In a continuing effort to protect endangered species worldwide, the Greater Vancouver Zoo has had another successful year, raising $25,818.22 USD for its “Quarters for Conservation Q4C” program.
To date the zoo has provided a grand total of over $115,000 USD since starting the Q4C program in late 2011.
Proceeds of the Q4C increase awareness of three endangered species and help assist with conservation efforts to protect them in their wild places.
The three field conservation programs that the zoo has been supporting have seen progress as well.
GUATEMALAN YELLOW-NAPED AMAZON PARROT
ARCAS Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Association continues its collaboration in the the Yellow-Naped Amazon (amazona auropalliata) conservation project on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Training local researchers, collecting parrot-monitoring data and coordinating education activities at six monitoring sites is among the current work being done within the program.
The Yellow-Naped suffers from habitat loss due to agribusiness, and estimates are that just 2,000 of these charismatic parrots remain on the Pacific coast. It is highly sought-after on the illegal pet trade due to fact that, after the African Grey, it is the parrot most able to imitate the human voice and other sounds.
Colum Muccio, Administrative Director of ARCAS, says, “It’s a complex project. We are working with interested landowners and agribusiness associations to use the Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot as a flagship species to protect the few wild places that still exist on the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala, an area that has since colonial times been subjected to intensive farming.”
INDIAN HORNBILL NEST ADOPTION PROGRAM
As part of the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program through the Nature Conservation Foundation in India, local villagers from the Nyishi tribe have now found 38 hornbill nests of three different species and have helped 82 hornbill chicks fledge successfully.
Hornbills are threatened with extinction because of hunting for meat and body parts along with habitat degradation (deforestation and cutting of nest and roost trees). The Hornbill Nest Adoption Program continues to locate and protect new nests while collecting ecological information on hornbills assisting in planning more effective conservation strategies.
“Hornbill Nest Adoption Program is a unique partnership with the local community and government and built with urban citizen support and participation,” said Aparajita Datta of Nature Conservation Foundation.
IRANIAN CHEETAH PROJECT
As one of only two Western conservation NGOs with permission to operate in Iran, Panthera International Wild Cat Conservation has been working with the Iranian Department of Environment’s Asiatic Cheetah Project and other partners since 2008 to protect the last 50 Asiatic cheetahs in the world.
Panthera’s Cheetah Program aims to protect cheetahs by addressing direct threats, prey base, and their habitats. To do this, Panthera gathers critical ecological data by surveying and monitoring populations and their prey, collaborating with local law enforcement officials and partners, working with local communities to mitigate conflict and create cheetah-positive landscapes within communities.
Panthera President and Chief Conservation Officer, Dr. Luke Hunter said, “The Asiatic cheetah is a fantastic animal that has been part of Persian culture for 2,000 years, and deserves to be for 2,000 more. But today we are running out of time to save this critically endangered species. We’re grateful for contributions from organizations like Greater Vancouver Zoo that help support Panthera’s work with Iran’s Department of the Environment and other critical partners to conserve and grow the world’s last remaining Asiatic cheetahs.”
The “Q4C Program” success has been supported by everyone who visits the zoo, as the zoo collects 25 cents from each admission price and $2.50 from each membership purchased. Fully 100 per cent of these proceeds go back to these programs.
Guests are also encouraged to stop by the three interactive spiral wishing wells located near the front entrance, where they can learn a bit more about the program and can make a decision on which program they wish to truly make a difference to, by dropping coins into the wells.
To learn more about the important conservation efforts for these endangered species, please visit the website http://gvzoo.com/about/conservation/quarters-for-conservation/index.php.