WLT Council member Bill Oddie joined other representatives of World Land Trust at the Armenian Street Festival in London on 3 August 2014 to promote issues relating to endangered wildlife in Armenia’s Caucasus region.
Attracting hundreds of people, the festival provided the ideal platform to showcase the importance of protecting Armenia’s threatened habitats and local wildlife, including its charismatic mammals, a quarter of which are threatened.
Covering more than 500,000 square kilometres, the Caucasus is an area of great ecological importance and home to a wealth of wildlife including the Syrian Brown Bear, Bezoar Goat, Grey Wolf and Caucasian Leopard.
Since 2010, WLT has been supporting conservation projects in Armenia in partnership with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets. Donations raised by WLT are instrumental in protecting Armenia’s threatened habitats, including the acquisition of land to extend the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, which currently protects 4,202 acres (1,700 hectares).
Funds also support local rangers through WLT’s Keepers of the Wild programme, ensuring wildlife rangers are on hand to tackle illegal hunting in the refuge as well as monitoring animal populations and carrying out education programmes among the local communities explaining the impact of poaching on local wildlife.
In recent years, leopard populations have been devastated due to uncontrolled hunting of them and their prey species, resulting in fewer than 15 individual Caucasian Leopards surviving in Armenia. In 2012 WLT launched a special appeal ‘Save the Caucasian Leopard’ and last year a camera-trap placed in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge recorded rare and historic video footage of an endangered Caucasian Leopard.
The Armenian Street Festival is a family day with a lively programme of activities and entertainment including traditional music and dancing. In the heart of Kensington, the event takes place in the beautiful gardens and square surrounding St Sarkis Church in Iverna Gardens.
- St Sarkis Church, 51 Iverna Gardens, London W8 6TP
- Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington
- Buses: 9, 10, 27, 28, 49, 52, 70, 328, 452, C1
- Armenian Street Festival Facebook page »