Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


August 26, 2006

Maria Diekmann

Founder/Director - Rare & Endangered Species Trust (REST), Namibia

Today's Date: 25 August 2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Working with poisoned animals in rehab, handling and discovering new things about wild vultures.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

the woods at the back of our house.

Now? home in Africa

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

everyone thinks vultures, but really don’t have one. When I see a beautiful Giraffe I go wild. Same with a single Oryx antelope and pretty much all others. Sounds pat, but true

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Apathy on both counts. People are well meaning, but truly most environmental issues do not change their daily life – esp. in the first world thus they are easy to forget. We will probably never have the whole world interested in the environment, but I have seen small numbers of people (kids’ science projects, farmers without poison, visitors to our centre etc - make big important changes for their communities so I know that works.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Try to put 4 hours a month into care about something in the environment. 4 hrs is not too much to check out environmental websites on the internet, donate a Saturday morning to your local animal shelter and walk a dog for them, buy a new garbage container for recycling glass or organize the community to clean up a park. We often wait for others to take the lead - Why?

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