Today I’m going to write about something that has become very close to my heart. I’ve been a member of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)for over a year now, and every time I receive one of the magazines it breaks my heart to see how many beautiful creatures are on the brink of extinction or population collapse.
I originally joined for Sigyn, because she has a deep love of her ‘birdies’, and I thought it would be a suitable way to honour her, and Loki. In fact, if you honour any Deity with an avian form or connection joining a wildlife trust, or making regular donations, is not only a devotional offering, but also ensuring their legacy lives on. This is something lasting, not something temporary, and can make a huge difference if enough people gather behind a cause.
Just today I have also decided to ‘adopt’ a Puffin by making regular monthly donations. Besides Penguins (of which the Rockhopper Penguin is now on the global endangered list), Puffins are a favourite of mine, and I would be devastated if they went extinct.
I’m not necessarily asking you to donate to the RSPB, but I’d like to highlight some of their appeals in the hope that it makes others think more about the beautiful creatures we share our planet with. In the majority of cases it is because of human intervention that these appeals have to exist. Please click on the bold underlined links if you wish to learn more. The Mersehead appeal is for the RSPB reserve in Scotland, where they would like to buy 112 hectares to expand their current sites. As you can see they currently have two, which are split off from each other. They hope to connect the two, as well as extend, so that they can offer more habitat for the many birds that visit and live there already. They need to raise £285,000 before 31 October to be able to do this. Each square metre costs just 25p, and even donations of £1 are a help.
At Loch Lomond (again in Scotland) the RSPB is looking to add better footpaths and walkways to make the site more accessible.
The Treasured Islands appeal is to protect the small islands that are havens for wildlife around the British Isles. There are also problems with rodents eating eggs and threatening numbers.
The Red Alert Appeal is set up to ensure that the 1 in 4 British birds that now face extinction are given a chance of survival. There are currently 67 British birds on the Red Alert list, and this will be reviewed in five years. In the past the RSPB has helped Bitterns and Avocets, amongst others, to thrive and come off the list. In five years’ time new ones may well be added, but it is hoped that some of the birds helped in this five year period can grow in numbers again. Some of the birds on the list are the Puffin, Turtle Dove, Nightingale, Cuckoo, Lapwing and the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Even the humble House and Tree Sparrows are now on the list.
The RSPB has another separate appeal for the Puffin and Turtle Dove, since they are so critically endangered and are truly iconic birds. Can you imagine children singing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in the not-too-distant future and asking what a Turtle Dove is, and being told they don’t exist any more? These two birds not only face extinction in the UK but worldwide. This particular appeal looks to help colonies globally, not just in the British Isles.
The Gola Appeal is set up to help support the Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone.
“…this jewel of nature is in serious danger – many species that live here are facing extinction, including the majestic African leopard, chimpanzees and the white-necked picathartes, Gola’s most iconic bird.”
When the ebola crisis hit the RSPB actually worked alongside Oxfam and Save the Children to help the local population, but of course this meant that their efforts with the wildlife had to be halted.
“By helping us raise £750,000, you can help Gola get through a crucial 18 months of sustaining our stewardship role, developing our scientific research and rebuilding our community work. Donate today and you could directly help wildlife and forest edge communities that are dependent on the RSPB in Gola.”