I have been at work this week on reversing retention. Flew American Airlines to Miami on Sunday, 23 February, then north to Jacksonville. Picked up at Jacksonville airport and shuttled across to the White Oak Conservation Center for my first board meeting with Conservation X Labs (CXL).
Great to see CXL co-founders Paul Bunje and Alex Dahgan – and to meet the rest of the team. Very much liked the other board members.
During the visit, which saw more or less endless rain, I went on two tours of the 17,000-acre conservation center, with the absolute highlight for me being the cassowaries, billed as the world’s most dangerous bird. About as close to velociraptors as I hope I am ever likely to see. The male and female have to be kept apart – and when the female performed a running, thumping aggression dance along her side of the fence it was fairly obvious why.
Am genuinely thrilled to be part of the CXL team – and was able to stay on for a further day and a half after the board meeting, to take part in the full team retreat. Hugely impressed by what I heard about the various programs designed to help “reverse extinction.
On the flights back, I read an initial 160 pages of CXL CEO Alex Deghan’s extraordinary book, The Snow Leopard Project And Other Adventures In Warzone Conservation. The story of the unbelievably challenging task of setting up Afghanistan’s first national park. Beyond inspiring.