Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund operates daily protection for approximately half of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, as well as daily behavioral data collection, scientific research on gorillas and their conservation, and biodiversity research. Extensive education and training programs are undertaken to help create the next generation of conservation leaders and scientists. Programs for impoverished local communities help them thrive and work together with us toward sustainable conservation.

The work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund was started by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967, when she established the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda to study endangered mountain gorillas. Through five decades of work in Rwanda, the Fund has developed an expanded and integrated model to conservation that includes daily protection, scientific research, educating conservationists, and helping communities. Today, the Fossey Fund is the world’s centerpiece for gorilla protection and study, and operates extensive education, training, and community support programs, with 160 staff in Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Their motto is ‘Helping People. Saving Gorillas,’ and experience shows that a holistic approach to conservation is one of the reasons that critically endangered mountain gorillas are the only species of great ape that are increasing in number.


Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study

Project Mission: Established in 1995, the Mbeli Bai Study has monitored large mammals visiting a naturally occurring 13-hectare swampy forest clearing in the southwest of Nouabale-Ndoki National Park (NNNP), Republic of Congo, with minimum levels of disturbance. The Mbeli Bai study has provided unique insights into the social organization and behavior of the elusive western gorilla.  The continuous monitoring of individuals (over 430 gorillas) provides essential baseline life history data of this critically endangered flagship species.

The Mbeli Bai Study helps ensure the long-term protection of gorillas along with other large mammals in and around the NNNP, through applied research, capacity building of Congolese assistants, and raising awareness both locally and internationally. Additionally the permanent presence of researchers provides direct habitat protection in the south-west of the NNNP – which was a major elephant poaching area before the 90’s. Since the initiation of the Mbeli Bai Study, poaching levels at the study site have fallen to zero.

Population in Decline

Western lowland gorilla populations have in recent years undergone a dramatic decline and the species is currently classified as critically endangered. Commercial hunting for bushmeat, loss of habitat through increased logging activities, and diseases such as Ebola hemorrhagic fever have all had an impact on the population, persisting throughout the region.

Club Ebobo

The Mbeli Bai Study began Club Ebobo, a conservation education program in the schools surrounding the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in 1998. Activities have expanded and Club Ebobo is now conducted in four villages. Club Ebobo sessions are held in French, Lingala, and recently in a pygmy language, on a monthly basis. Classes are separated with the younger children doing more basic games and work, whereas older children engage in more conservation-oriented lessons. Local teachers are also included in the conservation education through a training workshop where they learn to use an environmental education activity book that includes 11 lessons designed to encourage creativity among students.

The Bai of Africa

“Bai” refers to swampy forest clearings that dot the landscape through Africa’s rainforests. Mbeli Bai is a clearing in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Detailed studies are underway there on western lowland gorillas, endangered forest elephants, sitatungas and forest buffaloes. Besides continuous bai monitoring, the Mbeli Bai Study aims to understand the importance of forest clearings and determine the ecological factors (e.g., density of fruiting trees, aquatic and terrestrial herbaceous vegetation) influencing gorilla and large mammal density and protection.


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Colobus Conservation International

Project Mission: To promote, in close cooperation with other organizations and local communities, the conservation, preservation and protection of primates, in particular the Angolan Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliates) and it’s associated coastal forest habitat in Kenya.

The objective of Colobus Conservation Ltd is three-fold: conservation, education and animal welfare. The aim is to promote, in close cooperation with other organizations and local communities, the protection of the remaining Coastal Forest in Diani and its reforestation to secure a natural habitat for the Angolan colobus monkey and the long-term survival of the species. The preservation of the remaining population in Diani and primates wellbeing is ensured through the animal welfare program that involves animal rescue, treatment and rehabilitation and above all education programs to school children from the hinterland of Diani/Ukunda, and working closely with the local communities and the Kaya (sacred forest) elders.  Colobus Conservation is the only organization in Diani that does this work and the only place in Kenya with a rehabilitation program for monkeys who have been kept in captivity.


Amphibians of Andasibe

Project Mission: To address the threats facing the amphibians of Andasible, Madagascar through community-run conservation initiatives.

The area around Andasibe in east-central Madagascar supports more than 100 different species of frogs. This includes a number of local endemics, several Endangered and Critically Endangered species, as well as more than 30 species assessed as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List. The threats facing the frogs of Andasibe are as diverse as the frogs themselves, and include habitat destruction, infectious diseases, over-harvesting for the food and pet trades, and the ongoing effects of climate change.

The Andasibe based community-run organization Mitsinjo has launched a set of initiatives aimed at addressing these threats to ensure the survival of their local frog species. This includes operating the country’s only captive survival assurance center for amphibians as well as running one of only two long-term population monitoring programs in Madagascar for frogs. Newer projects involve integrating amphibians into an existing environmental education campaign and developing an Environmental Outreach Center that highlights the ecological importance of amphibians.


Saharan Red-Necked Ostrich Recovery Program

Project Mission: To raise awareness about the plight of Sahelo-Saharan wildlife through the development of a community-based captive breeding and reintroduction/restoration project for an iconic regional species, the Saharan Red-Necked Ostrich.

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is working with the international zoo community, the Republic of Niger, and a local NGO to restore the Saharan red-necked ostrich, Struthio camelus camelus, to the wild through captive breeding and reintroduction in Kellé, Niger. It is the largest bird on our planet. Extirpated across 95% of its range, it is already locally extinct in many range states, including Niger. SCF and its partners have worked to raise awareness about its plight, identify pure-bred founder stock in private hands locally in Niger, develop an in situ captive breeding program, and engage the local community in the restoration of this bird to free-ranging status using captive-bred birds from the breeding center established for this purpose. Steady progress is being made; the condition of the flock has steadily improved on a balanced ration using locally sourced ingredients. The birds are thriving, producing eggs in ever-increasing numbers, and for the past two consecutive years they have hatched and successfully reared their first chicks through natural incubation and parent-rearing.


Giraffe Conservation Foundation

Project Mission: To secure a future for all desert-dwelling giraffe populations in Namibia

This project seeks to build the first long-term ecological monitoring effort on the desert-dwelling Angolan giraffe in northwestern Namibia.. Collecting, collating and disseminating popular and scientific information will be useful locally and internationally for government, NGOs, communal conservancies and other interested partners to help with conservation and management of Angolan giraffe in Namibia. Surprisingly, this project is the first ever long-term ecological monitoring project of giraffe in Africa.

As part of a larger Namibian countrywide initiative, the project will work closely with communal conservancies in order to support the first ever Giraffe Conservation Country Profile for Namibia, which will be used as a baseline to inform the development of the first ever National Giraffe Conservation Strategy for Namibia: an initiative of the Namibian Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). Furthermore, the invaluable data obtained from this project will be fed back to local communities and communal conservancies in the area as well as into the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group Giraffe Database (GiD) and provide the basis for the first-ever formal IUCN Red List assessment of Angolan giraffe. It is anticipated that the Angolan giraffe will be considered a threatened subspecies and this work will provide an important basis for the long-term sustainable conservation and management of this subspecies in Namibia.