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two chimpanzees

10 Ways You Can Protect Wild Animals – Ideas for Giving Tuesday 2017

10 Ways You Can Protect Wild Animals – Ideas for #GivingTuesday 2017.

Did you know you can adopt an gorilla or elephant, a lemur or a orangutan? You can save a bunch of baby turtles. You can preserve an acre of rainforest! Let’s make the world a better place for all creatures great & small. Typical gifts to these organizations are around $25. We’re all connected to these animals and their habitats around the world, and your contribution makes a real impact.

Here are the WAKA recommendations for conservation organizations worthy of your support:

1. Support the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust!

Have you been watching the Durrells on Corfu on PBS? Did you know Gerald Durrell grew up to found a wild animal conservation organization? Visit the “Adopt” link above to adopt an orangutan, a lemur, or a poison frog. Founded by author and naturalist Gerald Durrell, they’ve been saving some of the world’s most endangered animals for over half a century. Through a Wildlife Park in Jersey, conservation academies in Mauritius and Jersey, and 45 field projects worldwide, they are one of the first conservation organizations to have a ‘key performance indicator’ for its mission. The Durrell Red List Index of Species Survival demonstrates that, overall, they have improved the status of their species by over 100%, compared to a scenario of no conservation. It shows that at least 6 species are alive today that would have otherwise been lost forever.

2. Adopt a gorilla!

Founded by Dian Fossey to save gorillas & habitat in Africa. Gorilla monitoring, anti-poaching, education, local health, clean water & community projects.

3. Help purchase an acre of rainforest!

Whether they are preserving the Amazon and the way of life for indigenous people, purchasing rainforest in Borneo to create a urgently-needed corridor for Pygmy Elephants to migrate, or establishing a network of new national parks across Cambodia, with your support the Rainforest Trust will preserve all types of critical areas for life on Earth. On average, they purchase and permanently protect an acre of habitat for just $1.98 – less than your daily cup of coffee.

4. Protect endangered cheetahs!

Your donation to Cheetah Conservation Fund will support their science-based & results-driven programming. They have stabilized cheetah populations in Namibia and with your help, they can take the success they’ve achieved to the rest of Africa.

5. Help protect sea turtles!

The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. Founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr, it works to save sea turtles from extinction through rigorous science-based conservation. Headquartered in Florida, the organization carries out worldwide programs to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats the turtles depend on. Over the course of 55 years, Sea Turtle Conservancy’s research programs have yielded much of what is now known about sea turtles and the threats they face, and the organization is applying this knowledge to carry out the world’s most successful sea turtle protection and recovery programs.

6. Adopt an elephant!

Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and a pioneering conservation organization for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. At the heart of DSWT work is the Orphans’ Project, a successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The project offers hope for Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and loss of habitat due to human population pressures, conflict, deforestation and drought. To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has effectively reintegrated orphans back into wild herds.

7. Help protect dolphins!

Dolphin Project is dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded 1970, the organization aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, to retire and/or release captive dolphins. The mission of Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins for retirement and/or release, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity. Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories including bringing the world’s attention to the brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Taiji, Japan, as seen in the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove.” They successfully negotiated for an end to the dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands. Dolphin Project is the longest-running anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world.

8. Save a bunch of baby sea turtles!

See Turtles supports sea turtle conservation projects through funding & education. Help us celebrate 1 million baby turtles saved! Every $1 donated saves a hatchling. Sea turtles around the world are endangered, but you can help bring them back. By supporting our Billion Baby Turtles program, you will help protect important nesting beaches around the world, ensuring that the hatchlings make it to the water. The funding helps community-based organizations in six countries hire local residents to patrol the beaches and protect the eggs, which in many places are sold illegally on the black market. Your donation supports important nesting beach programs in Latin America. We put 90% of all donations to conservation efforts and 10% goes to program management and administration.

9. Help protect lions!

The Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) invests in innovative and effective projects across Africa to protect lions and restore their landscapes. The LRF seeks out and invests in the best ideas for lion recovery from institutions large or small, with 100% of every dollar donated deployed directly on the ground. While the Lion Recovery Fund targets site-based conservation results on the ground in Africa, it also supports campaign strategies that build public, political, and philanthropic will for lion recovery. Too few people recognize the dramatic decline of lions and what that represents—loss of ecosystem services, the disappearance of other wildlife, and risks to African economies where tourism is important. The LRF invests in projects in both Africa and in western donor countries to build the commitment to protect lions and restore their wild landscapes. The LRF is a joint initiative between the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), which administers the LRF, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The Wildlife Conservation Network has a number one rating for wildlife conservation organizations on Charity Navigator with four stars, and a perfect 100 score on Guidestar, meaning every cent of every dollar donated goes directly to lion protect programs.

10. Help protect chimpanzees!

Jane Goodall founded her youth program, Roots & Shoots, to empower youth of all ages to pursue their passion, mobilize their peers, and become the leaders our world needs to ensure a better future for people, animals, and the environment. Roots & Shoots is global, with youth programs in nearly 100 countries, of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). Hundreds of thousands of Roots & Shoots members all over the world work to improve their communities and be the leaders that our world needs. While Roots & Shoots is a free participatory network, you can donate to the Jane Goodall Institute to help protect chimpanzees, conserve critical habitat while strengthening surrounding communities, and empower the next generation of conservation leaders.

Thanks for looking over this list, and consider the impact a $25 donation can have, especially if many like-minded friends of the earth choose to join you in active support for these worthy programs!

Cover art from Whispers of the Wolf, by Pauline Ts'o
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