Our $2 billion windfall-that-wasn’t made the Daily Mail.
Today Buzzfeed ran a story on our mysterious billionaire benefactor: This Roo-Counting Couple Lost $2 Billion In Cruel Pozible Prank.
We’re not so sure it was a cruel prank so much as a software glitch, but it makes for a much better story!
A funny thing happened last Thursday. For a brief hour or so Jenny and I became the custodians of billions of conservation dollars. ‘Huh?’, you say?
At approximately 12.30 pm the mysterious Jeffrey Green donated a little over $2 billion to our crowd-funding campaign. Sadly the money disappeared within an hour or so. We never really thought the donation was real, but it was fun to think what it might mean for both the Big Roo Count, and more broadly and importantly Australia’s biodiversity.
Professor Possingham has estimated that if federal and state governments invested $200 million a year we could secure all of Australia’s threatened species. So imagine what more than 500 times that would mean! To put things in perspective, the federal defence budget is roughly $26 billion a year. Stop its budget for three days and you could save all threatened species in Australia.
Imagine… we’re ready!
P.S. Jeff, if you really are keen to donate to our campaign we are ready to receive and make good!
Ten years ago, with my wife Jen, I was finishing up four years of fieldwork in some of Australia’s most remote and spectacular habitats. We had been lucky enough to be investigating the ecology and conservation of Australia’s tropical kangaroos and wallabies, collecting first-of-its kind information on where they each occurred, how big the populations were and why each species lived in certain areas and not others.
But a lot can change in ten years.
While Jen and I have been blessed with kids, health, happiness and more, our northern mammals haven’t been so lucky. Many are disappearing; some at alarming rates. Why? fires, feral cats and climate change are all likely causes.
We have a plan that will give us our best shot at conserving Australia’s northern kangaroos and wallabies.
This winter, we’re packing our kids and our tent into a four-wheel-drive for an epic journey of scientific discovery to find out how the roos are faring ten years down the track.
We’ll repeat all the work we did a decade ago at the same field sites:
- roo counts,
- mapping habitat and measuring its condition,
- and the most glamourous job of all: counting and collecting kangaroo poos to get more information on which species live where.
This time, we will also be packing exciting new technology including remotely-triggered camera traps.
It’s rare for ecologists to have long-term information like this. Our data will tell us what we are up against in the battle to conserve our native kangaroos, wallabies and other native fauna in the same region. We’ll also take every opportunity to talk with as many people as we can about the conservation issues facing northern Australia’s mammals.
“Euan Ritchie’s re-survey of kangaroos and wallabies across northern Australia 10 years on from his foundational PhD survey is fundamentally important research. Nobody but Euan can undertake the work, and I’m profoundly grateful that he’s willing to do it.” — Professor Tim Flannery
Following the outstanding success of my crowdfunded research project on Papua New Guinea’s remote mountain mammals, we are again partnering with Pozible to bring this project to life. With your generous support, we’ll be able to hire a four-wheel-drive and buy the remote camera traps we need to do this important work.
For more information, a video, regular updates and to pledge your support, visit pozible.com/bigroocount.
Please help us conserve Australia’s iconic northern kangaroos and wallabies. Please support The Big Roo Count!