Under The Spotlight: Tara Proud

Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager for the Marine Conservation Society Tara Proud discusses her love for nature and her experiences In the kingdom of Bhutan

Tara Proud
Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager
Marine Conservation Society

Tara is currently the Marine Conservation Society's Volunteer & Community Engagement manager, engaging with people across Scotland. Previously she has worked for the RSPB leading an international conservation project to save Turtle Doves as well as working In science and hands-on conservation for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Tara studied Biology degrees at both the Universities of Oxford and Bristol.

Lets see what Tara had to say as she went under the spotlight...🔦

What inspired you to get involved in conservation and the environment?

My love of nature. For as long as I remember the natural world has filled me with wonder and I can't imagine not doing everything within my gift to help protect it.

In 1974 only four of these beautiful Mauritius Kestrels were known to exist in the wild, making it the world’s rarest bird. Today they have bounced back due to the hard work of Dr Carl Jones, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

If you could change one thing to make a huge impact on the planet, what would it be?

I was lucky enough to visit friends in Bhutan several years ago. What struck me most about this amazing country is that everyone I met there has both a respect for nature and an appreciation for our place within nature. I think this comes - in part - from their concept of Gross National Happiness, i.e. measuring success by happiness and not money. Wouldn't it be incredible if we could replicate this philosophy everywhere?

How would you convince the Donald Trumps of this world that biodiversity is important?

This is a tough question, because clearly scientific evidence doesn't convince everyone! To change someones mind we need to connect with them, to do this I think we must first ask ourselves what it is that makes us care about biodiversity: for me it is because I love nature, I feel happy when I am in nature and it inspires me. For people who are unconvinced by science we can communicate more creatively: using film, art, literature or music.

What is your most memorable encounter with an animal or nature?

I am asked this question often, and the answer is always changing because I am regularly in awe of nature! Most recently, I was incredibly lucky to see a pod of Orca off the coast of Shetland whilst I was up there for work. This is a species I've always wanted to see and so I was blown away by the encounter.

An amazing encounter with a pod of Orca off the coast of Shetland

Who is your conservation role model?

Dr Carl Jones - Durrell’s Chief Scientist . I feel lucky to call Carl a friend and also to have begun my conservation career working in Mauritius where he has saved numerous species from extinction.

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