The week's good news: March 2, 2023

It wasn't all bad!

Samantha Zwicker
(Image credit: Courtesy of Hoja Nueva)

1. This conservationist is working to keep the Peruvian Amazon wild

Fighting back against deforestation, animal trafficking, and other threats to biodiversity isn't easy, but Samantha Zwicker and Hoja Nueva are up to the challenge — and seeing success. Zwicker is the founder and co-director of Hoja Nueva, a conservation organization and rehabilitation center in the Las Piedras region of the Peruvian Amazon. Las Piedras is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, home to more than 100 species of mammals, 200 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 700 species of birds. The organization's mission is to protect the land; rescue and rewild animals; conduct ecological research; and empower and educate local communities on conservation efforts. Hoja Nueva is Spanish for "new leaf," which is "a really beautiful name," Zwicker told The Week. "It made sense with the saying 'turning a new leaf.' I wanted to turn a new leaf for conservation, and approach it differently in this region." Over the last 10 years, Zwicker and Hoja Nueva have been leading the way in research and rehabilitating wildlife, and now have nearly 60 animals in their care that they are preparing to reintroduce to the wild. The team is always looking ahead, and their goals include getting government protection for Las Piedras and having "a bigger impact on research and science coming out of this region, so people can recognize how incredible and vital it is," Zwicker said.

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