Photo In Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

In Cascades National Park, Washington, USA

Photo On the school bus

On the school bus

Photo At the summit of Logan Pass, Montana, USA

At the summit of Logan Pass, Montana, USA

Photo Clawdia poses for sketch artist with past ICCB Mascots Kia Ora (left) and Ed-Monton

Clawdia poses for sketch artist with past ICCB Mascots Kia Ora (left) and Ed-Monton

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  • Photo
  • Photo
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Clawdia Contest Winner: Seline Meijer "Clawdia Visits Malawi"

Congratulations to our Clawdia photo contest winner Seline Meijer! Seline will receive complimentary registration to ICCB for showing her research through excellent photos of ICCB mascot Clawdia. Thank you to all who participated for making the contest a success. Read about Seline’s research project on farmers’ perception of deforestation in Malawi below:

Forests cover about 27 percent of the total land area of Malawi. The natural vegetation consists mainly of miombo woodland, an open canopy woodland dominated by leguminous Brachystegia trees. Seline's research aims to understand farmers’ perceptions of changes in tree cover and their attitudes towards deforestation and conservation of trees.


However, Malawi’s forests are rapidly disappearing, as the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the region. Using a time-series of aerial photographs and recent satellite images, the study evaluates how tree cover has changed in the study areas.


A quantitative survey was used to assess farmers’  perceptions of changes in tree cover and identify what they believe to be the most important drivers of deforestation in the area. The aim of the study is to better understand farmers’ motivations for planting trees and evaluate if it could be an effective strategy to reduce deforestation.


Firewood is the most common source of energy for cooking in Malawi, and it is believed to contribute to forest degradation. The survey results demonstrate that farmers who perceived natural forest cover to be low were less likely to collect firewood from the forest, but are more likely to plant trees on their land.

Charcoal production is contributing to the high demand for forest products in Malawi, especially in the proximity of urban areas. The survey results show that charcoal selling is an important source of income for farmers in northern Malawi, where a lot of people rely on trees from the forest to fulfil their livelihood needs.


Tobacco, Malawi’s main cash crop, is often blamed for accelerating the country’s forest loss, as it requires wood for the construction of tobacco sheds. The survey results reveal that although farmers’ attitudes towards deforestation were mostly negative, they were a poor predictor of the intention to cut down trees from the forest.

The majority of the population of Malawi are subsistence farmers whose main food crop is maize. Many of them are faced with major environmental challenges such as low agricultural productivity, climate change and high levels of deforestation. Planting trees can be a potential way to cope with these challenges, as it can improve soil conditions, store carbon and take the pressure off natural forests.


Clawdia joins a focus group discussion where a group of female farmers in the central region of Malawi talk about their perceptions and attitudes towards cutting trees from the forest, their motivations for planting trees, and the barriers which impede tree planting.


Clawdia was very warmly welcomed by the farmers and their families – especially the children were very fond of her!



Finally, Clawdia spends a couple of days enjoying the beautiful lake Malawi – a unique ecosystem known for its high biodiversity of fish species.


Read about the contest below:

Meet Clawdia the Blue Crab

Meet Clawdia, SCB's mascot for ICCB 2013!

Host Clawdia the Blue Crab in your hometown!  Clawdia is traveling around the world to discover more about the vital conservation work being done by SCB members.  If you have a great conservation success story, would like to have the opportunity to speak about the important work you and your colleagues are doing, are excited about the activities in your regional SCB section or local chapter, or simply are interested in meeting the well-travelled Clawdia, this is your chance!

In addition to being featured on the SCB home page, one lucky finalist will win a free registration to attend ICCB 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA!

To enter for the chance to host Clawdia, please send an email to with the following information:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Short description of your conservation work
  • The top reason(s) Clawdia should visit

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2013.

Only 10 people will get the chance to host Clawdia, so submit your name today. You will be contacted by January 20 if you are chosen to participate. You will then have until March 1 to submit photos.