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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, September 3, 2017/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 threatened or endangered species is often thought to be only 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 started by a group of young Australians. Trained in the biological sciences with a passion for biodiversity, in and around a city with an astonishing variety of wildlife, seeks to raise recognition of these forgotten wonders. Wild Melbourne is doing this through education about the local ecosystems found in the city and elsewhere in rural Victoria. The non-profit is dedicated to the protection of environment resources and to teach people the importance and majesty of native species and landscapes.

One special project is 1900 Footprints that is focusing attention on a list of over 1900 threatened Australian species. Tristan O'Brien, a member of the team, has begun a walk that will take him 1900 kilometres (~1200 miles), one for each threatened species, to highlight the conservation issue and also raise awareness for other projects in Australia. The long conservation walk-a-about will take him from Adelaide to Melbourne and across 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, found only in Western Australia where less than 150 birds are known, and was almost wiped out by bushfires. The filmmakers accompanied field biologists to Cape Arid National Park where this critically endangered parrots are still known to exist. Later, segments were filming at the Perth Zoo that showcased the efforts there to develop a captive breeding population. If successful, the goal would be to eventually restore birds to their wild and remote habitats. With Australia's vast landscapes, low population densities, and stretched field investigators, local volunteers are critical to any chance of success for projects like the parrots. The film is still in production but a trailer from the Documentary Australia Foundation supporting the effort has been released.

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 member companies in the outdoor industry, has acheived impressive successes in protecting 50 million acres, 2,991 river miles, removed or halted 29 dams, purchased 12 climbing areas, and designating 5 marine reserves in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. 


            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 recently announced their project grants for Winter 2017 by contributing $850,000 to 20 local groups. Such direct involvement is especially important today in helping to maintain permanent protection for these land and water preservation successes. As individuals you can contribute to this important conservation work with some of your own support here. Any contribution will be well leveraged by ongoing TCA projects.



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