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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, March 1, 2019/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, birds, marine life, sustainability, environment, adventure , plants

Endangered Western Ground Parrot, Western Australia (credit: Secrets at Sunrise, Documentary Australia Foundation)

Conservation of endangered species is often thought only to be the responsibility of governments or international agencies but individuals play vital, and often essential, roles as well. Three examples showcase how individuals and small organizations really count in achieving results.

1. A new initiative called Wild Melbourne was initiated by a group of young Australians. Trained in the biological sciences and a passion for biodiversity, Wild Melbourne want to showcase the remarkable array of wildlife around their city. The organization seeks to raise recognition of these forgotten wonders. Wild Melbourne is doing this through education on the local ecosystems found in the city and elsewhere in rural Victoria. The Australian non-profit is dedicated to the protection of environment resources and to teach others of the importance and majesty of wild species and landscapes of their region.

One special project is 1900 Footprints that is focusing attention on a list of over 1900 threatened species. Tristan OKO'Brien, a member of the team, walked 1900 kilometres (~1200 miles), one for each threatened species, to highlight this conservation issue and also raise awareness for other Aussie conservation projects. His long walk-a-about took him from Adelaide to Melbourne and across to Tasmania.

2. Another endangered species effort, also from Australia, utilizes the power of filmmaking to compliment conservation research, education, and ecological restoration. Secrets at Sunrise, filmed entirely in Western Australia, documents the remarkable story of a group of conservation biologists and dedicated volunteers working to save one of the world's rarest birds, the Western Ground Parrot. The ground-dwelling bird is almost extinct, is found only in WA where less than 150 birds are known, and has almost been wiped out by bushfires. The filmmakers accompanied field biologists to Cape Arid National Park where this critically endangered parrot is still known to exist. Later, segments were filming at the Perth Zoo showcasing the efforts there to develop a captive breeding population. If successful, the goal is to eventually restore birds to other wild habitats. With Australia's vast landscapes, low population densities, and stretched field investigators, local volunteers are critical to any chance of success for projects such as this. The film will be released by Documentary Australia Foundation that supports the recovery effort. Here is the trailer:

3. Here in North America, The Conservation Alliance is also dependent on individuals and small organizations to help realize their efforts in land and water conservation. The Alliance, supported through dues from its 250+ member companies in the outdoor industry, has acheived impressive successes in protecting 51 million acres, 3,102 river miles, removed or halted 30 dams, purchased 13 climbing areas, and designating 5 marine reserves in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. In Congress, TCA was instrumental in supporting the permanent reauthorization of the Land & Water Conservation Act.

  

            Rio Grande and Conejos River, Colorado Property Acquisition (credit: TCA and Russ Schnitzer)

These successes would not have happenned without the support of local groups and individuals who conducted important field work on each conservation effort. TCA just announced their grants for Winter 2019 by contributing more than $850,000 to local conservation groups. Such direct involvement is especially important today in helping to help land and water resources. As individuals you can contribute to this important work with your own support here. Any direct contribution will be well leveraged by ongoing TCA projects and initiative.

WHB

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