The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity* founded in 1826, is a worldrenowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action. We strive to achieve our missions by: •
Conducting world-leading conservation science
Implementing effective field conservation projects globally
Providing decision-makers with the best conservation advice
Building conservation capacity and inspiring people to connect with the natural world
ZSL is a unique, independent, science-based institution with a dedicated team of conservation scientists, field conservationists and experts in wildlife health and conservation breeding. This enables the Society to engage in a broad spectrum of theoretical and applied conservation activities and fosters an environment of innovation and creativity. For over 180 years the Society has played an essential role in convening experts to address challenging science and conservation issues, including hosting high-profile public meetings, symposia and national and international workshops. Throughout the world ZSL works with governments, civil society and the private sector to conserve species and habitats. We encourage the responsible use of natural resources to underpin sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods. We contribute to building conservation capacity and skills in the UK and abroad through educational programmes, workshops and Masters and PhD courses and awards to support young conservationists. Information disseminated is make available through our website, the media, conservation reports and books and two high profile international science journals. Through our research, filed conservation and zoos we aim to inspire people of all ages and from all sectors of society to value the natural world and engage in the conservation of the world's species and habitats. zsl.org *Registered charity in England and Wales number 208728 Photo credits: © www.eye-of-the-tiger.com (inside front cover tiger) © Mark Carwardine (front cover Ganges River dolphin) © Jean-Denis Kramkimel (front cover eastern lowland gorilla)
ZSLâ€™s Global Conservation Work
Section I: Defining the state of the worldâ€™s species and ecosystems 4 Defining the status of the planet 12 New tools Section II: Reversing the decline of irreplaceable species and ecosystems 20 EDGE Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species 30 Carnivores 38 Getting species back into the wild 46 Ecosystem restoration for conservation and development Section III: Identifying and addressing emerging threats to biodiversity 60 Climate change 64 Wildlife disease Section IV: Convening, advising and inspiring the public, industry and policypolicy- makers 68 Sharing conservation knowledge 74 Advising industry 80 Informing policy
Defining the status of the planet
The Living Planet Index An indicator of the state of global biodiversity Indicators and Assessments Unit
Indicators and Assessments Unit
Wildlife in a changing world The LPI provides scientists, policy-makers and the general public with information on trends in the abundance of the world’s vertebrates and offers insights into which areas have species that are declining most rapidly. This information is essential for defining the impact humans are having on the planet and for guiding actions to best address biodiversity loss. Results are presented biennially in the WWF Living Planet Report, on the Living Planet website, and in publications such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UNEP Global Biodiversity Outlook.
The LPI can be used to measure
Global Living Planet Index Confidence Limits
• Vertebrate species • Biogeographic realms • Groups of species at a regional or national scale
• Selected groups, such as populations which migrate or that live in threatened habitats
Index Value (1970 = 1.0)
1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4
© Copyright Photographer © Copyright Photographer
0.2 0 1970
Year Figure 1. Global Living Planet Index. The global index shows that vertebrate species populations declined by almost 30 per cent between 1970 and 2007
Assessing biodiversity targets The threat to global biodiversity and the need to conserve it was recognized by the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in which 188 nations committed to © WWF-Canon / Cat HOLLOWAY
take actions to “…achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels…” As one of the indicators selected by the CBD, the Living Planet Index has been of paramount importance in showing this target has not been met. As efforts to conserve biodiversity continue, the LPI will remain a key biodiversity indicator. Not only will the LPI will be instrumental in assessing the effectiveness of the new global CBD targets post-2010, but it also has the potential to measure progress towards important biodiversity targets at national and regional scales.
© Carey James Balboa
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 6 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Improving coverage Building the Living Planet Database is an ongoing project supported by an expanding network of collaborators, who are regularly adding high quality population data to the LPD. Such data increase the coverage of the LPD and help to target population data from poorly known taxonomic groups and regions. In addition, information on the ecology, locality and threats for each population is collected to enhance the utility of the LPD. This enables the creation of indices with specific ÂŠ WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
applications, such as for species with certain life history traits or populations under particular pressures.
Interactive data sharing The Living Planet Database is now online at www.livingplanetindex.org. This database allows all users to view and download information that is most meaningful to them. Users from the LPI network can add population data, monitor content from their region or species of interest and export raw data for analysis. The online database will not only facilitate the expansion of the data set, but will also make the LPI available in a more transparent and accessible format.
ÂŠ Glenn Grant, National Science Foundation
Long-term project visions The current data set needs to be expanded to represent a greater variety of habitats and species, particularly from tropical regions. Future applications of the LPI will test the method at different scales by creating national and regional indicators and for different species groups, such as investigating the suitability of the indicator for plants and invertebrates. The LPD has the potential to provide a broad range of biodiversity indicators relevant to the CBD and other international conventions. It will be a vital tool in measuring the impact of policy decisions and monitoring future ÂŠ Bpavacic
targets for biodiversity conservation.
For more information on this project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.livingplanetindex.org for more details and individual contact information. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of all our collaborators, a list of whom can be found on our website.
The Sampled Red List Index An indicator of the state of global biodiversity Indicators and Assessments Unit
Indicators and Assessments Unit
The Red List Index (RLI) is recognised as one of the world’s foremost indicators of the changing state of global biodiversity. It defines the conservation status of major species groups, and measures trends in extinction risk over time.
Evaluating trends in biodiversity The Red List Index (RLI), based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, measures the changing state of global biodiversity. BY conducting conservation assessments at regular intervals, changes in the threat status of all species in a taxonomic group can be used to monitor trends in extinction risk. RLIs have been calculated for bids and amphibians. This approach, while feasible for well studies groups with relatively few species, is not suitable for all groups, in particular the larger and lesser known groups, such as insects and plants, which comprise the majority of the world's biodiversity. However, a sampled approach has been developed (Red List Index Sampled Approach– SRLI)
The SRLI will show trends in extinction risk according to: •
Dominant threat processes
to include a greater variety of taxonomic groups into this global biodiversity indicator.
Figure 1: Change in Threat Status of Birds from 1988. Data from Butchart et al 2004 PLoS
A broader view of biodiversity © Mala Ram
The SRLI has been developed to incorporate a greater range of species into the measurement of changing biodiversity. It is based on a representative sample of species selected from taxonomic within vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi and algae. The selected species will be re-assessed at regular intervals and changes in threat status identified to provide a more broadly representative picture of biodiversity change. This approach will also greatly expand our understanding of the impact that humans are having on the world’s species.
© Mala Ram
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 8 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Towards the 2010 target In April 2002 at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 188 nations committed themselves to actions to “..achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels…”. The RLI applied to a broad range of taxonomic groups has been selected by the CBD as one of the key indicators to measure progress towards this important target and specifically to monitor changes in threat status of species.
© Mala Ram
Informing decisions The SRLI will produce a global biodiversity indicator capable of providing insight into the rate of biodiversity loss. In addition, it will identify which taxonomic groups, realms or ecosystems are deteriorating the most rapidly, why species are threatened, where they are threatened, what conservation actions exist and which actions are needed. This will provide policy makers, resource managers, scientists, educators, conservation practitioners and the general public with the tools necessary to make informed decisions. © Richard Gibson
Interactive data sharing It is vital that information from the SRLI is disseminated widely. Species-level information must be made easily accessible via the World Wide Web. This online access will allow interactive data sharing and production of specific RLIs that are of greatest interest to the user.
Future directions The SRLI has the potential to provide informative indicators of broader biodiversity, including a wide range of indices relevant to the CBD and other international conventions. Readily accessible information will help raise public awareness of threatened species. Re-assessment of SRLI species will allow for trends in global biodiversity to be continually monitored beyond 2010. © ZSL/Daniel Sprawson
For more information on the Sampled Red List Index, please contact Dr Jonathan Baillie at email@example.com or Dr Ben Collen at firstname.lastname@example.org
National Red Lists
Building networks and knowledge for national conservation decision-makin Indicators and Assessments Unit
Indicators and Assessments Unit
Assessing extinction risk on a national or regional level Using the recently developed IUCN guidelines for applying the Red List method at the national level, National Red Lists (NRL) provide the most practical means of assessing species status resulting in effective conservation planning at the local level. In parts of the world where conservation planning may be the most critical, we lack the information to effectively prioritise. The NRL network identifies those regions and taxa that lack adequate Red List information in order to improve understanding of status of plants and animals where the treat the biodiversity is the greatest.
The National Red List process ZSL seeks to develop a framework to support countries in the development of a NRL. To achieve this, ZSL is:
• Working to further identify those regions and taxa that are underrepresented and seek to implement new Red Lists to address these gaps
• Responsible for the creation of a capacity building database, collating the world’s NRL data
• Managing a centralised website containing all the resources necessary to complete a NRL
• Coordinating a network of government officials, policy advisors, academics and Red List assessors in the production and standardisation
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 10 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
ng ZSL Conservation ZSL Conservation
Building the National Red List network ZSL is leading the development of an active global network working on National Red Lists. This includes:
• Initiating and facilitating the production of new NRLs • Training of local scientists and assistance with in-country Red List workshops
• Construction of national biodiversity databanks • Production of geographical search tools, allowing countries to identify priority areas for conservation and to assist in land-use planning
• Creation of national summary Conservation Action Plans and National Red Lists
• Annual NRL network workshops • The expansion of a centralised database collating NROS produced throughout the world
• The further development of www.nationalredlist.org to facilitate communication and knowledge sharing
• An increase in the availability of education material, support tools and consultants to assist in the production of a NRL
Future directions The NRL network will assist in addressing taxonomic and geographic gaps in biodiversity data, implement new NRLs worldwide and develop and manage the NRL website and database. NRLs have the potential to lead conservation planning and the local scale, working towards the effective conservation of a species worldwide.
For more information on the National Red List Network, please contact Dr Jonathan Baillie at email@example.com or Dr Ben Collen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing new conservation tools
The Wildlife Picture Index An indicator of the state of global biodiversity Indicators and Assessments Unit
Indicators and Assessments Unit
Global trends in conservation and wilderness areas The Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) uses the latest camera trapping technology to monitor wildlife trends in conservation and wilderness areas across the world. This novel approach will provide the first global indicator capable of identifying where conservation and wilderness areas are protecting species and where they are not. This information is currently unavailable, but is essential for understanding global trends in biodiversity and setting conservation priorities.
Camera trapping New advances in camera trapping methods have made it possible to monitor trends in the diversity, abundance, and distribution of a broad range of terrestrial mammals and birds, including nocturnal, rare and elusive animals (e.g. leopards) that have been traditionally difficult to study using other techniques. Camera trapping offers a non-obtrusive, low cost and effective means of monitoring these species and is relatively unbiased, reducing observer error because all sightings or data are recorded on film. Camera trapping is also an excellent medium for communicating wildlife trends to
Multiple Applications The WPI aims to identify protected and
policy makers and the general public, producing images that capture the imagination and allow people to relate to the species that are being monitored.
wilderness areas where species are declining most rapidly so that appropriate conservation measures can be taken. WPI data can also be used to examine large scale trends in threatened or exploited species and identify types of conservation or wilderness areas that are the most effective for protecting species (e.g. strictly protected parks versus
Trend information for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
community conservation areas). At the local level, WPI data can be used to
The WPI provided an indicator for measuring progress towards the CBD
assist in adaptive wildlife management.
target of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Camera trap data
ÂŠ Mala Ram
For areas where conservation actions or
collected from the Wildlife Picture Network is used to produce a Wildlife
measures have been implemented there
Picture Index, a global site-based indicator that tracks changes in biodiversity
will help assess whether these actions
in conservation and wilderness areas based on rates of population changes
are having the intended effect. In areas
and change in area occupied for suites of vertebrate species populations
that allow activities of sustainable use
monitored at WPI sites. The WPI also contributed to a broad ranges of other
(e.g. controlled hunting), it will help to
indicators, including those focusing on sustainable use and invasive or
indicate whether these activities are truly
sustainable. ÂŠ Mala Ram
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSLâ€™s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 14 out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Project management The WPI initiative is led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), both of which have active field conservation programmes throughout the world and are in unique positions to monitor a broad range of conservation and wilderness landscapes. WCS and ZSL will partner with a number of other organizations to expand the network including governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and individual conservationists. An online database will be managed by WCS and ZSL where the WPI datasets will be stored and analyzed and results presented. Tri-annual reports on trends in protected and wilderness areas will also be produced.
Training and capacity-building The WPI will provide practical, technical and financial support for long-term site-based monitoring, particularly in less developed and/or data deficient regions. Training in camera trap techniques will be provided in a series of workshops at each site. Site managers will be provided with user-friendly software for data management and analysis to ensure a quick turnaround between data collection and its use for on-the-ground conservation management. Participating WPI sites will also gain increased recognition, interest, and funding opportunities from the international community through exposure in WPI reports and conferences.
Implementation Understanding biodiversity change requires long-term commitment to ongoing monitoring; the primary development challenge will thus be securing the necessary funds to sustain growth of the WPI camera trapping network and long-term data collection. Funding is currently being sought to expand the camera trap protocol at several new sites to initiate expansion of a global monitoring network. The WPI will being with analysis of existing camera trap datasets and will then collect new data in areas where previous camera trapping surveys have taken places. The network will be expanded to new projects across WCS, ZSL and collaborating organisationsâ€™ sites. For more information on the Wildlife Picture Index, please contact Dr Jonathan Baillie at email@example.com or Dr Linda Krueger at firstname.lastname@example.org
The First Global Survey of the Effectivenes A novel application of the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index
The importance of protected areas Since the late nineteenth century, the conservation of biodiversity throughout the world has been characterised by the establishment of protected areas. Protected areas are defined as areas especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and currently encompass 13.4% of the Earth’s land surface. They represent one of the most significant human resource use allocations on the planet, and have been recognised as the most important core ‘units’ for in situ conservation. Protected areas are widely used as an indicator for global targets and environmental assessments.
Protected areas: • Protected areas cover 13.4 % of the Earth’s land surface • There are over 100,000 individual protected areas • 13.5 % of global forest cover lies within conservation areas
Currently available field data are generally difficult to use for assessing how environmental changes might affect protected areas, because such data are traditionally collected at small spatial and temporal scales and vary in their type and reliability. Satellite imagery has the potential to revolutionise our ability to track changes in protected areas throughout the world, as satellite data can provide valuable information.
Using satellites to map ecosystem health Satellite-based indices have proven to successfully help detect temporal and spatial trends and variation in vegetation distribution, productivity and dynamics, allowing monitoring of habitat degradation and fragmentation. The Normalized Difference vegetation Index (NDVI) estimates the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by vegetation, and has been widely used to describe regional patterns of net primary productivity (NPP). NPP is the most holistic indicator of ecosystem functioning.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 16 out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
ss of Protected Areas
Pilot phase results Analysis of satellite-based indices can provide the information needed to differentiate protected areas that are successfully conserving habitat from those that require urgent attention. The Institute of Zoology, part of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), has recently commenced work on a novel method of using NDVI to describe the ecosystem functioning of protected areas and their response to environmental change. This important project will provide the first global picture of protected area effectiveness in terms of conserving the worldâ€™s major ecosystems. During the initial pilot phase of the project, researchers have already successfully completed the analysis for the African continent, producing a range of interesting results.
Long-term vision The method used by ZSL scientists shows significant promise, and will make a vital contribution to global efforts to secure and improve ecosystem functioning in protected areas. In particular, the research will help identify where conservation efforts should focus for greatest impact. However, further funds are urgently needed to complete this vital research for the rest of the globe.
More Information For further information on the use of the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index , please contact Nathalie Pettorelli, Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology (email@example.com). www.zsl.org
SMART Wildlife Monitoring System
Monitoring and evaluating wildlife for improved protected area managemen
An urgent need for a SMART system With numerous species and habitats in decline even within existing protected areas, effective monitoring, law enforcement and management has never been so critical to the survival of the wildlife and the preservation of biodiversity. There are a number of challenges to protecting and managing biodiversity within and outside protected areas with the enforcement of the basic regulations designed to protect wildlife, habitat and the prevention of poaching often hampered by poor management and specifically by weak law enforcement capacity. There is an urgent need to integrate the various systems being used for protected area
management at various degrees into a improved standardised monitoring and evaluation system which is modular and open-source with good documentation across a broad range of languages to enable expansion and adaptation to meet specific site level needs
• Low cost tool with field protocols
in the future around the globe. This tool will build upon the experience of existing systems
• Institutionalized field-based
needed to deliver a highly functioning, sustainable industry wider system.
that have delivered the basic functionality without achieving the broad adoption that is
wildlife monitoring training package for instructors support
• Significant improvement in monitoring effort, quality and management effectiveness
• Visual maps for easy interpretation
Example of a patrol intensity map - KIFARU system
SMART system – proof of concept Conservation tools underpinned by robust protocols and capacity-building initiatives, to help management agencies improve their effectiveness, increase efficiency and promote transparency are central to effective conservation. There currently exists several purpose-built law enforcement and monitoring systems for wildlife conservation. These systems have proved indispensable for management where they have been setup with adequate training and monitoring resources. The ZSL KIFARU system is a low cost tool with field protocols, refined over a period of ten-years and extensively being used in Kenya and in Nepal for rhino monitoring, law enforcement and metapopulation management. M-STrIPES is being implemented in India as part of the National Tiger Conservation Programme and is aimed at addressing the integration of law enforcement and ecological monitoring to enable informed decision making within an adaptive management framework.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 18 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
nt ZSL Conservation
Project outputs •
Detailed requirements specification for the SMART tool for monitoring, law enforcement and evaluation for management of
protected areas. Fully tested GIS based SMART system which will be Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and operational in at least 30
• • •
protected areas in the first two years. Training manuals in a broad range of languages and web-based training materials. Field protocols and procedural mechanisms in various languages. Technical software support documentation to allow addition add-ons to be developed by the broader community.
Timing Although work on the conceptual design of the project and formulation of the technical requirements has already begun, we are looking to formally begin the initiative by 1st October 2010. It will require 24 months to complete including beta-testing and review.
Project costs The development phase will cost approximately $400,000 of which $200,000 has already been raised. Example of an illegal activity map - KIFARU system
© Copyright Photographer
Project Collaborators UNEP-MIKE
For more information on this project, please contact Dr Rajan Amin (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org
EDGE Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species
EDGE Corals Coral reefs are unique ecosystems and an extremely ancient phenomenon. Corals appeared over 400 million years ago, when plants had not yet made it onto land. These colonial animals are the predominant reef builders of the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on the planet, supporting 1-3 million species, most of which are found nowhere else.
Fig 1. Global distribution of coral reefs. reefs
Over the last two decades, a mere fraction of the time taken for coral reef structures to form, elevated sea surface temperatures have caused extensive mass coral bleaching events around the world. Ocean acidification has also become a critical issue, slowing the rate of coral growth and threatening to have a catastrophic effect on the ecosystem as the pH of the marine environment changes. These two effects can also work together synergistically to further reduce coral health. In addition, the declining status of coral reefs is exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances such as overfishing and sedimentation.
Emergency Action ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme uses methods to direct conservation effort towards specially selected corals that can act as focal species for the whole reef ecosystem. These “Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered” (EDGE) species are unique in the way they look, live and behave. Protecting these species and their habitats helps to maintain the genetic, behavioural and ecological diversity of coral reefs. The EDGE of Existence programme’s novel approach has proven highly effective at raising awareness of EDGE species, and is designed to complement existing marine conservation initiatives. The programme aims to catalyse conservation actions needed to adequately protect the most distinct and threatened coral reefs ecosystems in the face of climate change and other impacts. In winter 2009 ZSL released ‘Coral Reefs– An Entire System on the EDGE’, an Earthtouch film highlighting the potential of life without coral reefs and it received high and far reaching exposure. Following this, international coral reef experts were invited by ZSL to participate in the EDGE corals workshop. Expert participants identified the most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species of coral, and from these prioritised 10 focal species on which conservation efforts will begin.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe,26 carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Objectives Objectives of the EDGE coral reef programme are to: 1. Build in-country capacity through EDGE’s Fellowship programme for the ten focal coral species & their habitat. 2. Continue raising awareness of EDGE coral species and the main threats affecting them, to catalyse the conservation of coral reefs. 3. Address significant knowledge gaps of highly Evolutionarily Distinct corals to identify their threat status and enable effective conservation actions.
The Top 10 ... The ten focal evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered coral species:
• Catalaphyllia jardinae (Elegance coral) • Anomastraea irregularis (Crisp pillow coral) • Horastrea indica (Horastrea coral) • Dendrogyra cylindrus (Pillar coral) • Dichocoenia stokesii (Elliptical star coral) • Heliofungia actiniformis (Mushroom coral) • Parasimplastrea sheppardi (Parasimplastrea coral) • Physogyra lichtensteini (Pearl bubble coral) • Ctenella chagius (Ctenella coral) • Acropora palmata (Elkhorn coral)
Future Directions: Conservation measures for the focal coral species will be initiated through the EDGE Fellows programme. The programme trains and supports in-country early career conservation scientists and develops their skills to conserve local biodiversity. An EDGE Fellow carries out a project on a focal species for a period of up to two years in one of two categories: novel conservation research and development of a species conservation action plan; or implementation a targeted conservation action.
More Information For more information on the EDGE of Existence programme or to make a donation please contact Catherine Head at: Catherine.email@example.com
Marine and Freshwater Conservation Prog Focused conservation to preserve the phylogenetic diversity of sharks
Less threatening, more threatened Globally, sharks face an immediate and growing threat of extinction. With the combination of fishing pressures from man and increasing environmental pressures from global warming many populations have seen massive declines in recent years. The diverse and ancient group to which sharks and rays belong is often characterised by slow growth, low fecundity and a conservative life history strategy which can exacerbate deleterious effects they may experience. As a top predator their importance to ocean ecosystems is undeniable, and the consequences of their loss is likely to be catastrophic.
Key issues: • Knowledge gaps in population size and structure for many species • Shark finning and targeted overfishing • Sharks and rays as bycatch • Conservative life histories make the group vulnerable to change • Decades of ‘bad press’ has limited public support
ZSL have teamed up with a number of organisations, including the IUCN, to develop a network of conservation programmes aimed at the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) creatures. The newly formed shark project hopes to preserve the genetics of our weird and wonderful but increasingly rare sharks and rays for future generations.
EDGE gets wet... The previously established EDGE programme, which focuses on preserving phylogenetic diversity, has had great success with the Mammals and Amphibians projects. ZSL now plans to expand this into the marine environment, with sharks being a focus (also please see our website for details of EDGE Coral reefs). Key to its success will be:
• Raising awareness of the major threats to shark populations worldwide. • Collaborating with current conservation initiatives and ensuring new initiatives complement these.
• Maintaining the genetic, behavioural and ecological diversity of sharks by concentrating on the neglected, highly endangered, weird and wonderful.
• Motivate a new generation into fighting for shark conservation by highlighting their astounding history, stunning beauty and key importance to marine ecosystems.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying 28 out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
gramme: EDGE Sharks
Future directions Phase 2 of the project will be to use the information gathered in phase 1 to implement guided and effective conservation programmes for the top 10 species, progressing to the top 100 within 5 years. Many sharks and rays are pelagic, migratory or far-ranging species and therefore become an international issue. ZSL will have to work closely with the fishing industry and other stakeholders to tackle the problems of overfishing, illegal shark finning and bycatch with other species such as tuna. The project will use a number of strategies in this next step:
• Start specific in-country species programmes in asso-
ciation with ZSL fellows which will aim to support them throughout their research.
• Develop in-country education programmes to involve The EDGE Sharks project is currently entering Phase 1 of its planned activities. This stage concentrates on creating a list of the top 100 Evolutionarily Distinct Genetically Diverse Shark species and ZSL plan to do this by:
Updating the first comprehensive Chondrichthyan tree using newly developed DNA sequencing methods.
• Run workshops in the UK designed to raise awareness through the zoo and be specifically tailored to a range of audiences.
• Develop the EDGE website as a tool for raising awareness of EDGE species internationally, communicating conservation successes and further extending our support base.
Calculating an ED score for each species, dependent on its position on the evolutionary tree, representing its uniqueness.
Allocating a GE score to each species relating to its conservation status, level of endangerment and susceptibility to current threats.
both local communities and stakeholders and promote sustainable conservation strategies.
Combining the two to give an overall EDGE score which determines the species position on the list.
Once the list is populated, biographies and online accounts for each species will be developed. ZSL and the IUCN SSG will also hold an international workshop to combine shark knowledge and expertise from around the globe and decide upon 10 priority species from the top 100. These 10 species will then be the focus of a programme of public awareness and development via the websites involved.
More Information For more information on this project please contact: The Marine and Freshwater Programme (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org
The Bangladesh Tiger Project Saving a species. Sustaining a nation.
Turning the tide With fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left in the world, this magnificent cat and symbol of wilderness is endangered throughout its range. The mangrove forests of the Bangladesh Sundarbans support one of the largest populations of tigers in the world—an estimated 300-500 tigers— and can therefore contribute significantly to the future of the species. Besides being a haven for tigers, the 6000km2 Bangladesh Sundarbans represents almost half of the country’s remaining forest, supporting the livelihoods of millions of local people and providing essential ecological services for the nation and the region. In © David Higgs/TEPA
light of the predicted impacts of climate change, the forest’s role as a carbon store, as well as a buffer against extreme weather, makes it a critical part of the country's climate change adaptation strategy.
protection from cyclones
oxygen production and waste recycling
trapping of sediment and land formation
supply of food including fish, shrimp, and honey Source: NASA
The Bangladesh Tiger Project therefore aims to conserve the Sundarbans tiger both as a species on the brink and as a focal point for the conservation of the entire Sundarbans forest —a national asset which is vital for the future well being of the country.
Foundations for success With an in-country presence since 2001, we have developed a solid relationship with the Bangladesh Forest Department, the section of the government responsible for national forest and wildlife conservation. The ZSL team’s strategic planning, project delivery and conservation science expertise are augmented by our partnership with the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB), a national NGO with many years experience working in wildlife conservation and with local communities. Together we have supported the Forest Department in the creation of the first Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (2009-2017) which assesses the threats to tigers and outlines the actions needed to tackle them. Upon these foundations we have designed a holistic programme capable of securing the future of the Sundarbans for tigers and people alike. © Adam Barlow
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 32carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Some achievements to date Our team is active from policy level right down to grass roots. Recently we assisted the Forest Department in the formulation of the first ever Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan. Together with the Department’s field staff, we’ve just designed a strengthened patrolling and law enforcement strategy for the Sundarbans, which will be implemented with funding from the European Union. We also help villagers affected by tiger attacks; our forest-based tiger response teams are reached by a tiger hotline and provide emergency first aid and transport to victims. In addition, we’ve trained volunteer community teams in the boundary © Adam Barlow
villages who are now on standby to try and prevent retaliatory killings should a tiger stray into their village. We run parallel scientific research studies to help guide our
The way ahead
conservation efforts. Our regular Sundarbans-wide track survey helps
There are a number of threats to tigers and their conservation in Bangladesh. Tigers are poached to supply the international demand for tiger products. The Sundarbans suffers the highest numbers of fatal tiger attacks in the world, and livestock as also killed. As a result, tigers are killed in retaliation by the affected local communities. The tiger’s main food source, spotted deer, is poached for domestic consumption, and the tiger’s
us to keep an eye on the tiger population, and our research into tigerhuman conflict and its underlying causes is helping us to devise solutions to reduce the killing of tigers, livestock and people. Together with the Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, we’ve also set up a national Tiger Study Scholarship to build a new generation of tiger conservationists in Bangladesh; two masters students are currently being sponsored. Next we plan to run nationwide awareness campaigns to grow the political support for tiger and Sundarbans conservation efforts.
habitat is threatened by unsustainable logging and climate change. To tackle these tough challenges, we are developing partnerships across a wide range stakeholders to build and strengthen the national tiger conservation effort. These efforts are united under the vision of the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan, which is: To help ensure protected tiger landscapes in Bangladesh, where wild tigers thrive at optimum carrying capacities and which continue to provide essential ecological services to mankind. © Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur and Rubaiyat
Collaborators and Partners
For more information on this project please contact Christina Greenwood (email@example.com) or Adam Barlow (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org/bangladesh October 2009
This project is only possible thanks to the support of the Bangladesh Forest Department, Ministry of Environment and Forest, People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Amur Tiger Conservation Monitoring and protection in Lazovsky State Nature Reserve
Lazovsky Nature Reserve protects Amur tigers The Amur tiger is one of the largest cats in the world and is found only in the Russian Far East, although a few may range across the borders into northern China and Korea. it is critically endangered and in the 1940s was on the brink of extinction, with less than 50 individuals left in the wild in Russia. Fortunately, the subspecies gained protection, and with anti-poaching and other conservation efforts, was able to recover. The population in Russia is currently between 400 and 500 individuals and has remained relatively stable throughout the past decade.
© A. Bezrukov
The Lazovsky State Nature Reserve and the surrounding unprotected area cover a key habitat for Amur tigers in the Russian Far East. The Reserve supports a high density of reproducing tigers and is critical for Amur tiger conservation. It is linked to a newly established national park by a corridor consisting of privately managed hunting leases; cooperation from these hunting leases is therefore critical for the protection of the established population of tigers
• Large tracts of habitat to support a viable population
• A good population of deer and pig for food
• Protection from poachers • Local support against persecution of wild tigers
Monitoring is essential to measure the success of conservation practices Monitoring Amur tigers with accuracy is challenging because tigers are secretive and range over large remote areas, making them almost impossible to observe. However, ZSL is ideally placed to succeed in Lazovsky Reserve ,due to our experience with tiger conservation projects throughout tiger range and a field crew with over 14 years of experience studying wild tigers in Russia. In 2007, ZSL began monitoring Amur tigers using camera-traps. This is a method that can yield reliable results, but is rarely used in Russia because the tigers there have far larger home ranges than most, due to the temperate climate which supports a lower prey population than eg India or Nepal. So in most of their range, Amur tiger densities are low and one would need to travel hundreds of miles to set enough cameras for meaningful data; however, Lazovsky has succeeded in raising deer density and so tigers are also relatively thick on the ground. This is the first time this method has been used in the reserve, and results so far are encouraging. © A. Bezrukov The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 34 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Parks are key, but not enough
© ZSL / Linda Kerley
Project outputs The project is monitoring trends in the Amur tiger population in the reserve. Monitoring is of limited use unless actions are taken in response to its findings, and the team are in regular touch with the Phoenix antipoaching unit (also supported by ZSL through 21st Century Tiger) so that its activities can be targeted towards any problem areas. Persistent problems, if found, would suggest that our conservation practices are not working and that further action should be taken to improve tiger protection. A secondary objective is to gather information on tiger distribution to assist in long-term planning for Amur leopard reintroduction in the reserve; the Amur leopard is down to only ~35 animals, living in southwest Primorye with no room to expand, a precarious situation. Conservationists are agreed that a reintroduction at a second site would be a useful safeguard and that Lazovsky is suitable. Any leopards eventually released will have to coexist with tigers, as they do in their existing range, so accurate information on where the tigers are will be key in designing effective release strategies. Support from local people is crucial for success in conservation, particularly of species that are actually dangerous to humans, and so ZSL is launching an awareness program using camera-trap photographs of the Reserve’s tigers. We aim to highlight the uniqueness of each one and to encourage local communities to feel some ownership of and special connection to “their” tigers.
No one reserve is large enough for a viable population of tigers, and in fact the Amur tiger ranges over an enormous area of land only a small proportion of which is protected. Human density is low in the region, the habitat is not yet fragmented, and some of the ways humans use the land can be compatible with tiger conservation, making Russia one of the tiger’s best bets in global terms. Maintaining connections between the protected areas is of course a vital part of the conservation strategy, and so we are paying particular attention to the area where hunting leases link the reserve to the nearby national park. Hunters plant soybean crops there to increase ungulate densities for sport hunting, and tigers frequently move across the leases — which makes them vulnerable to poaching, but also easy to monitor with cameratraps, which automatically "capture" a tiger on film as it walks past, setting off a heat and motion sensor. Care is taken to build relations with the hunters during our work, in order to get them to support tiger conservation rather than regard the tigers as competition for the deer and pig that both species like to hunt. If we can establish a good model here, it may be possible to apply it in other areas.
© ZSL / Valodya Borisenko © Copyright Photographer
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Linda Kerley (email@example.com) www.zsl.org September 2009
Partners and donors The Dorothy Howard Charitable Trust
21st Century Tiger Giving wild tigers a future
A unique fundraising partnership 21st Century Tiger is a partnership between The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Global Tiger Patrol. It was established in 1997 and has since provided over £1.5 million pounds to nearly 60 projects in seven countries, making it one of the top ten NGO contributors to tiger conservation worldwide.
© Harald Loeffler/wwww.eye-of-the-tiger.com
Threats to tigers: •
Habitat degradation and destruction
Poaching for the wildlife trade
Retaliation killings of tigers that take livestock or kill people
Loss of prey to people
Tiger conservation methods work when they have adequate political and financial support. By protecting tiger habitat and prey, as well as the tigers themselves, wild tiger populations can be stabilised. Protecting wild tigers also protects large tracts of the world’s most valuable natural resources, such as carbon sinks and forests. 21st Century Tiger supports conservation projects that;
◊ Protect tigers, prey and habitats in tiger-range countries. ◊ Promote education activities in tiger-range countries. © Phoenix Fund
◊ Support relevant ecological monitoring and research. ◊ Address tiger/human conflict and promote resolution. ◊ Demonstrate how they can improve management/protection of occupied and/or suitable tiger habitats.
◊ Improve prey protection measures. ◊ Encourage co-operation and co-ordination with other tiger conservation organisations.
◊ Integrate local governments, communities and businesses into the project. ◊ Do not duplicate or conflict with other ongoing conservation efforts and projects. © Copyright Photographer
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and 36 ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Givig wild tigers a future ZSL Conservation
21st Century Tiger supports many projects throughout Asia including:
IFAW is running a consumer awareness campaign in China on the link between consuming tiger parts and the decrease of wild tigers, urging Chinese consumers to reject tiger parts. In 2006, IFAW started a website called Love Tiger, www.ilaohu.org, the first ever tiger conservation website produced in Chinese, by Chinese and for Chinese. IFAW has begun to add a youth component to the website with interactive games and other fun activities. During the Year of the Tiger, IFAW will be reaching out to schools in China with a specific educational campaign that appeals directly to youth funded by 21st Century Tiger.
Fauna and Flora International’s (FFI) anti-poaching teams in Sumatra’s Kerinci Seblat National Park have been tackling the trade in tiger parts by protecting the park since 2001. 2009 records show that, in areas where FFI’s patrols have been able to focus, tiger populations have stabilized or even increased to approximately one tiger record per 23kms. ZSL’s ZSL work in Sumatra focuses on tigers and takes in issues ranging from carbon trading and oil palm plantations to protection of Berbak National Park. Between 1990 and 2000, 25% of the forest in Berbak was lost due to illegal logging, clearance and fire, and in 2009 this caused a spate of conflict incidents with the tiger responsible almost certainly killed by illegal loggers. These threats are now escalating at a worrying pace, and ZSL is using 21st Century Tiger funding to establish a network of local community rangers.
100% of all donations received are spent on wild tiger conservation. Administration has been generously funded by Dreamworld Zoo in Australia since 2007. 21st Century Tiger is a founding member of The International Tiger Coalition.
Collection of confiscated snares © Phoenix Fund
Phoenix Fund: Amur tiger conservation in the Russian Far East has been funded by 21st Century Tiger since 2001. Projects focus on anti-poaching, law enforcement, conservation-oriented ecological education and outreach activities for the community in the region. The main long-term objectives of these efforts are to conserve the areas exceptionally rich fauna and flora, reduce poaching of both tigers and their prey and ensure their long term survival.
More Information 21st Century Tiger also supports wild tiger conservation projects in India and Thailand. For more information on these projects, fundraising ideas, fact sheets, photo galleries and more:
www.21stCenturyTiger.org Email: 21stCenturyTiger@zsl.org Telephone + 44 (0) 20 7449 6444
Getting species back into the wild
Fish Net Saving freshwater fishes from extinction
Killifish & Livebearers
The Fish Net aims to save freshwater fish species from extinction through a dynamic programme of captive breeding, education and outreach, research and field conservation initiatives. Our target group is the killifish and livebearers which are small, freshwater fish. They are notable for inhabiting harsh environments and are often considered important indicators for ecosystem health. Most have not been evaluated under IUCN, but of those that have, five species are Extinct, three Extinct in the Wild, and 12 Critically Endangered. These species are largely neglected by governments and their plight has only received the attention of a few specialised hobbyists and academics. Only a handful of public aquariums have engaged in actively managing these species and ZSL is already one of the most active institutions.
• Small, freshwater fish • Highly threatened • Localised distributions • Indicators of wetland ecosystem health
© Copyright Photographer
• Popular in aquarium hobby
Threatened ecosystem Freshwater represents the most threatened of all ecosystems and many freshwater species have a very high livelihood value for local human communities. IUCN has prioritised freshwater fish in its Red List assessments: In the current IUCN Red List all 13 fish species listed as Extinct in the Wild are freshwater and 76% of the 266 fish species listed as Critically Endangered are freshwater. ZSL has already developed internationally recognised expertise with the breeding and management of a wide variety of endangered freshwater fish. We have a strong track record of utilising the zoological, research and field conservation skills across ZSL to measurably improve the status of species in the wild. The Fish Net will build on our experiences and develop a dedicated programme for freshwater fish conservation within ZSL.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 40 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Tackling an extinction crisis Fish Net will provide the only option to save many critically endangered fishes that are on the brink of extinction. Our priorities are to: Investigate the conservation status of all livebearers and killifish in
the wild. Develop and implement in-country conservation management
plans with partners. Engage stakeholder groups and governments to advance
species conservation in range countries. Maintain healthy and viable breeding groups of the most endangered species, in range countries, at ZSL and at other
Early stages Fish Net was established on a small scale in 2005, with the following achievements:
Successful breeding of 15 species that are extinct in the wild or threatened.
Long term maintenance of endangered species.
Involvement in species’ assessments in Mexico that rediscovered a species thought to be extinct in the wild.
public aquariums. Construct a dedicated ZSL facility to maintain viable populations
of threatened species. Implement an education and outreach programme for these fishes within the UK, targeting zoos, schools and prisons.
We are focusing on species within ZSL’s priority geographic areas, notably Mainland Europe and the Middle East. We would also maintain collaborative involvement with the recovery of Mexican livebearers (with Chester Zoo) with expansion to include the Mexican pupfishes. The Fish Net facility would also be able to respond to crises when a ‘rescue task force’ is needed.
First comprehensive assessment of the Corfu killifish, Valencia letourneuxi, in collaboration with Greek researchers.
Development of conservation action plans for priority species.
© Copyright Amanda Vincent
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Heather Koldewey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brian Zimmerman (email@example.com) www.zsl.org
South Asia Vultures Saving vultures from extinction
Conservation of Gyps vultures Three species of Gyps vultures are facing extinction due to the use of the veterinary drug diclofenac throughout South Asia. The introduction of this drug in the mid 1980s has caused a catastrophic decline in populations of the Oriental white-backed vulture, the long-billed vulture and the slender-billed vulture with over 99% of the species being killed since then. © Nick Lindsay
The impact: • The loss of millions of vultures
• Increased risks to public health
• The potential extinction of at least 3 species of vulture © Monirul Khan © Monirul Khan
The loss of these vultures is having a significant impact on human communities in India, Nepal, Pakistan. Cattles carcasses once cleaned by the vultures now have to be disposed of by the farmers, taking valuable time and resources. Rotting carcasses are causing public health issues through the pollution of water courses, disease spread with increasing numbers of rats and other vermin and an increased risk of rabies because the carcasses provide food for feral dogs
Combining disciplines for success The conservation community is combining forces to attempt to prevent the extinctions and to reverse the decline. Now the governments of the region have banned the production of diclofenac efforts are underway to replace remaining stocks with a known safe drug. Meloxicam is being introduced to the region backed up by a public awareness programme to not only inform local communities about the risk of using diclofenac for vultures but also to inform people of the crucial role vultures play in keeping the environment healthy. This work is supported by a conservation breeding programme with vultures being maintained in a safe environment to breed for future reintroductions. © Goutam Narayan The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 42 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
© Natalie Reid Photographer
Long-term project vision The scale of the challenge is huge due to both the scale of the landscape in which the programme is working and the numbers of vultures that has been lost. The aim is to see a safe environment for vultures in South Asia free from the use of any drugs that cause wildlife mortality into which it is possible to release vultures bred in the conservation breeding centres. ZSL is working with partners in India and Nepal primarily with the © Natalie Reid
development and management of the breeding centres using expertise from the ZSL zoos. Training locals to care for, breed and eventually
reintroduce these vultures will not only benefit this programme but it will also build the capacity for similar projects wit other species in the future.
The South Asian Vulture Recovery Programme Action Plan identified the major activities as:
As this is a long-term programme funding to ensure the centres can expand to hold more vultures and can operate at the highest standards
The establishment of conservation breeding
is going to be crucial.
centres in all range countries with sufficient numbers of all three species to produce vultures for reintroduction in the future
To stop the use of veterinary diclofenac and to find a safe alternative
To develop a public awareness programme to inform local communities about the problems of diclofenac for vultures and about the important role vulture play in the environment
To investigate the impact of diclofenac on other
© Jemina ParryParry-Jones
© Jemima ParryParry -Jones
For more information on this project please contact Nick Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org www.zsl.org | www.vulturerescue.org September 2009
King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre Proje A Centre of Excellence for Desert Wildlife Research & Conservation
Serving biodiversity conservation in Saudi Arabia for over 20 years Over-utilisation of rangelands and excessive hunting have extirpated most larger mammal species in the Kingdom.
Notoriously harsh environmental conditions, an
increasing human population and competition with large free-ranging herds of domestic stock - mainly camels - further exacerbate the plight of wildlife in Saudi Arabia. The National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development established a system of protected areas and captive breeding programmes for gazelles, Arabian oryx
and houbara bustard for re-introduction to suitable, managed protected areas.
Establishing and maintaining healthy
populations of depleted or extirpated species both in captivity and in the wild.
Undertaking necessary applied research on the conservation, wildlife health and management of Saudi Arabian mammals to underpin population recovery.
Building Saudi capacity in conservation and wildlife health science
The King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre (KKWRC), located approximately 80 kilometers north of Riyadh, is a breeding centre for Mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella) and Arabian Sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica).
Animals from KKWRC
provided the founders for self-sustaining populations in 3 protected areas (Ibex Reserve, Uruq Bani M’arid & Mahazat as-Sayd) and continue to serve as the source of animals for augmentation of populations that might be depleted through poaching or natural catastrophe. Since 1989 ZSL has managed the Centre and provided research staff.
What we do Breeding and management of gazelles and other species for re-introduction Veterinary management and disease research on wildlife Conservation science studies, animal population and habitat monitoring for protected area management and biodiversity surveys Molecular genetics, phylogeography and parentage testing © Copyright KKWRC
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve 44 the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
ect, Saudi Arabia
KKWRC LIVING COLLECTION Genetically managed, large breeding populations of Mountain and Sand gazelle are well established. KKWRC also serves as a satellite breeding centre for Arabian oryx and we have recently established a Nubian Ibex breeding programme. CONSERVATION SCIENCE Research programmes on the feeding ecology, diet, habitat use and home range of gazelles are underway in 3 Protected areas for ongoing
Gazella subgutturosa marica
study of reintroduced populations. Long-term habitat and animal monitoring is carried out in protected areas, providing valuable management information. Biodiversity and habitat suitability surveys
Achievements to date
are conducted widely in the Kingdom by the Centre’s staff members. DIAGNOSTIC & MOLECULAR LAB
Sand and Mountain gazelle source populations of
Wildlife health issues are imperative at KKWRC and regular screening
180-220 individuals kept and genetically managed
is carried out for a variety of ungulate diseases common in Saudi
in KKWRC Established self-sustaining populations of gazelles
Arabia. Basic molecular genetics studies are also conducted on site.
in 3 reserves Conservation units and phylogenetic status of
Arabian gazelles and Numbian ibex elucidated using
management advice, disease monitoring, treatment and preventative
molecular methods Standardised monitoring patrols started in 2001 are
measures as requested. Gazelle are also supplied to suitable
KKWRC veterinarians assist the numerous private collections with
collections thus ensuring additional viable populations.
ongoing in collaboration with Reserve staff of the Ibex Reserve, providing information on ibex and gazelles
as well as building capacity amongst the ranger force Protocols for aerial population monitoring have been developed for Mahazat as Sayd, Uruq Bani Ma’Arid, Farasan Islands and Harrat al Harrah, tested and
protected areas and in private collections are detected and monitored. In 2009 we recorded
NCWCD staff staff trained in carrying them out Diseases in livestock and wildlife in and around
Theileria in Arabian oryx for the first time. An 18-year record of vegetation response to climate and grazing history at KKWRC.
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Richard Kock (Richard.email@example.com) or Dr E.R. Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org September 2009
We are grateful to colleagues in the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, the Institute of Zoology of ZSL, the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia and the Alaska, Cambera, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hull, Leipzig, Potsdam universities, Senkenberg Museum and Al Areen Wild Animal Park for fruitful collaboration.
Ecosystem restoration for conservation and development
Building Conservation Capacity in DRC Conserving wildlife and forest in and around Virunga National Park ZSL Conservation
Conservation of Virunga National Park Created in 1925, Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest protected area and the first to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unrivalled diversity of habitats and species. Stretching for 300km along the border with Uganda and Rwanda in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it was sadly relisted as a World Heritage Site in Danger in 1994 following catastrophic armed conflict and humanitarian disaster in the region, causing huge pressure on the park’s land and resources whilst weakening the © JeanJean -Denis Kramkimel
authority responsible for the park, ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature). Originally working in all five World Heritage Sites of DRC, since 2004 ZSL has been focusing its efforts on rebuilding the capacity of ICCN to manage Virunga National
Virunga’s wildlife highlights
Park and conserve its biodiversity, and is now looking beyond the park’s borders, working with local communities to develop alternatives to unsustainable use of the park’s resources.
• Both subspecies of eastern gorilla — the mountain gorilla (over half the remaining world population of around 700 individuals are found in the park) and the eastern lowland gorilla (perhaps the leastknown gorilla subspecies, only found in DRC)
• Congo’s flagship species, the okapi, a type of forest giraffe — a special species not just for ICCN (see their logo overleaf) but also for ZSL (the type specimen,
© Lucy Fauveau/ZSL
© Noëlle Kümpel/ZSL
© Lucy Fauveau/ZSL
Conservation after conflict
which originated from Virunga’s northern sector, was originally described at a
The varied habitats of Virunga National Park (lowland and montane forest, savannah,
meeting of the Society in 1901 and a
swamps, lakes, volcanoes and glaciers) contain exceptionally diverse and endemic flora
ZSL/ICCN team obtained the first camera
and fauna, including both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzee, elephant,
trap pictures of okapi in the wild in 2008)
hippo and the elusive okapi, endemic to DRC. However, conservation in the country
• The greatest vertebrate diversity of any
has been severely constrained by three successive decades of dictatorial rule, economic collapse and armed conflict, with the Virunga region a hotspot for insecurity
African protected area and endemics
as well as biodiversity, suffering an influx of nearly two million refugees. Ongoing illegal
such as the Ruwenzori leopard and
occupation of the park by impoverished local people and armed groups, with
associated poaching, fishing, agriculture, mining, logging and charcoal extraction, have seriously depleted the park’s resources. ICCN’s human and material resources suffered greatly during the conflict, severely hampering its capacity to manage and protect the park. During the 1996-2003 civil wars, over 100 park rangers were killed, infrastructure was destroyed, the northern and central sectors of the park were abandoned, and staff went unpaid, lacked the means to patrol, suffered from low morale and had little technical support or training. Since 2001, ZSL, alongside ICCN’s other partner NGOs, has been working to restore the integrity of Virunga National Park and to improve the capacity of ICCN to protect, monitor and manage it. © ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 48 carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
ZSL’s achievements in Virunga In 2004, ZSL started a €1.5million programme of work across Virunga National Park under a grant from the European Commission. Recent activities have focused on the northern sector, which has had little attention relative to other areas of the park. Outputs to date include: • Provision of ICCN personnel with a variety of training, including wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching strategies, law
© Stuart Nixon/ZSL
enforcement, mountain guiding, English and human
resource management; Supply of patrol rations and
Plans for the future © Noëlle Kümpel/ZSL
ZSL is expanding its focus on okapi to conserve this
support and performance-
unique animal not only in and around Virunga National
based bonuses to supplement
Park but to lead efforts to develop and implement a
ICCN’s insufficient salaries; Rehabilitation of infrastructure
conservation action plan for the species across its range.
such as ranger stations and
An urgent priority to conserve the integrity of the forests
patrol posts which were
of Virunga’s northern sector is the conservation of a key
neglected, destroyed or
forest corridor to the north as far as and including the Mt
occupied during the conflict; Peaceful and voluntary
Hoyo Reserve. ZSL intends to work with ICCN and local © ZSL
relocation of people illegally
activities with private and public partners, including: • Development of a REDD (reduced emissions from
encroaching on or inhabiting
the park to suitable
deforestation and forest degradation) project in the
resettlement sites; Biological and socio-economic
core corridor zone to reward communities and/or
field surveys to help
communities to conserve this forest corridor via multiple
ICCN for conserving the forest and its biodiversity; Sustainable agroforestry via shade-grown cocoa
understand the status of and
and other organic crops in the corridor buffer zone
threats to biodiversity in and
to increase farmer incomes and reduce the need for
around the park; Participatory research with
© Stuart Nixon/ZSL
shifting, slash-and-burn cultivation; Reforestation via school tree nurseries to raise
awareness of forest conservation among youth; Marketing of fuel-efficient stoves to reduce charcoal
consumption in urban centres; An evaluation of the social and biodiversity impacts
local communities to identify potential alternatives to unsustainable use of the park’s resources.
Collaborators and supporters
of different components of the project, to inform the development of DRC’s national REDD strategy.
More information For more information on this project please contact Dr Noëlle Kümpel (email@example.com) w w w . zsl. o r g / v ir u n g a
Bushmeat Alternatives in Equatorial Guine Working with local communities to develop alternative foods/livelihoods
Evaluating and implementing alternative livelihoods and foods Equatorial Guinea contains a wealth of threatened and endemic wildlife species, but they are under threat from an oil boom fuelling the demand for bushmeat (wild meat). ZSL, with its partners, has been conducting research into the causes and effects of bushmeat hunting and trade in continental Equatorial Guinea since 2002. Whilst neither bushmeat as a food nor hunting as a livelihood are preferred, in the absence of alternative sources of fresh animal protein for an increasingly wealthy urban population and income for poor rural hunters, bushmeat hunting for the commercial trade is becoming increasingly unsustainable. This risks detrimental effects on both wildlife populations and people’s livelihood and food security. This project will work with local communities, the Equatoguinean government, national and international universities and NGOs and international experts to evaluate culturally acceptable and economically viable bushmeat alternatives, both in terms of food and income, to build national capacity to carry out socio-economic monitoring and research and to assist local © Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
What’s the problem? • Rising urban demand for
communities in implementing feasible pilot projects.
Equatorial Guinea: unparalleled natural capital The tiny central African country of Equatorial Guinea contains incredible but largely undocumented biodiversity and has the fourth highest primate species richness in
• Few alternative rural livelihoods to hunting
Africa. With Bioko island a centre of endemism in the Gulf of Guinea/Cameroon rainforest region and the continental region of Río Muni in the Western Equatorial rainforest region, the country as a whole houses many globally important species.
• Low capacity for wildlife management
Equatorial Guinea is also rich in another type of natural resources. The discovery of vast off-shore BIOKO
oil fields has resulted in a dramatic economic boom in
recent years, transforming the country from extreme poverty
CORISCO & ELOBEYS
into a key player in central Africa. This has brought undoubted socio-economic © Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
benefits, such as increasing
incomes and a government
Adapted from Global Forest Watch
programme of infrastructure improvement, and huge potential for further development. However, this also presents challenges to ensure that such development is sustainable and does not have an adverse impact on the forest resources upon which many people are still highly dependent. In particular, the growing demand for bushmeat is causing increasingly unsustainable hunting of wildlife. © Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve50 the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Multidisciplinary research at multiple scales ZSL, through its Institute of Zoology and in conjunction with Imperial College London, has been carrying out bushmeat-related research in Río Muni since early 2002, in collaboration with INDEFOR (the national forestry and protected areas institute), ECOFAC (an EU project) and Conservation International. As bushmeat hunting is influenced and ultimately controlled © Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
by a multitude of biological, sociological and economic factors, we have collected data over more than four years from sites across Río Muni on all aspects of the system, including markets, consumers, households,
Aims of new project
hunters and wildlife populations. In the course of this research, we have trained INDEFOR staff in theoretical and field-based socio-economic
This project will work with local communities to
research techniques and disseminated our research findings widely, to the
evaluate the cultural acceptability and economic
academic community, the media and policy-makers.
feasibility of alternatives to bushmeat as a source of both income and protein, at both urban and rural
This integrated approach has given us a good understanding of the
levels across Río Muni, and then assist them in
complex factors that underlie the bushmeat trade, and thus the likely
mobilising government and donor support to
impacts of both conservation policies and economic development on its
implement pilot projects to test the most feasible
sustainability. We will now build on this baseline research and begin to test
options. Research will be carried out on policies such
and implement potential management options.
Improved sourcing and marketing of frozen and
non-animal protein bushmeat substitutes Production of fresh fish and fresh livestock as
bushmeat substitutes Promotion of alternative livelihoods (e.g. nontimber forest product production and payments
• • •
for ecosystem services such as carbon) Regulation of the bushmeat trade Enforcement/management of protected areas Community-managed forests
We plan to work alongside national partners such as INDEFOR and UNGE (the national university), to help © Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
© Nöelle Kümpel/ZSL
further build their capacity for data collection, analysis and reporting. We will ensure that all project results
Collaborators and supporters
and recommendations are disseminated to the Equatoguinean government and beyond throughout.
More information For more information on this project please contact Dr Noëlle Kümpel (firstname.lastname@example.org) w w w . zsl. o r g / e q u a t o r ia lg u in e a
Thailand Elephant Conservation Mitigating human-elephant conflicts ZSL Conservation
Conservation for elephants, communities and biodiversity
© Arunporn Sri-iam /ECN
Asian elephants are endangered in the wild. From India to Indonesia, fewer than 30,000 survive. West Thailand is one of their strongholds, with over a thousand individuals. Its vulnerable southeast corner includes Salakpra, Thailand’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, and adjoining protected forest. This 1,200 km2 conservation area has been diminished by a huge hydro-electric dam and associated roads and settlements, but it still supports some 200 beleaguered wild elephants and their fellow forest fauna.
Srisawat Reserve Forest Burma Thung YaiHuai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary (World Heritage)
• Threatens the survival of wild Asian elephants • Threatens the lives and livelihoods of local villagers • Threatens the biodiversity of elephant forest habitats
Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary Erawan National Park
This project is tackling the human-elephant conflict that threatens lives and livelihoods, helping to improve protection for elephants and their ecosystem inside the conservation area while simultaneously enabling local villagers to develop alternative occupations that do not depend on exploiting forest products. At the same time, we are training villagers in forest restoration techniques so that they can revive their community forests around the conservation area, and we hold regular conflict resolution workshops to facilitate human-elephant coexistence. Also important for the long term, we are trying to ensure that elephant corridors are kept open between Salakpra and adjacent protected areas so that this sub-population of elephants does not become isolated.
Linking field research and public education to conservation action at local level We are engaging local people through the three As necessary for any achievement: awareness, attitude and action. To raise awareness, we gather the diverse data needed to understand the problem of human-elephant conflict. To change attitudes, we share our findings widely, and we hold participatory workshops with community members and government officials to determine the most appropriate, and sustainable, solutions. To achieve effective conservation action, we provide the wherewithal (skills training and seed funding) for local villagers and forest rangers to implement their approved projects. © Belinda Stewart-Cox/ECN
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe,52 carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
From conflict to coexistence The vision for this project is twofold. In the target area of Salakpra, the vision is to raise awareness, change attitudes and effect conservation action so successfully that the elephants and their habitat are no longer threatened, that local communities derive recognised benefits from living alongside elephants in a healthy ecosystem, and that systems and policies are in place to ensure that forest protection and local livelihoods © Jittin Ritthirat/ECN
Achievements to date
are sustainable, ecologically and economically. Our secondary aim is to provide a model for human-elephant conflict resolution that can be adopted by other local communities and organisations in the western forest area, or elsewhere in Thailand and
This project began in late 2005, implemented by the
other Asian elephant range states. To this end, we will establish a
Elephant Conservation Network, based in Kanchanaburi,
training facility that allows project participants to share their skills and
working with Thailand’s Department of Nature
lessons learned with stakeholders from other places where human-
Conservation. To date the project has:
elephant conflict or ecosystem degradation are problems in need of
• Established a monitoring system with local farmers to
record, measure and map all incidents of crop-raiding
• Reduced crop-raiding in target areas by around 75% as a result of implementing crop-protection trials
• Identified the human impacts on the conservation area that threaten elephants and their ecosystem
© Copyright Photographer
• Improved local attitudes towards elephants and their conservation area by regularly sharing project findings
• Created an elephant ecosystem conservation alliance that helps villagers develop alternative livelihoods
• Trained villagers to set-up and manage native tree nurseries, and to restore forest habitat © Belinda Stewart-Cox/ECN
• Facilitated regular forest patrols using a monitoring information technology system to improve protection
Partners and Collaborators
More Information For more information on this project please contact Belinda Stewart-Cox (email@example.com) or Sarah Christie (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org | www.ecnwww.ecn -thailand.org
FORRU-CMU CECIL KING MEMORIAL FUND
Integrated River Dolphin Conservation in B Sustainable ecosystem services through dolphin conservation
Ganges River dolphin decline Following the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin, the Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) is now the most endangered freshwater cetacean in the world due to the regions they inhabit which have high human population density, resource overexploitation and environmental degradation . ZSL is working with Assamese NGO Aaranyak and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to develop a long-term, integrated conservation programme. This aims to halt the decline of river dolphin populations by building capacity throughout river communities to address the wider impacts of freshwater ecosystem health and sustainable use. © William Christy
Drivers of decline: •
Overfishing (through by-catch and direct take)
Habitat alteration (deforestation causing siltation of the river and local sand mining alters river-flow dynamics)
Water development projects
Industrial, agricultural and domestic pollution
© Sandeep Kumar Behera/WWF-India
Less than 2000 Ganges River dolphins survive throughout their natural range of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnapuli river systems of India-Nepal and Bangladesh. Recent research by Aaranyak indicates that the once relatively healthy population in the Brahmaputra River system, is experiencing severe decline with <300 surviving individuals. It is clear that there is an urgent need to develop a long-term integrated conservation programme for the Ganges River dolphin in the Brahmaputra River that will not only benefit this species but also the communities that share their habitat.
Integrated dolphin conservation An integrated programme would:
© Copyright Photographer
Involve leading research, applied conservation action, capacity building and environmental education/awareness.
Enhance conservation skill set that will be established for understanding dolphin decline, and supporting population recovery and wider-scale ecosystem regeneration will then be transferrable across the species’ range.
Initiate successful river management which requires effective planning, implementation and enforcement.
ZSL is well placed to tackle this challenge with a history of successful Indian conservation programmes, expertise in freshwater cetacean monitoring and aquatic conservation and long-standing collaborative relationships with key Indian NGOs and institutions.
© Samuel Turvey/ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 54 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Long-term project goals The ultimate goal of the Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme is to safeguard the Brahmaputra River population ensuring long-term viability of the species and ensure the Brahmaputra River is well-conserved, providing sustained and equitable services to local fishing communities and beyond. To achieve this we will initiate an integrated approach incorporating research and monitoring, capacity building, environmental awareness and participatory conservation action. © Samuel Turvey/ZSL © Copyright Photographer
The project will proceed in two phases. The project development phase aims to collect all of the baseline scientific data required to build an accurate and immediate picture of the population status, distribution
Coordination of framework and institutionalised monitoring and reporting systems at the Brahmaputra River basin-level in Assam
and threats. This will involve annual dolphin surveys, studies on the impacts of fisheries by-catch and sand-mining and the wider health of fish stocks, water quality and pollution levels laying the foundations for effective management and implementation of conservation strategy.
Enhanced capacity of local authorities and fishing communities for dolphin population recovery and for contributing towards wider-scale ecosystem management
Project implementation will start when the development phase is completed. We aim to replicate this project within India-Nepal and Bangladesh and
Local and national stakeholder supported recovery plans and improved protective mechanisms for Brahmaputra River dolphins and regional freshwater ecosystem
elsewhere to address the global decline of freshwater cetaceans and their ecosystems.
© Abdul Wakid/Aaranyak
© Sandeep Kumar Behera/WWF-India
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Rajan Amin (email@example.com) or Dr Sam Turvey (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org September 2009
Community-based Mangrove Rehabilitatio Building capacity for sustainable mangrove management
Mangrove rehabilitation ZSL is working with government agencies in Panay Island, Philippines to implement a demonstration project for successful mangrove rehabilitation. We are supporting communities to revert abandoned fishponds and areas of coastal deforestation to mangrove forestland. This will provide increased coastal protection, food resources and
Mangroves provide: • Fishery and forestry products, such as food and firewood, for coastal communities
• A nursery area for juvenile fish and habitat for invertebrates
• Protection of associated ecosystems - coral reefs and seagrass beds
• Coastal protection against typhoons, floods and erosion
• Soil accretion, nutrient recycling and effluent absorption
• Carbon sequestration
An estimated 35% of the world’s original mangrove cover has already gone, with some countries having lost up to 80%. The Philippines archipelago is bordered by 120,000ha of mangrove forests but much has been cleared to make way for shrimp and fish ponds. This is most extreme in Panay, with over 90% of mangroves being lost in the last 50 years. The loss of mangroves to human development is cited by the Philippine Government as one of the direct threats to fisheries-derived food resources and the health of their environment.
Community-based initiative Mangrove deforestation can result in:
• • • •
Food insecurity Decreased sustainable livelihoods Depletion of natural resources, such as fish and wood poverty Vulnerability to natural hazards such as typhoons and tsunami
Resource depletion and poverty make small-scale fisherfolk among the most disadvantaged groups in Philippines’ society. To reverse this situation, degraded areas need to be rehabilitated through mangrove replanting and the introduction of sustainable aquaculture technology. Mangroves have been valued at £6,000 ha/yr; from fisheries, raw materials (timber), disturbance regulation and waste treatment functions. This project commenced in 2008 with the aim of supporting coastal communities in reverting fishponds to healthy mangrove forests.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, 56carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
on ZSL Conservation
Long-term project goals ZSL and the Philippine government agencies, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), are working together to identify sites for reversion, negotiate renewable rights for local communities and provide training for communities and fishpond operators in mangrove ecology, best practise management of fishponds and forests and sustainable livelihood initiatives.
© Copyright Photographer
Project outputs Our project will revert 80 hectares of abandoned, undeveloped or underutilised fishponds and areas of coastal deforestation to rehabilitated mangrove forestland. Scientific research underpins the rehabilitation, with assessment and monitoring of species diversity and hydrological features of the recovery sites. We are helping coastal communities to obtain renewable rights to manage the resources sustainably for 25 years: These Community-based Forest Management Agreements (CBFMA), provide the following benefits:
Improved food security through increased and more equitable access to food resources;
Reduced vulnerability to coastal storms, typhoons and erosion through rehabilitation of mangrove forest;
Increased household income through sustainable mangrove livelihood initiatives such as ecotourism.
As a successful demonstration project, this project will set a precedent within the Philippines and internationally. Through our promotion it will help to influence government to show that it is possible to re-establish greenbelt, coastal protection and the ecosystem services that mangroves provide. We aim to replicate the project both within the Philippines and elsewhere to address the global decline of mangrove forests. An abandoned fishpond...
A healthy mangrove forest...
© Copyright Photographer
Project Partners More Information For more information on this project please contact: The Marine and Freshwater Conservation Programme (email@example.com)
Project Seahorse Advancing marine conservation
Seahorses - icons for marine conservation Project Seahorse aims to secure the future of seahorse populations globally. Seahorses are charismatic, fascinating and engaging and their quirky features make them one of the most iconic of fishes. Their reproductive strategy – including pair bonding and male pregnancy – is extraordinary in the animal kingdom. Most importantly, seahorses are representative of the global threats to marine life: overfishing, non-target fisheries (bycatch) and habitat degradation and loss.
Seahorse threats • Overexploitation for traditional medicine, aquarium and curio trades
• Bycatch, especially in shrimp trawls
• Habitat destruction and loss ©Melissa Rushby
Global experts Project Seahorse was co-founded by ZSL in 1996. We discovered the large, global and unsustainable trade in seahorses. Working in collaboration with fishing communities in the Philippines , Chinese medicine traders in Hong Kong, and the international aquarium community we have advanced seahorse conservation and management. In 2002, we mentored the first listing of a marine fish of commercial importance under the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a landmark agreement among 172 nations. We have become the recognised global authority on seahorses as measured by our role as Chair of the CITES working group, IUCN Red List Authority (www.iucnredlist.org), FishBase authority (www.fishbase.org) and prolific authors of papers on seahorse biology, research and management.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 58 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Looking to the future Project Seahorse’s vision is a world with healthy and well managed marine ecosystems. Our successes promote effective change, stimulating management and policy action, and ranging from the community to international level. We direct our work at achieving the greatest conservation success, drawing on our reputation for research rigour and independence. © Copyright ain Caldwell
Our future priority areas are: Identifying global seahorse hotspots that establish species’
Project highlights Examples of Project Seahorse’s work, innovation and success include:
Conducting field research on seahorses and their relatives in 12 countries across six continents.
• • • •
distributions, habitats and threats. Managing a sustainable global seahorse trade. Reducing seahorse bycatch in tropical shrimp trawls. Implementing effective no-take MPAs, including protecting at least 1% of the Danajon Bank double barrier reef, Philippines. Supporting the establishment of the Danajon Bank as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Publishing the first seahorse identification guide
By using seahorses as a focus for our work, we will secure a future for
and discovering nine new species.
these remarkable animals while pioneering approaches and solving
Catalysing the creation of 31 community managed
problems that affect most marine life.
no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Philippines and monitoring their effectiveness.
Establishing and mentoring a small-scale fishers’ alliance in the Philippines that now implements MPAs and encourages sustainable fishing.
Assisting Chinese medicine business groups in developing
codes of conduct for
seahorse imports to Hong Kong.
© Copyright Amanda Vincent
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Heather Koldewey (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.projectseahorse.org
Berbak Carbon Initiative Harnessing carbon to conserve biodiversity
Conservation for carbon, communities and biodiversity Deforestation is the primary cause of terrestrial species losses, a threat to the livelihoods of millions of people and the source of approximately a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. In the peat swamp forests of Berbak on Sumatra, Indonesia, it is directly threatening forest species - including the critically endangered Sumatran tiger impacting local communities, and releasing massive volumes of carbon dioxide.
Deforestation is: • The primary threat to terrestrial wildlife
• A threat to millions of forest communities
• The second largest source of greenhouse gases The Berbak Carbon Initiative aims to conserve the Berbak forest ecosystem, and those that depend on it, in perpetuity. We aim to achieve this by assisting forest managers to generate carbon credits - primarily by reducing illegal and legal deforestation - which can then be sold to generate revenue. Due to the huge carbon reserves in Berbak’s peat soils, we estimate that sufficient income can be generated to make the forests of Berbak worth more standing than cut down.
A marriage of wildlife conservation science and climate change action Launching such a carbon project will be a challenge, but ZSL is ideally placed to succeed. As an official observer to the UN climate negotiations, ZSL has long recognised the intrinsic overlap between climate change and wildlife conservation. Working in Indonesia since 2001, ZSL’s Indonesian team is ideally placed to bring together the various forest stakeholders upon whose actions the future of Berbak lie whilst using extensive field experience to collect the baseline field data required to build an ‘avoided deforestation’ or REDD project. As a charitable project developer we do this at no cost to the forest stakeholders, ensuring they receive the greatest benefit and thereby maximising the incentives to support the forests, their wildlife and their people. © ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 62carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Project outputs The development phase of the Berbak Carbon Project is now underway with support from Berbak National Park and funding from the Darwin Initiative. Between 2009-2012 the project will:
Establish the carbon baselines for the project area to
determine how much carbon is being lost / could be saved Establish biodiversity and community baselines to determine
© © Monirul Monirul Kahn/ZSL Kahn/ZSL
how these will benefit through the impacts of reduced
Project vision Ultimately the vision for Berbak is for a self-financing ecosystem that brings clear benefits to biodiversity, climate and communities. We intend this to be the first
carbon emissions Strengthen the environmental law enforcement framework
required to implement emissions reductions Establish the institutional framework for how carbon trading will practically operate in the Berbak area in line with
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project that focuses specifically on conservation forest on Sumatra and thus to be a model for protecting further conservation forests in the future. To achieve this
Indonesian and market regulations Obtain certification for a final Project Design Document, clearing the way for the Project Implementation phase
the project is proceeding in two phases: 1.
The project development phase, funded by grants and donations, aims to collect all of the baseline scientific data and establish the institutional framework required to build a certified and feasible carbon project by 2012 when it is expected that new markets for carbon credits from avoided deforestation will be active.
The project implementation phase will start when deforestation-reduction activities begin and carbon credits are generated and traded. Due to © Maddox/ZSL
the cost of implementation, this phase will require significant seed investment before an annual return can be generated.
More Information For more information on this project please contact Dr Agus Suratno (email@example.com) or Dr Thomas Maddox (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org/Indonesia | http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/project/17029
This project is only possible thanks to the support of the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences December 2009
Gorilla Conservation in Gabon Great ape research and conservation in the heart of Central Africa
Great ape and forest conservation The forests of Gabon have a rich and diverse fauna including large populations of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). In recent years there has been a rapid decline in great ape numbers with populations of western lowland gorillas believed to have decreased by over 60% in the past 25 years. This is largely because of increased commercial hunting and Ebola ©©Martine Martinevan vanZijll ZijllLanghout Langhout/ /ZSL ZSL
haemorrhagic fever, exacerbated by the spread of logging (increasing forest access and facilitating poaching). ZSL aims to ensure the long-term survival of these great
Gorillas and Gabon
apes and their forest habitat in Gabon through a combination of targeted conservation actions guided by robust scientific research conducted in partnership with local
The western lowland gorilla, Gorilla gorilla gorilla, is the most numerous of the four gorilla subspecies with 70% of its population found in Gabon and neighbouring Republic of Congo.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN Red List due to their recent rapid rate of decline
Being closely related to humans and slow to reproduce, gorillas and other apes are particularly susceptible to human diseases and hunting
In 2002 the late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo, designated 13 national parks, (11% of the country), cancelling 800,000ha of logging concessions and the current president retains this commitment to biodiversity
© Troy Inman
Conservation issues in Gabon Gabon is a remarkable country, retaining almost 80% forest cover in an area larger than the United Kingdom but with a population of barely 1.5 million people. These forests are home to an array of biodiversity and human cultures which combine to make Gabon a focus of conservation attention. Despite this, the biodiversity of the country, in common with much of the region, is highly threatened: unsustainable hunting of wildlife for bushmeat, habitat loss and conversion for agriculture or as a result of extractive industries such as logging or mining, as well as wildlife mortality through emerging diseases all contribute to an increased risk of extinction for many species including the western lowland gorilla and central chimpanzee. ZSL works in partnership with a range of stakeholders to try and address these threats. Our efforts focus on two priority areas for great ape conservation identified in the Regional Action Plan for great apes: Lopé National Park, which is part of the Lopé/ Waka complex in central Gabon, and the Belinga-Djoua region in the north east of the country on the border with Republic of Congo, part of the Tri-National Landscape (TRIDOM).
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 66 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Lopé National Park ZSL has been involved with the Mikongo Conservation Centre (MCC) in Lopé NP since 2001 and took over the running of the project in 2005. Activities have focused on supporting the management of the Park and addressing the threats to great apes and their habitat through: • Running a pilot ecotourism site at MCC as a source of sustainable, low environmental impact revenue to support park
management and community development. Carrying out research into the ecology, behaviour and population
© Garth Cripps / ZSL
genetics of gorillas and other wildlife to inform park management
and conservation efforts. Establishing a Great Ape and Human Health Programme to
research links between the health of great apes and their human
The Belinga-Djoua region of Gabon was known to be home to
neighbours, enabling us to mitigate the threat of disease
large numbers of gorillas and chimpanzees and a host of other
transmission by helping to improve the health of people living in
wildlife as recently as the 1980s but has since received little
the vicinity of the park and raising awareness of the disease risk
conservation attention despite increasing threats. Adjacent
from bushmeat hunting and consumption.
areas have been ravaged by Ebola virus in recent years and
We remain committed to Lopé NP, continuing to support local
extractive industry operations (mining and logging) are opening
communities and L’Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux as they
up the area to human encroachment and hunting but it is
try to develop a tourism product for the region, improve park
unclear what impact these have had on the wildlife populations. In the coming months ZSL will be carrying out reconnaissance surveys across the area to determine the current status and threats facing wildlife and their habitat with a view to identifying priority conservation areas and actions needed to conserve this threatened landscape. These surveys will be an initial step in a landscape approach to great ape conservation working within Mwagne National Park as well as adjacent timber concessions and community forests. This work will be carried out in close partnership with the
© Carla Venturoli / ZSL
Collaborators and supporters
Gabonese authorities, the private sector and local communities; building local capacity to ensure a sustained future for conservation in this neglected region.
BBC Wildlife Fund ZSL also works in Gabon with the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF), le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CENAREST) and with the PRESICA project (Prévention Sida Cameroun), a collaboration between IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) in Montpellier and CRESAR (Centre de Recherche sur la Santé des Armées) in Yaoundé, under the supervision of the Cameroonian Ministry of Research and Innovation.
More information For more information on this project please contact: Chris Ransom (email@example.com) or Sandra Ratiarison (firstname.lastname@example.org) w w w . zsl. o r g / m ik o n g o
Sharing conservation knowledge
More Information For more information on the EDGE of Existence programme or to make a donation please contact Carly Waterman at: Carly.Waterman@zsl.org
Crisis to Biological Management Rhinoceros, grasslands and public engagement Nepal
Conservation in Nepal—country in crisis Nepal is emerging from over a decade of conflict and virtual civil war. The ceasefire in 2006 provided a window of opportunity during which ZSL, through the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and with funding support from the Darwin Initiative, started work in the lowland Terai on rhino and their habitat. At the beginning road blocks, barbed wire and military encampments were everywhere and large parts of the country were effectively controlled by Maoist rebels. The National Parks were no-go areas. The army, mandated to protect wildlife, had withdrawn leaving a vacuum; poaching was rampant and habitat degradation severe, with alien invasive plants. Both rhino and tiger declined rapidly. Initial priorities were halting rhino decline and beginning to address
habitat issues and engage with the public, harnessing their help in resolving the crisis.
• Is the primary threat to rhinos worldwide
• Thrives in insecure environments
• Can only be stopped by a combination of effective law enforcement and community support Local extinction looms for a large number of vertebrates as pressures on habitats and poaching increase, a direct result of human population growth. The greater one horned rhino is a good example. Its fate seemed sealed decades ago but intensive efforts by conservationists in Nepal and India over decades brought it back from the brink. So successful was the work that this rhino was down-listed in the Endangered species tables in 2008. But this was premature, and evidence for rapid decline of the rhino in Richard Kock
Nepal since 2000 has come to light through the project. The extinction threat remains.
A challenging task Global experience shows that rhinoceros species can be recovered through a combination of actions. Securing the habitat, regular ID-based monitoring, scientific NTNC
GPS-based distribution records and establishment of an accessible database for analysis, reporting and decision making are the first actions for recovery. The monitoring provides essential information on habitat, population trends, animal home ranges and behavior, enabling instigation of step two; effective protection measures and biological management. This can only be sustained if the resources are available and capacity developed and, most importantly, only if the communities around the protected areas are integrated into protection and management and are accepting of rhino in the landscape. To achieve this given the social and political circumstances was a challenge.
Mycaenia invasion of Terai
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 72 out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Where next for Nepal’s rhinos Our work has so far had the desired impact, but the question of sustainability given the ongoing political uncertainties in Nepal remains. External involvement is going to be needed for some years to come to ensure the survivial of the few remaining Terai grasslands and their endangered wildlife. ZSL intends to continue its support, and our key initiative for the future will bring human and animal survival under one roof. The One Health Nepal project, building on the success of animal © Copyright Photographer
Achievements to date
health clinics around Chitwan in the 1990s, will deal with environmental, wildlife, domestic animal and human health issues in an integrated system. Activities will include tackling alien plant species invasion into prime habitat and combination of human and veterinary health-care systems in buffer zones. Rhino, like tiger, are a flagship
The project is now in its third year and has made
species for their habitats, requiring large ranges for viable populations
significant progress despite the turmoil, notably;
and able to attract conservation funding. ZSL’s focus on the rhino will help to ensure that many other animals—and humans—will also benefit.
A rhino census has been completed and regular scientific monitoring established in Bardia and Chitwan National Parks
Rhino poaching has been halted in BNP. A new system of anti-poaching is being established, and if effective will become the model for the country.
Much of the success has been due to increased engagement with the buffer communities through livelihood support, addressing human wildlife conflict, and education and awareness raising.
Considerable influence on future policy has resulted from the lessons learned in the areas of anti-poaching and protection methods, alien
© Copyright Photographer Rajan Amin
invasive species control and grassland management and on rhino meta-population management.
More Information Crisis
For more information on this project please contact Dr Richard Kock (Richard.email@example.com or Dr Rajan Amin (firstname.lastname@example.org) www.zsl.org September 2009
Thanks also go to other supporters and collaborators including the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) for emergency funding through Save the Rhino International, the UK Nepal Trust for Nature Conservation for funding and advice, Elephant Care International for support on OneHealth Nepal and TB control efforts on the important working elephants around the parks, WWF for collaboration on monitoring in Chitwan, AWELY for collaborative efforts on human wildlife conflict, and many individual conservationists and Nepalis.
The Wildlife Wood Project Working with the timber industry to manage wildlife sustainably
Sustainable wildlife management in timber concessions Protected areas are crucial for wildlife conservation but are often too small and fragmented to support particularly wide-ranging or low density species. At the same time, around a third of Africa’s remaining forest cover has been set aside for timber exploitation. In West and Central Africa, increasingly unsustainable commercial hunting for bushmeat (wild meat) is a major threat to wildlife and local livelihoods, and is exacerbated by logging activities which allow access to remote forest areas for hunters. © Chris Ransom / ZSL
Improved wildlife management in timber concessions is therefore critical. ZSL has established the Wildlife Wood Project (WWP) to help logging companies adopt low-
West and Central African forests •
Forests are a vital source of food: between 1 and 5 million tonnes of bushmeat is consumed in the Congo
impact logging practices and apply innovative, practical and cost-effective measures for managing wildlife in their concessions, thus helping to provide a sustainable future for wildlife and people.
Working to provide a sustainable future for wildlife and forests in Africa
Basin alone each year
Protected areas cover only around
ZSL, in collaboration with Timbmet, a major importer of African hardwoods into the UK,
10% of the remaining forest in Africa
has established partnerships between the Wildlife Wood Project and progressive local
Much of the rest is allocated for
timber producers and other local stakeholders. ZSL provides expertise in bushmeat and the socio-economics of resource use in West and Central Africa as well as in wildlife
industrial logging so these operations
monitoring and management in tropical rainforests, which it is applying to help logging
can make a major contribution to
companies to better understand the effects of their activities and develop sustainable
alternatives. ZSL is piloting the Wildlife Wood Project in countries within the two major African forest blocks: Ghana in the highly fragmented Upper Guinea forest of West Africa, and Cameroon within the huge Congo Basin forest of Central Africa.
WWP Ghana WWP Cameroon
© Bjorn Shulte-Herburggen / ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 76 out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Aims and objectives The Wildlife Wood Project seeks to bring corporate investment and commitment to improve the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in timber production forests. It does this by: • improving understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of logging
on biodiversity in timber concessions developing indicators to measure the status of wildlife populations and methods with which to monitor these indicators, for
• • •
incorporation into FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards working with research institutions to train local MSc students assisting timber companies to develop practical management plans for their concessions that conserve wildlife building capacity within timber companies and government
© Nöelle Kümpel / ZSL
departments to carry out, monitor and certify these management
plans improving monitoring and control of illegal activities to support initiatives such as the EU’s FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement and
With the success of the Wildlife Wood Project’s pilot
Governance in Trade) framework.
activities in Ghana and Cameroon, we plan to apply its outputs on a broader scale: • the wildlife indicators and monitoring system developed will be widely disseminated in order to serve as a model elsewhere in West and Central Africa’s forests and
ultimately further afield these indicators should be incorporated into certification schemes such as the standards being developed by FSC for the Congo Basin, thus providing clear and consistent guidelines for companies on
wildlife management in timber concessions the indicators will also be applicable to other systems of forest management such as proposed REDD (reduced
© Eric Arnhem / ZSL
Collaborators and supporters
emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) schemes, allowing the incorporation of a verifiable measure of biodiversity.
John Bitar & Co. Ltd
The Wildlife Wood Project also works in Ghana with the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Forestry Commission, and in Cameroon with the University of Yaoundé, the University of Dshang’s Centre Régional d'Enseignement Spécialisé en Agriculture (CRESA) and the Ministère des Fôrets et de la Faune (MINFOF).
More information For more information on this project please contact Chris Ransom (email@example.com) or Dr Noëlle Kümpel (firstname.lastname@example.org) w w w . zsl. o r g / w ild lif e w o o d p r o je c t
Biodiversity and Oil Palm Mitigating the impact of palm oil production on wildlife
Palm oil that doesn’t cost the earth? Oil palm is a remarkably efficient crop which provides the majority of the world’s vegetable oil and valuable revenue for the developing countries where it is grown. © ZSL/Tom Maddox
Abandoning palm oil production is not a realistic option, but the continuing expansion of oil palm plantations is a key factor in tropical biodiversity losses, particularly in Indonesia.
A delicate balancing act between people, profit & wildlife •
This project seeks to identify practical ways to reduce impacts on wildlife and implement these changes within the industry.
Three million people are employed by the palm oil sector in Indonesia
Indonesia exports $8 billion of palm oil a year
Indonesia’s tropical lowland forests are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth © ZSL/Tom Maddox
Losing ground to oil palm Between 2002 and 2007, ZSL carried out research in Indonesia to determine the impacts of oil palm on biodiversity, particularly the Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger (ww.zsl.org/tigerreport). Unsurprisingly, this showed that oil palm plantations are a poor substitute for the forest they frequently replace, as only around 15% of forest species are able to utilise the oil palm habitat. Most severely affected are those whose future is already bleak. Reduction of the total area of their primary habitat and fragmentation of what remains means coping with oil palm expansion is an intense challenge for these species. But seemingly worthless areas of unplanted and degraded land, which are often found within and around plantations, could provide crucial ‘stepping stones’ or corridors between larger areas of forest in the surrounding landscape.
© Harald Löffler/www.Eye-of-the-Tiger.com
The Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger is one of the key species affected by oil palm expansion
ZSL has been awarded a grant from the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Programme to provide technical assistance to the industry in minimising its impacts on biodiversity. BACP require matching funds from industry and these, along with research sites, are coming from palm oil company Wilmar International. Our previous research and scientifically objective approach make us ideally placed to guide the changes that are urgently needed.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 78 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
Long-term project visions The palm oil industry has a significant impact on local people and the environment, for which it has attracted substantial criticism. In 2004, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was established to enable the different players in the industry, from the growers to the retailers, to work together with various NGOs to address these concerns. The aim of this organisation is to promote a standard of palm oil production that is socially, economically, and environmentally acceptable. Reducing © Copyright Photographer impact on biodiversity is a key environmental consideration and the Biodiversity Technical Committee has been established to address this issue. Joining the RSPO is voluntary, but by doing so members make a commitment to abide by a set of rules (the RSPO Principles and Criteria). Once an oil palm company feels it meets this standard, this must be independently verified before they can claim that their palm oil is ‘sustainable’.
Although far from perfect, the RSPO represents the only realistic vehicle for mitigating the negative impacts of the palm oil industry. Membership is increasing steadily and the number of companies seeking certification is gaining momentum. Biodiversity is one of the many issues addressed by the RSPO’s standard for sustainable palm oil. Crucially, these criteria state that plantations must identify and protect species and habitats with High Conservation Value. Whilst this is good in theory, there is insufficient guidance and limited national support to assist companies in achieving it, which is hampering progress at present. Over the course of this project ZSL will develop much needed practical information and advice on how the palm oil industry can mitigate the impact it has on biodiversity. Our participation in the RSPO’s Biodiversity Technical Committee will ensure that this guidance is made widely available to those responsible for making changes on the ground. At present, national regulations and the demands of local policy makers can also hinder implementation of the RSPO’s requirements, so we will also work to address these barriers.
Project outputs Between 2009—2011 this project will focus on oil palm plantation field sites in Sumatra and Kalimantan to: 1.) Develop guidance for implementation This will include the establishment of an information portal for oil palm and biodiversity research, a stimulus package to encourage local researchers, the development of a biodiversity tool for identifying which species are affected, and experimental field testing of key management options for impact mitigation. 2.) Reduce policypolicy - related barriers to implementation After a legal gap analysis to determine the overlap between the demands of the RSPO and Indonesian law, recommendations will be made for reform. Regional policy makers will be engaged to encourage the incorporation of RSPO biodiversity requirements into spatial planning.
© Calley Beamish, Wilmar International
Biodiversity More Information
and Oil Palm
For more information on this project please contact Sophie Persey (Sophie.Persey@zsl.org) or Dr. Tom Maddox (Tom.Maddox@zsl.org) www.zsl.org/indonesia | www.oilpalmwww.oilpalm- biodiversity.info September 2009
Scientific Advice to G8+5 Legislators
Advising the International Commission on Land Use Change & Ecosystems
Translating science into policy In 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded that human activity is rapidly and extensively degrading ecosystem services in order to meet growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel. However, despite the growing awareness of human-related environmental damage, legislators from across the world have failed to develop adequate regulatory structures to address this issue. The International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems has been set up to define the policies that legislators need to introduce to reduce ecosystem degradation and ensure the value of ecosystem services are fully recognised. ZSL is providing advice to the Commission to ensure that these policies are based on sound science. The Commission will produce a set of tested, economic and politically realistic measures that can be presented to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010 and to
GLOBE’s international policy commissions
heads of governments and finance ministers at the G8 and G20 summits in 2010 and 2011.
• Land Use Change and Ecosystems
• Climate and Energy Security • Population and Economic Growth
© European Space Agency
GLOBE and the International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) International consists of senior cross-party members of parliament from all G8 countries and the +5 countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Parliamentarians from a number of other countries (including Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia) are also included in GLOBE’s new International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems. In addition to the parliamentarians, there are also a number of Expert Commissioners, including the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), president of IUCN (the world conservation union), Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and project leader of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study. The Commission was initially announced in June 2008 by the British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon David Miliband MP, and the Chief Scientist to the Japanese Cabinet, Dr Kiyoshi Kurokawa, and formally supported by the G8+5 Legislators Forum of 100 senior legislators. With the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNEP, the Commission was launched in November 2008 in the Mexican Congress. © Marcus Rowcliffe / ZSL
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through 82 education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
ZSL and the Commission The lack of effective communication between the worlds of science and policy has contributed to the continued widespread degradation of ecosystems. So, while the work of the Commission is ultimately political, the direct interaction between legislators, economists and scientists, as supported by the Commission, presents a new way for policy-makers and scientists to develop the required political traction on these critical issues. ZSL, as the scientific advisory body for the Commission, is engaging with organisations and individuals at the forefront of research and practice in order to ensure that the most up-to-date and robust scientific evidence and policy recommendations are presented to the Commission members. Six ecosystems have been identified for particular consideration by the Commission, due to their critical importance for global environmental integrity, and because within each system there is the potential for the Commission to effect positive political change through policy implementation. These are tropical forests, coastal ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, coral reefs, marine fisheries and shallow and enclosed seas. ZSL prepares short briefing papers and longer reports on topics as requested by the Commission. Current examples, in the runup to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, are community involvement in REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) programmes, monitoring of REDD and the impact of climate change on coral reefs.
© Eric Arnhem / ZSL
Long-term aims With 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, the Commission will continue to raise the political awareness of biodiversity loss and related ecosystem degradation by proposing public policy options to reverse these trends. By encouraging the expansion of successful policy instruments that account for the true value of ecosystems, the Commission hopes to play a leading role in preventing the continued depletion of the Earth’s natural capital. The Commission will produce a set of tested, economic and politically realistic measures that will be released ahead of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, and which can be presented to heads of state and finance ministers at the G8 and G20 summits in 2010 and 2011.
Partners and donors
© Alex Rogers / ZSL
More information For more information please contact Prof. Jonathan Baillie (email@example.com) for terrestrial work or Dr Alex Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org) for marine work w w w . zsl. o r g / ic lu c e ; w w w . g lo b e in t e r n a t io n a l. o r g
The Tidal Thames Conservation Project Conserving and managing biodiversity in a working, urbanised waterway
A thriving ecosystem The Thames is an industrialised, working river and with this comes the threat of pollution events, destruction of important habitats and over-exploitation of species. ZSL is working to ensure the conservation of important species and habitats in the estuary and its tributaries is balanced sustainably with these commercial pressures.
© Gerhard Ott
Key issues: •
Habitat loss and barriers to migration of fish.
Bankside development and encroachment.
Flood protection management.
Continuing industrialisation of the
Contrary to popular belief, the Thames Estuary is one of the cleanest urban estuaries in
Europe. The estuary’s condition has improved dramatically over the last 50 years and
currently supports a wide range of animal life including dolphins, seals, migrating and
Identification of protected areas for
resident bird populations, and 125 different species of fish – the most recent of which, the greater weever (Trachinus draco), was identified by the Zoological Society of London
From species to populations The Tidal Thames Conservation Project is part of the Marine and Freshwater Programme and highlights ZSL’s commitment to conservation in the UK as well as abroad. The project focuses on: • Determining the conservation status of species of concern such as the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) - a fish whose populations in the Thames catchment have been
declining rapidly over the last 20-30 years - using in situ monitoring. Collecting fish population data to both inform the designation of sites as Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), and monitor changes in species abundance and
distribution. Assessing the impact of non-native species, e.g. the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir
sinensis), that can potentially cause significant ecological and economic damage. Understanding the movements and abundance of dolphins, whales, seals and porpoises in the Thames Estuary by collating and analysing public sightings.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying 84carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe, education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
© Copyright Photographer
© Environment Agency
The number of fish species in the Thames is increasing, which is
indicative of a healthy ecosystem. However, continued urban development along the Thames catchment is both adding pressure,
The conservation work carried out by ZSL in the Thames
and increasing the threats to the ecosystem. ZSL is committed to
Estuary aims to promote and develop conservation strategies
continuing to play a key role in the conservation and management of
from species to ecosystem level by:
the Thames Estuary which is informed by sound science. We do this
in collaboration with all stakeholder groups, from government
Providing species-specific data sets that will inform the development of both statutory (e.g. European Union eel
agencies to local communities. Our future work will include:
management plans); and non-statutory (e.g Biodiversity
Informing the planning and implementation of regional MCZs
Action Plans (BAPs)) guidance documents.
Developing survey methodologies and conservation strategies
Using a range of methods to monitor changes in fish
for species of concern — such as the Dover sole (Solea solea)
species diversity and abundance in the Estuary, and how
and short-snouted seahorses (Hippocampus hippocampus).
these are affected by environmental and anthropogenic factors. This information will ultimately help to identify
key species and habitats that inform the implementation of
sites suitable for designation as MCZs.
this affects native fauna.
Thames Estuary BAPs and Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) as well
Investigating changes in populations of both non-native species, and emergent, fast populating species, and how
Both maintaining current, and developing new programmes for
as other relevant conservation policies and strategies.
Expanding public engagement in biodiversity initiatives for the Thames Estuary.
Highlighting the range of fauna that exist in the Thames Estuary and developing biodiversity initiatives with local
Increasing understanding and awareness of the use of the estuary by marine mammals.
Collaborators TILBURY POWER STATION
More Information For more information on this project please contact: The Marine and Freshwater Programme (email@example.com) www.z sl.or g
Protect Chagos Preserving the last frontier of pristine marine habitat
Why so important? • The Chagos Archipelago is one of the least polluted marine systems in the world. • Home to over 220 types of coral, 1000 fish species turtles, sharks, and 10 international bird areas. • A 200 mile area around the Chagos has recently been designated a full notake marine protected area (MPA). • Now a unique reference site to which impacted marine areas can be compared.
The Chagos Archipelago— Britain’s most diverse marine habitat The Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), is one of the UK’s most unique habitats. Its relatively undisturbed, unpolluted and unexploited character means that it is also one of the few places left in the world that can be considered a true marine ‘wilderness’. Consisting of 55 coral islands and a reef complex spread over 20,000 km² it holds the potential to remain one of the greatest examples of pristine coral-based ecosystems in the world. ZSL, as part of the Chagos Environment Network (CEN), recently played a lead role in the campaign to ensure that a 545,000 km² area surrounding the archipelago is now a designated no-take marine protected area (MPA), and the world’s largest (16% of the global total; 60% of the global no-take total). ’No take’ means halt to the exploitation of tuna species from the region which will benefit not only these overfished species, but also the bycatch of species associated with it, such as sharks.
Coral’s fight for survival: Increasing atmospheric CO2, levels in the atmosphere leads to increased levels in the oceans which causes pH to decrease. This ocean acidification inhibits the creation of calcium carbonate by coral species. Anthropogenic pollution enters the oceans directly and in freshwater run-off. This can have a range of effects from smothering coral directly to inhibiting normal chemical function within the corals cells.
Climate change and changes in oceanic currents is leading to rising sea temperatures. temperatures The algal zooxanthellae, upon which coral have a symbiotic dependence, are thermo-sensitive and may leave the coral causing bleaching. bleaching Invasive species travelling in ballast water or attached to the hulls of boats often thrive in weakened ecosystems and may dominate a previously complex balance.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation (registered charity in England and Wales). ZSL’s Mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe,86 carrying out original scientific research at our Institute of Zoology, and through education and awareness at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.
What will the Chagos MPA give us? One of the principle benefits of such a large scale protected reef is the provision of an invaluable reference site and area for scientific study. Our understanding of reef systems and the complex interaction of species is still incredibly poor. With 19% of the World’s reefs effectively lost, 35% seriously threatened and the many of the remainder being negatively influenced by anthropogenic factors, the Chagos MPA provides a unique insight into a functioning, resilient reef system and will help us to develop and improve methods for the conservation of other coral systems. The benefits include:
Future research With the designation of the Chagos MPA, there is a need for a two-pronged approach to conservation action and research, and for these two strands to be complementary. An appropriate management strategy must be developed for the no-take area, this will include:
• Bringing all stakeholders together to discuss the future of
• A lack of pollution/sedimentation means the effects of
the MPA, and what the designation will mean for each sector.
climate change can be studied as the sole factor influencing the reefs.
• Developing a monitoring programme for impacted species
• The large coverage of the MPA will allow the protection and study of resident and migratory; coastal, deep sea and pelagic marine species.
• The fishing ban will maintain natural populations of fish and invertebrates as well as potentially enhancing stock outside of the designated area due to the ‘spillover effect’.
• The no-take status provides a refuge for tuna species, and by-catch species of sharks and rays, which are frequently decimated by industrial scale fisheries in the Indian Ocean.
of tuna and elasmobranchs.
• Ensuring adequate enforcement of the no-take status. In support of this, biodiversity surveys and a number of other projects have already been proposed. These include:
• Research into the resilience of certain coral species, how they react to disturbance events as a selective pressure.
• The comparison of Chagos with badly impacted reefs in the Philippines to better understand the changes.
• Studies to support and determine the extent of MPA benefits to migratory species such as tuna in partnership with MRAG.
For more information To find out more about the Chagos Archipelago and updates on the work CEN is carrying out, please visit: www.protectchagos.org
All photographs © Chagos Conservation Trust
Zoological Society of London, Regentâ€™s Park, London NW1 4RY www.zsl.org Registered Charity no. 208728 88
Short summaries of a selection of ZSL's conservation and research projects