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We are currently running five campaigns to help to raise awareness about serious man-made issues that are causing the destruction of biodiversity across our planet.
We educate about these problems by displaying a diverse range of educational material at both our exotic animal education centre and during outreach education programme sessions, We have designed activities held at our education centre to incorporate these five issues, along with outreach material used to educate members of the public and students attending academic institutes.
Single-use plastics are in the spotlight, as more and more people opt to reduce them. The world produces hundreds of millions of tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It’s obvious that we need to use less plastic, move towards environmentally sustainable products and come up with technology that that recycles plastic more efficiently.
Sustainable Use of Palm Oil
Versatile, cheap, and useful, palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. But it has also caused deforestation and community conflict in the tropical countries where it is cultivated. A better way IS possible – sustainable palm oil.
Sustainable palm oil is produced by palm oil plantations which have been independently audited and certified against the RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standard. Forty per cent of the world’s palm oil producers are members of the RSPO, as well as many product manufacturers and retailers.
The Amphibian Crisis (Chytrid Fungus)
Many amphibian species are staring down an existential threat: an ancient skin-eating fungus that can destroy an entire population in a flash. This ecological super-villain, chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), has driven more than 200 amphibian species to extinction or near-extinction. This is now thought of as being the worst pathogen in the history of the world in terms of its impacts on biodiversity!
The Snake Bite Crisis
An estimated 5.4 million people are bitten each year with up to 2.7 million envenomings. Around 81 000 to 138 000 people die each year as a result of snake bites, and around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities are caused by snakebites annually. In contrast to many other serious health conditions, a highly effective treatment exists. Most deaths and serious consequences from snake bites are entirely preventable by making safe and effective antivenoms more widely available and accessible. High quality snake antivenoms are the only effective treatment to prevent or reverse most of the venomous effects of snake bites.
Impacts of the Illegal Wildlife Trade
The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade, threatening to overturn decades of conservation gains. Some examples of illegal wildlife trade are well known, such as poaching of elephants for ivory and tigers for their skins and bones. However, countless other species are similarly overexploited, from marine turtles to timber trees. Not all wildlife trade is illegal, but the trade escalates into a crisis when the proportion becomes unsustainable, directly threatening the survival of many species in the wild.