Helping to protect the endangered mountain chicken (which is, in fact, a frog) is one of 25 new projects receiving funding from DEFRA’s Darwin Initiative, according to wildlife minister Huw Irranca-Davies.

Helping to protect the endangered mountain chicken (which is, in fact, a frog) is one of 25 new projects receiving funding from DEFRA’s Darwin Initiative, according to wildlife minister Huw Irranca-Davies.

Snow Leapard, credit Trisha ShearsThe Darwin Initiative provides UK expertise and funding to support wildlife conservation projects in developing countries and UK overseas territories. As well as the mountain chicken, projects will help to preserve the worlds most endangered duck (the Madagascan Pochard), Indian river dolphins and Ugandan chimpanzees.

Mr Irranca-Davies said: “Some of the worlds poorest countries are the richest in biodiversity which means we must all be prepared to help protect their amazing wildlife. As well as continuing Charles Darwin’s legacy in the International Year of Biodiversity, the money and expertise provided by the UK will build the skills of local people in over 30 countries around the world.”

Almost £6m has been awarded to the successful projects, to be spent over the next three to four years. The list of successful projects to receive funding includes:

Preserving the Madagascan Pochard
This is the worlds most endangered duck.  This duck was considered extinct for 15 years until rediscovery in 2006, however only around 20 of these birds exist and there are only six to eight females.  The project aims to increase the numbers of Madagascan Pochards by releasing more into the wild and working with the local communities to improve its habitat.

Protecting Kerinci-Seblat National Park in Indonesia
This area is home to many endangered species such as the Sumatran rhino and is one of the last remaining viable populations of the Sumatran tiger. The project will teach local people about the economic, social and environmental importance of the area and help them learn practical skills to manage the forests and protect the animals which live there.

Conserving Chinese big cats including tigers, snow leopards and lynx
Wild cats are currently threatened by habitat loss and conflicts with humans. This project aims to help local people monitor wild cat species throughout China.

Conservation of Ugandan chimpanzees

The bush meat trade, habitat loss, and human settlement all threaten the survival of the chimpanzee.  This project aims to establish a compensation scheme for local landholders to conserve and restore forest habitats to protect chimpanzees.

Projects will take place in 27 developing countries including India, China, Mexico, Guatemala, Uganda, Peru, Bolivia and Kazakhstan and Indonesia, and six overseas territories including Tristan da Cunha, Montserrat and St Helena – the highest number of overseas territories ever to receive funding from the Darwin Initiative. 

David Macdonald, chairman of the Darwin Advisory Committee, said: “This current round of 25 new projects may be the most exciting we have ever had the quality of work and commitment is stunning, and is a contribution of which the UK should be deeply proud.”

Since its launch in 1992 following the Rio summit, the Darwin Initiative has committed more than £73m to 673 projects in over 148 countries (as of March 1, 2010).

Snow Leapard image: Trisha Shears
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz