Welcome to The Conservation Report—March 2017

This month we focus on a recent paper, written with the same sense of urgency that motivates the team behind This is My Earth and all those who engage in the conservation of biodiversity. The authors of the paper suggest focusing conservation efforts on mammalian megafauna as a way of using limited resources more efficiently and increasing success rates.

As a crowdfunding initiative, TiME offers a new funding mechanism that will increase the overall resources available for conservation. Read below what Bill Ripple, lead author of the paper and a member of TiME's scientific advisory committee, thinks about TiME in this context. And don't forget to join our crowd by donating $1 or more–100 percent of it will go directly to conserve biodiversity-rich habitats.

Newsletter Contributor: Ruthi Brandt
TiME Editor: Liat Radcliffe Ross
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Protecting megafauna and raising more money for conservation

Earlier this month, BioScience published a paper discussing the merits of focusing on mammalian megafauna (large or giant animals) when planning conservation projects. The authors suggest that prioritizing such iconic animals will benefit conservation efforts across the board. In particular, they argue:

  • These large mammals usually have sizable habitat requirements compared to other species. So by protecting the landscapes required to conserve megafauna, other species are protected as well. Moreover, since many threatened megafauna species are found in biodiversity-rich countries, the impact of conservation is amplified even further.
  • The loss of large mammal species tend to cause disproportionate ecological disruption because of the central place they inhabit in their respective ecosystems. So it is crucial to protect these key populations.
  • Finally, there is also the human element–large, charismatic animals evoke a strong reaction in people, which can be translated into more resources directed towards conservation.
Some African megafauna.
(Photo by Uri Shanas)

However, the authors acknowledge that there are still very limited resources earmarked for conservation on a global scale. They therefore call for the development of new funding mechanisms.

For me this last point raised the question of how TiME fits in with this vision. When I asked Bill Ripple about it, he replied:

New funding mechanisms, such as we are seeing with TiME, are very much needed to help save megafauna. TiME, as a grassroots campaign to preserve important habitat, is a perfect supplement to the ongoing actions of nation states and nongovernmental organizations.”

So there you have it: TiME has an important role to play in preserving important habitats. With that in mind, I encourage you to visit our website, or find us on Facebook and Twitter, and invite your family and friends to join you in donating to our unique new funding mechanism!

Some Australian megafauna.
(Photo by Alex Proimos. Cropped image used under Creative Commons License)
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