Rainforest Ambassadors: Q & A with Thomas Broom

Rainforest Trust

Jan 8, 2016


To highlight the Rainforest Ambassadors program, we spoke with Thomas Broom, a passionate 14-year-old birder, blogger and rainforest defender.

  • Exploring a Jungle River in Borneo. Photo by Thomas Broom

You recently traveled to the rainforests of Borneo. What stood out to you?

“I don’t think I had prepared myself for just how much life there was in the rainforest! The constant sound of insects, birds and primates was incredible, and the excitement of what could be seen each day was fantastic.”

What were some of your trip’s highlights?

“It is fair to say I have never been anywhere so packed full of wildlife! The great thing was that everything I was seeing was new to me. Seeing a wild Orangutan was a very powerful experience. But at the same time it made me think about the impact we’re having on rainforests and habitats, and why we’re threatening such a beautiful species, and one that is so closely related to us. The morning chorus of Gibbons was also a real highlight. To wake up to such a wonderful sound every morning was an absolute treat!”

The rainforests of Borneo are under threat from logging and oil palm plantations. Did you witness any areas that had been degraded by human activity?

“Unfortunately, yes. Whilst flying over northern Borneo, I saw large areas where the rainforest has been replaced by huge palm oil plantations. We also drove for hours through solely palm oil on the way to the Kinabatangan River. They were a complete contrast to the lively forests, and it was quite upsetting to see such extensive areas of plantations.”

  • Lizard in the Borneo Rainforest. Photo by Thomas Broom

How do you think students can help save the rainforest?

“There are many ways in which students can save the rainforest. Organizing fundraisers, raising awareness and getting involved in conservation are just some of these ways. The real problem is getting students interested in conservation, and passionate about saving rainforests.”

You are an avid wildlife blogger. What inspired you to start documenting nature?

“I have been interested in the natural world for as long as I can remember. Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries certainly had a big impact on me, and properly kick started my interests. Starting to document nature was a way for me to not only document my experiences, but also express my fascination and learn more about the natural world.”

Any future plans involving wildlife?

“In the future, I am looking at being a zoologist, and studying wildlife in various places across the world such as rainforests. I would also like to work towards conservation efforts and continue writing about wildlife and nature in the form of my blog and articles.”

Learn more about Rainforest Ambassadors.