March Newsletter 2004, Issue 17
In this Issue:

Programme Manager's Message
Diary Dates
News From the Field
Final Reports Received
Project Websites


Programme Manager's Message

Welcome! Well, time has gone by in a whirl since I was last writing something to put in this newsletter. Kate, Robyn and I have been frantically working to get down to a shortlist of projects for the 2004 awards, with the help of expert reviewers amongst our partners and supporters. I’m now looking forward to our final selection committee making the final award decisions on 19th March. Decisions are going to be tough, that’s for sure! In the meantime, the projects we are already supporting have been busily working away all over the world bringing you some really exciting news and achievements. I hope you enjoy reading what they have all been up to!

Marianne Dunn, BP Conservation Programme Manager

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Quarterly newsletter for the BP Conservation Programme—a partnership between BirdLife International, BP, Conservation International, Fauna and Flora International and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Please contact Robyn Dalzen,, with comments and queries or visit our website at

Diary Dates

7 – 13 March 2004 BirdLife International World Conference and Global Partnership Meeting, Durban, South Africa. Visit:

24 – 26 March 2004 Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge, UK. For more information visit:

2 –3 April 2004 International Society of Tropical Foresters Spring 2004 Conference: People in Parks: Beyond the Debate—Achieving Conservation in Human-Inhabited protected Areas, Connecticut, USA. Visit:

3 – 8 April 2004 Waterbirds around the World, Edinburgh, UK. Visit:

30 July – 2 August 2004 Annual SCB Meeting, New York, USA. Visit:


News From the Field


Conservation Action, Training and Research in the Androy Region of Southern Madagascar (Consolidation Award 2003)
While the Tandroy Conservation Trust (TCT) does not have a core field research team, the group works on the principle of finding, facilitating, orienting and advising diverse students and researchers interested in working on research topics relevant to the conservation of the Spiny Forest in the Androy Region of Madagascar. TCT has supported numerous university groups and individuals who have gathered data that has fed into the work of the Trust. Read more...

Recovery of the Nahan’s Francolin (Silver Award 2003)
The team has now finished the fieldwork stage of their project on the Nahan's francolin. They spent three months studying the bird in three forests in Uganda where it still occurs, and, offering significant hope for the future, the team found healthy populations. Read more...

Expedition to survey Globally-threatened bird species in South Nguruman IBA, Kenya (Bronze Award 2003)
South Nguruman is an Important Bird Area (IBA) in Kenya with numerous globally threatened bird species. The team set out in September to conduct surveys on habitat threats, establish the composition of avifauna community in the study area, train participants (interns and university students) on methodologies of avian surveys, and initiate a Site Support Group comprising local people to safeguard the threatened species and the general biodiversity of South Nguruman. Read more...


CROC, Philippines (Follow-up Award 2003)
The Crocodile Rehabilitation Observance and Conservation (CROC) project works together with local governments to safeguard the critically endangered Philippine crocodile from extinction. In San Mariano, a small town on the forest frontier of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, this has resulted in a productive partnership. The municipal council declared a Philippine crocodile sanctuary along Disulap River, one of the few remaining breeding sites. In addition, the local government proclaimed the Philippine crocodile as the municipal flagship species, which is remarkable: in Filipino culture crocodiles are generally associated with egoism, corruption, and greed. Therefore, identifying yourself with crocodiles is a courageous move for local politicians. And the results have been promising—the direct killing of crocodiles has virtually stopped in San Mariano and people now take pride in an animal they have long regarded as a dangerous pest. Read more...

White-shouldered Ibis Project, Indonesia (Follow-up Award 2003)
Over the past five months, the Ibis team has been observing and collecting data on the distribution, habitat and behavior of the White-shouldered Ibis in East Kalimantan. Distribution was found to be quite similar to 2001 surveys, but the team found fewer individuals, which could be due in part to the time of year surveys were conducted. Read more...

Bat Count 2003, Philippines (Gold Award 2003)
The Bat Count team soared to new heights in January promoting flying-fox conservation in the Philippines. They held a flying-fox conservation workshop, hosting more than 50 participants from throughout the Philippines, including biology students, science professors, wildlife conservation advocates from non-governmental organizations, protected area managers from local government units, and the wildlife division head from the national government’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Read more...

Katala Quest, Northern Palawan, Philippines (Silver Award 2003)
The main objective of this project is to assess the status of the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia and associated vertebrate communities in lowland forests of northern Palawan. Aside from cockatoo surveys, the team recorded 99 species of birds in Ilian watershed; 22 mammal species have been recorded from all sites through live trapping, and through visual observation, including spotlighting; and 17 species of reptiles and 8 species of amphibians have been recorded. Read more...

Conservation of the Myristica Swamps, India (Silver Award 2003)
The Myristica swamps are one of the unique ecosystems in the Western Ghats—a global mega diversity hotspot in India. Located in low-lying, poorly drained depressions, these swamps once formed an extensive network along the Western Ghats. The swamps are the only sites of occurrence of certain members of the ancient family Myristicaceae such as Myristica fatua var magnifica and Gymnocranthera canarica and have many distinct endemic taxon, which remain poorly studied. Read more...

Conservation of Spot Billed Pelican, Sri Lanka (Bronze Award 2003)
The present status of the Spot Billed Pelican (SBP) in Sri Lanka is not clear, as no systematic study has ever been carried out. According to some ornithologists, there should be around 2,500 birds left in Sri Lanka. Therefore Eco Friendly Volunteers (ECO-V), an environmental organization in Sri Lanka, started Pelicans 2003, which is aimed at determining the status of SBP in the country. As a first step, the team is conducting research from the North Central and Central Provinces of the country. Read more...

Status and distribution of rare and endemic bat species, Nicobar Islands, India (Bronze Award 2003)
The year 2003 was very significant for the bat team as they spent sleepless nights looking for the winged keepers of the forest—namely the bats in the Nicobar emerald islands of India. The landmark achievements of the team included locating the endemic Nicobar flying fox (Pteropus faunulus) after the last report in 1902 and the first record of an albino bat (of the species Hipposideros diadema nicobarensis) from the Nicobar Islands and India. Read more...

Project Garuda, Indonesia (Follow-up Award 2002)
The team has been carrying out research in Panaruban, Indonesia collecting data on the current condition of the Javan Hawk-eagle. With the help of a local village youth organisation, Karangtaruna, as well as local communities and government, the team is planning to build a research station for the long-term monitoring and conservation of the eagle in this region. It is the team’s hope that the community will take ownership of the station and continue with conservation efforts.

Conservation of Waterbirds and their Habitats in Chongming Island, China (Bronze Award 2001)
The waterbird team conducted surveys at Chongming Dongtan at the end of November 2003. Recorded birds included 135 Hooded Crane, 5 Common Crane and a White-naped Crane. In addition, a White stock and Black stock crane were also recorded. All of these species are protected in China. This was the first record of Black Stock in Shanghai since the 1940s. The last white-naped crane was recorded in Shanghai prior to 1990.


Survey of the Eastern Carpathians and Dobrogea Underground Bat Habitats, Romania (Follow-up Award 2003)
The team recently created an educational multimedia CD that will be distributed to volunteers in the National Bat Monitoring Programme. Read more...

Bat survey in the Slovensky Raj National Park, Slovakia (Bronze Award 2003)
The bat team has been very busy with field surveys this past month and recorded 22 cave hibernation sites and prepared articles for publishing. Read more...

Protecting the Waterbirds of Son Kol and Chatyr Kol Alpine Lakes, Kyrgyzstan (Bronze Award 2003)
The waterbird team initiated their project with the intention of conserving waterbirds and their habitat at Son Kol and Chatyr Kol lakes and ensuring that both sites remain viable breeding and stopover areas for migrating birds. In the past 10 years, neither the reserve nor other research institutions have had reliable scientific data about birds inhabiting the two lakes. Read more...


Project Hapalopsittaca, Colombia (Consolidation Award 2003)
During 2003, the Project Hapalopsittaca team undertook a detailed planning process in order to assure success in their multi-faceted research and conservation objectives. As a result, they have strengthened their institutional capacity to manage the significant quantities of data, personnel and activities. The team now includes a total of 9 students and 17 full-time field workers studying and initiating protective measures for 9 of 11 threatened parrots, plus 8 full-time assistants and 4 coordinators. Read more...

Soul of the Andes, Argentina (Follow-up Award 2003)
In November of 2003, the Andean Mountain Cat team initiated a community awareness raising campaign, sharing information on their project with local media and community members. Read more...

An Integrated Approach Toward Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (Follow-up Award 2003)
The giant otter team is in the process of transforming their initial group "COMARH" to an NGO called faunAgua and a small tourist company Ecological Expeditions Bolivia. The team recently participated in international meetings on giant otter conservation, during which a continental Giant Otter Survey Strategy was established. Read more...

Assessing the Status, Ecology and Distribution of the Elfin Woods Warbler, Puerto Rico (Silver Award 2003)
In October 2003, the Elfin Woods Warbler (EWWA) was featured for the first time on an environmental TV programme in Puerto Rico. The programme highlighted the birds’ importance for scientific studies, tourism, history, education and conservation and talked about the work the team is undertaking with their project. Read more...

Incidental Capture of Seabirds: Survey in Coastal Fisheries, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
After completing interviews with fishermen on the incidental capture of seabirds, the team presented their results at the Congress of Marine Sciences in Mar del Plata, Argentina, which included scientists and students interested in seabird conservation issues from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. The team was able to exchange ideas with other concerned researchers. Read more...

Alder Amazon, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
The team has been busy carrying out breeding season surveys since mid-December in several sites and is looking for Alder Amazon nests at two sites that were identified with the largest populations. They have found several nests and are characterizing the breeding habitat. These habitats are critical for the long-term maintenance of this species, but are under intense human use. For this reason, the team has been trying to gain the support of local landowners. At the moment, they have full collaboration from a landowner who is very interested in conserving critical habitat in the Santa Barbara mountain range, and they hope that others will follow suit. Read more...

Río Máximo Fauna Refuge: An Internationally Important Wetland, Cuba (Silver Award 2002)
Team leader, Ariam Jiménez, recently participated in the first Cuban IBA workshop. Nearly all Cuban ornithologists and people working with birds in Cuban protected areas were in attendance. The group proposed 36 IBA’s for Cuba, and all agreed that Río Máximo should be the first Cuban IBA. The team has submitted the required forms to BirdLife of the Americas and awaits their response.

Population Status & Breeding Ecology of Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Bolivia (Bronze Award 2002)
Polylepis woodlands constitute a unique habitat for the endangered Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant in Peru and Bolivia. The team is using GIS and aerial photographs to map the potential distribution of Polylepis woodlands in Cordillera Real and has visited 20 patches of these Polylepis woodlands. Through intensive searches using playback, they found 56 individuals of 14 populations of Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrants. They also found three populations of the critically endangered species, Royal Cinclodes in three Polylepis woodlands. Read more...

Karumbé Project, Uruguay (Gold Award 2001)
In December 2003, the first two radio and sonic transmitters were attached to 2 juvenile green turtles within the frame of a new project about the movements of green turtles in the area of Cerro Verde, Rocha, Uruguay. Read more...


Final Reports Received

These recently concluded projects have had some exciting results. For a copy of the full report, send an email request to or telephone +44 (0) 1223.277.318.

  • Nepenthes Project, Indonesia 2002
  • Protecting the Waterbirds of Son Kol and Chatyr Kol Alpine Lakes, Kyrgyzstan 2003
  • Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Bolivia 2002
  • Status and distribution of Rare and Endemic Bat Species, Nicobar Islands, India 2003
  • Expedition to Survey Globally-threatened Bird Species, South Nguruman IBA, Kenya 2003


    Project Websites

    Check out project websites for updated news and images from award winning teams in the field:

  • CROC, Philippines (Gold Award 2002)
  • >Ecology and Conservation of the Chilean Dolphin ((Silver Award 2002)
  • Project Hapalopsittaca, Colombia (Gold Award 2002)
  • Project Karumbé, Uruguay Gold Award 2001)
  • Project Ventania, Argentina (Bronze Award 2002)
  • Sea Turtle Research and Conservation, Venezuela (Follow-up Award 1999)
  • Tandroy Conservation Trust, Madagascar (Consolidation Award 2003)
  • URUGUA-Í, Argentina (Gold Award 2002)
  • Yungas 2001, Bolivia (Silver Award 2001)