Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust celebrates its 50thanniversary today, and is using the occasion to share significant conservation stories to ensure another 50 years of success.
To mark this momentous occasion, Durrell has developed the It’s Time! campaign – part of which involves sharing the stories of seven iconic species whose programmes represent five decades of pioneering conservation, Durrell’s global programmes, and its plans for the future.
The seven endangered species to be the focus of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s 50th anniversary are:
- The ploughshare tortoise – an animal endangered due to illegal pet trafficking and habitat destruction
- The Floreana mockingbird – the famous species that sparked Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection
- The pygmy hog – the smallest and most endangered pig in the world due to habitat loss
- Latin American amphibians – up to 160 frog species may already be extinct as a result of disease, habitat loss and over-exploitation
- The St Lucia parrot – a victim of its own beauty, it was sought after by private breeders who used to steal these patriotic birds from their habitat. Thanks to 30 years of dedicated effort this species has recovered
- Livingstone’s fruitbat – it manages to survive in one of the poorest places on Earth and is a keystone species for its forest habitat
- Durrell’s night gecko – wiped off many islands thanks to invasive species, Durrell is now rebuilding the Mauritian eco-systems these reptiles once inhabited
These are just seven of 40 projects currently managed by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. We call these species our ‘Conservation Cliffhangers’ because they have all teetered on the edge of extinction. Some like the St. Lucian amazon have been saved and their numbers are recovering, but others such as the Floreana mockingbird remain on the edge.
These conservation projects have been identified as they highlight some of Durrell’s key approaches to solving the conservation problems currently facing society and future biodiversity.
These approaches include:
- Commitment – it takes many years to monitor, evaluate and restore a species
- Skills – conservation isn’t just about biology, conservationists must also be entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, lawyers and publicists
- Cutting edge – as technology develops so do the tools available to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to prevent specie extinction
- Training – sharing invaluable knowledge and experience around the world enables the continuous sharing of best practice conservation methods
For further information about the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust visit www.durrell.org .