Gland, Switzerland (11.11.2004) IUCN-The World Conservation Union. The ebony forests of Mauritius, the Anegada iguana and the Endangered Przewalski’s gazelle are all set to benefit from the first round of grants issued under the Sir Peter Scott Fund for Conservation Action, created by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).
The Sir Peter Scott Fund for Conservation Action provides small grants (up to US$15,000) to support the activities of its members in their work to conserve threatened species around the globe. In many parts of the world, a small amount of well-directed money can have a significant impact.
In the inaugural round, three projects have been selected to receive grants, $40,000 in total. David Brackett, Chair of the SSC congratulated the project leaders, saying “The selection committee was very impressed with the quality of the proposals submitted. They reflected the tremendous range of activity being undertaken by the more than 120 Specialist Groups in the SSC network. These three recipients are worthy representatives of a much broader group of SSC members”.
Restoration of globally important coastal ebony forest, Ile aux Aigrettes, Mauritius
Dr John Mauremootoo, SSC Indian Ocean Plant Specialist Group
An aerial view of the Ile aux Aigrettes with the Maurtian mainland in the background - photo courtesy of Pierre ArgoThis 26ha islet supports one of the last remnants of this forest type in Mauritius (only 1% of good native forest is left) but it is under constant threat from degradation by invasive introduced plant species. A restoration project, removing alien species and re-establishing native ones was instigated in 1985 and 80% of the island’s forests have been restored. This grant will enable the restoration work to be completed, safeguarding this unique habitat and its associated threatened wildlife.
Anegada Iguana – implementation of the species recovery plan
Richard Hudson (and others) SSC Iguana Specialist Group
Juvenile Anegada iguana - photo courtesy of Jeff Lemm Endemic to Anegada island in the British Virgin Islands, the Anegada iguana is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following an 80% population decline since the late 1960s. Only 200 remain, and this project aims to significantly enhance the recovery of this species through an integrated programme of population and habitat protection, releasing young iguanas reared in captivity (to reduce predation of small iguanas), feral mammal control and building community support for the recovery programme.
Monitoring population trends and habitat quality of the Critically Endangered Przewalski’s gazelle
Dr Zhigang Jiang, SSC Conservation Breeding and Re-introduction Specialist Groups
Przewalski's gazelle - photo courtesy of Dr. Zhigang JiangPrzewalski’s gazelle is endemic to western China and is now confined to a small area around Qinghai Lake . It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with an estimated population of less than 250 animals, split into five isolated sub-populations. There is no captive breeding population and extinction is a real possibility. Continuing threats include competition with livestock and extensive fencing, which prevents free movement between foraging areas and disrupts mating. This project will carry out sound, science-based research on the surviving gazelles and their habitat in order to identify specific measures for conservation action.
“The creation of the Sir Peter Scott Fund is part of a suite of measures put in place in response to the Voluntarism Study that was carried out by SSC in 2001. The study highlighted that our members need more help in fundraising and securing grants,” says Jean-Christophe Vié, Acting Head of the IUCN Species Programme.
“This is a modest start but we shall strive to mobilise more resources to guarantee the future of this important Fund,” he added.
Funds for the first allocation of grants were generated by proceeds from sales of The Red Book: The Extinction Crisis Face to Face, sales of The IUCN Red List Collection, a series of soft toys created to promote awareness of the threats to species, and the remaining balance of the former Peter Scott Fund that was created for the production of SSC’s species Action Plans. Donations to further the work are always appreciated.
For more information on the Sir Peter Scott Fund for Conservation Action see:
https://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/programs/peterscottfund/peterscottfund.htm and for the work of SSC’s Specialist Groups.
For more information contact:
Andrew McMullin, IUCN/SSC Communications Officer, [email protected]; Tel: ++41 22 999 0153