A look back at 2016

Amazing muriqui monkey discovered in new hideout

Credit: Daniel Ferraz

The year started on a high when a new group of one of the world’s most threatened primates was discovered in Brazil’s Caparaó National Park. A group comprising of at least 50 individuals was counted making it fantastic news for northern muriqui conservation.

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Future of Myanmar’s largest lake secured thanks to new Ramsar Site designation

Credit: Bjorn Olesen/FFI

In February, we were delighted when Myanmar’s Lake Indawgyi was designated as a Wetland of International Importance. The lake is home to a great diversity of water birds, fish and reptiles as well supporting the livelihood of about 30,000 people.

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First genetic study of Eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles

Credit: Oswaldo Rivas

In March, a scientific study revealed novel genetic differences between hawksbill turtles in the Eastern Pacific. This remarkable discovery suggests that the conservation management of Eastern Pacific hawksbills should be re-evaluated.

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New species of evergreen tree for India

Western Ghats

Exciting news announced in April, when a Conservation Leadership Programme team discovered a previously undescribed species of evergreen tree in The Western Ghats, which is one of India’s most iconic landscapes.

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Sir David Attenborough opens global hub for nature conservation

Sir David

April also saw FFI’s Vice President, Sir David Attenborough, abseiling down the 15 metre high living wall in the central atrium to officially open a new global conservation hub in Cambridge. Appropriately named the David Attenborough Building, it is the largest grouping of nature conservation organisations (including FFI) and university researchers in the world.

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New Species Fund will change fortunes of world’s most endangered wildlife

Credit: Le Khac Quyet/FFI

There was cause for celebration in May, when we established a Species Fund that aims to restore key populations of highly threatened species to viable levels over the next two decades. The fund has already begun supporting our conservation work with hawksbill turtles, Siamese crocodiles and Saint Lucia racers.

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Cambodia’s first large-scale marine protected area declared for Koh Rong Archipelago

Credit: Paul Colley

In June, after more than five years of tireless work, Cambodia reached an exciting landmark for marine conservation in the shape of a signed proclamation declaring a 405km2 Marine Fisheries Management Area.

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Captivating Caribbean island to be given a new lease of life

Credit: Jenny Daltry/FFI

July saw the announcement of plans to restore the Caribbean island of Redonda to its former glory. By removing invasive black rats and goats from the island it is expected that the island will become forested and support the survival of rare native species once again.

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Fauna & Flora International scientists discover the world’s second largest Delacour’s langur population

Credit: Nguyen Van Truong

In August, we were ecstatic to discover the world’s second largest population of the Critically Endangered Delacour’s langur primate. The striking primate is indigenous to Vietnam but sadly is under severe threat of extinction due to human activities. This discovery has given scientists renewed hope that they can be saved.

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UK Government announces plans to ban plastic microbeads


More good news in September when the UK Government formally announced plans to ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

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Grauer’s gorillas face high risk of extinction

Grauer's gorilla

The world’s largest primate, the Grauer’s gorilla, was re-categorised as Critically Endangered following the submission of a scientific report. The report revealed a shocking 77% decline in Grauer’s gorillas over the course of just one generation.

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Scotland’s Environment Secretary announces new Fair Isle marine protected area

Fair Isle. Credit: Tommy H Hyndman

After decades of community campaigning, October saw the designation of the Fair Isle Demonstration & Research Marine Protected Area – the first of its kind in Scotland. Fair Isle records a greater diversity of bird species per unit area than anywhere else in Britain and Ireland and this new marine protected area will help protect the island’s sea bird population.

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Can drone technology save the Sumatran elephant?

Credit: FFI Aceh

November saw our team in Aceh, Indonesia, acquire two quadcopter drones to help reduce incidents of conflict between humans and wild elephants. The drones will enable the team to respond quickly when elephants are approaching community farms to minimise potential conflicts.

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First ever footage of rare wild turkey provides early Christmas present

A camera trap survey provided an exciting Christmas present in December in the guise of the first ever video of a rare, wild turkey from Indonesia. This elusive turkey has evaded photographers and filmmakers throughout the latter part of the 20th century and was only photographed in the wild for the first time in 2007.

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