Conservation organization, Durrell Wildlife Trust, forced to cut staff due to economic downturn

/ Jeremy Hance

The Durrell Wildlife Trust—which turned fifty last year—has announced that it will be cutting back 10 percent of its workforce, approximately 12-14 positions, due to an ongoing deficit caused by the economic recession.

The Durrell Wildlife Trust—which turned fifty last year—has announced that it will be cutting back 10 percent of its workforce, approximately 12-14 positions, due to an ongoing deficit caused by the economic recession.

“It is extremely sad that we have to take these actions, including the need to lose staff who work so passionately in support of our mission,” said Durrell Chief Executive Paul Masterton.

The organization says that while the deficits are due in part to increasing costs to run conservation programs, falling tourism at its conservation headquarters—which holds a number of endangered species—on Jersey Island and a decline in donations has severely impacted the long-running conservation organization.

Durrell Wildlife Trust was started by Gerard Durrell, beloved writer and long-time advocate for endangered species. The organization works in areas largely neglected by larger conservation organizations and with species that garner little public attention, but are no less endangered.

These include animals like the mountain chicken frog, the solenodon, the Hispaniolan hutia, and the Antiguan racer in the Caribbean; the mangrove finch and the Floreana mockingbird in the Galapagos; the pygmy hog in India; the pink pigeon, echo parakeet, Mauritius kestrel, Rodrigues fruitbat, and the Durrell night gecko (named after Gerard Durrell) on the island of Mauritius.

The Durrell Wildlife Trust has also long-focused on conservation work on the island of Madagascar, protecting rare forests and wetlands to save species like the Alaotra gentle lemur, the white-collared brown lemur, the black and white ruffed lemur, the ploughshare tortoise, the side-necked turtle, and the Madagascaran teal.

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