On Saturday, we wrapped up our annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo, but for the first time ever, we took Fall Expo online. After the remarkable experience of our Virtual Spring Expo, we knew the digital format would again allow us to safely connect with our amazing community of conservationists and wildlife champions around the world. This year was also the most extensive Expo to date, spanning an entire week of marvelous events and presentations. As 2020 continues to roll along, we strived to make Expo a beacon of hope to shine a light on the conservation efforts that are still going strong in every corner of the globe, and to remind us that we are not alone—we are part of an incredible group of people working together to save wildlife. Here are some of the most uplifting highlights of this year’s Virtual Fall Expo.
If you couldn’t join our Virtual Fall Expo, or simply wish to relive some of the best moments of the week, check them out below:
- We wanted to attract a large crowd from our community to take part in everything Expo had to offer, and you didn’t disappoint. This year’s turnout was incredible, with every one of our Conservation Partners and Wildlife Funds in attendance, and their fascinating presentations drew in a record-setting audience – over 3,250 people tuned in from over 60 countries! From Peru to Kenya to Iran, attendees from across the globe learned about wildlife and took part in fun Q&A sessions with their favorite conservationists in a rare example of widespread interaction only possible virtually. We were delighted to hear so much positive feedback from all of you, because Expo wouldn’t be a success without you!
- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, participated in an unforgettable conversation with Dr. Pablo Borboroglu of Global Penguin Society about her life as a conservationist, how she stays hopeful in difficult times, and the highlights of her remarkable career. Her resilience and candor are inspiring as always, and it was an honest treat to witness the warmth between her and Dr. Borboroglu during their talk. We’re so grateful to Dr. Goodall for sharing so much of her time with us, for all that she’s done for conservation, and for her constant support of WCN. See the video here:
- We had a phenomenal roster of guest speakers at this year’s Expo, sharing their expertise and stories about new species with us. Speakers from MareCet, Science for Wildlife, Conservation Through Public Health, and Yellowstone National Park came to educate us about dolphins and dugongs, koalas, mountain gorillas, and grey wolves, respectively. Expo also featured an in-depth panel on different bear species hosted by Polar Bears International, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, our own Spectacled Bear Conservation, and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, a National Geographic Explorer. Thanks to these wonderful guests, in addition to speakers from within our Network, Expo featured over 50 conservationists from more than 25 countries speaking about over 24 species.
- Our recently-launched Rhino Recovery Fund (RRF) was featured at Expo for the first time, diving into its mission to safeguard rhinos and their landscapes. Dr. Markus Hofmeyr, Director of the RRF, was joined by Petronel Nieuwoudt and Mark Ngwenyama of Care for Wild for a rousing presentation about the state of rhino conservation, the successes and challenges of their work, and how we all can help save this one-of-a-kind species from extinction.
- We had a special screening of Birth of a Pride, an incredible documentary about a pride of lions by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. The Jouberts are award-winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, and wildlife conservationists who have spent over 30 years researching and documenting wildlife in Africa. We thank them for sharing their great work with us and look forward to screening more films of theirs at future Expos.
- WCN is especially grateful to the Disney Conservation Fund and A Bow of Gratitude Fund for sponsoring Fall Expo this year. Support such as this is vital to our efforts to make Expo as great as can be for our audience, so we’re very appreciative to receive such generosity.
And of course, all of us at WCN want to make sure we thank YOU for attending Expo and for all that you do to protect wildlife! We wouldn’t be able to do any of this amazing work without you, and we want Expo to not just be an event where you can see the powerful difference that you’ve made possible for wildlife, but also a time when you can come together with old friends and make new ones within our global community of conservation heroes. We hope Expo left you in awe of everything we’ve achieved together – we’re certainly in awe of you!
If you missed a presentation or want to watch your favorites again, all of our Virtual Fall Expo talks can be viewed online here.
Thank you for being a part of our community, and we’ll see you at Spring Expo!