2012 Wildlife Conservation Network Expo

Saturday October 13th I volunteered at the 2012 Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Expo at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California.  Twenty of the world’s most committed wildlife conservationists shared their experiences saving the world’s most endangered animals.  We heard first-hand stories of pioneering conservation science and working with communities in the remotest places on Earth.  There were also over 30 environmental exhibits at the conference center for guests to check out between lectures.

Malaysian Rainforest Giant Thorny Phasmid (Heteropteryx dilatata) – Insect Discovery Lab (savenature.org).

I worked at the Small Cat Conservation Alliance (www.smallcats.org) table for the first half of the day assisting world-renowned small cat conservationist and scientist Dr. James Sanderson. Jim focuses on the most endangered small cats in the world.  He holds five degrees, two of which are in mathematics as his career developed later to focus on feline conservation.  One of his PhD’s is in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida where he studied the Chilean guigna cat (Leopardus guigna) or kodkod, the smallest cat of the Americas.  Based in New Mexico he works all over the world including South America, Nepal and Indonesia working closely with local students and conservationists.

Small Cat Conservation Alliance team (myself, Jim and Patty)

An interview with Dr. James Sanderson – Rhett A. Butler

Dr. James Sanderson with a live Andean cat in Bolivia. Photo by Lillian Villalba (news.mongabay.com).

Dr. James Sanderson with a flat-headed cat (http://www.felineconservation.org).

Dr. Sanderson encourages that everyone can help endangered small cats by simply not eating Thailand shrimp and products with palm oil that dry out and/or completely destroy habitat for small wild cats.

Dr. James Sanderson – Small Cat Conservation Alliance

Below is a slideshow of photos that gives you a glimpse of the day’s activities. I was completely overstimulated and walked away from the event delighted! At a much needed time in my career I felt recharged to continue my contribution to conservation and science. There were many great scientists, leaders, mentors and conservation heroes at the expo and I am glad I could be a part of it. Thank you WCN!

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