Most everyone is familiar with the large conservation organizations like Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. These groups raise global awareness on lots of issues and have donations and budgets in the millions of dollars. Their work is noble but there are countless organizations that hope to make an impact on conservation causes on a much smaller scale. This page will document some of the causes that I feel need support. They don’t get the publicity, and more importantly, the money, that the big organizations receive. Unless noted I am not affiliated with any of them and usually only know them through my own work or travels. I encourage you to investigate these organizations and do what you can to support them.
Tree Walkers International (TWI) supports the protection, conservation, and restoration of wild amphibian populations through hands-on action both locally and internationally. They foster personal relationships between people and nature by providing opportunities for citizens of all ages to become directly involved in global amphibian conservation. Through this involvement, volunteers become part of a growing and passionate advocacy for the protection and restoration of wild amphibian populations and the environment on which they, and ultimately we, depend. TWI has 2 main projects: Operation Frog Pond and the Amphibian Conservation Partnership Fund. The purpose of the ACPF is to provide small grants to people, projects, and research involved in amphibian conservation. We look for novel and needed ways in which people are actively working toward the conservation of amphibian populations. Our grants are funded through the donations of TWI supporters, as well as our primary fundraiser MICROCOSM and events such as American Frog Day. They also publish a bi-annual e-zine, Leaf Litter, and have recently partnered with MagCloud to offer printed versions.
In the Fall of 2013 I joined the Board of Directors for the newly formed non-profit PrimatesPeru. PrimatesPeru was formed by my good friends Mrinalini and Gideon Erkenswick Watsa. Initially formed to bring support to the graduate research being conducted on primates at the Los Amigos Biological field station, PrimatesPeru now offers field courses to train future tropical biologists all the while supporting the land conservation and protection for the Los Amigos watershed in southeastern Peru. PrimatesPeru works closely with the Amazon Conservation Association and other local groups to educate and train students and researchers while funding land protection in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.
Since 1999 the Amazon Conservation Association has been a pioneer in conserving Amazonian forests. Its founding program provided support for Brazil nut harvesters in Peru, as an incentive for protecting the forest. ACA also established Peru’s first conservation concession in 2001. The Los Amigos Conservation Concession comprises 360,000 acres of the lower Los Amigos watershed, as a buffer for world-famous Manu National Park. ACA’s Los Amigos Biological Station has become one of the most active research centers in the Amazon. Then in 2005, ACA created Peru’s only permanent research center focused on Andean cloud forest ecology and management. I have visited the Los Amigos station a couple of times and really respect the work of the agency. With more support they can continue their work and expand into protection of more regions.
IDEA WILD’s efforts conserve biodiversity by providing biologists and educators working in developing countries with equipment and supplies to aid in their conservation efforts. Since their beginning fourteen years ago, they have aided over 2500 projects in 82 developing countries. Recipients often share equipment with at least 3 other conservation projects. Consequently, the actual number of people using equipment and supplies provided by IDEA WILD is over 7500. The average cost per project is around $720. With IDEA WILD, a nominal conservation investment goes a very long way! Donors can contribute funds or shop around for projects by country or subject and get a list of needed equipment to donate. A great idea!
Founded in 1992 by prominent tropical biologists, GreenTracks has delivered memorable adventures with expert guidance to thousands of vacationers. Experience up close the cries of colorful tropical birds, the lush smell of the rainforest, countless flowers and towering trees. Marvel at the incredible frogs, iridescent butterflies of astounding colors, and captivating monkeys. A GreenTracks eco-adventure vacation is fun, stimulating and educational. Their expertise has been used by both amateur and professional naturalists, and on documentaries shown by National Geographic, the British and Canadian Broadcasting Systems, and the Discovery Channel. If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the wilderness of the Amazon, walking in pristine rainforest, or experiencing the cultures of the high Andes mountains and investigating the ruins of the Inca, then look into booking a Greentracks trip.
I will update this list with more agencies as I come across them and feel their relevance is in line with my site and experience.