Field Conservation Grants

Field Conservation Grants

Providing vital conservation funding.

Every two years since 2008, Taronga’s Field Conservation Grants provide vital funding to conservation initiatives around the world.

During this time, the Field Grants have supported over 70 field projects worldwide.

Snared lioness Nsefu in South Luangwa
Snared lioness Nsefu in South Luangwa

The Field Conservation Grants are just one of the ways Taronga extends its support to the global conservation community, as we work together to protect wildlife and habitats, and empower people to secure a sustainable future for our planet.
 
Projects that have benefited from a Taronga Field Conservation Grant have helped to protect and regenerate habitats, stop the poaching and trafficking of wildlife, and reduce conflict between communities and wildlife living side by side.

Taronga Field Grants run every two years, with the next call for applications opening 1 July. Information about how to apply will be released in the coming weeks.

Snared lioness Nsefu in South Luangwa

2019 Taronga Field Grant recipients

Supporting the Black Mamba All-Woman Anti-Poaching Unit and Bush Babies Education program in South Africa

Transfrontier Africa NPC

The Black Mamba All-woman Anti-Poaching Unit was developed by Transfrontier Africa to inspire young women from the tribal communities in the Balule area to take responsibility for conserving wildlife. The anti-poaching unit patrols both the protected area day and night to protect iconic species, such as Rhinos and Elephants, from illegal hunting and trapping.

The Black Mambas have also implemented an educational program in 13 primary schools to spread the message of the importance of conservation to the next generation. 

Taronga will support the Black Mambas by funding essential items such as patrol vehicles, radios, school upgrades, and the training of new Black Mamba rangers in trauma first-aid and wild animal interactions.

Proyecto Tití: Restoring the forest that is home to the critically endangered Cotton-top Tamarins in northern Colombia

Fundación Proyecto Tití

Cotton-top Tamarins are critically endangered one-pound monkeys only found in the tropical forests of northern Colombia. These monkeys are at risk of extinction as a result of extensive deforestation and illegal pet trade.

Proyecto Titi is a not-for-profit organisation working to reduce these threats through field research, education and awareness campaigns, community-led conservation projects and forest protection and restoration.

Taronga will be supporting the restoration of forest corridors to increase connectivity through protected and private lands. The restoration team will collect seeds of target native tree species that will then be propagated in a nursery for 8-10months before being planted as part of the wildlife corridor. This will also help mitigate the effects of climate change in the area by restoring areas that can better retain ground water.

Scaling-up conservation efforts for the critically endangered Togo slippery frog in Ghana

Herp Conservation Ghana (Herp-Ghana) 

The Togo slippery frog is a rare and critically endangered species endemic to Western Africa. For nearly 40 years, this frog was considered extinct, until small populations were rediscovered in Ghana and Togo in 2007. 

Still today, this species faces an imminent threat of extinction due to habitat loss, human consumption and pet trade. 

Herp Ghana aims to mitigate these threats by legally protecting a 70-acre community-led Amphibian Sanctuary that will allow locals to conduct wildlife enforcement patrols, monitor wildlife populations and to provide eco-guiding services. As well as this, over 5,000 trees are being planted to reduce stream sedimentation and to restore the slippery frog’s degraded habitat.

Taronga will contribute funds towards equipment, seedlings, the labour cost of planting the seedlings, vehicle maintenance and the living expenses of the facilitators conducting trainings.

Diani Forest restoration and conservation education awareness, Kenya

Colobus Conservation and WWF

The Diani Forest in Kenya is of vital importance to enhancing biodiversity both locally and globally and plays a significant role in local livelihoods. However the forest is degrading rapidly due to expanding development and illegal logging and as a result many native species such as sykes, vervets, baboons and the colobus monkeys are at risk of extinction.

Colobus Conservation aims to restore the forest habitat through conservation education programs in schools and communities. This project involves education workshops and training, tree planting activities and biodiversity monitoring techniques.

Taronga contributes funding to the education workshops, the annual tree sale event, training of women and youth in alternative means of livelihood and the planting of 600 indigenous trees.

A pioneering Agroforestry technique to reduce poverty and protect wildlife habitat in Central Cameroon

Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue (SYCR), Volunteers Serving Development 

Shifting agricultural systems are decimating the forests of Cameroon which contain irreplaceable wildlife habitat. In the buffer zone surrounding the Wall-Mbargue Wildlife Refuge, there is a 28,265 acre refuge for endangered chimpanzees, gorillas, and other wildlife in central Cameroon. 

The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance has proposed a major conservation program to reduce deforestation, through shifting all of the communities in the area to sustainable agricultural practices, called Inga Alley Cropping. The aim is to create fertile, long-term farming sites that will improve crop production and reduce deforestation.

This Taronga Field Grant contributes towards team member’s wages, equipment and operational costs.

Camera trapping for Sumatran Tiger in Batang Angkola, North Sumatra

Conservation International

The Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger has a wild population estimated to be no more than 400 remaining animals. First ever biological surveys of North Sumatra’s 44,000Ha Batang Angkola Protected Forest, conducted by Conservation International in early 2019, have recorded tiger scats and footprints in the forest. This discovery extends the tigers’ previously known range and needs to be followed up with image-based evidence.

With Taronga’s support, Conservation International will undertake a second round of camera trapping at the end of 2019, with an additional five cameras and an extra 5000Ha of forest being surveyed.  

The results of this study will help strengthen the Forest Management Plan for Batang Angkola and catalyse local protection responses.

Community-based mitigation of human-elephant conflicts in the Campo Ma'an National Park, Cameroon

Agriculture and Bio-conservation Organization for Youth Empowerment and Rural Development (ABOYERD)

The Campo Ma’an National Park, Cameroon is a priority site for the conservation of many keystone species including forest elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas. However, its biodiversity is under increasing threats from habitat destruction, human-wildlife conflict and illegal poaching. 

ABOYERD plan to combat these threats through combining field research with community engagement aiming to enhance knowledge and mitigate human-elephant conflict in the National Park. This program will be implemented through research based conservation planning and education and awareness programs.

Taronga supports ABOYERD through funding workshops, beekeeping training workshops, establishment of tree nurseries, and the purchase of equipment.

Curbing wildlife trade and illegal logging through community empowerment in West Kalimantan

Planet Indonesia

Planet Indonesia addresses interconnected issues of socioeconomic inequality and ecosystem degradation in West Kalimantan with their “Conservation Cooperatives" approach. Community members who join Conservation Cooperatives can opt-in to receive basic healthcare and family planning services, literacy and education tutoring, and business and microfinance training in exchange for transitioning from environmentally degrading practices into sustainable livelihoods. The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit engages community members alongside Planet Indonesia staff to monitor for illegal logging and wildlife trade activity in priority sites. The Biodiversity Unit conducts surveys to monitor species population trends across these sites. As a result of the project the community health and well-being has improved and wildlife populations have increased or stabilized.

This project will implement a community-based approach to illegal logging and poaching in Gunung Naning, expanding the program/ Taronga will support the expansion by funding transportation, equipment and biodiversity surveys for this site.

Re Mmogo (We are together) - coexistence officer and community support

Botswana Predator Conservation Trust

This field conservation project will extend the ongoing human-wildlife conflict prevention work undertaken by the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust in rural communities surrounding the Okavango Delta World Heritage site in Northern Botswana. Lethal control of large carnivores is a major driver of their global decline, but low-income farmers currently have few other tools than a shotgun to prevent livestock losses. These are the people who have coexisted with wildlife for generations, and now that large-carnivore populations are in critical decline, carnivore coexistence with these fringe communities is now the last line of defence against some carnivore extinctions. 

The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust aim to provide communities living alongside protected areas with additional coexistence support, by employing a small team of officers from the community to assist in compensation claims, providing resources for mitigation against livestock depredation, and bringing a positive message of wildlife conservation. 

Taronga will fund the salary of a Community coexistence officer and assistant, as well as the purchase of a camera, a smartphone and a vehicle.

Cheetah and other vulnerable predator conservation through mitigation of human-wildlife conflict

Cheetah Outreach Trust

In South Africa the cheetah range has declined by 88% and with an increasing human population, the remaining range is under threat. Other vulnerable and endangered predators (leopards, brown hyenas and African Wild Dogs) also occur in these areas and are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and fragmentation causing an increase in conflict with game and livestock farmers, accidental snaring and illegal trapping for live trade. 

The goal of this project is to mitigate human-wildlife conflict on livestock farms within the current cheetah distribution range by placing Anatolian livestock guarding dogs around villages and farms. 

These placements are clustered, creating viable habitat corridors with an increased connection of safe habitat, facilitating cross-border migration and safe movement corridors between conservation and protected areas which benefit breeding and hunting opportunities for the cheetah and other vulnerable species. To date Cheetah Outreach has facilitated an area of 470 000Ha.

Taronga will support the breeding and feeding of the guard dogs, as well as veterinary expenses.

A community-based Livestock guarding dog project to conserve large carnivores in the Waterberg, South Africa

Endangered Wildlife Trust

South Africa’s Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is an area rich in biodiversity, a tapestry of farmland, punctuated by small nature reserves. The area is unique as the only place in the country where African Wild Dogs roam freely outside protected areas. It also supports a high density of leopards, and Cheetahs roam here too. These large carnivores regularly come into contact with domestic livestock and killing is commonplace.

Retaliatory deaths of these predators is inevitable. For 13 years, the Endangered Wildlife Trust has provided farmers here with Livestock Guarding Dogs with great outcomes. Moving forward, this project will empower local community members to breed their own Livestock Guard Dogs, under our guidance. This will provide microenterprise opportunities for local community members, practically eliminate livestock deaths for farmers who benefit from these Livestock Guard Dogs, and therefore reduce the retaliatory killing of threatened predators.

Taronga will support the purchase of three breeding dogs, the field transport and project management.

Rehabilitation of the Park W Ecosystem in Niger

TREE AID 

This project aims to protect and restore the ecosystem of National Park W in Niger. Currently local communities are overexploiting forest resources resulting in habitat loss and human wildlife conflicts. The project will support 12 communities around Park W in adopting sustainable land use, aiming to reduce pressure on the National Park. This will be achieved through training farmers in natural resource management skills, developing partnerships with local communities, anti-poaching patrols, and the development of enterprise groups based on sustainable tree products. 

Taronga will support the by funding the planting of 40,000 indigenous tree seedlings, running tree nurseries and the running of awareness raising education programs.

Developing a community-based conservation approach to manage a hawksbill turtle key nesting site at the eastern Persian Gulf

Qeshm Environmental Conservation Institute

Sea turtle populations around the world are threatened by climate change leading to female population bias, despite this, turtle populations in the Persian Gulf have reproduced with sustainable sex-ratios for thousands of years. Therefore, turtle conservation in the Gulf is not only about conservation of globally threatened species, but is about conservation of some unique turtle populations that are able to cope with changing climate. 

In Hengam Island, a key nesting ground for this critically endangered species at the eastern Persian Gulf, these turtle populations face threats in the form of mass tourism, egg predation and poaching. This project aims to develop a community-based conservation approach for safeguarding hawksbill turtle nesting beaches in this area. By training locals to manage the beaches and nesting turtle sites, and build a hatchery site, the Institute hopes to minimise these threats and see an increase in the turtle population numbers.

Taronga will support the building of a removable hatchery site, accommodation and supplies for the project leaders, travel costs and aluminium tags and applicators.

Strengthening adaptive management of ranger patrols in the YUS Conservation Area, Papua New Guinea

Woodland Park Zoological Society (WPZ), Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program 

Woodland Park Zoological Society Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program works with 50 local communities to manage Papua New Guinea’s first-ever nationally protected Conservation Area in Morobe Province. This area, known as YUS stretches from 4,000-meter-high cloud forests to coastal communities and coral reefs.

The aim of this project is to strengthen the YUS Conservation Area’s effectiveness in protecting the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo and its habitat. The project aims to achieve this through monthly patrols, gathering data, the implementation of the SMART system to improve the application of patrol data and continuous ranger trainings and system developments.

Taronga will support staff training for anti-poaching patrols, a SMART coordinator and SMART equipment. 

Intensive ID-based monitoring for the remaining small population of rhinoceros in Bardia National Park

National Trust for Nature Conservation

With the current estimates of over 37 individuals, Bardia National Park (BNP) holds the second largest population of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in Nepal. The purpose of this project is to establish an intensive ID-based monitoring system and to devise a regular monitoring framework based on which immediate actions will be made for the survival of remaining individuals and recovery of rhino population. 

Taronga will support the development of a training manual as well as the training of 18 front line staff. A data recording booklet will be designed to record the identification features and demographic attributes. Based on the field data, a master file of each rhino will be prepared, and population database will be maintained. By the end of this project, all individuals will have a master profile. The outcomes will help devise future conservation strategy for rhinos in BNP.

Working with local communities in Madagascar to restore wetlands and save the Madagascar pochard from extinction

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Durrell Wildlife & Conservation Trust

The Madagascar Pochard is Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with just 25 birds left in the wild.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has bred 100 birds in captivity to release at the end of 2019 to a restored site. The translocation plan aims to establish a new self-sustaining population of Madagascar Pochard to Lake Sofia, after it has been restored to a suitable ecological status.

This involves working with the local communities to adopt sustainable livelihoods, fishing practices and increase awareness of the importance of conserving this site.

Taronga will support this work by contributing towards monitoring equipment, equipment for sustainable lake management and staffing expenses. 

Two collars to re-collar key elephant candidates in the Northern Mara

Mara Elephant Project

Since 2011, the Mara Elephant Project has collared 48 flagship elephants across the Mara ecosystem, Kenya. Currently, there are 17 collared elephants that are monitored in real-time daily, and this location data tracks the movements of over 400-600 elephants across the Mara, Mau, Loita and Rift Valley ecosystems.

The data is used for daily patrol planning and as a result security has increased and the levels of poaching have dropped dramatically. In the Northern Mara, the Mara Elephant Project has collected a significant amount of movement data which defines the northern extent of the ecosystem and continuous data on the collared elephants residing in this area is essential to defining how the ecosystem is changing. 


In 2019 Taronga will support this project by purchasing two collars, in order to re-collar key elephant candidates in the Northern Mara.

2017 Taronga Field Grant recipients

Anti-poaching Patrols, South Luangwa

Conservation South Luangwa works to eliminate poaching and illegal trapping in South Luangwa Park National in Zambia. In 2017 and 2018 Taronga supported this projected and during this time there were over 80 firearms confiscated, 438 snares removed, six leopard skins confiscated and four live pangolins confiscated, amongst many other achievements. Aircrafts were also used in order to quickly identify and intimidate poachers, and data collected was used to create a map to identify routes and poaching hotspots in the park. The aerial surveillances were able to identify and de-snare over 26 animals in partnership with veterinary services.

Returning Eastern Quoll to the wild

Rewilding Australia is working towards reintroducing the Eastern Quoll back to Australia mainland by the end of 2020. Motion cameras have been stationed on up to 20 private properties at a time and over 3 years there has been a 75% reduction in fox detections. Three female eastern quolls that were introduced have successfully bred and 15 pouch young were identified in July 2018. Landowners have been provided with images from the cameras and as result have been increasing their commitment to improving wildlife corridors.

Junior Ranger Programs and other community outreach programs have been undertaken to teach the community about the threats to quolls and the opportunities they can provide to make their landscape a more hospitable environment.

Refuge for Mountain chicken frog, Caribbean

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is undertaking a project, with Taronga’s support, to breed and reintroduce disease free Mountain chicken frogs to their natural habitat on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. 

Food breeding for the mountain chicken is underway, three trial ponds at two separate sites are being tested for environmental manipulation studies and surveys of the chytrid fungus infection levels at sites have been taken and the results sent to the labs for further analysis.

Education and outreach initiatives have been implemented in schools and local communities which has helped the project to gain recognition in the wider community in the area, as well as the science community.

Conservation of Kibale National Park, Uganda

In 2018 the New Nature Foundation continued to work towards minimising small-scale logging for cooking fuel in the Kibale community by facilitating cost effective and ecofriendly fuel sources as well as implementing environmental education programs.

At the end of 2018 New Nature Foundation achieved many goals including the manufacturing of 300,000 eco-briquettes, converting 62% of families in Uganda and 35% of families in Vietnam to using efficient stoves, as well as converting 71% of families in Uganda to home growing their firewood and as a result saved more than 8 million pounds of wood. 

Many workshops, films and education programs were also undertaken across the country, engaging over 40,000 members of the community. The New Nature Foundation are continuing this work in the Kibale in order to protect the diverse animal and plant species within it, as well as ultimately mitigating climate change.

Feral cats research, Australia

Bush Heritage Australia has been working closely with researchers over the past years to find ways to effect integrated feral cat and fox control on the South Coast of Western Australia. Feral cat predation is now recognised as a major threat to Australia’s wildlife and with the support of Taronga, Bush Heritage deployed remote cameras in the beginning of 2018 to monitor the black-gloved wallaby, feral cats and foxes. 

The data is being processed and the conservation planning is underway in order to best mitigate the threat that foxes and feral cats are posing on Australian native wildlife.

Community led warning system, Botswana

The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust is working with the local community to prevent human-wildlife conflict by empowering herders in rural farms through implementing a new warning system. 

During 2018 the team in Botswana collared three conflict lions, and employed a Coexistence Officer to organise community meetings and to address specific animal control claims.
Eleven ‘Roar stations’ were set up, which involve using acoustic deterrents, such as lion roars to prevent carnivores from entering community areas.

Taronga continues to support this project into 2019.

Empowering local communities for Pangolin conservation in Nepal

Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation

Nepal is home to both the critically endangered Chinese and endangered Indian Pangolin. In the Kathmandu Valley, some rescued Pangolin are returned to the wild, but there is no post-release monitoring of these animals.

A small, Nepalese NGO is determined to change this and Taronga is helping it to do so by funding its field staff, transport, camera traps and training materials.

The Small Mammals and Conservation Research Foundation will survey the abundance and density of Pangolin in the valley to inform government policy and conservation measures for the protection of this species. It will also initiate the first Pangolin rescue and rehabilitation centre in Nepal.

White-cheeked Gibbon, Vietnam

Pu Mat National Park is one of Vietnam’s largest protected areas and it is home to the northern white-cheeked gibbon, holding over 130 groups. The gibbon is a critically endangered species and Fauna & Flora International are undertaking a project that aims to put conservation interventions in place for the white-cheeked gibbon in the National Park. 

In 2018 Fauna & Flora International worked on increasing community awareness for forest protection and as a result saw a decrease in animal traps and hunting guns within the national park area. SMART training for park rangers was completed and no kill zones implemented in the forest. Throughout this time mammal monitoring continued and the results have helped inform further conservation planning in the area.

Education and outreach

The African Wildlife Conservation Fund has been working on site in the Zimbabwe Lowveld for over a decade to protect the endangered African Wild Dog and other large carnivores. 
During Taronga’s period of support the African Wildlife Conservation Fund has successfully been able to achieve the goals it set out for 2018. Education officers visited 117 primary schools to deliver conservation awareness lessons, over 100 adult African Wild Dogs were closely monitored and safeguarded, six wild dogs were saved from snares, two satellite tracking collars were fitted to high-risk packs and an overall increase in awareness in the community was observed. 

As a result of the education programs, community based conservation has been undertaken and allowed for a decrease in poaching and overall animal-wildlife conflict.

Painted terrapin, Indonesia

Satucita Foundation is leading the project to save the Painted Terrapin eggs from poaching and natural predation in order to secure the future wild population.

In 2018 over 60 eggs from seven nests were successfully hatched and being held in the artificial hatchery, one nest containing 24 eggs was found and saved in Langkat North Sumatra and one nest of green sea turtles, containing 119 eggs was also saved and incubated.

After the hatchings, the team released the turtles back into their natural habitat, and ultimately restored population numbers. The project is still ongoing with over 1200 hatchlings released back into the wild to date.

Conserving Pangolins through education, Nepal

Pangolins are the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world and as a result are listed as critically endangered and protected in Nepal. The purpose of this project was to estimate the abundance and burrow density of pangolin through sign survey and camera trapping along transects. 

Education and conservation awareness workshops were undertaken to build the capacity of the local community and engage the locals in sustainable practices. Citizen scientists were identified from these workshops, forming a Pangolin Conservation Team in each district, who conducted camera trapping and monitoring of the pangolin. 

This project is ongoing, with data still being collected from camera traps, as well as the further strengthening of local community engagement in conservation practices.

Primate conservation, Benin

In Southern Benin the Gnanhouizounme forest is the last refuge for the endemic critically endangered red-bellied monkey, the endangered olive colobus, the endangered sitatunga, the endangered river hog as well as many other mammal, bird and amphibian species. This area is not entirely protected and the aim of this project is to implement conservation activities to conserve these species.

In 2018 camera traps were purchased to monitor primates, training and equipping of 10 hunters’households in African giant snail farming was undertaken. Training and materials were also provided to households for the plantations of fast growing trees for fuel-wood.
The Beekeeping training was unsuccessful due to budgetary constraints and as a result funds were redirected into the snail farming project. Further, over 15,000 saplings have been planted since the beginning of this project creating 6ha of primate habitat.

Rungan River Landscape, Central Kalimantan

The extensive forest landscape in the Rungan River catchment is over 130,000 hectares in size and home to the critically endangered Bornean orangutan, yet it is at great risk from conversion to oil palm and acacia plantations as well as forest fires. 

During 2018 the Borneo Nature Foundation successfully mapped habitat distribution and land use using GIS and drone technology, surveyed orangutan distribution and population densities and as a result developed a Rungan Landscape faunal and floral database. 

This research resulted in the protection of over 140,000 hectares of forest and over 5,000 orangutans inhabiting this area, as well as extensive community outreach and conservation education programs that achieved increased awareness and involvement.