Why is our wildlife disappearing in Switzerland and in the world?

Wonder Fauna was initiated at the «Bioparc Genève» in June 2019, when with the director and vet of the «Bioparc Genève», Dr Tobias Blaha, we decided to take part to the «Jane Goodall Challenge». Realizing that we had the same objective, that of preserving the local fauna in our respective fields (vet and photographer), we decided to develop together a multidisciplinary programme raising awareness about the conservation of local wildlife and by extension the environment.

Wonder Fauna gives meaning to my profession as a photographer since photos associated with information can effectively raise awareness on a given theme.

My project within the Wonder Fauna programme consists of producing a magazine in English on the causes of the decline of animal biodiversity in Switzerland. Our biodiversity is indeed to this day more threatened than ever before. Political speeches and social networks remind us of this on a daily basis. For a long time, we have put the blame on the same pluralities of causes: loss of habitat, pesticides, invasive species … The objective of this support is to review the situation in Switzerland, through interviews with specialists (Edward Mitchell, staff members of the United Nations, Federal Office for the Environment and IUCN, for example) on the general challenges Switzerland faces in terms of animal biodiversity. For example, what factors are affecting local wildlife? Can we place all causes on the same level? What can Switzerland do to counter environmental problems? Are these causes gaining momentum? How can we contribute as citizens?

This magazine is made up of thirteen interviews with specialists, with a preface written by Dr Philippe Roch, former Swiss Secretary of State for the Environment, and the epilogue by the famous primatologist Dre Jane Goodall. Otherwise, two articles were also written by two Wonder Fauna members, Gael Charreau and Guillaume Thébault, a young man who received a prize by the Greenpeace association for his film «Futur d’espoir». This magazine contains 104 pages and is illustrated by around sixty professional photos.

In addition to the magazine, I intend to write articles on local fauna which will be published for free on my website «kelsa-photographie» under the Wonder-Fauna tab and will be also posted on the Wonder Fauna Facebook page. Regarding the articles, my intention would be to transmit «practical» information to the population so that they can adopt effective behavioural alternatives to promote the protection of our wildlife. For example, what to do if you find an injured hedgehog? Are we able to distinguish native species from invasive ones (the case for example of the European pond turtle versus the Florida turtle)? Very often, I find that it takes time for people to gather all the necessary information in order to know how to act, which can unfortunately lead to inaction … Given the international context of Switzerland, most of the articles will be translated into English so that the information is accessible to the greatest number of citizens.

What makes my project special

The multidisciplinary Wonder Fauna programme is unique due to its collaboration with an animal park, the «Bioparc Genève» which is firmly committed to the preservation of local wildlife. It consists of establishing a care centre at the Bioparc dedicated to local wildlife and educational conservation activities (practical workshops; conferences with specialists) initiated by Dr Tobias Blaha, vet and director of the Bioparc, as well as a magazine and articles on local wildlife by Samantha Keller (Kelsa Photographie).

The objective of Wonder Fauna is to give the swiss population the means to learn about local fauna and by extension about environmental issues. Regarding Wonder Fauna magazine, my ambition was not only to talk about the problems but also to present the solutions that would make it possible to remedy them.

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What your support will do

So far, no funds have been collected for this programme. Your support will help to finance the printing and distribution of this magazine. The second phase would allow me to continue to undertake Wonder Fauna projects, namely writing articles on local wildlife, making videos and short films over time and developing other Wonder Fauna projects. Part of the funds will also be paid to support the foundation of the «Bioparc Genève» to support its concrete actions undertaken to preserve local biodiversity.

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