2014 Conservation Grants Announced
April 8, 2014—The Conservation Advisory Committee, a joint endeavor between the Zoo and the Foundation, has announced the winners of the 2014 conservation grants. Four grants have been awarded this year, spanning a wide range of species and geographies:
- DragonWatch Citizen Science Project –$1,000
Sandra Hunt von-Arb, a well-known local biologist and one of the founders of the Humboldt Bay Eaglecam Project, will use her grant monies to provide training in local dragonfly and damselfly identification; “graduates” of this citizen science training program will then “adopt” a pond or marsh, conduct weekly surveys during emergence season, and submit data to an online database to support long-term tracking of understudied populations.
- Red-capped monkey conservation in the Ikpa wetlands of Southern Nigeria–$1,000
Ikponke Nkanta, Project Manager at the Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, will purchase tree seedlings, maps, reference books and create posters for community workshops to help residents of an impacted Nigerian wetland conserve this highly endangered primate. The fruit and seed trees can be sustainably harvested by locals and also used by the primates as a food source, and will discourage slash-and-burn agriculture.
- Frogs & Coffee: Can Growing Methods Preserve Frog Biodiversity in Jamaica? –$1,000
HSU graduate student Jennifer Brown will complete her laboratory analysis of swab cultures of frogs from several coffee plantations in Jamaica, testing for the presence or absence of a fungus that is driving worldwide amphibian extinctions. She is looking to correlate the prevalence of this disease with the different ways coffee plantations are planted and managed in order to help coffee farmers enhance species diversity.
- Test of Diet & Tracking Methods with North American Porcupine–$500
Tim Bean, an Assistant Professor at HSU, will purchase supplies to test non-invasive methods of tracking porcupines as part of a longer-term study focused on the declining local porcupine population. He will test his methods with the zoo’s ambassador porcupine, Dorsie, by observing which plant materials she selects to forage on, which will help in the selection of plants to attract porcupines in local habitats.
“It’s always exciting to give these awards to such unique and important projects,” said Committee Chair and Zoo Manager Gretchen Ziegler. “We are especially pleased that one of our zoo ambassadors will be contributing to the study of her wild counterparts – that is a neat connection.”
The Conservation Advisory Committee was formed in March 2011 and serves in an advisory role to the Zoo Foundation’s Board of Directors, which manages the Conservation Fund. Committee members include staff and supporters from the Zoo and the Foundation, as well as professional biologists in the local community.
For more information:
Contact: Gretchen Ziegler, Zoo Manager