The Conservation Welfare Fund has contributed over £350,000 since it was created in 2006. It has supported over 55 conservation and welfare projects from 27 different countries around the world. Details of the current projects we are involved in are below.
Fauna and Flora Cao Vit Gibbon Conservation Project in Vietnam.
The Cao Vit gibbon is the 2nd rarest ape species in world, with an estimated population of around 130 animals living in one patch of forest on the Chinese-Vietnam border. Habitat destruction for fuelwood collection and livestock grazing has driven this species right to the brink of extinction.
Fauna and Flora rediscovered the species in 2002 and have since worked towards preserving them. Through promotion of alternative fuel sources and education on livestock grazing they hope to reduce the rate of deforestation. Twycross Zoo funds a 6 man community based patrol that continually monitors the forests for gibbons. A success story was that during the most recent survey in 2012 the population had grown by 17% since 2007.
Wildlife Vets International for Amur Leopards in the Russian Far East
The Amur leopard is the rarest felid in the world, with wild numbers at only 35 (April 2007). These magnificent cats suffer from poaching, the pressures of habitat destruction and lack of prey due to over hunting. They are at real risk from extinction in the wild and zoos across the world are trying to contribute to their conservation.
Wildlife Vets International are experts in exotic animal veterinary care and so are well placed to play a vital role in this very important project. They are currently working in the Russian Far East to try and establish a reintroduction programme. If this succeeds the offspring of Amur Leopards currently in captivity will be released in the wild. This will be the first big cat reintroduction programme to use captive bred individuals to build the wild population.
Friends of Bonobos - Lola ya Bonobo
Established in 1994 by Claudine Andre, Lola ya Bonobo ('Paradise for bonobos' in Lingala) is the world's only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos. The story begins in 1993, when a baby bonobo was bought to Kinshasa Zoo were Claudine was volunteering at the time, she was told that like others before it, it will probably die. However through dedication and patience Claudine saved the bonobo and before long locals were bringing injured and abandoned bonobos to her. The government then heard of this work and began to confiscate captive bonobos, whose capture and sale is illegal in DRC, and take them Claudine for expert care. In 2002, because of ever growing numbers the charity moved to a forested 70 acre area just outside Kinshasa. In 2010 they organised the first-ever successful reintroduction of bonobos back into the wild.
Through the Conservation Welfare fund, Twycross Zoo helps with the daily running of Lola ya Bonobo, where currently 60 bonobos from a variety backgrounds live. The sanctuary also partakes in an education programme within the local communities, educating locals on topics such as what a bonobo is, bushmeat and that it is illegal to hunt and capture them. Twycross Zoo has supported this project since 2007, having provided over £23,000 to the work they do.
Ape Action Africa
Established in 1996 as CWAF, Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, its initial objective was to improve the living conditions of primates housed at Mvog-Betsi Zoo in Yaounde, Cameroon. Over the next 12 years it mission expanded and they began to take in orphans of the bushmeat and pet trades. In 2008 the CWAF was rebranded as Ape Action Africa.
Based in Mefou National Park just outside Yaounde the Ape Action Africa sanctuary is now home to over 300 primates, making it ones of the largest conservation projects of its kind in Africa. Recent activity has included the planning of a release of rescued and rehabilitated primates.
Awely - Greencaps in the Congo
Established in 2005 in France, Awely has always focused on putting people at the centre of their actions. Their ethos is that there is no sense in saving an endangered species or ecosystems when the neighbouring human populations lack even the most rudimentary means for survival. By linking conservation and development Awely hope to ensure that history does not keep repeating itself and the actions of today are destroyed tomorrow.
Awely has 2 main types of project out in the field; red-caps and green-caps. The red cap projects centre of resolving human-wildlife conflict whilst the green caps focus on species survival. Twycross specifically funds the Green caps in the Congo project.
The Congo project is specifically targeted at assessing the bushmeat trade in Basankusu and the surrounding area, a known area of bonobo habitat. The programme focuses of educating people to hopefully decrease the pressure on bonobos and other species as well as developing alternative food sources.
The Association Européenne pour l'Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens (AEECL)
AEECL is a consortium of European Zoos and universities that have joined forces to carry out conservation and research projects for Madagascar's highly endangered lemurs. AEECL are responsible for the creation of a reserve for the critically endangered blue-eyed black lemur, as well as initiating captive propagation programmes for a number of lemur species within Europe, such as the crowned and red-bellied lemurs held here at Twycross Zoo.
Twycross Zoo has been supporting this project since 2006, with our money going towards establishing the Sahamalaza national park as well as funding education programme and providing support to communities within Sahamalaza. AEECL has recently been helping with a reforestation programme within this area covering an area of 238 hectares.
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of International Union for Conservation of Nature (CBSG)
CBSG's mission is to save threatened species by increasing the effectiveness of conservation efforts worldwide. By using a scientifically sound collaborative process CBSG provide conservation expertise to governments, Specialist Groups, zoo's & aquarium and other wildlife organisations. Involved in innumerable conservation programmes worldwide, CBSG provide knowledge and skills to maximise the potential any conservation programme has.
Notice for Potential Applicants to the Conservation Welfare Fund
We are not currently accepting applications for 2014.
Please select below in the resources section to download an application form and for further details.