By Miranda Prynne,
Sir David Attenborough has launched his first ever crowdfunding charity campaign to help save the mountain gorilla.
The wildlife expert aims to raise £110,000 by December 11 to supportFauna & Flora International’s work in protecting the critically endangered species.
Launching the fundraising drive, he said: “If we are to ensure the survival of mountain gorillas, it is vital that the global community supports our efforts.”
Conservation charity Fauna & Flora work closely with local communities in African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda where the gorillas are found and helps them to monitor and protect the rare creatures.
Sir David, who first highlighted the plight of the mountain gorillas in 1978 in the BBC’s Life on Earth television series, said: “Spending time with these gentle creatures in their natural habitat was a profoundly moving experience. It was abundantly clear, however, that a lethal cocktail of threats including poaching, human encroachment and habitat loss was driving these magnificent, gentle creatures to the very brink of extinction.”
When the naturalist first approached Fauna & Flora to discuss saving the mountain gorilla, there were only about 250 of the animals left in the Virungas Massif in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are now about 800 of the creatures left in the wild.
Sir David added: “By supporting this campaign and promoting it through your networks, you will not only be helping to secure a future for mountain gorillas, but also the tens of thousands of Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese people who have come to depend upon them for their livelihoods and wellbeing.”
Crowdfunding is a collective fundraising effort by a network of individuals who pool their resources, usually via the internet, to support a variety of causes from business ventures and political campaigns to charity drives and scientific research.
Sir David’s campaign is now live on Indiegogo, one of the pioneers of crowdfunding set up in 2007.
Liz Wald, head of international at Indiegogo, said: “Indiegogo has a broad global reach, which perfectly suits this campaign, given that Sir David Attenborough is such a world-renowned figure in conservation.
“We will be working closely with his team to support their outreach through media and social channels to ensure people across the globe can support this important goal of protecting mountain gorillas.”
Founder of TheCrowdfundingCentre.com, Barry James, said: “The UK is leading the world in using Crowdfunding for good as well as for business.
“We’re delighted to be working with Sir David and Fauna & Flora International to launch what we believe is the first truly global conservation crowdfunding project – which will undoubtedly be the first of many – as part of this first UK Crowdfunding Day.
“Crowdfunding is revolutionising how businesses are created – making them more people-centred – enabling and supporting the causes the crowd are passionate about. It’s rebooting funding as we know it.”
People can donate here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/sir-david-attenborough-help-us-save-the-mountain-gorilla