Updates from the field
The Zoo works with more than two dozen conservation partners around the world. These partners regularly share updates on their work, which helps convey the importance of our collective efforts and informs us of the latest challenges and successes in the field. Here are recent updates from some of the Zoo’s Future for Wildlife partners in East Africa. Africa is home to many of the world’s most iconic - and most vulnerable - species.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation
Co-Founder and Co-Director:
Julian Fennessy, Ph.D.
Work: Based in Namibia and dedicated to the conservation of giraffe and its habitat. Works closely on conservation action planning with African and international government and non-government organizations, universities
Update: “While giraffe conservation and conservation in general is often associated with a lot of doom and gloom, there are also some success stories. In the mid 1990s only 49 West African giraffe remained in the whole of West Africa. GCF is working closely with the Niger Government and local NGO AVEN to make giraffe conservation in Niger a success. We are excited to report that based on the latest survey numbers the West African giraffe have increased to approx. 550 individuals!”
Read more: giraffeconservation.org
Ruaha Carnivore Project
Amy Dickman, Ph.D.
Work: Studies and monitors large carnivores (lions, hyenas, leopard, painted dog, cheetah) in and around Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. Works to address human-carnivore conflicts by providing conservation-related benefits to local communities.
Update: "One of the main problems in this area is that even if they attend school, primary school students often do very poorly and fail to make the grades for secondary school. When investigating why this was, it emerged that many students walk several miles to school in the morning without breakfast, and then stay at school without any way of getting food. Unsurprisingly, they find it hard to concentrate and this was identified by teachers as a major problem. RCP has worked with partners such as Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to address this issue by developing a ‘porridge project’ for primary schools. We buy food from local women’s collectives and employ local women to cook a free meal of nutritious porridge for the students each day.”
Read more: ruahacarnivoreproject.com
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
President & CEO/Chief Scientific Officer:
Tara Stoiniski, Ph.D.
Work: Dr. Dian Fossey established Karisoke™ Research Center in 1967, launching one of the longest ongoing research and monitoring programs for any species in the world. Based in Rwanda and considered the world’s preeminent center for gorilla protection and study.
Update: ‟At this time of year, the gorilla groups tend to wander out of the national park, in search of bamboo shoots that are a tasty treat for them. Titus’s group has been going out of the park almost daily recently, and our trackers had to herd them back into the park when they went too far. Then Kuryama’s group came out in the same area, causing an interaction between the two groups! Luckily, this was very peaceful, with infants from the two groups playing together and the silverbacks seeming to be unconcerned. This is likely in part because these two groups were formerly a single group — called Beetsme’s group — and so many of the adult group members are familiar with each other.”
Read more: gorillafund.org
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