Funding projects that support people, habitats and species around the world
Every two years, Taronga extends its reach by awarding funding to other organisations' projects that demonstrate measurable conservation outcomes in the field - anywhere in the world. Since launching the Field Conservation Grants in 2008, Taronga has provided funding and staff support to 70 vital conservation programs across the globe. Projects that have benefited from a Taronga Field Conservation Grant have helped to regenerate habitats, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, reduce poaching and trafficking and create opportunities for people and wildlife to live side by side.
Taronga Field Conservation grants awarded in 2017
Thanks to funds raised by the Taronga Foundation, this year $200,000 has been awarded to 15 vital projects that address urgent conservation needs.
Supporting efforts to return the Eastern Quoll to mainland Australia
The Eastern Shield Wildlife Recovery Program aims to re-introduce locally extinct species into the Booderee National Park in NSW. Long-nosed Potoroo and Southern Brown Bandicoot have already been brought back into the area and the next step is to reintroduce the Eastern Quoll in April 2018 - a species not sighted in NSW since 1963. Taronga supports this important work by funding 20 motion-detecting cameras that will monitor wildlife and pest species to inform land management across the 14,000 hectare site. This Taronga-funded equipment will be in use in the field until at least 2022.
This is a partnership between Rewilding Australia, Australian National University, Parks Australia, and WWF Australia.
Ensuring the persistence of African Wild Dogs in Zimbabwe
African Wildlife Conservation Fund has been working on site in the Zimbabwean Lowveld for almost a decade now. TWPZ cares for African Wild Dogs and we are proud to support the AWCF in-situ work with this endangered species. With education programs in place across 123 rural Zimbabwean schools, AWCF seeks to empower local people to coexist with wildlife, including predators such as African Wild Dogs. They get students out of the classroom and into nature by facilitating five-day long field trips that teach practical skills and increase understanding and appreciation of local wildlife. Evaluations of the education program provide unequivocal evidence of the tangible and significant benefits we are producing for conservation and community education and upliftment. Taronga helps make this a reality by funding essential practical items such as vehicle maintenance, fuel, internet access and the field stipend for an Education Officer.
African Wildlife Conservation Fund
Keeping anti-poaching patrols in South Luangwa, Zambia
In the fight against wildlife crime, we cannot neglect boots on the ground. Proactive anti-poaching patrols are the most effective means of protecting wildlife from being killed and Conservation South Luangwa is dedicated to defending Zambia's world famous fauna. Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) has been reinforcing the governments’ law enforcement activities in South Luangwa for the past fourteen years, and our contribution to protecting its wildlife and natural resources has become invaluable. Taronga continues to support this essential work by contributing funds towards daily patrols of the national park, aerial monitoring of illegal activities and the provision of veterinary drugs and equipment for immobilising, collaring and tracking wildlife.
Conservation South Luangwa
Feral cat research in an Australian biodiversity hotspot
Feral cat predation is now recognised as a major threat to Australia’s wildlife. Research is being carried out on the southern coast of Western Australia to help inform approaches to deal with this threat. This research involves baseline monitoring of Black-gloved and Tammar Wallaby populations and an in-depth investigation of the interaction between feral cat and fox activity using camera monitoring. Taronga has committed to providing the funding required for the purchase of remote cameras and batteries.
Bush Heritage Australia
Initiating protection around the Rungan River, Indonesia
At over 130,000 hectares, the Rungan River landscape is one of the largest lowland rainforests remaining in Borneo. It is home to the critically endangered Bornean Orangutan and five species of wild cat such as Clouded Leopard, yet remains a conservation afterthought. At serious risk from encroaching palm oil and acacia plantations, the forest needs protection. The Borneo Nature Foundation has proposed a major conservation program for the ecosystem, the first step of which is to survey and map the entire landscape. Taronga contributes funding for survey leaders, a drone expert and field materials.
Borneo Nature Foundation
Creating a refuge from amphibian chytrid fungus for the Mountain Chicken
The Mountain Chicken is a critically endangered frog native to the Caribbean islands of Dominica and
Montserrat. Like many Australian amphibian species, the Mountain Chicken populations have been decimated by the chytrid fungus. With only two known surviving individuals on Montserrat, Taronga supports the introduction of a population of Mountain Chicken into a purpose-built in-situ forest enclosure on the island. The conditions of this enclosure will be unsuitable to the fungus and this trial will provide valuable data towards understanding the success of environmental manipulation for conservation.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Empowering local communities for Pangolin conservation in Nepal
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.
Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation
Understanding the behaviour of crop raiding elephants in Kenya
Crop-raiding can lead to economic loss for farmers as well as injury or even death to both humans and elephants. Ever more land in the important Taita Teveta corridor is being converted to agriculture and it is becoming more urgent that we understand elephant social dynamics that may predict this crop-raiding behaviour. Taronga provides vital support for assessments of crop-raiding events, community consultation, field observations and sampling to inform approaches aimed at reducing human-elephant conflict.
The Australian National University, Save the Elephants
Waterbird breeding – an indicator to ecosystem health
The Chobe River and Okavango Delta are UNESCO world heritage sites that feed internationally important wetlands. In the face of climate change, an understanding of key breeding sites and food resources for colonial waterbirds and how they are affected by changes to river flow and flooding will inform future conservation planning for this important habitat. Taronga contributes towards practical elements of this project such as remote cameras, field equipment and isotope analysis.
University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Implementing a community-led early warning system in Botswana
Lethal control of large carnivores is a major driver of their global decline. Studies show that community engagement and information sharing are essential in increasing tolerance for carnivores. Under the community-led early warning system (CLEWS) large carnivores are collared and tracked so that a Coexistence Officer (funded by Taronga) can disseminate appropriate information to farmers and herders in the vicinity. This will inform an adaptive approach to husbandry and is expected to decrease retaliatory killings of species such as Lions.
The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust &UNSW
Saving Painted Terrapin eggs from poaching and predation in Indonesia
Painted Terrapin are believed to play an important role in the nutrient cycle of river ecosystems but are critically endangered as their eggs face threats from poachers and predation by wild boar. This in-situ project aims to increase the wild population by removing eggs from beaches and incubating them in the safety on a nearby hatchery, before releasing the young back into the wild. This Taronga Field Grant contributes towards team members' wages and meals, petrol for boat patrols of nesting sites and funds required to build the hatchery.
Maintaining habitat in the Kibale National Park, Uganda
Around the world, habitats are being threatened by small-scale logging for cooking fuel. With one of the fastest growing populations in the world, Uganda is heavily reliant on forest timber, spelling trouble for its wildlife. New Nature Foundation aims to conserve the Kibale National Park by providing locals with eco-friendly and more efficient fuel sources than wood and by facilitating innovative environmental education programmes. Overall, NNF’s programs engaged more than 34,000 citizens around Kibale and saved more than 1.9 million kilograms of wood in 2016. Taronga supports NNF by contributing towards its staff wages and programmes.
New Nature Foundation
Conserving the White-cheeked Gibbon and Saola in Vietnam
The Pu Mat National Park is one of Vietnam's largest protected areas and is a vital stronghold for both the critically endangered northern White-cheeked Gibbon and Saola. Both species are threatened by hunting, meaning that law enforcement, education and snare removal are essential for their survival. For the second consecutive time, Flora and Fauna International has been awarded a Taronga Field Grant to assist with staff wages, training, field equipment and anti-poaching signage for the park.
Fauna and Flora International
Strengthening efforts to conserve Benin's threatened species
The Gnanhouizounmè forest is the last refuge in Benin of endangered species such as Olive Colobus and Sitatunga. This project aims to reduce local communities' dependence on Gnanhouizounmè's
resources by redirecting hunters towards alternative agricultural sources of livelihood and establishing fast-growing plantations for fuel use and implement the activities recommended in the forest’s action plan. Taronga supports this work by contributing towards the equipment and training required for locals to become skilled in beekeeping, nursery management and snail farming.
Organisation pour le Développement Durable et la Biodiversité (ODDBONG)
Restoring habitat for Greater Bamboo Lemurs in Madagascar
As one of the most endangered primates in the world, only about 600 individual Greater Bamboo Lemurs remain in the wild. Taronga supports The Karianga Project, which works to restore degraded habitat and create links between remaining forest islands for the improved movement and viability of the area's Greater Bamboo Lemur population. The project also provides training and alternatives to slash and burn farming methods to improve farmers' yield and eliminate the need for further land clearing.
Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE), Stony Brook University