December Newsletter 2003, Issue 16
In this Issue:

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


Programme Manager's Message

Welcome to the December edition of the BPCP newsletter. As usual, there has been a lot of activity over the past few months. Our award winning teams have been very active in the field and have much to report, as you will read below.

The deadline for 2004 awards recently passed, and we have received 340 applications from all over the world—so Kate, Robyn and I are now busy getting the reviewing and judging process underway. There are some very exciting projects being planned, so good luck to all those who have applied.

I have just returned from Beijing, where more than 40 students from 22 universities across China gathered for a seven-day training programme on biodiversity conservation issues and techniques. The BP Conservation Programme and its partners worked with Tsinghua University's Biodiversity Alliance to provide a programme with workshops and discussions on a range of conservation topics in China presented by experts, scholars and government officials.

China is a country very rich in biodiversity, with approximately one tenth of the total number of species in the world. It holds many rare and endemic species, but unfortunately many of these are under threat—it’s estimated that up to 20% are close to extinction. Much work needs to be done to help the survival of species, such as the Tibetan Antelope, Snub-nosed Monkey, Giant Panda, Crested Ibis and Golden Takin, and many less well-known species.

We hope the Tsinghua training participants go back to their universities full of ideas to set up their own projects and encourage others to join in the effort. It was certainly encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the students, and I'm grateful to Tsinghua Biodiversity Alliance for co-ordinating and hosting this event! This is the third such country-specific training the Programme has undertaken with the aim of supporting future conservationists in specific, priority regions to develop and implement sustainable conservation projects. Previous workshops have been presented in Indonesia (2000) and Malaysia (2001).

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

2 January 2004 WCS Research Fellowship Program Application Deadline. For more information visit:

9 - 20 Feb 2004 7th Mtg. of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Visit:

22 – 29 February 2004 24th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, San Jose, Costa Rica. Visit:

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:

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

Latest News

Team members from the Yungas 2001 project Ross McLeod and Aidan MacCormick recently attended the national Important Bird Area (IBA) workshop in Bolivia, which brought together biologists, governmental departments and conservation NGOs to identify the country’s most important conservation sites.

Out of the 23 newly designated IBAs across Bolivia, 5 designations were based on data from BP Conservation Programme projects; these included 3 Polylepis forest sites from the work of Isobel Gomez, the Upper Yungas of the new Altimachi reserve which was designated after the Yungas 2001 team’s work in Pampa Grande and the Lower Yungas of Carrasco National Park where the 1998 project worked. The workshop also identified a further 21 sites in Bolivia as potential IBAs, but there was insufficient data to make a definite decision.


News From the Field


Enhancing Community Participation in the Conservation of Sea Turtles, Kenya (Silver Award 2003)
With the help and support of the Sea Turtle Team, the Tana Friends of the Marine Environment (TAFMEN) group was formed in September—a revamped, more focused and highly motivated turtle conservation group drawn from 33 trainees from the local community. Read more...

Expedition to Survey the Status and Threats to Globally-threatened Bird Species in South Nguruman Important Bird Area, Kenya (Bronze Award 2003)
The ornithological mystery of the South Nguruman Important Bird Area (IBA) in Kenya continues to unravel, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the South Nguruman team. The tough terrain has made it difficult for the team to gather data in this area, but the mystery has presented both thrills and challenges to keep them going. Read more...

Survey of Corridor Issues and Movements of Elephants, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (Bronze Award 2003)
The south of Sunyani and the West of Tano River in Ghana are locations for several forest reserves, which extend into Cote d’Ivoire with two reserves abutting the border. This area supports a fragmented population of elephants. The team is conducting a feasibility study that will contribute to the development and management of a cross border collaboration programme aimed at facilitating elephant migratory habitat between the two regions and thereby protecting this small population of elephants. Read more...

Kikuyu Escarpment Outreach Project, Kenya (Follow-up Award 2002)
The last six months has been a busy period for the KENVO team, as they have been collecting traditional knowledge about the forest and the other natural resources. The information was used to compose songs with traditional rhythms and styles and successfully used to raise awareness about the forest. The team also organised a weeklong environmental activity with local communities and the forest department that included planting trees in local schools and deforested areas in the forest. Read more...

Wetland Conservation, Rwanda (Bronze Award 2002)
Thanks to the BP Award and an RSPB small grant, ACNR (Association pour la conservation de la Nature au Rwanda) has undertaken a program of conservation and sustainable use of the Nyabarongo and Akanyaru wetlands located in central-eastern Rwanda (south-eastern of Kigali). These wetlands, located at the Nile river source, are very important due to their biodiversity and role in hosting migratory species. Read more...


CROC, Philippines (Follow-up Award 2003)
In August 2003, a heavy typhoon hit Northeast Luzon. The effects of this typhoon were disastrous: many local people in the remote municipalities where the CROC project is working lost their homes and scarce belongings, and their crops were devastated by winds and floods. In the small village of Cadsalan, home to the largest breeding population of the critically endangered Philippine crocodile, the school building was completely destroyed. In April 2003, the CROC Team and students of the Isabela State University had utilized the school during the summer class organised by the project. Read more...

Research and conservation assessment of the threatened Grey-hooded Parrotbill, China (Silver Award 2003)
Bamboo shrubs in the virgin fir forest of Wawu Shan in Southwestern Sichuan, China, form the habitat for the Grey-hooded Parrotbill. The team’s census in 2003 indicated that the Grey-hooded Parrotbill was in good density at Wawu Shan—18 pairs were observed within an area of 60 hectares. Read more...

Identification of Upland Rainforest Species in the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park Buffer Zone, Philippines (Bronze Award 2003)
In July, the team participated in a traditional indigenous ritual held at the project site to formally begin their project identifying indigenous rainforest species in the buffer zone of Mt. Kitanglad protected area. Joined by Barangay officials, Kitanglad volunteer guards, tribal elders and local community members, Talaandig Indigenous leaders in Lantapan, Bukidnon asked the spirits of the forest and guardians of the people for their blessing on the research project. Read more...

Project Pasoso, Indonesia (Bronze Award 2003)
The Project Pasoso team braved the West Monsoon for an extended site visit in early October. For part of the time, a Swedish ecotourism group and the Head of the Fisheries Faculty of a local University joined the camp. Coral reef monitoring was carried out, along with sea grass habitat mapping for the island and surrounding coast, and percentage coverage data is available now for the Pasoso seagrass areas. The team is currently analyzing more detailed data on seagrass conditions. Read more...

Nepenthes Project, Indonesia (Follow up Award 2002)
The Nepenthes team has been busy processing Nepenthes (pitcher plant) specimen from their fieldwork, which they have displayed at the Herbarium of Andalas University. In late July, the team distributed Nepenthes posters to participants of the Fourth National Organic Chemistry Workshop, which is held annually Padang City. In August the team also made a presentation at the Sixth National Seminar of Indonesian Woods Research Society in Bung Hatta Palace, Bukittinggi City. Read more...

Project Garuda, Indonesia (Follow up Award 2002)
After twice experiencing the breeding failure of the Javan Hawk-Eagle, the team debated over whether or not to continue their behavioral observations in the forest around Ciasem. Read more...

Crested Ibis 2001, China (Silver Award 2001)
The Crested Ibis 2001 team continues to see the impacts of their research. Based on the project results, the team presented reports and management recommendations to the Crested Ibis Conservation Station in Yangxian, Shaanxi Forestry Bureau in Xi’an and the State Forestry Administration in Beijing. Read more...

Conservation of Waterbirds and their Habitats in Chongming Island, China (Bronze Award 2001)
A Black-faced Spoonbill with radio-transmitter and color banding was recorded at Chongming Dongtan at the estuary of the Yangtze River in April 2003. Thanks to the serial number on the banding and with the help of Simba Chan from the Japan Wild Bird Society, the team determined that the bird was banded in Mai Po, Hong Kong in December 2002. Read more...


Bat survey in the Slovensky Raj National Park, Slovakia (Bronze Award 2003)
In August the Podlesok Tourist Centre in Slovensky Raj National Park presented a very nontraditional event for visitors. The bat survey team held a European Bat Night, an international educational activity for the public presented every year in August-September in many European countries. The event provided a great opportunity to acquaint people with bats and their protection and research. Read more...

Fish of Montenegro, Yugoslavia (Bronze Award 2002)
While researching the ichthyofauna of the Moraca River system in Montenegro, the team caught 24 species, with the presence of another 4 confirmed by local fishermen. Three of these 28-recorded species were found in the Moraca River system for the first time—one species was the introduced East Asian cyprinid Pseudorasbora parva and two were lampreys. Read more...


An Integrated Approach Toward Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (Follow up Award 2003)
The team has been quite busy with field surveys this October. Two field teams, consisting of 4 British, 2 Belgians and 4 Bolivians, have been working in the northeast of Bolivia and the Bolivian Pantanal. They have established a research link with the university of Sheffield, and two Ph.D. researchers and two undergraduate students joined the team and initiated research on the population genetics of giant otters. Read more...

Alder Amazon Project, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
In mid-September the team finished their non-breeding season surveys of the Alder Amazon. Eighteen sites were surveyed along the distribution area, from the border of Bolivia to Catamarca. The team detected the biggest known population of Alder Amazon in the Santa Bárbara mountain range in Jujuy Province. Read more...

Biota of Boa Nova, Brazil (Bronze Award 2003)
The Boa Nova region of Brazil contains two highly threatened vegetation types—deciduous dry forest and humid patches of Atlantic forest. Despite the regions importance, it is suffering from severe deforestation and fragmentation, and conservation is difficult, as all forest remnants are privately owned. The Boa Nova team is currently gathering baseline data on these forest fragments. Read more...

Incidental capture of seabirds survey in coastal fisheries, Argentina (Bronze Award 2003)
From the moment the seabird team started to make inquiries and board vessels in May, fishermen started to become interested in seabirds. They have been asking questions and giving accurate information related to the incidental capture of birds, as well as bringing the team captured seabirds for identification. Read more...

Marsh Deer Project, Argentina (Follow up Award 2003)
The team recently carried out five field campaigns to islands southeast of Entre Rios province. Through surveys, they were able to confirm the presence of an unknown nucleus of marsh deer for the first time in the Delta del Paraná; this information will be important as they design a new conservation strategy for the region. Read more...

Project Ventania, Argentina (Bronze Award 2002)
The Project Ventania team recently produced a guide for land snails (in Spanish). The guide provides identification information for land snails likely to be found in the Ventania Mountains; it also provides information about the differences between introduced, pest and native snails. The guide also has some interesting and unusual facts about shells and land snail biology, as well as questions often posed by local tourist guides and park visitors. The team hopes to see this as part of a wider guide for invertebrates in the park. For the moment, they are providing copies at the park's library (for tourist guides and park rangers) and at TELLUS (NGO). For a copy of the guide, please email:

Karumbé Project, Uruguay (Gold Award 2001)
Over the past two years, the Karumbé project successfully focused on aspects of ecology and conservation biology of marine turtles and their habitats in Uruguay. The team identified principal foraging areas for juvenile green turtles in Uruguay, which included Cerro Verde, located along the northeastern Atlantic coast, and San Luis, located within the estuary known as “Rio de la Plata.” Turtle sightings in Cerro Verde allowed the team to determine that turtle presence varied seasonally. Read more...


Final Reports Received

  • Crested Ibis, China 2001
  • Ecology and Conservation of the Chilean Dolphin, Chile 2002
  • Karumbé Project, Uruguay 2001
  • URUGUA-Í Green Corridor, Argentina 2002
  • 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.


    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)
  • 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)