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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Category: Conservation - Get involved and join in

  1. Calling all giraffe lovers around the world – giraffes need your voice!

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    Giraffes are in trouble.  The giraffe population is already down between 36 to 40%.

    For the first time ever, 5 African countries are proposing to add the giraffe to the list of protected species.  This would really make a difference.

    How you can help giraffes with a click

    There’s a petition calling on CITES to launch and fund an Africa-wide Giraffe Action Plan.  The Plan would:

    • Recover giraffe populations
    • Protect giraffe habitats
    • Support local communities living alongside giraffes

    The petition can be found at Avaaz.org.  Avaaz.org is a world-wide community with nearly 50 million members.  It has petitions you can set up and sign to give your support to proposed changes or messages about causes you care about and want to help

    Please sign this petition to help giraffes today!

    When you go through to Avaaz and the petition, there’s a picture of someone called Tess and a dead giraffe, just to warn you. 

    Avaaz say that Tess killed the giraffe for fun. She's certainly got a big smile on her face. There are no words to describe how I feel about people who do this.

    Why this petition to help giraffes now?

    Very shortly, countries from across the world will meet for a crucial global wildlife summit.

    Back in January 2019, 57 proposals to amend the list of species subject to CITES regulations were submitted by 90 countries for consideration.   This consideration will take place from 23 May to 3 June 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

    (I can’t help feeling that if they spent less time making up titles like that, and more on protecting wildlife, we might make more progress.)

    So how could this CITES meeting affect giraffes?

    For the first time ever, five African countries have proposed adding giraffes to the list of protected species.

    You can see the species here that the meeting will consider, and find out about the proposal to protect giraffes here

    Sign the Petition at Avaaz.org now,

    Then please share the petition widely to help make the senseless killing of this giraffe into a new direction for giraffes.

     

     

  2. World Leaders, Protect Half our Planet - Please sign this petition

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    There’s a new Petition on Avaaz which is called World Leaders, Protect Half our Planet.

    The petition is calling for world leaders to forge a new agreement such that at least 50% of our lands and oceans must be protected and restored.  

    A global study has just found that every insect on the planet is on track to be wiped out – causing life on Earth to collapse – and that includes humans.

    Sign the Petition here

     

    The petition says:

    To world leaders:

    "We global citizens are deeply concerned by scientists warning that ecosystems critical to sustaining life on Earth could collapse in our lifetimes. We call on you to meet existing targets to protect biodiversity, forge a new agreement so that at least 50% of our lands and oceans are protected and restored, and ensure our planet is completely sustainably managed. This must take into consideration the needs of human development and have the active support of indigenous peoples. This long-term goal for nature can restore harmony with our home."

    Nature has never needed such a strong voice and scientists are offering a way to defend nature and people too – put half the planet under protection.  At the moment, France, Germany, Canada and other countries are about to hold talks to look at the idea before a global summit on extinction. 

    This is all happening at the time Sir David Attenborough’s programme Our Planet streams on Netflix, hoping for an audience in 190 countries.  It could be over ONE BILLION people watch it – that’s one in seven (give or take a few) on the planet. 

    The petition calls on these leaders to back protection for half the earth. 

    Sign here

     

  3. Good news for puffin numbers on the Farne Islands

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    The beautiful Farne Islands are one of the best places to see the much loved puffin in the UK.

    Puffins mate for life.  They separate over winter and pair up again when they come back to the islands in the spring.

    National Trust rangers count puffins on the Farne Islands as the birds return there to breed and raise their young between April and late July.

    Previously, they have undertaken a full puffin census every five years. 

    From 2019, however, they are going to count the puffins every year.  The numbers tell the rangers if there’s been an increase or decrease in the colony – and that data is fed into national information to monitor trends and give an idea of how we can help puffins survive.

    They will be checking to see if their holes have anyone in them or not.  They’ll look for signs of puffin footprints and fresh digging, and count the puffins living inside the nests.

    Puffins have traditionally done well on the Farne Islands.  The National Trust has worked to protect them;there’s been good sources of food, a lack of ground predators and plenty of suitable nesting areas.

    In May 2018, rangers had been worried that puffins had been hit by a long, harsh winter and poor food supplies.   But on the Farne Islands, the birds have weathered a cold, stormy winter.   Rangers counted 43,956 pairs of birds – a 9% increase from 2013!

    This is an improvement – a 9% increase from 2013.  Mind you, back in 2003, 55,674 pairs were recorded, so there’s still a way to go.

    The puffins now face a challenge from increasing seal pup numbers (who went up from 1,704 to 2,602 in the last 5 years) – it means there’s less space for puffins on the outer islands.

    The Farnes achieved their 25th anniversary of their National Nature Reserve status back in 2018.  Such status has helped in several ways:

    • The provision of significant areas of nature habitats
    • Opening up additional finance for the protection of the islands
    • Providing resource for research and studies into protecting puffin numbers.

    Monitoring the puffins every year will help the Trust track numbers against likely causes of population change – could changes be down to climate change, changes in the sand eel population or something else completely

    Meantime, the puffin remains on the British Trust for Ornithology's red list for the UK, indicating concern for its future.

    Three things we can do to help puffins are:

    1. Reducing our single-use of plastic
    2. Preventing over-fishing - buy sustainable fish.  The Marine Conservation Society has a sustainable fish guide.   Or eat more vegetarian and/or vegan food! 
    3. Limiting our use of non-renewable energy

     

     

  4. Will Wilmar put its plan into action and save rainforest?

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    There’s news from Wilmar International.   They are important, because the Singapore based company supplies 40% of the world’s palm oil.

    They say (which is different to actually doing) that they will commit to map its suppliers’ entire landbank by the end of 2019.

    Wilmar is going to use satellite monitoring to check for deforestation.   If they catch companies cutting virgin forest for plantations, those companies will immediately be suspended from doing business with Wilmar.

    Greenpeace say they will be watching this development carefully and its activists have been busy in the last few months.  If Wilmar does what it says, it means that by 2019 it will be almost impossible for its suppliers to get away with forest destruction.


    The problem with palm oil is that it’s cheap – so used in a major way in cosmetics, toiletries and food products.

    Huge areas of rainforest have been destroyed to allow for palm oil plantations.

    Wildlife species have been badly hit, most notably the orangutan. 

    Wilmar’s decision comes about because people are showing a backlash against companies that use unsustainable and unverified palm oil. 

    We must all watch this development and see what Wilmar International actually does.   As I said at the start, making these plans is different to actually carrying them out and DOING them.  But it’s a start and could be a useful benchmark with which to see what progress they make by the end of 2019.

    Make a Difference NOW to Rainforest Conservation

    An Indonesian oil palm plantation is up for sale and the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) has a golden opportunity to buy this land and restore the lush forest that once stood there.  They need to raise £870,000 by February 2019 to do this and help save the habitat for orangutans.  As I write, over £512,000 has been donated already.   Find out more and donate here.

    Lots of people are giving £5 or £10 or whatever they can to this appeal.   What matters is that lots of us take action and give something to make a difference and get this land to protect it for wildlife.  I donated for my aunt’s birthday present as she adores orangutans.  Every £1 or $1 helps.   Donate here