Wildlife Conservation Film Festival USA
With less than 200 Arabian Leopards left in the wild, the species is on the verge of extinction. Oman has the only protected wild population in Jebel Samhan which borders Yemen. And it is the volatile Yemen that is vital to success. Despite its wars, insurrections and heavily armed population, Yemen probably has more leopards than anywhere else, but it is a population that is unknown and unprotected. Without it, however, the Omani population has no long-term future. Saving the Leopard tracks the efforts of a small group of Yemeni conservationists led by American David Stanton as they battle to start a program that will rescue the Yemeni leopard from the brink of extinction. A project to train 8 young Yemenis in leopard conservation is about to start. The stakes are huge: if this project fails, the Arabian leopard, a talismanic animal for Arab culture, is certainly doomed.
After Charles Darwin visited the island archipelago of Galapagos in 1839, it took him another twenty years to decipher the Biodiversity he had witnessed there. Today, Darwin would be surprised by the tourist mecca Galapagos has become; 200,000 + visitors a year and over 40,000 permanent residents. The impact on the most unique collection of endemic wildlife in the world has been heavy; too many people bringing to many of their ways from the outside world threatening the future of this one-of-a-kind place. What would Darwin think of how Galapagos has evolved in the twenty-first century?
The largest and once most numerous of all sea turtles may soon all but disappear, victim to human greed and arrogance. Credited with migrations that traverse the world’s oceans, leatherback sea turtles run a gauntlet of dangers, from net entanglement, to drowning on long-lines, to reduced ability to successfully repopulate by destruction of their breeding beaches and theft of their eggs. Last Journey of the Leatherback? digs deep into the natural history of this species and explores in depth the reasons they are disappearing and what humans can do to reverse the trend.
Ralph Stutchbury, Producer
Elephants have fascinated man through the ages. They have been exploited for their ivory since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs threatening their existence in many parts of Africa. Man has ravaged its habitat and renewed the slaughter of elephants to provide ivory to a newly affluent Chinese middle class. The slaughter is the highest in more than two decades. This short film reminds us why we should care about the survival of this extraordinary animal.