How do we make conservation work better for us all?

Conservation movements have tried a plethora of campaigns over the years. We hear a lot from the people who want to protect animals and very little from the animals themselves.

Crittercam on the back of a Monk Seal

Source: NOAA

How can animals become their own storytellers? With the help of National Geographic’s Crittercam, a small camera harmlessly attached to an animal’s back, we are able to help conserve animal populations with data that is as close to the source as you can get.

When their monk seal population began to increase, one community in Hawaii decided to turn to turn to the seals for answers.

Fishermen were fearful fish populations would begin to decline. Misinformation swirled around the community leading to the deaths of many seals. Government intervention could only do so much to quell the unease.

In stepped a group of researchers with a new way of understanding the impact the seals would have on fish populations, the Crittercam. What’s more, they decided that instead of processing the footage themselves, they would give it to local school children. Thus deputizing them to become activists in their own community.

Here is the always incredible National Geographic with this remarkable story…

Empowering youth…

What would a world look like if we spent more time empowering children to be the guardians of their own communities?

The Crittercam was an integral part of spreading awareness, but the students were the ones who became advocates. Children have the power to reshape the behavior of the adults around them in profound ways.

Children have been the leaders in some of our greatest environmental campaigns. By informing youth and deputizing them to be environmental caretakers, we have the power to make long-lasting change.

I look forward to a future that is led and spearheaded by the generation of tomorrow. They lead us not only in actions but in mentalities that can change everything, like what happened below:

14 minutes

The BlackFish Outcome: Good People Can Win!

After 3 years of public pressure following the broadcast of a documentary called Blackfish, SeaWorld is finally canceling its Killer Whale shows, stopping its captive breeding program, and phasing out keeping killer whales in captivity all together!

Read More

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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Notes:

  1. “Crittercams Investigate Seal Mystery.” YouTube. National Geographic, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZZwAk1vqfE>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV