During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Tara Stoinski about Tara’s personal experiences with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and what DFGF does in Africa to uphold their organization’s four pillars of conservation. DFGF is continuing to expand its conservation area and research campus in order to provide more room not only for the endangered gorillas but also for scientific research and training new conservationists. On Earth Day, DFGF announced an exciting new agreement with the Congolese government that will hopefully allow them to continue to reduce the poaching done to gorillas.
Maya’s community raised $1588.00 for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, an organization focused on the protection of gorillas through four important pillars. These pillars are daily protection, scientific research, training future leaders, and helping communities.
Maya speaks with Louie Psihoyos, the famous director of award-winning documentaries such as “The Cove” and “Racing Extinction” about the importance of influential conservationists and their impact on society.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Louie about how he became so invested in his cause and transitioned from National Geographic photographer to director. Louie shares some of the most interesting and impactful stories of his experience becoming a conservationist and spreading his message. Louie presents his thoughts and experiences with so much passion that you can not help but be encouraged and believe that change in society is possible.
Maya speaks with Niko Ankergren, a video game developer turned zookeeper, about his zoo in Denmark focused on rescuing and providing homes for all kinds of animals.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Niko about a few of the 600 rescued animals living at Play Rescue Zoo. Play Rescue aims to save animals from illegal industries like the pet or fur trade. Niko and Maya visit some of the cutest animals found around the zoo and discuss the increased difficulty of running a zoo during quarantine. Niko excitedly awaits for the day he can fully reopen the zoo to the public and have people fall in love with these important species.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Larson about his work and experience tracking, tagging, and researching bears. Larson answers viewer questions about each bear’s unique characteristics, their hunting styles, and about being a wildlife biologist. However, Larson knows about more predators than just bears. Larson’s Tooth and Claw podcast hopes to bring attention to some of the wildest and most fearsome animals in order to teach humans to give them the amount of respect they deserve.
$1543.22 for the Tooth and Claw Podcast, a podcast focused on preventing wildlife attacks by sharing gruesome stories and prevention strategies.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Michael about founding a non-profit and his path to becoming a pilot. Michael shares how lucky he feels to be able to do something this fulfilling and impactful. He also encourages others to try flying to feel the freedom it gives. Michael hopes that he and his organization can continue to bring awareness to the hundreds of thousands of animals that could be saved from euthanization if they were given more opportunities for adoption.
Maya’s community raised $2562.69 for Pilots to the Rescue, a non-profit organization focused on giving abandoned, shelter, and endangered animals a greater chance of living.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Downey about her role and mission at the Wolf Conservation Center. Downey explains how WCC hopes to help wolf conservation by educating people, providing wolves with tools to survive, and rearing wolves. An important topic brought up by Downey is the devastating impact habitat loss has on many of the endangered animals today, including wolves. Downey hopes that by raising awareness, wolves can have a fighting chance of coming back.
Maya’s community raised $2418.75 for Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), a non-profit focused on education, protection, and rearing of wolves
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Kirsten about her 12-year journey studying hellbenders, and how her aquatic ecology background and love for salamanders led to her position on the board of directors at FCSAL. Kirsten informed viewers of the lack of attention salamanders get despite the sheer importance of salamanders, given their role in their ecosystem as central links in the food web. The two discussed the aim of FCSAL in providing seed grant funding for projects surrounding salamanders, Kirsten also highlighted some small changes we can make in our everyday lives to aid the conservation efforts of hellbenders.
Maya’s community raised $1775.53 for the Foundation for the Conservation of Salamanders (FCSAL), a non-profit with the goal of providing funding for and raising awareness of their conservation.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with aquatic ecologist and assistant professor Dr. Solomon David, about his favorite fish, the gar. Dr. David shows off all of the interesting and unique attributes of gar in hopes of sparking the same joy he feels for gar in others. He even gives a live demo of gar feeding! Another important topic brought up is the story of how Dr. David got into conservation. He showcases the importance of conservationists sharing their passion with the younger generation to improve our future.
Maya’s community raised $1059.82 for Ranger Rick Magazine, a nature magazine being published since 1967. The magazine hopes to introduce kids to the beauty of nature and inspire young conservationists.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Hennen about the underappreciated work and beauty of millipedes. Throughout the podcast, Maya showed photo after photo of millipedes taken by Dr. Hennen himself. Both Maya and her viewers were surprised at how interesting and nice-looking millipedes are up close. Dr. Hennen expressed an infectious passion for his favorite arthropod which helped everybody fall in love with them. By showing their ecological importance and beauty, Dr. Hennen hopes to inspire his readers to protect millipedes.
Maya’s community raised $2268.40 for The Nature Conservancy, a worldwide environmental organization impacting 72 countries and protecting over 125,000 million acres of land.
During this special episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with her Mom, Vicki, about the rehabilitating effect animals can have on adults and kids alike. Vicki shares stories showcasing their animal’s ability to brighten up one’s day or be there for those in need. Vicki also emphasizes their animal’s unique ability to connect with kids with special needs and give them a friend to open up with. After seeing these effects firsthand, Vicki hopes to continue to spread smiles using her non-profit. Throughout the podcast, Vicki also explains how Maya became so passionate about animals and shares embarrassing stories of Maya growing up.
Maya’s community raised $5340.80 for Animal Assisted Happiness (AAH), a non-profit founded in 2009 with the goal to spread smiles using rehab animals. AAH focuses on giving moments of joy to kids with special needs and their families, a unique experience they claim only animals can bring.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Jonathan about what exactly chytridiomycosis is, and how it became one of the main factors in the dramatic decline of amphibians in many parts of the world. Jonathan explained the way in which it infects and attacks the amphibian’s keratin production, thus negatively affecting levels of keratin in the skin which they require to function on land. The two discussed the effect of the harsh decline on the ecosystem, and emphasized the importance of amphibian conservation, answering the important question of what we can do to help aid their protection through supporting HARCC.
Maya’s community raised $2613 for Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC), a non-profit rescue program founded with the aim to carry out rescue efforts to reduce both short and long-term extinction threats to 3 critically endangered frog species in Cusuco National Park, Honduras.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Samantha about what it means for an animal to be an ‘ambassador’, and their significance in educating the public about how to share our environment with them, and how to reduce the negative impact we might have on them. Samantha introduced a few ZooToYou ambassadors including Bruno the harris hawk, Gumbo the alligator, and Disco the grey fox. Samantha and Maya answered viewer-sent questions about the ambassador friends and shared stories and experiences from working with them. The two also discussed the recently finalized plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and explained how this decision will affect conservation efforts across the 19 million acres in the Alaska North Slope region. This special milestone episode of the Conservation Cast concluded with Maya sharing her gratitude for the ongoing support each week, and to Samantha and ZooToYou for sparking her love for falconry and exotics.
Maya’s community raised $5770 for ZooToYou Conservation Ambassadors, an organization founded as a forever home for abandoned, disabled, or permanently injured local wildlife and exotic animals.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Kelsey about her studies into the ecology of ground pangolins and how she fell in love with them. Kelsey highlighted the value of pangolins and the important role they play within their ecosystem as pest control as a result of their ant and termite diet. The two discussed the threats that pangolin face, including droughts, poaching, and trafficking for their scales for use in traditional Chinese medicine. Kelsey shared stories from her experiences with CRASH and pangolins in Namibia and answered a range of viewer-sent questions, regarding their diet, defensive mechanisms, lifespan, and gestation period. Another point of emphasis made by Kelsey was the importance of spreading awareness of not only how incredible these mammals are, but of the threats they face and what they can do to support the conservation of pangolins.
Maya’s community raised $1002.14 for CRASH Wildlife, a non-profit organization that aims to address the issue of a lack of transparency in the way in which donations are used within wildlife organizations. Through partnering with other organizations, they may accurately track the use of incoming funds and ensure that each donation helps as many animals as possible with the minimum amount of overhead expense, waste, or abuse.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Nick Gladstone, an evolutionary biologist and doctoral student at Auburn University who works in freshwater snail conservation. Nick shared his current studies and research, as well as his story of how he got into the field of freshwater life, particularly freshwater snails. Nick also shared his myriad of experiences in cave biology, detailing the way in which biospeleologists study organisms that live in caves. The two answered viewer-sent questions such as why freshwater snails are important within their ecosystem, what their main conservation threats are, and how giant african land snails became one of the most invasive species in the world.
Maya’s community raised $1554.10 for Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. FMCS is a non-profit organization aiming to inform the public of the incredible life history of freshwater mollusks, as well as raise awareness of the issues that have caused the decline.
Maya speaks with Dr. Andrew Halloran, director of chimpanzee behavior and care at Save the Chimps who is in charge of direct non-veterinary care of the chimps in the sanctuary.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Andrew about his role in the sanctuary and when he first started working with chimpanzees. Andrew spoke of his studies into vocal communication of chimps prior to his involvement in the sanctuary. The two delved deep into the saddening history of scientific experimentation and exploitation of chimpanzees. Explaining the origin of the sanctuary and its purpose of providing a space for victimized chimps who have had these challenging paths to receive care. Andrew answered an array of viewer-sent questions regarding the sanctuary such as the lifespan and diet of a chimp in the wild compared to in captivity, the misconceptions surrounding chimps, how covid has impacted the operation of the sanctuary, and if the chimps are at risk of contracting coronavirus. Andrew informed viewers of the many ways in which they themselves can help support the conservation and protection of the species.
Maya’s community raised $2039 for Save the Chimps, the largest privately funded chimp sanctuary in the world which was established in order to provide a refuge for victims of exploitation and scientific experimentation of chimpanzees.
Maya speaks with Sonam Tashi Lama, a representative of Red Panda Network who became involved in the organization after contacting its founder who was studying red pandas in his remote area within Nepal.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Sonam about the red panda and their important role in our ecosystem as an indicator species. The duo discussed some of the many threats faced by red pandas, as well as the severity of habitat loss on the species. Other topics included their defense mechanisms, social behaviors, and the issues with pet trade, and the perception of them as pets. Sonam shared his experiences with capturing and handling red pandas for monitoring purposes, giving viewers a look into his daily life working with the incredible species. In addition to explaining what he and Red Panda Network do to monitor and protect red panda habitat, Sonam informed viewers of what they themselves can do to help contribute to red panda conservation.
Maya’s community raised $1777.77 for Red Panda Network, a non-profit organization that has become a world leader in efforts to protect red pandas and their habitat through conservation programs extending across one million acres of forest in Nepal.
Maya speaks with Shah Selbe, an engineer with 10 years of experience in spacecraft propulsion engineering who started his own non-profit organization in order to answer the question ‘how can technology play a bigger role in conservation?’.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Shah about the origin of Conservify, and the issues in conservation which Shah aimed to address with the creation of open-source field kits. The two discussed the significance of a Field Kit's ability to provide a platform which allows people to monitor their environment, and not only visualize the collected data, but give the ability to share said data with others. Shah shared his experience as a National Geographic Explorer and explained how it led to his creation of one of the only non-profit tech labs in the world. Additionally, Shah answered viewer’s questions such as his ideas for future advancements to the Field Kit, and some of his favorite stories from people’s usage of Field Kits.
Maya’s community raised $2207.77 for Conservify, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower conservationists and communities by lowering the barriers to entry for effective conservation. Conservify provides platforms, apps, and connected devices in order to build an open conservation community within conservation technology.
Maya speaks with Susan Tsang, a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, whose primary interest is in the evolution and biogeography of flying foxes.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Susan about the wonders of flying foxes and their important roles in their ecosystem as a pollinator. Susan explained that one of the largest issues faced by flying foxes in the Philippines is hunting, with causes ranging from bushmeat trade to medicinal superstition. Viewers were taught ways in which conservationists tackle the issue of hunting through educating provinces on flying foxes and teaching them more sustainable meat hunting methods such as chicken farms. Susan answered the Viewer’s questions regarding their use of echolocation, the origin of their name, and their social systems and colonies.
Mayas community raised $1112.04 for the Progres, a nonprofit organization that began as a community effort that works with government partners to prevent the unlawful hunting of flying foxes through signed agreements with local community chiefs and education.
Maya speaks with Dr. Robyn Miller and Connor O’Brian from American Eagle Foundation, who have 35 years of conservation education and rehabilitation experience as an organization.
During this special episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya collaborated once again with her friends from the American Eagle Foundation to raise funds for Nepal Vulture Restaurants in celebration of international vulture awareness day. Unlike traditional episodes of the podcast, Maya and Robin paint a King Vulture whilst discussing vultures in Nepal and the roles they play within their ecosystems. The trio informed viewers about the ongoing vulture crisis in Africa and Asia as well as how their donations will create a safe place for vultures to eat avoiding toxic substances such as Diclofenac. Connor gave a background on the administration of the anti-inflammatory medication given to cattle in the early 2000s, and how vulture’s ingestion of Diclofenac is thought to be the reason vulture populations have declined by 99% in Nepal and India. Throughout the painting, the three gave an array of facts and vulture knowledge, detailing the importance of vultures as ‘nature’s clean up crew’. Such facts included urohydrosis, vomiting for self-defense along with the misconceptions surrounding it, and their potent stomach acid enabling them to stop the spread of diseases like rabies. Viewers saw a live appearance of George, a 35-year-old turkey vulture who is an ambassador at AEF due to his inability to fly. Later in the podcast, Maya makes her first attempt at fecal matter identification, led by Connor and AEF’s rehabilitation director, Nancy.
American Eagle Foundation
Mayas community raised $2160 for the American Eagle Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey.
Maya speaks with Jasmin Graham, a co-founder of the Minorities in Shark Sciences (MiSS) organization
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Jasmin explained her aim to help change the culture of marine science and shark science in particular and ways in which MiSS is going about making marine science inclusive. Jasmin shared her experiences of boat trips, summer camps and workshops set up and funded by MiSS, igniting a passion for children in low-income communities who don’t typically have access to such activities. Viewers were also taught about the significance of getting children excited about and involved in STEM.
Minorities in Shark Sciences
Maya’s community raised $1862.77 for Minorities in Shark Sciences, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women of color that are interested in shark science. The organization is passionate about eliminating the financial barrier that has kept a lot of people of color out of marine science. The org was created as a direct result of the #BlackInNature hashtag on twitter, aiming to amplify the voices of women of color through building community and establishing a connection through meetings and collaborations.
Maya speaks with Dr. Robin Morrison, a postdoctoral researcher studying gorilla social behavior, social complexity, territoriality, and the evolution of cooperation.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Morrison about her studies into the social dynamics of gorillas within family groups, as well as the importance of gaining an understanding of such social behaviors. The two discussed where the more unusual social behaviors may come from, the benefits of cooperation found within the groups, and the connections which can be made to other animal and even human behaviors. Robin spoke of her work with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and how they have managed to involve local communities and the Rwandan government in helping to sustain the population of Gorillas. Robin also shared footage and photos from her visits to Rwanda, and educated viewers on their use of camera trap to identify and track gorilla populations.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Maya’s community raised $1454.57 for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, an organization that works with local governments and communities to study, protect, and aid in gorilla conservation throughout Africa.
Maya speaks with James, an anti-poaching conservationist living on one of South Africa’s largest reserves, accompanied by his multi-purpose anti-poaching canine, Puma.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with James about his roles on the South African reserve which he and his anti-poaching dog, Puma, live on. The two discussed how they provide research capability through having Puma track and monitor certain endangered or keystone species within the reserve. James explained how the data is used to get a better idea of the population density and how to go about management practices. Other points of discussion included the advantages of canines for anti-poaching methods, as well as how he became involved with the organization CRASH and what they aim to achieve.
Maya’s community raised $1405.95 for CRASH Wildlife, a non-profit organization that aims to address the issue of a lack of transparency in the way in which donations are used within wildlife organizations. Through partnering with other organizations, they may accurately track the use of incoming funds and ensure that each donation helps as many animals as possible with the minimum amount of overhead expense, waste, or abuse.
Maya speaks with Colleen Weiler, an expert on Southern resident orcas and author at Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) USA.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Colleen about WDC’s dependency on individual donations as well as their Adopt a whale program, allowing those who adopt a specific whale to receive monthly updates on their sightings and wellbeing through tracking and identification. These check-ups also inform adoptees of what WDC is doing to help protect whales and dolphins and their homes. Colleen discussed her science background and the steps she took in order to get involved in the policy side of things, working on laws and regulations that can either protect or help recover endangered populations. Collen answered an array of viewer-sent questions such as how WDC helps to bring an end to captivity as well as how they prevent whaling on a global scale.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Maya’s community raised $1800 in support of WDC, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to the worldwide conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
Maya speaks with Laura Kojima, a herpetologist who studies alligator ecotoxicology and behavior at the University of Georgia.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Laura Kojima about the field of ecotoxicology and what the data collection process involves. Viewers were taught about the issues faced by reptiles and amphibians as a result of various human activities as well as their importance in our natural and cultural heritage. Other points of discussion included the comeback of American Alligators through the Endangered Species Act of 1969, highlighting the importance of supporting conservation organizations that strive to replicate similar success in other species.
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
Maya’s community raised $1015.34 for the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, an organization dedicated to the conservation of herpetofauna and their habitats. Envisioning a society where amphibians and reptiles are valued for their importance and are considered in all conservation and land management decisions.
Maya speaks with Jordan Veasley, a zookeeper and content creator who focuses on wildlife conservation education.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Jordan Veasley about his journey to becoming a zookeeper in a field lacking diversity and his efforts to inspire a similar passion for zookeeping in people of color through his social media presence. The two also discussed the importance of zoos and the role they have in the world for conservation and education as well as the misconceptions surrounding them. Jordan answered viewer questions ranging from his goals for education through social media to the ramifications of COVID-19 for zoos. The donations raised were sent to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, who is currently involved in giraffe conservation initiatives in 15 African countries.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation
Maya’s community raised $1660 for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, an organization dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations through concentrating solely on the conservation and management of giraffes in the wild throughout Africa.
Maya speaks with Kassandra Ford, a biologist who studies the craniofacial morphology of electric fishes from South America and Africa.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Kassandra Ford about what defines an electric fish, adaptations that electric fish have developed, and how Kassandra’s academic journey led her to study electric fish species. Kassandra answered many viewer questions regarding misconceptions that electric fish face. The two also had a discussion about the importance of diversity and representation in the conservation field and how Kassandra aspires to be an inspiration to people of color in academia. Kassandra taught viewers about what they can do as individuals to support people of color on social media and in their own lives. The donations raised were sent to the Amazon Conservation Association, an organization that is dedicated to promoting conservation within the Amazon rainforest by working with local communities to inspire them to protect their local environment.
Amazon Conservation Association
Maya’s community raised $1513 for the Amazon Conservation Association, an organization that is dedicated to promoting conservation within the Amazon rainforest by working with local communities to inspire them to protect their local environment.
Maya speaks with Lizzie Daly, a wildlife videographer and filmmaker, BBC wildlife presenter, and a host for National Geographic’s “Meet the Expert.”
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Lizzie Daly about her experiences filming projects for BBC, National Geographic, and for her own independent Youtube channel. Lizzie answered viewer questions about the daily life of a wildlife videographer and the importance of the patient work that filmmakers put into their projects in regards to conservation education. The two discussed how COVID has affected Lizzie’s work and how she continues to engage in her work despite being unable to travel. The donations raised were sent to Black Girls Dive, an organization designed to empower young girls and women of color to explore their stem identities by engaging in aquatic-based STEM activities and become leaders in conservation.
Black Girls Dive
Maya’s community raised $1506 for Black Girls Dive, an organization designed to empower young girls and women of color to explore their stem identities by engaging in aquatic-based STEM activities and become leaders in conservation.
Maya speaks with Clayton Pilbro, the founder of Aye-aye Conservation which is an organization that engages in public education and research collaboration to promote the conservation of aye-ayes.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Clayton Pilbro about the threats that aye-ayes face such as habitat loss, human-animal conflict, and superstitions associated with aye-ayes that are shared by local communities. Clayton answered viewer questions about special adaptations that this primate has evolved to survive in Madagascar. The donations raised were sent to Aye-aye Conservation, an organization that engages in public education and research collaboration to promote the conservation of aye-ayes.
Maya’s community raised $1005 for Aye-aye Conservation, an organization that engages in public education and research collaboration to promote the conservation of aye-ayes.
Maya speaks with William Sorley, an educator for Monarch Nation which is an organization that helps connect youth with wildlife and conservation using hands-on education methods.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with William Sorley about common misconceptions about butterflies and utilized a USB microscope to show phases of metamorphosis up close. William educated viewers about how climate change and habitat loss is detrimental to butterfly populations. The two also discussed what viewers can do to help Monarch butterfly populations. The donations raised were sent to David Suzuki Foundation, an organization that strives to restore habitat for monarch butterflies by planting native plants in residential neighborhoods.
David Suzuki Foundation
Maya’s community raised $643 for the David Suzuki Foundation, an organization that strives to restore habitat for monarch butterflies by planting native plants in residential neighborhoods.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Dani Rabaiotti, a postdoctoral researcher at the Zoological Society of London who studies the impacts of climate change on African Wild Dogs. Dani discussed the threats that African Wild Dogs face, including habitat loss, climate change, and human-animal conflict. The two also discussed how Dani came to be an author and her success with the books “Does it Fart?” as well as the sequels: “True or Poo?” and “Believe it or Snot.” The donations raised were sent to the Zoological Society of London, an international conservation charity that supports field conservation and public engagement through their two zoos: the Whipsnade Zoo and the London Zoo.
Zoological Society of London
Maya’s community raised $960 for the Zoological Society of London, an international conservation charity that supports field conservation and public engagement through their two zoos: the Whipsnade Zoo and the London Zoo.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Sebastian Alejandro Echeverri, a science communicator with a Ph.D. in visual ecology who studies spiders and other arachnids. The two discussed Sebastian’s journey as a grad student and how he fell in love with spiders. Sebastian discussed commonly held myths about spiders, arachnophobia, and his research about the complex relationship between spiders’ eyes and how they use color, shape, and movement to communicate. The donations from the podcast were directed at Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, an international nonprofit that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.
Xerces Society for Invertebrates
Maya’s community raised $1,400 for Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, an international nonprofit that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dustin Growick, a science communicator and museum consultant who is dedicated to spreading enthusiasm and knowledge about dinosaurs. Dustin shared commonly held myths about dinosaurs and shared some of his favorite images of dinosaurs, teaching the audience about interesting dinosaur species and their adaptations. The donations from the podcast went toward supporting Dustin’s Youtube Series: Dinosaur 101. This series was created to promote engagement in sciences, starting with an interest in dinosaurs.
Maya’s community raised $1,010 for Dinosaur 101, a series created by Dustin to promote engagement in sciences, starting with an interest in dinosaurs.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Corina Newsome who is a field biologist and an advocate for underrepresented communities in wildlife sciences. The two discussed Corina’s story from growing up in Philadelphia to attending graduate school at Georgia Southern University. Corina shared her current research studying nesting success of Seaside Sparrows and her myriad of experiences working in the wildlife education field. The donations from the podcast went to Skype A Scientist, an organization that aims to make science more accessible by matching scientists with classrooms or adult groups for virtual Q&A sessions.
Skype A Scientist
Maya’s community raised $1,020.53 for Skype A Scientist, an organization that aims to make science more accessible by matching scientists with classrooms or adult groups for virtual Q&A sessions.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Sam Allen who is a master's student at the UTS Fish Ecology Lab studying weedy sea dragons. The two discussed Sam’s journey in studying marine life and what led him to his master's program at the lab. The community learned about the unique adaptations that weedy sea dragons have evolved along with the challenges that the species face as a result of climate change and habitat loss. Sam discussed how the Fish Ecology Lab utilizes citizen science to aid in conservation research and the goals of studying the data collected. The donations made provided funding for field research and student programs at the UTS Fish Ecology Lab.
UTS Fish Ecology Lab
Maya’s community raised $656.69 for the UTS Fish Ecology Lab, an institution that provides the research needed to inform the sustainability of the oceans and their fish populations. The lab engages in public education and promotes citizen science while training students to be the next generation of marine scientists.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Wes Larson who is a biologist who has experience studying polar bears, black bears, and sloth bears. The two discussed human-animal conflict for black bears and sloth bears ranging from habitat encroachment to the “dancing bears” of India that are tortured for street entertainment. Wes shared wild stories from his field expeditions and answered a variety of questions from the live chat. The donations from the podcast went to Wildlife SOS to support their vision of “coexisting in the same landscape in a manner in which both conservation and welfare are addressed for both man and wildlife.”
Maya’s community raised $1,283.01 for Wildlife SOS, an organization committed to protecting India’s national heritage, biodiversity, and forests while addressing welfare for the people that live amidst the wildlife.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spent time with her American Kestrel while introducing the American Eagle Foundation as the organization that would benefit from the live donations. Later, Maya was interviewed by SuperPunch about her journey as a streamer and experience as an apprentice falconer. The community watched Maya’s top clips and learned more about her aspirations as a conservationist on Twitch.
American Eagle Foundation
Mayas community raised $1,400 for the American Eagle Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya discussed how to be an environmentally responsible consumer in regards to microplastics and palm oil. This discussion included an in-depth look at deforestation, global warming, plastics, and the effects that these issues have on global biodiversity. Maya also spoke with three communications directors from Live for Wildlife about Gun Moor and the endangered species that reside there. Throughout the podcast, Maya drew some of the iconic species that inhabit Gun Moor using a digital art tablet.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Maya’s community raised $1,430.25 for Live for Wildlife’s campaign to purchase and protect Gun Moor, a plot of land in Staffordshire covering 78 hectares. Gun Moor is home to a variety of threatened species including the redpoll, cuckoo, and snipe.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Jennifer Gilbert who is a marine biologist and founder of the Cairn’s Turtle Rehabilitation Center. The two discussed the six species of sea turtles that Cairn’s works with and the threats that these species face. Some of these threats include climate change, microplastics, and plastic entanglement, and hunting. Cairn’s contributes to sea turtle conservation by engaging in research projects, public education, and a rehabilitation and release program.
Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Center
Maya’s community raised $826.01 for Cairn’s Turtle Rehabilitation Center, an organization dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles through research, public education, and rehabilitation/release.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the opportunity to speak with Graham Wallington the CEO and Co-Founder of WildEarth. Together the duo discussed a variety of topics including the effects climate change and poaching play in reducing population numbers of wildlife in the Kruger National park to future plans Graham and his team have for WildEarth. Another interesting point of discussion involved the fascinating and turbulent journey Graham has endured, beginning in 1998 of a waterhole with a refreshing image every 30 seconds to establishing WildEarth in 2007 with his wife Emily. Graham invited Maya to visit the WildEarth campground on the Djuma Game Reserve and broadcast a future episode of the Conservation Cast live on a safari vehicle.
Maya’s community raised $1175 for WildEarth, an organization dedicated to connecting people to nature through delivering an authentic and in real-time view of nature. WildEarth is committed to conservation efforts in South Africa as well as the education of future conservation leaders all over the globe.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. Ben Novak, a De-extinction biologist. Novak is the team leader of the passenger pigeon de-extinction project which commenced in 2012. Novak explained the important role Revive Restore plays in the conservation space as the world's only conservation organization dedicated to advancing and innovating biotechnology. The duo also discussed Ben's research, other projects Revive Restore is working on; current limitations and challenges genetic technology must overcome to be a viable technique to aid in conservation efforts in the future.
Maya’s community raised $1622 for Revive Restore, an organization dedicated to using genetic rescue to enhance biodiversity through the preservation and de-extinction of endangered and extinct species.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Joey Santore of the Crime Pays but Botany Doesn't Youtube Channel. Santore is a self-taught amateur botanist who describes his content as a “low-brow and crass approach to plant ecology as muttered by a misanthropic Chicago Italian". Together, the duo discussed Joey's fascinating story from being a college dropout to illegally riding freight trains across the United States all while expanding his knowledge of the natural world.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Maya’s community raised $560 for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization working to safeguard the earth, its inhabitants, and the natural systems upon which all life depends.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Cora Berchem of Save the Manatee Club. Cora, is the multimedia specialist and a manatee researcher, who first got involved with the organization in 2014. The duo discussed Cora's background and her role as the multimedia specialist and manatee researcher at the Blue Springs State Manatee Reserve in Florida. Cora also taught the community about the biggest issues facing manatee conservation today as well as the incredible work their organization is doing to ensure these majestic aquatic mammals are around for many generations to come.
Save the Manatee Club
Maya’s community raised $2317 for the Save the Manatee Club, an organization dedicated to protecting manatees and their habitat for future generations.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the unique opportunity to speak with Ph.D Candidate, Imogene Cancellare. Cancellare is a conservation biologist and landscape geneticist who utilizes molecular tools to study the relationship between wildlife and the landscapes they inhabit. Imogene is currently studying snow leopards across high Asia, using fecal DNA to investigate the evolutionary history, functional connectivity, and population dynamics of these rare and elusive cats. The duo discussed how Cancellare's research allows for better-informed conservation decisions and her media presence as an established science communicator has made her a powerful advocate for supporting scientists of all backgrounds.
Maya’s community raised $1005 for Panthera, the only organization in the world dedicated to protecting all 40 of the world’s big cat species.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Jaclyn DeSantis of the Ojai Raptor Centre. DeSantis oversees the education and outreach programs, manages the organization's social media accounts, helps train unreleasable ambassador birds which play a role in education/outreach, and coordinates volunteer programs. The duo discussed the important role education and outreach play in the conservation efforts, the effect rodenticides play in the decline of bird populations, and her journey to the Ojai Raptor Centre. Amongst other topics of discussion were the criteria rehabilitated birds must meet to be released back into the wild and some unique programs established to manage pest population numbers without the use of poisons.
Ojai Raptor Center
Maya’s community raised $641 for the Ojai Raptor Centre, an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of birds of prey and other wildlife. The organization is close to the heart of both Maya and her community, as they helped with the rehabilitation and release of Bean a red-tailed hawk who was a special part of Maya’s community before his release.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the unique opportunity to speak with Mechanical Engineering PhD Candidate, Andrew Schulz. Schulz is a conservation physicist currently researching the physics and engineering properties associated with elephant trunks. Andrew and Maya discussed his unique journey from mechanical engineer to conservation physicist, his earliest elephant encounter on safari with his mother as a child as well as a future research trip to China to work with pandas. Another interesting point of discussion involved a unique course he teaches alongside his supervisor which aims to get people with a STEM background involved with animal conservation.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Maya’s community raised $1380 for the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization renowned for the rehabilitation of orphaned and injured elephants, rhinos, and impalas in East Africa and their subsequent re-release back into the wild.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the opportunity to sit down with Dr.David Shiffman, a marine conservation biologist, conservation ecologist, scientific writer, and a scientific and environmental consultant. Together the duo discussed the important role scientific communication plays in conservation efforts and how media events such as shark week negatively impact the public perception of sharks. Amongst other talking points was Dr. Shiffman's past research and career to date, as well as the major conservation challenges including the effect commercial overfishing of sharks, plays on population numbers.
Shark Advocates International
Maya’s community raised $1117 for Shark Advocates International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of sharks through the use of scientific leadership and knowledge to inform policymakers and aid in conservation efforts.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Dr. David Steen, a Herpetologist, and founder of The Alongside Wildlife Foundation. Steen, a wildlife ecologist, and conservation biologist, discussed the conservation challenges wild snakes populations face and previous research projects on turtles and land management strategies in the longleaf forest landscape. David Steen is also a renowned scientific communicator who uses social media to debunk common snake myths and hoaxes in conjunction with wanting to teach people about the natural world and all its inhabitants. Maya and David also discussed the importance social media plays in scientific communication, the effect negative media portrayal of snakes has on population numbers, and the publishing of his first book entitled "Secrets of Snakes: The Science Beyond the Myths".
The Alongside Wildlife Foundation
Maya’s community raised $556 for The Alongside Wildlife Foundation, a grassroots conservation organization who strive to ensure humans and wildlife are able to live harmoniously with one another.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Emma Pereira from Save The Rhino. Periera serves as the organization's communications manager. Before starting with the organization, Emma was studying marine biology at university before deciding to move into environmental policy. Save The Rhinos funds projects in Africa and Asia designed to both improve the roles of wildlife rangers on the ground and increase habitat availability to ensure rhino population numbers are able to increase. Amongst other talking points discussed were the effect cultural and social beliefs have on rhino conservation efforts, Emma's desire to work for the organization, and what is being done to curb illegal poaching and rhino horn trade.
Save The Rhino
Maya’s community raised $1084 for Save the Rhino, an organization dedicated to protecting the five species of rhinos found in Africa and Asia, and improving the lives and job capabilities of wildlife rangers protecting these incredible animals.
During this special episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya collaborated with her friends from the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) to raise funds for Nepal Vulture Restaurants. Unlike traditional episodes of the podcast, the duo threw a painting and pizza party whilst discussing vultures in Nepal and the roles they play within their ecosystems. In the early 2000's, cattle in Nepal and across Asia were treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication called Diclofenac. As a result of ingesting Diclofenac when feeding on the medicated carcass, vultures will die within 24-48 hours of liver and kidney failure. The administration of Diclofenac is thought to be the reason vulture populations have declined by 99% in Nepal and India. Vulture farms were established to be a safe haven for these endangered vultures to safely feed upon the carrions of cows and other animals. Amongst other topics of discussion was the negative economic and health effects vulture population decline has had in Nepal and across Asia and how a thriving vulture population can reverse these trends.
American Eagle Foundation - Nepal Vulture Restaurants
Maya and her community raised $1400 dollars for the American Eagle Foundation to help fund Nepal Vulture Restaurants, safe havens that allow these incredible birds to eat safely.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the opportunity to speak with Michele Raffin, the CEO, and Chairwoman of the Board of Pandemonium Aviaries. The duo discussed a variety of topics including Michele's journey to bird conservationist, the important role eco-tourism will play in the future of conservation efforts. Another point of discussion was the sudden directional change that the organization underwent from a rescue centre to focusing conservation efforts primarily in New Guinea and the Philippines, through the establishment of a live species bank designed to safeguard the future of these rare and beautiful birds.
Maya’s community raised $578 for Pandemonium Aviaries, a sanctuary, and conservation organization dedicated to breeding rare bird species with the hope of eventually releasing the birds back to their country of origin.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Niko and Alex of the Odsherred Rescue Zoo, based in Denmark. Initially, Oddsherred opened as a "traditional" zoo before transitioning to a rescue facility for 600 exotic animals. Niko and Alex took Maya on a guided tour of the incredible facility and introduced the community to various animals including lemurs, camels, and an array of bird species. Amongst the talking points, the trio discussed was the development of a mobile and PC game designed to raise funds for Odsherred Zoo Rescue, future outreach and education projects, and online streaming content.
Odsherred Zoo Rescue
Maya’s community raised $530 for Odsherred rescue zoo, a rescue centre for abused, abandoned, or surrendered exotic animals.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Samantha Jackson from ZooToYou Conservation Ambassadors. Jackson is the Director of Community Outreach and was Maya's supervisor during her internship in outreach education and exotic animal husbandry in June 2018. The duo discussed the negative changes to the endangered species act (ESA) and how these changes will affect conservation efforts, Samantha's story of growing up at a zoo; whilst introducing us to a baby red kangaroo and one of only two slow loris in captivity in North America. Samantha and Maya also chatted about their mutual love of falconry and Maya credits her time at ZooToYou as the reason she is so passionate about birds of prey and Samantha as the reason she got into falconry.
ZooToYou Conservation Ambassadors
Maya’s community raised $710 for ZooToYou Conservation Ambassadors, an organization founded as a forever home for abandoned, disabled, or permanently injured local wildlife and exotic animals.
During this episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with wildlife videographer, photographer and fellow twitch streamer DamianExplores. Damian started his twitch channel a year ago after attending a convention centred around the themes of scientific communication and technology. After being introduced to bird watching by his partner, he decided to begin live streaming outdoor birding activities as a way of positively contributing to conservation efforts. Amongst topics of conversation were Damian's introduction to photography and videography, future streaming aspirations and the dichotomous moments nature allows us to experience.
Hawk Watch International
Maya’s community raised $779 for HawkWatch International an organization dedicated to monitoring and protecting birds of prey through science and education to improve and promote conservation efforts.
During the third episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya had the incredible opportunity to speak with Ellie Armstrong, a 4th Year PhD candidate at Stanford University. Armstrong's research involves applying genetic tools to answer conservation questions in particular, 1) can genetic testing be used to collect in-situ samples to remove or minimize animal stress?, 2) how can the technology be used to track and combat the illegal animal trade? and 3) how do changes in big cat dispersal patterns affect the genomic landscapes of threatened and endangered cat species?. The duo discussed Ellie's career, the effect illegal poaching and cat trading have on population numbers and some of her career highlights including being the first scientist to sequence a full lion genome.
Exotic Feline Rescue Center
Maya’s community raised $1571 for the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, one of the largest rescue centers in the United States providing forever homes for exotic cats that have been abused, abandoned or rescued.
During the second episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya spoke with Joe Siegrist, a former teacher, zookeeper, and the current President/CEO of the Purple Martin Conservation Association. The duo discussed a variety of topics including the important role Purple Martins play in their ecosystems as aerial insectivores and the challenges conservation efforts face. Another noteworthy point of discussion involved some of the exciting and novel research projects the organization has commenced with citizens and scientists to understand the causes of declining population numbers and what can be done to arrest this downward trend.
Purple Martin Conservation Association
Maya’s community raised $703 for the Purple Martin Conservation Association, an organization using scientific data collection, public education and wildlife management techniques to aid in the conservation efforts of Purple Martins.
During this inaugural episode of the Conservation Cast, Maya is joined by Connor O'Brien from the American Eagle Foundation (AEF). Prior to joining AEF in 2017 and serving as their Digital Marketing Specialist, O'Brien worked full time at an animal hospital while acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Throughout the podcast connor introduced the community to some of AEF's bird ambassadors including Jupiter the Barn Owl and Challenger the bald eagle. The duo discussed the conservation challenges bald eagles and birds of prey face and the important role social media websites such as twitch.tv play in spreading conservation awareness. Another topic of conversation was the organization's decision to move away from repopulation and rehabilitation efforts and to focus more on conservation and education efforts.
American Eagle Foundation
Mayas community raised $3010 for the American Eagle Foundation, an nonprofit organization founded in 1985 in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey.