In this Issue:

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


Programme Manager's Message

We have been as busy as ever since we were last in touch. Our 2004 award winner’s training in the UK, which took place over three weeks in June, was very successful and gave all participants the opportunity to learn something new, meet experts and share ideas with colleagues from different parts of the globe. Watch our online video to meet some of this year’s winners:

I am pleased to welcome a new member to the BP Conservation Programme team. Jaimye Bartak has joined us in our Washington office at Conservation International to work on building publicity and improving communications for our award winners and the Programme. She brings some great new skills to the team, and we look forward to working together with her – and hope you will too!

We also recently launched our online alumni network. This network provides opportunities for past winners to stay in touch with one another and stay up-to-date on BPCP news, take advantage of follow-on opportunities for project funding, and offers additional support for training and capacity development. Check out to learn more.

I also want to take the opportunity to highlight our 2005 application deadline for new applicants. As usual, applications must be submitted electronically by 31st October 2004. Send applications or enquiries to If you send in your application ahead of the deadline, programme staff will have the opportunity to advise on the proposal and help make suggestions.

Read on to find out how our award winner’s projects have been progressing over the past few months. As usual, there are some incredible stories of challenges, achievement and success.

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

5 – 10 September VI International Conference on the Management of Wildlife in Amazonia and Latin America, Iquitos, Peru.

26 September – 2 October 9th International Living Lakes Conference, British Columbia, Canada.

2 – 14 October 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP13), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Bangkok, Thailand.

31 October BPCP Award Application Deadline.

17 – 25 November World Conservation Congress, Bangkok, Thailand.

15 – 19 July 2005 Society for Conservation Biology 19th Annual Meeting: Conservation Biology Capacitation & Practice in a Globalized World, Brasilia, Brazil.


News From the Field


Mpingo Conservation Project, Tanzania (Consolidation Award 2004)
This year the Mpingo Conservation Project is one of three top consolidation award winners. Mpingo is the Swahili name for Dalbergia melanoxylon, the East African Blackwood, which is used to make clarinets and oboes. The award has enabled the project for the first time to establish a permanent field presence and make the transition from a solely expedition-based organisation. Read more...

Saving Major Non-breeding Blue Swallow Populations, Uganda (Follow-up Award 2004)
The blue swallow team recently began survey work to determine habitat requirements for the blue swallow in Mabamba – one of three sites identified in the team’s previous project as important to the blue swallow. According to the team leader and based on recent visits to the identified study sites, blue swallow are present in all sites. The team has also been joined by a Dutch and a Ugandan student, both of whom will be collecting data for their MSc work. This will greatly benefit the team, allowing them to carry out more detailed survey work in the study sites and leverage additional funding for the project.

Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat, Seychelles (Gold Award 2004)
The Seychelles Sheath-tailed bat has undergone a severe decline during the mid- to late-20th century and is now extinct on most islands. The aim of this project is to gather data on the species that will contribute to an action plan that will define activities and contribute to a long-term recovery strategy to avoid complete extinction. Read more...

Survey of Corridors and Movements of Elephants, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire (Bronze Award 2003)
The expedition to study corridor issues in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire recently completed its second phase, which involved surveying movement patterns and assessing local attitudes about the creation of elephant corridors in Cote D’Ivoire. Read more...

Options in Yala Wetland, Kenya (Bronze Award 2003)
After finishing an evaluation of conservation needs and resource potential in the Yala Wetland of Kenya, the team has been educating the public on various management options. Read more...


Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation, Cambodia (Silver Award 2004)
The tortoise team will shortly be undertaking wet season surveys that will include a return trip to the site of their dry season work. They will be putting turtle traps in the Areng Valley to monitor seasonal effects on turtle and tortoise abundance. Read more...

Conservation of Gangetic Dolphin in Brahmaputra River System, India (Bronze Award 2004)
The gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is an endangered species of freshwater dolphin found in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli river system of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. In the past, this species was a commonly sighted aquatic mega-fauna in the Brahmaputra river system. But due to various pressures, the species has been facing severe threats and populations are declining. Read more...

CROC Project, Philippines (Follow-up Award 2003)
The Philippine crocodile is a small freshwater crocodile endemic to the Philippines. Intensive hunting and rapid habitat destruction have led to the disappearance of Crocodylus mindorensis in most parts of the archipelago. This grim situation led the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group to conclude in 2000 that the Philippine crocodile was the most endangered crocodile species in the world. Edward O. Wilson used a powerful metaphor when he wrote that the Philippine crocodile “is one hundred heartbeats away from extinction.” Read more...

Bat Count 2003, Philippines (Gold Award 2003)
Bat counting in the Philippines has been busy the past few months. In addition to monitoring their efforts, the team has surveyed five new flying-fox roosts and revisited five other roosts for annual population monitoring. They have also been fortunate to have a few opportunities for important educational outreach to communities neighboring bat roosts. Read more...

Distribution, Abundance and Conservation of the Fijian Ground Frog, Fiji (Gold Award 2003)
The Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitianus) has been eliminated from much of its historical range due to invasive species, development and agriculture. The primary objective of this project is to promote the endemic ground frog as a national heritage icon and an important component of Fiji’s fauna by increasing awareness of the frog and its plight. Read more...

Katala Quest, Philippines (Silver Award 2003)
The Katala Quest team focused their research this past year on the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo – a flagship species and endemic to the island nation. The island of Palawan is the last stronghold of the species with about 700 birds remaining there, and as few as 1,100 individuals may be left in the wild in total. Read more...

Monitoring Globally Threatened Birds, Tengiz Lakes Region, Kazakhstan (Bronze Award 2003)
Following their BPCP project, several team members have been able to continue their work through the Sociable Plover Project (SPP) of Birdlife International. This pilot project aims to identify factors determining the breeding habitat requirements and breeding success of the critically endangered Sociable Plover (Chettusia gregaria), which will lead to a long-term research and conservation project addressing the reasons for species decline. Read more...

Conservation of Spot Billed Pelican, Sri Lanka (Bronze Award 2003)
The team recently returned from the field, where they undertook an awareness-raising campaign for the army, school children and the general public in an area that previously had experienced a 20-year war – nobody ever talked about protecting birds in the past, so it was a new experience and all the participants were very impressed. The army took the team to see birds along the defense line, where they were happy to find pelicans. The team also repaired and opened the school library, which put smiles on the faces of the children, as well as the team.

Upland Rainforest Species in Mt. Kitanglad Park Buffer Zone, Philippines (Bronze Award 2003)
The team is in the process of concluding their project, and have overcome unexpected difficulties encountered over the course of the project. At the moment, the team is working with a partner organization to facilitate the planting of indigenous trees seedlings that were collected from the forest four months ago. The team has identified a low elevation area where they will plant the seedlings. At the same time, they have also obtained support from a research institution in the research area, which will help the team work with a women’s organization that is interested in propagating herbal species from the forest to augment the locality's need for medicinal plants.

Project Garuda, Indonesia (Follow-up 2002)
In early July, the team made an expedition film that was produced by an Indonesian News Broadcast Channel for their expedition program. Read more...


Bat Census in Crimean Caves, Ukraine (Bronze Award 2004)
Summer fieldwork was carried out in the caves of Crimea during the month of July. Caves were examined by the team during the day, and at night they used mist-nets or harp-traps to capture bats near cave entrances. A total of 22 underground cave systems were examined. The choice of caves for examination was determined by information on past aggregations and by information from speleologists. Bats were found in 13 of these caves and 12 different species were identified. Some of the species identified are rare for the Ukraine, including Myotis nattereri, Myotis emarginatus, Hypsugo savii, and Nyctalus leisleri. Other species were also registered after not having been seen for quite some time: M. emarginatus was seen for the first time since 1975; Hypsugo savii was seen for the first time since 1990; and Nyctalus leisleri was seen for the first time since 1970.

Survey of the Eastern Carpathians and Dobrogea Bat Habitats, Romania (Follow-up Award 2003)
The team undertook fieldwork between December 2003 and February 2004 in the Western and Eastern Carpathians and Dobrogea. Thirteen team members visited 25 caves, and recorded more than 11,000 specimens of 16 species. The most abundant species recorded were Myotis myotis/blythii, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Miniopterus schreibersii. Beside these species, the team recorded a small number of vulnerable Barbastella barbastellus, Rhinolophus mehelyi, Rh. euryale and Rh. Hipposideros species and assessed current and potential threats at important hibernation sites. Since finishing the fieldwork component, team members have presented five lectures and two posters on bat related conferences in the United Kingdom, Poland, the Ukraine and Hungary. A special publication about cave dwelling bats in Romania is under preparation and will be published by the end of 2004.

Fish of Montenegro, Yugoslavia (Bronze Award 2002)
Team member Radek Sanda is analyzing data in order to determine the origin of some of the fish from the Moraca river system and hopes to have results within the next two months. Concurrently, he is preparing presentations for the European Ichthyological congress in Tallinn, where he will present results from the project. These results will also be presented in Montenegro in October at the Ichthyological Symposium of Ecologists.


Threatened Birds of Bolivia Project, Bolivia (Consolidation Award 2004)
With the support of the BP Conservation Programme, the Bolivian bird project has completed construction on a Bird Conservation Centre and has opened it up to bird conservationists throughout Bolivia. Read more...

Karumbé, Uruguay (Follow-up Award 2004)
With the cooperation of local port authorities, the team held an interactive workshop in July about the biology and conservation of sea turtles in Uruguay for the locality of Piriápolis (Maldonado). The workshop targeted artisanal fishermen and their families. Participants received printed materials – guides, t-shirts, stickers – with instructions on how to proceed if a turtle is captured, such as rehabilitation techniques, species identification, etc. An interesting and interactive discussion also took place about the need to reject the sale of turtle carapaces and fishermen agreed to immediately release turtles caught in nets.

Conservation of the Araripe Manakin, Brazil (Silver Award 2004)
In June the team made their first trip to the Araripe Plateau to gather data on the biology and conservation status of the Araripe Manakin (Antilophia bokermanni), including insect capture means, feeding items and feeding locations. Read more...

Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations, Brazil (Silver Award 2004)
Team member Ronaldo Francini-Filo attended the International Coral Reef Symposium in Okinawa, Japan this summer, where he made a formal presentation on the reef fish project in Abrolhos, Brazil. The presentation drew attention due to the major gap in data about spawning aggregations in the South Atlantic. Read more...

Conservation of Private Lands for the Protection of the Huemul Deer, Chile (Bronze Award 2004)
Over the past two months, the team has been undertaking the preliminary planning stage of the project. This has entailed meetings with project partners and stakeholders, including university students and several professors of veterinary medicine, as well as meetings with community members that are helping the team make valuable links that will allow the team to work with these groups in the future. Read more...

Threatened Avifauna of the Chicamocha’s Dry Forest Valley, Colombia (Bronze Award 2004)
The Chicamocha team began their project in March of this year with pilot surveys, where they gathered data on the distribution of bird species and habitat types. During these surveys, they rediscovered the Chestnut-bellied hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris) and obtained the first photos of the species. Read more...

An Integrated Approach Toward Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (Follow-up Award 2003)
In July 2004 FaunAgua received official legal status as an NGO and has signed cooperation agreements with several local universities, NGOs and the state of Cochabamba, and a cooperation agreement with WWF-Bolivia is in the making. Read more...

Soul of the Andes, Argentina (Follow-up Award 2003)
Winter in the southern hemisphere is not a good time of year to carry out fieldwork in the high Andes. This is the season of the viento blanco, or white wind – a strong and persistent wind that can freeze anything (and anyone) in a short time. Thus, the team prefers to devote time to other activities that will help them fulfil their goals. Read more...

Status, Ecology and Distribution of the Elfin Woods Warbler, Puerto Rico (Silver Award 2003)
A year has passed since the Elfin Woods Warbler (EWWA) project commenced and the team has been able to gather data on this species that up to this point has been largely ignored by others. The EWWA was found only in Maricao and Luquillo forests, and seems to have disappeared from Toro Negro and Carite forests. Read more...

Alder Amazon, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
Since completing their research several months ago, the Alder Amazon team has been busy disseminating information about the project and its findings. They sent two manuscripts to COTINGA Journal of the Neotropical Bird Club for publication – the first photographic record of an Alder Amazon nest with nestlings. Read more...

Seabirds, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
During June 2004, the Seabirds project team completed species surveys at three sites in Buenos Aires Province – the ports of Puerto Quequén and Mar del Plata, and the fishing camp of Claromecó. The team has already finished the first year of data collection, where they gathered data on seabird species composition and relative abundance associated with fishing operations. 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.

  • Biota of Boa Nova, Brazil 2003
  • Primate Survey in Nonggang National Nature Reserve, China 2003
  • Rio Máximo Fauna Refuge, Cuba 2002
  • Read a summary of these completed projects...


    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)
  • Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (Follow-up Award 2003)
  • Huemul Deer, Chile (Bronze Award 2004)
  • Project Chicamocha, Colombia (Bronze Award 2004)
  • Project Hapalopsittaca, Colombia (Gold Award 2002)
  • Project Karumbé, Uruguay Gold Award 2001)
  • Sea Turtle Research and Conservation, Venezuela (Follow-up 1999)
  • Shiwiar Rainforest Initiative, Ecuador 2000
  • Tandroy Conservation Trust, Madagascar (Consolidation Award 2003)
  • URUGUA-Í, Argentina (Gold Award 2002)
  • Yungas 2001, Bolivia (Silver Award 2001)