Feeding species at risk, rehabilitating trafficked animals, and doing survey work that will aid conservation policies. With your help, we’ve done all of these things this year, and this GivingTuesday, you can help us continue to do so by supporting Greater Good Charities’ Project Peril program. Read on to learn how we’re working to save a variety of species through this program.
Manatees, also known as “sea cows,” are graceful herbivores that spend up to eight hours a day eating seagrasses and other aquatic plants that help keep their large bodies going. They can eat nearly 10% of their body weight each day. Because their food is in shallow water, this puts them at risk of injury or death from boat propellers. Their habitat is also being damaged due to new development along waterways. Sewage, manure, and fertilizer run-off cause algal blooms that can kill manatees if they eat it. The poor water quality can also kill their food. Owing to these and other threats, all three species of manatees are listed as vulnerable to extinction.
With your help, though, we’ve worked with Florida’s Fish & Wildlife Foundation to feed rescued manatees. These animals came in starving, as they couldn’t find enough of their usual food sources. At the same time, we’ve been working with partners to replant seagrass beds wiped out by Hurricane Irma. One of the focus areas has been a key wintering site for the species, which flocks to the area for food and warmth in the colder months.
Your contributions have helped immensely, with each $25 donation providing 30 pounds of produce to manatees. If you’d like to learn more about our manatee efforts, or lend us a hand, click here.
Bees – Hive Drive
Pollinators are essential in putting food on our tables each day and in keeping our agricultural industry going. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, honey bees alone pollinate $15 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year, including more than 130 types of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Unfortunately, pollinators like bees are facing serious threats to their own food sources, due in part to habitat loss and fragmentation. Severe storms can make this even worse. That’s where you’ve come in.
With your help, Greater Good Charities has teamed up with a variety of partner organizations to plant flowers for bees, including in areas damaged by Hurricane Michael. Among the more recent projects was at Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, which used the plants not only to feed bees but also to restore the damaged ecosystem.
There’s another way we help feed bees, as well: through donations of bee pollen substitute and sugar, not just for areas impacted by hurricanes, but also to hives at risk due to the war in Ukraine. Each donation of just $30 has helped feed a whole hive, which has benefited 1.7 billion bees in the Florida Panhandle and contributed more than 41,000 pounds of food to sustain Ukrainian hives through beekeeping season.
If you’d like to continue to help this GivingTuesday, learn how here.
Pangolins are friends of the forest, whose fierce appetite for termites helps limit damage to wooded areas. These scaly mammals are also equipped with armor that makes them safe from most predators, except for humans. The survival of all eight species is at risk due in large part to trafficking, as their meat and scales are in high demand. This demand has led them to become the most trafficked mammal in the world.
With your help, Greater Good Charities has long been working with the Vietnamese organization Wildlife at Risk to rehabilitate pangolins rescued from trafficking. We’ve built species-appropriate enclosures for the pangolins, which have provided an opportunity to study and better understand these elusive animals. They’ve also helped with breeding, as they recently hosted the birth of a pangopup!
Your donations of as little as $5 have helped these efforts along, and they’ve also led to a better understanding of the pangolin’s environment. Greater Good Charities’ Global Discovery Expeditions program recently expanded earlier this year from a focus on the Madrean Sky Islands of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, to a broader global focus. The first new expedition site was in Vietnam, a country to which the pangolin is native.
On this first trip, American scientists teamed up with Vietnamese counterparts to do survey work in the Sao La Nature Reserve, in an effort to get baseline information on the area that will hopefully aid conservation efforts in the future. They’re not done yet, though. Another trip is in the works for Vietnam, which WWF says is home to 16% of the world’s plant and animal species. The upcoming trip is set for March 2024 and will focus on Ba Mun Island, where a species of interest is the tiger gecko. The tiger gecko is threatened due to the pet trade.
With your donations, these trips are also helping survey the historical range of the endangered Indochinese tiger, whose population has declined by over 80%, in large part due to habitat fragmentation and loss. Doing this survey work helps conservation efforts in the biodiversity hotspot of Vietnam, which may help endangered species like this begin to recover.
Pygmy Slow Loris
Much like the pangolin, the pygmy slow loris is a very unique animal found in Vietnam. They’re the only known venomous primate. They have glands near their elbows that secrete a toxin, and when they’re feeling threatened, they can lick the glands, spreading the toxin to their teeth. Their clown-like eye markings are also responsible for their name, as “loris” comes from an old Dutch word for clown.
Unfortunately, this unique species is also endangered, due to the decimation of much of its habitat. The primary drivers of that have been war and the logging industry.
The Global Discovery Expeditions survey trips to Vietnam will also be beneficial for this species. For just $5, you can help fund these trips, as well as a better hope for the pygmy slow loris. Find out more here.
For more information on all the endangered species you can help this GivingTuesday, click below!