Scientists believe we are heading into the next mass extinction, so may I ask you? Who are we to deny the next generation and the generation after that the chance to see some of the worlds most majestic and beautiful creatures. These animals do not belong in a storybook titled ‘Species which once were’.
They need our help and Back from the Brink of Extinction will endeavour to do its best to make sure these animals are protected and humans educated.
what is an ecosystem some people ask? Put simply it’s where living things such as trees, animals (which includes us) and organisms interact with each other in a certain area. The health of this ecosystem is maintained by its plants and animals. When a species becomes endangered it’s a sure sign of an ecosystem’s imbalance.
This balance then becomes extremely difficult to maintain and when there is a loss of even one species it often triggers the loss of others. Anthropogenic threats such as hunting, poaching or habitat loss caused through urbanisation or deforestation has put a massive strain on species populations. Humanity since 1970 has so far wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. Species on the brink of extinction or those which are critically endangered include: . Sumatran and Javan rhinoceros . Amur leopard . Orangutan . Northern Bald Ibis . Pink Pigeon . Elephants . Pygmy sloths The list goes on and on with invertebrates facing the biggest decline. People may think digging up earthworms, chasing butterflies and collecting clam shells is harmless fun but if these invertebrates start to disappear so could we. These animals form the basis of many of the essential benefits that nature provides. For example earthworms recycle waste nutrients whilst coral reefs support a myriad of life forms and bees help pollinate crops. I never thought in my lifetime I would witness an extinction of a species. Therefore imagine my shock and sadness to hear that Sudan the world’s last male Northern white rhino had passed away. I’m not a superstar neither am I famous or well known.
I’m just an ordinary 40 year old woman who’s on a mission to try and make a difference to as many animals as I can, as well as making efforts to protect the environment. This will be achieved through hard work, research, education, raising awareness but above all good old fashioned passion and belief. How I will begin… At the minute I work all the hours I can for 6-7 months of the year so I can save in the region of £8-12,000. I then use that money to travel to different countries where I pay to volunteer at animal sancturies. Whilst there I gain valuable insight into a species behaviour and learn about the threats affecting its survival. I’m hoping to gain enough research and scientific evidence to be able to challenge local authorities on important issues facing their wildlife. I would also like to be able to teach local communities about the importance of their native species and find ways in which animals and humans can quite happily co-exist, thus reducing human – wildlife conflict. The bigger picture… Eventually my dream would be to start my own business which would help to fund research programmes and build education centres within wildlife rescue parks.
These would be built in countries where they are needed the most. This in turn could create jobs for local people in local communities and help raise much needed awareness. It would also offer people from all over the world and of all ages an amazing chance to escape the stresses of everyday life and come to volunteer in a setting like no other. Whether that be for a gap year, to help with studies such as a dissertation or simply just to help make a difference to animals. At the age of 32 I decided to go back into education so I could pursue this dream.
There I spent 7 years and finally graduated in November 2018 where I gained a degree with Honours in Wildlife Conservation & Ecology. I now want to put what I’ve learnt into action and one day be able to say ‘I made a difference’. Along this journey I will be putting up blogs on social media so everyone can track my progress and join me on my adventures.
I will also be putting together a documentary about my work, the problems facing the animals in the countries that I visit, but more importantly how I’ve been able to make a difference. I endeavour to begin my mission this September (2019) once I’ve worked the summer season and saved as much as I can to commit to my cause. This is where you lovely people come into it. As you can probably imagine this isn’t going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact its going to be challenging, dangerous at times, tiring and emotional but I know the final outcome will be rewarding.
Therefore I am looking to raise around £50,000 and/or sponsorships which will help to purchase some land in which to build our first wildlife rescue/sanctuary/education centre. I’ve always said if you don’t chase your dreams that’s all they will ever be. I just hope that this dream of mine is the dream of many and together we can make a difference. I have set up a facebook page which will allow anyone who wants to follow my journeys to do so, its Travelin Wilberry. Much love, Sian x