Earlier this year Jeremy Hance, writer for Mongabay wrote of the need for good news within conservation and the danger of only relaying negative news stories such as the desperate plight of many of the worlds species facing extinction. Although it would be irresponsible to gloss over bad news, the success stories need sharing to help prove that conservationists actions do have positive outcomes, to motivate current and future generations to get involved as current pessimistic attitudes have the potential to create a sense of apathy from the public.
With this in mind, it seems prudent to dedicate an article to a collection of 2014’s success stories. Despite the many problems faced by our wildlife this year, 2014 has also been rich with success stories; with wind farms exceeding nuclear power output on a blustery day in October, electric car sales surging in the UK, and millions marching worldwide at climate change rallies.
2014 was also witness to many species success stories. The Water Vole has felt the benefit of the control measures undertaken to prevent the spread of invasive mink in the Cairngorms National Park. Mink have contributed to the steep decline in water vole populations, with a 90% decline in 40 years. However the UK’s fastest declining mammal has recolonised Scotland’s Irish Marshes, the first indication that the Scottish Mink Initiative is working.
Moreover the Ladybird Spider has had a fantastic year. Thought to be extinct until a small number were rediscovered in 1980, the insect has been reintroduced to several RSPB sites including Arne reserve in Dorset where high concentrations of their distinctive webs were observed.
Overseas, 51 mountain chicken frogs reared in the UK were released back into their native habitat in the Caribbean. Under threat from the chytrid fungus, the critically endangered frog was released onto the island of Montserrat, where in 2009 a population had previously been rescued by conservationists. After a joint breeding programme at London Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, it is hoped that their reintroduction during the wet season will allow the frogs to disperse further thus affording them more protection from the fungus which threatens them.
Finally 2014 has been a really exciting year for wildlife as conservation has continued to find greater importance within today’s society. The fracking revolt and the climate march has shown, that as a country we are caring more about our impacts upon the planet and how we can act in a more positive manner. We must not allow stories of extinctions, diseases and severe population decreases stop us, yet use them as motivation to inspire further positive change.
For More Information:
Jeremy Hance – Why Conservationists Need a Little Hope
RSPB Conservation Efforts
Mountain Chicken Frog
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