Rainforest Belief has had an thrilling 12 months of labor throughout Asia and the Pacific. This area exemplifies our mission range — and the significance of protecting habitat for a few of the world’s most threatened species.
Rainforest Belief helped defend nearly 800,000 acres in Asia and the Pacific this 12 months. However, in distinction with most of our work, a lot of these acres weren’t on land. In June, we celebrated the primary success in our mission with Wildlife Conservation Society – Bangladesh to create a collection of marine protected areas (MPAs).
The primary one among these is the Nijhum Dwip Marine Reserve, a 787,772-acre MPA alongside the coast of the Bay of Bengal. These waters lie on the cumulative finish of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, three of probably the most distinguished river techniques in South Asia. The MPA additionally abuts Nijhum Dwip Nationwide Park, a 40,000-acre coastal protected space house to threatened migratory shorebirds just like the Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank and Nice Knot. Defending the adjoining oceanic habitat expands this reserve’s conservation influence.
However Nijhum Dwip itself is house to quite a lot of marine species. Threatened species embrace the Critically Endangered Ganges Shark, Hawksbill Turtle and Largetooth Sawfish. Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins, Olive Ridley turtles and Whale Sharks additionally occupy these waters. As well as, the MPA protects breeding floor for the Hilsa, or “ilish.” This fish species is vital to each conventional Bengali cooking and the native fishing business.
South of Nijhum Dwip, and throughout the Malay Peninsula, lies a a lot smaller — however no much less vital — coastal habitat that we helped defend this 12 months. Within the Internal Gulf of Thailand, Pak Thale Nature Reserve, comprising nearly 20 acres of mud flats previously used as salt pans, is a wintering web site for migratory shorebirds. This consists of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, one of many world’s most at-risk shorebird species. In accordance with the newest scientific estimate, the worldwide inhabitants of Spoon-billed Sandpipers is lower than 500 mature people. Coastal habitat loss alongside the species’ migratory route in East Asia is responsible for a lot of this inhabitants decline. So Rainforest Belief and the Chicken Conservation Society of Thailand bought land at Pak Thale to stem this habitat loss. And these efforts have already began to repay. To date this winter, 5 totally different Spoon-billed Sandpipers have visited the reserve. One particular person was radio-tagged as a part of a research on the species migration. Scientists have tracked its flight all the best way from China, throughout Vietnam and Cambodia and into Thailand the place it landed at Pak Thale.
Even additional eastward, within the island nation of Fiji, Rainforest Belief helped broaden a reserve for the Endangered Fijian Free-tailed Bat. Final 12 months, we labored with our companion, the Nationwide Belief of Fiji, to ascertain the Nakanacagi Cave Reserve. However this new enlargement covers the remainder of the cave system — house to 95% of the Fijian Free-tailed Bat’s world inhabitants — and the encompassing forest habitat. The Nationwide Belief of Fiji is already working to contain communities dwelling close to the reserve in conservation and safe a sustainable future for the world’s wildlife.
Along with defending new areas, we continued initiatives with current companions and created new initiatives with new companions. These initiatives will result in new, stronger protected areas within the years to return. One in all these new initiatives focuses on the Saola, or “Asian Unicorn.” Found solely in 1992, this elusive, Critically Endangered giant mammal native to highland forests of Vietnam and Laos nonetheless stays primarily a thriller to scientists. However this new mission will strengthen a part of this species’ core habitat by over 130,000 acres in Laos. One other new mission will defend almost 9,000 acres in Myanmar for shorebirds alongside the Bay of Bengal. We’re additionally persevering with our work with companions in Nepal, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, amongst different nations.
From the oceans of South Asia, to the rainforests of the Indonesian archipelago and the islands of the South Pacific, Rainforest Belief has been arduous at work in conserving wildlife in Asia and the Pacific this 12 months. However none of this may have been doable with out your help. As we head into a brand new 12 months — with new alternatives and new promise for a sustainable future — you may assist us hit the bottom working.
Header picture: Two Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers. Picture courtesy of BCST.