Winter Grants Support Great Ape Survival Through Collaborative Approaches

December 14, 2015

Several organizations that take a holistic approach to conserving endangered ape populations, coordinating multiple players in priority landscapes, will receive funding in the Arcus Foundation’s winter 2015 Great Apes Program grant portfolio.

In Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Jane Goodall Institute has been instrumental in leading the development of a Conservation Action Plan (CAP), bringing together a consortium of conservation organizations, scientists, government representatives, sanctuaries, and community members, to collaboratively tackle the main threats to ape survival: hunting and deforestation. The partnership aims to protect habitat, ape, and other wildlife populations and bring appropriate and sustainable development to the region, basing the interventions on sound science and effective monitoring.

Current funding will help strengthen the park management of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Maiko National Park, as well as the Ituri forests, habitat of the endangered Grauer’s gorilla and eastern chimpanzee; improving conditions for chimpanzees in the Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro, home to 60 animals; and working with local communities to develop a range of economic alternatives and effectively raising awareness and knowledge of conservation issues across the region.

A grant to Fauna and Flora International aims to ensure the survival of the critically endangered Cao Vit Gibbon—the second rarest ape in the world, numbering about 125 individuals—whose habitat straddles the border of China and Vietnam. The chief threats to its habitat are fuelwood collection and foraging/grazing by livestock. Through the Transboundary Conservation Project, the organization, together with the People Resources Conservation Foundation, plans to continue engaging local communities in conserving this gibbon, helping authorities enforce protected areas, extending gibbon habitat, and researching actions needed for the long-term viability of the species.

The Global Greengrants Fund will use funding to further its grantmaking to small grassroots groups working in Africa and Asia on environmental justice, sustainability, and conservation in and around ape habitat. The fund particularly plans to support efforts led by local community members, especially women, youth, and indigenous communities, to strengthen law enforcement and other measures that counter threats to great ape populations.

Funding was also provided to: Animal Protection of New Mexico, Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch , Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, The Humane Society of the United States, Lincoln Park Zoological Society, RESOLVE, and Save the Chimps.