On April 21st, we held our third Spring Wildlife Conservation Expo at the beautiful Cañada College campus in Redwood City. The weather was warm and toasty, the sky was a clear blue, and the crowd was all smiles—it was a picture-perfect afternoon with all the right ingredients for an inspiring and successful Expo.
The conservationists’ stories about protecting endangered wildlife were delivered with passion, and humor, and provided audiences—some who came from as far as India—with a window into the fascinating world of wildlife protection. During the breaks, people thronged around the speaker booths to chat with the conservationists and learn more about their work. Seven hours later and buoyant with the success of another successful Expo, the WCN team gathered together—spent but also incredibly rejuvenated—to discuss our favorite Expo moments.
These are just four of our favorite moments we’d like to share with you:
- We hosted our biggest Spring Expo yet: more than 500+ wildlife lovers from all over the country (and some from outside the U.S.) joined us at Expo, to celebrate Earth Day weekend and share in the experiences of the conservationists; outdoors, 30 exhibitor organizations manned booths festooned with colorful prints, paintings, curios, and pamphlets, sharing their work with curious attendees.
- For the first time since the launch of the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) in August 2017, we were joined by an LRF grantee who shared a particularly challenging aspect of conservation work. Wildlife Crime Preventions’ Luwi Nguluka travelled all the way from Zambia to speak about her work combating the illegal bushmeat trade, a major threat to lions and other wildlife. Luwi took to the stage and promptly blew our minds. Generating public interest around a subject matter that is complicated and often grim is hard, but Luwi tackled it with confidence, compassion, and good humor.
- Though Expo talks are typically given by just one presenter, this year we were joined by additional conservationists, some new to Expo. Johanna Vega from Proyecto Tití shared the stage with Rosamira Guillen to speak on behalf of cotton-tops tamarins; Dr. Lucy King, well-known for her work with elephants and bees, accompanied Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Frank Pope, and Bernard Lesirin (a samburu warrior and a senior guide for the Elephant Watch Camp), and gave us insight into a unique facet of Save the Elephants’ work; and Jane Horgan with her charm, wit, and relatability spoke on behalf of Cheetah Conservation Botswana and their work to protect Botswana’s fast disappearing cheetahs.
- The interactive panel with conservationists, including Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton from Save the Elephants and Dr. Rodney Jackson from Snow Leopard Conservancy, was another highlight of our day—we learned so much from each of the speakers, about wildlife conservation and the myriad ways in which they are working to combat today’s conservation challenges within their respective regions.
At WCN, we love bringing together these inspiring women and men who are protecting endangered animals around the world with the wildlife supporters who make that work possible. We hope you enjoyed the Spring Expo as much as we enjoyed hosting it!
Weren’t able to make it to the Spring Expo? Don’t worry – we got you covered. You can watch the presentations below!
Welcomes by Wildlife Conservation Network President, Charles Knowles and Vice President for Conservation, Dr. Jeffrey “Jefe” Parrish
Charlie Knowles, president of the Wildlife Conservation Network, and Dr. Jeffrey “Jefe” Parrish, vice president for Conservation, welcome you to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s 2018 Spring Expo.
Wildlife Crime Prevention: Luwi Nguluka
The illegal bushmeat trade is the single greatest threat to wildlife in Zambia. Luwi Nguluka shares how the Wildlife Crime Prevention—a grantee of Lion Recovery Fund—launched a public awareness campaign, This is Not a Game, with the goal of ending this tragic practice.
Proyecto Tití: Rosamira Guillen and Johanna Vega
Colombia is home to one of the most endangered primates in the world, the cotton-top tamarin. Today, the home of these primates is highly threatened as 98% of the forests in this region have been destroyed due to harmful agricultural practices. Rosamira Guillen from Proyecto Tití shares how they are saving these monkeys by creating community opportunities to protect the forests.
Cheetah Conservation Botswana: Jane Horgan
Reducing incidents of human-cheetah conflict through awareness programs—Jane Horgan shares how Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB) is working with local communities to facilitate peaceful coexistence between humans and cheetahs.
Conservation for Tomorrow Panel:
Some of the world’s leading wildlife conservationists discuss the various innovations and technologies that are driving change for wildlife conservation. Panelists: Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton (Save the Elephants), Rosamira Guillen (Proyecto Tití), Jane Horgan (Cheetah Conservation Botswana), and Dr. Rodney Jackson (Snow Leopard Conservancy).
Save the Elephants: Special Introduction by Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton; Frank Pope and Dr. Lucky King
Save the Elephants (STE) works to secure a safe future for elephants in a world where they are threatened by ivory poaching. STE discusses their hopes for the future as technology and collaboration among conservationists increase.
Our flagship Fall Expo is October 13, 2018 in San Francisco, we hope to see you there!