Positive Environmental News: 7 Stories That Show Conservation Works

June 04, 2022

Even though I know better, I have gotten back into the bad habit of disappearing down a rabbit hole of doomscrolling. It's known to leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless, and also wastes energy that could be used to actually take action to help a cause. How doomscrolling makes me feel is one of the reasons that I started this blog in the first place, to encourage myself to look into success stories and remember that there are people making positive change around the world. And it actually helped! It's been a while since I shared a good news list, but this has been a much needed reminder to bring them back!

1. Without conservation efforts, Dartford Warbler would likely have disappeared from the UK after a population crash in the 1960's. But thanks to the creation and restoration of heathland, the birds are making a comeback, with 183 pairs counted in a 2021 survey. Heathland is one of the most threatened types of habitat in the UK, but many rare and threatened species depend on it, so these conservation efforts are expected to be good news for other species too.

2. Over the past 50 years, many mammals across Europe have made impressive comebacks after being driven to near extinction by hunting and habitat loss. Thanks to conservationists, populations of species including European bison, brown bear, Eurasian beaver, and Eurasian elk have seen dramatic increases.

"What these promising trends show is that the recovery of wildlife is possible ... And what has been essential has been the vital work of conservationists. From fighting for wildlife protection policies and hunting quotas, to reintroduction programmes, the dedication of determined individuals lies at the heart of this wild mammal comeback."

- Hannah Ritchie, Wild mammals are making a comeback in Europe thanks to conservation efforts

3. Populations of three of Britain's species of bat - the greater horseshoe bat, lesser horseshoe bat and common pipistrelle - are on the rise, with another six species remaining stable according to the a recent survey by the National Bat Monitoring Programme. Although news to be celebrated and undoubtedly a step in the right direction, the hard work is not over as bats remain vulnerable to pressures including landscape change, climate change and light pollution.

“These positive results indicate that strong legal protection works, and conservation action to protect and conserve bats is achieving success. It is vitally important that this continues ... This recovery is not by coincidence but thanks to sustained efforts and it brings us a step closer to achieving our vision of a world richer in wildlife where bats and people thrive together.”

-  Kit Stoner, Chief Executive of the Bat Conservation Trust

4. Giraffe numbers across Africa are up 20% since 2015, due to a mix of genuine growth and more accurate surveying methods, with conservation efforts on the ground, such as relocating giraffes to protected areas, thought to have had a profound impact. 

By Sutirta Budiman

5. Once a common sight across India, by 2017 vulture populations had decreased dramatically due to poisoning from diclofenac, a drug used to treat cattle. If vultures feed on dead cattle treated with the drug, they are tragically killed from kidney failure. However, efforts by conservationists to save vultures appear to be heading in the right direction, and although numbers of individuals are not yet back to healthy figures, populations of several vulture species have stabilised in recent years, with numbers expected to rise if conservation efforts continue.



Header image by Ray Hennessy

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