Is it just me or has Christmas come out of nowhere this year?
I can’t believe we are 13 days into the month of Christmas already. This year is Primate Wonder’s first Christmas. With that in mind I want to make sure primates and conservation is on the top of everyone’s list.
Donations are a vital part of a conservation organisation, allowing for funding to go towards the growth of an organisation, whether this be providing money for food to feed primates in a sanctuary or equipment to aid primate field research. You can help organisations this year by shopping conscientiously for presents for your family and friends and incorporating a primate gift to your wrapping list.
This Christmassy article will present to you an assortment of organisations you should invest in this year. Shopping conscientiously also means supporting local organisations and avoiding spending money on presents which are shipped internationally.
Let’s get shopping!!
Little Fireface project
The Little Fireface Project (LFP) is an NGO focusing on the study of loris ecology and conservation. LFP was founded in 1994 by the leading expert in lorises, Professor Anna Nekaris. The Little Fireface project is the longest running field project for wild Javan slow lorises and they currently run their main field project in the Indonesian Island of Java. Research undertaken by LFP is widespread and ranges from behavioural ecology, genetics, acoustics, taxonomy and conservation education.
There are 4 species of loris, all of which are threatened with extinction.
Photo Credit: Peppermint Narwhal Creative, www.nocturama.org
A large part of the Little Fireface Project is their outreach and education programmes for local communities to encourage them to get involved in the conservation of the loris. LFP has been successful in creating fun and interactive education programmes for local schools to spread awareness and knowledge about slow loris ecology and conservation. The Little Fireface project launched their Slow Loris Forest Protector Programme in West Java in 2013 which allowed children to learn through creativity and fun.
LFP contributes to the education of local schools and communities to spread awareness about loris conservation.
Photo Credit: @littlefireface
The Little Fireface project contributes to the conservation of all species of loris, acquiring vital data that aids loris conservation in the wild and captivity. Along with researching many topics, The Little Fireface Project aids rescue centres in the reintroduction of lorises and assists in welfare recommendations of slow lorises in countries that still allow slow lorises as pets. LPF are also involved in monitoring and analysing social media to education the public world-wide in an attempt to mitigate slow loris trade.
Founder, Professor Anna Nekaris, educates students on the hard social media has on loris trade.
Photo Credit: Little Fireface Project
The Little Fireface Project is dependent on external funding and public donations. LFP Etsy store offers some unique and beautiful loris gifts for Christmas. Many of their products are handmade and eco-friendly which includes paintings, jewellery and ornaments. All products purchased will contribute to the field research and incredible conservation work LFP do.
Here are just some of the products available on the Little Fireface Project's Etsy Store.
Follow the link below to head over to The Little Fireface Shop:
NEW!! Borneo Nature Foundation
The Borneo Nature Foundation is an NGO which contributes to Bornean conservation and research. As a large team they work tirelessly to protect some of the most essential areas of tropical rainforest. In doing this they aim to protect the wildlife and indigenous cultures within these Bornean rainforests. The Borneo Nature Foundation are highly active in community conservation as they support and empower community-led initiatives to protect the biodiversity of Borneo. Initiatives to protect Bornean biodiversity is diverse and can involve anti-logging patrols, firefighting teams, environmental education and the replanting and restoration of damaged forests.
Borneo Nature Foundation contributes to a vast array of conservation for orang-utan's, native Bornean species and the forest.
Photo Credit: Borneo Nature Foundation & Orangutan Outreach
The foundation contributes heavily to scientific research as all of their field programmes use this research as the core for protecting and managing forests. Field research for the team at Borneo Nature Foundation specialises in species of ape, native to Borneo which includes the endangered orangutan and the southern Bornean gibbon. The Borneo Nature Foundation has many projects under their belt. Their longest running programme is the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) which was established in 1999. This project identified the largest orangutan population in lowland Borneo in the Sabangau Forest. With hard work from the Borneo Nature Foundation the Sabangau Forest region was given National Park status in 2004, and the foundation continue to carry out ecological research in the area. Their most recent project, The Rungan Conservation Programme works closely with local stakeholders in the aim to protect 156,000 hectares of forest where the largest orangutan, outside of protected areas, live. To read more about BNF incredible journey head to http://www.borneonaturefoundation.org/en/about/our-story/
Borneo Nature Foundation Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) Team.
Photo Credit: Borneo Nature Foundation
All that the Borneo Nature Foundation and its connecting projects would not have been possible without funding. The Borneo Nature Foundation has only recently started up their Etsy page to help fund their projects. BNF’s Esty page has a variety of cute and creative items in their store. They sell beautiful handmade wildlife prints, hand crafted jewellery and kid’s books. As stated on their Etsy page, all proceeds go straight back into restoring and protecting the forests of Borneo and help BNF to continue their incredible work.
Borneo Nature Foundation Etsy Page
Head over to their Etsy page NOW: https://www.etsy.com/shop/borneonaturefdn
Wild Futures' The Monkey Sanctuary
Also, UK based, Wild Futures The Monkey Sanctuary is a sanctuary built to care to ex-pet primates such as capuchins, marmosets and barbary macaques. I hold this organisation close to my heart as I experienced their hard work and devotion through my undergraduate degree back in 2015. Based in Cornwall, UK The Monkey Sanctuary has over 50 years of experience in rescues and rehabilitation of primates that have previously fallen victim to the UK exotic wildlife trade. Animal welfare is at the forefront of The Monkey Sanctuary’s work as they care for a large number of different primates many of whom have permanent damage from being kept as a pet, such as diabetes, metabolic bone disease and psychological trauma. The Sanctuary is also committed to education, opening their doors to the public. They work closely with other organisations to communicate with local and central governments to bring a positive change for the UK and abroad pet trade.
Wild Futures’ online shop sells a vast collection of goodies, perfect for a stocking filler. Items include fridge magnets, cuddly toys, key chains and t-shirts. ALL purchases will help the Monkey Sanctuary to continue their extraordinary work.
The Monkey Sanctuary also has an Adopt A Monkey scheme. This is the perfect gift for someone who is compassionate about wildlife and the environment.
To visit their online shop and find out more about Adoption options follow the links below:
Lemur conservation network
Finally, the Lemur Conservation Network (LCN) is an amazing project to contribute to this Christmas. As an extension from the Madagascar Section of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, LCN is a lemur focused project that connects over 60 worldwide organisations and individual all in the battle to save species of lemur facing extinction. Ultimately LCN provides valuable resources and funding to organisations and people who want to help. It is a platform for lemur conservation organisations to promote their work and to collaborate. Many of the organisations that make up LCN are certified non-profits, NGO’s and charities.
The Lemur Conservation Network’s shop guide helps to support their members work. They provide shop access to ethical companies that work directly from the lemur range country, Madagascar which aids and supports Malagasy people as well as shops from established Lemur organisations where donations in their shops is fed straight back into lemur conservation. An assortment of products is available from LCN’s members including, clothes, jewellery and household goods. Explore these shops and organisations here: https://www.lemurconservationnetwork.org/how-to-help/shop/
Lemur Conservation Network also has their own shop where proceeds help support their own work or are donated to member organisations. LCN’s shop is unique in itself, collaborating with talented illustrator to create beautiful designs for t-shirts, bags, facemasks and much more. See link below for LCN’s official store:
Adding LCN and their organisations to your Christmas list will help save lemurs from extinction and conserve one of our most unique species of primates.
And just like that we have come to the end of our primate conservation shopping list. I hope this small guide has ignited some inspiration for you. The list I have provided above is of course not all conservation organisations. But, if you know of a local NGO that you have supported or have simply heard of, don’t hesitate to support them throughout this Christmas period and to buy and heart-warming, meaningful present for a family member, or friend (or even yourself).