The month of October welcomes trips to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, and Oktoberfest celebrations, but for Bay Area wildlife aficionados it means the return of our flagship Wildlife Conservation Expo. Throughout the day, supporters had the chance to meet their wildlife heroes and visit with more than 50 exhibiting organizations from across the country. Conservationists came from remote corners of the world and took the stage in San Francisco to speak about their efforts to protect the species and wild landscapes they love.
If you weren’t able to join us at Expo this year, or are still reliving your favorite moments from the weekend, read below as we share our top highlights from the day:
- During her talk the Friday evening before Expo, we were honored to have Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, share with us why she continues to have hope for wildlife. Then to kickoff Expo day, Jane surprised guests with a special welcome and received the Mary S. Boardman Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Conservation.
- For the first time at Expo, all 17 of our Conservation Partners took the stage to share stories of innovation and hope from the field. We were moved by Painted Dog Conservation‘s work relocating painted dog packs to safety, saw silly camera trap footage of bears from Spectacled Bear Conservation, and learned how MarAlliance is working with local fishers to protect sharks and rays. These wildlife heroes moved audiences as they shared what motivates them to keep fighting for threatened and endangered wildlife across the globe.
- We heard incredible updates from our Crisis and Recovery Funds. Dr. Darren Pietersen shared how, with investment from the Pangolin Crisis Fund, the Tikki Hywood Foundation is helping to stop the illegal trade that is putting pangolins at risk for extinction. We also heard stories about how the Lion Recovery Fund’s nimble model has supported 67 projects to protect lions across Africa in just two years. And lastly we learned how the Elephant Crisis Fund was formed after seeing the devastation that the ivory trade was causing on elephant populations and how they are funding incredible projects to stop this crisis.
- In addition to these phenomenal talks, we had the opportunity to listen to three panels. We heard from the Mama Simbas of Ewaso Lion Project on how women in Samburu, Kenya are playing an integral role in conservation during the Women’s Empowerment Programs panel. During the Next Generation of Cat Conservationists panel, we were inspired to see the faces of many young conservationists who are working in the field to protect big and small wild cats alike. And we learned about the unique challenges our Partners Proyecto Tití, Okapi Conservation Project, and Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program face working with endemic species.
We are always striving to make Expo memorable and inspiring for our guests. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did and left feeling hopeful with steps you can take to help protect a future for wildlife.
Save the date for Spring Expo in Redwood City on April 25, 2020!