Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Amphibian Ark Seed Grant

Project Mission: Our vision is the world’s amphibians safe in nature, and our mission is ensuring the global survival of amphibians, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature.

Amphibian Ark’s $5,000 Seed Grants are designed to help fund ex situ startup projects for amphibian species that have been identified as being threatened with extinction before the threats they are facing can be mitigated. Ideally the species will have been recommended for a captive rescue program via AArk’s Conservation Needs Assessment process, or a similar reputable assessment. The proposed projects should be within the range country of the species, be managed by local biologists, and follow appropriate biosecurity protocols to prevent the transmission of disease. A management plan for the program should be developed, clearly linking the ex situ program with in situ conservation actions. These grants are for planned or newly-established programs, to help them attract additional funding to support them for the duration of the program.

Specifically, these proposals:

  • Focus on species whose threats cannot be mitigated in nature in time to prevent their extinction and who therefore require ex situ intervention to persist.
  • Work with species within their native range country.
  • Involve range-country biologists.
  • Adhere to recommended biosecurity standards for ex situ programs.
  • Link ex situ programs to in situ conservation.
  • Involve partnerships to maximize the likelihood of the program’s long-term sustainability.


AZA Ape TAG Conservation Inititative

Project Mission: To increase the role of zoos in ape conservation by providing long-term, sustainable funding to ongoing projects.

Apes—bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons/siamangs, gorillas and orangutans—are found in 120 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions. The primary mission of the AZA's Ape Taxon Advisory Group (Ape TAG) is to coordinate the management of these five taxa within AZA zoos. 

Specifically, the Ape TAG works with the individual ape Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs to ensure that ape populations in accredited zoos are properly managed to secure their long-term future and physical and psychological health. 

Additionally, the Ape TAG makes recommendations for how ex situ populations of apes may most effectively serve as ambassadors to educate zoo visitors and contribute to the conservation of their wild counterparts. 


Bat Conservation International

Project Mission: The mission of Bat Conservation International is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

The main objective of this project is to continue establishing sanctuaries to ensure the protection of roost sites used by the Endangered Golden-crowned flying fox across its range in the Philippines. Bat Conservation International (BCI) is working collaboratively with multiple Filipino environmental conservation organizations and individuals to implement the highest-priority actions recommended by the IUCN’s Old World Fruit Bat Action Plan to curtail decades of population declines. Hunting at roost sites is the primary factor negatively impacting Golden-crowned flying fox colonies. The project implements targeted education and awareness campaigns in communities nearest to known and newly-identified roosts. The goals of BCI’s educational activities are to dissuade hunters and farmers from continuing to kill flying foxes and to generate support from community stakeholders to establish locally-managed roost sanctuaries. Such roost sanctuaries will not only serve to protect the target species from hunters, but they will also become high-quality educational and tourist attractions. Conservation projects focused on this neglected species are severely underfunded, especially given its vital role in provisioning ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and pollination in threatened rainforest habitats. The impact and follow through of this project will benefit Golden-crowned flying fox for many years and could save the species from extinction.


Butterfly Conservation Initiative

Project Mission: To conserve threatened, endangered, and vulnerable North American butterflies and the habitats that sustain them, with a focus on recovery, research, and education. The focus is on supporting organism research, building partnerships to advance conservation and in promoting public awareness and conservation literacy.

The Butterfly Conservation Initiative is dedicated to the conservation of threatened, endangered and vulnerable North American butterflies and the habitats that sustain them, with a focus on recovery, research and education. The focus is on supporting organism research, building partnerships to advance conservation, and promoting public awareness and conservation literacy.

The Butterfly Conservation Initiative will highlight three specific initiatives:

  • Conservation and population monitoring of the federally endangered Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly
  • Collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service to create and distribute new regional educational brochures related to “Monarchs and Milkweeds” as well as collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation to disseminate the brochures in backyard wildlife habitat gardening toolkits that show readers how to attract butterflies by incorporating native plants into home landscapes
  • Publication of a new book entitled “Butterfly Conservation in North America”.


International Elephant Foundation

The International Elephant Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to elephant conservation, education and research. IEF funds worthy elephant conservation and research projects worldwide and encourages cooperation, capacity building and education through annual scholarships, workshops and symposia. 

IEF-supported projects protect elephants from poaching, seek solutions for human-elephant conflict, equip and train community conservationists, increase knowledge of the treatment and prevention of disease, and educate people. IEF has invested over $3 million around the world in conserving elephants since its inception in 1998. 

The organization was established in 1998 by a group of zoos, circuses and other elephant care facilities to enhance and promote elephant conservation around the world. The IEF Board of Directors includes representatives from institutions that collectively care for more than 150 Asian and African Elephants in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.


IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group / International Tapir Symposium

The IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group is a scientific organization founded in 1980 as one of the 140 Specialist Groups of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC). The SSC serves as the main source of advice to the IUCN and its members on the technical aspects of species conservation. The SSC is responsible for the publication of the IUCN Red List, action plans, newsletters, and policy guidelines. The TSG is a global group dedicated to conserving tapirs and their habitat through strategic action-planning in countries where tapirs live, information sharing, and educational outreach that shows the importance of the tapir to local ecosystems and to the world at large. 

The TSG strives to achieve these goals through the following strategies: 

  1. Frequent review, status determination and publicizing of tapirs and their needs.

  2. Promoting and supporting research.

  3. Promoting the implementation of conservation and management programs by appropriate organizations and governments.

  4. Establishing strong and effective relationships among tapir conservationists to stimulate communication and cooperation.

Currently, the TSG has 140 members from 27 countries worldwide, including field researchers, educators, veterinarians, governmental agencies and NGO representatives, zoo personnel, university professors and students. All members are directly or indirectly involved in tapir field research and/or captive breeding in their respective regions.