Winner of WWF-sponsored British wildlife photography award

Big Blues

Our congratulations to Alex Mustard, who has won the ‘coast and marine’ category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards – it’s an award that we sponsored again this year.

The awards celebrate the work of amateur and professional photographers alike, as well as the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in 16 categories.

Alex’s winning image was of blue sharks, taken in the seas off the coast of Cornwall.

Alex is passionate about bringing the hidden life beneath our sea’s surface to wider attention. You can read about the secrets of his success in photographing the elegant blue shark, as well as his tips on underwater photography – and his thoughts on the role photography can play in conservation – on our blog pages.

“Each year the British Wildlife Photography Awards generates an incredible catalogue of splendid, exciting, imaginative and artistic images, proving beyond doubt that we have the richest palette of life to celebrate in our own backyard,” says the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham. “The British Wildlife Photography Awards has done more than any other award to raise the profile of British wildlife.”

You can see all the winning images and a selection of highly commended entries on the BWPA website. Or at a year-long touring exhibition which begins at the Mall Galleries in London from 2-6 September.

Massive Loss of Elephants in the Mara Serengeti Ecosystem concerns Conservationists

Elephant with infant

An aerial report released yesterday in Arusha has revealed a worrying number of elephant carcasses in the world famous Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. A total of 192 elephant carcasses were counted, of which 117 were in Kenya and 75 in Tanzania. More shocking is that of all the carcasses found in Kenya, 84% were outside of the Masai Mara National Reserve, and each had its tusks missing.

These statistics have alarmed the conservation fraternity in Kenya and Tanzania who are calling upon the two governments to strengthen their elephant management strategies as well as deploy technology in the fight against poaching. Furthermore, the conservationists are calling for better management of elephants outside protected areas through strengthened community conservancies.
The two governments are keen to work with conservationists to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing endangered species that include not only the elephant but also the rhino.

WWF are working with governments in seeking solutions to the current poaching menace by acquiring anti-poaching equipment and technology, engaging communities and private sector in anti-poaching campaigns, carrying out elephant censuses, working with communities to reduce human wildlife conflict, securing elephant range outside protected areas, monitoring threats and developing national and sub-regional databases for use in managing elephant and rhino populations. WWF has identified Mau-Mara-Serengeti landscape as a priority landscape and has focused its funding to the conservation of this landscape. 
The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism – Tanzania, released the wet season Serengeti-Mara aerial census report yesterday. During the release, the Minister called for close collaboration between the two countries in combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade in the region.
This Aerial Report indicated that a total of 7,535 elephants and 61,896 buffaloes were counted in the survey area. The general results for this census show an increasing trend of elephants and buffaloes in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem where the number of elephants counted shows an increasing trend from 2,058 in 1986 to 7,535 individuals in 2014. There was also an increase in buffalo population in the area, from 54,979 (in 1986) to 61,896 individuals (in 2014).
This therefore shows that despite the threat of poaching the population of elephants is increasing and this can be attributed to the efforts of wildlife authorities in recent years.

Help us stop illegal wildlife trade

A roadshow of Amazon adventures

Discovery trail jaguar and fox

Towards the end of the month and early September Sky Rainforest Rescue is bringing special events to you and your family across six Discovery Trail sites in the UK.

Between 23 August and 7 September, you can wander through local woodland, whilst learning more about the Amazon and enter a competition to be in with a chance of winning a free jaguar adoption pack for a year.

Simply spot the jaguar along the trail, take a photo with the jaguar on your phone and upload it to Sky Rainforest Rescue’s Facebook or Twitter feed.

Kids will receive a free explorer’s pack with activities to fill in and at the end of the trail, they can have their faces painted as their favourite Amazonian animal.

Here are the dates of the events at a discovery trail nearest to you.

Happy trailing!