Wild&Free carefully selects wildlife organisations based on specific criteria. Firstly, we want to make sure that the centre has successful rehabilitation and release programs in place that ensure the survival and conservation of the species. Secondly, we like to support small centres where our donations make a big impact. Thirdly, we always start to work with the centres on a defined project with a target amount to reach. We then continue to support the centres on an ongoing basis and you are welcome to donate anytime.
In all scenario, 100% of donations made to projects are transferred to the beneficiaries.
We wanted to share more information on each centre so that you understand what great work they do!
Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary
One of its kind in Liberia and surrounding countries, Libassa is a recently-established wildlife sanctuary (2017) and registered NGO that saves and cares for any species in need. For the most part, these are individuals that are destined to bushmeat and pet trafficking. These crimes occur on alarge scale in Liberia, and in 2016, a new law was passed requiring authorities to confiscate protected animals. This led to the development of Libassa, to where the animals are safely brought. Libassa receives animals of all sorts, from birds to reptiles, monkeys, carnivores and most notoriously, pangolins. The centre now has the pleasure of sharing many release stories. So far, 390 animals have been brought to Libassa and 190 successfully released, with more to come ! Unfortunately, some individuals are not able to go back to the wild, but the sanctuary has constructed facilities for long-term stays where they can live out their lives with love and care.
These particular individuals have also become ambassadors for Libassa's educational outreach programmes. Visitors can come to the centre and see the long-stay individuals in hopes of raising awareness about protecting Liberia's wildlife and illegal pet trafficking. The centre also welcomes students for exotic species veterinary training.
In addition to the rehabilitation centre, Libassa also protects sea turtle nesting grounds. Females coming up to shore are tracked by poachers, who kill and sell them and their eggs. To confront this, Libassa is training locals to patrol the beaches.
Animal welfare is not incorporated in Liberian culture. This makes running a wildlife sanctuary like Libassa a challenge but also a priority and demonstrates a huge step in the right direction.
Location : Belize
Species: Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys and Spider monkeys, Manatees
Wildtracks is a long-running conservation organisation that takes action to protect and conserve endangered species of Belize. Their main programmes are conservation & research, education & outreach and sustainable development. Their conservation programme is known for its primate and manatee rehabilitation centre. The Yucatan Howler and Spider monkey populations are declining due to habitat loss whilst also being victims of poaching and illegal pet trade. Manatees suffer from injuries that stem from boat collisions. Very few survive the collisions, and with generally low populations numbers, it is imperative to rescue those that can be rehabilitated. Wildtracks rescues monkeys and manatees of all ages. They focus on rehabilitating them back to health, and teaching them the skills that will prepare them for their release back into the wild. Post-release monitoring ensures released individuals are using their skills accordingly, integrating social groups and can also help in detecting the health of the wild populations.
Whilst their rehabilitation programmes are Wildtracks' frontline projects, to enhance awareness, the organisation also runs outreach programmes and events. These allow local school students to connect with nature and learn about the animals, plants and ecosystems. They also give professionals, farmers and guides opportunities to learn about the status of Belize's wildlife and legislation.
Their mission does not stop at returning endangered and injured animals to the wild, but also addresses the causes for their declines. Through partnerships and the government, Wildtracks works to end wildlife trade, encourage local communities towards sustainable development and the management of protected areas & fisheries. Projects resulting from this include the building of forest corridors to connect fragmented habitats of the Yucatan monkeys.
Running their rehabilitation centres since the late 90s, Wildtracks has achieved high success rates (95% for the Spider monkey rehabilitation & release, assessed in 2016). However, the rehabilitation of these particular animals is a long and laborious process with many stages to ensure best results. Wildtracks relies heavily on donations, partnerships and volunteers to achieve their success.
Save Vietnam's Wildlife
Species: Chinese and Sunda pangolins, Ownston's civet, Asian river otters
Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW) is a small but highly efficient Vietnamese organisation, taking action across many aspects of wildlife conservation. Established in 2014, the main fields of work include animal rehabilitation, conservation breeding & research, education & outreach programs, advocacy and wild habitat protection. The key species in the rehabilitation centre include the Sunda and Chinese pangolins, Ownston's civets and Asian river otters. All are threatened by illegal trafficking, pet trade and meat consumption. The pangolins in particular, are used in traditional Chinese medicine for their scales, having become the most trafficked mammal worldwide. To date, with the help of their anti-poaching team, SWV has rescued 1 330 pangolins of which over 60% were successfully released back to the green forests. Field teams record the activity and monitor the released populations in hope to contribute to the conservation of the wild populations.
SWV is a leading organisation in conservation breeding of Ownston's civet, native to Vietnam, being the only organisation having accumulated the knowledge and facilities to establish a captive-breeding programme. Due to the many difficulties of captive-breeding pangolins, SWV uses the more tactful approach of protecting habitats, working with the law enforcement, and change overall consumer attitude. SWV is recognised as a world-leader in the rescue and rehabilitation of pangolins, captive-husbandry and their conservation. With their excellent knowledge, the team provides its expertise to ameliorate other rescue centre throughout Vietnam.
Centre for Orangutan Protection
Location: East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo
The Centre for Orangutan Protection is an Indonesian organisation that works to save orangutans from illegal and life-threatening crimes. The organisation came together when concern was raised over an increasing number of orangutan killings and destructive palm oil plantations. Working primarily in Borneo, the team retrieves orangs from palm oil plantations and degraded forests as well as from cruelty such as the illegal pet trade and circuses. They are brought to the COP rehabilitation centre in Labanan, Kalimatan. Here, they are treated, cared for and prepared for release back into the wild. This is a lengthy and thorough process that may require a lot more time and training if the individuals are brought in at a young age. Even after release, the orangutans are monitored to ensure that they are adjusting well to life in the wild.
The team takes matters further by investigating and documenting harmful acts towards orangutans and confronting the groups responsible for these threats. COP is also involved with zoos across Indonesia. With their great knowledge and compassion for animals, COP verifies that zoos apply the correct practises and gives advise on how to improve captive orangutan welfare, as well as campaign against bad zoos. COP works closely with the law enforcement to prevent destruction of the forests and combat wildlife poaching and trade. COP raises awareness by running regular educational programs, some aimed at local school children to teach them to love nature, and others to train the next generation in wildlife protection.
Indonesian Species Conservation Program
Location: North Sumatra
Species: Sumatran slow loris, Nias hill Myna
ISCP's mission is to rescue animals from illegal trade or poaching, and preserve North Sumatran biodiversity. Their main projects include a successful rehabilitation & rescue programme for the Sumatran slow loris. Although there are laws prohibiting slow loris trafficking, it is one the most commonly sold pets around the country. Since its development in 2016, 53 slow lorises have been rescued by ISCP and 43 have been released ! Released individulas are tracked to help monitor the wild populations.
ISCP has taken on a more recent project, the conservation of Nias hill myna. This bird is restricted to Western Sumatra and is commonly taken in as a pet. Forest degradation has also created a huge decline in its populations. There are no records of any wild populations, and only a few in captivity remain.
ISCP raises awareness through education out-reach and participation of local communities. Activities include school visits, planting of seedlings and social media promotion. On a state level, ISCP works with the law enforcement against crimes to species, such as installing bans on trafficking or hunting, but they also carry out independent action on illegal activities, which has successfully got locals to hand in their « pets » to the rehabilitation centre. ISCP also encourages local communities to shift their livelihoods to ones that help preserve biodiversity. For example, they provide hunters with the necessary support to convert from hunting to horticultural agriculture. Unfortunately a lack of funding support is halting many projects. The slow loris programme still needs funds for the completion of the health clinic, and to build enclosures for permanent individuals that cannot be released. The Nias hill myna rehabilitation project is still awaiting funds to take off.
AFeWiS (Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species)
Species: African savanna elephants (primarily)
AFeWiS is an organisation that was set up in 2016 in Tanzania, with the mission of protecting Africa's wildlife against poaching and trophy hunting. The organisation is a team of passionate activists who advocate for animal rights and the preservation of wildlife. AFeWiS leads programmes ranging from community awareness and educating younger generations to ensuring a stable ecosystem for animal populations to thrive and collecting data to support the law enforcement with wildlife crime cases.
AFeWiS' main target is protecting Tanzania's elephant populations from poaching. To do so, they have set up the « beehive project » : a major factor that leads to elephant killings in these areas, is human-wildlife conflict. With the expansion of agricultural lands into wild habitats, elephants are prone to invading and destroying the crops. As a result, crop-owners kill or poison elephants in retaliation. To solve this, AFeWiS is leading a unique project that entails building beehives around villages. As elephants are afraid of bees, the hives are designed to drive them away from the crops, therefore avoiding any hostility. This project is simple, natural and a proven way to reduce human-elephant conflicts. AFeWiS is a small, young organisation but has ambitious goals and a direct impact on the protection of Africa's wildlife.