Past International Conservation Grants
Zoos Victoria’s International Grants program is themed ‘Wildlife Conservation through Community Engagement’, recognising the importance of engaging people in protecting wildlife, while supporting sustainable development, both of which are critical for the conservation of wildlife.
Past International Grants Projects
|2017||Kenya: Community ranger training strengthens anti-poaching outcomes
In 2017, Zoos Victoria’s grant to the Thin Green Line and Big Life Foundations funded training of 17 rangers in the Chyulu Hills region of southern Kenya. Poaching is decimating much of Africa’s wildlife, with its impacts on elephants and rhinoceros receiving global attention. The training focused on bleeding control, as a major cause of ranger deaths globally is uncontrolled bleeding from traumatic injury (including from poachers). Enhanced arrest techniques was the second primary training focus. Addressing these two issues directly benefits action to stop poaching, with clear outcomes for wildlife and people. During the grant period, elephants numbers stabilized at about 2,000 individuals and ranger presence contributed to an increase in lions from 150 to about 180 adults. Read more about the project.
|2017||Madagascar: Conserving Golden-crowned Lemurs through community tourism
The Golden-crowned Lemur is restricted to remote north-east Madagascar, with less than 500 individuals remaining in small scattered family groups. It is under severe pressure from habitat loss and poaching by people who lack access to sustainable livelihoods and income. Zoos Victoria’s grant to the Time & Tide Foundation and Fanamby, supported the successful translocation of five lemurs from Andranotsimaty village on the mainland to protected habitat on Nosy Ankao Island, where income from eco-tourism will support forest protection and sustainable agro-forestry at the mainland site. The collaborative project is also bringing much needed health care to Andranotsimaty village.
|2017||South Africa: Protecting Cheetah through farmer-predator conflict mitigation
Cheetah are now found in only 10% of their historic range. Southern Africa is critical, but there the largest population occurs on privately-owned farmland, where they risk being killed by farmers in retaliation for perceived stock losses. Zoos Victoria’s grant to Cheetah Outreach Trust allowed 16 young Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dogs to be placed with farmers. This increased protection of livestock whilst reducing retaliatory Cheetah deaths and significantly growing farmer tolerance of Cheetahs and other predators. The area of ‘Cheetah friendly habitat’ expanded by more than 100,000 ha over the grant period, a wonderful outcome for wild Cheetah. Read more about the project.
|2016||Sri Lanka:Trialling beehive fences to deter Asian Elephants from raiding crops
In 2016, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported the first measurable Asian trial of beehive fences as a sustainable method to deter Asian Elephants from raiding crops, which impacts farmer income and can lead to injury and deaths of both elephants and people. Although storms and drought delayed installation of the beehives and uptake by the bees, 10 fences were established and early signs are good that they are deterring elephants from entering farms. All participating farmers are effectively maintaining fences and there has been a 60% increase in villager acceptance of co-existing with elephants. This concept has been successful in Africa and we are hoping for a similar outcome in Sri Lanka.
|2016||Tanzania:Reducing poaching of giraffe for bushmeat in Ruaha National Park
In 2016, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported work by Wildlife Connection to establish bee-keeping and chicken farming as sustainable alternative sources of protein and income for people in Kipela village close to Ruaha National Park. This was complemented by very successful teacher training to integrate wildlife conservation in the curriculum and first-time visits of more than 80 villagers to the National Park. Collectively, this resulted in a dramatic decline of bushmeat poaching over 2016, including giraffe.
|2016||Kenya:Protecting Cheetah through community integration
In 2016, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported the Tsavo Cheetah Project, continuing work to protect Cheetah throughout Tsavo National Park, an area of more than 13,000km². Their efforts paid off in 2016, when at least 19 Cheetah were saved from retaliatory killing by farmers. Moreover, livestock deaths verified as being caused by Cheetah declined by 72%. These pleasing outcomes are due to the project’s combined community programs and Cheetah monitoring, particularly through the two additional Cheetah Scouts employed from the local communities. The direct inclusion of these young men in the resolution of farmer conflicts with Cheetah, including through encouragement of ‘Cheetah-friendly’ livestock keeping, is critical for changing perceptions of Cheetah and other local predators.
|2016||Guatemala:Conserving Campbell’s Alligator Lizard through habitat restoration and community forest management
In 2016, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported a significant expansion of tree planting to support recovery of the Alligator Lizard by local communities in partnership with Zoo Atlanta - 10,000 oak trees as lizard habitat and 15,000 fast-growing tree seedlings for the community forest that will provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood into the future. The community education and engagement program was particularly successful, with a 95% increase in villagers becoming supportive of conserving wildlife and the forests. Further, the community has asked for help with protecting and managing one of the largest tracts of remaining forest in the area.
|2016||Zimbabwe:Protecting African Wild Dogs and Cheetah through education and community engagement
In 2016, Zoos Victoria’s grant to the Tikki Hywood Trust supported an expansion of conservation education and community engagement around and within the Gonarezhou National Park and Save Valley Conservancy. This resulted in breeding populations of Cheetah and Wild Dogs persisting in both area, and no reports of either species being killed by communities around the parks. The vaccination program for ‘domestic dogs’ was also effective, as there were no reports of rabies in wildlife populations. School students and teachers rescued a group of Wild Dog pups from drowning; good evidence of the continuing improvement in attitudes of school children towards wildlife and effectiveness of the focus on conservation education.
|2015||Ghana: Amphibian conservation through community engagement
In 2015, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported the conservation of the Togo Slippery Frog endemic to the Atewa Forest Waterways of Ghana. The frog was under threat from habitat destruction and consumption as a food source. Herp Conservation Ghana introduced chicken rearing as an alternative to consuming the frog and supplied water tanks and household water harvesting systems to protect localc waterways. The program also focused on conservation education to raise awareness of, and instil local pride in this rare and endemic frog species.
|2015||Pakistan: Enabling mountain women for Snow Leopard conservation
In 2015, Zoos Victoria’s grant supported the conservation of Snow Leopards and other predators of the Chitwan Valley in Pakistan. These species were often persecuted in retribution for killing community livestock. The Snow Leopard Foundation chose to protect local predators by building predator proof corals for livestock and through a livestock vaccination and grazing program, helped to increase Snow Leopard’s natural prey items. The Foundation also developed alternative livelihood programs for women particularly in villages with a high number of conflict incidents with Snow Leopard helping to increase tolerance of the Snow Leopards and reduce retribution killings. The project also focused on conservation education in local schools and the broader community.
|2014||Madagascar: Safeguarding lemur habitat
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. Find out more about the project in the final report.
|2014||Namibia: Restoring lion populations
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. Find out more about the project in the final report.
|2014||French Polynesia: Protecting the Fatu Hiva Monarch
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.