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Conservation and Research Fund

In 1998, the Zoo Miami Conservation and Research Fund was created to promote efforts toward conservation of wildlife and natural ecosystems throughout the world. 2013 marks the 15th year anniversary of this fund awarding grants to individuals, governments, and non-profits locally and internationally to help fulfill this mission. In 2013, we received 54 completed applications for work in 28 different countries. Since its inception, 90 small grants have been distributed to support a wide range of projects ranging from the genetic profiling of the Shovel-Nosed Salamanders, funding activities of wildlife rehabilitation centers in countries such as Belize and Guatemala, supporting anti-poaching patrol forces in Tanzania and Sri Lanka, providing for multiple endangered species recovery programs in their endemic countries such as tree kangaroos in Papua New Guinea and many Caribbean iguana species, and supporting critical habitat preservation programs such as the Kibale Fuel Wood Project in Uganda.
The fund was originally financially supported for many years by an annual contribution by the Zoological Society of Florida and a percentage of all capital improvements by Zoo Miami. Today, the fund receives donations, primarily solicited and facilitated by Ron Magill, from production companies wanting to utilize Zoo Miami grounds for film shoots and through private donations.

2013 Recipients:

PANAMA_sloth

Saving from extinction the Pigmy Three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) of Escudo de Veraguas island, Panama (Phase II)
Fundacion CONAVI also received a grant in 2012 where they utilized the funds to do the first survey and habitat assessment of this critically imperiled species. This year’s grant will allow them to continue their work on one of the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) top 100 most endangered species in the world in 2012. Fundacion CONAVI

 

lady-and-sesbania

Sustainable Innovations with Rural Communities in Uganda
The New Nature Foundation has been the recipient of multiple grants from the Zoo Miami Conservation and Research Fund through the years for their continued innovative forest preservation programs. They create community based programs that reduce the poaching of forest trees from the Kibale National Forest in Uganda, which is home to multiple endangered species, while enriching the lives of the local inhabitants. New Nature Foundation

 

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Restoration of Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat on Elliott Key, FL
This local organization demonstrated a successful volunteer based program, in cooperation with the National Park Service, to increase successful sea turtle nesting on Elliott Key in 2012 by removing tremendous amounts of trash that wash up on the shores and entangle or block female turtles during their attempts to lay their eggs. We chose to continue to support their efforts to make a meaningful impact in our local environment. Coastal Cleanup Corporation

 

Abronia head

Distribution, Habitat Restoration and Utilization, and Educational Awareness Program of Two Endemic, Endangered Species of Abronia (A. campbelli; A. frosti) from Guatemala
This project aims to protect and expand the remaining habitat for these two small arboreal lizard species. These specialized lizards exist in only a few dozen remaining trees from a highly fragmented forest. Zoo Atlanta

 

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Supporting SLCS village scout anti-snaring patrols and veterinary equipment to reduce wildlife mortalities from snaring
In Zambia, the SLCS conducts anti-snaring patrols to remove illegal snares that endanger the local wildlife in preserves and local communities while also providing veterinary support for victims of the snares ranging from African wild dogs to African elephants. South Luangwa Conservation Society

 

2012 Recipients:

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Sea Turtle – Youth Education Program at Crandon Park Visitors and Nature Center
Expansion of the program to under-served schools in the county and purchasing of a laptop and projector with accessories to enable the educational presentations. (Joyce Denny)
 

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Community Based in-situ Sea Turtle Nest Protection Program in Rekawa, Sri Lanka
Salaries of sea turtle nest protectors and patrols of beaches (Perera Mawatha Madakumbura) Panadura, Sri Lanka
  
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Changes in habitat use and survival rates of juvenile bull sharks during recovery after an extreme weather event
Transmitters to track and better understand variability of movements and survival rates of juvenile bull sharks in our local environment (Philip Matrich) Florida International University
  
Atala 2

Predation impacts on caterpillars in urban and suburban Miami: implications for rare and endangered butterflies of south Florida
Field equipment, greenhouse supplies to propagate larval and nectar plant species, and laboratory supplies (Jaeson Clayborn)
 
PANAMA_sloth

Saving from extinction the Pigmy Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus pigmaeus) of Ecudo de Verguas Island, Panama
Radio collars, GPS transmitters and field sampling equipment. Fundacion CONAVI

 

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Kibale Fuel Wood Project
Upkeep of the current and the construction of a 5th science center, community training workshops and conservation competitions, tree planting materials, and energy efficiency demonstrations. (Rebecca Goldstone and Michael Stern)
  
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Biological and Conservation Studies of the Miami Tiger Beetle (Cicindela floridana)
Support the continued field studies of the endangered Miami Tiger Beetle (C. Barry Knisley)

 

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Continuing In-situ conservation of the Burmese roofed turtle in the Chindwin River, Myanmar
Construction materials and labor for a turtle rearing facility at a nesting site for eventual reintroduction efforts, communication costs and equipment purchases. Turtle Survival Alliance (Heather Lowe)

 

2009 Recipients:

Tantilla 2

Status & Conservation of the SE Florida Endemic Rim Rock Crowned Snake
Wages and travel expenses to conduct study. (Kirsten Hines)
  
Hellbender in GA

Surveys to Detect the Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in E. Hellbender Populations in Georgia
Supplies, gasoline for travel, and lab testing expenses. Atlanta Botanical Garden (Robert Hill)
  
Phyllobates terribilis - Golden Poison Arrow Frog

Conservation of Amphibians in the Cauca Valley Province
Terrarium supplies for captivity of 7 spp. of endangered amphibians from the Cauca Valley. Fundación Zoológica de Cali/CREA (German Corredor)
  
Giant Otter Puppies

Pantanal Otters Conservation
Travel, lodging and office supplies to study interaction of 2 spp. and their tolerance of eco-tourism. Earthwatch Institute (Manoel Muanis)
  
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Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
(Program of AZA TK-SSP) Development of management area and education of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Annual earmark in name of Alice Gilley. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)
 

2007 Recipients:

Kori Bustard Ethotrak
Tech support and purchase of Palm Pilot to record behavior of captive kori bustards. Miami Metrozoo (Jim Dunster)

South Florida Feral Green Iguana Health Survey
Lab services for histopathologic analysis of tissue samples. Miami Metrozoo (Frank Ridgley)

Monitoring Movements of a Relocated American Crocodile by Use of GPS Satellite & VHF Radio Telemetry
Wages for biological technicians to monitor croc movement. UF/IFAS (Frank Mazzotti)

Kibale Community Fuel Wood Project, Expansion Phase
Office and transportation expenses, and staff and volunteer stipends for community workshops to encourage locals to plant trees for fuel. Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund (Rebecca Goldstone, Michael Stern)

Semen Cryopreservation for Genome Banking in Otters
Supplies for optimizing semen preservation, improving post-thaw quality, and to bank semen of N. Amer. river & small-clawed Asian otters. Ctr. for Res. of Endangered Wildlife, Cincinnati Zoo (Helen Bateman)

 

2004 Recipients:

Food Habits of Giant River Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) in the Influenced Area of Balbina Hydroelectric Power Station, Amazonas, Brazil
Airfare for Dr. Duplaix, gasoline, and per diem for a field biologist to compare otter food preference adaptability between 1987 and 2004. Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia/Laboratório de Mamiferos Aquáticos, Manaus (Fernando Rosas)

Bongo Sanctuary Forest Fence (in Kenya)
Fencing needed to acclimate offspring of repatriated bongo for reintroduction to Mount Kenya. Fort Worth Zoo (Ron Surratt)

Natural History & Conservation of the Green Anaconda
Travel expenses to collect mobility and survival stats on Eunectes murinus to consult on possible sustainable use of nature reserves. Tropical Wildlife, LLC (Jesús Rivas)

AZA Columbid TAG Tongan Avifauna & Many-Colored Fruit Dove Study
Expenses for Jeff Sailor & staff member from either MetroZoo or FL Museum of Nat. History. (Jeff Sailer)

Survey to Identify Herpetofauna of the Pine Rockland & Disturbed Habitats of Miami Metrozoo Property
Purchase Al flashing, folding minnow traps, and spring scales. (Steve Conners, Dave Jimenez, Jo-Ann Jennier)

Scouting Camera Project
Camera trap and batteries to determine status of feral wildlife on zoo property and their interaction with captive zoo animals. Miami Metrozoo (Kresimir Golenja)

Proposal for Conserving Aquatic Ecosystems from the Standpoint of Protection of the Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasilensis)
Airfare; wages for 2 local field assistants for 2 mos.; travel for 4 researchers; room & board for two researchers for 4 mos.; workshops, posters & coloring book to educate community. (Fundación Zoológica de Cali/CREA (German Corredor, Juan Carlos Botello)

Long Term Demographic Trends of Endangered Reptiles in a Jamaican Dry Forest: Effects of Controlling the Density of Invasive Mammalian Predators
Ninth year of survey to determine abundance of Jamaican iguana after removal of mongoose. Int’l. Iguana Fund & University of West Indies, Jamaica (Byron Wilson)

Diversity and Habitat Use of Panamanian Bats at Two Forest Types in Chagres National Park
Field equipment to study which bat spp. switch (seasonally) between forest habitats and which use only a single forest type. SOMASPA & STRI (Rafael Samudio)

 

2003 Recipients:

Pilot Study to Assess the Status and Conservation Potential of a Diverse Mammalian Carnivore Guild in an Inland Atlantic Forest Fragment (Paraguay)
Ten IR camera traps to assess status of medium & large terrestrial mammals (20 spp.) in order to model a conservation strategy. Frostberg State University (Anthony Giordano)

Census of Jaguars in a Tropical Dry Forest of Jalisco, México
Six cameras, supplies and fuel for doctorate research to test camera trapping, and determine sex ratio and age structure of jaguar population. Fundación Ecológica de Cuixmala, México (Rodrigo Nuñez Perez)

Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
(Program of AZA TK-SSP) Development of management area and education of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Annual earmark in name of Alice Gilley. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)

Long Term Response of Rare, Endemic Jamaican Reptiles to the Removal of a Nonnative Predator, the Indian Mongoose
Airfare and research items to support 3-month field experiment in Jamaican iguana Cyclura collei habitat. Int’l. Iguana Foundation (Byron Wilson, U. of West Indies, Jamaica)

Status Survey of Malayan Tapirs (Tapirus indicus)—Their Potential in the Ecosystem
Sponsorship for one aboriginal ranger to assess population size and genetics of Malayan tapirs in Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang State, and educate locals. Science University of Malaysia (Siti Khadijah)

African Elephant Recovery from Poaching (Tanzania)
Field/lab work to determine group composition & genetic relations of adult ♀♀ in 100 families of elephants in heavily poached area. Univ. of Washington Center for Conservation Biology (Samuel Wasser)

Population Size & Demography of Komodo Dragons on Gili Motang Island
Cost of permit conditions to transfer animal to Guadalajara. Continuing work (refer to Aug 2001 entry). (Claudio Ciofi)

Proyecto Tagua Habitat Fencing (Paraguay)
Partial fence replacement to project’s property to sequester habitat from livestock to protect released (and monitored) Catagonus wagneri. DePaul University (Dennis Meritt, Jr.)

Health Assessment of the Alligator Snapping Turtle in Georgia & Florida
Purchase of hanging scale, perform Hemogregarine and leech work, perform West Nile virus serology. St. Catherine’s Island (Terry Norton, DVM, WCS)

Ecology & Conservation of Two Owl Species in an Agricultural Landscape in Central Kenya
Trapping and climbing equipment to study ecology of Bubo capensis mackinderi and support local farmer’s conservation efforts. Mpala Research Center, Kenya (Darcy Misurelli-Ogada)

Conservation Status of a Threatened Primate Community in a Tropical Dry Forest at the Colombian Caribbean Coast
Purchase field materials and equipment and hire 4 field assistants for 2 months to update distribution of howler, spider, capuchin and owl monkeys in disappearing ecosystem (private Los Besotes reserve). Baranquilla Zoo Foundation (Myriam Salazar-Jaimes)

Conservation of Maned Wolf & Its Ecosystem in Argentina
Purchase field materials and hire guides to establish distribution and reposition local attitude toward maned wolf. Institute of Applied Ecology, Italy (Valeria Salvatori)

Scholarship to Attend IUCN Tapir Conference (Panamá)
Contribution from tapir-holding zoo for one person from a tapir range country in need of funds to attend conference. Houston Zoo (as sponsor of AZA Tapir TAG)

 

2002 Recipients:

Habitat Selection, Home Range, & Social Structure in the Masked Flying Fox
Travel, lodging and supplies to study natural history of bat that has never been studied scientifically. Nat’l. History Museum, Papua New Guinea (Frank Bonaccorso)

Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
(Program of AZA TK-SSP) Development of management area and education
of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Annual earmark in name of Alice Gilley. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)

Binational Andean Condor Conservation Project (Yerba Loca National Park, Chile)
Half of costs for brochures, posters and coloring books for education of communities surrounding release areas in Chile. ZCOG, for the Buenos Aires Zoo (N. Luis Jacome)

Population Survey & Conservation of Bartsch’s Iguana
Travel, lodging and meals for trip to survey iguana population for three days. Educating community. (Steve Conners, Joe Wasilewski)

Support for ARCAS’ Wildlife Rehabilitation Activities (Guatemala)
Vet medical equipment or capture supplies for quarantine and rehabilitation center for wildlife of the Maya biosphere. Asociación de Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre (Colum Muccio)

Northwestern Namibia Desert-Dwelling Giraffe Project
Research/camping equipment for three-year study of desert giraffe population. (Sprina Liu, Todd Maki)

Poaching Effects of the Globally Endangered Nubian Ibex (Sinai)
Travel and guide expenses to profile poaching on Nubian ibex in a refuge. Blue Earth Alliance (Omar Attum)

AZA Butterfly Conservation Initiative
Expenses for initial recovery planning workshop. AZA (L. Martin-McCormick)

Kabul Zoo Rescue/Recovery Efforts

Census of Ricord’s & Rhinoceros Iguanas on Isla Cabritos
Equipment to conduct census of iguanas in Dominican Republic. Indianapolis Zoo (Jan Ramer)

Rapid Assessment on Presence/ Absence of Rodents, Insectivores, Scandents and Lagomorphs of S. Asia
Purchase of traps to be loaned to participants to trap rodents to establish their presence in little-studied areas of India (in prep for management plan). Zoo Outreach Group, India (Sally Walker)

Proyecto Rana Dorado (Project Golden Frog) (Panamá)
Training. Purchase of vehicle. Research and education initiative to study frog’s natural history to prevent extinction from chytrid epizootic. Baltimore Zoo, et al. (Kevin Zippel)

Artificial Insemination of the African Elephant Using Frozen Sperm
Purchase of hormone assay kits to improve AI techniques for captive African elephants. Indianapolis Zoo & Int’l. Elephant Foundation (Deborah Olson)

Thailand Clouded Leopard & Fishing Cat Conservation Program
Design and construction improvements for 12 nestboxes. Materials for shifting and housing separation construction. Nashville Zoo (Peter Riger)

The Wildlife Care Center of Belize
Purchase of kayak, car rack, and field equipment for transport and tracking of rehabilitated released animals on Sibun River (Monkey Bay Nat’l Park). Wildlife Care Center of Belize (Robin Brockett)

 

2001 Recipients:

Conservation Biology & Population Mngmnt. of the Komodo Dragon (Indonesia)
Student/staff per diem, airfare and boat rental for population size/density, survival rate, age structure, and lineage/sex ratio blood sampling studies. Yale University (Claudio Ciofi)

Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
(Program of AZA TK-SSP) Development of management area and education of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Annual earmark in name of Alice Gilley. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)

Support for the Wildlife Care Center of Belize
Purchase butane-powered refrigerator and fuel for 6 to 12 months (for howler monkey rehab). Wildlife Care Center of Belize (Robin Brockett)

Scarlet Macaw Reintroduction Conservation Initiative (Costa Rica)
Purchase radio collars to monitor rehabilitated released birds which had been poached or captive-raised. ZCOG/Fundación Zoológica, for Zoo Ave, Costa Rica (Katie Higgins)

Population Genetics & Geographic Variation in the Shovel-Nosed Salamander
Lab supplies and travel to collect tissue samples of rare populations to check for cryptic species in s. Appalachia. Clemson University (M. Tilden Jones)

Conservation Plan for the St. Lucia Iguana
PIT tags, incubation supplies, educational materials for capturing/marking animals, improving facility, and developing community outreach. Purdue University (Catherine Malone)

Cross-Facility Investigation into the Socio-Sexual Behavior of W. Lowland Gorillas
Wages for hired observers at seven zoos to obtain behavioral data on captive lowland gorillas to assist with management of the subspecies. Zoo New England (Lyna Watson)

Flamingo Banding Project at Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Lagartos, Yucatán
Travel to/from airport, lodging and banding event expenses to study migration & nutrition & to collect blood & crop samples of Phoenicopterus ruber. Miami Metrozoo (Michelle Goostree, Pam Monseur)

 

2000 Recipients:

Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
Development of management area and education of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Annual earmark in name of Alice Gilley. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)

Jamaica Iguana Conservation & Recovery Program (Hope Zoo)
Vet’s expenses in Jamaica and cost of building holding facility for project that protects nest sites, collects/ rears/releases hatchlings & sick iguanas, controls mongoose. Fort Worth Zoo (Rick Hudson)

Support for Improved Health Care Management of Elephants in Sumatra
Status assessment, emergency vet care, supplies, healthcare training for Asian elephants held at Elephant Training Centers in Sumatra. Int’l. Elephant Foundation (Deborah Olson)
Proyecto Rana Dorado (Project Golden Frog) (Panamá)
Training. Purchase of vehicle. Research and education initiative to study frog’s natural history to prevent extinction from chytrid epizootic. Baltimore Zoo, for Fundación Natura (A. Wisnieski, Vicky Poole)

Low-Iron Diet Trial in Rhinoceros & Tapir
Foodstuffs and water analyses for an experimental trial of low-iron diet to alleviate chronic iron overload in captive rhinoceros (2 spp.) and tapirs (2 spp.). Miami Metrozoo (Chriss Miller)

Vaginal Cytology in a Captive Malayan Sun Bear as Indicative of Estrous Cyclicity
Fecal/urine assays to investigate a possible rapid, in-house predictor of estrus and ovulation in captive Malayan sun bears to aid in artificial insemination. Miami Metrozoo (Chriss Miller, Andrea Adams)

Saving the Amazon Parrots of Dominica, West Indies
Purchase of mesh for aviary renovation at Parrot Conservation & Research Center. Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (Paul Reillo)

Characterization of the Harpy Eagle Nesting Habitat at Chagras NP, Panamá
Travel expenses and per diem to determine nesting areas through analysis of microhabitat and landscape level variables, and review of historical records.
Workshop w/ locals. National University, Heredia, Costa Rica (Karla Aparicio U.)

 

1999 Recipients:

Movements of Translocated American Crocodiles
Purchase of 4 land transmitter/receiver units to track 4 crocodiles for one year each. Miami Metrozoo/FPL (Steve Conners, et al.)

Tree Kangaroo Project in Papua New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
(Program of AZA TK-SSP) Development of management area and education of students/landowners. Scat sampling, radio telemetry. Rhode Island ZS, for Roger Williams Park Zoo (Lisa Dabek)

 

 

The next award cycle will be announced via AZA Connect, on our website, and many listservs. Application materials will be made available on this page for download when the application period opens.

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