Forests occupy a special space for me, offering the ultimate escape and connection to natural beauty. This emerges with the cool, refereshing breeze, freshwater flowing, and wildlife thriving. Living in Washington, DC, for most of the last 10 years, I find exiting the urban environment and entering the forest is less a desire and more a necessity.
Forests give us so much—fresh air, clean water, wildlife and tranquil surroundings. But—as some of you probably know—the trees that grow in these forests also provide us with many products we use in our everyday life. From paper towels and toilet paper, to the wooden coffee tables we place our newspapers and magazines on, products from trees are all around us.
Eighty percent of the world’s known terrestrial plant and animal species can be found in forests. Cool fact: a square kilometer of forest may be home to more than 1,000 species. Yet forests are disappearing at an alarming rate (about 48 football fields per minute). Check out these species that hug trees.
Gorilla and chimpanzee populations in Central Africa continue to decline due to poaching, habitat loss and disease. National parks and reserves in six range countries protect only 21 percent of western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees, according to a new report.
Camera traps in China have captured images and video footage of giant pandas that are often difficult to see in the wild. The photographs and video are some of the most amazing images ever of pandas and other species in their remote habitat, which were caught on film as part of long-term wildlife monitoring projects set up in panda nature reserves by the Chinese government and WWF.
In February 2015, Nepal will host the first symposium focused on getting to zero poaching. Delegates from more than 13 Asian countries representing conservation agencies, police and prosecution services will share best practices, tools and technologies that can be used to respond to the poaching crisis.
Trees are cut down at a rapid rate to meet the demand for products we all use. Some are products that often are on our weekly shopping lists, such as toilet paper, diapers and tissues. What if we used something other than newly-harvested trees to create these products?
Tree kangaroos inhabit the lowland and mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the far north of Queensland, Australia. Living up in the foliage, these species looks like a cross between a kangaroo and a lemur.
When you see that symbol, you don’t have to wonder whether pristine forests were destroyed to make the product or whether the workers wielding chainsaws were paid a living wage. Because when you see the FSC logo, you know the product can be traced back to a company that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
WWF works in a number of countries in Asia to prevent and mitigate human-elephant conflict. In addition to monitoring elephant movement to understand where they travel, what they encounter and their habits as they pertain to crop raiding, we help communities employ a variety of methods to keep elephants out of human settlements and safe in the wild.
News that Soco will stop exploring for oil in Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, is a monumental win for conservation and for the people who depend on the park. Virunga is home to astounding biodiversity and rare wildlife, like critically endangered mountain gorillas.
Sloths—the adorable and lethargic animals living in treetops—depend on the health and survival of Central and South American tropical forests. Take a look at some common questions about sloths whose habitat WWF helps protect.
One of the largest oil and gas development companies in the world, Total SA, has committed to keeping out of all natural World Heritage Sites around the globe, including Virunga National Park. But one company that is not respecting World Heritage status is Soco International PLC, which plans to continue to explore in Virunga - home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.
A population increase for mountain gorillas is proof that the intense and innovative efforts of the conservation community are bringing positive change. A recent census by the Uganda Wildlife Authority identified 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park bringing the overall population estimate to 880, an increase from the 786 estimated in 2010.
There is new and critical protection for wildlife and indigenous communities in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. The government of Peru designated three new Amazon protected areas-encompassing nearly 1.5 million acres-securing a tri-national conservation corridor.
On October 18, 2012, Russia established the “Sredneussuriisky” Wildlife Refuge—covering nearly 180,000 acres—which will allow Amur tigers access between Russia’s Sikhote-Alin mountains and the Wandashan mountains in China.