Each year World Wildlife Day celebrates a new and changing theme with the aim of raising awareness of protecting the world’s wild animals and plant life. This year is dedicated to “Sustaining all Life on Earth”, and is focused around ensuring the sustainable use of resources and conserving life on land as well as below water to maintain the loss of biodiversity. Here at BIRD HQ we’re proud to work alongside brands who put wildlife and marine conservation at the forefront of their many sustainability efforts, and work hard to ensure local ecosystems have the ability to thrive.
SRI LANKA | LEOPARD AND BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH
Resplendent Ceylon has been working in close partnership with the Dilmah Conservation Research Station and The Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) to conduct important research into leopard populations in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.
Whilst historically this terrain is better known for its tea plantations, pockets of forest are also home to a strong population of leopards. Guests at Tea Trails are encouraged to visit the research station located next to Dunkeld tea factory and learn about these fascinating, elusive, threatened cats, their habits and the conservation efforts Resplendent Ceylon are supporting – including the development of a protected area to minimise human-leopard conflict. Visitors have the opportunity to accompany one of the resident naturalists to learn about over 19 individual leopard species that have been spotted on the Dunkeld Ridge at the Leopard Research Station and to assist with research in ways such as collecting droppings and recording pug marks on walks.
PORTUGAL | BIRDING AT BARROCAL
This winter the recently restored 19th century farmhouse hotel, São Lourenço do Barrocal, unveiled a new three-night ‘Wildlife Wonders of the Alentejo’ programme for guests, which celebrates their local avian friends. A landscape of ancient cork trees, olive groves and wildflowers, this 780-hectare historic family estate is a haven for wildlife this Springtime.
The new birding tour with resident ornithologist, Nuno Guégués, will take guests on a three hour tour through the estate, the surrounding ‘montado’ landscape and the vast Alqueva lake, spotting resident birdlife including the bustard (currently an endangered species) as well as cranes, azure-winged magpies, lapwings, goldfinches and Hoopoes. Guests can also spot various species of bird that come and go with the seasons, migrating through from Northern Europe and North Africa.
ECUADOR | DISCOVERY AT MASHPI LODGE
Travelling over to South America, the luxurious eco-resort Mashpi Lodge continues to stand at the forefront sustainability and environmental discovery in the Andean Choco region, with its recently expanded 2,500HA reserve protecting local flora and fauna from threats of deforestation. We are very excited to share that, during the Mashpi experts’ many sifts through the forest, a new species of Orchid has been discovered, hooray! The exquisite flower has been named Lepanthes Mashpica after its home, and we could not be prouder of the team for their dedication to their protection and ever expanding knowledge of the forest. Mashpi has discovered more than one new species over the years, including the Magnolia Mashpi tree and the teeny tiny Mashpi Torrenteer, a luminous nocturnal tree frog. Whilst at this gorgeous, glass-fronted hotel, you’ll be led by a team of expert Naturalist guides whose knowledge and passion for the cloud forest really is infectious.