Here at The War on Wildlife Project we were thinking that as us campaigners, conservationists and activists can’t get out to meet and see each other now, how about creating something to bring the conservation community together – everyone from individuals to grassroots organisations to larger charities – something that reminds us all that we’re still out there, still working, but that also shows the human side of things during this COVID-19 crisis.
An ongoing series of short podcast conversations we could think of as ‘check-ins’ (as in ‘we’re checking in to make sure we’re all okay’) – chats about how we’re getting on, how we’re adapting as campaigners, how connecting with Nature – even if it’s just through the window – is helping us cope.
Now, we appreciate that everyone has Facebook, Twitter, their own blogs even, but perhaps bringing everyone together like this in one place could really create an interesting set of viewpoints/tips/different thinking – and maybe even keep us from feeling alone…
So that’s the idea, and today I’m speaking with Boyd Leupen, Programme Officer at the Monitor Conservation Research Society, a non-profit dedicated to the lesser-known species involved in wildlife trade. Their mission, they say, is to stop the decline in species negatively impacted by trade by providing objective and evidence-based scientific research. Monitor says that larger conservation initiatives often take the flagship approach, focussing on iconic species, and that while this approach has its merits, especially for habitat conservation, it often neglects less-iconic species groups. Boyd himself is an avid birdwatcher and he embarked on his conservation career based in Southeast Asia where he investigated wildlife trade dynamics of many different taxa and species groups.
“…in just three markets [in Indonesia] they found 20,000 birds of around 200 species – there’s quite high mortality rates, the things you see are quite disgusting…”
Boyd Leupen|Monitor Conservation Research Society
Monitor is online at mcrsociety.org and you can find links on their homepage to latest news items – including a study looking at the trade of Orange-spotted Bulbul in Indonesia – and ways to support the organisation. They are also on both Twitter and Facebook at mcrsociety..