’s been great progress so far!

    In only 6 weeks, the appeal has raised over £325,000 towards its £870,000 target!

    There’s more good news – the Lion’s Share Fund has pledged to donate a further $190,000 and that will move the appeal over the half way point

    Let’s keep the appeal moving

    The appeal has to hit three targets along the way – it hit the first in September, and the second instalment is due in November, and the third is due in February 2019.

    Please do what you can to tell others about the appeal and/or make a donation.  Another £108,000 is needed to be able to pay the second instalment in November. 

    Swing over to SOS, the Sumatran Orangutan Society here.

     

    In August we launched our Rainforest Home Appeal to raise funds to buy an oil palm plantation on the edge of the Leuser Ecosystem, to reclaim and restore this land for orangutans and other wildlife.

    Our plan is simple. Working with our Indonesian partners — an organisation called Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari (YOSL) — we will buy and restore this 890 acre site to its former natural glory. Removing the oil palms and replanting the forest will encourage orangutans and other wildlife to return, extending their habitat from the neighbouring national park.

    Read our FAQs for everything you need to know about why this area of land is so important, how we plan to keep it safe, and how local communities will be involve

  3. Panda conservation to benefit from ecological corridors in China

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    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.

     

     

  4. Saving the Small Blue Butterfly

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    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