Category Archives: Conservation

Micronesia Views: Marine Sanctuaries In Palau

CBS Mornings – As small island developing states make their case for climate awareness at COP27 in Egypt, one member of the group is reconsidering a historic act of preservation it undertook two years ago. Lee Cowan reports.

Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Koror Island is home to the former capital, also named Koror, and is the islands’ commercial center. The larger Babeldaob has the present capital, Ngerulmud, plus mountains and sandy beaches on its east coast. In its north, ancient basalt monoliths known as Badrulchau lie in grassy fields surrounded by palm trees.

Ecology: Planting Trees To Cool Scotland’s Rivers

The Woodland Trust – River woodland is key to tackling

the twin climate and biodiversity crises – reducing flooding, improving river health and restoring the ecosystem. We’re working in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to plant and restore river woodland for people and wildlife.

In Scotland, this particularly means fish. Salmon, to be exact. Whole upland river catchments devoid of trees are seeing Scotland’s rivers warm to a point that could see salmon disappear in just 20 years. These fish need clean, cold water to thrive, and river woodland is the way to return it to them. The Woodland Trust is working across river catchments to expand native woodland alongside rivers and burns.

Trees provide shade and cover for young salmon and trout, stabilize riverbanks, slow the flow of water downstream and create wildlife corridors. A key part of this work involves working with landowners to plant and restore river woodland on their land, advising on the initial planting and empowering them to monitor their river woods into the future.

Drought: How Las Vegas Conserves So Much Water

As severe drought in the West forces states to make drastic water cuts, Las Vegas offers a road map to making the most out of every drop of water. Since 2002, Southern Nevada has cut its Colorado River water use by 26% while its population has grown by 750,000.

Scotland Views: The Beltie Burn – A River Restored

The Easter Beltie Restoration project returned a straightened agricultural stream to a natural meandering course, to improve habitats for nature and boost climate resilience.

The project was the only one of its kind in the north east of Scotland, and has created a new, two-kilometre stretch of meandering river corridor flowing through ten hectares of floodplain, rich in habitats where nature can thrive.

The Beltie Burn is a burn in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which below Torphins and Glassel is known as the Burn of Canny. It begins in the hill of Benaquhallie, and flows for 25 km south-east through Torphins before joining the River Dee about 4 kilometres west of Banchory.

Wildlife: The Black Rhino’s Comeback In Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the mighty rhino is making a comeback. In southern Africa, the animal was poached to near extinction in recent decades. We visit a wildlife sanctuary, with an elite anti-poaching team, to see how the animal is being bought back from the brink.

It’s one of the most successful rhino conservation projects in Africa. In south-eastern Zimbabwe, a private wildlife sanctuary is working hard to bring endangered rhinos back from the brink. In decades past, the mighty Black Rhino was poached to near extinction in southern Africa. Its horn, almost worth its weight in gold, makes it a target for organised poaching gangs.

In 1998, the privately-funded Malilangwe Trust had a population of 28 white and 28 black rhinos, imported from South Africa. Today its rhino population numbers in the hundreds. Reporter Michael Davie, an Australian born in Zimbabwe, returns home to witness this extraordinary wildlife success story. He spends time with the sanctuary’s highly trained anti-poaching team, the Malilangwe Scouts, the tip of the spear against the ever present poaching threat.

“Individually you can’t win against poaching and we need every one of us to fight against poachers,” says Patrick, a Sergeant in the Scouts. “You have to be a team, a strong one.” Davie captures all the incredible action of the hectic “rhino ops” where specialists dart the animals from helicopters then move in on 4WDs as they dash across the park. Led by ecologist Sarah Clegg, the rhino ops team collect vital data on the herd.

“They’ve got this reputation of being bad-tempered and dangerous and they are, but I think it’s mostly that they’re just such emotional creatures,” says Sarah, who’s studied the animal for more than two decades. “They’re just insecure, you know? And so they need more love.” Malilangwe increased its rhino population to such an extent that last year, it relocated some of its Black Rhino herd to nearby Gonarezhou National Park — a former killing ground for rhinos.

“It’s what we all aim for in our careers as conservationists,” says Sarah. “It’s a wild park, so being able to put the rhino back into that park is like waking it up again.” This visually stunning story has a powerful message of hope. “Everyone needs to know the rhino is special,” says Patrick.

Droughts: Competing With Nature For Water

Climate change is causing rising temperatures, extreme weather events and more and more drought. And, in this changing reality, everyone needs more water. Humans are competing with the natural world for water. What does this mean for biodiversity? Fewer and fewer countries still have an abundance of water. The climate crisis, overpopulation and overexploitation are the root of this global problem. And, in a warming world, everyone is using more water: people, agriculture and industry. In Germany, streams and ponds are disappearing, forests and soils are drying out. What does this mean for biodiversity? And how do people cope with drought in countries that have even less water — for example, in the USA or Mexico? What happens when our water dries up?

Covers: National Wildlife Magazine – June/July 2022

National Wildlife magazine June-July 2022 cover featuring Rock Harbor

June–July 2022 – The Fresh Water Issue: Saving The Stuff Of Life

  • Lisa Moore, Editorial Director
  • National Wildlife
  • Jun 10, 2022

On the cover: Surrounded by the waters of Lake Superior, Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is a roadless haven for wildlife. Photo by Viktor Posnov

Bali Views: How A 90-Year-Old Man Fights Pollution

Each year, just about 30,000 metric tonnes of plastic pollution enter Indonesia’s waters. How does one man plan to clean it up?

In Indonesia, the ocean plays a critical role in people’s livelihood; from their food to their careers. But that important life source is under threat from overwhelming amounts of plastic. Unfortunately, this pollution is fueled from one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations, Bali.

This, combined with plastic from the rest of the world, washes up on beaches, gets hooked by local fishermen, and damages marine ecosystems. This film follows Wayan, a 90-year-old Balinese fisherman using all his resources and knowledge to tackle this growing problem, one net of trash at a time. This is Voice Above Water, a production from Turning Tides Films.

Views: The Seychelles – Paradise Under Threat

Dream vacation or destination wedding – where better than Seychelles? The archipelago is especially popular with German tourists. But despite the island nation’s unique approach to nature conservation, this paradise is in danger.

This documentary showcases the archipelago in all its beauty, with rare animal species, white sand beaches… and the conservationists who are working hard to protect it all. Although Seychelles has just 0.13 percent of the land area of Germany, its new protected marine area is larger than the whole country. But climate change has severely impacted the archipelago, as it is often the smallest islands that are first to feel the consequences. Storms and waves damage turtle nests and corals, while further eroding the islands’ coastlines.

The country’s president Wavel Ramkalawan is also concerned. An ordained minister in the Anglican Church, Ramkalawan still preaches to this day. He tells us of the message he draws from the Bible in his fight to save the islands. We also learn about the various initiatives to rescue this tropical paradise. Coral nurseries help to revive damaged reefs. And seagrass plays a major role in combatting rising CO2 levels, as it stores more carbon than a forest of the same area.

Seychelles and Mauritius share an expanse of seagrass larger than Switzerland. The president is calling on the international community to help cover the costs of all this, because revenue from tourism isn’t enough. And many tourists care too little about it. At their wedding photoshoot, a couple from Austria explains how beautiful and easy it is to get married in paradise. But for how much longer will this paradise exist?