SAVE THE DATE – November 22nd 2013 – New York City



The Last Elephants In Thailand

At the turn of the 20th Century, there were 100,000 elephants in Thailand. Today there are less than 4,000. Where are they going? Who is working to save them and what can you do to help? This film visits the world’s first elephant hospital and meets leading experts to discover why the country’s most revered species is fast disappearing.

Producers: Dr. Donald Tayloe & Michele Mizner
40 minutes
* New York City Premiere at The Third Annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
** Award Winner for Best Human & Nature Category

Third Annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival


Join WCFF for an Opening Night Reception & Fundraiser!


Please join WCFF for an Opening Night Reception & Fundraiser!

October is a busy month for environmentalists in San Francisco

The last few weeks have been eventful and I think I only made it to half the activities I was invited to.  Following the 2012 Wildlife Conservation Network Expo I attended the 7th Annual Amazon Watch Luncheon and another monthly meeting with Bay Area Tropical Forest Network.  Upon meeting new friends at these two events I was introduced to a weekend long National Bioneers Conference that ended with an afterparty set in the beautiful redwoods of West Marin.

Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch speaking at the Luncheon.

Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch speaking at the Luncheon.

PARE BELOMONTE – indigenous people freeing the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil.

Tupak and other indigenous Amazonian guests speak about their dependent livelihoods within and around the rivers of the Amazon.

Board members share their personal stories and experiences in the Amazon.

Board members share their personal stories and experiences in the Amazon.

Nina Gualinga and myself at the 7th Annual Amazon Watch Luncheon October 15th, 2012.

The earrings are made by the women from Sarayaku, Ecuador. It´s made of guacamaya azul bird feathers.  The people eat the birds and make earings with the feathers so no part of the animal goes to waste.

Nina selling jewelry from Ecuador at the Amazon Watch Luncheon.

Tupak and I discussing REDD-plus.

The Amazon provides countless medicines and herbs. This natural analgesic sample was given to guests, grown and harvested by sustainable communities of the Peruvian Amazon jungle.

Following the Amazon Watch Luncheon I took off to the University of California, Berkeley to attend a monthly Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) meeting.

The University of California, Berkeley

There is an Oxford in every town.

Ultimate frisbee

University life=ultimate frisbee @Memorial Glade

CAL classes taken outside at Memorial Glade during lovely October East Bay weather.

Sather Tower, known to most as the Campanile, is perhaps UC Berkeley’s most famous symbol. Visible for miles, it stands 307 feet tall and is the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. The observation platform, located 200 feet up, provides visitors with a spectacular view of the entire Bay Area and of the campus. It is reachable via the combination of an elevator and stairs. The Campanile was completed in 1914.

Dr. Bayu Wirayudha, founder and CEO of Friends of The National Parks Foundations speaks about his work in Indonesia at the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) October meeting.

Meetings are held in various locations in the Bay Area with new speakers, snacks and refreshments! The public is encouraged to attend.

Two days later Bayu received the 2012 Rainforest Award in San Francisco for his “lifelong commitment to deep activism, species and forest conservation as well as groundbreaking community development projects

The Award was given by the international conservation organization Rainforest Action Network (RAN).

The award was presented at RAN’s annual gala awards ceremony, REVEL: The Art of Activism, on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 in San Francisco.

As an honoree, Bayu joined a rich history of previous awardees that includes Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Maria Gunnoe, Vandana Shiva, Indigenous activists from around the world and many more. Each of these luminaries, have been leaders in protecting the worlds remaining rainforests, breaking North America’s addiction to fossil fuels, stemming the climate crisis and safeguarding human rights.

RAN stated that their organization has “been deeply impressed by your work as Founder and Director of Friends of the National Parks Foundation and believe that this is your time to receive our prestigious award.

Bayu accepted the award with thanked his team in FNPF for their dedication, commitment and hard work, most especially Basuki Budi Santoso, FNPF’s manager in Kalimantan.

Read more about RAN and see photos / video of the event below.

RAN website

REVEL: the Art of Activism – the award giving ceremony in San Francisco

And finally the weekend was wrapped up by the 2012 Bioneers Conference at the Marin Center in San Rafael October 19-21st.  The acclaimed annual National Bioneers Conference is a pre-eminent leading-edge knowledge forum where brilliant social and scientific innovators illuminate breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. As a network of networks, Bioneers connects people with solutions and each other in an inspiring celebration of the applied genius of nature and human ingenuity.

I finished the weekend with a bang assisting my friend Matteo as a bartender at the Bioneers afterparty at Soltice Grove in West Marin.  Definitely a couple weeks to remember and many new friends!  I am happy and grateful to be welcomed into such an extraordinary community of environmentalists in the Bay Area.

Matthew (MATE-O) Sluder serving Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate and his own brand Lifted Spirits concoction cocktails.

Drink to your health!

The Premiere Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Film Festival Educating the Public

The third annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival will be held Thursday, November 8, 2012 to Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Tribeca Grand Hotel & Theater in New York City. The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) screens some of the finest conservation, natural history and wildlife documentary films in the world. The New York City festival will highlight causes and themes pertinent to the wider public including the ivory trade, homeless captive tigers in America, human-wildlife conflict issues, and the disappearance of Asian elephants, and many more.

Featured films at this year’s event include In the Eye of the Whale, produced by Kate MillerLast Elephants in Thailand, produced by Dr. Donald Tayloe and Michele MiznerWhite Shark Café, produced and directed by Sean AronsonDay of the Tiger, produced by Stan WatermanAmazon Alive-Part 1: Jungle of the Mind, produced and directed by Christian BaumeisterCotton Tops, produced by Frederico Pardo; and Koala Hospital, produced by Susan Kelly. There will also be a special feature presentation, Blood Ivory by National Geographic Investigative Reporter, Bryan Christy.

To kick off the New York festival, there will be an opening night reception fundraiser to benefit Big Life Foundation and Trust For Wildlife on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at I Tre Merli in Soho, New York. This intimate gathering will feature prestigious animal experts, surprise guests and an exclusive art auction with pieces by Nick BrandtCharlie HewittArmanAndrea BelagKate CareySteven Gross,James DicksonIsack KousnskyCyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson, among others.

On Saturday, November 10, 2012, at 8:30 pm, there will be an Awards Ceremony and Panel Discussion featuring prominent guests including Bob Simon (CBS Evening News ’60 Minutes’)Dr. Mike Cranfield (Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project), Janet Hess (Series Producer – ‘NATURE’), Dr. William Karesh (Vice President EcoHealth Alliance, President OIE Working Group on Wildlife Diseases, Co-Chair IUCN Species Survival Commission), Wendie Wendt (Executive Director Big Life Foundation), Kelvin Alie (International Fund for Animal Welfare – IFAW) and Bryan Christy (Investigative Reporter – National Geographic).

For a schedule of films and to purchase tickets click here

Blood Ivory: 25,000 Elephants Killed this Year

Thousands of elephants die each years so that their tusks can be carved into religious objects. Can the slaughter be stopped?

Bryan Christy, author of “Blood Ivory: 25,000 Elephants Killed this Year” on the front cover of the October 2012 edition of National Geographic will be speaking at the 3rd Annual New york Wildlife Conservation Film Festival on Saturday, November 10.

Full National Geographic Article

Ivory Worship © Photograph by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

© Photograph by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

To keep the ivory from the black market, a plainclothes ranger hacks the tusks off a bull elephant killed illegally in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. In the first half of this year six park rangers died protecting Kenya’s elephants; meanwhile, rangers killed 23 poachers.

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 (

I worked at the Small Cat Conservation Alliance ( 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 (

Dr. James Sanderson with a flat-headed cat (

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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