Guest post by Peter Thomas, founder of Animus Conservation
What is it that makes us want to conserve species, habitats and the nature all around us?
For me, as a marine biologist and wildlife enthusiast who’s worked in some truly remote places, it’s a sense of both wonder and responsibility. This planet we inhabit is perhaps one of only a handful in the universe we know that can support life, and what an incredible array of life we have too. Indeed will man ever find another? Therefore I am constantly reminded of how unique this planet and its wildlife are, and filled with a sense that we should be doing more to look after it.
There are many people around the world who share this opinion – researchers, conservationists, politicians and every day members of our communities. Many work tirelessly to help change the fate of wild habitats and species to ensure their survival for the future.
However, one thing that I have always found perplexing is the media’s (and thereby often the public’s) focus on the negative issues regarding wildlife conservation and protection of biodiversity. The old adage there’s no news like bad news springs to mind. Surely we would be better served promoting the success stories as well?
This is why in October last year I founded Animus Conservation, a voluntary organisation that promotes conservation success stories for partner wildlife non-government organisations (NGOs) and charities.
I’m generally a glass half full kind of guy and try to see the brighter side of things, but if we don’t promote and share successes, how can we inspire further change, determine the best approaches, or prove to the public and businesses that wildlife conservation and natural resource management are a worthwhile investment?
This is the underlying approach behind Animus Conservation.
Now, after half a year, Animus Conservation is proud to have almost 20 partner NGOs and charities and a good social media presence. Partners include WWF, WildAid, Coral Reef Alliance, Manta Trust, Sumatran Tiger Trust, Blue Ventures (our first supporter) and now an exciting new partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust. It was immediately apparent that all our partners felt that their successes were under-represented and we hope that we are helping to change that. Animus Conservation effectively provides a central repository of conservation success stories for people to access.
We’ve shared stories about reduction of shark finning, development of marine protected areas, wildlife seizures, community education visits, animal rehabilitations, pangolins, tigers, butterflies, gorillas, national parks, re-planting of forests and mangrove, tracking of polar bears, rhinos, elephants, civets and many, many more. We look forward to even more successes over the coming months and sharing updates for the fantastic work done by the Snow Leopard Trust!
We hope 2014 is a good year for wildlife, as we look to continue expanding and sharing conservation successes. After all, it’s often only at the precipice that people find the will to change.
Peter Thomas (Founder – Animus Conservation)