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The World Land Trust eBulletin Issue 27, April 2005

Sent to WLT supporters and eBulletin subscribers every month. The WLT never sends unsolicited emails and will not pass on your details to other organisations. See bottom of email for instructions on how to unsubscribe.

Please send your comments on the eBulletin to Helena on

In this issue: Focus on Wildlife Volunteering
Volunteering for Wildlife in Ecuador...
...And Saving Macaws in Costa Rica
Volunteer for Wildlife – in Your Own Garden
Online Volunteering Resources
Celebrate Your Special Occasion by Helping Wildlife...
...Create a "Wedding List" for WLT
WLT News in Brief
Get Involved: What Do You Think of Charity 'Freebies'?

Volunteering for Wildlife in Ecuador...

Former WLT interns report on their volunteering experiences

Emma Flaxman painting a bird table
Emma Flaxman painting a bird table.

On first sight former WLT intern Emma Flaxman could be in her own garden painting her bird table but in fact she is in the Ecuadorian rainforest, at the Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) Tapichalaca Reserve and this particular feeder attracts not bluetits but hundreds of hummingbirds. It may seem strange to be putting up bird tables in the middle of the rainforest but by providing additional nectar this ensures a constant food supply for some of the staggering number of hummingbirds on the reserve.

During her stay, Emma also did some bird recording, took photographs and produced a poster about the reserves. She managed to visit five of the seven FJ reserves, and says:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at the Jocotoco reserves. Each reserve has its highlights for me. At Tapichalaca it was seeing the Jocotoco Antpitta on the last day – hopping around in a bamboo thicket, even stopping to preen itself! Working with the forest rangers at all the reserves was a pleasure; they all made me feel very welcome. I will return!”

...And Saving Macaws in Costa Rica

Emma Page with Macaw
Emma Page with Figaro, a Hyacinth Macaw.

Emma Page, a WLT intern in 2003, recently spent a month in Costa Rica volunteering with Amigos De Las Aves, a non-profit organisation concerned with the conservation of Scarlet and Great Green Macaws. Both these species of Macaw are endangered and there are only a few populations left in the wild in Costa Rica. The centre is currently home to 200 breeding birds which Amigos De Las Aves aim to release at suitable sites. Over 30 Scarlet Macaws have been successfully released and a further 10 are currently adapting to their new environment before being set free.

Emma says: "Volunteering involved caring for the birds on a daily basis and there was always time to play with the hand-reared juveniles and the delightful tame birds."

If you would like to volunteer with Amigos De Las Aves you can contact them at .

There are also opportunities to work on fundraising and educational projects as a volunteer. Further information can be found on the organisation's website: www.hatchedtoflyfree.org.

Volunteer for Wildlife – in Your Own Garden

How small changes to your garden could benefit wildlife

Not everyone is as lucky as Emma F and Emma P, but even if spending time in the rainforest isn’t an option there are still lots of things you can do to encourage and protect wildlife around you. It may sound obvious but any or all of the following really will make your garden or patio wildlife friendly:

  • Go organic
  • Put up bird boxes and feeders
  • Grow nectar and pollen rich plants to attract insects
  • Leave an area of the lawn uncut or plant native wildflowers
  • Build a compost heap
  • Create a pond or marshy area
  • Keep cats inside at dusk and dawn when they are more likely to predate wildlife
Hummingbird at feeding station
Hummingbird at a feeding station, Tapichalaca Reserve, Ecuador. You can help local birds in the same way.

In fact, creating a wildlife friendly garden is not much different from managing a nature reserve. John Burton, CEO of the Trust and practicing wildlife gardener, is writing a book on the similarities between gardening for wildlife and nature reserve management. According to John, "it is simply a question of defining the management objective, and if a gardener defines one of her or his management objectives as increasing wildlife, then they are creating a nature reserve."

So when you support international wildlife conservation don't forget that you can take positive action for local species as well, by making your garden as wildlife friendly as possible. For more information, visit our online Conservation Links Directory, and check out John Burton's book "Attracting Wildlife to your Garden", which can be bought from nhbs.com. John has also written about wildlife gardening in the following Green Issues posts:

Charity Begins at Home – Make Your Garden Wildlife Friendly

Wildlife Friendly Gardens – Nature Reserves on a Small Scale

Online Volunteering Resources

We are often asked about volunteering at WLT project sites and occasionally this is possible. However, priority is always given to local people and unless you have undertaken an internship with the WLT we will not normally recommend volunteers as we cannot give firsthand references to our overseas partners. If volunteer positions do become available they are listed on our website.

If you are interested in conservation volunteering in general, you may find our online Conservation Links Directory a good starting point. However, please note that the WLT does not endorse any of the organisations listed. You should take all necessary steps to ensure that the organisation is genuine and that the work on offer will suit you before arranging your trip.

Celebrate Your Special Occasion by Helping Wildlife...

Raise money for conservation with your own fundraising web page

Do you have a special birthday, anniversary or other occasion coming up and flinch at the thought of a hot air balloon flight or a costly party? Then why not ask friends to contribute to saving wildlife acres on your behalf? WLT has teamed up with justgiving.com to enable supporters to raise money quickly and easily online with their own personalised web pages. Setting up a page is easy:

  1. Choose an occasion (which can be anything from a personal occasion or sporting event to whatever captures your imagination)
  2. Register your details
  3. Create your page (no website skills required)
  4. Tell your friends

Once your friends know of your wishes they can visit your web page and make a donation using a credit or debit card. The whole process is much easier than chasing cheques and cash, or running around with paper sponsorship forms. We will acknowledge all donations as requested, and will send you a certificate stating the number of acres saved for you.

Set up your fundraising page by visiting the link below or call justgiving.com on 0800 028 6183 (UK only) for more information.

Set up your fundraising page here

...Create a "Wedding List" for WLT

It used to be that newlyweds depended on wedding presents in order to set up home but it isn’t always the case these days. If you are getting married and feel embarrassed that you both already have more than enough why not say ‘I DO’ want to save wildlife. Create your own Wedding List page with justgiving.com and your friends and family will be able to donate any amount to WLT on your behalf. Your special day will leave a lasting gift - the protection, in perpetuity, of important wildlife habitats.

WLT News in Brief

Patagonia research projects

Two MSc students from the University of East Anglia are currently carrying out a research project on the Ranch of Hopes Wildlife Refuge. One of the topics they are looking at is the competitive co-existence between the introduced European Hare and the native Patagonian Hare.

WLT investigates potential for coral reef protection

John Burton is currently in India looking at a project involving coral reef protection on the Nicobar Islands, for WLT's soon to be launched Reef & Mangrove Appeal.

Download WLT News

The Spring issue of WLT News, the Trust's printed newsletter, is now available as a pdf file to download from www.worldlandtrust.org/newsletters/

Get Involved: What Do You Think of Charity 'Freebies'?

This month's web poll asks: "What do you think of 'freebies' as a way of attracting new supporters?" From the responses we have received so far it seems this is indeed a contentious issue. What do you think? Make your voice heard on the WLT website. (The poll will run until April 28.)

The World Land Trust is a UK based conservation charity no.1001291 concerned with the protection of threatened habitats world wide.
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