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. The Atlantic Salmon return to Aberdeenshire, Scotland

One of Scotland’s biggest ever dam removals has been completed in Aberdeenshire, opening up part of the River Dee to Atlantic Salmon for the first time in more than 100 years. The removal of the dam means the salmon now have access to around 20 kilometers of spawning habitat, as well as the restoration of precious riverbank and upstream habitats.

2. Brazil extends Amazon fishing ban to protect endangered Pink River Dolphins

A moratorium on fishing the piracatinga catfish in the Brazilian Amazon was extended for the third time since its introduction in 2014. Its aim was to protect the pink river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), known locally as the boto, which are caught to be used as bait for the catfish.

3. Long-footed potoroo seen for the first time in New South Wales, Australia

“Ecologists are celebrating after recording the first sighting of a long-footed potoroo in [New South Wales]. The critically endangered species has never been sighted in NSW, […] but infrared motion sensor cameras installed across Bondi State Forest south of Bombala have now managed to capture photos”

4. Number of sea turtle nests exploding along Florida coasts

“Decades after initiating protections for the turtles that nest on Florida’s southeast coast — the densest nesting region in the world — conservationists are now witnessing the fruits of their labor as the number of turtle nests increased exponentially all over the state.”

5. Saudi Arabia’s new 30,000 sq km conservation area

“The project will encompass the Makkah, Asir and Jazan regions of Saudi Arabia, according to the Saudi Press Agency. It will span a total of 30,152 square kilometers.” with an aim to support “all forms of life.”

6. Wildcats released in Scottish Highlands in effort to prevent extinction in UK

Nearly 20 young wildcats have been released into the wild in a pine forest in the Scottish Highlands, in the first phase of a project to rescue the species from extinction in the UK. “It has been really positive, in the main,” said Dr. Helen Senn, the project lead. “We have seen evidence that the cats are able to hunt and fend for themselves.”

7. Africa’s largest savanna elephant population is stable

“The KAZA Elephant Survey was the first time that all five KAZA partner states — Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe — collaboratively undertook a standardized survey of the entire elephant population in this landscape […] the data suggests a slight increase and stable overall elephant population.”

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Kali Samutratanakul
Kali is a freelance illustrator and Italian translator based in Bangkok. Having volunteered for local social justice NGOs, she is passionate about crafting focused and emotionally-resonant messages to help save the planet.