Despite the many problems posed to the world’s species by habitat loss, human activities and climate change, there are many ‘success stories’ which highlight the positive impacts of conservation action. ARKive focused on the positive in its celebration of Earth Day in April 2010. ARKive is a project of Wildscreen, headed by Harriet Nimmo, CEC Steering Committee member.
April 22nd mared the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Founded in 1970, this annual, global event calls on people of all ages and backgrounds to commit to building a safer, healthier and cleaner world. Earth Day aims to encourage governments and people worldwide to make changes to tackle both national and global issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable energy.
Wildscreen USA joined in the festivities at the National Mall in Washington DC with an ARKive booth in the EcoVillage. The team offered cool giveaways and hosted a fun species identification game, spreading the word about ARKive’s mission to create the ultimate multimedia guide to the world’s endangered species.
Despite the many problems posed to the world’s species by habitat loss, human activities and climate change, there are many ‘success stories’ which highlight the positive impacts of conservation action. Below are a few examples of threatened species whose long-term survival prospects have been improved by focused conservation efforts:
California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
Listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered, the California condor was reduced to just eight wild individuals in the 1980s. Since then, an intensive captive breeding programme and successful releases have given new hope to this impressive bird, which can once again be seen soaring over the rocky Californian landscape.
Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
Following the Second World War, the availability of firearms and motorised transport, along with the demand for sport hunting drove the wild population of the Arabian oryx to extinction. Thankfully, through a program of captive breeding and reintroductions, this species can once again be seen wandering the dry Arabian Peninsula. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a release program for the Arabian oryx was begun in 2007, and has since released around 100 animals into the wild.
Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Once slaughtered in their hundreds of thousands, protection from the commercial hunter has allowed the humpback whale to recover from this devastating exploitation. Although still threatened by ship strikes, fishing gear entanglement and habitat degradation, continued conservation efforts will hopefully preserve this awe-inspiring whale for future generations.
Kakapo (Strigops habroptila)
A classic example of evolution on an isolated island, the kakapo is the only flightless parrot in the world. Having once roamed across the whole of New Zealand, the kakapo population has been decimated by hunting and predation by introduced mammals, falling to a low of just 51 individuals in 1995. Following intensive conservation efforts, the population has since risen to around 100.
Source: ARKhive Press Release
Wildlife films and photos are vital weapons in the battle to save the world's endangered plants and animals from the brink of extinction. So, with the help of the world’s best filmmakers, photographers, conservationists and scientists, ARKive is creating the ultimate multimedia guide to the world's endangered species. Visit the website