We're in the middle of our #inspiredbywildlife campaign where we've asked for people to vote on one of six conservation causes. As part of a partnership with Act for Wildlife, we'll donate $1 for every vote received by July 1!
We're fortunate to have had conservation scientist Josh Robertson, co-founder of Conservation Conversation participate. Read on to learn more about Josh and his view on these amazing projects sponsored by Act for Wildlife.
If there's one thing you do today, it should be to vote for free in the #inspiredbywildlife campaign! Cast your vote for one of these 6 conservation projects and, as part of a partnership with Act for Wildlife, Wiley will donate $1 to that project for each vote! I was originally going to tell you what I voted for and why, but I wouldn't want to sway you to a particular project and so thought I'd rather go into detail on your contenders! Click here to ignore my advice & vote!
1) SAVING ASIAN ELEPHANTS
The Assam project in India has been an incredible model for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts worldwide! Putting local communities at the heart of human-elephant conflict solutions, which include practical mitigation measures and education programmes, this project is working wonders to improve the lives of local people and help save the endangered Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus).
2) HELPING CHIMPANZEES IN NIGERIA-CAMEROON
Needless to say that if you're a fan of our not-so-distant relatives then this is the project for you! Chester Zoo have been involved in Gashaka Gumpti National Park in Nigeria since 1991, and using the endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ssp. ellioti) as an umbrella species for wider conservation efforts, the Gashaka Biodiversity Project trains local park rangers and works to protect the incredibly unique wilderness areas found between Nigeria and Cameroon! This chimp species has both the smallest geographic range and population size of all the Chimpanzee subspecies, so they need your vote!
3) ANDEAN BEAR NUMBERS ARE IN DECLINE
I couldn't bear it if the gardeners of the Andes went extinct.They have an uncertain future with only ~3,000 individuals left in Bolivia. As we continue to fragment their homes and push them closer to our boundaries, human-bear conflict is on the up! By supporting this project you're not just helping to protect the endangered Andean/Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and reduce conflict with people, your saving huge areas of forest and everything in them.
4) BLACK RHINOS ON THE EDGE
Rhino horn is more valuable than gold As a result, Africa's answer to the unicorn went through a population decline of 97.6% since 1960 and is currently critically endangered. However, thanks to conservation projects like this, the black rhino (Diceros bicornis) population has recovered slightly and now sits between 5,042-5,455. So, let's help keep this recovery going!
5) STANDING TALL FOR GIRAFFES
So, giraffes are great, they look funny when they drink at waterholes and just like all species they play important roles in food webs! But for me, despite the fact their population has dropped from 140,000 to 80,000 in 15yrs, this project shouldn't get your vote. With limited resources for conservation we need to focus our efforts wisely; the other projects either protect more endangered species or will have more far reaching conservation outcomes. But if you love giraffes go for it!
6) LIVING WITH TIGERS
Okay, I know I said I didn't want to lead anyone into a project, but this one gets my vote. And I know tigers get lots of attention already but hear me out. Anti-poaching efforts led to a 63% rise in Nepals endangered tiger (Panthera tigris) population! But this success isn't all it seems. There's still only around 200 in Nepal and mo' tigers is leading to mo' problems. Nearly 50% of Nepal’s people live in poverty and depend on the forests and natural resources for survival, putting them in direct competition with tigers. As both the human and tiger populations grow and compete for these resources, human-tiger conflict is having a devastating impact on communities and wildlife – even leading to the deaths of villagers and tigers. By voting for the Living With Tigers Project your creating new livelihoods and saving the lives of tigers and people.
There we have it! 6 projects you can support for free from the comfort of your home! Voting closes July 1st so what are you waiting for?! Click here and let's help change the world!
As I believe all kids do, I grew up with an innate curiosity for the natural world. That’s not to say I always knew I wanted to be a conservationist – far from it! My aspirations were initially to be either a footballer, a doctor, or an artist! But my lifelong infatuation with natural history caught up with me, and eventually led me to study for a BSc in International Wildlife Biology at the University of South Wales, where I graduated with a First-Class Honours degree and was awarded the Departmental Prize for Outstanding Achievement. Filling the following year with fieldwork in the Caribbean and lab work in the US, I missed the challenge of academia, and went on to complete the MSc Conservation Science course at Imperial College London with a Distinction. This course opened my eyes to the complexities of global environmental issues, and it was in those intricacies that I saw where I could best serve the conservation cause: the public-science interface. I think in life you need to not only find a job doing what you love, but also one in which you utilise your best skills – I’m a naturally optimistic and easy-going person with good people skills, and I like to think I have some creative flare, so why not use this for conservation? This is what led me to start Conservation Conversation (ConCon) with my good friend Stefan Hunt.
At ConCon we believe in a world where people and wildlife go together like peanut butter and jam! We use our storytelling skills to not only inform people about the world's biggest issues, but to inspire action and create an online community that develops solutions to these problems. With a splash of comedy and optimism, and the perfect blend of science and media, we create easily digestible videos, photo-stories, and forums on the natural world and the people trying to save it!
When I heard about the #inspiredbywildlife campaign I couldn’t wait to get involved! I looked over the campaign with some colleagues of mine where I’m currently working in Croatia, and the #iwasinspiredvideo of how ‘Rose’ used her research to create educational opportunities for young girls in Africa had us in tears. Despite feeling slightly foolish at the end when we saw it was a fictional story, the points stood – the power of a well told story is immeasurable, never give up, and research can change the world. After volunteering for Chester Zoo over the past year, I know first-hand how incredible their conservation research and Act For Wildlife campaigns are. So I’m delighted that we can use our growing following at ConCon to help support these projects and the researchers dedicating their lives to saving wildlife all over the world.
Image Credits: Andean Bear: Act for Wildlife, Tigers: Shutterstock, Chimpanzee:Shutterstock, Giraffes:Shutterstock, Rhino: Act for Wildlife, Elephants : incamerastock/Alamy
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