Our planet faces many big conservation challenges. No one person or organization can tackle these challenges alone, but together we can.
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2017 was the third-hottest year on record in the United States and the costliest in history for natural disasters. From severe droughts to hurricanes to wildfires, these weather extremes are more evidence of the consequences of climate change. Thankfully, local leaders from businesses, universities, and governments are stepping up to combat climate change, setting more aggressive renewable energy targets and training the next generation of climate leaders. We need to make sure tomorrow’s communities are safe from the devastating impacts of our changing climate.
Belize has permanently suspended oil activity in its ocean waters. This legislation marks an enormous win for the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, which has been threatened by seismic oil exploration. While ecosystems in the reef have already been damaged by coastal destruction, the new protections will benefit the coral, aquatic animals, and the thousands of Belizeans who rely on the reef for survival. Reef-related tourism alone is estimated to bring in between $182 million to $237 million per year and will support about 190,000 people.
Say hello to the Sprague’s pipit, one of 6 songbird species at risk in the North American Great Plains. Since the 1960s, populations of songbirds found only in this region have declined by more than 65%. The primary culprit? Habitat loss from the conversion of grassland into cropland. Protecting grasslands can save water, soil, and the wildlife that live on them, and we are dedicated to eliminating the spread of grassland loss by 2030. Illustration by @hedrawsthings. #NationalBirdDay
The Trump Administration just proposed a new oil and gas leasing plan that would open up the Arctic to a new wave of risky offshore drilling activities. Drilling in this region is extremely dangerous, and puts the communities that depend on a healthy Arctic at risk. We must continue to keep drilling out of the Arctic. Take action today by going to the link in our bio.
Sleeping for about 15 hours per day, sloths spend much of their lives in the rain forest treetops of Central and South America. They have an extremely low metabolic rate and travel 41 yards per day on average. The health of sloth populations is dependent on the health of tropical rain forests. Without an abundance of trees, sloths will lose their shelter and food source. When sloths come to the forest floor—which they do once a week to relieve themselves—they are more exposed to predators and can do little to fend them off. We are working with communities, governments, and companies to encourage sustainable forestry and to help ensure the survival of these famously sleepy creatures.
As of today, China has officially closed its domestic ivory markets. This is a big moment in the fight to save elephants. "Decades from now, we may point back to this as one of the most important days in the history of elephant conservation. China has followed through on a great promise it made to the world, offering hope for the future of elephants. New research shows broad support for ending ivory trade among Chinese consumers, but awareness of this ban remains low, and consumer desire for ivory persists. It’s critical that the new law be well publicized, and that authorities in China robustly enforce the ban. At the same time, remaining demand for ivory must be addressed and redirected, not simply ignored. This ban alone won’t end the poaching of elephants. It’s equally critical that China’s neighbors follow suit and shut down ivory markets across Asia. Only then can we ensure the open trade doesn’t simply shift to other countries and offer traffickers safe channels for newly-poached ivory. The fate of Africa’s elephants depends on global rejection of ivory trade, and governments hold the key to driving this." - Ginette Hemley, WWF’s senior vice president of wildlife conservation.
Just a few hours left to help stop poaching and protect nature with your 2017 tax-deductible donation to WWF. Before midnight, make a gift and be part of the solution. If you live in the US, you can donate $10 to WWF by texting PANDA to 20222. You can donate online by following the link in our bio.
Create a better future for polar bears, elephants, and other threatened wildlife and the places they call home. Make your tax-deductible donation to WWF today and be part of the solution. If you live in the US, you can donate $10 to WWF by texting PANDA to 20222. You can donate online by following the link in our bio.
Every 26 minutes, poachers kill an African elephant. We must stop this.
ACT NOW to stop poaching and protect nature from many threats. Donate today + help make our global conservation work possible. If you live in the US, you can donate $10 to WWF by texting PANDA to 20222. You can also donate by following the link in our bio.
Influencer and beekeeper @negin_mirsalehi just showed her support for @world_wildlife by symbolically adopting a honeybee! “As a beekeeper I'm proud to have symbolically adopted a honeybee from @world_wildlife, the world’s largest conservation organization. Together we can help protect pollinators and other vulnerable wildlife and wild places.” You can also symbolically a honeybee. Follow the link in our bio to learn more.
178 black rhinos have been relocated through WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP). BRREP works to grow black rhino numbers by creating new populations and provides equipment and training to rangers to monitor, manage, and protect rhinos. Follow the link in our bio to learn more.
Tiny building, big impact. The visitor center at Hol Chan Marine Reserve is a hub of conservation activity on Ambergris Caye, just off the coast of Belize. This week, we were so thankful that the staff at Hol Chan gave us a first-hand look at the important work they do. At WWF, our work is so critically connected to that of our partners. Without them, we wouldn't be able to have the on-the-ground impact that we see in places like Belize. Hol Chan contains mangroves, fishing flats, seagrass, and incredible coral reefs with vast schools of fish—natural resources that are critical to local livelihoods. Without the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, these areas would quickly be depleted of these critical natural resources. We are all in this together. Or as Kirah Foreman, marine biologist says, “whether we realize it or not, we are all connected to the reef somehow.”
Yesterday we had the pleasure of exploring the marine wilderness of Belize with one of our Belizean colleagues, Nadia Bood. It was amazing to see the abundance of life just below the surface. “It was a wonderful dive. We were able to see a lot of biodiversity! When you see a turtle this big, you know you have a healthy marine ecosystem. A moment like this puts WWF’s science and advocacy in perspective: if you can prove the beauty and value of turtles and reefs and mangroves to the people in charge, you can protect them for everyone.” - Nadia
Mangroves literally hold things together: anchoring shorelines, filtering pollution from the land, and providing a safe place for everything from mud crabs to a host of fish species that bolster the healthy reefs that local communities rely on for fishing and tourism. They are also one of nature's best defenses against climate change, sucking in carbon emissions and helping to keep the worst impacts of coastal storms from rushing further inland. In many places, mangroves (like these here in Belize) are the front line of defense for people and wildlife who live at the water's edge.
Polar bears play a vital role in the overall health of the Arctic. Because they depend on sea ice for their existence, they are directly impacted by climate change. This makes them an important indicator of the effects of a warming climate. For many years, we have run a polar bear tracker to monitor some of the animals by satellite. By tracking these bears, scientists can map a polar bear’s range and examine how habitat use may change in response to shifting sea ice.
A few of us are visiting Belize’s Ambergris Caye with the biologists and rangers of Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Most visitors head straight to the reef, where rangers and other park staff hold fishers and tour guides to high conservation standards. Under the water, the incredible marine life includes rich coral gardens and seagrass beds, nurse sharks, parrot fish, bottlenose dolphins, and the solitary ray seen swimming here. Together with the Hol Chan staff, WWF and our supporters are helping to protect this incredible place. We will be sharing more updates throughout the week so stay tuned!
TAKE ACTION: The tax bill recently passed by the Senate would open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to drilling by oil and gas companies. The Refuge is home to iconic species including polar bears, caribou and countless migratory birds. We need YOU to take action today and tell your Representative to oppose any tax plan that includes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Link in bio.
A few of our awesome colleagues just finished up an amazing adventure tagging river dolphins along Bolivia's San Martin river. Pictured, one of the dolphins is released back into the wild after successfully being tagged. The information these dolphins give us will be a critical tool in our efforts to conserve both the dolphins and the connected system of rivers they call home. These rivers stretch across borders and countries, making protecting them a challenge. By better understanding river dolphin movements, we can make a stronger case for keeping these rivers free, flowing, and connected.
Check out the link in our bio for more on Uporny’s story. Regram @mjtwombly ・・・
Winter's almost here so I'll share a snowy animation made for the web version of my @world_wildlife comic. I always love playing in #aftereffects and finding clever ways of getting results, like getting a random particle effect to loop. #illustration #motiongraphics #comics #digitalart #tigers #animation
Uporny the tiger lived a wild life. After being rescued by WWF-Russia, he was rehabilitated, outfitted with a radio collar, and returned to the wild. For two years, Uporny lived freely in the forests of the Russian Far East, in the harshest of conditions, with temperatures dropping to -40⁰F. He successfully killed large prey and is believed to have found a mate. Click on the link in our bio to learn more about Uporny’s story. Story and illustrations by @mjtwombly.
Love forests? Shopping for holiday gifts that are made from trees? Be sure to look for the FSC logo. Products that carry the FSC logo have been certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards for environmental and social responsibility. Your purchase of anything bearing the FSC logo helps stop illegal logging, prevents the conversion of forests to farmland, and limits the soil erosion that clogs rivers and streams.
Nicknamed the “seal with a mustache,” walrus live in coastal waters in the Arctic. These excellent swimmers can hold their breath for up to 12 minutes and dive to depths of 300 feet. Today, the walrus is primarily threatened by climate change. Shrinking sea ice means that walrus will need to spend longer periods in unfavorable conditions on land instead of resting on floating sea ice. We are working with local communities to minimize disturbances to these animals when they come ashore. #WalrusDay