WILDLIFE SURVIVAL PROGRAM

Investing in threatened species before it’s too late

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

 

Of the 62,000 species of vertebrate animals, scientists estimate that about 20% are at risk of extinction before the end of the century. This loss of species diversity is unprecedented and in almost all cases human caused. But humans can also be part of the solution.

The Wildlife Survival Fund provides grants to field projects and initiatives recommended by Woodland Park Zoo curators and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Programs. Projects awarded through the Wildlife Survival Fund represent animals in the zoo’s collection. 

 

PROJECTS IN AFRICA

 



Madagascar Fauna & Flora

Location: Toamasina, Madagascar

Project Since: 2018

Mission:
The Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group protects the rich biodiversity of Eastern Madagascar through conservation, research, education and capacity building.  

Highlights:
Unable to carry out missions in 2020 due to Covid, in 2021 a number of missions led to seven diademed sifakas captured and collared. Data collected shows that there have been more births and a higher survival rate than expected. A sifaka translocation agreement was verbally agreed upon by the government for 2022.



Colobus Conservation Ltd.

Location: Diani, Kenya

Project Since: 2014

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 and its associated coastal forest habitat in Kenya.

Highlights:
Most primate mortalities experienced in the region are due to traffic collisions in their attempt to cross the busy Diani Beach road. To combat this, Colobus Conservation has erected 30 aerial canopy bridges along this main road. The program observed an increase in the use of these bridges by three species of monkeys (colobus, Sykes, vervets), and there are now approximately 250,000 crossings annually on these canopy bridges.



Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Location: Rwanda

Project Since: 2018

Mission:
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.

Highlights:
Despite challenges of the global pandemic, trackers did not miss a day in the field. The outcome has been that no gorillas were caught in snares in 2021, and the gorilla population continues to grow. New census results revealed growth of the population from 480 to 604 individuals.

Projects in Eurasia

 



Asian Elephant Support

Location: Indonesia & Sumatra     

Project Since: 2014

Mission:
To establish a department for wildlife and conservation medicine at Syiah Kuala University in order to train veterinarians and veterinary students in the skills and services needed for wildlife conservation and welfare in the field.  

Highlights:
Online lectures on wildlife conservation, orangutan health and elephant veterinary topics were given to 205 students during the year. The wildlife ambulance took 56 field operations over 152 days, most involving injured or sick elephants but also involving other wildlife (primates, deer, even a dolphin stranding).



Komodo Dragon Survival Program

Location: Indonesia

Project Since: 2018

Mission:
To provide sound information on wildlife biology to help in devising management and conservation plans for the Komodo dragon and its natural habitat.

Highlights:
Results from population studies using camera traps in Komodo National Park indicated that lizard population were stable across all island populations. Ungulate prey surveys also indicated a stable prey population on Komodo and Rinca, and a low (but in a stable trend) prey densities on Nusa Kode and Gili Motang islands. This information will be used to inform park management and provide useful ecotourism information to tourists.



MYCAT: Citizen Action for Tigers

Location: West Malaysia

Project Since: 2014

Mission:
To protect and recover the tiger population in and around Taman Negara and to monitor the movement of tigers and other wildlife within the corridor linking the National Parks to the Main Range, which forms the world’s fourth largest tiger landscape.

Highlights:
An increased intensity and coverage of the protection patrols this year recorded greater numbers of both threat incidences and signs of target wildlife in 2021; 23 snares and 50 box traps, targeting medium-size ground mammals such as porcupines and pangolins, were found and destroyed. Many of these were found in areas with high accessibility (roads, trails, access points, and railroad). These areas often coincide with presence of large mammals and thus consistent boots on the ground are important to keep the wildlife safe.



Partula Recovery and Reintroduction Project

Location: Society Islands, French Polynesia    

Project Since: 2004

Mission:
To preserve and enhance the survival prospects of all surviving endemic tree snail species of the family Partulidae within their natural range in French Polynesia, and to re-establish the International breeding program’s Extinct in
the Wild Partula species on their natural range islands.

Highlights:
6 species were released in 2018 on Tahiti and Moorea islands, and there is evidence of survival.



Red Panda Network

Location: Nepal

Project Since: 2012

Mission:
Red Panda Network saves wild red panda and preserves the habitat in the temperate mountain forest of Himalaya through adaptive community based research, education, habitat restoration and sustainable livelihoods by involving and empowering local people themselves.

Highlights:
Despite the fact that poaching of red pandas appears to be getting worse globally, the forest guardians covering the districts for this project detected zero poaching incidents on red pandas – no reports of pandas trapped, no reports of pelts confiscated, no reports of arrests. The program has been able to secure approximately 5 hectares of private land that is in critical red panda habitat. To restore the land the program will be implementing a tree-planting project in 2022, to go with another 100 hectares of habitat purchased in 2020. The program was able to mobilize the local community in planting native trees to restore habitat, with more than 144,000 trees planted in 2021.



Silent Forest: Asian Songbird Crisis

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Project Since: 2015

Mission:
To improve the situation of Asian songbirds in their natural habitat and to develop an increased knowledge and understanding of the threats to these birds and how zoos can contribute to save them.

Highlights:
Regular supplementation of captive-bred Bali mynas is showing success, as there are recent signs that the critically endangered bird is increasing and expanding its population within Bali Barat National Park. Free-flying individuals have now been recorded outside of the park’s eastern border. This area may hold suitable habitat for Bali Myna, while there may be possibilities to involve tourists and tourist infrastructure in actively managing areas for the myna.



Cranes of Asia: Muraviovka Park

Location: Tambovski District of the Amur Region, Russia – on the border of China

Project Since: 1999

Mission:
Muraviovka Park demonstrates wetland and natural resource management that sustains rare wildlife while involving and benefitting local communities. The Park disseminates effective conservation methods through the Amur Region and beyond, linking local, regional, and international communities who share a vision for healthy co-existence of migratory waterbirds and people.

Highlights:
In 2021 the program found three pairs of red-crowned cranes in the park that fledged five chicks among them, as well as one territorial pair and one to five summering subadults. A partner using a drone counted 30 nests of the oriental stork and 51 territorial pairs of the white-naped crane – twice as many as in 2020. In the fall, the drone spotted a pre-migratory flock of 18 wild red-crowned cranes. The program has successfully raised funds to purchase a drone in early 2022; such monitoring will provide valuable data on population numbers, breeding success, and important breeding, feeding, and roosting sites that need special protection. In 2021, the captive pair of red-crowned cranes once again raised two chicks, who are now as big as their parents, and their release is expected in spring 2022.



Turtle Survival Alliance

Location: Cambodia

Project Since: 2005

Mission:
Transforming passion for turtles into conservation action.

Highlights:
In 2021 the program successfully released 61 head-started southern river terrapin into their natural habitat of Sre Ambel River System in Southwest Cambodia. Acoustic transmitters were attached to all of the turtles so the research team can study their movement, dispersal, habitat utilization, and survival rate in the wild. For the first time in 20 years, at least five captive females produced clutches at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center.



Wildlife SOS

Location: Chhattisgarh, India

Project Since: 2015

Mission:
Wildlife SOS aims to protect and preserve India’s wildlife, run rehabilitation and rescue centers for wildlife, conserve habitats, raise awareness, conduct research, study biodiversity and provide sustainable livelihoods for communities otherwise dependent on wildlife to earn a livelihood.

Highlights:
In India, sloth bear conflicts in the form of attacks on people are a major threat to the species. This project is attempting to understand sloth bear behavior dynamics better in the hopes of mitigating the problem. The project will put GPS collars on 10 sloth bears for two years. This will not only allow for a look at sloth bear activity and how it pertains to human–bear conflicts, but it will also provide significant data on the general ecology of this species in this part of India.



Steller's Sea Eagle Conservation

Location: Bay of Schastye Nature Park, Russia

Supported Since: 2022

Mission:
To conserve the integrity and functionality of the Russian Far East ecosystem as a landscape, including the full scope of wildlife species at population levels that assure their long-term persistence.

Highlights:
In 2022, this new project will survey suitable habitat within the Bay of Schastye, Russia, for breeding Steller’s sea eagles. This site is thought to contain approximately 20 pairs of nesting eagles, or 1% of the global population of this Vulnerable species. The 2022 population estimates will be compared with past surveys (from 2009) to gauge population trends, and to provide additional support for efforts to designate a protected area at this site.



Red-breasted Goose International Working Group

AEWA (African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agreement)

Location: Bulgaria

Supported Since: 2019

Mission:
To improve knowledge of the specific threats, migration ecology, and current distribution of red-breasted geese and contribute to the overall improvement of their population conservation status.

Highlights:
Ten field monitoring surveys were conducted in Black Sea coast areas important for the wintering of the species. Six hunting season patrol visits were conducted to reduce and mitigate poaching and hunting rules violations. A big success was the closure of spring hunting in Kalmykia (Russia) and the closure of spring hunting in Rostov region and Stavropol region, making a safe area for spring migration of thousands of migratory waterbirds. In spring the team managed to catch and tag 11 birds in Kazakhstan; this was the first-time collar tags have been used for Red-breasted geese.

Projects in the Americas

 



Amphibian Ark

Location: Argentina

Supported Since: 2011

Mission:
To promote the long-term conservation of the El Rincon Stream Frog (Pleurodema somuncurense) and other threatened and endemic species of the Somuncura Plateau in Argentina.

Highlights:
During 2021 the program greatly improved the research facility, making it much more productive. Because of this they were able to translocate almost 1,500 individuals born in captivity to three restored wild habitats where this species had previously gone extinct. Staff also were able to carry out extensive monitoring of released individuals, confirming they survived well in their new habitats.



Northern Jaguar Project

Location: Sonora, Mexico

Supported Since: 2012

Mission:
The mission of the Northern Jaguar Project is to preserve and recover the world’s northernmost population of the jaguar, its unique natural habitats, and native wildlife under its protection as a flagship, keystone and umbrella species.

Highlights:
This project offers protection for the northern jaguar population across a region of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands where poaching and poisoning are immediate threats. The project develops long-term relationships with an expanding group of ranchers adjacent to the 58,000-acre Northern Jaguar Reserve to unseat long-held intolerances of predators and reward the presence of living wildlife. They also engage youth as conservation ambassadors with hands-on activities that get them outdoors to connect with nature.



Chacoan Peccary Project

Location: Paraguay

Project Since: 2018

Mission:
Conservation management of the endangered endemic species as well as protection for Chacoan biodiversity.

Highlights:
In 2021 the program received two confiscated newborn Chacoan peccaries, both calves without their mothers, probably after being separated by poaching activities. To date, both are in good health and are in the process of gradual integration to a family group in in the Center. These two wild Chacoan peccaries will be of extreme value for the genetic diversity of the captive group. Also, important ecology and health data were obtained from the collared wild tapir, The program obtained valuable data from camera traps; cameras have recorded numerous tapirs and big groups of white-lipped peccaries, collar peccaries and one wild Chacoan peccary as well as a great diversity of small, medium, and large mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.



Monitoring Wolf Populations with Acoustic Methods

Location: Location: Haíɫzaqv Territory (Central Coast British Columbia, part of the region now commonly referred to as the “Great Bear Rainforest”, GBR).

Supported Since: 2022

Mission:
To pilot Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) to help establish minimum counts of wolves to provide a first baseline for densities in the area; continued monitoring will help to detect and understand changing trends in the future.

Highlights:
The project will provide a better understanding of wolf dynamics across this territory that will help to inform activities permitted across this area, ranging from specific protections (e.g., designating conserved areas) to modified approaches of resource use (e.g., modifying forestry operations based on importance to wolves and other local wildlife.

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Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

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Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

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