Across WildAid’s Africa program focus countries, we have seen relatively little in the media that clearly makes the link between the COVID-19 pandemic and wildlife or explains  zoonotic diseases and how they can be prevented. Furthermore, there has been little to nothing targeted specifically at everyday African audiences.  WildAid is releasing a new animation in six widely-spoken languages aimed at filling this gap. The cartoon, made by Kenyan animator Mark Kinuthia, follows the journey of Oringo, who, after cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, learns how his actions could cause the next pandemic. Throughout the two-minute piece, viewers are reminded of the many benefits that wild animals bring humans, taking care not to create or reinforce negative associations between wildlife and disease. The underlying message is that all life systems on earth are connected; if one is damaged or destroyed, all creatures – including us – suffer. It is up to all of us to do our part to prevent this.

More info at https://bit.ly/39sNItN

Forests of the biogeographic region of Chocó in critical danger of disappearing

The biogeographic region of Chocó ranges from the eastern region of Panamá, through the Pacific coast of Colombia, to the southwest of Ecuador. In Colombia, this neotropical corridor, which covers the Pacific coast to the foothills of the western mountain range, forms a natural barrier that has generated some of the country’s highest biodiversity within earth’s rainforest ecosystems.

This region has very high endemism; for example, 25% of the bird species and 35 species of palm trees are unique. Chocó is among 25 regions of the world classified as a priority for nature conservation, a Biodiversity Hotspot. It has been a great challenge for Fundación ProAves to protect these ecosystems and their environmental services. In 2002 ProAves Reserve El Pangán was created with the aim of conserving the forested foothills near the multi-cultural town of Junín, Nariño.

Here one finds the town’s indigenous Awá fabrics, the sounds of the timbas in Afro-Colombian communities, and the wisdom of mountane farmers.

More info at https://bit.ly/3npYGFK

ProAves in the development of bird tourism in Colombia

In Colombia bird watching tour began in the early 1990s where pioneers like Paul Coopmans and Steve Hilty brought a few clients. Between 1996 and 1999, Dr. Paul Salaman led the first tours in Colombia with the goal of observing 1,000 bird species in 30 days in order to promote the country as a travel destination.Unfortunately, between 1998 and 2003 the security situation in Colombia became very difficult, delaying the development of bird tourism.

However, between 2003 and 2009, the Belgian Jurgen Beckers travelled extensively and designed tour routes incorporating many interesting species, and helped move the country away from the bad reputation it had due to the internal conflict.

More info at https://proaves.org/en/proaves-in-the-development-of-bird-tourism-in-colombia/

Mongolia Protects White-naped Crane Breeding Area

The Government of Mongolia recently designated core breeding habitat for White-naped Cranes as a national-level nature reserve, a vital step in increasing reproduction in the rapidly-declining Western population of this threatened species.

The Khurkh-Khuiten River Valleys (KKRV) in Northeast Mongolia is a diverse ecosystem supporting a mix of grasslands and wetlands that provide a haven for the world’s most important breeding concentration of Vulnerable White-naped Cranes.The International Crane Foundation, working closely with its partner, the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center (WSCC) of Mongolia, has been supporting research, monitoring and conservation of cranes and wetlands in KKRV since 2013, with a focus on White-naped Cranes that nest in the wetlands scattered through the area.

Experts from the U.S. Forest Service have provided valuable capacity training on rangeland management, socio-economic survey and the complex hydrology of the valleys, including the impact of permafrost melting on the wetlands as a result of climate change.

More info at https://bit.ly/3lO01Gd

Conservation in the time of COVID-19

At the onset of 2020, the COVID-19 virus abruptly hit mankind. Never before has a pandemic spread so aggressively and impacted the entire human race almost simultaneously. And now we are starting to feel some of the real and major impacts of what a global pandemic can cause. It is well documented the economic, social and other human-related impacts, but the environmental impacts have been less well described. 

Research indicates that the COVID-19 originated from a coronavirus discovered in the Chinese Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus affinis) that by chance mutated in another wild animal (probably an endangered species of Pangolin) held alive in horrendus cages in a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.

Despite wildlife organizations demanding an end of wildlife markets, few authorities would listen to conservationists. And yet the frequency and intensity of pandemics and serious novel viral outbreaks is actually on the rise primarily due to the trafficking of wildlife and environmental degradation.

More info at https://proaves.org/en/conservation-in-the-time-of-covid-19/

Endangered Pangolins Removed from Traditional Medicine List in China

Pangolin scales have been removed from an official 2020 listing of ingredients approved for use in traditional Chinese medicine as reported by China’s Health Times newspaper.  There was no official announcement but pangolins were not listed in the newly published 2020 edition of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pharmacopeia. This delisting comes after the country’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA) last week raised the protected status of pangolins to the highest level.

More info at https://wildaid.org/endangered-pangolins-removed-from-traditional-medicine-list-in-china/

Whale Sharks and Mantas Receive Full Protection in Taiwan

Whale sharks and manta rays will receive protection under the new law in Taiwan, increasing penalties for anyone found guilty of disturbing or capturing the animals. Under Taiwan’s Wildlife Conservation Act, whale sharks, giant oceanic manta rays, and reef manta rays will be uplisted from “rare and valuable” to “endangered,” joining four different shark species, including Sawfishes.

Taiwan’s Fisheries Act banned whale shark hunting in 2008 and prohibited the capture of the two species of manta rays in 2017. As of June 1, those guilty of disturbing or capturing any of the three species face up to five years in prison and a fine of NT$300,000 to NT$1.5 million (US$10,033 to US$50,164), according to Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council (OAC).

More info at https://wildaid.org/whale-sharks-and-mantas-receive-full-protection-in-taiwan/

Reservas ProAves: refugios críticos de aves migratorias

Las Reservas ProAves son sitios claves para la conservación, por lo que cada año transitan por sus corredores diferentes especies migratorias. Por eso la Fundación ProAves lleva más de 15 años ejecutando el programa de aves migratorias, para evaluar el estado de las especies y recolectar información valiosa. 

Registro de Cuco faisán en la Reserva ProAves El JaguarSe efectuó el primer registro del Cuco faisán (Dromococcyx phasianellus) en la Reserva ProAves El Jaguar, ubicada en el municipio de Mapiripán, Meta. 

Su registro se convierte en una adición a las especies de aves de la Reserva, y en una extensión significativa del rango de distribución de la especie. 

more info at www.proaves.org


With only a few thousand of the species remaining in the wild, mainly in Asia, the UN is reiterating its call for zero tolerance for wildlife crime as part of its 2016 Wild for Life campaign, which aims to mobilize millions of people around the world to take personal action to end the illegal trade in wildlife. 

Observed annually on 29 July, International Tiger Day – also known as Global Tiger Day – seeks to promote the protection and expansion of wild tiger habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation. Some 97% of all wild tigers have been lost in just over 100 years. As few as 3,000 tigers live in the wild today, and a number of tiger species have already become extinct. 

The biggest threat to the tiger is illegal trade, with the animal’s body parts sought for trophies and medicinal purposes. Their shrinking habitat, human-wildlife conflict and climate change are also growing threats.

More info at https://news.un.org/en/story/2016/07/535692-international-tiger-day-un-calls-urgent-action-against-illegal-wildlife-trade


The worldwide demand for shark-fin soup, shark-tooth medallions, and a false sense of security on beaches everywhere, all combine to leave sharks persecuted and endangered, with millions of them being killed each year.

Shark Awareness Day was designed to provide education and awareness of how important sharks are to the ecosystem of our oceans. Every 14th of July a large and ever growing group of passionate shark supporters from around the world is taking the opportunity to champion sharks and help create lots of positive change for some of the ocean’s greatest wonders.

More info at https://www.sharktrust.org/blog/shark-awareness-day