With another year of matching grants funded, SCI Foundation is supporting a diverse array of SCI Chapter projects. SCI is built upon a network of chapters that work to further the Foundation’s mission. These chapters often partner with their local state agencies or research universities to sponsor on-the-ground conservation initiatives. Through these efforts, many wildlife conservation projects are completed in SCI Chapters’ areas. SCI Foundation supports chapter projects that focus on anti-poaching and wildlife research through our Matching Grants Program.
Here is a brief description of the most recent SCI Chapter projects. A special thanks to these SCI Chapters for supporting wildlife conservation!
Golden Gate Chapter: Anti-Poaching in Mozambique
The Boddington Experience, in partnership with Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants (HOPE), has created a film documenting the anti-poaching efforts of Zambeze Delta Safaris in Mozambique. The film illustrates how hunting can prevent poaching and positively contribute to conservation. This documentary is currently being crowd-funded and will be aired on the Sportsmen Channel for maximum exposure. SCI Foundation will also be recognized.
Lansing Area Chapter: American Woodcock Nesting Research
The Lansing Area Chapter is supporting a Michigan Department of Natural Resources project focused on the conservation of American woodcock. Since the late 1960s, the state of Michigan has experienced a long term decline in woodcock numbers. Management responses have not been effective. This research seeks to improve our understanding of woodcock migration, breeding and wintering habitat quality.
Detroit Chapter: Michigan Predator Prey Project
This year the Detroit Chapter is contributing to SCI Foundation’s long term project on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula deer population, predator species, and winter habitat quality. The Michigan Predator-Prey Project is the Foundation’s flagship research project in North America. This 10-year initiative has led to species and forest management applications, and the reinstatement of the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup. The state is now working to improve habitat and deer survival by creating and managing winter deer yards.
San Diego Chapter: Uganda Sitatunga Project
The University of Alberta is conducting a new research project on the ecology of sitatunga in Uganda, now supported by the San Diego Chapter. The goal is to understand sitatunga ecology and population dynamics to properly allocate hunting permits while maintaining a sustainable herd. Sitatunga are medium-sized swamp dwelling antelope that are related to kudu, bongo and nyala. Their semi-aquatic nature and tendency to inhabit the most remote papyrus swamps and marshlands make sitatunga notoriously difficult to hunt, and even more difficult to study.
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Projects
The SFBA Chapter is funding a number of smaller projects, including: working with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife to enhance fencing for the protection of elk in the San Antonio Valley Ecological Reserve, purchasing robotic deer for anti-poaching and wildlife enforcement, and supporting a salmon fish pen to protect against predation and increase survival in the area’s hatchery. The chapter is also contributing to the East Mojave Mule Deer Project, an ongoing SCI Foundation research initiative.
Greater Dacotah Chapter: Bighorn Sheep Disease Study
The Greater Dacotah Chapter is supporting a new study to determine the role of disease in bighorn sheep lamb recruitment. Disease is a major factor affecting the health and productivity of free-ranging herds across North America. This project will develop techniques to enhance sheep survival and provide science-based options for future management.
Conservation Matching Grants are available to SCI Chapters to help accomplish conservation projects that further the mission of SCI and SCI Foundation. These grants build partnerships with state and federal agencies, organizations and other SCI Chapters. Conservation efforts include projects that lead to the sustainable management of natural resources and consider the conservation of both huntable game populations and wildlife.