Arcus Foundation Winter 2016 Grant Portfolio Seeks Conservation of Most Endangered Primates, Including Western Chimpanzee, Hainan Gibbon

December 19, 2016

Several grants in the Arcus Foundation winter 2016 cycle of funding focus on building coordinated and effective conservation partnerships to link the needs of local people around the world with effective management of ape populations and their habitats. In particular, a three-year grant to Fauna and Flora International—working in Liberia for nearly 20 years—will help the organization collaborate with government and local partners to ensure the protection of the critically endangered Western Chimpanzee, only 1,000 of which remain distributed around Sapo National Park.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland plans to use funding to strengthen partnerships that will improve chimpanzee health management and social outcomes in western Uganda, including providing livelihood alternatives to poachers and establishing important chimpanzee-health frameworks. To further its work on the Cross River Transboundary Conservation Project in Nigeria and Cameroon, the Wildlife Conservation Society received funding to continue building a network of partners on both sides of the border, from local communities to national governments, to cooperate on joint patrols, share protection-related intelligence, and target anti-poaching actions.

Three grants focus on landscapes in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, southern China, and Cambodia. A three-year grant to Conservation International will help the group implement an integrated management plan to protect the Northern Yellow Cheeked Crested Gibbon and support the long-term sustainability of its habitat, the highly threatened Veun Sai Siem Pang National Park in northern Cambodia, which hosts roughly 2,025 of these extremely rare apes.

In Sabah, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, a grant to Land Empowerment Animals People will support Forever Sabah: Jurisdictional Scale Palm Oil Project, which aims to transform this state into a leader in holistic environmental and economic sustainability. In Kalimantan, the Indonesian section of Borneo, funding to the Orangutan Foundation will support its work with the local Indonesian organization Yayorin to continue conservation of endangered ape populations outside of established conservation areas in Kalimantan.

A grant to the Zoological Society of London will support the world’s rarest and most threatened primate species, the Hainan Gibbon, whose chances for regeneration and survival require extensive monitoring and on-the-ground management in the Bawangling National Reserve. Funding will help the society engage the local communities that rely on this forest for their livelihoods and partner with local institutions in the conservation effort.

Critical to all of these efforts is the work of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, whose Section on Great Apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group aims to strengthen the global network of professionals and experts working to improve the long-term survival of great apes.

A first-time grant to the London-based charity Synchronicity Earth will help to establish the Ape Endowment with the aim of broadening the range of donors supporting ape conservation. Additional funding was provided to the American Museum of Natural History, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Copenhagen Zoo, and World Wildlife Fund.