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. 2022 Whitley wildlife conservation award winners announced

” The Whitley Fund for Nature will present seven grassroots wildlife conservationists with Whitley awards for their pioneering solutions to the biodiversity crisis. The Whitley gold award, worth £100,000, will go to Dr Charudutt Mishra, the world expert on snow leopards, for his groundbreaking work over 25 years. The other award winners will each receive £40,000 to accelerate their progress on the ground, which has reduced poaching, restored habitat and recovered populations of animals and plants essential for functional ecosystems “

2. Rare snake found in Alabama for just the second time in 60 years

” The discovery of a wild-born Eastern indigo snake marks the success of an intensive program to reintroduce the reptiles to the state. The reptile, which is the largest snake native to the US, used to be found throughout Alabama. But they went extinct in the state in the 1950s, largely due to habitat loss, according to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources”

3. Condors return to Pacific Northwest for first time in a century

“Five California Condors have been released in northern California’s Redwoods National Park this week. The release forms part of a new reintroduction scheme that aims to restore a population of the spectacular raptor to the Pacific Northwest – an area last home to condors more than a century ago. ”

4. Brown bear population in Pyrenees highest for a century, says study

” A scheme to reintroduce brown bears to the Pyrenees is showing signs of success, with 70 individuals identified in 2021, the highest number for a century. The population has increased from 52 in 2018, according to figures produced by the cross-border group that monitors the bears in France and Spain “

5. Single use plastic bans are working in Australia

“Dr Davies said concurrently in 2020, her research showed there was a 42 to 58 per cent reduction in balloons, straws, bottle caps and hard plastics associated with food.”

6. Building The World’s Largest Animal Crossing Outside of LA

” There’s a spot on Highway 101 in Agoura Hills, it’s pretty inconspicuous. There’s brown and green rolling hills on either side of the highway. Homes are sprinkled here and there. And then a small metal gate that leads off on a hiking trail. You probably wouldn’t know it, but soon this spot will be the location of the world’s largest animal crossing.

7. Extinct ivory-billed woodpeckers spotted in Louisiana, claim scientists

“A three-year expedition into undisclosed Louisiana forests, in the south of the USA, has captured images of birds via unmanned trail cameras and drones that the scientists claim are ivory-billed woodpeckers. They also say that every scientist in the team had encounters with the species and heard its call.”

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