As years go, 2020 will be one to remember but possibly the one we’d all most like to forget. It’s been a tough year for so many, which is why I think it’s so important to cherish and celebrate the some of the wins for animal conservation in 2020. Let them shine through!
Many animal conservation charities, like so many of us, have had a tough financial year. Never have they had to compete with the NHS or protect the animals and their habitat from struggling locals. When it is everywhere you look, it’s sometime easy to forget the planet and it’s animals goes on, well beyond the pandemic.
Which is why conservationists really do deserve a pat on the back, so please join me in celebrating 32 wins for animal conservation in 2020! It’s not quite Love Actually, but it will certainly be a feel-good read…
Animal Conservation in 2020: 32 triumphs for conservationists
- According to a study, 48 different species have been saved from extinction by conservation efforts since 1993! Including the Iberian Lynx, Przewalski’s Horse and California Condor.
- Wild East made it their mission to turn 20% of East Anglia into a nature reserve, and plan to reintroduce Beavers, Lynxes and Pelicans to the UK.
- Cross River gorillas were caught on camera in Nigeria, suggesting that one of the most endangered subspecies of Gorilla could be recovering!
- Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wildwood Trust announced plans to import and release European Bison to the UK in 2022!
5. Pangolins were removed from the official list of Chinese medical treatments and have increased their protective status to the highest level.
6. You Yangs, Australia, had their best year for Koala births since 2006 – despite the bushfires from the beginning of the year.
7. The Black Rhino population is continuing to increase at 2.5% per year, slow and steady wins the day!
8. Pigments by Liv started donating 10% of sales towards specially selected environmental charities!
9. Inspired by indigenous trackers, a new app was developed that tracks Black Rhino footprints! Removing the risk of drugging the animal to attach a GPS device that may break at any point.
10. A new conservation study finds that relocating tortoises is much more successful when there is lots of genetic variation – going against conventional wisdom that tortoises moved form close by would fare best.
11. Google Cloud and AI was used to track endangered animals in Cameroon, rapidly increasing the speed of vital data collection.
12. Thanks to Singer, Cher, the world’s loneliest Elephant is being moved from Pakistan a sanctuary in Cambodia to retire.
13. 20 new species were discovered on an expedition to Bolivia including a frog smaller than a coin! Just goes to show there’s so much more out there than we think…
14. 580 Elephants returned to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, creating hope of the end of civil unrest, violence, and poaching.
15. A new primate species was found in Myanmar, named the Popa langur, and it needs our help!
16. A new tool called Ship Speed Watch was introduced in the Atlantic Ocean to reduce the danger of ships to North Atlantic right whales
17. Conservationists have started to replant native tree species in an old palm oil plantation that could provide the blueprint for large scale oil palm restoration and reforestation.
18. The Voeltzkow Chameleon reappeared in a hotel garden in Madagascar after not being seen for over a century.
19. A study found that swamp wallabies are vital in spreading truffle spores, highlighting the importance of each animal to the survival of forests.
20. Antarctic Blue Whales have been spotted 58 times off South Georgia, suggesting that numbers are recovering from commercial whaling of the 1900s.
21. More than 20 UK universities joined forces to create Hedgehog Friendly Campuses. They installed hedgehog crossings, nest boxes, organised litter picks and carried out surveys to create a new generation of Hedgehog champions.
22. For the first time 3000 years, Tasmanian Devils were released into mainland Australia! 26 little devils were released from a sanctuary in New South Wales, after being whipped out with the introduction of Dingos.
23. Conservation Canines were trained by scientists in the US to successfully track down Orcas using poop. Orca poo floats for a matter of minutes before it sinks, so the pups had a big task on their paws.
24. Genetic studies have confirmed that wild highland dogs found in Papua, Indonesia, are a surviving population of the New Guinea Singing Dog – thought to be extinct!
25. A five-year giraffe conservation action plan was launched in Tanzania to save them from poachers and ecological destruction!
26. Chitwan National Park opened its first wildlife hospital, which means animals can finally be treated properly rather than just for their symptoms.
27. A new species of spot beaked whale was spotted off the coast of Mexico by a Sea Shepard vessel!
28. The University of Exeter found that tropical peatland conservation can impact how animal diseases can be transferred to humans.
29. A Zoo in Ohio found that Tasmanian Devils are biofluorescent, something that’s commonly found in fish. It’s not yet clear why, but it’s pretty cool!
30. A new, low-cost technique was developed to analyse DNA found in animal faeces that could map out complex networks of species interaction and monitor biodiversity. Poo is important!
31. Marine parks in France were banned from breeding and importing dolphins and killer whales, marking an end of captivity for these marine animals.
32. Let’s finish on a real high: for the first time ever, captive-born and hand-raised Cheetahs were released into the wild! They took a trip from Canterbury to South Africa to live their new life.
There you have it… Despite all the doom and gloom, 32 reasons to feel good about animal conservation in 2020!
Bring on 2021!