2015 has been a challenging year for conservation. That’s why SCI Foundation would like to highlight some of our success stories and thank you for helping to make them possible this year.
In North America, SCI Foundation’s program targets numerous species across many different states and provinces. Our research provides the science needed to improve management and enhance wildlife habitat. The Michigan Predator Prey Project, now in its 9th year of research, is working to improve white-tailed deer winter habitat and recommend management decisions for multiple species in the Upper Peninsula ecosystem. The Newfoundland Caribou Project was recently completed, culminating in decades of research on the island’s woodland caribou population and predator dynamics that has produced 50 scientific publications. SCI Foundation also began a new partnership with the Wild Sheep Foundation on the Thinhorn Sheep Initiative in Canada and Alaska.
2015 saw the first wood bison calf born in the Alaskan wild in over centuries, thanks to SCI Foundation and the Hunter Legacy Fund’s efforts to reintroduce a herd of 100 bison to the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge. Bighorn sheep were also successfully reintroduced to the Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona.
This year’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF), hosted in South Africa, had the highest attendance on record. AWCF continues to be an important capacity building and information-sharing venue for wildlife conservation in Africa, and is the only forum of its kind, bringing together government, private sector and NGO representatives. The Tanzania Lion Project is producing innovative results on study design and lion abundance in the Serengeti National Park. This research will be used to further assess the status of African lions with the most accurate data available. SCI Foundation funds many other ongoing projects across the continent of Africa, including a disease study on African buffalo in the Ruaha ecosystem of Tanzania, a Namibia leopard project and a study on hippopotamus habitat use in Tanzania.
Our Asia conservation program remains focused on applied management of argali sheep and associated species in Tajikistan and central Asia. Funding of these significant projects provides the data needed to sustain harvest levels and improve management of the regional ecosystem.
SCI Foundation has stepped up to fight poaching. Operation Game Thief, with support from many SCI chapters, has been very effective in catching wildlife criminals. In Africa, we are building on previous anti-poaching efforts with a new partnership with Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants to train rangers and donate uniforms to units on the ground. We hope to continue this important anti-poaching work in Africa.
These are just a few of the accomplishments of SCI Foundation’s 2015 conservation program. SCI Foundation works to promote the beneficial role of sustainable use in wildlife conservation. We look forward to reporting on more achievements with our Weekly Update post and funding another year of successful wildlife research projects around the world. Wishing you all a happy 2016!
Twice a week, SCI Foundation informs readers about conservation initiatives happening worldwide and updates them on SCI Foundation’s news, projects and events. Tuesdays are dedicated to an Issue of the Week and Thursday’s Weekly Updates will provide an inside look into research and our other science-based conservation efforts. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more SCI Foundation news.