Devon charity builds international presence

(Last Updated On: January 28, 2015)

A leading South West conservation charity has created two new posts as it expands its crucial overseas work. The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at Paignton Zoo, has announced new staff for its projects in Vietnam and Nigeria.

Emmanuel Olabode has been appointed as Education & Research Coordinator at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, while Heidi Quine takes up the post of International Technical Advisor with Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.

Dr Andrew Bowkett, Programmes Manager for the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, explained: “We don’t employ staff overseas directly, we help our partner NGOs to employ them, often along with funding from other partners and charitable grants. Altogether we help support around 12 staff overseas – six in Sulawesi, Indonesia, four in Nigeria, one in Vietnam and one in Zimbabwe. We also support the fieldwork of PhD student Elena Tonelli in Tanzania.”

Nigerian national Emmanuel Olabode has a degree in Wildlife Management and has studied ecology and conservation biology in Madagascar. He’s worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Tropical Biology Association and has been a keen volunteer with conservation projects in Nigeria. His hobbies include writing articles and poetry.

Meanwhile, in South East Asia, Heidi Quine’s role is to advise on animal husbandry at the carnivore/pangolin centre and help with communication and fundraising.

Heidi has worked in animal welfare and conservation for many years, most recently with Animals Asia. “Being based in China for over three years exposed me to the dire effects the drive for wildlife products has on wildlife.”

A trained zoologist, she is currently studying for a Masters in International Animal Welfare, Ethics, and Law with the University of Edinburgh. “I am thrilled to be joining a team which is already successfully tackling wildlife trafficking through rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing species.

“I am particularly passionate about the plight of the pangolin. Pangolin are the most illegally traded mammal in the world, yet have a lower public profile than more charismatic species such as elephant or rhino. Now is the time to mobilize and save these incredible animals!”

She is a keen amateur wildlife illustrator and loves to travel. She also enjoys learning new languages: “I lived in Vietnam and once upon a time could speak Vietnamese, though I’m pretty rusty now!” And her claim to fame? “I’ve neither read a Harry Potter book nor watched a single Harry Potter film. In a Harry Potter crazed world I think that might be a pretty amazing fact!”


Team account for We Are South Devon.