In the Year of the Forest, Working to Maintain a Balance for Animals

A member of the Russian tiger team measures a paw print.

February marks the beginning of the United Nations International Year of Forests. You might not think that the International Fund for Animal Welfare works on forests – after all, we work to save animals and not trees, right? But the truth is that it is impossible to save animals without saving the forests and at the same time it is impossible to save forests without saving the animals.

Let me give you an example.

Elephants depend on the forests for shelter, food and protection. At the same time, the elephant provides numerous vital functions for the forest. Just a single small example is that Elephant dung is one of the most effective ways of spreading seeds around a forest contributing to vital biodiversity.

IFAW works all over the world to help maintain the delicate balance that is a healthy forest. In the Russian Far-East our anti-poaching squad patrols vast distances searching, and stopping, those who would kill some of the last remaining wild tigers.

In Europe IFAW has been active in promoting the re-establishment of wolves in Germany. There is an example in this story illustrating how wolves reintroduced in Yellowstone Park can alter and enrich a forest and an ecosystem

In North America our Emergency Response team rescues orphaned Grizzly Bear cubs overcoming remote and treacherous terrain to do so. By protecting the top predators in the food chain we ensure that a major cog in the interconnectedness of a forest continues to play its role.

So yes, IFAW is working to save the forests as we work to save animals because one cannot exist without the other.

-- AH

For more information on the International  Fund for Animal Welfare efforts to help save animals in crisis around the world, visit

Comments: 1

6 years ago

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