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RodnReel.COM NEWS

Fish and Wildlife Service Awards $1.2 Million
Category: General
Date: 1/23/2008
Source: US Fish and Wildlife Svc.

Fish and Wildlife Service Awards $1.2 Million

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $1,277,921 to support 25 new grants and supplement four existing grants for the conservation of elephants in 15 African countries in 2007, Director H. Dale Hall announced today. Partners’ contributions raised the total amount for elephant conservation to more than $4 million.

The grants support field projects in Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The funding will support a diverse range of activities to improve elephant survivorship, including collaring individual elephants to better understand their seasonal movements, supporting antipoaching efforts (using foot patrols, vehicles, and aircraft), creating environmental education packages for teachers to use in rural schools, and mapping habitat use by local people and their livestock in order to implement more sustainable land use plans. In addition, funding was allocated to three projects that provide assistance in all 37 African elephant range states. Elephant numbers plummeted during the last century from an estimated 10 million animals to fewer than 500,000 by 1989. Congress responded that year by passing the African Elephant Conservation Act, which in turn established the African Elephant Conservation Fund. The Fund is authorized to receive $1.4 to $5.4 million annually.

The African elephant is one of two surviving genera of the Elephantidae family that once roamed many parts of the earth. Recent genetic studies show that African elephants are actually comprised of two distinct species, Loxodonta africana (commonly referred to as savanna elephants) and Loxodonta cyclotis (commonly referred to as forest elephants). Although more closely related to extinct mammoths, the African elephants’ nearest and only surviving relatives are the Asian elephants, Elephas maximus. Elephants are herbivores, capable of eating both grass and woody vegetation, and formerly occurred in a range of habitats throughout Africa, including tropical rainforests, montane forests, semi-arid savannas, and arid deserts. Elephants live in family units dominated by female matriarchs and have complex social networks. They communicate using ultralow frequency sound, much of it below the range of human hearing.

Since 1989, elephant populations have recovered in some countries while in other countries elephant numbers are still in decline due to poaching and habitat loss. Some elephant populations in southern Africa are steadily increasing, but lack the habitat to migrate or shift their range in response to their needs for food and water.

The African Elephant Conservation Fund is administered by the Service's Wildlife Without Borders Program. The funds were established by Congress to provide international assistance for conserving species that face a variety of threats, including poaching, illegal trafficking, human conflict, habitat loss and disease. A complete list of the elephant conservation grants and summaries follows, below. For more information about the Service’s international programs, visit < http://www.fws.gov/ international/dicprograms/wwbp.htm>. -fws- The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

US Fish and Wildlife Service Division of International Conservation African Elephant Conservation Fund Summary FY 2007

In 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded 25 new grants from the African Elephant Conservation Fund totaling $1,163,080; an additional $114,841 was awarded in modifications to four existing FY06 grants, for a grant total of $1,277,921. That amount was matched by $2,786,011 in leveraged funds, raising the total to more than $4 million. Field projects in 15 countries will be supported, in addition to two projects that provide assistance to all 37 African elephant range states.

Botswana Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Congo DRC Gabon Ghana Kenya Malawi Mozambique Namibia Tanzania Zambia Zimbabwe Range states

AFE-0348: Elephant Conservation and possibilities of creating corridors in Western Ghana

In partnership with A Rocha Ghana Country of work: Ghana Awarded: $57,274 Leveraged: $67,083

This grant will support the recipient’s efforts to obtain basic data on the status of elephants in the Bio-Goaso-Djambarakrou population bordering Ghana and Ivory Coast. Specifically, the grantee will determine the current distribution and numbers of forest elephants in the area, determine potential corridors for elephant movement within the study area and into Ivory Coast, identify conflicts with local people and determine appropriate actions to minimize conflict in future.

AFE-0356: Nouabale-Ndoki Forest Elephant Project: Phase 6 In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society Country of work: Congo Awarded: $70,457 Leveraged: $26,811

This ongoing project monitors and protects African forest elephants, Loxodonta africana cyclotis, in the Republic of Congo. The recipient will: 1) assess the population status of elephants in the Nouabale Ndoki National Park (NNNP), 2) improve understanding of population dynamics of forest elephants, 3) improve elephant conservation status through anti-poaching patrols, 4) facilitate attempts to resolve human-elephant conflict, 5) develop capacity and opportunities for Congolese researchers, and 6) improve data management systems for law enforcement and ecological monitoring data. Specific activities include conducting transects (for elephant sign) and recces for human activities, monitoring elephants at bais (clearings), maintaining permanent guard stations in the western sector of NNNP, training researchers and students, and developing a spatially explicit database for law enforcement and ecological data.

AFE-0358: Conservation of elephants in northern Mozambique In partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature Country of work: Mozambique Awarded: $54,563 Leveraged: $50,063 In order to improve national park staff’s ability to respond to human elephant conflict around Quirimbas National Park in northern Mozambique, the grantee will a) train human elephant conflict response teams, b) support community rangers, c) develop new non-lethal elephant deterrents, d) develop and implement a fire management program to minimize degradation of natural elephant habitat, e) conduct outreach campaigns, and f) collaborate with locally and provisionally appointed committees and government agencies.

AFE-0359: EIA Ivory Enforcement Training Film "Combating Ivory Smuggling: A Guide for Enforcement Officers"

In partnership with Environmental Investigation Agency Country of work: Range States Awarded: $11,720 Leveraged: $21,030

The purpose of this project is to support the filming, production and distribution of a comprehensive, inclusive and practical training tool for enforcement officers to help curtail elephant poaching and the illegal trade in ivory. The recipient will: 1) Acquire footage and interviews from enforcement agencies in Cameroon, Botswana and Zambia, 2) Edit new footage into an existing English version of the film, 3) Invite peer review of the film, 4) Produce a final version in English and translate into French and Spanish, 5) Screen, launch and distribute the film at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, 6) Distribute copies to additional law enforcement agencies worldwide, 7) Conduct an evaluation of the film among viewers.

AFE-0362: Securing Elephants and Habitat through the Hifadhi Network in West Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

In partnership with African Wildlife Foundation Country of work: Tanzania Awarded: $67,973 Leveraged: $61,788 This grant assists local community scouts to conduct anti-poaching patrols and basic wildlife monitoring on land outside of protected areas in northern Tanzania. The recipient’s scope of work includes: 1) improving communications by establishing a radio base and providing mobile units linked to law enforcement authorities, 2) providing partial salary for network coordinator and scouts, 3) providing equipment and essential supplies, 4) training scouts in field methods, 5) conducting stakeholder meetings, 6) providing rations for patrol teams, and 7) improving and expanding coverage of patrols in the area.

AFE-0364: Seventh dialogue meeting of the African elephant range states In partnership with CITES Secretariat Country of work: All African elephant range states Awarded: $15,200 Leveraged: $75,425

The purpose of this project is to support a three-day meeting in May 2007 of the 37 African countries that have elephants prior to the 14th Conference of the Parties of signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), in order to allow African delegates to discuss issues specific to elephant conservation and related proposals, exchange information, and, when possible, reach consensus prior to the full conference.

AFE-0366: Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust Communications Project In partnership with Northern Rangelands Trust Country of work: Kenya Awarded: $27,132 Leveraged: $110,021

The Recipient will purchase and install a new radio communications system, including: base radios, handheld radios, and solar panels for recharging batteries to upgrade and improve the communications systems for security personnel in community conservancies in northern Kenya. The communications system will be maintained in order to provide reliable communication between the Northern Rangelands conservancies (including Kalama, Meibae, Melako, Sera and Westgate) and the Kenya Wildlife Service, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Kenya Police.

AFE-0367: Population, Distribution, Ecology and Conservation Status of Forest Elephants in the Ebo Forest, Cameroon

In partnership with Zoological Society of San Diego Country of work: Cameroon Awarded: $45,522 Leveraged: $171,226

To improve the knowledge and conservation status of elephants in a proposed new protected area, the recipient will a) conduct regular, methodical elephant dung counts throughout the Ebo forest and areas outside the current proposed boundaries of Ebo National Park; b) collect ecological data about elephant habits opportunistically; c) conduct basic conservation education and outreach activities in ten of the villages surrounding the Ebo forest; and d) assist the Government of Cameroon and WWF Cameroon Coastal Forests Programme with the gazettement process for the Ebo National Park.

AFE-0369: Delivering human-elephant conflict mitigation training for wildlife managers in Africa: continued support from USFWS

In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society Country of work: Zambia Awarded: $61,615 Leveraged: $33,155

The recipient will continue training wildlife managers and farmers in mitigation methods and will evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Specific activities will include: a) producing an updated edition of the handbook for trainers to learn human-elephant conflict mitigation techniques, b) comparing and quantifying the efficacy of different deterrent methods by observing hand-raised and wild elephants that approach areas treated with deterrents, and c) visiting trainers previously trained in human-elephant conflict methods to determine the long-term effectiveness of the training program and d) conducting questionnaire based assessments in elephant range to determine how well the methods are being implemented in the field.

AFE-0371: Forest Elephant Study, Dzanga Clearing, Central African Republic In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society Country of work: Central African Republic Awarded: $50,751 Leveraged: $42,900

This grant supports full-time surveillance and monitoring of African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, in and around a protected are in the Central African Republic. This project, the longest running study of forest elephants, provides training for research assistants on elephant identification and collection of baseline data, collaboration with and training of research assistants from adjacent protected areas in the Republic of Cameroon and Republic of Congo, collaboration with anti-poaching efforts, training of local park guides, developing outreach materials for tourists and local students, and, analysis of elephant vocalizations. The project will yield information on forest elephant demographics, social behavior, bioacoustics, elephant ecology and movements within the three nation area, and improved understanding of elephant communication and social complexity. In addition, researchers will monitor the presence of unauthorized people in the area and threats to elephant security and will work in close collaboration with law enforcement authorities to prevent poaching.

AFE-0372: Operations support for the Wildlife Action Group-Malawi for the protection of the Thuma Forest Reserve elephant population, September 2007-August 2008

In partnership with Wildlife Action Group Country of work: Malawi Awarded: $17,031 Leveraged: $44,411

This project provides support to a local organization to patrol Thuma Forest Reserve (with rangers from Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife staff) in order to prevent inflow of guns, snares, pit traps, and poison into the forest reserve, and to prevent illegal offtake of forest products, while also conducting conservation awareness outreach programs, assisting local people in avoiding conflict with elephants and initiating projects to provide alternative, sustainable income.

AFE-0373: An Integrated Approach to Managing Elephants; Land-use Changes and Local Community Awareness in the Amboseli Ecosystem

In partnership with The School for Field Studies Country of work: Kenya Awarded: $52,009 Leveraged: $91,985

In order to identify and promote land uses compatible with elephant habitat needs outside Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya, the grantee will 1) determine the impact of human activity on elephant range; 2) assess local stakeholders’ attitudes towards conservation; 3) develop strategic land use plans for Kuku , Kimana, and Mbirikani Group Ranches that incorporate elephant range use; and 4) design and implement elephant conservation awareness programs for primary and secondary school youth, Maasai morans, women’s groups and local Conflict Resolution Committees.

AFE-0375: Aerial support for security, management and conservation of elephants in Northern Kenya – II

In partnership with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Country of work: Kenya Awarded: $15,000 Leveraged: $537,197

This project supports aerial patrolling and response to improve elephant security in community, private, and government-owned rangelands in northern Kenya in order to: 1) routinely ascertain the location of elephants and to monitor potential threats to elephants and 2) provide support for anti-poaching operations, elephant conflict situations, and treatment of injured elephants. The aerial backup will complement efforts by, and be conducted in collaboration with, the national wildlife department, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and localized wildlife scouts on private and communally owned land in Samburu, Isiolo, and Laikipia Districts.

AFE-0376: The Near-Term Effects of Oil Exploration on Forest Elephants in Loango National Park, Gabon

In partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology Country of work: Gabon Awarded: $16,798 Leveraged: $49,690

Increasing levels of human activity are taking place in some African protected areas. In Loango National Park, the grantee will investigate the role of industrial activity, particularly prospecting for oil, on elephants. The recipient will use acoustic monitoring at ten locations within Loango National Park to record the location and frequency of gunshots, vehicle movement, and other loud anthropogenic activity on spatial and temporal patterns of elephant activity. The recipient will measure the severity of the disturbance in terms of elephant behavior and distribution, and will determine how long after the activity has stopped before elephants return to their normal behavior and range. Recipient will provide recommendations on how best to reduce the impacts of extractive industries on elephant conservation.

AFE-0377: Protection and monitoring of elephants in West Gate Community Conservancy, Northern Kenya

In partnership with Northern Rangelands Trust Country of work: Kenya Awarded: $49,911 Leveraged: $35,940

To improve security for elephants and other wildlife in community areas in northern Kenya, this recipient will construct housing facilities for community rangers in West Gate Conservancy. The facilities will include three blocks of four rooms, with external bathrooms. The facilities will serve as a permanent base from which patrols can be based in the region. The project aims to help improve wildlife numbers in the region by establishing a high security presence, especially for elephants.

AFE-0381: Elephant awareness education material In partnership with Sand County Foundation Country of work: Zimbabwe Awarded: $11,000 Leveraged: $16,000

In order to raise awareness and improve local support for conservation in and around the Save Valley Conservancy in the southeast lowveld of Zimbabwe, this project will support the production and distribution of environmental education material to school children in and around elephant range in Zimbabwe. The material will focus on elephant biology and on how to reduce human-elephant conflict

AFE-0384: Responding to elephant poaching crisis in Chad: surveillance plane for Zakouma National Park

In partnership with The WILD Foundation Country of work: Chad Awarded: $30,000 Leveraged: $120,100

This grant provides funding to support a patrol plane for anti-poaching and surveying elephants. The recipient’s scope of work includes: 1) flying regular missions within park boundaries and along elephant corridors for the purpose of surveillance and deterrence of illegal activities, 2) conducting systematic surveys of elephant distribution and population size, and detecting any carcasses from poaching, and 3) providing access for supervision and coordination of park management activities. The pilot will liaise with park officials to direct them to the exact sites of any elephant poaching incidents or poachers’ camps.

AFE-0386: Conserving the remaining African Elephants in Garamba National Park through community awareness and linked incentives

In partnership with Fauna and Flora International Country of work: Democratic Republic of Congo Awarded: $57,826 Leveraged: $47,438

The purpose of this project is to improve the conservation status of elephants and other wildlife in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by convening meetings of local residents, creating community associations, training local people in order to develop and implement development projects that are compatible with conservation goals, launching awareness and education programs in local schools, and recruiting and deploying community game guards.

AFE-0387: The Bateke Elephant Project: Conserving the last elephants of the Bateke Plateaux transfrontier area of Central Africa

In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society Country of work: Gabon, Congo Awarded: $129,993 Leveraged: $128,341

This project will provide the initial funding required to start a new monitoring project for African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, in an area in Gabon, extending into the Republic of Congo. The recipient will monitor of bais (forest clearings) and beaches, conduct ground surveys to monitor elephant and human activity, and create a database of visual identification of individual elephants at one bai (Bai Jobo in Gabon). The project will yield information on forest elephant demographics and elephant movements and resource use within the area. In the long-term, the project hopes to use the scientific information, active patrolling and monitoring, and outreach in order to reduce poaching and human-elephant conflict.

AFE-0390: Elephant-induced landscape dynamics-a spatial hierarchical approach In partnership with Stellenbosch University Country of work: Botswana Awarded: $16,497 Leveraged: $36,497

The recipient will assess the effects of artificial water points in the Nogatsaa area of Botwana on local vegetation. Specific activities will include revisiting vegetation plots that have been monitored since 1997 in order to test the extent of elephant impact around water points, the effect on vegetation diversity, structural composition and overall biomass. The results will help assess the overall effectiveness of provisioning water as a management and conservation tool in elephant areas.

AFE-0391: Monitoring elephants in the Kunene and Omusati regions of Namibia In partnership with Namibian Elephant and Giraffe Trust Country of work: Namibia Awarded: $67,389 Leveraged: $289,180

To better understand the habitat needs of Namibia’s desert-dwelling elephants, the recipient will 1) initiate studies of elephants in the Omusati region north of Etosha by identifying herds and documenting age/sex structure, 2) deploy new GPS collars on eight elephants (including some in Omusati and some in Kunene that have already been collared but the batteries are due to expire), and 3) communicatr results to local residents and the Namibia government in order to better inform management planning on federal land in emerging communal conservancies.

AFE-0393: Replacement of MET survey aircraft engine and propeller for Cessna 182, registration V5-ISE

In partnership with Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism Country of work: Namibia Awarded: $59,065 Leveraged: $100,000

This funding will assist Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s to repair and upgrade a small airplane essential for elephant monitoring and management in northern Namibia. The aircraft was originally purchased with USFWS assistance ten years ago and has proven tremendously useful for efficient aerial surveys and conservation interventions throughout Namibia.

AFE-0394: Improving the management and infrastructure of Mamili National Park In partnership with Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism Country of work: Namibia Awarded: $75,274 Leveraged: $487,500

To improve national park staff’s ability to conduct anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring patrols in Mamili NP and, through improved transport, develop improved communication with park neighbors, this project will a) Develop an overnight patrol camp on the eastern perimeter of the park, equipped with solar power; and b) Equip the Mamili NP field office with a vehicle, motorized boat, spare fuel tanks, winch, trailer and standard field recovery and emergency equipment.

AfE-0397: Supporting the Secretariat core activities of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group

In partnership with African Elephant Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Country of work: All African elephant range states Awarded: $49,500 Leveraged: $123,640

The African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) compiles and synthesizes information on the conservation and status of the African elephant across its range, and provides technical information and impartial advice to range state and non-range state governments, non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations to improve conservation of African elephants. Through this grant, the recipient’s scope of work includes: 1) managing the African Elephant Database, 2) providing technical advice and assistance on elephant conservation, 3) assisting implementation of sub-regional elephant conservation strategies and action plans, 4) supporting transfrontier management plans , 5) providing technical assistance to multilateral environmental agreements, meetings and other conservation programs, 6) improving elephant problems like local overpopulation and human-elephant conflict, 7) building capacity of African researchers, 8) disseminating information and 9) providing support to group members.

AFE-0398: Monitoring of African elephants along the North Kenyan Coast In partnership with Save The Elephants Country of work: Kenya Awarded: $53,580 Leveraged: $18,590

To improve knowledge of and security for elephants living near the Indian Ocean coastline in Kenya, north of Lamu, the recipient will deploy satellite tracking collars on three elephants in order to monitor their movements and identify their seasonal needs. The collars should transmit information about the elephants’ whereabouts for three years. By collaborating with Kenya Wildlife Services and the Kibodo Trust, the recipient will use knowledge of elephant distribution to improve anti-poaching efforts and to integrate elephant data in conservation plans for the region.

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