Earthwatch launches its threatened species appeal
Earthwatch Institute Europe, the international environmental charity, has launched its Threatened Species Appeal. The money raised will fund urgent conservation work to save the southern river otter and other animals on the brink of extinction.
All over the world threatened species are being hunted, poached, starved, polluted and evicted and this will continue unless desperate efforts are made to protect them and raise awareness of their plight. 12,000 species are now facing extinction across the world, including the river otter whose numbers have declined by an alarming 80% over the last ten years.
Efforts are already underway in Chile where Dr. Gonzalo Medina-Vogel and Earthwatch volunteers in the field are working hard to protect and restore the habitat vital to the survival of the critically endangered river otter. They are collecting new data on its preferred habitat, behaviour, and ecology, while engaging local people in conservation efforts and carrying out education programmes in schools.
Earthwatch field researcher Tim Hall recently reported, ‘being part of the Earthwatch team brought me face-to-face with the realities of conserving an endangered species in an area where there is a desperately fragile balance between habitat and the local community's need for land. Add to this the increasing threat from corporations who are eager for logging and large scale ranch farming and it becomes clear that there is a lot more to be done.'
There are many challenges ahead, but Earthwatch is determined to continue work with local communities in Chile, and all over the world, to find ways to restore reduced populations and protect threatened species.
With public support we can continue our urgent conservation work in Namibia where farmers have legally killed 10,000 cheetahs in the past 20 years (only 12,500 remain worldwide). We can conduct the first comprehensive study of critically endangered Cuban sandhill cranes, of which only 550 remain in the wild, and we can establish the habitat needs of endangered Grevy's zebra in Kenya by helping local communities to limit the human/zebra conflict. We can also continue our work to save the southern river otter from near extinction.
Scientific research takes considerable time and money and for some species, time is running out. Only by acting today can we ensure that threatened species have a chance of survival tomorrow. Please give as much as you can - your immediate response to this appeal will help Earthwatch to support critical research and conservation efforts with threatened species.
If you would like to make a donation then please telephone our appeal hotline on +44 (0) 1865 318872 or donate online at www.earthwatch.org./europe.
Zoe Gamble, PR Intern, Earthwatch: Tel: +44 (0)1865 318806 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Jane Applegarth/EWE