Borneo Likely Home to Thousands of Undiscovered Species



Borneo Likely Home to Thousands of Undiscovered Species
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Borneo Likely Home to
Thousands of Undiscovered Species
© WWF-Canon/Alain Compost
Scientists believe thousands of plant
and animal species—including large
mammals—have yet to be discovered
on the Southeast Asian island of
Borneo, according to a new report by
WWF. Many of these unknown species
will probably be found in the island’s 54million-acre inner region, where some
In 2000, scientists discovered that
Borneo’s orangutan population is a separate species from other orangutans.
of the most pristine forests left on the
island are still relatively inaccessible.
In the past decade, at least 361 new
species have been discovered in
Borneo, which is split between the
countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and
Brunei. In 2003, WWF and other scientists discovered that Borneo’s pygmy
elephants are genetically distinct from
other Asian elephants and are likely a
new subspecies. And, in 2000, scientists
found that Borneo’s orangutan population is a separate species from other
“Borneo is undoubtedly one of the
most important centers of biodiversity
in the world,” said Tom Dillon, director
of Species Conservation at WWF.
Unfortunately, large areas of Borneo’s
forest are being rapidly
cleared and replaced with
A WWF project aims
tree plantations for rubber,
to save orangutans
palm oil, and timber producin the Heart of
tion. According to the WWF
Borneo. Page 3
report, illegal trade in exotic animals is also on the rise,
as logging roads and cleared forest open
WWF is undertaking an ambitious initiative to protect Borneo’s forests, which are
access to more remote areas.
being cleared and replaced with tree plantations for rubber, palm oil, and timber
© WWF-Canon/Alain Compost
The Ultimate Catch
WWF recently contributed $3.3 million to
secure the long-term financial sustainability for
a system of protected areas being established
by the Brazilian government in the Amazon.
The contribution, which will be matched by
the Global Environment Facility, is the latest
installment toward achieving the Amazon
Regional Protected Areas initiative—a 190,000
square-mile network of protected areas and
sustainable use reserves. The network will
span an area one and a half times larger than
Scarlet macaw
the entire U.S. National Parks system.
Troubling deforestation persists in the Amazon,” said Denise Hamu, CEO of
WWF-Brazil. “But this broad-based Amazon initiative with strong and committed partners shows that effective solutions can be found and implemented.
WWF also announced that it will raise an additional $6.7 million by June
2007 to further protect this important place.
Fishermen in northern Thailand netted a 646-pound Mekong giant catfish
believed to be the largest freshwater
fish ever found. The nearly 9-foot-long
catfish was caught in June by villagers in
a remote area along the Mekong River
and is the heaviest recorded since Thai
officials started keeping statistics in
1981, according to a WWF researcher.
“It’s amazing to think
that giants like this still
swim in some of the
world’s rivers,” said
Steven Morello
WWF Donates $3.3 Million to Protect the Amazon
Dr. Zeb Hogan, a WWF Conservation
Science fellow and leader of a new WWF
and National Geographic Society project
to identify and study all freshwater fish
over 6 feet long or 200 pounds. “We’ve
now confirmed that this catfish is the current record holder—an astonishing find.”
Local environmentalists and government officials negotiated the release of
the record-breaking fish so it could continue its spawning migration in the far
north of Thailand, near the borders of
Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and China—
also known as the Golden Triangle. But
the fish, an adult male, later died.
The Mekong giant catfish is Southeast
Asia’s largest and rarest fish; the populaCONTINUED ON PAGE 6 ➤
South China Sea
© Jerome Mallafet
Disney announced in June that it will remove shark fin soup from its menu
at Disneyland Hong Kong, which is scheduled to open later this year.
“Many shark populations are under attack by man. Despite their fierce reputation, sharks are preyed upon by humans for their meat, teeth, and as the
ultimate fishing trophy,” said Ginette Hemley, WWF’s vice president for
species conservation. “We applaud Disney for making the right decision to
remove shark fin from its menu and showing that it is committed to conservation and responsible consumption.”
WWF has an ongoing partnership with
Disney’s Animal Kingdom to enhance biodiversity education and address sustainable consumption with leaders in education and industry. Disney’s decision reflects its commitment
to ocean conservation and to working with the
conservation community to protect marine
Great white shark biodiversity.
Andaman Sea
Gulf of
© WWF/Suthep Kritsanavarin
Disney to Drop Shark Fin Soup from Menu
Local fishermen in northern Thailand caught a 646-pound giant Mekong catfish, the
heaviest recorded since officials started keeping records in 1981. A WWF researcher
documented the catch as part of a new project to study large freshwater fish.
Lu Zhi
Conservation Firsthand
Protect America’s Wild Forests
Carter S. Roberts
President:...............................Carter S. Roberts
World Wildlife Fund is the leading U.S. organization working worldwide to preserve the
abundance and diversity of life on Earth. WWF
is affiliated with the international WWF Network,
which has representatives in more than 50
countries and an international office in Gland,
Switzerland. All contributions are tax-deductible.
Contributors:...............................Sarah Janicke
..............................John Morrison
...............................Debra Prybyla
............................Patricia Sullivan
....................................Paul Volpe
Copy Editor:...................................Alice Taylor
Proofreader:.................................Ruth Franklin
Photo Research: .............................Jill Hatzai
Production:...............................Lee Freedman
Member Services: ..................(202) 778-9599
..................(800) 960-0993
Email: [email protected]
Explore the fascinating island of
Borneo at and
discover the natural wonders of one of
Rhinoceros hornbill
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Published bimonthly
Editor:........................................Jennifer Seeger
Unless otherwise noted, all material appearing in
FOCUS is copyrighted and may be reproduced
with permission.
Volume 27, Number 5 (ISSN 0774-3315)
FOCUS is published bimonthly by World
Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20037. Annual membership
dues are $15.00. Nonprofit postage paid at
Washington, DC and additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
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Services, 1250 24th Street, NW, Washington,
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the most important centers of biodiversity in the world. WWF plays an active
role in the protection of Borneo’s threatened forests and diverse wildlife.
Through our new Heart of Borneo initiative, a huge transboundary project, we
aim to save the last remaining place in
Southeast Asia where we can still conserve forests on a large scale. Our efforts
will benefit the Borneo orangutan and
the pygmy elephant, in addition to the
361 new species that have been discovered on Borneo in the past decade.
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
Orangutans are the largest tree-climbing mammals and the only
great apes found in Asia. They have a characteristic ape-like shape,
shaggy reddish fur, and grasping hands and feet, with long arms that
may grow to more than six feet in length.
The lowland forest habitats of this red “man of the forest” are fast
disappearing due to logging and deliberate burning to make way for
agriculture and oil palm plantations. WWF and our partners
are working to make sure these unique great apes are conserved in well-managed, secure protected areas, and in
wider forest landscapes connected by corridors, before they
face extinction in the wild.
Habitat: Orangutans are found only in the lowland forests
of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia.
Diet: Fruit makes up 60 percent of the orangutan’s diet.
Threats: In addition to habitat destruction and
fragmentation, wildlife trade threatens the
orangutan’s long-term survival.
Interesting Fact: Adult males are distinguished
by their large size (five feet long and up to 200
pounds), throat pouch, and cheek pads on either side of the face.
To learn more about orangutans, visit
© WWF-Canon/Alain Compost
“As a birder,
I found paradise
on the Bering
Sea’s Pribilof
vulnerable to disease. The Forest
Service estimates that without the
2001 rule, Americans could lose as
many as 6 million acres of roadless
forestland over the next 20 years.
The American
public has known
its strong support
for roadless areas.
The vast majority
of the 4.2 million
comments the
Forest Service received during its
2004 comment
period on the rule
called for a strong
protection plan.
Take action to
save America’s
roadless areas!
Visit WWF’s free Conservation Action
at and urge Congress to
pass the National Forest Roadless
Area Conservation Act. Do more by
calling your congressional representatives via the capitol switchboard
at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to
keep logging and energy development out of our nation’s roadless
© WWF/Fritz Pölking
ne of the privileges of being president of
WWF is being able to travel to many of the
places where our investments in conservation
are making such a big difference. In June, I visited Alaska’s Bering Sea, where WWF is working on a number of conservation projects.
On these kind of trips, I try to steal a few hours to pursue a particular passion of mine—birding. As a birder, I found paradise on the
Bering Sea’s Pribilof Islands. Naturalists often call the islands the
“Galapágos of the North,” a fitting description for this biological wonder.
Millions of puffins, murres, fulmars, and kittiwakes blanket the precipitous cliffs of the Bering. Arctic foxes and fur seals, Pacific walruses and
Steller’s sea lions all touch this place that embodies the ultimate convergence of the marine and terrestrial worlds.
The islands face major conservation challenges that have caused
dramatic drops in populations of animals like the fur seal and the redlegged kittiwake. Yet scientists can’t quite pinpoint what’s causing the
declines. Recent studies suggest that years of intense exploitation and
a changing climate are likely the main culprits.
One thing is clear: partnership is critical to success in the Pribilofs and
throughout the Bering Sea. WWF, The Nature Conservancy, fishermen,
scientists, and indigenous communities have come together to analyze
population declines and develop
conservation solutions that benefit
wildlife and the people that depend
on wildlife for survival. We’re committed to protecting this arctic treasure for this and future generations.
To be part of all of this—the
extraordinary wilderness world of
the Bering Sea, the stark beauty of
the Pribilof Islands—was a rare privilege. The experience also reinforced for me the importance of what we
do and the value of WWF’s travel program. As a WWF member, you have
the same opportunity to witness wildlife and our conservation projects
firsthand. WWF-led trips are more than simply vacation tours through
Earth’s most beautiful sanctuaries; they are rare opportunities to witness
conservation work at a profound and personal level.
I came back from this trip to the Bering Sea with two new birds on
my North American life list: the red-legged kittiwake and the Steller’s
eider—a fast flying, spectacular duck that breeds along the arctic
coasts. Unfortunately, I never caught a glimpse of its endangered relative, the spectacled eider, whose entire population overwinters in a few
small holes in the disappearing sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. All the
more reason to return to see this beautiful bird and to act to conserve
the habitat on which it depends.
America’s wild forests face a serious threat: The Bush administration
has thrown out a 2001 rule which
protected America’s 58.5 million
acres of national forest roadless
areas, substituting it with a plan
that will likely
result in millions
of pristine acres
being opened up
to energy development and logging.
You can help
protect these valuable natural areas
by urging your
in Congress to
support bipartisan
legislation that
would make the 2001 rule a law.
Roadless areas in our national
forests provide refuge for wildlife,
habitat for plant life, and protection
for freshwater supplies for local communities. Sadly, more than twothirds of the national forest system is
crisscrossed by 380,000 miles of
roads (enough to circle the planet
more than 16 times). These roads
break up habitat, erode soil, and fragment stands of timber, leaving them
© WWF-Canon/Alain Compost
Sam Kittner
ood news for sea turtles: Preliminary results from a testing of specially designed fishing hooks indicate a
90 percent reduction in the number of
sea turtles accidentally killed in longline fishing operations.
Bycatch—the incidental and often
fatal catch of nontarget species-in traditional long—line fishing
operations is a major factor
in the drastic decline of loggerhead and giant leatherback turtles.
The year-long study, involving 115
fishing vessels in Ecuador’s tuna and
mahi-mahi fisheries, found bycatch was
dramatically reduced when the boats
replaced their traditional J-shaped hooks
with specially designed circle hooks.
“This is a win-win situation,” said
Moises Mug, fisheries coordinator for
WWF’s Latin America and Caribbean
© WWF-Canon/Michel Gunther
Loggerhead turtle
Brian Day
Travel Log from Antarctica
Members Experience Abundant
Wildlife on Adventure to Icy Continent
In late December, I accompanied 24
WWF members aboard the M.S.
Endeavor to Antarctica for an adventure offered by WWF’s Membership
Travel program. We spent more than a
week exploring the South Shetlands,
the edge of the Weddell Sea, and the
Endeavor, on zodiacs (motorized inflatable boats), in kayaks, and on foot.
Despite harsh conditions, wildlife was
abundant. The basis of all of this life
could sometimes be seen swimming
alongside our zodiacs—krill. Antarctic
krill is one of a number of small crustaceans that resemble tiny, two-inch
shrimp. While it may sound fanciful to
say that a small crustacean sustains
thousands of whales and millions of seals
and penguins, it can be explained by the
sheer volume of these small animals—
estimates range from 50 to 500 million
tons of krill around the Antarctic!
When it comes to Antarctic wildlife,
however, the stars of the continent are
the penguins. In addition to the
Magellanic penguins that we saw in the
Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego en
route from Argentina, our group was
enchanted by gentoo, chinstrap, adelie,
and macaroni penguins. People usually
associate penguins with the Antarctic,
but in fact most penguin species breed
on sub-Antarctic islands. Only emperor
and adelie penguins are truly Antarctic
in character. Their abundant charisma—
even when standing still—is matched
only by their workmanlike activities
during the brief but intense nesting season. We spent hours mesmerized by
their comings and goings, nest building,
feeding, and interactions in the breeding colonies (some of which held
upwards of 25,000 pairs!).
Almost everywhere we went, we
Learn more about WWF’s efforts to
save endangered sea turtles:
Species Threatened by Deforestation
future economic opportunities such as
tourism, and deplete subsistence
resources for local communities,” said
Chris Elliott, director of WWF’s Global
Forest program.
All this is more than enough reason for
organizations like WWF to get involved.
WWF travelers enjoyed watching
Antarctica’s charismatic penguins.
observed seabirds. Around the peninsula we could see Cape (or pintado)
petrels, southern giant petrels, and delicate snow petrels. Across the Drake
Passage, these species were joined by
albatrosses. In addition to the distinctive grey-headed and black browed
albatrosses, we were treated to fantastic looks at wandering and royal albatrosses, with wingspans of 11 feet.
They are superb flyers, effortlessly
negotiating strong winds and seas without seeming to move a wing. To see
them at ease in this harsh environment
is truly humbling.
During the return crossing to Tierra
del Fuego, the passengers awaited the
announcement that the water temperature had risen abruptly, indicating that
we had crossed back over the Antarctic
convergence, where the cold waters of
the Antarctic meet the warmer waters
of the sub-Antarctic. This is an important physical and ecological marker of
what is truly Antarctic. When we finally eased back to the dock, I realized
that I had succumbed to something I
had been warned about—Antarctic
Fever. I was clearly suffering from this
condition, which has inevitable consequences: I’ll be back!
Turn to page 4 to learn more about
WWF’s member travel adventures.
Dr. Eric Dinerstein, WWF chief scientist
n accidental encounter with a little green heron on an Illinois
farm led film student Eric Dinerstein
to change paths and embark on a
lifelong career in conservation. In
his latest book, Tigerland and
Other Unintended
Destinations, WWF’s
chief scientist takes
readers on his unlikely
journey to the front lines
of conservation—from
his early research in the
jungles of Nepal to more
recent expeditions to
the Galápagos Islands
and the prairies of the
Northern Great Plains.
We are there as he is
swept downstream on
an elephant’s back, turns a fear of
bats into a scientific obsession, and
tracks snow leopards in the mountains of Kashmir. Along the way, we
© WWF-Canon/Peter Hofland
he rust-colored orangutan flatly
refuses to come down from his nest
high up in the trees. He’s been sitting up
there for more than an hour, eating fruit
and barely paying attention to his many
adoring fans on the ground below. This
particular Borneo orangutan is used to
visitors at his home in the recently protected Sebangau National Park, located
in the Indonesian part of the island of
Borneo. His movements are also being
watched meticulously by researchers,
who are studying this ape species to see
what effect the rapid destruction of
forest habitat is having on orangutan
“The region is sick but not dead yet,”
said Miriam van Gool of WWFNetherlands, who is involved with the
orangutan project in Sebangau.
“Sebangau and the neighboring region of
Mawas have extremely important peat
bog forests and orangutan populations.
A great deal of them can still be saved.”
There are about 10,000 orangutans
living between Sebangau and Mawas,
about one-fifth of the world’s orangutan
population. Thanks to the work of van
Gool and others, Sebangau was declared
a national park last October in a last
ditch effort to save the forests and their
Indonesia’s current deforestation rate
of more than 5,000 square miles per
year—an area slightly larger than the
state of Connecticut—is likely to rise
due to pressure from the growing population and the demands of international
“This scale of deforestation will not
only result in a major loss of species, but
will also disrupt water supplies, reduce
© WWF-Fritz Pölking
Year-Long Study Reveals
90 Percent Decline in Deaths
program. “We were looking for a way to
save the turtles without putting the
fishermen out of business. The preliminary results indicate that we’ve found
it. Circle hooks seem to be an effective
new tool in our efforts to address this
urgent conservation problem.”
More good news: Tuna catch rates
were almost identical regardless of
whether fishermen used circle hooks or
J hooks. The catch rate in the mahimahi fishery, however, was lower with
circle hooks; researchers said further
refinement of fishing gear and better
training of fishermen may close the gap.
“This test achieved a 90 percent
decline in mortality through two channels,” said Kim Davis, deputy director of
WWF’s Marine program. “First, fewer
turtles were hooked because the circle
hook’s rounded shape is less likely than
the J hook to be swallowed by turtles.
Second, of those turtles who were
hooked, more survived—the hookings
generally were in the mouth area, which
increased the chance of the turtle being
released without serious injury. In contrast, the J hook is far more damaging.”
The research was developed in cooperation with the Inter-American Tropical
Tuna Commission, governments, industry, fishers unions and cooperatives, and
environmental groups. Fishermen attended training workshops and onboard
monitors helped collect the data.
The tests are being expanded to
involve fishing fleets from 10 other
Pacific Ocean nations with support
from WWF and our partners.
John Morrison
WWF’s Heart of Borneo initiative aims
to protect orangutans from deforestation.
Through the newly created Heart of
Borneo initiative, WWF aims to conserve
one of the rain forests through a network
of protected areas and sustainably-managed forests (see page 1).
“By acting now, we can ensure that
the Heart of Borneo remains a haven for
both well known and newly discovered
species,” said Dr. Mubariq Ahmad, executive director of WWF-Indonesia.
meet a cast of inspiring conservationists who have dedicated their
lives to protecting the world’s
species. Throughout these adventures, Dinerstein weaves the theme
that “a single individual can make a
difference in this world
if he or she embraces
the cause of safeguarding the future of the
planet’s millions of
species so dependent
on us for survival.”
Dinerstein is the
coauthor of the Global
200 Ecoregions, WWF’s
widely used blueprint
for identifying and protecting the most representative and biologically important regions on Earth.
Tigerland and Other Unintended
Destinations, published by Island
Press, is available at
ave you always wanted to witness the great migrations of East
Africa?…explore the underwater realm of rainbow-colored fish
and corals while snorkeling in Belize’s warm waters?…or travel on a
classic Amazon riverboat through the rich rain forests of Peru?
© WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey
© WWF-Canon/Michel Gunther
These are just a few of the WWF adventures that await you in 2006!
Choose from one of our many wildlife expeditions, including some
brand new destinations, like Vietnam or Baffin Island. On all of our
trips, expert naturalists enhance your understanding of conservation
issues and the natural history of the region. Plus, you will be traveling with a small group of individuals who share your interest in
wildlife and conservation.
Join us in 2006 for a wildlife adventure of a lifetime! And remember,
by traveling with WWF you are supporting our conservation work
around the world.
TRAVEL with WWF in 2006 for a richly rewarding experience of nature’s showcase.
© WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey
NEW! Snorkeling Belize’s
Mesoamerican Reef
January 7-14, aboard the 90-passenger Le
Levant; from $4,390
Amazon Riverboat Journey
March 31-April 9, aboard the
30-passenger La Amatista; $3,838,
including airfare from Miami
NEW! New Zealand’s
North & South Islands
January 8-23, aboard the 110-passenger
Clipper Odyssey; from $7,390
Big Bend National Park
April 23-May 1; $3,295
Lee Poston/WWF
Panama: Land Between the Oceans
January 10-18; $4,250, including airfare
from Miami
NEW! Ultimate Galápagos
April 23-May 3, aboard the 40-passenger
Isabela II; $5,980
NEW! Hidden Kingdom of Bhutan
April 24-May 9; $5,895
Coastal Southeast Alaska
July 30-August 7, aboard the 70passenger Sea Lion/Sea Bird; from $3,940
NEW! From Bali to Borneo:
Wildlife of the East Indies
July 28-August 12; $6,150
NEW! Spitsbergen: Arctic Circle
to the Norwegian Fjords
August 17-30, aboard the 110-passenger
Clipper Adventurer; from $6,170
NEW! Snorkeling Fiji & Tonga
August 22-September 4; $6,895
Baja: Among the Great Whales
January 14-21, aboard the 70-passenger
Sea Bird; from $3,490
China’s Pandas & the Yangtze River
May 6-23; $6,898, including airfare from
San Francisco
NEW! Antarctica & the Ross Sea
January 18-February 15, aboard the
120-passenger Kapitan Khlebnikov;
from $21,595
NEW! Wild Britain:
England, Ireland, & Scotland
June 8-22, aboard the 110-passenger
Clipper Adventurer; from $7,980
Patagonia: Torres del Paine
to Tierra del Fuego
January 20-February 2, aboard the 120passenger Mare Australis; from $5,995
Pantanal: Brazil’s Great Savannah
June 17-25; $3,795, including airfare
from Miami
NEW! Vietnam, Cambodia, & Laos
September 16-October 2, aboard the
110-passenger Clipper Odyssey; from $7,980
NEW! Alaska’s Wild Coast:
A Bering Sea Adventure
July 3-16, aboard the 110-passenger
Clipper Odyssey; from $7,980
Uganda: In Search of Mountain Gorillas
September 20-30; $5,995
Ultimate Africa by Air:
Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana,
Zambia, & South Africa
February 7-24; $19,850
© WWF-Canon/William W. Rossiter
Mexico’s Monarch Butterflies
January-March, multiple departures; $2,495
NEW! The Best of Kenya & Tanzania
February 17-March 3; $5,495
Indian Ocean Safari:
Reunion to Zanzibar
February 17-March 5, aboard the 56passenger Le Ponant; $9,980
Tanzania Migration Safari
February 20-March 4; $5,125
Costa Rica by Land
March 25-April 2; $3,595
July 6-16; $5,698, including airfare from
New York
NEW! Greenland, Labrador,
& Baffin Island: Sondre Stromfjord
to Frobisher Bay
July 14-27, aboard the 110-passenger
Clipper Adventurer; from $6,980
NEW! Baffin Island to Greenland:
Frobisher Bay to Sondre Stromfjord
July 25-August 5, aboard the 110passenger Clipper Adventurer; from $5,980
PLEASE NOTE: Prices are per person, based on double occupancy
and subject to change. They do not include airfare to and from the
destination unless otherwise noted. Brochures will be mailed as they
become available, usually 6 to 8 months before the departure date.
NEW! Wild Siberia & Lake Baikal:
Moscow to Vladivostok
September dates TBD; $6,995
Southern Tanzania:
Serengeti & the Selous
September 9-22; $7,250
Polar Bear Watch
October-November, multiple departures;
from $3,295
Amazon Riverboat Journey
November 3-12, aboard the 30-passenger
La Amatista; $3,838, including airfare
from Miami
NEW! South Africa & Swaziland
November 26-December 6, with
extension to Mozambique; $7,995
NEW! Heart of Africa:
Central Africa, Gabon, & Principe
November/December dates TBD;
from $14,995
NEW! Bonaire Holiday
Snorkeling Safari
December 30 2006-January 5 2007;
© WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey
© WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey
© WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen
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Caught In Nets: Dolphins and
Porpoises Need Immediate Help
Business has an important role to play in achieving spetacular conservation
result. The following companies support World Wildlife Fund by raising
environmental awareness as well as important funds for conservation.
© WWF-Canon/Hannes Strager
A harbor porpoise is stranded after having been caught and drowned by fishing
gear. It is one of nine populations of threatened dolphins and porpoises identified
in a new WWF report that could be saved if the right actions are taken in time.
Although they are severely threatened by bycatch—the incidental capture of nontarget species in fishing
gear—several dolphin and porpoise
populations identified in a new WWF
report might be saved if the right
actions are taken in time. WWF asked
leading marine scientists to assess dolphin and porpoise populations being
depleted by deaths from entanglement
in fishing gear. The resulting recommendations will help governments and
aid agencies target their conservation
investments where they can have the
most impact.
In prioritizing nine action projects,
the scientsts’ task was not to list the
dolphins and porpoises most endangered by bycatch, but to suggest where
to get the most bang for the conservation buck. They spotlighted the species
and populations severely threatened by
bycatch that are most likely to benefit
from immediate action but are currently not receiving enough attention.
Bycatch is one of the greatest global
threats faced by cetaceans. “Almost
1,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises
die every day in nets and fishing gear.
Some species are being pushed to the
brink of extinction, but still have a good
chance of recovering if we act soon,” said
Karen Baragona of WWF’s Species Conservation program. “We developed this
prioritization list to make that possible.”
According to the WWF report, the
identified populations can recover if
changes to fishing methods and other
basic conservation efforts are made.
Most of the species on the list are
threatened by the widespread use of
gill nets set to catch other species.
Because gill nets are difficult for dolphins and porpoises to spot visually or
detect with their sonar, the cetaceans
often become fatally
entangled in the netting or in the ropes
attached to the nets.
“These accidental
deaths can be significantly reduced, often
with very simple, lowcost solutions. The
United States and
several other countries have significantly reduced bycatch in
their waters. Slight
modifications of fishing gear can mean
the difference between life and death for
dolphins and porpoises,” Baragona said.
Reducing bycatch is integral to WWF’s
marine conservation efforts. In April
WWF’s International Smart Gear Competition awarded a prize to a promising
gill net design that uses glowing ropes
and stiffer nets to make gill nets more visible and allow escape if cetaceans do
accidentally swim into them.
Go to
to download Global Priorities for
Reduction of Cetacean Bycatch.
In 2003, researchers estimated that
more than 300,000 cetaceans are killed
in fishing gear each year. The nine priority
action projects recommended in WWF’s
Global Priorities for Reduction of
Cetacean Bycatch can help governments
and aid organizations target their conservation resources to reduce the bycatch of
cetacean populations that still have
strong prospects of recovery.
Species and populations designated by the report are
■ Irrawaddy dolphins, Malampaya
Sound, the Philippines
■ Irrawaddy dolphins, in several rivers
and lakes in Southeast Asia
■ Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins,
south coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania
■ Harbor porpoises, the Black Sea
■ Spinner dolphins and Fraser’s dolphins, the Philippines
■ Atlantic humpback dolphins, northern
Gulf of Guinea, Ghana, and Togo
■ Burmeister’s porpoises, Peru
■ Franciscana dolphins, coasts of
Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil
■ Commerson’s dolphins, Argentina
Thanks to the thousands of WWF members who carry our credit card issued
by Chase, more than $10 million has been raised since 1995 to protect endangered species and habitats. Each time you use your WWF Visa or MasterCard
to make a purchase, WWF receives 1 percent of the sale. And, on July 1 Chase
began contributing $50 for each new WWF account opened and activated
online. Cards feature one of three new endangered species designs—panda,
tiger, or whale. For more information visit
Coinstar®, Inc., with a network of close to 12,000 coin-counting
machines in supermarkets nationwide, is supporting WWF’s
Pennies for the Planet campaign by accepting coin donations at
participating supermarkets. This year the Pennies campaign is
supporting WWF’s efforts to protect big cats such as the Amur
leopard, Sumatran tiger, and snow leopard. During the months of
August and September 2005, individuals donating $15 or more to
WWF through a Coinstar® machine can receive Sundar™, a limited edition WWF
Beanie Baby®, as a thank you gift when they follow the directions on the
Coinstar receipt.
WWF continues to benefit from a wide variety of WWF calendars published
by Barnes & Noble and available only through their stores and Web site. From
wild cats to frogs to polar bears, the WWF calendars feature full-color photographs and information about each animal. Sales of these calendars support
WWF’s efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats.
In August, Ty Inc. introduced Stony™, an American pika, and Pungo™, a red
wolf, as the fifth and sixth in a series of limited edition Beanie Babies® to benefit WWF. Researchers have found that global warming has contributed to diminishing pika populations in certain areas of the northwestern United States. The
endangered red wolf is found only in
eastern North Carolina, where it has
been reintroduced in the wild. These
and other facts are included on Stony
and Pungo’s tags. The WWF Beanie
Babies collection is available only
through Ty’s Web site:
Visit for more information on the products
and WWF partnerships mentioned above.
Ultimate Catch
Continued from page 1
Spinner dolphins
tion has plummeted due to dam construction and environmental deterioration. Earlier in the month, WWF helped
release four adult Mekong giant catfish
into the wild to help increase the population. The fish were fitted with tags to
alert fishermen of their protected status.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve set a new
record, but we need to put this discovery in context: these giant fish are uniformly poorly studied and some are critically endangered. Some, like the
Mekong giant catfish, face extinction,”
said Hogan. “My study of giant freshwater fish is showing a clear and global pattern: the largest fish species are disappearing. We must find methods to protect these species and their habitats. By
acting now, we can save animals like the
Mekong giant catfish from extinction.”
Learn more about the WWF-National
Geographic project to identify and
study giant freshwater fish:
Kevin Schafer/WWF
© WWF-Canon/Cat Holloway
Continued from page 1
WWF’s Heart of Borneo initiative aims to protect the island’s forests and its threatened wildlife, including the gray gibbon.
© WWF/Fritz Pölking
Florida panther
As part of the Pennies for
the Planet 2005 campaign,
Florida Power and Light has
generously funded a Web site
for Floridians and others
interested in the Florida panther. You’ll find activities, a
downloadable book, games,
and background information
about the Florida panther
and other wild cats aimed at
students in grades K through
8. Look for the Florida link
on the Pennies home page:
Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources has correlated Biodiversity Basics, the
original educator’s guide in WWF’s award-winning Windows on the Wild series, to
Ohio Content Standards. Check out the correlations and learn how you can meet
state standards while engaging your students in hands-on activities about biodiversity:
All of the Windows on the Wild materials are correlated to national science and
social studies standards. To find them, just type “correlations” into the search box
on WWF Web site:
Attention Louisianans! The Louisiana Purchase Gardens in Monroe will host
WWF’s traveling exhibit Cargo to Extinction through February 2006. Stop by to
learn about wildlife trade and its effects on biodiversity.
Did you know that a cat’s ear is controlled by more than 20 muscles? These muscles help the cat to use its ear like a satellite dish, swiveling it around to identify the
faintest of noises. Learn more amazing facts about big cats and find out what you
can do to help protect them through Pennies
for the Planet 2005.
Money can be donated to Pennies for the
Planet by using Coinstar® machines in
supermarkets around the country, by
sending in checks and money orders, or by
donating online at the Pennies Web site:
WWF’s WildFinder: Mapping
the World’s Species
Check out WildFinder, WWF’s
new map-driven, searchable database of more than 30,000 species
worldwide. WildFinder allows you
to learn about the species in your
neighborhood—or in another part
of the world—or explore the habitat of a specific animal.
Containing information on
birds, mammals, reptiles, and
amphibians, WildFinder is a valuable resource for scientists, students, educators, travelers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts alike, and
another example of how WWF employs innovative conservation solutions in
our efforts to save a living planet.
Visit and start exploring!
Learn more and read the full report,
Borneo: Treasure Island at Risk:
Do you want to explore
WWF’s conservation work
online but don’t know where
to start? Sign up for WWF’s
email newsletter and we will
send you monthly updates
about our work to protect
endangered species and their
habitats, and new features on
our award-winning Web site.
Each issue contains exciting
animal photos, stories from
the field, updates on key environmental issues, and tips on
how you can get involved.
Visit our Web site to sign up
© WWF-Canon/Alain Compost
“U.S. and interSouth China Sea
national demand for
wood, rubber, and
palm oil, used in lots of
foods and cosmetics, fuels much
of the destruction of the Borneo
jungle,” Dillon said. “All of these
useful products can be sustainINDONESIA
ably produced, and consumers
need to tell companies that they
Java Sea
don’t want products created at
the expense of wildlife in some of
the last pristine forests left on Earth.”
WWF is undertaking an ambitious initiative to protect the island’s forest,
including helping the three nations
there to conserve the 137,000 square
miles of rain forest known as the Heart
of Borneo. Through a network of protected areas and sustainably-managed
forest, this protection would not only
benefit wildlife, but also help alleviate
poverty by increasing water and food
security, and cultural survival, for the
people of Borneo.
“Losing the Heart of Borneo would
be an unacceptable tragedy not only for
Borneo and its people, but also for the
world. It is really now or never,” said
Borneo is one of the only two places—
the other being Indonesia’s Sumatra—
where endangered orangutans, elephants, and rhinos coexist. Other
threatened wildlife in Borneo includes
clouded leopards, sun bears, and the
endemic Bornean gibbons.
A copy of World Wildlife Fund’s latest financial report may be obtained by writing to World
Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037; 202-293-4800. Residents of the following states may obtain information directly by contacting the state agencies listed below.
WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA. Registration No. SC00294. Maryland: Copies of documents and information submitted by World Wildlife Fund are available for the cost of copies and
postage from the Secretary of State, Statehouse, Annapolis, MD 21401, 1-800-825-4510.
Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of World Wildlife Fund may be
obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167. New Jersey:
Information filed with the Attorney General concerning this charitable solicitation may be
obtained from the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey by calling 973-504-6215. New
York: New York residents may obtain a copy of World Wildlife Fund’s annual report by writing to
the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New
York, NY 10271. North Carolina: Financial information about World Wildlife Fund and a copy
of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989.
Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of World Wildlife Fund may be
obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1
800-732-0999. Virginia: A financial statement for the most recent fiscal year is available upon
request from the State Division of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23209, 1-804786-1343. Washington: World Wildlife Fund is registered with the Secretary of State.
Washington residents may obtain information relating to World Wildlife Fund’s financial affairs by
calling toll-free, 1-800-332-4483. West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary
of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol,
Charleston, WV 25305.
Become an Eco-Traveler
Whether you’re going on a short trip
upstate or trekking through the
Himalayas, with a little effort you can
have an enjoyable, ecofriendly vacation.
Do your research
■ When planning your trip, learn about
your destination and the plants and animals that live there.
■ If you’re considering a tour or cruise,
make sure it is through an environmentally responsible company whose trips
benefit the communities in which they
take place.
Stay at a “green” hotel
■ Thanks to the demands of guests,
many resorts and hotels are becoming
more environmentally responsible. When
booking your reservation, find out if the
hotel has a green program.
■ At check-in, let management know
that it’s not necessary to change your
towels and sheets every day. Also, many
hotels participate in a green linens
program—look for a placard in your
■ When you leave your hotel room, be
sure to turn off the AC/heat, lights, and
Strap on your walking shoes
■ Instead of renting a car, take public
■ If you must rent a car, be sure to rent
a small, economy model. Better yet, find
out if the rental car company offers
■ The best way to explore local flavor is
by foot or on a bike. It’s great exercise and
you won’t have to hassle with parking!
Have you ever thought of joining
WWF’s Wildlife Rescue Team? By
committing to give on a monthly
basis, the WRT members play a key
role in assuring that WWF has the
immediate resources needed whenever wildlife crises arise. When you
join the Wildlife Rescue Team, you’ll
become a part of something big:
WWF’s commitment to save the natural world, its breathtaking diversity,
and the wildlife that make it what it is.
In order to save paper and postage,
we are pleased to offer the option of
debiting your monthly donations
from your bank account or your credit card. Visit us at or
call 1-800-960-0993 to learn more—
and become a member today!
Some don‘t have a retirement plan
But most of us do!
© WWF-Canon/Michel Gunther
You can use your retirement plan to make
a future gift to World Wildlife Fund!
Retirement plans are meant first and foremost to secure retirement income. But did you
know that assets remaining in some plans at death can be subject to double taxation if
left to a loved one?
A charity such as WWF may be named as a beneficiary to receive excess assets from a
qualified retirement plan at full face value and tax free.
For our free booklet, Giving Through Retirement Plans, please call, toll-free
1-888-993-9455 ([email protected])
For membership inquiries, please call 1-800-CALL-WWF.
© WWF-Canon/Cat Holloway
Minimize your impact
■ If you go scuba diving, do not touch or
walk on coral reefs. The sensitive coral
animals—and the other wildlife that live
on the reef—can be bruised or killed, and
stirred-up sediment can choke them.
■ Never litter—carry out everything
that you carry in.
■ Be respectful of nature and leave the
place you’re visiting in its natural condition.
Be a savvy shopper
■ Think twice before you purchase any
souvenirs made from wildlife products,
including jewelry and figurines made
from sea turtle shells, elephant ivory, or
coral; skins or furs from spotted cats,
seals, polar bears, and certain crocodilians, snakes, etc.; and traditional Asian
medicines containing rhino, tiger, leopard, bear, or musk.
■ Remember, the best souvenirs will be
your pictures and memories!
Learn more about other ecofriendly
actions you can take;
For A Living Planet...
Support World Wildlife Fund
© WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen
Woolly opossums
I’ll help save endangered wildlife wherever it is threatened, whenever it is
YES! threatened. I have enclosed a check to World Wildlife Fund for $ ________.
Miss/Ms. ____________________________________________________________________
Address ____________________________________________________________________
City ________________________________ State___________ Zip ____________________
Member I.D.# ____________________________Phone (_______ ) ______________________
(see mailing label)
Email Address ________________________________________________________________
Borneo: Home to Thousands
0f Undiscovered Species
■ Check here if this is a change of address.
Important: To help us serve you better, please provide your old address.
■ Please send information on how I can include WWF in my will, trust, or
Red-eyed tree frog
estate plans, or make a gift to WWF that provides me with income for life.
© WWF-Canon/John S. Mitchell
Become an Eco-Traveler
Please enclose your tax-deductible check along with this form and return to:
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
The World’s Largest
Freshwater Fish