Sunday, 21 January 2018

Durrell Wildlife Charity

The Durrell Conservation Trust is an international charity that protects endangered species from extinction. It is an international charity founded by the naturalist and writer, Gerald Durrell OBE. His entire life was inspired by spending several years as a child on the island of Corfu. Gerald died in 1995 and the Trust is overseen by his wife, Dr Lee Durrell who has continued his outstanding work. Dr Lee Durrell was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on Friday 10th June 2011.

The Durrell Wildlife Park, previously known as Jersey Zoo, is a modern day stationary Noah’s Ark where rare species can be bred and studied and returned to the wild where possible. There is a training programme with courses available and education projects are run by highly skilled specialists in species conservation. The Park is open to visitors who wish to see some of the most endangered species in the world. Summer is a favourite time to visit as the breeding programme often reveals newly born rare species, such as the yellow mongoose triplets born this year and the male Black Lion Tamarind that was born by caesarean section, hand reared and syringe fed at the zoo. 

 The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust saves species from extinction all around the world. When human settled on Madagascar 2000 years ago, there were lemurs the size of male gorillas. The Trust is celebrating 25 years of successful conservation work in Madagascar. 

This is a lost world where 80% of species have been isolated for 160 million years and are unlike any other in the world! The eastern part of the island is ringed by rugged mountains and rainforests and there are hot days and icy nights. Here we have the Land of the Lemur, a word which meant ‘ghost or spirit’ due to its haunting looks, eerie calls and nocturnal habits of the most prolific and endangered species of this island. Logging, mining, climate change,pollution and arable land requirement for increasing human population and crops for animal food are massively reducing species around the world.It is possible to ‘adopt’ rare species and follow their conservation progress. 

Many projects around the world funded by the Trust to introduce improved sanitation and health and also improve education in many desperately poor countries around the globe, helping people to help conserve their natural species for posterity. Ecosystems are immensely delicate and we do not fully understand their magnificent complexity though we do know that each depends on the survival of others! 

 You can raise money and awareness around the world about the importance of protecting rare species, for instance, cycle through India or trek along the Great Wall of China with others of like mind. The Pygmy Hog from Assam, Ploughshare Tortoise from Madagascar, the St Lucian Amazon Parrott, Livingstone’s Fruit Bat, a megabat from the Comoros, The Floreana Mockingbird from Galapagos, and a host of other species are teetering on the very brink. What is the meaning of ‘spirituality’ if it is not about caring for those that Mother Nature (or the Universal Intelligence) has placed alongside us, to share our extraordinary planet and who also share our genetic make-up! 

Conservation work with many species is revealing that drugs could be made that can heal illnesses in the human population, species placed here by the Creator must be preserved for the future. Despite modern advances in research, we cannot explain how the spark of life that created so much amazing variety and intelligent life forms developed on our planet from a mass of innate chemicals! Like the formation of universes far beyond our own in space and time, it is a miracle! Please visit:

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