Phoenix Zoo Grant Program Supports Conservation Efforts Globally

Share Article

Zoo Awards Nearly $40,000 in International Conservation Grants

These projects span the globe and cover a tremendous range of approaches to conservation

The Phoenix Zoo announced today the recipients of nearly $40,000 in grant funding for international conservation projects as part of the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation & Science Grants Program.

The Phoenix Zoo proudly supports wildlife and wild places worldwide. From onsite regional species recovery efforts to the field-based projects the Zoo supports through grants and contributions, the Zoo is living up to its promise to further understanding and protection of plants and animals and their habitats.

Each year, researchers from around the world apply to the Zoo’s Conservation & Science Grants Program. A committee made up of Zoo staff from a variety of departments reviews the proposals and determines which projects best fit their priorities. Projects focusing on species or regions related to the Zoo’s animal collection, those with a strong element of local participation and capacity building, and those that tackle serious conservation challenges with a common-sense approach are looked upon most favorably.

“For the 2011-12 grant cycle, the Phoenix Zoo has awarded $38,780 to a total of 13 projects in eight countries. These projects span the globe and cover a tremendous range of approaches to conservation,” says Bert Castro, President and CEO of the Arizona Zoological Society/Phoenix Zoo. “Each project has in common the ability to make a difference for a species or region of conservation concern and the ability to engage Zoo guests with great stories about what’s being done in the field with our support.”

2012 marks the third year of the Zoo’s Conservation and Science Grants Program.
“The Phoenix Zoo received many worthy conservation grant proposals, nearly four times more than we had funds to support,” says Stuart Wells, Director of Conservation and Science for the Phoenix Zoo. “The funding used to support these projects comes directly from our guest contributions, either through admission costs or direct donations to our conservation programs. We would like to thank all of the individuals who support our mission and to welcome others to join our community of conservation.”

Congratulations to the 2012 recipients:

Ecology and conservation of the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) in Kenya
Zoe Muller, Giraffe Conservation Foundation
This study is examining the ecology and distribution of Rothschild’s giraffe in Kenya. This is important work as it estimated that there are fewer than 670 individuals of this subspecies remaining in the wild.

Pathogen transmission among wild and domestic ungulates
Kimberly VanderWaal, Dr. Brenda McGowan, Dr. Lynne Isbell
University of California-Davis
In this project, researchers are investigating how disease transmission is regulated between wild and domestic ungulates in Africa, especially the endangered black rhinoceros, plains zebras, several gazelle species and cattle.

Biodiversity and leopard study of the Matobo Hills
Chris Pfefferkorn, Oregon Zoo
Dr. Vivian Wilson, Chipangali Wildlife Trust
Phoenix Zoo grant funds will help these researchers study the distribution and ecology of leopards and their prey in Matobo Hills, Zimbabwe, providing critical information for developing more informed wildlife management strategies for the area.

Protecting a 'Key 1' population of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) from a dramatic elevation in poaching threat in Zimbabwe
Dr. Peter Lindsey and Ox Hacking, Savé Valley Conservancy
These grantees are working to reduce the impact of poaching on a genetically diverse population of endangered black rhinos by increasing the number of trained anti-poaching scouts working within the Conservancy.

Community engagement in conservation of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the Indian Himalayas
Gargi Banerji, Sunil Phillai and Sejuti Basu, Pragya
This project team will work to develop a community-based program to train youth as biodiversity managers. These youth will in turn teach community members to create “kitchen gardens” to grow medicinal plants for sale and for family use.

Home range, social behavior and ecology of the Bornean tarsier (Tarsius bancanus borneanus) and the Bornean slow loris (Nycticebus menagensis) at the Danau Girang Field Centre, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia
Dr. Benoit Goossens and Danica Stark, Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) Phoenix Zoo’s support will assist the researchers as they investigate the ecology and behavior of the slow loris and tarsier, nocturnal primate species of conservation concern.

Support to orang-utan conservation through research in the Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia
Dr. Marc Ancrenaz, HUTAN
Phoenix Zoo provides continued support for the HUTAN/Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Program (KOCP), which operates in Malaysia and works in a variety of venues to help conserve the Bornean orangutans. Their efforts include reforestation, conservation education, developing responsible palm management practices, and studies to help understand the local species biodiversity.

Recycle of abandoned crop land in order to minimize slash & burn cultivation practice through community participation and identification of habitat used by elephants regularly
K.C. Bhuyan, S.K. Goswami, and B.B. Goswami, Green Guide Nature Organisation This project aims to reduce human/elephant conflicts by engaging community participation in developing abandoned crop land for replanting rather than burning forested areas to create new agricultural opportunities.

The Americas
Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project
Dr. Arnaud Desbiez, Brazilian Institute of Ecological Research and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Phoenix Zoo funds will help increase our understanding of the ecology and behavior of the giant armadillo in the Pantanal region of Brazil, about which very little is known. This work will provide valuable insights regarding what is needed to conserve this incredible animal.

Ecological and genetic evaluation of Roatán’s spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura oedirhina)
Ashley Campbell, Florida Atlantic University
Dr. Stesha Pasachnik, Bay Islands Foundation
Dr. Stephen Hudman, Truman State University
Phoenix Zoo support for this project will help gather information to be utilized for developing long-range management strategies for this rare species of iguana.

Health assessment of an endangered population of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in Mexico: implications for conservation
Rodolfo Martinez-Mora and Dr. Paul Garber, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Phoenix Zoo funds will facilitate studies to determine how habitat loss and human encroachment into the area are impacting the black howler monkey’s health.

California Condor Nest Guarding Program
Estelle Sandhaus, Santa Barbara Zoo
Joseph Brandt, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Phoenix Zoo funds will facilitate development of an increased pool of trained condor nest observers and monitors. This program helps to increase nest success as these trained observers are able to spot failing nests before it is too late to save the chicks.

A proactive approach to horned lizard conservation: developing a reintroduction program for Texas horned lizards while fostering land stewardship with private land owners
Diane Barber and John Kast, Fort Worth Zoo
Grant support from the Phoenix Zoo will facilitate the tracking of reintroduced Texas horned lizards by providing necessary funds to purchase the tracking devices. Gathering information about their movements and survival is vital to the success of this reintroduction program

About the Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is a non-profit zoological park that serves 1.4 million guests annually. Home to more than 1,100 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo is dedicated to providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. For more information about the Zoo’s upcoming events and conservation efforts visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Linda Hardwick
Phoenix Zoo
Email >
Visit website