Two Wildlife Sanctuary Managers Receive PASA Leadership Grant

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The grant develops future leaders in African primate protection.

PASA is committed to developing leaders in primate protection in Africa.

The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)—the largest alliance of wildlife centers in Africa—proudly announced its new cohort of Norm Rosen Leadership Grant recipients today. Mr. Frederick MacKinnon Onyancha, of Kenya, and Dr. Titus Mukungu, of Uganda, are this year’s grant recipients. PASA awards this grant each year to develop leadership for primate protection and wildlife conservation in Africa. The recipients are chosen from nominated professionals working at the 23 wildlife centers and sanctuaries that form the PASA network.

“PASA is committed to developing leaders in primate protection in Africa,” said Gregg Tully, Executive Director of PASA. “This grant is a key way we do this, and we’re inspired by the work Mr. Onyancha and Dr. Mukungu have undertaken at the sanctuaries they represent.”

Mr. Onyancha is the sanctuary manager at Colobus Conservation in Kenya, where he has been on staff since 2018. He brings scientific expertise to his role, and he has attracted grants through proposal writing, networking and lobbying both local and international organizations. Mr. Onyancha recently raised USD $43,000 for a project aimed at the conservation of Mijikenda sacred forests, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Dr. Titus Mukungu is sanctuary manager and veterinarian at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda. He holds a Masters of Science in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health from the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London. Responsible for day to day operations as well as the health and well being of the sanctuary’s 50 chimpanzees, Dr. Mukungu oversees a staff of 20 and heads the COVID-19 task force for the sanctuary to ensure the protection of the chimpanzees and the staff, volunteers and visitors from the risk of acquiring the disease. The team also monitors 230 chimpanzees living in the wild, and Dr. Mukungu manages researchers who come to the island as well.

“Running a primate sanctuary is challenging under normal conditions,” said Michele Stumpe, president of the PASA board of directors. “But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, it is especially important to invest in talent and ensure that we have skilled professionals who can step into leadership roles.”

The award is named for Norm Rosen, who was instrumental in founding PASA. This year’s recipients will attend PASA’s Strategic Development Conference, an annual event that brings together primate sanctuary leaders from across Africa to share information and develop joint solutions to the challenges facing Africa’s primates, including the bushmeat crisis, wildlife crime, habitat loss, and climate change. Each grantee receives this stipend for three years to foster sustained professional growth.

Fast Facts:

  • Colobus Conservation located in Kenya and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda are among the 23 sanctuaries that make up the PASA network.
  • PASA member sanctuaries rescue, rehabilitate and provide long-term care for over 3000 animals. In 2020, they rescued over 250 primates.

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