Cure for White-Nose Syndrome?

White-nose syndrome, a disease that affects insect-eating bats, is one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on record. But there may be a relatively simple way to stop it, according to new research: UV light.

A new study from a team of scientists from U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of New Hampshire has found that the fungus is highly sensitive to UV light. Only a few seconds of exposure to ultraviolet light destroys the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

P. destructans can only infect bats during hibernation because it has a strict temperature growth range of about 39-68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, treating bats for the disease during hibernation is challenging, so any weakness of the fungus may be good news to managers trying to develop treatment strategies.

Some estimates have over 7 million bats from multiple species to have been killed by this fungus. Some bat colonies have been totally destroyed and have not recovered.

Read more:

https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/

https://sciencebulletin.org/archives/18996.html

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/white-nose-syndrome-p-destructans-fungus-highly-sensitive-uv-light-49767/

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
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Japan’s “Scientific Whale Hunt”

The Japanese whaling fleet is currently hunting minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean. This is in violation of a ruling by the International Court of Justice on March 31, 2014 that ordered Japan to stop this practice immediately. The waters around Antarctica are a designated whale sanctuary. Despite this ruling and the protected area, this does not stop Japan’s whalers who kill in the name of “scientific research.” Really? Who actually believes this?

in 2016 the Japanese Whaling Fleet returned home with a reported 333 minke whale carcasses, some where pregnant females. Japan has said it conducts this “scientific whaling” strictly for research; however, the meat is sold commercially and government agencies say the ultimate goal is the resumption of commercial whaling.

Learn more through the power of film and what you can do to stop this. Come to the eight year anniversary of the WCFF this fall. Ten days of film screenings, receptions, panel discussions, field trips, networking, VR & more. Join us October 18-28, 2018. To advertise with, sponsor the film festival, submit a film, or join the planning committee, contact: info@wcff.org

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

China’s New Ban on Ivory

On Sunday, January 31 a total ban on Ivory in China was put into place. President Xi Jinping declared the import and export of elephant ivory to be illegal in the nation that has the  world’s largest importer of elephant tusks for decades.

This ban will greatly reduce the number of elephants killed by poachers in Africa, which at one point was nearly 100 animals a day, over 30,000 annually. The partial ivory ban declared by China in 2017 helped reduce the number of elephants killed by nearly 40%. Now that a total ban is in place in China, conservationists hope this number will be reduced much further. The African Elephant population was near 10 million animals in 1900 and reduced to 1.2 million by the mid 1980’s. Today as few as 300,000 remain on the continent.

Poaching for ivory has been the biggest threat to the survival of the two species of Elephants in Africa, the Savannah and Forest Elephants. Loss of habitat and increased human population is another concern as urban development continues with the expansion of cities and roadways. The human population will soon reach 1 billion on the continent alone and this means less space for wildlife.

The establishment of wildlife corridors, connecting national parks and protected areas from one country to the next is the only hope for elephants, big cats, giraffes and of Africa’s wildlife both large and small.

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

 

Nigeria to restore nearly 10 million acres

Nigeria has announced plans to restore nearly 10 million acres, of degraded lands within its borders.

The West African nation is now one of 26 countries across the continent that have committed to restoring more than 84 million hectares (over 200 million acres) of degraded lands as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), an effort that aims to bring 100 million hectares of land under restoration by 2030. These commitments also support the targets of the Bonn Challenge, a global initiative to restore 150 million hectares by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa, but deforestation has become widespread amidst the country’s rapid pace of urban development and population growth.

To read more visit: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/nigeria-pledges-to-restore-nearly-10-million-acres-of-degraded-land/?n3wsletter&utm_source=Mongabay+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7658972b22-newsletter_2017_12_7&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_940652e1f4-7658972b22-67230511

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Is this the End of the Sumatran Rhino?

Some years ago when i was in high school there were an estimated 800 Sumatran Rhino left in the world. Today estimates have as few as 30 to no higher than 90 animals left in the wild and captivity combined.

Habitat destruction has been the primary culprit along with poaching for rhino horn. Mismanagement of wildlife conservation has been another factor that has plagued the protection of this unique species. For the years the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have not cooperated to devise a comprehensive management plan to include captive breeding and habitat protection. Now with perhaps as few as 30 animals left on earth is it too late.

History has shown that it is not too late. The White Rhinoceros was nearly exterminated and number were reduced to as low as 50 animals. Today there are around 15,000. The number was higher a decade ago but years of poaching have reduced the species by over a thousand animals a year for the past ten years.

Captive breeding has been successful recently at the Cincinnati zoo until their last female rhino died. The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) breeding center in Sumatra has had success but the number of offspring is not competing with the overall birth/death rate.

The Sumatran Rhino s the smallest of all five rhino species, it is also a close relative of the extinct Wooly Rhinoceros that dies out at the end of the Pleistocene Era. To lose another rhino species in such a short time in geological history would be a tragedy.

More can and needs to be done to save this species. IT IS NOT TOO LATE! An aggressive captive breeding program must be implemented with combined efforts of Indonesia and Malaysia. Some scientists believe that  In vitro fertilization may be the answer. It is certainly worth a try. We will not know unless an effort is put to the test.

Recently the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) partnered with NatGeoWild to host a program on Sumatran Rhino Conservation in Dali, China. The event screened clips from Operation Sumatran Rhino and discussed conservation work for tis endangered species. In the audience were over 150 wildlife conservation experts, biologists, government representatives from multiple South-east Asia countries and leaders in the nature/wildlife documentary film industry. All were in agreement, more needs to be done to save this species and the power of this film is getting the word out.

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in China

The WCFF recently returned from a two week trip to China where this unique film festival participated in the first Dali International Film Festival. The WCFF was invited by the Yunnan Tourism Group, Wild China and National Geographic. WCFF provided exceptional award winning content and both participated and hosted panel discussions. Discussions ranged from specific species, ecosystems, filming techniques and wildlife crime.

Long term partnerships have been established between the WCFF, Dali international Film Festival, Wild China Films and National Geographic. In discussion are future feature film projects in China, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia, a potential series and the establishment of the WCFF education outreach program in China.

WCFF hosted film screenings over the course of ten days to over a thousand students representing Dali University, Yunnan Arts University, Kunming University of Science and Technology and Ocean University of China. Students and faculty from these institutions of higher learning were Informed, Engaged and Inspired via the power of film  through the WCFF screenings and panel discussions.

WCFF will return to China in 2018 for more programs in Dali and Beijing. We are ever so grateful to our generous hosts that include: Yunnan Tourism Group, National Geographic, Wild China Films, CCTV, Dali Art House, NatGeoWild and the many volunteers, participants and friends made during our stay.

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
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LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

Papua New Guinea gets its largest-ever conservation area

Papua New Guinea has been granted its largest-ever conservation area, a 1,390-square mile protected area of rainforest, nearly 900,000 acres. The newly formed Managalas Conservation Area is home to the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo and cassowary among thousands of other species.

Papua New Guinea has been granted its largest-ever conservation area, a 3,600-square kilometer (1,390-square mile) protected area of rainforest in the country’s southeast that stretches from near the ocean up into the mountains. Called Managalas Conservation Area, the move is being celebrated by conservation organizations and local communities that have been working for 32 years to establish more protections for the region. Managalas Conservation Area was officially declared on November 29 by Minister for Environment and Climate John Pundari and Northern Governor Gary Juffa at Itokama village. “Without environment, and without you and I, we will never enjoy the blessings of life,” said Pundari, as reported by PNG’s Post-Courier. “If we lose [the environment], we lose ourselves and that is also a global message.” Local communities held a party following the announcement to celebrate the declaration, the culmination of their decades of work towards protection of their forests. Minister for Environment and Climate John Pundari and Beate Gabrielsen from  the Norwegian Embassy at the declaration ceremony.

The region, called the Managalas Plateau, still has expansive tracts of primary forest. But it has been increasingly eyed by extractive industries like logging and mining, according to Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), which is supporting conservation activities in the region. Industrial agriculture is also a big threat, with several areas of the plateau suitable for oil palm plantations.

Read more: http://www.envirolink.org/2017/12/08/papua-new-guinea-gets-its-largest-ever-conservation-area/

Huon Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei) female and joey peer over branch. Endangered species from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea.

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Twitter: @CJGERVAIS
Christopher@WCFF.org

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
http://www.WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: @wcff_org
Vimeo.com/wcff
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

 

From the Founder: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival