Whether it’s searching for a rare dragonfly along the eastern coast of the UAE and Oman or trekking the Himalayas to document the existence of a small wildcat or scrambling to hastily relocate dozens of wild crocodiles to avoid the impending floodwaters caused by the construction of a new hydroelectric dam, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund continues to support individuals in the villages, field stations, laboratories and homes, who are committed to conserving their local (and the world’s global) threatened species.
According to its newly released Annual Report, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund in 2014 supported 185 species conservation projects in more than 70 countries with more than $1.55 million. These funds are distributed globally among conservation projects to some of the most endangered species including fish, mammals, plants, reptiles and even fungi.
“The founder, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, established the Fund in 2009 because of his personal passion and involvement in species conservation, and conviction that without dedicated species conservationists working on the ground and within the communities, most of the endangered species we see today could have disappeared,” said Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Fund.
2014 marked the sixth year of grant giving by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and this philanthropy continues today. The Fund announced the results of its first of three rounds of funding planned for 2015, when in May it awarded an additional $515,500 (AED 1,897,00) to more than 63 separate species conservation projects. Since 2009 the Fund has distributed at total of $12.4 million to more than 1,250 projects in more than 150 different countries.
The Fund’s newly issued annual report features 14 conservation projects selected to represent the geographic and species diversity of its supported projects. One of these case studies highlights the work of Raquel Vasconcelos, a reptile specialist from Portugal who is studying the Dragon blood tree’s gecko on Socotra Island in Yemen. The gecko lives only on the endangered Dragon’s blood tree – a tree known for its blood red sap.
Locally in the UAE, the Fund gave $12,500 to scientists who are documenting the presence and distribution of a rare dragonfly along the UAE and Oman coast. Until as recently as 2013, the dragonfly known as Urothemis thomasi, was last seen more than 30 years ago and was considered possibly extinct by specialists. The team is combing Wadi Wurayah and other areas of the east coast to locate more of these colorful dragonflies.
The Fund’s annual report features the story of a man who hiked more than 900 kilometers of mountainous terrain in Nepal searching for an elusive wildcat called the Pallas’s Cat. After scatological evidence suggested its presence in the Annapurna Conservation Area, the grant recipient set hidden camera traps that remotely and automatically photograph passing wildlife. After a number of days, the cameras captured the first images of the rare wildcat in Nepal.
The Black-capped petrel is a rare seabird which spends its life in search of food off the east coast of North America and into the Caribbean Sea. Not much is known about the bird because it spends its life at sea and only sets foot on shore to breed in remote mountainsides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Fund has provided a series of grants to scientists who have been locating, capturing and fitting the rare birds with satellite tracking devices. Data from the satellite tags can be viewed online at (http://www.atlanticseabirds.org/bcpe-new). Scientists are using the data study bird behavior, nesting areas, and major conservation threats.
When a wildlife emergency arose in Cambodia, the Fund was able to respond with $12,000 to help relocate a population of critically endangered Siamese crocodiles after it was announced that a newly constructed hydroelectric dam would flood their home river basin.
The Fund’s is open to grant applications from conservationists based in all parts of the world, and will support direct conservation projects focused on any and all kinds of endangered plant, animal and fungus species.
The Fund provides targeted species conservation grants of $25,000 (AED 92,000) or less to individuals, organizations, and communities. The Fund is particularly interested in supporting grassroots initiatives which are making a real difference to species survival and supporting those people whose passion, dedication, and knowledge are crucial to saving species.
Visit the downloads center to get your copy today (http://www.speciesconservation.org/media-center/downloads)