I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported our original campaign to fund essential research into sloth genetics – we hit our $5000 target within 12 days! Because we still have 6 weeks left before the campaign ends, I have decided to take this opportunity to fund raise for the future of sloth conservation. I have been living, breathing, and working with sloths for 6 years now, and although I have met many passionate people along the way who are all dedicating their lives to protecting these wonderful animals, I believe that there is something very important missing: unity.
Every day hundreds of sloths are falling victim to the land development, urbanization, and habitat destruction occurring in South and Central America. From power line electrocutions and dog attacks, to road collisions, habitat loss and human cruelty – it is a long and sad list of threats. Thankfully there are a number of individual groups working tirelessly to protect the sloths through research and/or rehabilitation programs, but I have found there to be a worrying lack of collaboration or sharing of information between parties. This is not to discredit anybody’s hard work, people are simply doing the best they can with what they have available. But there is only so much that can be achieved alone – just imagine what we could accomplish if we were all to pool our ideas, resources and expertise and work together for the greater benefit of sloths.
For this reason, I am endeavoring to create the Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo) – a registered non-profit organisation that will be dedicated to saving sloths in the wild through research and conservation initiatives. We will bring together all people, partners, and institutions working globally with sloths to achieve lasting conservation solutions. The aim of the Sloth Conservation Foundation will not be to rescue or rehabilitate injured animals, but rather to prevent them from needing rescue in the first place. While other groups will perform the necessary triage, we will work on curing the root cause.
Such conservation strategies will include (for example): education programs in local communities; campaigning for underground power lines; planting forest corridors to connect fragmented habitats; construction of wildlife bridges across major roads; tree surveys to ensure that the species needed to support sloths are plentiful enough; and international education programs to reduce poaching for the sloth pet trade and tourist photo opportunities (these animals are often plucked out of the wild and sold to unsuspecting sloth lovers).
Meeting these goals will be a challenge, but as my track record shows, if I believe in something then I will throw my heart and soul into it. I believe that by working together as a united front, we will have the power to secure a brighter future for sloths throughout Central and South America. If you would like to help me in my mission, please visit our campaign page by clicking here
The key missions of the Sloth Conservation Foundation will be:
• To fund and coordinate high quality research into the biology, ecology, genetics and physiology of all 6 sloth species.
• To create an accessible database of scientific knowledge. Making all sloth research publications (past and present) available to the people who really need them – the people working in the field – and to break down the results into usable applications for the benefit of sloths.
• To tackle the issues that sloths are facing in the wild by developing and implementing conservation strategies, working from the ground up through education of local communities to lobbying for change at a government level.
• To create a united community of people all working together towards the research, conservation and protection of sloths, facilitating the sharing of information, advice, successes and failures.
All additional donations that we receive on the campaign above our initial $5000 goal will go towards building the Sloth Conservation Foundation. Costs will include creating a website, logo design, drawing up and submitting official non-profit documentation etc.
Alternatively, if there are any website or graphic designers out there who would be willing to get involved by donating their time – please send me a message with some samples of your work at firstname.lastname@example.org! I would be delighted to collaborate with you on this project!
Thank you again for your support and I look forward to stepping forwards on this journey with you.