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Field Conservation Annual Report For the financial year 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Red pandas (Photo Red Panda Network)

Auckland Zoo and the Support of Wildlife Conservation in the Wild 1


Zoos play an increasingly important role in the conservation of species and habitats in the wild. Members of the World Zoo and Aquarium Association (WAZA) currently collectively spend an estimated $425 million per year on conservation actions in the wild. Zoos are therefore the third largest supporter of wildlife conservation globally. Auckland Zoo’s mission is to ‘bring people together to build a future for wildlife’. One of the four strategies identified to help deliver on this mission is ‘conserving wildlife in wild places’. Two of the key ways in which Auckland Zoo supports wildlife conservation in the wild – both in New Zealand and around the world – is by providing financial support to conservation projects through the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund and by providing Zoo staff to work in conservation projects in the wild. In 2017/18 the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund supported 26 projects and awarded just over $280,000 of grants. Eleven of these were through the Small Grants programme, the second round of which was targeted at projects that conserve invertebrates. Projects from Auckland to Armenia were successful in this round. The Zoo also continued to develop its South Pacific programme. While no additional funding was required this year to support the pest control work in Samoa aimed at helping save the manumea (tooth-billed pigeon), a previous Conservation Fund grant met the costs for three Samoan government staff to come to Auckland for training in pest control and monitoring techniques. Zoo staff also undertook two trips to Samoa to help establish the bait station network at Malololelei. The Conservation Fund also increased its support for the conservation of the critically endangered Fatu Hiva monarch and covered the expenses for one of our bird team to care for the endangered Santa Cruz ground dove in captivity in Honiara, Solomon Islands, as part of an international project responding to a volcanic eruption on the birds’ island home. In total, just under $25,000 was directed to facilitating Zoo staff working on conservation projects in the field by covering the cost of equipment, transport and other logistic support – including the work in Samoa and the Solomon Islands mentioned above. Staff wages while on field work continue to be met through core Zoo operational funding or through contracts with external agencies. In addition to the Conservation Fund grants, 84 Auckland Zoo staff, volunteers and interns spent just over 6,800 hours working on over 35 field conservation projects during this reporting period. This equates to over 3.2 people working full-time on fieldwork projects throughout the year. The Rotoroa Island project continued to be a significant field work project for the Zoo during this reporting period, accounting for just under 2,800 hours. Having established (or reestablished) seven new species on the island since 2014, including kiwi, takahē, tīeke, moko and shore skinks, the partnership between the Rotoroa Island Trust and Auckland Zoo reached the end of its five year term in April 2018. The Zoo will continue to support the Trust in terms of takahē management as it does for all northern sites that hold the species. 2


Another significant field work project undertaken by the Zoo over the past six years also concluded. The investigation into the health and nesting success of red-crowned kākāriki on Tiritiri Matangi was initiated by Zoo vet-resident, Bethany Jackson, and has yielded a wealth of information – including identifying a new species of nest mite and highlighting the significant variation in nesting success between years for kākāriki on Tiritiri Matangi. A number of peer-reviewed articles will be published in scientific journals as result of the over 3300 hours Zoo staff have spent in the field carrying out this work. Further details of the Zoo’s field work programme is in part 2 of this report.

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Contents Auckland Zoo and the Support of Wildlife Conservation in the Wild.................................................2 Total AZCF Grants 2017-18.................................................................................................................6 Summary New Zealand Grants..........................................................................................................6 Summary South Pacific Grants...........................................................................................................6 Summary Rest of World Grants.........................................................................................................7 Summary Small Grants......................................................................................................................7 New Zealand Portfolio.......................................................................................................................9 Red crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) health, disease and nesting study on Tiritiri Matangi.............................................................................................................................10 Hauturu kākāpō monitoring.........................................................................................................11 Survey for rough gecko (Naultinus rudis) to determine species’ distribution, threats and conservation status......................................................................................................................13 Community kea survey and monitoring in the Matukituki Valley................................................14 Mustelid and cat control at Te Henga Wetland............................................................................16 South Pacific Portfolio......................................................................................................................18 Saving the Fatu Hiva monarch from the brink of extinction.........................................................19 Rest of World Portfolio....................................................................................................................21 Schools Awareness Programme, Sri Lanka...................................................................................22 Conservation of South Africa’s free-ranging cheetah and other large predators on farmland areas, through farmer-wildlife conflict mitigation........................................................................23 Improving orangutan reintroduction facilities at the Jantho Nature Reserve, Indonesia.............24 Buffer zone protection in the Leuser Ecosystem, Indonesia.........................................................26 Institutionalisation of red panda conservation in Eastern Nepal.................................................28 Feasibility and planning of Gonarezhou black rhino restocking, Zimbabwe................................29 Giraffe conservation and awareness, Africa.................................................................................31 Emergency care of confiscated radiated tortoises in Madagascar...............................................33 Automatic Tasmanian devil feeder device assembly and installation, Australia..........................34 Small Grant Programme...................................................................................................................36 Elephant and forest conservation program, Tanzania..................................................................37 Rediscovering a lost Annamite endemic: the silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) of Vietnam.......................................................................................................................................38 Herpetofauna community responses to logging in Bornean production forests..........................39 Establishing a test refuge from the amphibian chytrid fungus for the mountain chicken frog in its native range, Montserrat.............................................................................................................40 4


Linking forestry and pasture areas with the conservation of the Cauca poison frog (Andinobates bombetes) in the Santa Rosa watershed, Colombia.....................................................................41 Key strongholds, population dynamics and current threats of the Lilacine Amazon (Amazona lilacina) in the Chongón-Colonche Mountains, Ecuador..............................................................42 Understanding the role of ponds in the conservation of freshwater macroinvertebrates; quantifying biodiversity and land use impacts in the Auckland region........................................43 Hanqavan Subalpine Meadows Conservation, Armenia..............................................................44 Assessing stakeholder perception towards Indian horseshoe crabs and threats to its population from free ranging animals in Balasore district, Odisha, India.......................................................45 Bumblebees (Bombus spp) in-situ conservation at Kathmandu Valley and surrounding regions, central Nepal through a blend of research and empowering citizen scientists............................46 Threats to invertebrate biodiversity: restoring habitat for critically endangered Amanipodagrion gilliesi and Micromacromia miraculosa through management of invasive tree species Maesopsis eminii in Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania...................................................................................47 Field Report for 2017–2018.............................................................................................................48 Summary.....................................................................................................................................48 Annual figures..............................................................................................................................48 Fieldwork contracts and contributions to external agencies........................................................49 Fieldwork project focus................................................................................................................49 Conservation status of species Auckland Zoo works with in the field..........................................52 Geographical distribution and location of field conservation projects.........................................52 Appendix I. Annual fieldwork hours over the five-year period: 2013/14 to 2017/18..................54 Appendix II. Auckland Zoo field projects 2017/18.......................................................................54 Appendix III. Auckland Zoo field project focus 2017 – 2018........................................................55

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Total AZCF Grants 2017-18 Portfolio

Amount 2017-18

New Zealand South Pacific Rest of World Small Grants Total amount

$76,421 $30,941 $132,898 $40,000 $280,260 Summary New Zealand Grants

Project Red crowned parakeet health, disease and nesting study on Tiritiri Matangi Hauturu kākāpō monitoring Survey for rough gecko to determine species’ distribution, threats and conservation status Community kea survey and monitoring in the Matukituki Valley Mustelid and cat control at Te Henga wetland Auckland Zoo: NZ fieldwork Total

Lead Organisation

Location

Amount 2017-18

Auckland Zoo

Auckland

$12,300

DOC Kākāpō Recovery Fauna Finders

Auckland

$12,500

Canterbury, Marlborough

$7,800

Kea Conservation Trust Habitat Te Henga / Forest and Bird Various

Otago Auckland Various

$15,000 $10,000 $18,821 $76,421

Summary South Pacific Grants Amount 2017-18

Project

Lead Organisation

Location

Saving the Fatu Hiva monarch from the brink of extinction

Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie Various

French Polynesia

$25,000

Various

$5,941 $30,941

Auckland Zoo: South Pacific fieldwork Total

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Summary Rest of World Grants Project

Lead Organisation

Location

Amount 2017-18

Schools awareness programme

Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust Cheetah Outreach

Sri Lanka

$16,223

South Africa

$9,180

Sumatra, Indonesia

$35,000

Conservation of South Africa’s freeranging cheetah and other large predators on farmland areas, through farmer-wildlife conflict mitigation Improving reintroduction facilities at the Jantho Nature Reserve, Sumatra, Indonesia Buffer zone protection in the Leuser Ecosystem Institutionalisation of red panda conservation in Eastern Nepal Feasibility and planning of Gonarezhou black rhino restocking Giraffe conservation and awareness Emergency care of confiscated radiated tortoises in Madagascar Automatic feeder device assembly and installation

Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme Sumatran Ranger Project Red Panda Network Lowveld Rhino Trust Giraffe Conservation Foundation Turtle Survival Alliance Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment

Sumatra, Indonesia Nepal

$20,000 $9,995

Zimbabwe

$7,500

Namibia

$20,000

Madagascar Tasmania, Australia

Auckland Zoo: Rest of World fieldwork Total

$10,000 $5,000

$0 $132,89 8

Summary Small Grants Project title Round 1 Elephant and Forest Conservation Program Rediscovering a lost Annamite endemic: the silverbacked chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) of Vietnam Herpetofauna community responses to logging in

Location

Amount 2017-18

Tanzania Vietnam

$2,998 $3,160

Borneo

$2,984 7


Bornean production forests Establishing a test refuge from the amphibian chytrid fungus for the mountain chicken frog in its native range Key strongholds, population dynamics and current threats of the Lilacine Amazon (Amazona lilacina) in the Chongón-Colonche Mountains, Ecuador Linking forestry and pasture areas with the conservation of the Cauca poison frog (Andinobates bombetes) in the Santa Rosa watershed, Colombia Round 2 – Invertebrate Specific Understanding the role of ponds in the conservation of freshwater macroinvertebrates; quantifying biodiversity and land use impacts in the Auckland region Hanqavan Subalpine Meadows Conservation Assessing stakeholder perception towards Indian horseshoe crabs and threats to its population from free ranging animals in Balasore district, Odisha Bumblebees (Bombus spp) in-situ conservation at Kathmandu valley and surrounding regions, central Nepal through a blend of research and empowering citizen scientists Threats to invertebrate biodiversity: restoring habitat for critically endangered Amanipodagrion gilliesi and Micromacromia miraculosa through management of invasive tree species Maesopsis eminii in Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania Total

Caribbean

$4,167

Ecuador

$4,800

Columbia

$3,679

NZ

$1,637

Armenia India

$3,790 $4,650

Nepal

$4,135

Tanzania

$4,000

$40,000

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New Zealand Portfolio The Conservation Fund Working Group and the Conservation Fund Committee reviewed and approved five grants to New Zealand projects in 2017/18. All of these were to ongoing projects that the Conservation Fund has previously supported, including projects focussed on kea, kākāpō and rough gecko.

Kākāpō following capture on Hauturu (Photo Jake Osborne, DOC)

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Red crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) health, disease and nesting study on Tiritiri Matangi Programme Islands Lead Organisation Auckland Zoo Website www.aucklandzoo.co.nz Facebook

www.facebook.com/AKLZOONZ

Project overview: Auckland Zoo undertook two long-term (5+ years) studies with red-crowned parakeets on Tiritiri Matangi. The first was a nesting study to evaluate reproductive success and chick health, and the second was an annual mist-netting trip for health and disease screening of the adult population. Both projects aim to build on previous work and will provide a longterm dataset needed to understand the factors influencing annual variations in the health and reproductive success of this island population. This will provide important data to assist in future management and conservation efforts in red-crowned parakeets. 2018 update: The data collected by Auckland Zoo over the past 4 years, coupled with the data from Dr Jackson’s PhD, has given great longitudinal insight into the health status of the red crowned kākāriki on Tiritiri Matangi. The discovery of the skin mite Procnemidocoptes janssensi by Dr Jackson, which can cause extensive feather loss in individuals, was extremely exciting as prior to this it was thought the cause of feather loss was the beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). During the study, two outbreaks of BFDV have been seen, seasons of extreme skin mite infestation and other years with very little mite infestation. Alongside this data there is also the nesting study data to determine chick/nest success. Although analysis of the data is not yet complete, it appears that the health status of adults has a direct correlation in nesting success of the birds in the subsequent breeding season. Due to a number of recaptures during the length of the study there is evidence to show that birds can recover from extreme feather loss caused by the skin mite. There is also evidence that birds with feather loss caused by the skin mite can have good nesting success. Once data has been analysed it is hoped that a correlation in environmental conditions, mite density, adult health and overall nesting success/failure will be seen. The September 2017 mist-netting expedition was the last field-work to be undertaken for this project. Samples collected during the last part of the study will be sent to Australia for analysis, with results expected late 2018.

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Kākāriki recovering from anaesthetic Kākāriki with grade 2 feather loss (Photos Auckland Zoo)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

Red crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae )

Near threatened

$12,300

$72,469.96

2011

Yes

Hauturu kākāpō monitoring Programme Lead Organisation Website Facebook

Night Department of Conservation Kākāpō Recovery www.doc.govt.nz/kakapo-recovery www.facebook.com/KakapoRecovery/

Project overview: Kākāpō Recovery combines the efforts of scientists, rangers, volunteers and donors to protect the critically endangered kākāpō. Hauturu / Little Barrier Island is a nature reserve 80 km north-east of Auckland City. The first kākāpō were transferred there in 1982 after a cat eradication, but removed in 1999 so that Pacific rats could be eradicated. Nine kākāpō were then transferred back to Hauturu in 2012 to test the islands suitability as a long term site for a non-managed population. There are only two islands in NZ that are beyond the swimming distance of rats and stoats – Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) and Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). Because these are the only 11


places where kākāpō can survive without ongoing predator control, establishing kākāpō on both islands is vital to the long-term survival of this critically endangered species. It is unknown if kākāpō can raise chicks on Hauturu without supplemental food and this needs to be tested. It may take between 6 to 10 years for enough data to be collected on breeding success to answer this question. This year’s funding is to cover the annual cost of base line monitoring, including annual transmitter replacement and yearly health screening on Hauturu. Kākāpō are monitored using ‘Sky Ranger’ technology, which enables health, location and breeding data to be collected using remote, automated transmitter technology. 2018 update: Kākāpō nesting did not occur in the 2017-18 reporting period. The project's main question ‘can kākāpō raise chicks on Hauturu with no support?’ remains unanswered. In July 2017, four more kākāpō were transferred to Hauturu from Whenua Hou. The purpose of this transfer was to increase the number of female kākāpō on Hauturu to increase potential nesting data. An additional male kākāpō with known high fertility will help provide increased mate choice and potentially improve egg fertility. It is hoped the question of chick rearing ability will therefore be answered sooner, however it is acknowledged that this trial will still take many years. Increasing the number of females on Hauturu is only now possible following significant breeding seasons on Whenua Hou and Anchor Island in 2016, when 32 chicks fledged resulting in a 25% increase in the total population. Transmitter changes and health screening took place in September 2017 with all of the kākāpō fitted with new ‘egg timer’ and ‘check mate’ transmitters to enable efficient detection of mating and nesting. In summer, some intermittent booming occurred, but this did not result in breeding. Two birds (Tiwai and Dobbie) boomed at their track and bowls. Merty has not been detected at his track and bowl system since 2015 and is assumed to be dead. He will remain part of the official tally until five years has passed since last detection. Sky Ranger monitoring of the population took place according to plan, throughout the year.

Rangers walking stream on Hauturu (Photo Jake Osborne)

Focal species

Threat

Grant

Representatives of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Manuhiri releasing birds at Hauturu (Photo Kākāpō Recovery)

Amount to

Partner

Auckland 12


status Kakapo (Strigops habroptila)

Critically endangered

amount 2017-18

date

since

Zoo Field Project last year

$12,500

$60,500

2013

Yes

Survey for rough gecko (Naultinus rudis) to determine species’ distribution, threats and conservation status Programme High Country Lead Organisation Fauna Finders Website Facebook -

Project overview: The three year project consists of a targeted survey for rough gecko to determine its current distribution, identify threats and potential management options and evaluate the species’ conservation status using New Zealand Threat Classification System. The species has a current conservation status of Nationally Vulnerable, the highest threat ranking assigned to green (Naultinus spp.) geckos (three out of nine Naultinus spp. nationwide have this ranking). 2018 update: One of the project’s aims is to survey at least 20 sites (i.e. an average of 6−7 sites per annum). To date, 14 lizard surveys have been undertaken at 13 sites ranging in size from 173 ha to >5000 ha. One site was re-surveyed after the Kaikoura earthquake because it suffered extensive damage, including loss of an estimated 20% loss of rough gecko habitat underneath a collapsed limestone escarpment. The project is now two-thirds completed and on track to meet its objective of surveying 20 sites. To date, 44 rough geckos have been found at six sites (with 1–16 geckos found per survey), with surveys ranging from 1−5 days depending on the size and accessibility of the site. Although it is outside the scope of the project to estimate abundance, observed gecko distribution and habitat availability at two sites suggest population sizes that are likely to number into the hundreds (or low thousands). Liaison with landowners who expressed an interest in protecting part of their (farm) property is ongoing. Information resulting from this project was used in the most recent (2015) revision of the New Zealand reptiles (in press). A panel of experts (including the grant recipient) met in October 2015 to review the conservation status review of the New Zealand reptiles. Notably, survey data and records obtained after this meeting resulted in a change (improvement) in conservation status. Rough gecko was down-graded from Nationally Endangered (the rank 13


assigned to the species at the October 2015 meeting based on knowledge available at that time) to Nationally Vulnerable.

Rough gecko on matagouri (Photo Marieke Lettink)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Rough gecko (Naulltinus rudis)

Nationally vulnerable

$7,800

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$15,800

2015

Yes

Community kea survey and monitoring in the Matukituki Valley Programme High Country Partner Organisation Kea Conservation Trust Website www.keaconservation.co.nz/ Facebook www.facebook.com/keaconservation/

Project overview: The Kea Conservation Trust was set up in 2006 to assist in conservation of wild kea (Nestor notabilis) in their natural habitat and to increase the husbandry standards and advocacy potential of those kea held in captive facilities within New Zealand. The Community Kea Survey and Monitoring project in the Matukituki Valley has three main aims to support kea conservation initiatives: i) catch and band kea and attach transmitters to adults females, and bands to fledglings and juveniles in order to survey (estimate the size) of 14


the local population; ii) monitor kea nest productivity and predator impact through the breeding season, and catch and tag additional kea throughout as opportunity arises and iii) enter all data to ascertain status of kea population in this area over time. A kea survey will be run in partnership with Department of Conservation Wanaka to enable radio transmitters to be placed on adult kea for tracking back to nest sites, identifying pairs and home territories. Active kea nests will then be located and progress followed through the breeding season to ascertain productivity and predator impact. All progeny will be banded to enable visual ID and data entered into the main kea database. 2018 update: Prior to the 2018 summer survey, a total of six kea were newly banded and 1 sub-adult female had a transmitter attached in preparation for the January survey. Unfortunately the Mt Aspiring weather proved a challenge for the surveys and follow up monitoring in the Matukituki Valleys, with the team only able to safely stay in the mountains for three days / nights before a cyclone descended on the area. A total of five sites were covered in the West Matukituki Valley while the East Matukituki was unable to be surveyed due to the weather closing in (8 survey sites were covered in 2016 and 11 in 2017). Six kea were captured and banded and a sub-adult female was also tested for lead which returned a low result. Kea abundance in this area seemed to be reasonably healthy although the lack of fledglings seen was quite alarming. Much of the kea habitat in the South Island experienced a stoat plague during the 2017 breeding season, and it is quite likely that this was the case in the West Matukituki Valley. Due to the survey being cut short, two further catch trips were undertaken in March and April to catch more birds and, in particular, to attach transmitters to sub-adult / adult females for the 2018 breeding season. Another two females were caught up during these trips and transmitters attached, bringing the number of females now able to be tracked to three.

Leg bands (Photos Kea Conservation Trust)

Gullible (juvenile male)

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Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Kea (Nestor notabilis)

Nationally threatened

$15,000

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$76,550

2009

No

Mustelid and cat control at Te Henga Wetland Programme Wetlands Partner Organisation Habitat Te Henga / Matuku Link / Forest and Bird Website www.forestandbird.org.nz/projects/te-henga-wetland-

Facebook

waitakere www.matukulink.org.nz/ www.facebook.com/habitattehenga/ www.facebook.com/matukulink/

Project overview: Habitat Te Henga is a Forest and Bird project to improve biodiversity in the Te Henga / Bethells area with a primary aim of establishing and sustaining a population of pāteke (brown teal). Te Henga is the largest mainland wetland in the Auckland region and is home to 300 plants and 45 bird species including pāteke (translocated to the site in 2015), Australasian bittern and fernbird. The wetland is also home to six species of native fish. Forest and Bird’s Waitākere branch have worked with the council, the community and various stakeholders, supporters and contractors to control predators in the area and restore it with plantings, helping to protect these species and return this valuable habitat to its natural state. Auckland Zoo’s financial support will cover ongoing pest control contractor services to maintain the trapping network, as mustelid and cat control is the single most important way of ensuring the long term survival and increase in numbers of the resident native species.

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PÄ teke

Trap box with a view (Photos Habitat Te Henga)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

PÄ teke (Anas chlorotis)

At risk recovering

$10,000

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$45,700

2012

No

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South Pacific Portfolio The Conservation Fund Working Group and the Conservation Fund Committee reviewed and approved just one project in the South Pacific portfolio this year. However, grants made in the previous financial year continued to support the recovery of manumea and other endemic species in Samoa. The Zoo is looking to expand its South Pacific Portfolio in future.

Adult Fatu Hiva monarch at the nest (Photo Roberto Luta)

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Saving the Fatu Hiva monarch from the brink of extinction Programme Pacific Islands Partner Organisation Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie - ‘Association Manu’ Website www.manu.pf/?lang=en Facebook

www.facebook.com/Manu-SOP-212922695414646/

Project overview: The Polynesian Ornithological Society, also known as SOP Manu (meaning “bird” in the Tahitian language), is working for the protection of wild birds of French Polynesia and the preservation of their habitat. The association was founded in 1990 and is the local representative of BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organisations. A large flycatcher endemic to Fatu Hiva Island in Marquesas Archipelago, and previously common all around the island, the Fatu Hiva monarch’s population has been in decline since the arrival of ship rats on the island in the 1980’s. Only 41 birds were found in 2009 during intensive surveys. The Polynesian Ornithological Society has led a conservation program since 2008 which aims to save the critically endangered Fatu Hiva monarch from extinction through predator control. Actions include the protection of nesting sites from predators, the neutering of female cats, the monitoring of the population and it’s breeding, as well as raising the local population’s awareness and sustainable development with landowners. Objectives for the year’s funding are to:  Survey suitable valleys outside the managed area to locate dispersed birds that may be translocated into the protected area in 2019.  Evaluate and refine the conservation strategy for the next five years.  Increase the area of cat control to 700 ha (from 500 ha in 2017, 312 ha in 2016, 263 in 2015) and set an additional 20 cameras to monitor a larger area for cats. 2018 update: Five chicks hatched in 2017/18, and these birds are still regularly observed within the protected areas. This is an unprecedented success for the programme where it was thought that approximately 95 % of the young birds were being preyed on by cats. There has been ongoing cat control since 2016, employing three locals with full time work, and the size of the grid was increased to 500 hectares in 2017. Monitoring by 80 automatic trail cameras over the control area shows that cat activity has been greatly reduced in the monarch’s valley. The sterilisation of domestic cats has continued in both villages on the island, with 104 animals sterilised since 2012. The number of breeding pairs has doubled from just three in 2016 to six in 2018 and, significantly, these of pairs feature young adults. SOP Manu continues to work on developing alternative and sustainable source of income for landowners on whose land the monarchs are found. For example, SOP Manu has supplied bee keeping equipment to help supplement the income for land owners.

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Young adult on nest

Banding a juvenile (Photos Roberto Luta)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

Fatu Hiva monarch (Pomarea whitneyi)

Critically endangered

$25,000

$64,000

2014

No

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Rest of World Portfolio Nine grants, totalling over NZ$130,000, were made to our conservation partners in our Rest of World portfolio. An emergency grant of $10,000 was made to the Turtle Survival Alliance to help them respond to an unprecedented confiscation of over 10,000 radiated tortoises in Madagascar. Meanwhile, the Conservation Fund continued to support many long-standing conservation projects such as those conserving red panda in Nepal, elephants in Sri Lanka and orangutan and tiger in Sumatra.

Young orangutan in SOCP’s Forest School (Photo Maxime Aliaga)

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Schools Awareness Programme, Sri Lanka Programme Sri Lanka Partner Organisation Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust Website www.elephants.org.lk/ Facebook

-

Project overview: The Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT), formed in 1998, is a non-profit organisation active in the conservation of elephants in Sri Lanka. The Trust identifies the importance of dealing with the social issues of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in order to facilitate conservation of elephants, and one strategy is creating awareness amongst the school children in the rural areas of Sri Lanka where there is ongoing human-elephant conflict. For the last 16 years BECT has conducted a Schools’ Awareness Programme in 150 rural schools each year. The program addresses the value of elephants, the causes of conflict, how to minimise the conflicts, and stresses the need for conservation. Through this ongoing program BECT has reached over 150,000 children. This year’s funding is to continue the School’s Awareness Programme for their 17 th year. The objective is to create an awareness of all aspects of the elephant and its conservation, amongst as many school children as is possible. The program consists of a series of lectures, question and answer sessions, a discussion and lasts half a day. 2018 update: To date, sessions have been conducted in 119 schools under the School Awareness Program in over 10 districts throughout the island. An average of 137 pupils and 8 teachers have been in attendance. The programs are specifically located in schools in the rural areas so that children can be made aware of the difficulties surrounding HEC and how they can help their communities to mitigate the issues of coexisting with elephants. Elephant biology, ecology, and religious symbolism are all taught in the half day course at each school.

Pupils in Schools Awareness Program lectures (Photos Jayantha Jayewardene)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year 22


Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

Endangered

$16,223

$117,921

2011

No

Conservation of South Africa’s free-ranging cheetah and other large predators on farmland areas, through farmer-wildlife conflict mitigation Programme Africa Partner Organisation Cheetah Outreach Trust Website

www.cheetah.co.za

Facebook

www.facebook.com/CheetahOutreach/

Project overview: Cheetah Outreach is an education and community-based programme created in 1997 to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival. Since the programme was implemented, Anatolian guard dogs have been placed on farms in cheetah range in Limpopo and North West Provinces, where they have reduced livestock losses from 95 to 100%. In 2014, Cheetah Outreach started placing Lesotho Maluti dogs outside cheetah range to guard sheep and goats from smaller predators such as caracal and black-backed jackal. Annually, 20 new livestock guardian dogs and six replacement dogs are placed in the northern border area of South Africa within the cheetah range. Once livestock guardian dogs are placed, they are monitored by face-to-face visits, monthly for the first year, quarterly in the second and annually thereafter, and during these visits the general health and condition of each dog is monitored and ensured by the field officers. This year’s grant will help create a larger, safer environment for the cheetah by funding the general placement of livestock guardian dogs, thereby increasing the predator friendly area by approximately 32,000 ha. 2018 update: Last year’s funding was used for the placement, monitoring and husbandry care of 36 Maluti livestock guarding dogs (LGD) which were placed between 2014 and 2017. These LGDs were placed in pilot projects within South Africa. The project objectives were all achieved, except for the initiation of research for a cheetah census due to the lack of funding for this section of the program. The monitoring of the Maluti Pilot Project has produced very good results. Of the 36 dogs placed in this project, nine are still guarding their flocks and Cheetah Outreach is in contact with the farmers on a regular basis. Where the dogs are still working, there has been a huge drop in stock loss due to predators. The unsuccessful placements were due to factors out Cheetah Outreach’s control such as dogs being killed by vehicles on main roads. This project has proven to the farmers that Maluti LGD’s are a viable alternative to the Anatolian LGDs, 23


specifically in areas where there are smaller predators such as black-backed jackal and caracal.

Maluti dogs with their herds (Photos Cheetah Outreach)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Vulnerable

$9,180

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$71,580

2004

No

Improving orangutan reintroduction facilities at the Jantho Nature Reserve, Indonesia Programme Sumatra Partner Organisation The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme Website

www.sumatranorangutan.org/

Facebook

www.facebook.com/sumatranorangutan/

Project overview: The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), in collaboration with the government, works to confiscate, rehabilitate, and reintroduce orangutans rescued from the pet trade. Well over 200 orangutans have now been returned to the wild and two entirely new wild populations are gradually being established, as a backup “safety net” for the remaining wild population. This year’s grant will fund an additional component to include in the process; the construction and operation of a new orangutan Forest School, on-site in the Jantho Reintroduction Centre in northern Aceh. This will allow maximum opportunities for postrelease monitoring and assistance, if necessary, in the crucial first weeks / months for newly released orangutans starting to live free in a forest environment. By inserting this “new 24


stage” into the reintroduction process it is therefore planned to further minimise risks and increase success rates of the reintroduction programme. 2018 update: The main objective of SOCP’s previous project was the expansion of the quarantine centre, which has been achieved following the securing of a 1.6 hectare plot of land with the Conservation Fund’s grant. The scrub forest has been cleared to make the land more manageable in terms of mobility, materials have been purchased (netting, rubber ropes, cloth sacks, recycled tires for hammocks), and a new forest school has been constructed on this plot for young ex-captive orangutans to spend time in a forest setting. This is the third and largest forest school at the newly enlarged centre, which will be used to maximise opportunities for the orangutans to develop the skills they will need when reintroduced to the wild. A new rugged motorcycle was also purchased for use at the Quarantine Centre, which will be of great use to staff for routine errands and general operations. Lastly, with a reallocation of Auckland support, a number of important repairs were made in and around the quarantine facility, after a particularly large storm come through the centre in October 2017, which caused quite a bit of damage to the access road, the paths at the centre, the holding cages and cage roofs.

Clearing storm damage to socialisation cage (Photo SOCP) Aliaga)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii)

Critically endangered

$35,000

Orangutan in Forest School (Photo Maxime

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$522,735

2002

No

25


Buffer zone protection in the Leuser Ecosystem, Indonesia Programme Sumatra Partner Organisation Sumatran Ranger Project Website

www.sumatranrangerproject.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/sumatranrangerproject/

Project overview: The Sumatran Ranger Project is a community conservation initiative, established to help provide long term protection of the Leuser Ecosystem buffer zone environment to benefit both wildlife and people. The Leuser ecosystem is the last place on earth where Sumatran orangutans, rhinoceros, elephants and tigers still co-exist and is the last stronghold for all of these critically endangered species. The project supports a team of rangers who patrol the buffer zone of the Leuser ecosystem in North Sumatra province; deactivating traps and snares, providing community outreach and education, mitigating wildlife conflict, collecting data and identifying and implementing alternative livelihood schemes. This year’s funding will pay for the base salary of five rangers, including compulsory insurance, and a meal allowance. The rangers will patrol in and around at least five buffer zone (forest edge) communities on a regular basis, engaging with the communities and collecting data on the harmful and illegal activities they engage in and why. They will continue to maintain positive relationships with the communities to ensure human-wildlife conflict situations can be managed in a non-lethal manner. The ranger team will collect data from within the buffer zone using ground and drone methods, with a focus on anti-poaching; deactivating and removing snares and monitoring wildlife use of the buffer zone forest using camera traps. 2018 update: Monthly patrols were conducted with a team of 10 rangers and two porters across four buffer zone communities in the Leuser Ecosystem on a part time basis. Patrols included snare removal, data collection, aerial surveys, wildlife conflict assistance/mitigation and community engagement sessions. Sumber Waras was identified as a community in urgent need of human-wildlife conflict mitigation and prevention. There is significant elephant conflict here as well as a significant poaching issue. The program has started to implement three alternative income streams for Sumber Waras, the first being a snare wire handicraft program. The area was also assessed as a potential site to bring eco-tourists, focussing on the wild elephant trails, and discussions are underway to implement a seedling cooperative, where seedlings grown by villagers will be bought by eco-tourists and the project for use in forest restoration programs. The team was called out to a number of wildlife conflict situations in various buffer zone communities: one involving a Sumatran tiger, four involving Sumatran orangutans and a number involving Sumatran elephants. 26


The team is currently also working on developing an MOU with the National Park ranger team (TNGL) for collaboration with patrols and data/information sharing. The patrol team has been reduced to five men, but these men are now employed full time and from across our focal communities instead of just one, extending the benefits and awareness potential along the buffer zone.

Snare found in the forest (Photo SRP)

Wild elephant crop raiding (Photo Jason Savage)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

Various

Various

$20,000

$40,000

2016

No

Institutionalisation of red panda conservation in Eastern Nepal Programme Nepal Partner Organisation Red Panda Network Website

www.redpandanetwork.org/

Facebook

www.facebook.com/redpandanetwork/

Project overview: Red Panda Network (RPN) is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities by adaptive 27


community-based research, education and sustainable development. RPN targets communities surrounding forest habitat in the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung corridor that supports approximately 25% of Nepal’s red panda population. The habitat is under threat from various anthropogenic activities and RPN addresses such threats by engaging and empowering local forest users in long term red panda stewardship. With this year’s grant, RPN will conduct training workshop events for 40 forest guardians (FGs) to enhance monitoring skills and improve data quality. The FGs will continue to carry out regular monitoring of 28 established red panda blocks. In addition, a series of awareness building programs will be hosted for community, students and local stakeholders. In the past year, two red pandas have been killed by feral dogs. Funding will also be used to conduct stray dog neutering and vaccination programs under the coordination and technical assistance of the district livestock service office (euthanasia of the dogs would be against the Buddhist faith). The project will undertake the neutering of 150 dogs and vaccinate 200 dogs with anti-rabies and canine distemper vaccinations. 2018 update: Last year’s funding aimed to foster red panda stewardship among local communities of Taplejung district through the enhancement of the FG’s monitoring and anti-poaching investigation skills, upgrading the community knowledge on environment management and restoring degraded red panda habitats. The project area was enlarged with the addition of four new Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Taplejung district. Capacity enhancement training was carried out for 40 forest guardians which included various aspects of biodiversity, red panda monitoring and anti-poaching patrolling procedure followed by a daylong field practical. Monitoring continued in the 28 red panda blocks four times a year and three new blocks were established in the new VDCs. A series of biodiversity conservation workshops were hosted for 25 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) and livestock herders. The participation of school teachers and students further introduced red panda conservation initiatives and aspects of environment management to 10 Roots and Shoots groups (1,601 students and teachers). 80,000 seedlings of tree species eaten by red panda, grown in nurseries established at Taplejung, were transplanted to degraded red panda habitat. Guards for the nurseries were also recruited and trained on nursery management.

28


Forest Guardians during field training

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Red panda (Ailurus fulgens)

Endangered

$9,995

Installing a camera trap (Photos RPN)

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

$90,466

2010

No

Feasibility and planning of Gonarezhou black rhino restocking, Zimbabwe Programme Africa Partner Organisation Lowveld Rhino Trust Website

www.lowveldrhinotrust.org/

Facebook

www.facebook.com/lowveldrhinotrust/

Project overview: The Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) is a conservation organization operating primarily in the South-East Lowveld of Zimbabwe. LRT works to increase both black and white rhino numbers and range in the Lowveld region. It undertakes intensive monitoring of rhinos in Lowveld conservancies, as well as hands-on management (veterinary interventions, translocations, rescuing poaching orphans etc.) within two main areas containing over 300 black rhinos and 100 white rhinos. It is involved in anti-poaching, intelligence gathering and other law-enforcement activities in these areas, and also works to raise community awareness and support for rhino conservation through rural schools. This year’s funding will be used to produce a detailed feasibility study and reintroduction plan for black rhinos into Gonarezhou National Park, meeting guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (whose African Rhino Specialist Group will review this plan). 2018 update: 29


The aim of last year’s grant was to help maintain rhino monitoring levels by supplying additional support to the field rhino monitoring teams by providing them each month with basic provisions. This will help buffer the rhino monitoring teams against the deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe so they can maintain their focus on rhino monitoring duties. This objective was achieved with the LRT rhino monitoring teams in both Bubye Valley and Save Valley Conservancies being supported with monthly basic food supplies such as mealie meal, sugar beans, sugar, salt, cooking oil, bath and washing soap etc. A total of 1,034 positive field rhino identifications were achieved, giving an average of 86 sightings per month, which exceeded the minimum target of 50 sightings per month. Shortages of cooking oil and bath soap were experienced during the year but the supply of these basic goods were maintained because this funding support enabled such goods to be purchased in bulk when they were available so a constant supply to the men in the field was maintained. In addition to the periodic shortage of goods, Zimbabwe has also been experiencing a crippling shortage of physical cash, making it difficult at times to secure enough hard currency to make up the pay packets for the monitors. The provision of basic rations in this environment has been particularly advantageous because it has enabled the purchasing of supplies to be done in bulk at larger urban stores where electronic payments are possible thereby avoiding the cash supply problem.

Browsing rhino

Rhinos captured on camera trap (Photos LRT)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

White rhino (Ceratotherium simum) Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)

Near Threatened Critically endangered

$7,500

$31,700

2013

No

30


Giraffe conservation and awareness, Africa Programme Africa Partner Organisation Giraffe Conservation Foundation Website

www.giraffeconservation.org/

Facebook

www.facebook.com/giraffeconservationfoundation/

Project overview: The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is the only NGO in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of wild giraffe throughout Africa and is dedicated to a sustainable future for all giraffe populations in the wild. Research by GCF and partners suggests that there might not be one giraffe species as previously assumed, but four different species. Furthermore, based on the work of GCF, giraffe (as one species) have recently been uplisted to ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List and it is anticipated that seven of the nine recognised subspecies will be uplisted to one of the IUCN threatened categories. This new understanding has significant impact on conservation strategies throughout their range. GCF will continue its dedicated giraffe conservation work in a wide range of initiatives, programmes and approaches for best giraffe conservation outcomes. The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has funded a multi-year grant to assist in achieving this. 2018 update: GCF continues to work hard to bring international attention to the plight of giraffe. The international community is slowly taking note and so are African Range State Governments who are increasingly interested in working with GCF to save giraffe within their natural range. The National Giraffe Conservation Strategies of Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo are in their final draft versions, waiting for official government endorsement and our team is now working with the Governments of Tanzania and Zimbabwe on developing similar strategies. GCF implements and supports key conservation research that will help the long-term conservation of giraffe in Africa. These results are regularly communicated through scientific papers and popular publications, as well as social media and press releases. In the field, GCF coordinates one of the longest giraffe conservation research programmes in north-western Namibia, working closely with government, NGOs, tourism partners and communal conservancies. Furthermore, the environmental education team continues to implement the Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) in Namibia. Every year the team hosts over 2,000 Namibian primary school students for an educational day in the field. In Uganda, GCF supports regular field trips of adjacent schools to Lake Mburo National Park.

31


World Giraffe Day is receiving increasing support every year. It has become the most important day for giraffe conservation awareness in the world with many print and other media covering giraffe conservation topics and numerous national and international conservation organisations acknowledging the day in their social media and on their websites. The reach World Giraffe Day obtains is a key part of GCFs vision to secure a future for giraffe in the wild in Africa.

GPS tracking unit attached to the ossicone of an adult female

Students attending the education programme on World Giraffe Day (Photos GCF)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Vulnerable

$20,000

$102,192

2012

No

Emergency care of confiscated radiated tortoises in Madagascar Programme Madagascar Partner Organisation Turtle Survival Alliance Website

www.turtlesurvival.org/

Facebook

www.facebook.com/TurtleSurvival/

Project overview: The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is a global partnership that is committed to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century. To achieve this, the TSA:  Creates breeding programs, including building facilities, for critically endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises  Conducts field research 32


   

Develops conservation plans and puts those plans into action Promotes conservation awareness among local communities Provides support, knowledge, training and resources to conservation partners around the world Advocates for greater enforcement of wildlife laws

In April 2018 TSA staff were alerted to a confiscation of 10,976 radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) from a single residence in the city of Toliara on the southwestern coast of Madagascar. The tortoises were temporarily transferred to a secure facility in Ifaty where the tortoises received in-processing, health evaluations, triage, hydration and food, all of which is labour intensive, time consuming and costly. The Conservation Fund provided support to the Turtle Survival Alliance, making a donation to assist in the care of the tortoises. 2018 update: Just over two months after the tortoises were seized from wildlife traffickers in Toliara, the last tortoises were transferred to a TSA facility near Itampolo to receive long-term care. The facility now houses over 8,900 of the original 10,196 tortoises discovered inside the single residential holding facility. The TSA facility underwent a major expansion to improve operational capacity for this number of tortoises, including forested enclosures built into native spiny-forest habitat, guard stations, medical clinic, food preparation area and a water distribution system. Here, the tortoises will be cared for by Malagasy staff until they have passed a safe quarantine period and regained the fat reserves lost during their containment by the wildlife traffickers. The goal is to re-establish this group of critically endangered tortoises to protected wild reserves.

Tortoises in the traffickers’ residence

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Providing medical treatment for a juvenile tortoise (Photos TSA)

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year 33


Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata)

Critically endangered

$10,000

$10,000

2018

No

Automatic Tasmanian devil feeder device assembly and installation, Australia Programme Tasmania Partner Organisation Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Website

Environment / Save the Tasmanian Devil www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/save-thetasmanian-devil-program

Facebook

www.facebook.com/SavetheTasmanianDevilProgram/

Project overview: The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) is the official response to the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian devil due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). The vision for the program is for an enduring and ecologically functional population of Tasmanian devils in the wild in Tasmania. The program, an initiative of the Australian and Tasmanian governments, was established in 2003 following a national workshop of specialists on the decline of the Tasmanian devil due to DFTD. The grant is to fund the assembly and installation of multiple automatic feeder devices in the Freycinet Free Range Enclosure in Tasmania. The feeding devices are designed to eliminate any association between humans, vehicles and the provision of food, which increases the risk of animals becoming roadkill. They are activated by a solar charged timing device that can be set to open the feeder long after staff have left. This will not only feed the devils at a time when there are no humans or vehicles around but importantly, they will also be fed at night when they are naturally active so the devices will also encourage wild-type behaviour. Using multiple devices in the enclosure allows for their use to be cyclic, thereby also adding randomised feed locations.

34


Prototype automatic feeder

Tasmanian devil in enclosure (Photos David Schaap)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Amount to date

Partner since

Auckland Zoo Field Project last year

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Endangered

$5,000

$10,000

2016

No

35


Small Grant Programme The Small Grant Programme is a contestable grants scheme designed to help provide relatively small levels of funding for on-going conservation projects or pilot programmes. This category of funding is open to individuals or small groups and organisations conducting conservation work in New Zealand or developing countries. Under the small grants programme, funding will be provided up to a maximum of $5,000 and the award should represent a minimum of 25% of the project’s overall budget. In 2017/18 two rounds of grants were considered. The first round was a ‘general’ funding round, while the second was restricted to projects involving the conservation of invertebrates. Eleven successful projects were identified and their details are listed below.

Unknown tree frog, possibly a new species (Photo Sami Asad)

36


Elephant and forest conservation program, Tanzania Programme Small grants Person / Organisation The Elizabeth Economic and Social Welfare Initiative

(EESWI)

Project overview: Poaching and the destruction of natural habitats (setting bush fires, cutting down trees for timber and firewood) have triggered human-elephant conflict in five villages that border the Serengeti ecosystem in Bariadi district. Every night elephants raid the villages destroying crops and injuring or killing people and the villagers retaliate by killing elephants. On average two elephants and one human die in the conflicts every year in each village. Funding is sought to 1. Construct 60 wood efficient stoves at Matongo Village in exchange for newly planted trees. The stoves use less wood, saving trees from being cut down for firewood, and also produce less smoke, reducing carbon gas emissions into the atmosphere as well as eye and respiratory diseases in the village women. The household must show they have planted a minimum of 20 new trees around their homes before receiving a stove. 2. To strengthen village game scout patrols including sponsoring a game scout to pursue wildlife management and law enforcement course at Pasiansi Wildlife Institute.

African elephant

Wood efficient stove (Photos EESWI)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Vulnerable

$2,998

Tanzania

Rediscovering a lost Annamite endemic: the silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) of Vietnam Programme Small grants

37


Person / Organisation

Global Wildlife Conservation

Project overview: The silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) was described in 1910 from Vietnam’s southern coast. This small mousedeer has yet to be reported from anywhere else in Southeast Asia and nothing is known about its ecology or conservation status—or even if the species still exists. The IUCN lists it as Data Deficient, making it difficult to raise interest and funds for its conservation. There have been no survey efforts using appropriate methods (e.g. camera trapping) in areas where it would be most likely to persist. If the species exists, it is undoubtedly subject to the high levels of hunting pressure. Given the sheer magnitude of poaching that in Vietnam, further information collected on the species will almost certainly result in a threatened IUCN listing. Based on recent villager reports, it is believed that the species likely exists in the dry coastal forest fragments of southern Vietnam. The primary objective is to rediscover this lost species. A secondary objective is to provide first-ever information on its distribution and population status. Targeted camera trapping will be used in a little-known and undisturbed coastal forest fragment (Nui Chua National Park) where local villagers have reported the presence of a distinctive grey-coloured mousedeer.

A similar species, the lesser mouse-deer (Photo Nick Bray)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor)

Data deficient

$3,160

Vietnam

38


Herpetofauna community responses to logging in Bornean production forests Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Berlin Natural History Museum

Project overview: Borneo is a biodiversity hotspot under sustained habitat degradation primarily via commercial timber harvesting. These timber concessions cover the majority of Borneo’s remaining forests, dwarfing protected areas. The impacts of Conventional Logging (CL) are understudied in amphibians and reptiles, a major concern, as they are currently suffering massive global declines. Whilst commercial logging contributes to this decline, previously CL forests can retain at least some of Borneo’s herpetofaunal biodiversity. An alternate method, Reduced Impact Logging (RIL), implements strict guidelines for sustainable timber harvesting, minimizing the negative effects on biodiversity. Unfortunately, the effects of RIL, and long term effects of both logging practices are poorly studied in tropical herpetofauna. This project aims to determine the short and long term effects of CL and RIL on herpetofauna communities in two logging concessions in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. With this data, the effectiveness of RIL in reducing negative effects on herpetofauna can be compared to CL. Furthermore, the recovery times for herpetofauna communities in CL and RIL forests can be determined. This data will play an integral role in the management of Borneo’s forests for both herpetofauna conservation and sustainable land management.

Bornean flying frog

Jasper cat snake (Photos Sami Asad)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Various

Various

$2,984

Borneo

39


Establishing a test refuge from the amphibian chytrid fungus for the mountain chicken frog in its native range, Montserrat Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Project overview: The mountain chicken, actually a species of large frog, is found on only two Caribbean islands and has been decimated by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Only two individuals are currently known to survive on Montserrat, with a further 130 on the island of Dominica. Experimental reintroductions of captive-bred frogs on Montserrat showed strong seasonal variation in disease impact, with high chytridiomycosis driven mortality during the cool, dry season but none during the warm, wet season. A phased conservation programme is planned to trial the use of environmental manipulations within a forest-based enclosure, to make the environment unsuitable for chytrid throughout the year, and enable a population of captive bred mountain chickens to survive long-term in the field. Environmental manipulation is well supported in the literature as a potential conservation strategy for chytridiomycosis threatened amphibians but has not been trialled in the field. This pilot project will trial and optimise the environmental manipulation techniques in-situ and establish a productive live-food colony on Montserrat utilising native species. These activities are critical in enabling the next phase project: reintroducing captive-bred mountain chicken into an environmentally manipulated enclosure. Alongside saving this species from extinction on Montserrat, if successful, this technique will contribute to the conservation of the hundreds of species affected by chytridiomycosis globally.

Mountain chicken (Photo Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax)

Critically endangered

$4,167

Caribbean

Linking forestry and pasture areas with the conservation of the Cauca poison frog (Andinobates bombetes) in the Santa Rosa watershed, Colombia Programme Small grants

40


Person / Organisation

Corporación Ambiental y Forestal del Pacífico (CORFOPAL)

Project overview: The project will take place in Dagua municipality, Colombia. The general objective is to evaluate the current status of the endangered Cauca poison frog (Andinobates bombetes) in a fragmented landscape and develop accurate management and conservation strategies for the species. The specific objectives are to:  evaluate the relative abundance of A. bombetes in three habitat types (pastures, agroforestry and natural forest)  determine the dispersion level of the frog through an experiment  increase public awareness about the importance and threats to the frog in the local community through education workshops  link more complex matrices and A. bombetes conservation, creating a preservationist awareness that outlasts this project. Additionally, this project will help raise awareness on the biodiversity richness this region has, bringing the local community closer to conservation and restoration processes, important for their wellbeing and long term survival.

Cauca poison frog (Photo Andrés Quintero Ángel)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Cauca poison frog (Andinobates bombetes)

Endangered

$3,679

Columbia

Key strongholds, population dynamics and current threats of the Lilacine Amazon (Amazona lilacina) in the Chongón-Colonche Mountains, Ecuador Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco

41


Project overview: The Lilacine amazon (Amazona lilacina) is an endangered Ecuadorian endemic bird species. Its population is estimated around 1500-2000 individuals, distributed over six main core areas in dry-forest remnants along the Ecuadorian coastline. The biggest population (400500 individuals) has been located in the Chongรณn-Colonche Mountains (Santa Elena Peninsula), where habitat destruction and pet trade are serious imminent threats to their population. In this project, it is aimed to characterise the exact population size in the area, study their behaviour dynamics for future land purchase and address pet trade, deforestation and charcoal production with the local community. We will investigate the number of Lilacine Amazons arriving to their most important roosting sites; map the most crucial roosting sites in the valley and core breeding sites in the mountains with the participation of the local community. This will generate a distribution map with key sites for future land purchase and management to ensure the long-term survival of the most important Lilacine Amazon population in the country. This project will generate direct conservation outcomes by relieving the current threats for the Lilacine amazon in the area and by pinpointing the key strongholds of this species for future land protection.

Lilacine amazon (Photo Daniel Arias Cruzatty)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Lilacine amazon (Amazona lilacina)

Endangered

$4,800

Ecuador

Understanding the role of ponds in the conservation of freshwater macroinvertebrates; quantifying biodiversity and land use impacts in the Auckland region Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Massey University

Project overview: In NZ more than 10% of freshwater invertebrates species are known to be at risk of extinction, many others have unknown conservation status due to insufficient data. Hence 42


NZ’s freshwater invertebrates are becoming a significant contributor to the world’s endangered and threatened freshwater species. Within the context of freshwater ecosystems, ponds (small water bodies) are recognised as important habitats in many parts of the world; habitats that support uncommon aquatic macroinvertebrates at a regional scale. In spite of this, research on pond macroinvertebrates, and how different land-use types affect these ecosystems, has received little attention in NZ. This makes the ecological basis for pond conservation weak. This research seeks to determine the extent to which land-use affects the macroinvertebrates associated with ponds in the Auckland Region across a gradient of urban, agricultural and restored landscapes. Twelve ponds will be sampled in different landscapes over two seasons from 2018-2019. Water quality of the ponds will be analysed and macroinvertebrates will be sampled and identified. Biodiversity will be quantified in relation to water quality and land-use. This research will support the development of conservation strategies for pond ecosystems in NZ.

Golf course pond

Adult water boatman (Photos Abigail Kuranchie)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Various

Various

$1,637

NZ

43


Hanqavan Subalpine Meadows Conservation, Armenia Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Green Age

Project overview: The project concentrates on the protection of an endemic species of critically endangered bush cricket (Bicolorana roeseli) and of an endangered beetle (Mylabris sedilithorax), however the area is also habitat for the endemic Armenian birch mouse and nine endangered and critically endangered plants. The project aims to determine the distribution of Bicolorana roeseli and Mylabris sedilithorax, monitor the populations and apply appropriate protection, most likely fencing breeding territories from domestic animals' pasture routes and tourist hiking paths. A media campaign is planned to raise awareness among the local population and, additionally, involving the local people in the search and identification of the fauna will create further understanding of their impact on the endangered species.

Bicolorana roeseli (Photo Vardan Karyan)

Focal species

Threat status

Bicolorana roeseli

Critically endangered

Mylabris sedilithorax

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

$3,790

Armenia

Endangered

44


Assessing stakeholder perception towards Indian horseshoe crabs and threats to its population from free ranging animals in Balasore district, Odisha, India Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Vimarsh Sharma

Project overview: The project aims to assess the perception of stakeholders towards Indian horseshoe crabs (Tachypleus gigas and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) and to quantify the impact of free ranging animals (feral dogs and feral domesticated pigs) on Indian horseshoe crabs in the Balasore district of Odisha, India. This area has two major distribution areas at Balaramgadi and Chandipur Beach. The stakeholder perception will be assessed by conducting questionnaire surveys in the fishing villages along the Indian horseshoe crab habitat in the region. The impact of free ranging animals will be evaluated by conducting line transect surveys coupled with Mark-Resight framework to quantify the abundance of free ranging animals in the study area and a dietary pattern study by collecting faecal samples to check for dietary dependence of free ranging animals on Indian horse shoe crab. The completion of these objectives would fill knowledge gaps and provide base line data for creating efficient participatory management plan for conservation of the Indian horseshoe crab.

Indian horseshoe crab (Photo Vimarsh Sharma)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Indian horseshoe crabs (Tachypleus gigas and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda)

Data deficient

$4,650

India

Bumblebees (Bombus spp) in-situ conservation at Kathmandu Valley and surrounding regions, central Nepal through a blend of research and empowering citizen scientists Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Resources Himalaya Foundation

45


Project overview: Bumblebees are one of the most significant pollinators in high altitudes across the world but recent data suggests that there is a global decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use and farming modification techniques. There is little known about bumblebees in Nepal with no signs of conservation intervention till now. Kathmandu Valley is a potential site for bumblebee occurrence based on preliminary visits to the area. This project will help initiate bumblebee conservation in Kathmandu Valley and adjoining hills through an amalgamation of research and awareness of the local community. Information on baseline data of bumblebees including species identification, status, spatial distribution, habitat association and identification of hotspots will be established. Threat assessments will be carried out, mostly on human activities (use of pesticides, habitat fragmentation etc.) and relationships between local community and bumblebees. A Bumblebee Conservation Education Outreach Program will also be carried out by forming a group of Citizen Scientists in each target area while educating them about the importance of bumblebee as pollinators.

Bombus spp. (Photo Binita Pandey)

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

Various

$4,135

Nepal

Threats to invertebrate biodiversity: restoring habitat for critically endangered Amanipodagrion gilliesi and Micromacromia miraculosa through management of invasive tree species Maesopsis eminii in Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania Programme Small grants Person / Organisation Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and

Technology, Tanzania 46


Project overview: Amani Nature Forest Reserve is an important global biodiversity hotspot providing ecological habitat for various endemic and critically endangered invertebrate species such as the Amani flatwing (Amanipodagrion gilliesi) and dragonfly (Micromacromia miraculosa). However, these species are at higher risk of extinction due to habitat loss caused by invasion of aggressive invasive tree species Maesopsis eminii and neglected conservation priorities. Various studies and reports have confirmed that Maesopsis invasions impoverish native forest understory and composition, modifies regeneration of native species, changes fauna species composition, accelerate soil erosion and accelerates soil PH. To save biodiversity degradation and extinction of the invertebrates in Amani Nature Forest Reserve, the project will carry out surveys of the invertebrates’ habitat conditions in relation to distribution of invasive tree species M.eminii in order to establish and map extent of habitat degradation. We will also conduct population survey to establish current numbers and range of critically endangered Amanipodagrion gilliesi and Micromacromia miraculosa of which according to IUCN are not known. We will also model future distribution of invasive M.eminii through climatic and land use scenarios to predict susceptible hotspot for invasion and restore ecological habitat for degraded invertebrate habitat through mosaic ecological approach.

Armani Nature Reserve Treydte)

Micromacromia miraculosa (Photos Anna C

Focal species

Threat status

Grant amount 2017-18

Location

Amanipodagrion gilliesi and Micromacromia miraculosa

Critically endangered

$4,000

Tanzania

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Field Report for 2017–2018 Summary During the 2017/18 financial year, 84 staff, interns and volunteers from 17 teams across Auckland Zoo spent a total of 6,817 hours working on 35 projects out in the field. This is the equivalent of having 3.3 people working full-time in the field for the entire year (FTE). Of the total field-time, 2,797 hours (1.3 FTE) were spent working out of the zoo on the Rotoroa Island project, which remained Auckland Zoo’s most intensive field project for the fifth year running. Annual figures The chart below (Figure 1) shows the total number of hours spent in the field over the past five years (2013/14 – 2017/18), including the proportion of hours spent working on Rotoroa and non-Rotoroa field projects each year. Actual numbers of hours for each of the five years are provided in Appendix I. This year, the total number of fieldwork hours decreased for the second year running – a reduction of 1,294 hours (16%) from 2016 /17 and 3,108 hours (31%) from 2015/16 (which was the biggest year in terms of time-in-the-field, over the past five years). The Rotoroa Project had a more significant decrease in fieldwork hours this year (a decrease of 20% from 2016/17), compared to time spent on ‘all other’ fieldwork, which decreased by 13% (See table in Appendix I). 12,000

Fieldwork hours

10,000

8,000 Rotoroa 6,000 4,000

2,000

0 2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Year

Figure 1. Total annual fieldwork hours over the last five-year period: 2013/14 to 2017/18

Fieldwork contracts and contributions to external agencies 48


Summary details of the 35 field projects (including project focus, location, number of people involved and hours spent on the project) are provided in Appendix II. In terms of contribution to external conservation agencies, Auckland Zoo provided 1,934 fieldwork hours to DOC projects (equivalent to almost 1 FTE for the entire year) and 34 fieldwork hours were spent on Auckland Council projects (Table 1. below). Table 1. Auckland Zoo’s contribution Department of Conservation and Auckland Council work Organisation DOC Auckland Council

Fieldwork hours 1,934 34

No. of AZ field projects 17 1

Auckland Zoo was contracted to undertake two field projects during the year. The largest contract was for the final year of the Rotoroa Island partnership with the Rotoroa Island Trust. Forest and Bird also contracted the Zoo to undertake the kokako census in Ark in the Park for the second year running. Combining the kokako census and Rotoroa Island projects (actual time in the field only; excluding office and zoo-based components of these projects), contracted zoo staff time accounted for 3,370 fieldwork hours. Fieldwork project focus This year, each of the Zoo’s fieldwork projects have been categorised as either having species, habitat restoration or integrated conservation as their primary focus. Species projects have also been sub-divided to show which taxonomic Class the project was particularly focused on (i.e. mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes or invertebrates). Habitat restoration projects have been sub-divided into projects that are either centred on native and pest plants, or pest animals. The table in Appendix III shows how the 35 field projects were distributed across the three focal areas (and their sub-divisions). The total number of projects and fieldwork hours for each of these categories are also provided. Of the 35 projects undertaken, 28 (80%) had a species focus, 6 (17%) were focused on habitat restoration and one project - Rotoroa Island - (3%) was categorised as having integrated conservation as its primary focus (Figure 2 below and Appendix III). In terms of time in the field, 53% of the total fieldwork hours (3,607 hours) for 2017/18 were spent on species focused projects, 41% on a single integrated conservation project and 6% on habitat restoration projects (Figure 3 and Appendix III).

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Species and habitat restoration projects Species projects

Of the 28 species projects, 14 (50%) were focused on ectotherms, with 9 out of those 14 projects concerning reptiles. Just under half (46%) of the 28 species projects were focused on birds and one project (4% of the 28 species projects) was mammal-focused (Figure 4 and Appendix III).

Figure 4. Percentage of species-focused projects across six taxonomic Classes Species fieldwork time

Over 75% (2,729 hours) of all species-focused fieldwork (3,607 hours) was dedicated to working on bird projects. Ectotherm fieldwork accounted for 21% of staff time on species focused projects, with 12% of this (438 hours) dedicated to reptile projects. The taxonomic Class that Auckland Zoo works least with in the field is fishes, with 2% (66 hours) of all species-focused fieldwork spent on this group during 2017/18 (Figure 5 and Appendix III).

Figure 5. Percentage of species-focused fieldwork hours spent on projects across six taxonomic Classes Habitat restoration projects and time 50


Of the 6 habitat restoration projects, 5 were focused on pest animals, which accounted for 7% (277 hours) of the total fieldwork time. One habitat restoration project focused on native and pest plants, accounting for 3% of all time in the field during 2017/18. A detailed breakdown of the field-time spent on specific species or habitat-related projects is shown in Figure 6 below. For the second year running, the three single species Auckland Zoo spent the most time working to conserve in the wild were kākāpō (628 hours), red crowned kākāriki (610 hours hours) and kōkako (573 hours).

Figure 6. Distribution of field-time across species and focal areas

Conservation status of species Auckland Zoo works with in the field Of the 21 individual species Auckland Zoo worked with in the field this year, 47% (10 species) are considered threatened with extinction according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Figure 7). Of these, two species are Critically Endangered (kākāpō and Archey’s frog), five are Endangered (takahē, blue duck, black mudfish, New Zealand sealion and Santa Cruz Ground dove) and three species are Vulnerable (weka, kakerori and wētāpunga). Eight species have not been assessed for the IUCN Red List, including a number of lizards that have not yet formally been described as full species, such as the Muriwai gecko, cobble skink and Coromandel striped gecko.

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Figure 7. IUCN Red List status of the 21 focal species of field projects in 2017/18

Geographical distribution and location of field conservation projects During 2017-2018, Auckland Zoo’s 35 field projects were distributed across 33 locations (30 in New Zealand and 3 in the South Pacific). The locations of Auckland Zoo’s fieldwork for this year are shown in Figure 8 below and details are provided in Appendix I.

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Figure 7. Distribution of Auckland Zoo’s domestic fieldwork in 2017-2018.

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Appendix I. Annual fieldwork hours over the five-year period: 2013/14 to 2017/18

Fieldwork-time in hours Rotoroa All other fieldwork Total

2013/14 2,067 4,556 6,623

2014/15 3,122 5,505 8,627

2015/16 4,013 5,912 9,925

2016/17 3,510 4,601 8,111

2017/18 2,797 4,020 6,817

Appendix II. Auckland Zoo field projects 2017/18

Project name

Location

Staff hours 2017/18

No. of staff 2017/18

80

2

42

1

104

10

8

1

16

1

96

1

32

1

80

2

Hunua reptile monitoring

Whareorino Forest, North Island, NZ Pureora Forest, North Island, NZ Ark in the Park, Waitakere Ranges, North Island, NZ Hokitika, South Island, NZ Westport/Granity, Westland, South Island, NZ Mahakirau Forest, Coromandel, North Island, NZ Mahakirau Forest, Coromandel, North Island, NZ Hunua Ranges, North Island, NZ

Kākāpō cloacitis and health surveillance

Codfish Island, South Island, NZ

268

2

Kākāpō transmitter changes

Anchor Island, South Island, NZ

144

1

Kākāpō transmitter changes

Codfish Island, South Island, NZ Little Barrier Island, Outer Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ Tiritiri Matangi Island, North Island, NZ

128

1

88

1

562

13

Rarotonga, South Pacific Ark in the Park, Waitakere Ranges, North Island, NZ Mahoenui, North Island, NZ

108

2

573

5

40

1

Matuku Link, Te Henga, North Island, NZ Awhitu Peninsula and Auckland, North Island, NZ Muriwai, North Island, NZ Cuvier and Stanley Island, North Island, NZ Otago, South Island, NZ

28

2

34

3

32

4

38

4

32

1

Stewart Island, South Island, NZ Rangitoto Island, Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ

96

1

96

4

Archey’s frog population monitoring Archey’s frog population monitoring Bait lines Chesterfield skink conservation Cobble skink conservation Coromandel striped gecko surveys Freshwater fish surveys

Kākāpō transmitter changes Kākāriki census and disease screening Kakerori conservation Kōkako census Mahoenui giant wētā survey Matuku link monitoring Mudfish surveys Muriwai gecko surveys Northern tuatara release Otematakou skink survey NZSL population survey and pup tagging Rangitoto lizard monitoring

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Rangitoto and Motutapu, Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ Kaikoura, South Island, NZ

Rangitoto weeding

136

11

40 Staff hours 2017/18 101

1 No. of staff 2017/18 1

40

2

2,692

45

105

4

Solomon Islands, South Pacific

128

1

Seabird monitoring

Tawharanui, North Island, NZ

8

1

Takahē management

Maungatautari, North Island, NZ

36

4

Takahē management

Tawharanui, North Island, NZ Motutapu Island, Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ Tiritiri Matangi Island, North Island, NZ Burwood Bush, Te Anau, South Island, NZ Burwood Bush, Te Anau, South Island, NZ Auckland, North Island, NZ

11

1

216

5

56

4

40

1

75

1

3.5

2

216

3

100

4

16

2

24

1

Rough gecko surveys Project name

Location

Pest control

Samoa, South Pacific

Pest control training for MNRE staff

Auckland, North Island, NZ

Rotoroa Island

Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ

Rotoroa source site fieldwork - kiwi egg collection and transmitter changes for Rotoroa ONE Santa Cruz ground dove rescue

Te Mata, Coromandel, North Island, NZ

Takahē management Takahē management Takahē management training Takahē release Urban Ark Weka translocation Wētāpunga release and post-release monitoring Survey Island to assess habitat suitability for wētāpunga restoration Whio monitoring

Rakitu Island, North Island, NZ The Noises Islands, Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ Motuihe Island, Inner Hauraki Gulf, North Island, NZ Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ

Appendix III. Auckland Zoo field project focus 2017 – 2018 Project focus Species

No. of projects

Fieldwork hours

28

3,607

Mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians Fishes Invertebrates Habitat Restoration Native and pest plants Pest animals Integrated conservation (Rotoroa)

1 13 9 1 2 2 6

96 2,729 438 122 66 156 413

1 5 1

136 277 2,797

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Profile for Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Annual Report 2017-2018  

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Annual Report 2017-2018  

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