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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Conservation, Endangered Species, and Individuals
Hugh Bollinger

Conservation, Endangered Species, and Individuals

Endangered Western Ground Parrot, Western Australia (credit: Wikicommons)

Conservation of endangered species is often thought only to be the responsibility of governments or agencies but individuals play vital, and often essential, roles as well. Three examples showcase how people and small organizations count in achieving results.

1. An initiative, Wild Melbourne, was started by a group of young Australians. Trained in the biological sciences with a passion for biodiversity, the group intends to celebrate the remarkable diversity of wildlife around their city. Wild Melbourne wants to raise recognition of these forgotten wonders. The organization is doing this through education about the local ecosystems found there and elsewhere in their region. The non-profit is dedicated to the protection of environment resources and teach others of the importance and majesty of wild species and landscapes of their region and state. One special project is 1900 Footprints that is focusing attention on 1900 threatened species in Victoria. Tristan O'Brien, a member of the team, walked 1900 kilometres (~1200 miles), one kilometer for each threatened species, to highlight the issue. He also helped raise awareness for other Aussie conservation projects. His walk-a-about took him from Adelaide to Melbourne and across to Tasmania on this quest.

2. Another endangered species effort, also from Australia, utilizes the power of filmmaking to compliment research, education, and ecological restoration. The documentary Secrets at Sunrise, filmed entirely in Western Australia, follows the remarkable story of a group of biologists and dedicated volunteers who are working to save one of the world's rarest birds, the Western Ground Parrot. The ground-dwelling bird, found only in WA, is almost extinct with less than 150 birds known. The species has almost been wiped out by bushfires. The filmmakers followed the biologists to Cape Arid National Park where the critically endangered parrot is still known to exist. Later, filming continued at the Perth Zoo to show efforts to develop a captive breeding program. If successful, the goal is to restore the parrot to other wild habitats where it once existed. With Australia's vast landscapes, low population, and stretched investigators, local volunteers are critical for any chance of conservation success for a project like this. The film is being released by Documentary Australia Foundataion that supports the recovery effort. Here is the trailer:

3. Here in North America, The Conservation Alliance is also dependent on individuals and small organizations to help realize their goals of land and water conservation. TCA, is supported through dues from its 250+ member companies in the outdoor industry,most of which are small, independent brands. They have acheived impressive successes by protecting 51 million acres, 3,102 river miles, removed or halted 30 dams, purchased 13 climbing areas, and designating 5 marine reserves in US, Canada, and Mexico. In Congress, TCA was instrumental in supporting the reauthorization of the Land & Water Conservation Act.

   Rio Grande and Conejos River, Colorado acquired (credit:TCA/Russ Schnitzer)

These successes would not have happenned without the support of local groups and individuals who conducted important field work on each conservation effort. Such direct involvement is especially important today in helping to conseve land and water resources. As individuals you can contribute to this important work with your own donation here. All direct contributions are leveraged 100% to support ongoing TCA projects.


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