Community-based conservation of red panda in Arunachal, India

Habitat destruction coupled with hunting and feral dog attacks have become global concerns for red panda populations. Arunachal Pradesh harbours the largest number of red pandas in India but ironically, not much is known about them from within the eastern part of the state. The project aims to generate baseline information of red pandas in different conservation regimes: Mouling National Park and Monigong (a community-owned forest area). This project also aims to identify the level of threats in two study sites, specify a distribution range, and demarcate potential suitable habitats. The team will also focus on stewardship development among the local communities and their leaders for red pandas, thus giving rise to community-based conservation. Multiple stakeholders will be taken into consideration so that conservation efforts can be successful at local and policy levels.

Range-wide action to safeguard the Critically Endangered Togo slippery frog

The Togo slippery frog is a high priority Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) amphibian endemic to few sites in Ghana and Togo. Rapid forest loss, human consumption, and the pet trade have pushed this species to the very brink of extinction. Previous projects have worked with communities in Ghana to reduce frog consumption, legally protected some of the last remaining habitats of the frog, and began a large-scale restoration program. However, all of these conservation efforts have focused on the frogs’ population in Ghana. The Togo population remains unprotected. A recent study revealed an over 50% decline in the Togo population in just 2-years (Ségniabgeto et al. 2017). To minimize extinction risk, it is imperative to mitigate ongoing declines in Togo whilst sustaining the Ghana population. To realize this goal, this project will expand previous conservation work from Ghana into neighboring Togo. Specifically, the team will identify and map all remaining suitable habitats for the species, document threats and causes of population declines, and engage stakeholders to curb these threats. Information gathered from field activities will be used to develop the first range-wide conservation action plan and prioritize sites for protection. To ensure long-term commitment to the species conservation in Togo, this Leadership project will build local capacity in amphibian conservation and establish a new conservation NGO.

Testing conservation and habitat restoration methods to preserve Rapa’s endemic avifauna

The island of Rapa is a place of extraordinary biodiversity that includes the Critically Endangered Koko, the only fruit-dove of the Austral Archipelago (French Polynesia). Its off-shore uninhabited islets are also an essential reproductive site for many rare endemic seabirds, such as the Kakikaki Rapa shearwater and the Koru’e white-bellied storm-petrel. Over the last twenty years, the number of Koko has been declining due to habitat loss caused by invasive strawberry guava and Caribbean pine within the native forest, and the erosion by wild ungulates. Off-shore islands are also affected by invasive rats and plants. Whilst Rapa remains free from many other invasive species, the risk of invasion is high and needs to be avoided at all costs. This project seeks to improve the conservation of this unique ecosystem by: protecting 2-3 key endemic forest areas by establishing invasive species control and re-foresting these sites with indigenous plants; clearing invasive plant species on two off-shore sites and testing other conservation methods (i.e., artificial nest-boxes for burrowing seabirds) to improve breeding success of rare seabirds; and finally involving the local community by organizing public meetings, biosecurity workshops and school outings, thus providing the inhabitants with various tools and methods to help them protect their terrestrial environment in the long-term.

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Coral reef conservation in the largest Brazilian Marine Protected Area

Coral reefs are threatened by pressure from tourists, overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Due to this series of impacts, reefs have been dramatically reduced all around the world and up to 50% of those areas could be lost in the next decades. Reef zoning is a major strategy for coral reef conservation with a series of successful examples worldwide. Following a previous CLP project, this Follow-Up project will measure zoning effectiveness inside the MPA and promote local community and general public information on existing zoning areas. In doing so, the team will understand whether zoning measures are effective or respected. By using a combination of scientific diving for coral and fish data collection, workshops for public engagement and environmental awareness our project will increase ecological data on zoning effectivity and the number of locals engaged on zoning regulations and conservation aspects. Ultimately, this project aims to promote coral reef conservation, research, public awareness and social integration towards healthy reefs on Costa dos Corais in northeast Brazil.

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