Good News in Case The Plight Of The Koala Has You Down

The koala being added to the threatened species list, plus the ridiculously warm winter weather that some of the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing, have really struck home how much damage rampant deforestation and fossil fuel use are doing over this past week. But as always, its important to remember that across some fronts progress is being made. Whether it’s the gradual transition to more sustainable energy use many countries are showing, or heroic conservation efforts by people from every corner of the world, these successes should be spotlighted once in a while! So here’s a dose of optimism.

The purchase of 27,000 hectares of land by a South African family has over the past two decades allowed plenty of species, including lions and cheetahs, to re-establish populations in an area in which they had been almost completely wiped out. The project has been so successful that some of the big cats have even been translocated to other parts of Africa to help increase those populations.

While we’re on big predators, hunting laws that were introduced in the USA during 2020 were removed, offering increased protection for gray wolves across a large chunk of North America. Reviews of the laws are currently underway in many other parts of the country, with the aim to offer wolves even more protection across the region.

This is admittedly an older article, but it’s always worth reminding people that Marine Protected Areas are a huge boost not only for marine ecosystems, but often for nearby fishers as well. The concept of zoning off a large portion of marine territory seems like a straightforward step for conservation, but there’s often debate as to how effective it actually is. That’s why seeing proof of its success is such welcome news.

On a more local level, a species of fish presumed extinct in Ohio, USA turned up once more in the state after an 82-year absence. The longhead darter is considered threatened across every US state in which it currently exists, so seeing it expand its territory is a promising sign.

Despite a complete lack of help from the federal government, Australia’s use of renewable energy is surging, with gas-powered generation of electricity falling once again in 2021. Australia’s largest electricity grid received almost a third of its power from renewable energy, with electricity has also fallen to its cheapest prices in 10 years.


If you’re looking for more good news stories, follow @EarthOptimism or @ConservationOptimism on Twitter. The Australian Climate Council also posts good news stories on a regular basis.

If you have any more good news stories from recent times, feel free to send me them on Twitter or via the blog’s contact page and I’ll gladly add them. Lastly, if you’re curious about the value of optimism in conservation, check out this interview with Professor Nancy Knowlton from a few years back.

Read More: Nancy Knowlton: The Importance of Earth Optimism


Dr. Sam Perrin is a freshwater ecologist who completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and wants to reassure you that the planet’s not past the point of no return yet, so it’s not too late to act. You can read more about his research and the rest of the Ecology for the Masses writers here, see more of his work at Ecology for the Masses here, or follow him on Twitter here.

Title Image Credit: Markéta Machová, Pixabay licence, Image Cropped

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