Julia was so inspired by the species-saving work of Conservation Nation that she started a lemonade stand to fundraise for Conservation Nation. Just by asking her friends, family, and neighbors to donate Julia raised over $1,000 to save various species. Join Julia in the fight against extinction—she makes it look easy, and that’s because it is!
Inspired by her love of wildlife and commitment to conservation, Courtney set out on a mission to be a Conservation Nation hero. She didn’t need a special occasion to start fundraising—just her affinity for animals and her determination to make a difference. With a few emails and social media posts, Courtney raised over $800 to save Asian elephants in Myanmar.
This year for his birthday, Lucas wanted to do something BIG! When Lucas saw that Conservation Nation was helping elephants, he wanted to join the herd. For his big day, he turned his birthday into a fundraiser for Conservation Nation and contributed over $1,000 to the cause. With just simply asking for donations instead of gifts, Lucas made an elephant-sized difference with Conservation Nation.
In just three decades, the African penguin population has declined more than 50 percent. Now endangered, African penguin populations continue to decline, due to destruction of breeding grounds for the guano harvest, and “egging”—humans collecting newly-laid eggs to sell at markets. These factors, paired with oil spills and overfishing, have severely decimated this already fragile population. In partnership with the SAFE program, Smithsonian scientists are addressing the African penguin crisis by building nest boxes where penguins can safely lay their eggs, and, once hatched, the nest box will provide a stable environment for growing chicks. With funding from Conservation Nation, we can help scientists reach their goal of installing 2,600 nest boxes on African penguin nesting islands, and ensure penguins continue to swim wild in the waters of southern Africa.
Rhinos are among the most universally recognized species in the world, but they are also one of the most endangered with only two rhino species remaining in Africa. With so few individuals left, the survival of each rhino is critically important. But we are losing them at an alarming rate due not only to poaching, but to insufficient medical care. With funds raised this year, we can support the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program in working with local partners on the ground in Kenya to standardize, improve, and provide advanced veterinary care for ill, injured, and orphaned rhinos.
The Andean flamingo—listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species—is native to the Andes Mountains, and is among the rarest flamingo species on the planet. Andean Flamingos rely heavily on highland lakes to forage and breed, but increasingly these lakes are becoming polluted by mining activities and drying up due to climate change, making them unusable for flamingos and increasing the decline of the already vulnerable population. Through Conservation Nation funding, scientists can track Andean flamingos using satellite transmitters, identify which lakes are most often used by the flamingos, and then develop an effective conservation plan for this species.
In addition to owning the title of fastest land animal in the world, cheetahs are also the most endangered African cat species, with roughly 6,700 left in the wild. Inbreeding and fragmented populations spread throughout Africa have nearly driven this majestic species to extinction. To strengthen genetic diversity, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are collaborating with researchers in Namibia to analyze wild cheetah scat (poop). Using the information from individual cheetah scat samples, scientists can determine the health and stability of the wild cheetah population, which will then help scientists form a conservation plan to ensure the cheetah’s ultimate survival.
Ensuring the health of endangered Asian elephants in Thailand is critical to creating a healthy population—in human care and in the wild—but a desperate area of focus is detecting and evaluating joint and foot inflammation, an illness that is debilitating and can potentially lead to death. Smithsonian scientists have identified tremendous potential for thermography (thermal imaging and video) as a noninvasive way to detect such issues in elephants. Funds from Conservation Nation will provide scientists with thermal infrared imaging cameras to use in Thailand for a more proactive approach to elephant healthcare that includes diagnosing and treating issues before they become debilitating.
You would think the world’s tallest land mammal would be easy to study, but very little is known about Kenya’s reticulated giraffe population. Scientists believe that habitat loss and increased human disturbance have sent the numbers of wild reticulated giraffes into sharp decline, but they do not have the data to prove it. To better study wild giraffes, scientists designed a large-scale, innovative, solar-based GPS tracking system. This system, partially funded by Conservation Nation, is helping gain critical information regarding giraffe behavior in the face of human activity, migration, habitat destruction, and ecology challenges.
Central America’s Harlequin frog population was pushed to the brink of extinction by the amphibian chytrid fungus disease. There is hope after the “soft release” of 400 frogs back into the wild, but the work to restore this vulnerable population isn’t done. With the help of Conservation Nation funds, scientists working with the Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project continue to conduct experimental releases of captive-bred Harlequin frogs in Panama. Even more exciting is that a subset of these frogs are wearing radio trackers, so that scientists can estimate migration, habitat, and non-disease-related death. This data is supporting the long-term effort to fully restore Harlequin frog populations.