Monday, February 28, 2011


Image courtesy of the Durrell Wildlife Trust

Durrell welcomes students from across the globe to participate in annual DESMAN course

Durrell’s International Training Centre has recently welcomed eleven students representing a number of worldwide projects to participate in the internationally acclaimed DESMAN course.

The Durrell Endangered Species Management Graduate Certificate (DESMAN) is Durrell’s flagship conservation training course. Run annually, this twelve week course is aimed at equipping conservationists with a full suite of skills which will enable them to run conservation projects in their own countries.

Successful conservation projects require management by individuals who can display excellent leadership and management skills. DESMAN participants receive training in the latest theory and practice of conservation biology along with vital field research techniques. Equally importantly, they receive project management and leadership training to enable them to successfully run conservation projects when they return to their own countries.

The students also receive specialist training in facilitation skills, the objective of which is to help them work together in teams as well as learning how to interact effectively and to avoid conflict when dealing with a wide range of different stakeholders.

Ramesh Chand was a DESMAN course participant in 2010, and following this he successfully applied for a small grant from Durrell to help with a breeding programme for the Monoriki Crested Iguana. In addition to the invaluable training Ramesh received, Durrell also helped fund specialist equipment for the project which has recently announced a 100% success rate in the captive breeding of this critically endangered species.

Speaking about the experience Ramesh said “Being selected to further my studies in the Endangered Species Management (DESMAN 2010) was of tremendous benefit not only to me but to the endangered and very rare wildlife of Fiji. A 100% captive breeding success has been achieved in this first breeding attempt and the knowledge gained during my studies at Durrell ITC has helped me greatly in this breeding programme and also in the work I do at Kula Eco Park.”

As with everyone who passes through Durrell’s training programmes, the DESMAN participants will join the Durrell Conservation Learning Network. Commenting on the achievements of the International Training Centre Durrell’s Jamie Copsey said “We have now trained over 2700 people from 128 countries. Through the network, our graduates are able to receive support from both Durrell and also from each other. We support our graduates with the opportunity to apply for a range of small grants, which enable them to start up conservation projects or further build their own capacity.

Durrell are now using the DESMAN course as a tool to select exceptionally promising candidates for further training, in order that they may help them to develop into the conservation leaders of the future.


Last week a priceless Dodo skeleton, which up until the late 1990’s took pride of place at the Conservation Trust’s headquarters in Trinity will return to the Island.  The goose-sized skeleton which is on a long term loan from the Government of Mauritius will form the centre piece of Durrell’s brand new visitor centre, due to be unveiled to the public in April this year.  For more information on this wonderful specimen please see

Images courtesy of the Durrell Wildlife Trust

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The estuary of Ferrol in Spain is a wonderful ecosystem, and the students of Sagrado Corazon School have made a study about it.

They researched about different aspects as : Geological and historical view of the estuary; physical and chemical conditions; the plankton flora (pelagic,microscopical algae); seaweeds(benthos algae);Animal life-evertebrats:snails,jellyfish,shellfish,crabs,shrimps,octopus.

Animal life-vertebrats: fish,birds and mammals; Human activity in and around the estuary, How it affects natural life?

Friday, February 25, 2011

International Youth Meeting

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting- February 26, 2011 (10:00 am -noon Ottawa, Canada time) Please skype with us to discuss biodiversity issues and solutions.  Contact us at


A wonderful conference on Community Engagement in Montreal, Quebec

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Third Youth Symposium for Biodiversity

Great News!  Auroville, India will host the Third Youth Symposium for Biodiversity in 2012.  Please keep an eye on our blog for details as they arise!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Nature's diversity is not as obvious in winter, but it is still very much there. It is often a matter of luck to see a rare beauty visiting in winter like a Northern Saw-whet Owl! This owl decided to sleep next to the busy main trail to the outdoor classroom.  It was not even shy of local dogs with their walkers! 

shhhhhh! I am sleeping.

Chickadees continue to enjoy the protein-rich sunflower seeds from my pocket. 

Rabbits are now common- usually seen as the sun goes down or early in the morning.

What other secrets come out when darkness falls? 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Not to ignore our role today to create a better future, but I do love this quote!
Let us not worry about the future. Let us only do the right thing today, at this moment,here and now. Let the future take care of itself. -Sri Chinmoy

Friday, February 18, 2011

Battle for Borneo

"We're looking for ten amazing young leaders to spend five months in Borneo to implement theDeforestACTION project in the jungle and connect with the world though the web, providing updates for millions of students across the globe who are responsible for driving, developing and owning the project.

TakingITGlobal is working together with Microsoft Partners in Learning on DeforestACTION, a global action project involving students from around the world in protecting the world's forests. We've teamed up with acclaimed conservationist Dr. Willie Smits and
Orangutan Outreach to develop a project that will save endangered rainforest and orangutans, create awareness about the destruction caused by deforestation, restore a full forest eco-system and provide a sustainable livelihood for the local community. The project will also create the world's largest and most technology rich orangutan sanctuary on earth."

Myself, Kirsten Falkenburger, along with my sister have applied to be part of this competition to have two of the 10 spots to go to Borneo. I would greatly appreciate the support of the youth for biodiversity to go vote and rate our video.


The paragraph above is quoted from the DeforestACTION website, hosted by Taking it Global.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Youth for conservation in Kenya! Our wildlife – our future – our responsibility

The YFC is a non-profit, non-charity organization under the provisions of the NGO act.

Who is the YFC?
Well the YFC was set up in August 1998 by a group of young Kenyans who were passionate about conserving Kenya’s wildlife heritage. They then came together to create a forum to safe guard animals from poaching and trade, by involving local communities living next to wildlife dispersal areas in the management and conservation of natural habitats and wild animals of all forms.

Their mission is to promote wildlife conservation through collaborative planning, community action and policy advocacy

Their vision is to have a society of environmentally conscious individuals.

To find out more about the YFC or if you have questions or comments go to

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting- February 26, 2011 (10:00am -noon Ottawa, Canada time) Please skype with us to discuss biodiversity issues and solutions.  Contact us at

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Here are some early morning images from our little marsh in Canada's Capital city of Ottawa. 

 Hungry chickadees come to visit. 

Cottontail in neighbours yard

Fox den with tracks

Thursday, February 10, 2011


These primates are known as emperor tamarins because of their fine white imperial-looking moustaches.  These miniature monkeys are declining and the species has a scattered distribution, because of what remains of its Amazonian rainforest habitat.  They are becoming increasingly fragmented by deforestation for timber, farmland and housing. For more information please see:  Image copyright from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Youth: The Next Wave for Change


The planet's biggest global day of ocean celebration is coming up soon!
Are you ready for June 8th? 

Once again, The Ocean Project and World Ocean Network are teaming up to help promote this event worldwide. 

We'd like to announce the two-year theme
World Oceans Day 2011 and 2012:
Youth: The Next Wave for Change
(with a sub-theme of your choice, depending on region or issue interest)

We encourage everyone to get involved this June 8th, whether it's making an individual dedication to ocean conservation or hosting an event that fills a stadium. 

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting- Please skype with us to discuss biodiversity issues and solutions.  Contact us at

Darwin Day 2011

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.
Learn more at

Monday, February 7, 2011


Help USC Canada sweat the big stuff this May in Ottawa
Run for Biodiversity!
Are you a passionate runner, or perhaps love jogging or going for long walks? Would you like to experience the beauty of the nation’s capital in May, when nature has sprung back to life, biodiversity is thriving, and the tulips are in full bloom?
If you answered yes to these questions, then USC Canada warmly invites you to join us for a uniquely healthy and meaningful experience:
·         Come visit Ottawa at a beautiful time of the year
·         Run or walk in one of the six events on Race Weekend, May 28-29
·         Help raise funds for USC’s work with farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
We call it our Run for Biodiversity, in honour of the millions of farming families who help nurture and preserve our planet’s biological diversity. Biodiversity is all about food and farmers. It is the essential ingredient that both nourishes and is nourished by USC’s partner communities around the world. Much is at stake for us all, and in a real sense, USC is helping farmers plant the Seeds of our very Survival.
How do I register to Run for Biodiversity?
USC Canada has been selected as an official Participating Charity in the Ottawa Race Weekend. To support USC and Run for Biodiversity, it’s as easy as one, two, three!
1.   Runners should first register through the Ottawa Race Weekend as regular participants. NB: during the registration process, you do not need to specify you are participating in USC’s Run for Biodiversity, this is done during Step Two below.

2.   Runners should contact David Rain at indicating they are Running for Biodiversity.

3.   David will contact all Running for Biodiversity Team members to coordinate our fundraising efforts leading up to Race Weekend in May.
All are welcome, so don’t be shy. There are race events for all shapes, ages, and sizes – from the 2 km family run/walk all the way up to the full 42 km marathon!

World Bank Research Grants

Subject: World Bank Research Grants

Donor: World Bank – Robert S. McNamara (RSM) Fellowships

Opportunity: Research Grants for Young Researchers

Description: The program supports young researchers working in academic and research institutions by covering residence costs for a 5-10 month period in a renowned university or research center. Candidates should be accepted or invited by a host invitation which would designate an academic advisor to assist the fellow during his research period. Candidate’s field of research should be related to development at the master’s level, in fields such as economics, health, education, agriculture, environment, natural resource management, etc.

Lecturers/researchers under 45 working on their doctoral thesis and are nationals and residents of World Bank member countries.

Funding: up to $25,000

February 28, 2011


Sunday, February 6, 2011

International Youth Meeting on February 26th, 2011

Biodiversity Matters Youth Meeting- Please skype with us to discuss biodiversity issues and solutions.  Contact us at

Friday, February 4, 2011

Water security depends on forests and wetlands

In our rapidly urbanizing world water security is a key issue. It is important to recognize the critical links between water, forests, wetlands and people.  Please see this CBD link:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Please post your comments below.

Mother and juvenile bottlenose dolphins head to the seafloor. Tursiops truncatus
Credit: OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)


Check out:


After the record-breaking flooding in Australia, now what has been described as the worst cyclone in the country's history has hit the state of Queensland.  Waves of over 14 meters (46 feet) and wind gusts above 260km/h (162 mph) are predicted from cyclone Yasi.
Check out:

Wildlife Field Surveys In Kanha

Wildlife Field Surveys In Kanha  
Dr. Krithi Karanth along with Centre for Wildlife Studies and Columbia University will be conducting wildlife field surveys in Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh in 2011 in two field seasons: May-June and September-October. The training will require volunteers to identify animal signs and scats. There are openings for volunteers to participate along with the research team. Candidates will be selected after a screening of their applications to judge their suitability for doing the work.
Candidates must be
1.     Age group: 18-40 years
2.     Physically very fit and have some experience in hiking through forests and rough country
3.     Have a reasonably good ability to spot and identify large mammals
4.     Be willing to work long and arduous hours (particularly in summer it gets about 45C in Kanha)
Simple vegetarian food and rudimentary field accommodation is available. Travel expenses to and from Kanha will have to be borne by the participants. Some of the locations we will be staying are remote inside the park. Very strict camp discipline has to be observed. Candidates must be keen wildlife enthusiasts and come prepared with appropriate field clothes (grey, khaki, green, and camouflage; not white, red or bright colored clothing) and tough walking shoes and bring a pair of binoculars.
If you are interested, please contact Dr. Karanth with the following information ONLY  in the exact format below (if ALL details are not provided your application will be disqualified).
1.     Name
2.     Age
3.     Gender
4.     Have you participated in Wildlife Conservation Society or Centre for Wildlife Studies field surveys? If Yes- provide details on what year, which field site and who was the supervisor.
5.     Other surveys for example by the Forest Department? Where and what year? To do what?
6.     Where do you live?
7.     How many Indian parks have you visited?
8.     Can you speak and Hindi? If yes- how fluent are you?
9.     Field Work Dates: The work will be in May and perhaps 10 days in June. If you are interested send me exact dates you will available (example May 1st  to 7th or May 10th to May 25th). Dates have to be for a minimum of 7 days or more. If you are not sure you can participate because of leave issues with your job please do not apply.
If you are interested in participating please send your details to with ONLY details requested, outdoor/field experiences and the dates (a block of a minimum of 7 days) in which you would prefer to participate. If you are selected, you will be informed.

Krithi Karanth, Ph. D.
Assistant Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies, India
Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University, U.S.A
Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This mother polar bear and two cubs were spotted leaping between ice chunks. Image courtesy of Arctic Exploration 2002, Ian MacDonald, NOAA/OER.

It appears that the world's weather has flipped upside down. For two winters running, an Arctic chill has descended on Europe, and in the United States, historic blizzards afflict the mid-Atlantic region. The Deep South in the United States has endured unusual snowstorms and severe cold.  The jet stream is descending, possibily because of melting sea ice.  Climate change is affecting us.  Tell us your opinons.