Target: Juliana Machada Ferreira, Wildlife Conservationist
Goal: Thank Ms. Machada Ferreira for working to stop the illegal poaching and trafficking of wild animals in Brazil
In Brazil, wildlife trafficking is a two-million-dollar industry. Every year one hundred and eighty million animals are taken from the ecosystems of Brazil to satisfy the demand for exotic pets both in Brazil and around the world. Most of the animals that are poached are birds like wild songbirds, macaws, and parrots. Yet, conservationists face a serious challenge in that keeping an exotic bird as a pet in Brazil and many places in the world is a deeply rooted cultural norm. Thankfully, conservationist Juliana Machada Ferreira is working to educate consumers on the ecological impact of their choices and bring wildlife trafficking to an end.
While trafficked, many birds are mistreated and become injured and can unfortunately be mistreated as pets as well, being put in cages that are too small, given too much or too little sunlight, and fed the wrong food, according to Freeland Brasil, the group Machada Ferreira founded to combat wildlife trafficking in Brazil. Worse still, wildlife trafficking is upsetting local ecosystems, causing problems like inbreeding. Knowing that many people lack awareness of the devastating impact their choice of pet can have, Machada Ferreira’s group uses films and lectures to put on educational programs for both high school and university students to convey the need to protect these animals and maintain the survival of not just one but many species.
Machada Ferreira has also been training police officers in how to reduce the often-high death rates of animals they save from traffickers. Active in politics as well, she is lobbying for stronger anti-trafficking laws and a national anti-trafficking task force, with the ultimate goal of coordinating cross-border law enforcement to combat wildlife trafficking across South America. Please sign the petition below, and applaud Ms. Machada Ferreira for protecting some of the rarest and most vulnerable animals in the world.
Dear Ms. Ferreira,
I am writing to applaud your efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in Brazil. Working with law enforcement officials and politicians, you are also educating the next generation on the importance of conservation and how present-day consumers can make more ecologically responsible choices.
I want to thank you for your dynamic and innovative leadership. You are inspiring communities to care about vital local ecosystems and mobilizing them to act in order to ensure their survival. I offer my support and gratitude for your work and wish you the best of luck in your future projects.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Luc Viatour via Wikimedia Commons