17th May marks Endangered Species Day; an opportunity for us all to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and conserving our wildlife. Only a week ago the world heard some terrible news that over 1 million species are now under threat from extinction due to humans’ actions. It is clear that we need to take action and work tirelessly to ensure that we don’t lose these precious species forever.
Today, Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation take a look back at projects that we are proud to have worked on over the years. Since 2013 the Foundation has fast become an influential voice in welfare and conservation. We’ve worked with organisations around the world on projects to help improve the welfare of animals, provide protection for endangered species and support vital research into the impacts of climate change on many species. Here are some of our most memorable moments…
Painted Dog Vaccine Programme
Painted Dogs are the second most endangered carnivore in Africa so every effort to protect them is so important. Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation have been supporting the Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) for years and work tirelessly to help protect them in the wild by setting up anti-poaching and anti-snare patrols. One of the most notable projects is the PDC vaccine programme, which protects domestic dogs from diseases such as canine distemper, which is spread to and kills painted dogs. Wildlife Vets International also works alongside YWP Foundation and PDC to vaccinate domestic dogs in Zimbabwe to stop the decimation of painted dog populations.
Amur Leopard Cubs Born
The Foundation is proud to be part of an international breeding programme, and in 2015 two Amur leopard cubs were born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Hopefully in the not too distant future, working alongside Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA), captive Amur Leopards will be reintroduced into the Lazovsky Nature Reserve in Southern Sikhote Alin, where they haven’t been seen for over 30 years.
Amur Tigress Released into the Wild
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation have been working closely with the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA) since 2012, raising funds for the big cats with a not-so-big population. From 2015-17 YWP Foundation provided a grant of £18,000 to the Alekseevka rescue and rehabilitation centre in Russia, which helps injured tigers to get their strength back, with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. So we were ecstatic to hear that in 2017 our funding had helped a rare Amur Tigress, Filippa, to be released back into the wild after 14 months of rehabilitation at the centre. She was 4 months old and close to starvation when she was found; now she is roaming free in the wild. In 2017 there were only around 450 Amur Tigers left in the wild, so it was such a huge accomplishment for everyone involved.
£15,000 Grant towards Protection of Blue-eyed Black Lemurs
One of the worlds most endangered mammals, lemurs are endemic to the island of Madagascar. The Lemur Conservation Association (AEECL) has been a longstanding partner charity of YWP Foundation and one of their top priorities is the blue-eyed black lemur. With less than 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild, the work they do for them is imperative. From 2016-18 YWP Foundation released a three year grant worth £15,000 to AEECL. It went towards supporting and protecting the blue-eyed black lemur whose populations suffers so greatly from slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The funds have gone to a protected nature reserve in the native North West Madagascar, and support projects such as education of local communities, developing eco-tourism and promoting research of these magnificent creatures.
Bactrian Camels Release
Critically endangered, there are thought to be fewer than 1,000 wild bactrian camels remaining. YWP Foundation funded a major conservation project to release six Bactrian Camels back into the wild. They were transported from their breeding centre near the Mongolia-China border and took on a 15 hour journey across inhospitable terrain to some oasis sites. These marvellous camels are critically endangered due to hunting for meat, loss of habitat through farming and mining and loss of water holes to domestic animal use. The camels were fitted with satellite collars so the project can be continually monitored in the hope the camels produce more offspring in already existing herds.
There are so many more incredible projects YWP Foundation have worked on over the years, these were just some of our most memorable! Make a difference and donate today to help us continue our work protecting the endangered species of the world.