Zoos and Aquariums Fund Critical International Conservation Projects

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The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced Conservation Endowment Fund (CEF) grants totaling $210,746 to be awarded to 11 projects.

“From tigers to turtles, a driving force in wildlife conservation, animal welfare and education has always been the scientific contributions of AZA members supported by the Conservation Endowment Fund,” said AZA Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education, Paul Boyle. “Scientists at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, along with their partners, continue to advance the care and conservation of wildlife.”

Established in 1984, the Conservation Endowment Fund is a competitive grants program that supports the cooperative conservation-related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA members and their partners. Every major type of conservation and animal care initiative is represented — research, field conservation, education and outreach, animal welfare, animal health and animal management. Many Conservation Endowment Fund projects are collaborations among AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and state, federal and international wildlife agencies, academia and other conservation organizations.

Between 1991 and 2010, the CEF provided more than $5 million to over 300 projects worldwide. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) and The Walt Disney Company have provided supplemental funds to the CEF for over a decade, which significantly increases the number of projects funded by the CEF each year. For more information about Disney’s conservation efforts, please visit http://www.disney.com/conservation.

Anyone may support next year’s worthy conservation projects by donating online or by texting “AZACEF” to 20222 to donate $10 to Conservation Endowment Fund.

After a competitive review of 61 applications, 11 projects were chosen to be funded for 2011. AZA congratulates the 2011 Conservation Endowment Fund recipients:

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit Reintroductions and Recovery (CEF)
David Shepherdson, Ph.D., Oregon Zoo
Penny Becker, Ph.D., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Evaluating Behavioral and Physiological Measures of Program Animal Welfare (DWCF)
Mandy Vick, Christopher Kuhar, Kristen Lukas, Grace Fuller, James Nemet, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Global Conservation Leadership Program for Youth – Botswana (CEF)
Ricardo Stanoss, DVM, Chicago Zoological Society

Head-starting Ornate Box Turtles to Establish a Viable Population on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (DWCF)
Megan Ross and Dave Bernier, Lincoln Park Zoo

Mapping a New Path for Conservation: Investigating Predation Risk Maps as a Tool for Reducing Tiger and Leopard Livestock Depredation (DWCF)
Jennie Miller, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Przewalski’s Horse Restoration in the Kalameili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China (DWCF)
Drs. Melissa Songer and Peter Leimgruber, Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Toward Building a Conservation Constituency on Galapagos through Science and Environmental Education (DWCF/CEF)
Chance Sanford and Peter Riger, Houston Zoo

Use of Trained Detection Dogs to Non-invasively Collect Fecal Samples from the Critically Endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) (DWCF)
Richard Bergl, Ph.D., North Carolina Zoo

Saving the Orangutan of Indonesian Borneo: Building New Relationships Between Local Populations and the Forest (DWCF/CEF)
Dr. Cheryl Knott, Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program

Protection of the Sumatran Orangutans of the Batang Toru Forest through Socialization of Forest Boundaries and Wildlife Protection Laws (CEF)
Dr. Ian Singleton, PanEco-Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari

Rearing Innovation for Endangered Oregon Spotted Frogs: A Collaborative Effort in a Correctional Institution Milieu (CEF)
Dr. Karen Goodrowe Beck, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Dr. Marc Hayes, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Dr. Carri LeRoy, The Evergreen State College

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more visit http://www.aza.org.


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Steve Feldman
Association of Zoos & Aquariums
(301) 562-0777 252
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