Thursday, 22 March 2012

Are Dolphins merely cargo?

According to an internal memo leaked to the Chinese media Hong Kong Airlines recently flew five dolphins from Japan to Vietnam in their cargo hold.

Animal welfare groups said the dolphins were in packed into what amounted to ‘flying coffins’ for up to seven hours in transit from Osaka to Hanoi. But overwhelming pressure from customers and animal welfare groups has made the airline stop what it had seen as a lucrative business opportunity.

In a recent statement HKA said it had carried the dolphins in compliance with government rules and International Air Transport Association live animal regulations. However, after consulting with welfare groups, HKA said it had been persuaded that providing transportation for this type of cargo could result in the endangerment of wildlife.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Chance to become a Rainforest reporter - Together For Trees competition

Win a two-week trip to an RSPB rainforest project to experience the conservation projects first hand. The competition winner will be required to report back daily to the UK on the work being done whilst on the Rainforest Trip - using blogs and websites set up by Together For Trees. They will also be required to capture imagery and film content. The Winner will be able to help with some of the day-to-day conservation work on the ground and meet some of the local teams.

This is a competition to raise awareness about the importance of rainforests but is also a great opportunity for someone to spend time in a rainforest & practice their social media skills.

Entrants must complete an online application form detailing why they are interested in becoming the Rainforest Reporter using the Together For Trees website:

Entries must be in by 23rd March 2012 (11.59PM GMT) & the winner will be announced on 18th May 2012

Together for Trees is an organisation aiming to help save rainforest around the world & is sponsored by the charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) & Tesco.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Do protected wildlife areas improve outcomes for animals?

Scientists from the top conservation charity The Earthwatch Institute will be discussing key conservation issues in London this month.
A lecture, Protected Areas: Do they improve outcomes for key species? takes place at 7pm – 8:30pm on Thursday 15 March at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Cash bar from 6pm. To reserve your place visit, call +44 (0)1865 318856, or email

Friday, 9 March 2012

Want a Wildlife Conservation Job in Australia?

Competition running from 24 February - 30 June 2012
The South Australian Tourism Commission, working in association with STA Travel and Tourism Australia, is offering travellers the chance to win a job as a conservation assistant on Kangaroo Island.

This job offer is part of a wider campaign designed to boost awareness of the opportunities for young people in Australia. It’s obviously part of an Australian tourist promotion but as far as I can see the jobs are real, although they are deemed to be ‘prizes’ to be won so if they’re half as popular as Tourism Queensland’s 2009 ‘Best Job in the World’ - competition will be fierce.

In South Australia there is an opportunity to work on Kangaroo Island as a conservation assistant on Seal Bay. Kangaroo Island is a fabulous island off the Adelaide coast & is famed for its abundance of free roaming native wildlife. Seal Bay Conservation Park is one of only two places in the world where visitors can get up close to a breeding colony of rare Australian sea lions.
In Victoria there is an opportunity to work as an environmental assistant on Phillip Island Nature Park, which is just off the Melbourne coast. This is the location of the 2010 BBC documentary - Penguin Island - successful candidates can expect to work with penguins, koala and other native Australian wildlife.
In Tasmania there is an opportunity to work with a conservation project on Bruny Island, which is just off the southern tip of Tassie. The job is likely to involve working with native Australian wildlife with some time checking marine life on the Southern Ocean.

Flights, the job and visa fees are all included in the prize. To be in with a chance of winning one of these jobs go to

Criteria for a Working Holiday Visa:
- must be between 18 and 30 years old
- must have a British passport with one year validity or more
- must have no dependent children
- must show sufficient funds for a return/onward fare and for the first part of the stay
- be of good character and meet the health criteria

Thursday, 8 March 2012

New edition of Wildlife & Conservation Volunteering, March 2012

I am very pleased with the success of the first edition of Wildlife & Conservation Volunteering (Bradt, 2009) and excited with the publication this month of the second edition (Bradt, 2012).

This new edition had been completely updated and expanded, including more organizations, updated assessments, more volunteer stories and more field adventures. There is also a new chapter on great wildlife migration events – how, when and where to see them, with more great photographs.

A conservation volunteering experience is so much more than a wildlife trip or safari, not just for the positive feel-good factor of doing something useful but because of the hands-on involvement and insights they provide into the life of wild creatures and the country they live in.

For example, Jason, a ranger on the deserted island of Curieuse in the Seychelles, told me how when he arrived for work on the morning of 24th December 2004 all the giant tortoises had mysteriously disappeared from their normal beachside habitat. Two days later the tsunami struck but the tortoises had laboriously struggled up onto the islands high ground – behaviour he had never seen before. It seems like scientists are missing a low-tech trick for a tsunami early warning system.