The International League of Conservation Writers is a forum to bring writers together from around the world who are writing to promote wilderness, nature, conservation, or using other means to protect and restore the natural areas, habitats, animals, and plants of our planet. ILCW will present periodic writing awards to authors who excel in this field.


Featured Video

Human-Elephant Coexistence:
The Easy Way

Human development and a highway in Northern Kenya have posed a danger to migrating elephants and the people who collide with them while driving. In 2011 an elephant underpass was constructed under the highway along the elephant migration route from Mount Kenya to the Samburu ecosystem allowing safe passage of elephants and other animals under the highway. But more corridors are needed along the highway to ensure that these animals are not cut off from migration and breeding opportunities that would lead to the destruction of the herd. A new underpass will help secure the landscape connectivity for 6,500 northern Kenya elephants and help promote human-elephant coexistence.

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Shooting Nilgai Raises Questions of Ethics,
and Efficiency

By Neha Sinha, ILCW Member (India)

Neha Sinha is a Delhi-based conservationist.

Previously published in The Wire

Nilgai feeding on crops. Photo by Neha Sinha

A war of ideologies has broken out between women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi and her counterpart at the environment ministry, Prakash Javadekar. Gandhi, a well-known animal rights activist, has accused Javadekar’s ministry of having a “lust to kill animals” after his ministry asked states to come up with lists of wild species which can be declared “vermin” and be killed.

Wild species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 – all except vermin. These vermin include animals like rats, crows and insects like termites. In the case of damage to human life, protected wild animals, like ‘man-eating’ tigers or leopards and ‘rogue’ elephants can be killed or removed, while individuals of others species with lower levels of protection, like nilgai and wild boars, can be killed or removed on specific orders even if they damage property. Moving from the occasional act of removing individual animals toward the more active decision to declare entire species as vermin



Keeping the Mali Elephants Alive from Poachers

By Susan Canney (ILCW member UK)

Previously published on the WILD Foundation Blog

Three things have been keeping the elephants alive: the local people, Malian military patrols and the elephants themselves.



Vanity, vanity, vanity The ugly face of human nature

By Clarissa Hughes, ILCW member (South Africa)

Previously published May 23, 2016

The documentary film Blood Lions shines a spotlight into a dark corner of the human psyche, one that is driven by vanity, and fed by greed.

In South Africa there are an estimated 8,000 predators held in captivity, most of them lion. The animals represent a lucrative income for their captors. Until now it’s a story that has been untold.

The life cycle of a captive-bred lion:

Vanity 1 -The Selfie

Days after birth lion cubs are taken away from their mothers to encourage the latter into estrus again. The cubs are then fed and nurtured by unsuspecting ‘volunteers’ who pay handsomely for the privilege. While the animals are still young many members of the public are attracted to the ‘lion petting’ and ‘walking with lion’ experiences that are sold by the lion farms. Although these activities tap into a deep longing in the human psyche to reconnect with nature they’re not natural by any means.

The Reality

The breeding lion are often kept in squalid and cramped conditions where inbreeding deformities add to a long list of human induced abuse.

Once their size excludes them from being cuddled and walked with, young adult lion are destined for two further revenue streams:

Vanity 2 -The Status Symbol



A tiger above the rest - A tribute to the Big Bam of the Central Highlands Previously published on her blog.

By Bhavna Menon ILCW member (India)

                                                                                         Photo by Bhavna Menon

I first heard of a tiger named Bamera in the summer of 2010, while we were doing a survey in the buffer villages of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. At the time, he had gained notoreity for lifting cattle and had planted a certain degree of fear in the mind of the villagers. "Bahut bada hai sahab, itna bada tiger humne aaj tak nahi dekha" spluttered a villager, a resident of the same village where Bamera got his name from. Located in a beautiful region known as Panpatha, with a huge dam and an ever reaching green landscape, Bamera was as beautiful a tiger and as extravagant as his namesake village.




Celebrating Conservation in Kenya

Photo provided by No Water No Life

A new Instagram series on the Mara Conservancy has been announced by ILCW member Alison Jones, director of No Water No Life, in honor of the 15th anniversary of Kenya's Mara Conservancy (June 11, 2001). Jones was involved in the initiative’s founding days in the western Triangle of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The fifteen years since are a testament to the benefits of community-based conservation and public/private non-profit management. It is also a part of the No Water No Life documentation of sustainable solutions.

Despite global recessions, terrorism impacts and disease scares reducing tourism income, the Mara Conservancy has survived.  Many are amazed, including world-renowned conservationists, who applauded the Conservancy on its opening day, but doubted it would last more than two years given the volatility of Kenya's politics. Today tourism and wildlife are thriving in the Mara Triangle, thanks to the security and solid management provided by the Conservancy.  Furthermore, more than 100 similar conservancies have sprung up since 2001 based on this initial model. Congratulations to Kenyan and other US conservationists, supporting politicians, the adjacent Maasai communities and all who have worked to make the Mara Conservancy succeed.




Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey, Tenth Anniversary Edition

Rediscovering the Author of A Sand County Almanac

By Julianne Lutz Warren

Island Press, May 2016

Paperback and Ebook, 528 pages, 6x9

With a new preface and foreword by Bill McKibben, Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey, Tenth Anniversary Edition, underscores the ever-growing importance of Leopold’s ideas in an increasingly human-dominated landscape. Drawing on unpublished archives, Julianne Lutz Warren traces Leopold’s quest to define and preserve land health. Leopold's journey took him from Iowa to Yale to the Southwest to Wisconsin, with fascinating stops along the way to probe the causes of early land settlement failures, contribute to the emerging science of ecology, and craft a new vision for land use. Leopold’s life was dedicated to one fundamental dilemma: how can people live prosperously on the land and keep it healthy, too? For anyone compelled by this question, the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey offers insight and inspiration. 

For friends and members of ILCW the $35 book is available at a 20% discount from Island Press, use the code 4ODYSSEY. You can also find it on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and at your local independent bookseller.




Ian Craig from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
awarded Order of the British Empire

Northern Kenya’s Ian Craig was awarded a prestigious Order of the British Empire last week by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to conservation and security to communities in Kenya. The Queen’s Birthday Honours list was published on 10th June 2016, on the occasion of Her Majesty’s official 90th birthday, and recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people.

Raised in Kenya, Ian Craig converted his family’s 62,000-acre cattle ranch into a rhino sanctuary at the peak of the elephant and rhino poaching epidemic. The rhino sanctuary flourished at a time when few did, and later, it was re-established as the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Ian's vision propelled Lewa to great success, and the Conservancy has grown to become a world-renowned catalyst and model for conservation that protects endangered species and promotes the development of neighbouring communities.

Through Lewa, Ian began partnering with surrounding local communities to support sustainable land management, conservation and peace efforts. Out of this, the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) was born, and today supports 33 community conservancies across northern Kenya.

Ian now serves as a Strategic Advisor for Lewa and Director of Conservation for NRT and has built up invaluable trust and respect with the communities that he serves. The community conservancies are governed by local people and are transforming the lives and landscapes of northern Kenya. They are building peace in a historically tense region, have reduced elephant poaching by 52% since 2012, and are rehabilitating large areas of degraded land for the benefit of livestock and wildlife. NRT supports Conservancies with fundraising, advice and training working closely with The Kenya Government and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to provide security for both wildlife and people in the region. For more information visit their website.


11 women who made wilderness history

In honor of Women’s History Month (March) The Wilderness Society released a list of eleven women who were instrumental in driving the conservation movement of the 20th century. In the words of one of the eleven, Mollie Beattie, who was the first female director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it’s unenvironmental, it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.” Click here to read about all eleven women.


International League of Conservation Writers

Writing to inspire the love of nature and a passion for its protection.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” Mahatma Gandhi

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Some Deadlines are Coming Soon

The Hopper, a new environmentally-focused literary magazine launched by Green Writers Press, is looking for poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and visual art. The Hopper Prize for Young Poets is a fee-based contest that celebrates emerging young poets (35 and younger) interested in nature and "...whose work explores how humans are a congeries of such."  The winning poetry manuscript will be published in September 2016. Full guidelines, deadline July1.



International League of Conservation Writers ● 4690 Table Mountain Dr., Suite 100 ● Golden, Colorado, USA 80403 ● Phone: 303-277-1623 ●
Content copyright 2010-2015. International League of Conservation Writers. All rights reserved.




July 10-16, 2016

Photography Workshop at the famous Absaroka Ranch near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (US).

For more information

July 30-August 13, 2016

Peru: From the Concrete Jungle to the
Amazon Jungle.

Led by David Lind0o, The Urban Birder.


Sept. 18-25, 2016

Extremadura, Spain: Bustards, Sandgrouse and Vultures!

Led by David Lindo, The Urban Birder and Extremadur-based Martin Kelsey.


September 23-29, 2016

ILCW Boyd Norton Photography Workshop at the famous Absaroka Ranch near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (US).

For more information

Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2016

Autumnal Portugal: Lisbon Estuaries, Alentejo and Algarve Regions.

Led by David Lindo, The Urban Birder and Joao Jara.


Sept. 30-Oct. 11, 2016

A 12-day Peruvian Adventure for
Woman Writers

Space is limited to 12 women

Discover the Sacred Valley, Patacancha, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. Watch the nimble fingers of the women weavers with their vibrant strands of wool. Open the pages of your journal and weave your own tapestry with word. Travel with ILCW member Page Lambert. To find more information about the trip click here.

Photo Tours Announced byBoyd Norton

ILCW co-founder and  fellow Boyd Norton has announced three photography workshops in the coming year.

In Wyoming, at the famous Absaroka Ranch near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, he has workshops:

September 23-29, 2016. The September workshop has one space left (maximum of 12 participants)

In January 2017 he has another Tanzania photo safari scheduled, January 31- February 12, 2017. This marks his 32nd year of his very popular Tanzania photo tours.

Also scheduled for October 2017  is a photo tour in  Chile of the Lakes Region and Patagonia, including Torres del Paine National Park.

Boyd is the recipient of the prestigious Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, presented to him in September 2015 by the Sierra Club president. He is the author and photographer of 17 books, including Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning (Fulcrum, 2011) and Conservation Photography Handbook: How to Save the World One Photo at a Time (Amherst Media, 2016) both of which received high praise from Jane Goodall and others.

Boyd has been conducting his highly popular photography workshops for 43 years. His workshops have spanned the globe and have included Galapagos Islands, Kenya, Botswana, Rwanda, Siberia, Alaska, Antarctica, Peru, Borneo, Bali, Belize and numerous locales in North America. For information on his scheduled workshops and others planned contact him..




ILCW now on Facebook

ILCW members, please check out the ILCW Facebook page and add content. Tell us what you are working on, what changes you see in the area of conservation (good and bad) in your area, include news from you: have you recently won any awards or accolades? Have you recently published a new book or article or perhaps finished a piece of art, performance piece, photo that glorifies the natural world? This page is for you, please enjoy and generate interest in ILCW and what we do.

ILCW facebook


Looking for Creative People Who Appreciate Nature

Do you have a friend or a colleague who is passionate about Nature and believes that we should protect what we have for future generations? ILCW welcomes all creative people (not just writers) who use their talent to bring awareness to the plight of our natural world. Have them apply to be an ILCW member at


Do you have news?

Let us know if you have won an award, written a new book, or launched a creative endeavor to bring awareness to conservation. Chances are the ILCW membership is not aware of these things, so be sure and tell us. Send items to:

Video Short takes hard look
at Monsanto

This entertaining, but disturbing video from The Current Under, takes a look at chemical giant Monsanto who uses their GMO seed in 80% of the corn and 93% of the soybeans grown in the US. These plants are resistant to the effects of the weed killer that is used in the fields, surviving when the weeds do not. But are there dangers for those who eat the weed killer resistant corn and soybeans?


International League of Conservation Writers  

4690 Table Mountain Dr., Suite 100

Golden, Colorado, USA 80403

Phone: 303-277-1623

Content copyright 2010-2016

International League of Conservation Writers.

All content rights reserved.