Madagascan flying foxes, Ganges river dolphins, Hawaiian plants and Arabian leopards are among the species that are all set to benefit from the second round of grants issued under the Sir Peter Scott Fund for Conservation Action, created by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) to support its Specialist Group’s conservation projects.
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.
The selection committee was very impressed by the diversity of applications which reflected the wide scope of the work of the SSC. A new call for projects is due to be issued in September. In total six projects have been selected to receive grants in this round.
Ganges River dolphins in the Brahamaputra River, India
SSC Cetacean Specialist Group
Ganges river dolphin populations are thought to have declined by at least 50% over the last 50 years and are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM. The Ganges-Brahmaputra River basin has one of the highest human population densities on earth and the dolphins are under enormous pressure due to intense utilization and degradation of their river habitat. This project will provide vital information on the distribution, abundance, behaviour and acoustics of Ganges River dolphins to guide conservation and management of these Endangered cetaceans.
Arabian leopard in the Republic of Yemen
SSC Cat Specialist Group
This project will focus on the conservation of the CriticallyEndangered Arabian leopard. Yemen is a key country for the survival of this species but very little is known about its current distribution and conservation status. The project will involve a Rapid Assessment survey of Wada’a region and provide training for two Yemeni for further training in the field of wildlife monitoring and conservation.
Flying fox roosts in Madagascar
SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group
The Madagascan flying fox Pteropus rufus is a large endemic fruit bat which plays an important role in seed dispersal and pollination. It is threatened by hunting, persecution and roost disturbance. Protected areas do not contribute greatly to Madagascan flying fox conservation because they roost in small forest fragments. This project will develop community based conservation plans at the village level for the conservation of fragments supporting flying fox roosts. It will also include a community based habitat monitoring initiative at two of the most threatened roost sites.
Hawaii ’s rare plant genetic safety net programme
SSC Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group
Nearly 200 of the 1500 native plant species in Hawaii are at risk of going extinct within the next few years due to threats such as habitat destruction and invasive species. This project aims to prevent the extinction of the rarest of the rare Hawaiian plants by introducing management measures for wild populations, collecting seeds or cuttings for genetic storage and reintroducing some of these species into protected managed sites.
Leopard Conservation in Pakistan
SSC Cat Specialist Group
The common Leopard which had disappeared in many parts of its historic range in Pakistan is showing encouraging signs of recovery. However, this increase in numbers has also led to an increase human-leopard conflict. Leopard attacks on domestic livestock and people have led to widespread trapping, poisoning and shooting of leopards. The goal of this project is to reduce these conflicts in a number of ways including introducing training for women who work in the forest so they can minimize their risks and developing mechanisms for the compensation of livestock owners.
Southwest Wolf Information Network
SSC Wolf Specialist Group
The Mexican sub-species of the gray wolf is the most threatened wolf type in North America. A gray wolf population was reintroduced to an area straddling the Arizona/New Mexico but human wolf conflict has become a major problem in this multi-use landscape and the wolf population is currently shrinking due to the number of removals. This project aims to provide accurate, balanced education about the effects of wolves and humans on each other and the environment.