Updated: Apr 3
The Steppe Eagle, Golden Jackal, Ruddy Mongoose, Yellow Throated Marten and Bengal Monitor, these are just some of the predators that now share our home. This is a sign even small conservation efforts can make a big difference.
A young Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis), an endangered bird of prey nesting and hunting by our restoration area. Image by Lari Laajärvi.
NATURE HAVE THE SAME RIGHT TO FLOURISH
A small stream snakes softly through the deep, lush gorge into the big river below. We've been restoring and protecting this stream for 7 years.
We're doing it partly because it is the main source of fresh water for the local community, partly because restoring it means regrowing precious community forests, but also because it's an act of justice.
We believe nature has the same right to flourish as we do.
On World Wildlife Day 2023 we want to celebrate by highlighting the predators the live in our restoration area and by our training center, The Royal Beach Camp.
Spotted Linsang (Prionodon paricolor) and Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) in our restoration area and camp. Images taken by our team.
WHY ARE PREDATORS IMPORTANT?
Predators are key indicators of a healthy ecosystems. They are, on one hand, a sign that an area has enough food to sustain them and their next generation, and suitable places to nest.
This might sound straight forward, but in fact it means that a complex web of life is flourishing in our conservation area; from the underling layers of macrobiotic life and fungus to plants, insects, amphibians and reptiles, as well as smaller mammals and birds.
Secondly, predators also play a critical role in a healthy ecosystem by holding the overall population in balance, controlling overpopulation in smaller predators, prey, and the plant world. Read more at YaleEnvironment360.
Wildlife conservation, particularly of key species, have the potential to change the trajectory of the climate crisis. Global studies led by Yale School of the Environment show that they contribute significantly to natural carbon capture and storage. Collectively facilitating 95% of the additional capture needed every year to meet the Paris Agreement.
PROTECTING A SMALL BUT CRUCIAL ECOSYSTEM
Because we are restoring and protecting a unique location and a fresh water stream, which connect older forest in the deep gorge with the big river system flowing further down, we have also created a corridor for animals, birds, amphibians and insects to travel safely. This fulfils a niche role for both the permanent residents and migrating species, allowing them to migrate and hunt over a larger area.
This way a small section of protected forest and fresh water ecosystem strengthens biodiversity in an area that extends much beyond the restoration boundaries itself.
By adapting indigenous technique to prevent flooding, testing new ideas with "guardian" plants for younger native species, cleaning up and managing invasive species, we've found that it require time and care, but not much investment, to restore a depleted ecosystem. In fact, after well planned initial efforts nature has the power to heal itself.
Want to explore the potential of ecotourism in sustainable development?
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Read more about our sustainability work HERE.