Arcus Foundation Announces Spring 2014 Conservation Grants

March 27, 2014

Protecting severely threatened ape habitat from Cameroon to Malaysia, monitoring the well-being of orangutans released to the wild, and ensuring the continued success of dedicated conservation leaders are among the aims of the latest round of grants in the Arcus Foundation Great Apes portfolio.

Building international collaboration and policy to conserve tropical forests is the aim of several grants that ensure the protection of apes in the wild. The International Wilderness Leadership Foundation plans to unite the world’s leading conservation organizations and indigenous and community groups in establishing priorities and policy to protect intact forests around the globe while balancing the need for land and resources by humans. The Zoological Society of San Diego aims to strengthen conservation efforts in Ebo Forest in Cameroon, with the ultimate goal of establishing it as a national park. This undertaking builds on the success of earlier funded projects, which reduced hunting in Cameroon’s gorilla habitat and increased community engagement in its protection.

The Whitley Fund for Nature, an organization that supports and champions dynamic conservationists in developing countries, will focus a conservation leadership award specifically on people protecting apes and ape habitats. This monetary prize will be geared toward accelerating the grassroots work and increasing the visibility of conservation leaders in the next three years. The organization will also provide continued support and facilitate the sharing of experience and skills among these leaders.

In the portfolio aiming to increase the well-being of captive apes, funding to Orangutan Appeal UK will support the Tabin Orangutan Project’s post-release monitoring program, co-managed with the Sabah Wildlife Department in eastern Malaysia. Funding will help strengthen efforts against illegal habitat encroachment and, using a variety of technologies, help its researchers to collect data on orangutans that are released back into the forest after having been held in captivity, sometimes for many years. To protect the Sumatran orangutan population in Aceh, Indonesia, the PanEco Foundation aims to develop and promote a responsible landscape and conservation plan for these animals and their habitat, the Leuser Ecosystem — Southeast Asia’s richest conservation landscape. A central part of this effort involves stopping peat swamp drainage for the palm oil industry.

A grant to Save the Chimps will help ensure the ongoing sustainability of this 150-acre Florida home to more than 300 chimpanzees rescued from space research, laboratories, the entertainment industry, and the pet trade. The sanctuary intends to diversify its funding base and implement a long-term fundraising strategy.