About Wild Hope
From April through August, 93-year-old Al Larson drives the high-country roads of southwest Idaho monitoring the 300 bluebird nesting boxes he has mounted along five wilderness trails over the past 30 years. Larson bands every nestling he finds, and by his reckoning, has raised more than 27,000 bluebirds. At the Animals Asia China Bear Rescue Center in Chengdu, China, veterinarian Mandala Hunter-Ishikawa, tends to the wounds of 124 battered moon bears rescued from bile farms. In New York City, the Wild Bird Fund, the city’s first wildlife rehabilitation center, treats more than 4,000 birds yearly, including many migrating rarities that collide with skyscrapers. In Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, the Jaguar Rescue Center takes in howler monkeys confiscated from poachers engaged in the illegal exotic pet trade and nurtures them back to health before returning them to the wild.
These are just a few of the inspiring stories published in Wild Hope of individuals and organizations endeavoring to safeguard wild species. Our purpose in sharing their stories is to raise awareness of the of the need to preserve our biodiversity heritage and motivate readers to get involved in protecting other species with whom we share this planet.
Throughout Earth’s 4.5 billion year history, species have died off naturally when they couldn’t adjust to changing environmental conditions. Today, however, species are vanishing many times faster than the natural rate of extinction due to human interference, principally habitat destruction, species translocation, pollution, over-exploitation, and global warming. We are altering Earth’s atmosphere and landscape in ways that are impacting the ability of many species to adapt to the changes and pushing them to the brink of extinction, and in too many cases over it. The lowest estimate of the number of species becoming extinct each year is 200; the highest is 100,000. And thousands of species disappear before being identified by scientists. The Center for Biological Diversity predicts that between 30 to 50 percent of all living species may be lost by mid-century.
The makers of Wild Hope believe it’s not too late to turn the tide of extinction, if we try. But many people are either unaware of the impact that the loss of biodiversity will have on the planet (and ultimately the survival of our own species) or they feel powerless to do anything about it. That’s why we created Wild Hope — to share conservation success stories that show how anyone can participate in saving Earth’s biodiversity by applying whatever skills or talents they have and that a science degree isn’t a prerequisite to making a difference.
The idea to create Wild Hope was born out of conversations we had with people who are actively engaged in preserving wild species. Repeatedly, we heard them express an optimism and determination that isn’t being communicated in the mainstream or environmental media. We realized that if we could share their stories with the world, their hope would become contagious.
The content for each issue of Wild Hope is being generated through our growing network of naturalists, citizen scientists, wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators, conservationists, biologists, ecologists, educators, nature writers, photographers and artists. If you have a story or images you’d like to share, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share the Hope,
Kathryn Arnold, WH Story Curator
Wild Hope Cover, Premiere Issue.
Photo by Holly Wilmeth