Wondering what went right this week in the conservation world? We’ve got you covered with our Conservation Optimism Round-Up! We are collating stories of optimism from around the globe so that you never miss your dose of weekly motivation.

1. Record number of dams removed from Europe’s rivers in 2021

” At least 239 barriers, including dams and weirs, were removed across 17 countries in Europe in 2021, in a record-breaking year for dam removals across the continent. Spain led the way, with 108 structures taken out of the country’s rivers. 

2. Swine dining: crocodiles are thriving in the NT and it could be because of feral pigs

” The exponential increase in saltwater crocodile populations in the Northern Territory in recent decades may be partly a result of them preying on feral pigs, new research suggests. Scientists who have analysed the diets of saltwater crocodiles in the Territory believe the reptiles have shifted from marine prey to predominantly terrestrial food sources in the last 50 years – driven specifically by an abundance of feral pigs.”

3. Red salamander found in Panamanian forest is a new species

” This brightly coloured amphibian has just been named the Chiriquí fire salamander (Bolitoglossa cathyledecae), a new-to-science species. It was found during an expedition to La Amistad International Park in Panama by a Panamanian team that has been investigating the Cordillera de Talamanca. This mountain range runs between the western part of the country and Costa Rica, and is one of the least-explored regions of Central America.”

4. Cheetahs return to Malawi: a record of reintroduction success

“Five years post-reintroduction, Liwonde’s cheetah population continues not only to persist, but to grow and thrive. Importantly, it was also the catalyst for the natural return of other wildlife, such as four vulture species, three of which are Critically Endangered and one is Endangered. “

5. The case of the disappearing deer – and how a new corridor could save it

” The Patagonian huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), or South Andean deer, is the most endangered hoofed animal in South America. Since 2020, Saucedo has overseen the purchase of 670 hectares of private land and subsequent livestock fence removal in Las Horquetas valley, connecting it to the 180,000-hectare Cerro Castillo national park to create a key part of the huemul corridor. “

6. Life at 30: the EU project that has saved species from lynx to flying squirrels

“In 1992, when the EU agreed the habitats directive and launched Natura 2000, the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world, the EU Life funding programme came into being. Today, May 21, it is celebrating its birthday. In the last 30 years it has supported 5,500 projects and spent €6.5bn (£5.5bn) up to 2020, with a further €5.4bn pledged for the period 2021 to 2027.

7. Rejection of Arctic mine expansion bid offers hope for narwhal population

” The expansion of an iron ore mine in the Arctic that would have increased shipping and led to the “complete extirpation of narwhal” from the region has been blocked. After four years of consultations and deliberations, the Nunavut Impact Review Board rejected a request from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp asking to significantly increase mining on the northern tip of Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada”

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