Zoos Victoria’s International Conservation Grants build on our longstanding commitment to international conservation partnerships. The grants recognise engaging with and building the capacity of people to save wildlife is a significant challenge, and one that we believe is essential if we are to secure sustainable long-term conservation outcomes for wildlife. Grant bids will be accepted up to AUD 20,000 for approved 12 month projects.
The 2015 grants are themed ‘Wildlife Conservation through Community Engagement’, recognising the importance of engaging people in protecting wildlife, while building social capacity, both of which are critical for the conservation of wildlife. The two successful projects chosen each demonstrate meaningful on-ground benefits to both wildlife and people.
In 2014, Zoos Victoria's grant supported the conservation of the critically endangered Sportive Lemur of Madagascar, under threat from deforestation for charcoal production. The grant funding succesfully supported school projects and outreach education for local children and community members about the value of the ecosystem and the interconnectedness of local lemurs, native trees and people, helping community members reduce their reliance on charcoal. A concluding survey reported 87% of parents understood the importance of lemurs and forest.
In 2014, Zoos Victoria's grant helped to reduce lion-human conflict in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Namibia, one of the largest lion populations in Africa. The grant funding successfully helped build lion-proof enclosures for local livestock, improve the quality and quantity of grazing available for livestock as well as encouraging native wildlife to return to the area, providing an alternative food source for lions. The grant also assisted in developing a team of guards to help track the lions to develop an early warning system for the locals.
In 2014, Zoos Victoria's grant supported the conservation of the Fatu Hiva Monarch the most endangered bird in French Polynesia. The grant funding helped control feral species and develop an alternative income to combat habitat loss due to unsustainable farming practices. The local villages closest to the bird's habitat were targeted with the development of the Bee Keeper training program to manufacture and sell honey in local island areas. Early results have estimated the wild population of the Fatu Hiva Monarch have increased to six breeding pairs, with five successful fledgings.