Recently, I was privileged to deliver a WNPS lecture on small wild cats in Sri Lanka. A big portion of the talk was of course dedicated to my work at the Urban Fishing Cat Conservation Project, here in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
While I’ve given talks before, I was simply blown away by the interest shown by this particular audience, and I spent over an hour after the event, chatting to many people who shared my enthusiasm for protecting our fishing cats.
Something that nearly everyone asked me, both at the talk, and in the days after, is how can I help? I hope this post answers that question!
If you’re a company or organisation that would like to donate to the project, please reach out to me via my contact form, so I can get in touch with you via email, or call you back. The project is currently not setup to accept donations from individuals, but that’s something we’re working on. Having said that, if you are an individual who would like to donate towards the project, do get in touch so we can keep you in mind when we get crowd funding going!
If you’re currently studying wildlife conservation or a related field, or have some field experience, and would like to help the project out as a volunteer, please let me know, and we’ll see when and where the project can best use your particular skillset.
If you are not in the field of conversation, and would still like to volunteer on an informal basis, subscribe to our blog and Facebook page to stay updated on opportunities for volunteers. Typically, we will have a volunteer day once a quarter or so, and we’d be very happy to have you come down and work with us in this context.
Advocacy – where we need the most help!
I mentioned this at the end of my WNPS talk as well, but the #1, absolutely-totally-best way to help the project, is to talk to people about fishing cats. Whether that’s by the water cooler at work, in the playground at school, or on your Instagram account, is totally up to you.
But the number one problem the project faces today is that not enough people know about fishing cats. The less people know about them, the more difficult it is for us to talk about conserving them! The project addresses this problem by having several workshops each quarter. For 2016, our focus was school children.
As you would imagine, though, there’s only so much advocacy that a small team can do. And that’s why we need your help.
- If you’re a parent or educator, invite us to your school. We’d love to come talk to your kids. Fishing cats are a great way to get them interested in everything from ecology to conservation, and beyond!
- If you’re in school or university, you can run a fishing cat event that raises awareness for the species. We’re happy to assist you in organising one, so leave a comment below or drop us a line on Facebook if we can help!
- If you’re a professional, bring up fishing cats in the workplace. Is there something your company or organisation could be doing to make your workplace or premises more friendly for these animals? Let us know, because we already work with companies that are doing this, and we’d love to help you get started as well.
- If you’re a Facebook fiend, Instagram addict, or social media superstar, spread the word online by telling your friends and followers about our stealthy backyard neighbours. You can use some of these banners, or make your own – though please share them with us if you do! 🙂
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