World-Wide Wildlife Get $3.5 Million Doi Grant
The U.S. Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award more than $3.5 million in international conservation grants to 54 countries to help conserve imperiled wildlife throughout the world.
Matching funds and in-kind contributions from nearly 100 partners, including American and international not-for-profit organizations and foreign governments, will raise the total to nearly $9 million.
Near the top of the list are grants of nearly $2 million under the Great Ape Conservation Fund, with matching funds of more than $2.3 from 20 partners, that will promote the conservation of chimpanzees and gorillas in Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Rwanda, and gibbons in Vietnam and Bangladesh, and orangutans in Sumatra and Indonesia.
Grant support for Cameroon, the Congo, Gabon and Rwanda will help improve law enforcement designed to protect gorillas, aid in research, and promote a system to reintroduce gorillas to their natural habitat in the Congo and Rwanda.
Gorillas remain severely endangered throughout all of their range and have suffered from intense poaching, a loss of habitat and catastrophic disease outbreaks.
Under the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, the Service is awarding grants to promote a program in Malaysia to reduce domestic trade in tiger parts.
The Bengal tiger of Bangladesh will also get help, along with the Indian rhinoceros in Nepal, where poachers are a continuing threat. Grant money will be used to build support for the arrest of poachers and rhino horn traders, to create an awareness-raising program for the judiciary on wildlife law and the need to protect wildlife and an education program for young people on the importance of rhino conservation.
Like the gorilla, the one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal has also suffered from high levels of poaching, made worse by that countrys long-running conflict between government forces and rebels. During a two-year period, 67 rhinoceros were killed and the demand for rhino horn on the Asian medicinal market remains high.
Service grants under the Elephant Conservation Funds will support diverse efforts to promote elephant conservation ranging from the establishment of anti-poaching programs to educational initiatives.