Today, when we think of wildlife conservation we think of elephants and rhinos, gorillas, and tigers, but it all began with an American hunter called Aldo Leopold. Back then, people thought nature able to replenish its stock for eternity, but Leopold realized he was finding it harder and harder each season to find bears and mountain lions to hunt. On realizing this, he changed how he and others hunted and acted in New Mexico, allowing these predators to return, and saving the local ecosystem at the same time.
In the 21st century, we are more aware of conservation topics than any other generation, yet there is so much to be done. As part of this, it’s the duty of parents to teach their children how to both enjoy and preserve the natural environment around them. This means knowing the 4 key areas of conservation, which are:
Education and messaging
Many people across the world from documentary makers to activists, from NGOs to families, are making small differences whether it is protecting the big five in Africa to planting wildflowers for bees in America. Parents can learn more about how to educate their children by reading this teaching guide to wildlife and fish conservation.
National Geographic 2014 Emerging Explorer and conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferreira is on the front line of Brazil’s fight against a thriving illegal wildlife trade.
We had the chance to travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to tell the story of wildlife warrior, Juliana Machado Ferreira for National Geographic.
Conservation biologist Juliana Machado Ferreira fights illegal wildlife trafficking in Brazil using science, political articulation, professional training, and educational outreach to curb demand, strengthen laws, empower police, and build international partnerships. Every year, poachers take 38 million animals from natural habitats in Brazil to supply all kinds of illegal wildlife trade. The business brings in $2 billion a year.
Machado Ferreira founded FREELAND Brasil to combat the thriving illegal trade, which she fights on many fronts. In Brazil, where keeping wild songbirds, parrots, and macaws is a widely embraced cultural norm, her organization educates the public about the devastating impact this can have on nature. She also helps police to identify, count, and provide triage care for birds seized during raids along with SOS Fauna. She holds a Ph.D. in genetics and has developed molecular markers that can aid in identifying the origins of birds seized by police and help return rehabilitated birds to the right spot in the wild.
“The mega business of illegal wildlife trafficking threatens Brazil’s mega biodiversity more every day. We must turn the tide now—before it’s too late.”