Wildlife Heroes 40 Leading Conservationists And The Animals They Are Committed To Saving

By Jeff Flocken and Julie Scardina

  • Genre : Animals
  • Publisher :
  • ISBN : 9780762443192
  • Year : 2012
  • Language: English


Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 1 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They Are Committed to Saving by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken with Photo Editor Sterling Zumbrunn Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 2 2012 by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions Printed in China This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented without written permission from the publisher Books published by Running Press are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations institutions and other organizations For more information please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group 2300 Chestnut Street Suite 200 Philadelphia PA 19103 or call 800 810-4145 ext 5000 or e-mail special markets perseusbooks com ISBN 978-0-7624-4319-2 Library of Congress Control Number 2011939378 E-book ISBN 978-0-7624-4516-5 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Digit on the right indicates the number of this printing Photo Editor Sterling Zumbrunn Cover and interior design by Jason Kayser Typography Mercury and Proxima Nova Running Press Book Publishers 2300 Chestnut Street Philadelphia PA 19103-4371 Visit us on the web www runningpress com Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 3 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 4 CONTENTS 6 8 Introduction EARTH WORKING ON THE GROUND 9 INTRODUCTION 55 by Kuki Gallmann 12 GREGORY RASMUSSEN Jaguar 60 African Painted Dog 18 BELINDA LOW CLAUDINE ANDR 65 ROG RIO CUNHA DE PAULA 71 JOHN LUKAS 77 LUKE DOLLAR 82 PATR CIA MEDICI 88 RAOUL DU TOIT 94 LAURIE MARKER Cheetah 100 IAIN DOUGLAS-HAMILTON African Rhinoceroses 106 NGUYEN VAN THAI Asian Pangolins Tapirs 49 CLAUDIO SILLERO Ethiopian Wolf Fossa 44 SHIVANI BHALLA Lion Okapi 39 EUGENE RUTAGARAMA Mountain Gorilla Maned Wolf 34 CLAUDIA FEH Przewalski s Horse Bonobo 29 ELENA BYKOVA Saiga Grevy s Zebra 23 LEANDRO SILVEIRA African Elephants WATER WORKING IN THE OCEANS AND RIVERS 107 INTRODUCTION 128 by Ted Danson 110 BRENT STEWART Sea Turtles 134 Whale Shark 116 GERALD KOOYMAN VERA DA SILVA Amazon River Dolphin AMANDA VINCENT Seahorses 140 Emperor Penguin 122 KAREN ECKERT DAVID WILEY Great Whales 146 DIANE MCTURK Giant River Otter Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 5 152 AIR WORKING IN THE SKY AND CANOPY 153 INTRODUCTION 177 by Stefanie Powers 156 ALISON JOLLY Sun Bear 182 Lemurs 161 MERLIN TUTTLE ROSAMIRA GUILLEN Cotton-top Tamarin 171 DEBORAH TABART Koala 187 Bats 166 SIEW TE WONG GEORGE ARCHIBALD Cranes 192 MARC ANCRENAZ Bornean Orangutan FELICITY ARENGO South American Flamingos 198 FIRE WORKING ON THE MOST CRITICAL WILDLIFE ISSUES 199 INTRODUCTION by Jay Inslee 202 KASSIE SIEGEL Climate Change 208 GRACE GE GABRIEL Wildlife Consumption 214 JUDY ST LEGER Wildlife Disease 226 SYLVIA EARLE Ocean Degradation 232 EDGARDO GRIFFITH Amphibian Decline 238 STEVE GALSTER Wildlife Trade 244 MAY BERENBAUM Pollinator Decline 220 WANGARI MAATHAI Habitat Loss 250 HOW TO HELP WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE 251 INTRODUCTION 254 DEEPER COMMITMENT by Jack Hanna 253 DOING YOUR PART 256 SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE HEROES 262 Acknowledgments 263 Photo Credits Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 6 6 WILDLIFE HEROES Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 7 INTRODUCTION The wildlife heroes featured in this book are forty These individual species like the heroes individuals we admire and respect acclaimed for selected for the book were also chosen as being best their vision determination and success Some of suited to bring a broader message of conservation them we have known for many years and worked need and inspiration for action to readers We are closely with while others we only knew before this compelled to feature these heroes species and book through knowledge of their impressive issues as we both feel the heartbreak of what is hap- accomplishments or from their stellar reputations pening to the wild animals and wild places we love in the eld of wildlife conservation Unless more people help ght the war we are cur- Admittedly the assemblage of species we chose rently losing to save species wild lands and ocean to highlight show a bias of the authors as we have habitats there will be far less of these incredible our own personal love for certain animals and creatures and environments left in the world direct experiences working in particular conserva- The heroes in this book have dedicated their tion arenas So while we both have great fondness lives to preserving these creatures animals that for critters like the obscure dwarf wedgemussel are beloved by the world because they are both and the underrated dung beetle and understand compelling and fascinating We are proud to shine their important roles in their habitats this book a light on them all And we sincerely hope that tends to feature the big charismatic species the this book will result in more support for the same ones who rightly or wrongly tend to receive heroes critical efforts and in meaningful gains in the most conservation resources and public atten- the struggle for existence of these amazing tion Luckily these same high-pro le animals species frequently serve vital roles as keystone agship and indicator species thereby arguably deserving the lion s share of adoration they receive Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken 7 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 8 EARTH WORKING ON THE GROUND Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 35 PM Page 9 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION BY KUKI GALLMAN ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF I DREAMED OF AFRICA ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST AND FOUNDER OF THE GALLMAN AFRICA CONSERVANCY Caring for Eden and actively joined the great world environmental It was about forty years ago that I moved to Kenya movement I decided to dedicate my life and and acquired the responsibility to look after a resources to making a difference and to make Ol piece of heaven on the Eastern Great Rift Valley ari Nyiro an example of coexistence between Ol ari Nyiro a biodiversity oasis of rugged dra- people and the wild matic landscapes with a relic forest and natural I became a Kenya citizen and a spokesperson springs gorges and ravines where endemic for my adopted country on matters of environ- species of wildlife and ora survived and still do ment and transformed the place from an in stark contrast with the now degraded landscape operating livestock ranch into a nature conser- surrounding us from where most indigenous vancy with no domestic stock where all life is vegetation has been removed nurtured and protected In the very early 80s after the tragic deaths of What was happening at that time With the col- both my husband and my son within a short space lapse of Somalia and deserters from that country s of time witnessing the tragic environmental army in ltrating the northern parts of Kenya their degradation and loss of habitat and species occur- only wealth their weapons the killing of rhino and ring all around Kenya I resisted attempts from elephants became an unprecedented issue in Kenya friends and family to get me to abandon Ol ari and having lost nine black indigenous rhinoceros in Nyiro to its destiny and return to my native Italy Ol ari Nyiro in less than one year I decided to do 9 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 10 something about it I started the rst private antipoaching unit in Kenya What was beginning to happen and has hap- The commitment to active conservation of the wild parts and inhabitants of our Earth demands time stamina vision dedication and pened since all around us and throughout Africa daring It can be dangerous but in my case despite and the planet is the drastic restriction in wildlife several physical attacks one of which crippled my habitat pressures of all kinds due mostly to popula- left hand and endless threats this is one battle tion increase change of land use from pastoral to that I am determined to keep ghting with all the agricultural land consequent interruption of means at my disposal since I passionately believe migratory routes deforestation pollution over- in our responsibility to protect what has never grazing erosion siltage in lakes climate change been easier to destroy with subsequent droughts lack of job opportunities I am honored to introduce this impressive list for growing populations of tribal youth and the of wildlife heroes all leaders in their chosen elds concurrent growth of demand for wildlife products men and women of extraordinary expertise talent in the surging markets of the Far East insecurity and courage who spend and often risk their lives in tribal con icts and in Kenya the proliferation of the front line of conservation in remote and often small weapons from the troubled neighborhood of lonely parts of our planet to ensure that today s Somalia and the Sudan species will not become tomorrow s dinosaurs This in conjunction with the soaring black markets stimulated throughout the Continent as a consequence of the sales of ivory allowed by CITES in 2007 after the twenty-year moratorium in all sales initiated by the ivory re in Kenya in 1989 has signi ed an increase in poaching and illegal trade of animal body parts throughout the continent of Africa and in particular from elephants rhino lions snakes pythons tortoises in addition to leopards and plants African sandalwood a once-common shrub has become rare just to mention the most dramatic and tangible species loss As an honorary game warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service I have committed to do all in my capacity to ght the illegal trade that is at the root of the cruel and senseless killings that I witness continuously in the African bush 10 WILDLIFE HEROES Your contribution is incalculable and with deep respect and gratitude I salute you Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 11 11 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 12 Greg RasmuSseN AFRICAN PAINTED DOG Learning about their loyal behavior has made a big impression on both those who work with African painted dogs and even those who previously hated the dogs but now are willing to share their land with them Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 13 FA S T FA C T S African Painted Dog Gregory Rasmussen f Education PhD from Oxford University United Kingdom f Nationality British f Scienti c Name Lycaon pictus f Range Painted dogs formerly occupied a wide range of habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa however they are now extirpated from 25 of 39 former range states f Population Trend Declining There are an estimated 3 000 to 5 500 painted dogs left on the entire African continent f IUCN Status Endangered f Organizational Affiliation Painted Dog Conservation f Years Working with African Painted Dogs 24 f Honors Whitley Wildinvest Continuation Award for Conservation 2001 Wildlife Society Annual Award 2000 Whitley Runner-up Award for Conservation 1999 and Research on Ocean Currents in the Atlantic 1978 f Notable Accomplishments Appointed to the IUCN SSC Canid Specialist Group selected to join North and South Poles Transglobe Expedition founded the Painted Dog Conservation organization named a Wildlife Conservation Network partner helped double the African painted dog population in Zimbabwe IUCN here and elsewhere stands for the International Union for Conservation of Nature G REG Rasmussen hates the name many people painted dogs but also as African hunting dogs have given his favorite animals They are not Cape hunting dogs and spotted dogs When my simply wild dogs they are not feral domesticated mother rst read about the animals I was intent on canines with which people confuse them because studying many years ago he says she was fearful of their name When people know nothing about for my life as there were so many awful and false them they fear them Instead Rasmussen coun- descriptions of the dogs in books she read Today ters they are beautiful and endangered painted those myths carry on in many of the animal s range dogs which need our understanding and assistance countries Most people grow up being told to shoot if they are going to continue to survive in Africa the dogs on sight because they think they are cruel Rasmussen is particularly sensitive about misperceptions of these social and wide-ranging canines known not only as African wild dogs and bloodthirsty savage and no good to anyone Rasmussen started working with painted dogs in 1989 when he was overwhelmed by the 13 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 14 What You Should Know about African Painted Dogs f Painted dogs are not domesticated dogs that have run wild but rather a distinct species that evolved separately from other canids Their scienti c name translated from Latin means painted wol ike animal f Between 43 and 70 percent of wild dog hunts end in success compared to lesser success rates of many other predators such as lions which are successful only an estimated 27 to 32 percent of the time f Painted dogs have been shown to mourn for deceased pack members human-induced carnage to this highly endangered species No sooner than I had identi ed the presence of this rare animal did I nd that shortly afterwards they had momentarily left the sanctuary of the national park and were either shot by ranchers killed on the road or caught in poachers snares set for bushmeat These senseless mortalities distressed me deeply and so I decided to make the species my agship in the hope of making a difference He started with neither funding nor accommodation and precious few savings and he was distrusted by just about everyone the local Africans ranchers and even safari operators who did not recognize the dogs potential value Winning con dences without falling off the track became the issue To combat this he started a major awareness campaign alerting people to the truths about the species and the problems they faced Rasmussen s vehicle which also served as his home in the beginning frequently touched ranchland areas where it was not welcome and he was seen as much a problem as the dogs them- f The loss of just one adult pack member whether to a snare a vehicle or a gunshot can spell doom for the entire pack as every dog is needed to hunt and protect the pups f Painted dogs allow pups to feed rst after a kill and will bring food back to any pack member that due to injury illness or babysitting duties cannot participate selves Rasmussen and his programs became a point of vociferous public discussion He recalls being delighted at receiving a call from a rancher who said he was going to bury him because the dogs had expanded to the point that they were now on his ranch and Rasmussen was responsible The very fact that he called said one thing the fact that the dogs had expanded into a new area said even more Years before the rancher would simply have killed the dogs and not considered calling Rasmussen translocated the animals to a safer area thus demonstrating his ability and willingness to do whatever was necessary to keep them alive A decade after Rasmussen started his painted dog work Zimbabwe overnight became a turbulent mix of con ict lawlessness increased poverty and starvation and once again African painted dogs were in jeopardy Snaring a technique using wire to catch animals for meat and sale hit astronomical proportions and painted dogs often fell victim to these death traps All the 14 WILDLIFE HEROES Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 15 gains of the previous years were threatened It was back to the drawing board for Rasmussen though this time accompanied by Peter Blinston who came from the UK to help out for a few months and ended up staying on In a climate where few locals had much to rely on the tenacity of the project carried through and the Painted Dog Conservation project PDC was expanded to include the community as partners As conservation ignorance is Rasmussen s greatest enemy the program of which he is most proud is the organization s Children s Bush Camp The effort introduces local kids to native wildlife as well as to the dogs at the PDC rescue center Zimbabwe children as in many other countries often never get the chance to experience or learn positive things about wildlife in their own nation Once they do they are is busy addressing them all Besides education forever changed relates Rasmussen The children there are concrete practical solutions that can save attend classes perform skits write reports and visit individual dogs lives For example PDC places Hwange National Park to see animals in the wild wide spiked re ective collars on dogs which serve The kids even get a surprise encounter with the multiple purposes normally elusive painted dogs by taking a nature First they can aid in freeing the dogs The walk down a long raised walkway through the res- spikes on these collars help break or prevent tight- cued dogs enclosure right before feeding time The ening of snare wire often placed to catch other dogs are then released and come running toward game animals but sometimes catching dogs instead their meal right beneath where the children are when they investigate the bait Re ective material standing to their complete thrill and astonishment on the collars helps warn drivers of dogs crossing Painted dogs used to regularly roam over much the road at night The collars also double as radio of Africa their range extending to thirty-nine coun- transmitters helping to keep track of packs and tries Now there are estimated to be fewer than their movements and add to the body of knowledge fty- ve hundred painted dogs in all of Africa about these misunderstood animals Coupled with Shooting snares and road strikes are the major road signs at common dog crossing points radio threats and the Painted Dog Conservation program collaring has reduced road mortality by 50 percent 15 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 16 This lesson in compassion can be learned from the dogs themselves When a pack member is injured the rest of the pack adults and pups alike will take care of it bring it food and lick its wounds until it has recovered Learning about that loyal behavior has made a big impression on both those who work with African painted dogs and those who previously hated them but now are willing to share their land with them In 2003 Rasmussen found himself in a dire situation when he crashed his plane while helping the National Parks Service look for a rhino Since he crashed outside of the search area he spent more than twenty-four hours in the wilderness with broken legs ankles and pelvis before help arrived The crash was made legendary by the retelling both in a Discovery Channel documenPDC is a popular employer of locals who nd tary and on a television series called Alive careers as dog keepers educators researchers Rasmussen has recovered but is forbidden by his anti-poaching patrol team members bus drivers friends and associates to ever fly again Many facility maintenance workers and cooks It has would have quit working in the bush after such a made a difference that we are a relatively stable terrifying near-death experience But Rasmussen provider during some of the worst economic times remains committed to the painted dogs and their the country has ever seen Rasmussen says We future survival Painted dogs have increased take care of the dogs and the people from just 350 to 700 animals in Zimbabwe since PDC has become somewhat of a regional phe- we started our programs twenty years ago My nomenon Neighboring communities are impressed colleagues and I have faced many challenges with the work Rasmussen has accomplished and along the way but the news is positive overall the dogs reputation has improved People around Whether you call them painted dogs African here are now telling us when they see dogs in the hunting dogs or spotted dogs there are more wild and if someone nds an injured one by car around today than there were when I started collision or snare they will often alert us so we can working with them and that s a great sign for try to save the dog their future 16 WILDLIFE HEROES Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 17 Why It Is Important To Save African Painted Dogs Painted dogs are the only living representative of a distinct line of wol ike species of a lineage several million years old This genetic uniqueness is very valuable to biodiversity 17 Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 36 PM Page 18 BELINDA LoW GREVY S ZEBRA It was only when I started working with them that I understood the magnitude of their decline I didn t want these beautiful animals to disappear from my homeland Heroes int-f3 qxd Layout 1 10 26 11 12 37 PM Page 19 FA S T FA C T S Grevy s Zebra Belinda Low f Education Master s from Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology University of Kent United Kingdom f Scienti c Name Equus grevyi f Nationality Kenyan and British f Range This species was once found throughout most of Kenya Eritrea Ethiopia and Somalia but is now found only in northern Kenya and isolated pockets in Ethiopia f Organizational Affiliation Grevy s Zebra Trust f Population Trend Considered stable now due to protection and conservation efforts It is estimated that fewer than 3 000 Grevy s zebras are left in the wild f IUCN Status Endangered B f Years Working with Grevy s Zebras 10 f Notable Accomplishments Founded the Grevy s Zebra Scout Programme developed the Northern Rangelands Endangered Species Program certi ed educator in holistic management used to improve habitat deterioration founding member of Kenya s Grevy s Zebra Task Force ELINDA Low born and raised in Kenya has pastoralists As keepers of livestock they have an nearly always regarded the Grevy s zebra as one intrinsic knowledge of nature that has served them of the most spectacular large animals on the well for centuries life-giving rain supplied regularly planet and for good reason It is striking powerful twice a year has helped them and the animals sur- unique and endangered vive on the arid land But things are changing The Kenya is home to 95 percent of Grevy s zebras rains are no longer predictable or often as plentiful but it wasn t until after Low began studying this lim- The future of these peoples livelihoods and the sur- ited-range species that they became her passion and vival of the Grevy s zebra are inextricably linked focus It was only when I started working with them Today Low is teaching a low-tech method of that I understood the magnitude of their decline I range management using the same cattle that once didn t want these beautiful animals to disappear from competed with the zebras but now help till and my homeland she says I had to do something enrich the soil and restore native grasses for Low works as much with the people who share wildlife Cattle are kept in smaller but mobile graz- the same land and resources of Grevy s zebras as ing areas to rid selected zones of invasive grasses she does with the zebras themselves Where the In the process the cattle provide natural fertilizer zebras range in northern Kenya people are mainly and a churning of the Earth by their hooves Once 19

Author Jeff Flocken and Julie Scardina Isbn 9780762443192 File size 30 2 MB Year 2012 Pages 264 Language English File format PDF Category Animals With one third of known species being threatened with extinction wildlife conservationists are some of the most important heroes on the planet and Wildlife Heroes profiles the work of 40 of the leading conservationists and the animals and causes they are committed to saving such as Belinda Low zebras Iain Douglas Hamilton elephants Karen Eck