Arcus’ Spring 2017 Grantmaking Aims to Build a Scientific Approach to Conservation

April 7, 2017
Strengthening the scientific basis of conservation efforts from West Africa to southern Borneo is a focus of the Arcus Foundation’s spring 2017 portfolio of grants in its Great Apes Program, targeting efforts from pristine and frontier landscapes to protected sanctuaries. In the Mahale Mountains National Park of Tanzania, which hosts almost one-third of Tanzania’s eastern chimpanzee population, a grant will enable Liverpool John Moores University to conduct a critical census of this population, led by Dr. Alex Piel. An understanding of the chimpanzee population density within the park and surrounding areas will underpin conservationists’ efforts to help the government avoid threats while planning new road construction. Working in West Africa, the Zoological Society of San Diego received funding to build on its prior efforts to strengthen western lowland gorilla and chimpanzee habitat management in the Ebo National Park of Cameroon. The park is home to important populations of both of these great ape species and is a high-priority conservation site for the endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. The organization Yayasan IAR Indonesia (International Animal Rescue), which provides rehabilitation and long-term care for more than 100 orangutans in West Kalimantan in southern Borneo, will use funding to apply a scientific approach to the reintroduction and monitoring of orangutans in their natural habitat in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, while continuing to model appropriate care for those apes that are unable to be released. Funding to longtime partner Save the Chimps, home to 250 chimpanzees formerly used in laboratory research, will enable this organization to continue strengthening its organizational sustainability for ongoing excellence of its chimpanzee care program. The Whitley Fund for Nature, a fundraising and grantmaking conservation charity, received funding to make its annual Whitley Awards to support the work of top-notch, scientifically based, community-oriented grassroots conservation leaders in developing countries. Also receiving grants were Biotope, Brunel University London, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center, Robert Koch Institute, Project Primate, Inc., University of Birmingham, Wildlife Impact, and World Wildlife Fund.