Let us grant the benefit of the doubt to those people who believe things totally different than what we believe. We assume, therefore, the people cutting down the rain forests don’t see another way to make a living or build a road. The villagers who cut down palm trees for religious observances are devoted and believe this is the right thing to do. And the businesses that drain wetlands and put pipelines through delicate prairies are just doing their job.
That is a lot to try to take in, but today we are going to look at things mentioned above that have been turned around. Remember that any improvement in habitat, returning it to its more natural status, will benefit many animals. Birds will always benefit from trees being planted and invasive plants being removed.
This happened in the US last year. In 2012, there were more than 914 million acres devoted to agriculture across the United States. These acres can make for excellent habitat teeming with some of our favorite species—sage grouse, quail, whitetails, doves, and geese—and present some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation, assuming hunters are allowed in. Incentives to farmers to allow access to their lands for hunting and fishing are not handouts, but require some work from already very busy agriculture workers. As simple as not planting crops all the way to the edge of the stream, so that the water stays clean for the wildlife that depends on it, can be all that is required.
In the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, European colonists wiped out natives of at least 90 tribes. People who knew the trees and animals, plants and insects, like friends and neighbors. They knew which plant healed, which animal could afford hunting, and how to weather the seasons. Now, one hundred years later or more, we are rediscovering the value of this system. We continue to lose shamans and medicine men because learning the lore no longer appeals to the young members of the remaining natives.
One of the best solutions is “The world’s first Science Research and Corporate Environmental Village deep in the Amazon.” That’s what’s happening at the Amazon Charitable Trust and that’s something you can contribute to in several ways. One way is to start a fundraiser. I’m thinking of choosing the Special Occasion option and having my friends and family donate to this charity instead of sending me cards or gifts. It’s through Virgin Money, and I’m a Virgo, so it seems the thing to do.
In Africa, the situation is dire. Most of the rainforest lies in the Congo River Basin, and the depletion of the natural resources there have brought poverty widespread to the area. When foreign interests come in and pay money for logging and agriculture concerns, the easy money is hard to resist. But with help from the United Nations and the African Union, tax incentives are stopping for destructive practices. Instead, Ecotourism and Bioprospecting are encouraged. Your donation to Aid for Africa can help turn the tide in the villages and industries there.
We can think that every place that needs help has a hand out, asking for money. Think of it like a parrot, asking for a treat, nourishment to keep going. Plus there is a lot a single person can do. Dr. Karen Sommerville is saving Australia’s rainforest once seed at a time. As she says, breaking the forest up into small clumps limits the available mates for birds and animals and can start the total loss of many species. A plan to replant much of the forest is a good start.
The Rainforest Trust is reaching out to help save rainforests world wide. Your donation there could be used to protect the rediscovered blue-eyed ground dove in Brazil, or for creating a safe haven for the endangered Pickersgill’s Reed Frog in South Africa. Be sure to check out their success stories of 100% funded projects like the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot of Brazil.
Do you know of a better organization to which we should donate funds to save parrots? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.