Hi! My name is Emma Kersley and I am 21 years old. I am currently in my final year at University studying Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation.
I am an extremely passionate person and I have always cared about the environment we live in and the animals we share this planet with (a lot of my friends and family often joke saying "save the world Emma!" whenever I do or say things to do with helping animals/the environment... Like moving a snail off a path e.t.c... Don't judge me!), and after completing work experience at South Lakes Safari Zoo in the lake District, I worked with and studied the behaviour of the resident lemurs which inspired me to want to go out into their natural habitat and do as much as I can to help.
I am hoping to complete 4 weeks of volunteer conservation research in Madagascar with the organisation Frontier, where I will be helping local communities and endangered species on the island, looking at ways to conserve the Madagascan forests and its inhabitants. Frontier is a non-profit organisation with 25 years worth of experience, committed to changing the world for the better!
Unfortunately, the film Madagascar (which we all know and love) has created a false image of the beautiful island, as the human population there has doubled since the 1960's, resulting in estimates indicating that 90% of their native forests have been lost. It is one of the most heavily impacted countries in terms of habitat loss, which is devastating because every native terrestrial mammal found there is endemic, and found nowhere else on earth.
What will I be doing?
The conservation work I hope to carry out with Frontier focuses mostly on Lemurs, which have been stated by the IUCN red list as being the most endangered group of vertebrates in the world, with 94 species being threatened of extinction. However I will also help with surveys for rare reptiles, butterflies, beautiful birds and invertebrates.
I will be trekking through rugged and remote regions of the island, assessing the status of the lemurs, helping to monitor the distribution and abundance of lemurs and their habitat preferences. This will help to assess how they are responding to human-induced stress factors such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation and other forms of human disturbance. I will also be a part of a reforestation programme, designed to help the remaining forests and create natural corridors for animals to move through the forests safely; as well as helping to inform the local government about how to help the forests and contribute to the local communities by educating them on the importance of their unique environment.
It would mean so much if anyone could provide a small donation to help fund and support me for this project. In donating a small amount you would not only be contributing to crucial conservation research, but also providing the equipment needed to ensure the conservation work is a success to improve the future of the Madagascan island and the life that thrives there!
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read this, and if you cannot donate but would still like to help, please share this website. It means a lot to me to have your support, I can't thank you enough.