Wildlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do do through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitude toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Jan 20, 2015

Thank you to our GlobalGiving donors!

Elephant on vacated lands
Elephant on vacated lands

Happy New Year from the Wildlife Conservation Society! Thank you to all of our GlobalGiving supporters for your incredible generosity this past year—your contributions have been instrumental to securing healthy habitat for tigers, elephants, and other wildlife in India.

Some promising news from the field: WCS is currently in final land purchase negotiations with the only two families living in a protected area in the Western Ghats mountains of south India. This protected area is home to critical populations of numerous highly threatened endemic species, including the regal lion-tailed macaque, as well as many unique frogs, birds, and plants. It also serves as the only corridor between two major populations of tigers and Asian elephants in south India, making the recovery of this habitat a high priority. We are hugely grateful for the support of our GlobalGiving donors, who provided the primary source of funding for this effort.

WCS is also in exploratory negotiations with three families living in the middle of a second protected area of the Western Ghats. They are the only families living in this protected area, which is important not only for Asian elephants and tigers, but is also home to a major population of dhole (Asiatic wild dogs), a stunning rust-colored dog species of Asia that is now highly endangered. We are still working on securing the funds to purchase these lands, so we very much hope you will be inspired to continue supporting this project in 2015.

We look forward to sharing more news from India with you soon. From all of us at WCS, thank you for your amazing support!

Dholes (Asiatic wild dogs)
Dholes (Asiatic wild dogs)
Oct 21, 2014

Protecting Yankari's elephants

Photo credit: G. Nyanganji/WCS
Photo credit: G. Nyanganji/WCS

Thank you for your amazing support of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s elephant protection efforts in Nigeria’s Yankari Game Reserve.

We are pleased to report that we were able to increase the number of camping patrols last quarter: from July to September, rangers completed 47 camping patrols, covering a total distance of 2,420 kman increase from the previous quarter, when only 32 camping patrols were carried out. As a result of these renewed protection efforts, fourteen poachers were arrested during this period, in addition to nine Fulani herders who were illegally grazing cattle in the reserve. With the strong support of the local magistrate court, 86% of the poachers arrested received jail sentences of at least five months. Furthermore, thanks to efforts by the rangers, zero elephant carcasses were recorded this quarter.

However, significant challenges remain, including a shortage of funds for patrol allowances and field rations. In addition, an increase in crop raiding by elephants this quarter has affected over fifteen communities. As a result elephants are not only at risk from hardened poachers seeking ivory, but also irate farmers seeking revenge. In an effort to minimize this conflict between  elephants and local communities, we continue to monitor movements of two elephants using satellite collars, ensuring that rangers provide constant protection to this herd and react promptly when the elephants leave the confines of the reserve to raid crops.

Despite numerous challenges, WCS is committed to ensuring the survival of Yankari’s elephants, which make up the last viable population left in Nigeria. From all of us at WCS, thank you so much for your support of our work! 

Oct 15, 2014

Sea Turtle Monitoring at Glover's Reef

Green turtle with satellite tag.
Green turtle with satellite tag.

Hello, WCS Supporters! A quick update on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s sea turtle conservation efforts at Glover’s Reef:

Since 2007, WCS has partnered with the Belize Fisheries Department to conduct annual surveys as part of a long-term sea turtle monitoring program, with the aim of improving sea turtle conservation and management efforts in Belize. Results from the monitoring program are used by decision makers to better understand the status and threats to the hawksbill, green, and loggerhead sea turtles in Belize and to make informed decisions regarding their conservation and management needs.

This year’s survey, carried out from the Glover’s Reef Research Station, was focused on studying the long-range movement of marine turtles at Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. The surveys were successfully completed over the course of a week in May, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team of WCS conservationists, volunteers, and Belize Fisheries Department Staff. One green and three hawksbill sea turtles were captured for satellite tagging. Each turtle was also measured, weighed, tagged, and tissue samples were collected for genetic analysis.

We’re excited to report that the most extensive traveler of the four, a green turtle named Turtlesam, has covered the waters off Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, and Colombia—in the first two months alone! Moving forward, we will continue to keep a close eye on these four turtles, which will allow us to better understand the long-range movements of these species, and help support their conservation.

We invite you to follow Turtlesam and the three other tagged sea turtles (currently still hanging out around Glover’s Reef) at the following link:

seaturtle.org - WCS Belize Sea Turtles

With your help, the Glover’s Reef Research Station will continue to support critical research on sea turtles and many other marine species. From all of us at WCS, thank you so much for your interest and support!

Photo credit: Kenneth Gale/WCS

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