Whitley-Segré Conservation Fund

Funding outstanding conservationists delivering measurable results for

endangered species!

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During 2016, the WSCF received 42 applications. From these, the Executive Panel were pleased to select the following 10 winning conservation projects, providing grants worth a total of £1,042,000. 

Planting the seed of conservation across Cuba

Grantee: Luis Torres
Country: Cuba
Duration: 3 years

Cuba is the hottest plant diversity area of the Caribbean Biodiversity Hotspot and hosts the four richest island floras in the world. These species are threatened by agriculture, mining, over-harvesting, tourism and urbanisation. The project will develop targeted action plans for 17 threatened species and their habitats; collaborating with local people and biologists to implement on the ground conservation activities and raise awareness in Cuba about plant conservation.

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Safeguarding the remaining giant sable antelope from poaching

Grantee: Pedro Vaz Pinto
Country: Angola
Duration: 3 years

During the 1990s, the giant sable was feared extinct. Extensive work in Angola has brought the species back from the brink with a global population numbering 200 individuals. But now the 150 giant sables remaining in the Luando Nature Strict Reserve are under threat again from increased poaching. The project aims to increase local protection of these animals by training local community. A state-of-the-art online tracking system will ensure that the local shepherds are able to locate and guard the giant sable closely.

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Tackling wildlife crime in Kenya

Grantee: Paula Kahumbu
Country: Kenya
Duration: 2 years

The threat to African elephant populations from poaching is well known, in East Africa numbers have halved between 2006 and 2015, largely due to poaching in Tanzania. The project works to tackle poaching and ivory trafficking by reforming Kenya’s legal system in an attempt to deter criminals and reduce cases of wildlife crime. The issue will be addressed by training and increasing the numbers of specialist prosecutors, and educate field rangers in the collection of evidence. The team will also make information from wildlife crime cases publicly available through an online database. This project could serve as a model for other countries facing similar pressures.

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Increasing yellow-shouldered parrots: using conservation psychology, nest protection and reforestation techniques

Grantee: Jon Paul Rodriguez
Country: Venezuela
Duration: 3 years

The project will support the local ‘Eco-Guardians’ to protect parrot nests and increase the numbers of fledglings produced by up to a third from an average of 50 per year. Working with conservation psychologists, the team seeks to reduce demand for wild parrots as pets. The project will also engage with local landowners to reforest areas that have been impacted by sand-mining, planting over 5,000 trees to help the parrots and other species including the endemic Margarita deer.

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Bringing Sarawak’s orangutans under protection

Grantee: Melvin Gumal,
Country: Malaysia
Duration: 3 years

In 2016, the Bornean orangutan was declared as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List. The population loss that triggered this re-assessment is driven by hunting, habitat destruction, habitat degradation and fragmentation. The project’s goal is to secure an expansion of Sarawak’s protected area network by over 20%, to bring approx. 95% of the orangutans in Sarawak under conservation by 2020. The team will work with local stakeholders to map orangutan distribution outside protected areas, survey numbers and review land ownership in conjunction with the government numbers.

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Warrior Watch: promoting coexistence between people and lions in Kenya

Grantee: Shivani Bhalla
Country: Kenya
Duration: 3 years

Africa’s lion population has declined by 90% in the last 75 years. In Kenya, the national population numbers less than 2,000 individuals. This decline is primarily due to habitat loss and conflict with humans, typically over livestock depredation. The Warrior Watch programme supported through this grant engages Samburu warriors as ambassadors for conservation within their communities, promoting coexistence between people and wildlife. This project replicates an approach that has already seen an increase in the lion population, and will expand it to new areas to build tolerance of predators.

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Restoring coastal habitats for threatened marine turtles in Costa Rica

Grantee: Didiher Chacon
Country: Cost Rica
Duration: 2 years

The Golfo Dulce, where the project is based, supports important shared populations of the Critically Endangered hawksbill and the Endangered green turtle. Threats to sea turtles in this area include destruction of coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grass beds as well as incidental fishing, illegal hunting, egg extraction and most recently, global warming. The team will work with local fishermen, artisans, tourism service providers and women’s groups to develop alternative livelihoods that can contribute to turtle conservation. The project will extend his reach to work with land-based farmers to reduce the runoff and sedimentation that pollutes marine habitats and restore vital mangroves.

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Amazing amphibians: protecting Guatemala’s Critically Endangered frogs

Grantee: Carlos Vasquez Almazan
Country: Guatemala
Duration: 3 years

Frogs are in rapid decline with over one third of all species threatened with extinction, making their group more endangered than birds or mammals. The major threats are habitat loss, harvesting, disease and climate change. In Guatemala, most of the critical habitats for amphibians are not legally protected. This project is focused on six important amphibian sites in Guatemala and at least ten Critically Endangered species: it will support the establishment of up to six amphibian reserves and a network of amphibian monitoring sites over the next three years. The team will also raise grassroots awareness of the need for amphibian conservation in the region.

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Working with communities and government to save endangered hornbills

Grantee: Aparajita Datta
Country: India and Indonesia
Duration: 3 years

The project will urgently address the poaching threat to the Critically Endangered helmeted hornbill in Indonesia working in collaboration with Indonesian partners. The demand for so-called ‘red ivory’ from the bird’s casque is driving the species. The current project will scale up the successful Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme approach first established 5 years ago in northeast India, both in Indonesia and to another three areas in India, also promoting habitat restoration and outreach.

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Safeguarding Madagascar’s dancing lemurs

Grantee: Josia Razafindramanana,
Country: Madagascar
Duration: 2 years

The Endangered crowned sifaka lemur occurs from the central highlands to the western lowlands of Madagascar. In the dry deciduous forests of the project area, the crowned sifaka population has increased by 11-15% since 2013 but hunting and deforestation still threaten the population. The project aims to develop forest buffer zones around nearby villages so that local people can meet their needs without impacting the threatened lemurs. The project will double the numbers of crowned sifaka under protection with newly established and properly managed Protected Areas. It will also improve the livelihoods of local people by providing training on health and farming to decrease illegal timber exploitation and habitat destruction in the area.

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UPDATE: The WSCF programme is now closed to new applicants. Going forward, conservation leaders should apply separately to the Fondation Segré or the Whitley Fund for Nature.