WFEN Offers Certified Sustainable Silk Products from Madagascar

WLF North American species_am


Conservation through Poverty Alleviation (CPALI) earns Wildlife Friendly® certification for its silk products that help rural farmers develop sustainable livelihoods that support people and ecosystems

Maroantsetra Madagascar: – 28 November 2015 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to Conservation through Poverty Alleviation (CPALI) for its unique, non-spun, wild silk textile.

“We applaud CPALI’s model of focusing on existing resources, local

Leaf Tailed Gecko KB

Leaf Tailed Gecko Photo: Katie Brown

leadership, community ownership and linking partners to global markets,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein. “The endemic and endangered wildlife and unique forests of Madagascar are at stake where people cannot feed their families and must resort to illegal activities. It is very important in the world’s least economically advantaged countries to be able to develop alternative and legal livelihood options.”

Located off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar is home to some 5 percent of the earth’s species. Madagascar is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Seventy percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. The Makira Protected Area (MPA) protects a large percentage of Madagascar’s endemic (that is, found nowhere else in the world) plants and animals. Continue reading

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First Michigan Farm Certified Wildlife Friendly® for Careful Stewardship of Land and Livestock

Hawk WindshadowWindshadow Farm Maintains Threatened Avian, Amphibian and Reptilian Species While Producing High Quality Milk


BANGOR, MI (05 October 2015)  Ronald and Suzanne Klein of Windshadow Farm are the first in the state of Michigan to be recognized as Certified Wildlife Friendly®, due to stewardship of wetlands and habitat for species from amphibians and reptiles to ground-nesting birds and a host of raptors. Windshadow Farm ensures the health of its 150-head dairy goat herd in concert with its surroundings. Attention to detail enables the success of a diverse away of wildlife including the ground-nesting bobolink, a songbird, and state-listed snake and frog species of special concern.Great Pyrenees Windshadow

Ron traces his appreciation for nature to childhood exploration of the marshes of Lake Huron and Lake Erie while working on his grandfather’s and uncle’s dairy farms. In nearly 5 years at its present location, careful nutrient management has resulted in improved soil, pasture, and habitat on Windshadow Farm’s 46 acres. “We take great pleasure in sighting wildlife and sharing with friends,” says Ron. Windshadow Farm times grazing by its pasture-fed goats to ensure nutrient-dense forage. The results show in the milk, allowing for production of high quality cheeses that are distributed throughout western Michigan and in Chicago, under the Evergreen Lane Artisan Cheese label.

The natural areas surrounding Windshadow Farm allow for migration of coyotes and fisher through a marsh extending from the Black River. Two Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs are with the dairy herd at all times, and vulnerable animals are gathered within a secured dry lot at night. “The bonding [between the dogs and the goats] is incredible,” says Ron, noting that one newborn kid snuggled up with one of the dogs, Libby, when it became separated from its mother.

Ronald and Suzanne enjoy identifying the multiple species of turtles, frogs, toads and snakes found on the property and regularly see egrets, herons, and sandhill cranes, along with a host a raptors. Instead of draining seasonally-wet areas, the farm has developed a management intensive grazing system around them. “We maintain a grassed perimeter around our pastures and time our hay crop and grazing to protect ground-nesting birds and capture rain water,” says Ron. Ron and Suzanne believe they are seeing an increase in native pollinators due to their careful management and efforts to work with nature. The return of pollinators, along with more amphibians and reptiles, are signs of a healthy ecosystem on Windshadow Farm.

Pond Windshadow“We’re trying to farm as environmentally responsibly as we can,” says Ron. From the use of solar power to heat the dairy parlor’s water and to run the farm’s Polaris, Windshadow Farm considers its responsibility to future generations integral to its work. “Third-party recognition as Certified Wildlife Friendly® is important to our farm,” says Ron. “It provides a goal for us based on standards and knowledge. More importantly, it is recognition that legitimizes to our community what we all need to do in order to have a decent world for our grandkids and beyond.” Continue reading

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Eastern Kentucky Farm Achieves Certified Wildlife Friendly® Status

Basic CMYKCuddle Coop Farms Offers Habitat and Home-Grown Ingredients


WILLIAMSBURG, KY (September 9, 2015) Running an 8-acre farm near the 700,000 acre Daniel Boone National Forest, one of the most rugged areas in South Central Kentucky, Greg Sims and his wife, Cathy don’t mind the idea of sharing a little of his bounty with wild neighbors. Yet, he is careful to ensure his small flock of laying hens, young goats and bee hives do not become easy prey for area wildlife.

“If there are critters around, we’ve got them,” notes Greg. The Daniel Boone Forest is home to black bear, bobcats and coyotes, along with several endangered bat species.

Sadie and Clem

Sadie and Clem of Cuddle Coop Farms

Greg has a made a number of adaptations to ensure predators don’t get an easy meal from his farm, despite being open to wildlife passage and having 4 acres of woods. He uses a highly-secure shed to house his chickens and goats at night. And, he and his dogs are a frequent presence around the farm throughout the day when the animals are out on pasture.

To protect the coop against hawks, Greg zig-zagged nylon cord above the run, strung with old compact disks, which glint in the sun and rotate in the breeze. While abundant on the property, “I haven’t had a hawk come near the coop in almost 3 years” says Greg. A heavy door and secure opening mechanism keep out possums, raccoons, and foxes, among other potential visitors.

Cuddle Coop Farms achieved Certified Wildlife Friendly® status for its proactive attention to coexistence with wildlife. With dairy goats and honey bees as recent additions to the farm, electric fence and motion detector lights may soon join the Cuddle Coop’s mix of practices. Even more than honey, the pupae, larvae and eggs can serve as a strong attractant to bears.   So far, Greg has found that keeping his livestock secure is both good stewardship and a good investment.

“I’ve always been an outdoors guy,” says Greg, mindful that not too many retired individuals take on the labor of farming as a later-life career. With a market garden dedicated to heirloom vegetables, home-canned products and specialty baked goods prepared by Greg’s wife, Cathy, as regular offerings at 3 weekly farmer’s markets, the Sims family has to fit relaxation into a demanding lifestyle. Greg expects goat’s milk and bee products to become a prominent addition to offerings as his livestock mature.

As a transplant from New Jersey, Greg understands the luxury of having a nearest neighbor one-half mile down the road and elbow room for people and wildlife. “New Jersey was called the Garden State for a reason,” he said. With so many family farms in northeast having been converted to housing, Greg is delighted to be surrounded by public land and neighboring farms: “I’m an old marine vet, exploring something I always thought I might want to do. Continue reading

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First Florida Farm Achieves Certified Wildlife Friendly® Status


Hammock Farm Gourmet of Brooksville Provides Wildlife Habitat for Native Reptiles and Mammals While Producing Gourmet Meats and Eggs

Brooksville, FL (JULY 10, 2015) For Certified Wildlife Friendly® agricultural producer Jean White of Hammock Farm Gourmet, allowing wildlife to flourish is as critical as caring for her cornucopia of pasture-raised meat goats, pigs, sheep and chickens.

goats in vines

Photo: Jessica Rupprecht

“We had a pig wallow full of [native] tadpoles I kept putting water into,” says Jean. Whenever Jean can encourage local wildlife to succeed in the face of Florida’s tide of invasive species, she takes action.   “We need to pay attention to all the little creatures,” says Jean, noting that she has a butterfly garden on the 22 acre property—which includes 7 acres of forest—and leaves stands of native plants, including elderberries and wild persimmons, to provide food and habitat for wildlife, especially birds.

Larger wildlife also make use of the farm, which lies on the flight path between an eagle’s nest and its fishing spot. With avian predators, bobcats and deer as regular visitors to a creek that borders the property, acting to keep Hammock Farm Gourmet’s heritage breed animals safe from predators is an integral part of life on the farm. In order to protect her newborn kids and lambs, Jean keeps them in pastures nearby to frequent human activity. Chickens, which are on pasture during the day, are enclosed at night in a well-secured coop.woodpeckers

Jean has also found that she has better success with Australorp chickens, a heritage breed with a larger body size with black feathers. Lightered-colored chickens, as well as smaller birds, appear to be preferred by hawks. “We do our best to make sure we’re not inadvertently feeding the wildlife while still making sure they can pass through our property and go about their daily business,” says Jean.

“In our state, the corridors for bears and panthers are on cattle ranches,” she says. “We need consumers to understand the connections between farming and conservation.” By gaining recognition for Hammock Farm Gourmet as a Certified Wildlife Friendly® farm, Jean is glad showcase how agriculture and conservation fit together. Continue reading

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WFEN Welcomes WCS-Madagascar as a Certified Enterprise

WLF North American species_am


WCS Madagascar brings raffia, cocoa beans, vanilla, cloves and community managed tourism to the Certified Wildlife Friendly® suite of conservation enterprises, products and services while protecting some of the most endangered primates in the world

ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR: – 14 May 2015 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to the Wildlife Conservation Society-Madagascar (WCS) program for raffia, cocoa beans, vanilla, cloves and community managed tourism which are all produced or managed by communities living around the Makira Natural Park in northeastern Madagascar. This 1,400 square mile block of forest is unique it in that it provides a refuge for numerous rare, threatened, vulnerable and endemic species including 20 threatened lemur species, three of which are amongst the 25 most endangered primates in the world. The forest plays an important role in maintaining connectivity for species between the forests of eastern and northern Madagascar, and in the provision of ecosystem services like water regulation and supply and carbon storage.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer these new Wildlife Friendly® ingredients and to make them available to buyers around the world. These products will help to share Madagascar’s extraordinary story of people, wildlife and forests to aspirational consumers around the world,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein. “We already have several buyers lined up and ready to begin sourcing these products from the Makira region.”

Indri Lemur, photo courtesy of M. Pedrono

Indri Lemur, photo courtesy of M. Pedrono

WCS is the delegated manager of the Makira Natural Park which was formally created in 2012 after a ten-year period of consultation with local communities, and socio-economic and ecological studies. WCS collaboratively manages the Park with local communities and has a strong commitment to contributing to the improved wellbeing of local populations. WCS has supported 67 community associations to establish a ‘green belt’ around the core forest of Makira and works with these communities to diversify livelihoods options through improving production skills and access to markets for high-quality natural resource based products. In return communities are active partners in Park management activities through involvement in patrols and ecological monitoring activities.

“We are very proud to have obtained this certification for the products produced by communities living around Makira. The work that we do with local communities to improve production quality and thus help to ensure sustainable households revenue has the ultimate goal of contributing to the conservation of the unique biodiversity found in this area, and the Wildlife Friendly® certification is a recognition of this link. We have had very positive feedback from international clients on the quality of products from Makira, and we are delighted to be part of the Wildlife Friendly network as it will help us increase the visibility of these products in new markets” said Alison Clausen, Country Director of the WCS Madagascar program.


About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly® and Predator Friendly® certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, a Time Hero for the Planet, and a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Spectacled Bear, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit:

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;  Follow: @thewcs.


Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein:




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