VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
At the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean 2016 Conference, in Washington, D.C., the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) — together with the Waitt Foundation, the blue moon fund (bmf), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — announced a $48 million commitment to expand the world’s marine protected areas (MPAs). The conference, organized by Sec. of State John Kerry, brings heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and others together to tackle key issues impacting our oceans globally.
Today’s vote at the IUCN World Conservation Congress calling for closure of domestic elephant ivory markets across the globe is vital — as the news about Africa’s elephants is as bad as bad news gets. As thousands of conservationists gathered in Honolulu for the World Conservation Congress, it was more than clear that IUCN members needed to take a strong stand if Africa’s elephants were to have a chance at survival.
Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), a subspecies of eastern gorilla, the world’s largest ape, and confined to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The announcement was made at the IUCN World Conservation Congress currently underway in Hawaii.
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) applauded President Obama’s remarks to leaders from the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and attendees of the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
In the Malaysian State of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, the current Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, has declared that all forests containing orang-utan populations must be protected. If this can be achieved, and then replicated across Borneo, it would provide a beacon of hope for the island’s iconic orang-utans so that generations to come can still have the thrill of seeing a gentle hairy red giant peering down at them from the forest canopy above.
For the first time in Ontario’s Far North, efforts to encourage a regional approach as well as a fundamental transformation in Canadian environmental assessment law may converge. Such a process could unite First Nations, government staff, scientists, and other groups in the shared goal of protecting the ecological and cultural web of life that will sustain the Far North for future generations.
The practice of solving conservation problems for wildlife has presented more and varied challenges for researchers and practitioners in Asia, especially over the last quarter century. While human populations have grown, lands available for wildlife have steadily decreased and habitats have been degraded. Yet as conservation practice has matured, researchers are striving to make their science relevant to the issues at hand and practitioners have better tools and information available to implement solutions.
By Rob Wallace
After a five month break during the wet season, the Identidad Madidi field team is reunited on the fifth leg of its Bolivian scientific expedition. The Andean foothill forests of the upper Hondo River represent our seventh study site in a series of fifteen spanning the unique altitudinal range of almost 6,000 meters in Madidi National Park.
The future of coral reefs depends on the response and adaptation of corals to rising ocean temperatures. Finding reefs that serve as climate refuges and managing them globally is one of the highest priorities for action. To achieve that goal will require funding reef science beyond the borders of wealthy countries and prioritizing the monitoring and reporting of coral reefs around the world.
Indonesian government agencies, supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) of the Wildlife Conservation Society, this week confiscated two illegally caught whale sharks from a major supplier of large marine megafauna to the international wildlife trade. The bust followed an 18-month investigation into a sophisticated operation that the WCU was first alerted to in late 2014.
By Jim Stone
This week President Obama signed into law the National Bison Legacy Act (NBLA). With that act, he has lifted the spirits of Native Americans and created hope on our journey to renew bonds with our ancient friend and provider, the buffalo. This pivotal legislation – which makes the bison our national mammal — reaffirms this magnificent species’ connection to our country and all of its people.
“As the smoke rises and the flames crackle, it is hard not to be swept away by the mixed emotions this spectre creates. It is hard not to think about the thousands of elephants that died to make this fire. It is hard not to wonder if there isn’t a better way to honor their…
When the Kenya burn is over and the smoke clears, WCS is hopeful the world will be even more galvanized in its resolve to end the trafficking crisis that is wiping out Africa’s mighty elephants and rhinos.
Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo, April 15, 2016 – A week ago, the Wildlife Conservation Society suffered the tragic loss of one of our field researchers, Jana Robeyst, in the Republic of Congo. She died after she was charged by an elephant while she was working with a team of fellow conservationists here. The following tribute was posted on the WCS Congo website to honor Jana and her work.
A report by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) documents the collapse of the world’s largest great ape- the Grauer’s gorilla – due to a combination of illegal hunting around mining sites, civil unrest, and habitat destruction. I am proud to be part of a generation of Congolese conservationists who, together with a worldwide network of wildlife organizations, have never been better equipped and more committed to save this iconic species.