This past Saturday marked our annual spring Wildlife Conservation Expo, a virtual gathering of conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts that is always a highlight of our year. As with our previous few Expos, we held this event online to ensure that people all over the world could safely come together during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and enjoy stories about their favorite endangered species and the women and men who protect them. Expo is a special time for us all to connect and recognize why conservation is so important, all while seeing friendly faces new and old. Let’s look back at some of the major highlights from this marvelous day!
If you were unable to attend this spring’s Wildlife Conservation Expo, or simply wish to relive some of the best moments from Saturday, look no further! You can find them below:
- This year’s turnout was amazing, with over 1,000 people attending from 87 countries. One of the best things about holding Expo virtually is that it allows so many more people to attend from around the world. From Brazil to Nigeria to Italy, people tuned in and engaged with conservationists via live chat and Q&A sessions to learn more about the peaks and valleys of wildlife conservation. The enthusiasm of our community and getting to connect with our guests is always what we look forward to the most!
- Speaking of peaks and valleys, our all-access roundtable discussions explored the complex world of wildlife conservation and what it takes to make it all happen. Conservationists came together to discuss how to learn from failures to develop innovative routes for future success, the important role of local communities and Indigenous Peoples in leading conservation efforts, and how women are pioneering many wildlife programs and empowered by the opportunities found in conservation.
- Our special guest speaker was Dr. Olivier Nsengimana, Founder and Executive Director of the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA). He spoke about RWCA’s work helping grey crowned cranes. These graceful birds are celebrated in Rwanda, but the loss of vital habitat and practice of keeping these cranes in captivity threatened the survival of the species in the wild. RWCA recovers, rehabilitates, and releases grey crowned cranes back into wild spaces so that future generations of Rwandans can celebrate them in their proper environment.
- It wouldn’t be Expo without a diverse array of wildlife, and in addition to hearing about grey crowned cranes, many other members of our Network gave in-depth presentations about their own respective species. Speakers from the Rhino Recovery Fund, Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program, Save the Elephants, Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, Global Penguin Society, and MarAlliance held live talks to educate us about the status of these remarkable animals and the work they are doing to protect them and their habitats.
- If any of your favorite Partners or Funds weren’t presenting on the main stage, you could still get in touch with them at their live booths. One of the main goals of Expo is to give you the opportunity to connect directly with the conservationists you’re most eager to hear from, so we were thrilled to see so many of those conversations taking place. It was also wonderful seeing attendees and conservationists making use of our first-ever photo booth so they could show their wild side while enjoying Expo.
This year’s spring Expo was the uplifting experience that we needed, and above all else, we at WCN want to thank YOU for attending and helping make this day as memorable as it was. Without your continued support to protect wildlife, we wouldn’t be able to achieve any of these conservation successes. We hope Expo left you inspired by the impact you’ve helped make for wildlife, and allowed you to connect and reconnect with fellow members of our global community of conservation heroes. Together we can continue to make a difference for animals around the world!
If you missed a presentation or want to rewatch any of your favorites, all of our spring Wildlife Conservation Expo talks can be viewed online here.
Thank you for being a part of our amazing community, and we’ll see you again at fall Expo!