In this Issue:

Programme Manager's Message
Diary Dates
News From the Field
Programme Alumni: Where are they now?
Final Reports Received
Project Websites


Programme Manager's Message

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2006. Last year was a busy year for many of us, and we are now able to look ahead to another twelve months, which will bring fresh developments to the Programme, new awardees to join our network and no doubt some exciting challenges.

Currently the BPCP team is busy sifting through 2006 award applications and working to solicit reviews from experts in the field. The judging process runs until mid-March, when we will announce the 2006 award winners.

In other programme news, Jaimye Bartak, our Communications Associate who has been working with us for the past year, has just left the team to go back to university. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and hope she will stay in touch.

As usual there is plenty to report from our high achieving teams all over the world, please enjoy reading their updates! Meanwhile, Kate, Robyn and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2006!

Marianne Carter, 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

31 January Deadline for Society for Conservation GIS Scholarships.

1 February Deadline for BP Conservation Programme Alumni Grants

15 – 17 March Student Conference on Conservation Science, Duke University, North Carolina, USA

28 – 30 March Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK

20 – 31 March Convention on Biological Diversity COP 8, Curitiba, Brazil

24 – 28 June SCB Annual Meeting: Conservation Without Borders, San Jose, California, USA

24 – 28 June Society for Conservation GIS Annual Meeting, San Jose, California, USA

7 – 11 August ESRI User Conference, San Diego, California, USA

13 – 19 August 24th International Ornithological Congress, Hamburg, Germany

22 – 26 August 1st European Congress of Conservation Biology, Eger, Hungary

3 – 7 September VII International Conference for Wildlife Management in Amazonia and Latin America, Bahia, Brazil


News From the Field


Marine Turtle Project 2005: Implementing a Community Action Plan to Save Marine Turtles in Kenya (Follow-up Award 2005)
The Marine Turtle Project (MTP) was officially launched on 9th November 2005 in Kipini, Kenya. MTP aims to promote the conservation and management of sea turtles within the Tana Delta area from Shekiko all the way to Ras Biongwe.

Status and Conservation of African Wild Dogs in Northern Mozambique (Gold Award 2005)
In the forthcoming final report, the team will analyze and present data gathered during their fieldwork to determine the distribution of African wild dogs, assess population size, habitat and availability, competition and disease.

Tulbagh Renosterveld Project, South Africa (Silver Award 2005)
Although the fieldwork phase is slowing down, the team has managed to find some interesting plant species. The highlight for them was finding a new population of Ixia campanulata.

Conservation Comoros 2005: Biodiversity and Resource-use Assessment and Environmental Awareness, Comoros Islands (Bronze Award 2005)
Conservation Comoros 2005 concluded their fieldwork in September of last year. Through the project, they worked to bolster conservation efforts on the remote Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Bat Conservation, Madagascar (Consolidation Award 2004)
The beginning of austral summer in Madagascar always signals the onset of a busy period for field biologists.

Mpingo Conservation Project, Tanzania (Consolidation Award 2004)
In October the Mpingo Conservation Project welcomed its 5th full time team member - Nuru Nguya - who joined the project as a Community Development Officer, bringing a background refreshingly free of conservation and forestry preconceptions.

Conservation of Dugong in Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique (Bronze Award 2004)
Between July 2004 and August 2005, the team conducted five aerial surveys. Dugong were sighted almost everywhere in the Bazaruto Bay without any defined pattern of habitat preference.

Yala Wetland Management for Sustainable Development, Kenya (Bronze Award 2003)
The crisis over management of the Yala Wetland in Kenya seems to be never ending for a group of conservationists who won an award in 2003.

Read more about projects in Africa...


Croc Project, Philippines (Consolidation Award 2005)
Over the past three years, the Crocodile Rehabilitation, Observance and Conservation (CROC) project has tried to set up an effective conservation program for the endangered Philippine crocodile in the wild.

Extending Chelonian Research, Education and Conservation, Cambodia (Follow-up Award 2005)
Fieldwork conducted in November and December of 2005 in the southeast Central Cardamom Protected Forest focused on determining the presence and status of the endangered big-headed turtle.

Distribution, Habitat Preference and Conservation Status of Giant Endemic Rats Solomys ponceleti and S. salebrosus, Solomon Islands (Gold Award 2005)
The team is halfway through with surveys on Choiseul Island. So far they have come across some very interesting animals, including 12 frog species, some unrecorded on Choiseul Island.

Conservation of an Island Endemic: Calayan Rail (Silver Award 2005)
The fieldwork for the Calayan Rail (Gallirallus calayanensis) started with a 4P workshop in October.

Conservation of Tricholoma matsutake Mushroom, Northwest Yunnan, China (Silver Award 2005)
Shangri-la is now under snow, giving Matsutake team members some time to hunker down for the winter and analyze data and specimens from the summer and fall fieldwork.

Threatened Conifer Conservation in Eastern Dalat Plateau, Vietnam (Bronze Award 2005)
The Central Highlands of Vietnam is one of the riches areas for conifer species, especially in the Dalat Plateau.

Action Tayam Peh: Ecology and Conservation of the Nicobar Flying Fox in the Nicobar Islands, India (Follow-up Award 2004)
In spite of formidable weather conditions, the Action Tayam Peh team successfully captured and tagged five Nicobar flying fox (Pteropus faunulus) for future studies.

Conservation of Gangetic Dolphin in Brahmaputra River System, India (Bronze Award 2004)
This one-year project set out to survey the Brahmaputra River and 51 major tributaries to gather data on the endangered Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica).

Ecology and Conservation of Frogs of Mount Gede Pangrango National Park (Bronze Award 2004)
In Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, which is one of the last remaining pristine areas in the highly populated province of West Java, little is known of the local frog fauna, despite the high degree of biodiversity reported within the park.

GAYNAWAAN 2004: Conservation of Threatened Vertebrates at Mount Sinaka, Philippines (Bronze Award 2004)
The project proposes to use a community-driven approach to conservation by involving local communities in the creation of a forest corridor.

Bat Count 2003, Philippines (Gold Award 2003)
Momentum is building for flying-fox conservation in the Philippines, and the Bat Count project is learning to wear many different hats in order to support new collaborators.

Katala Quest, Northern Palawan, Philippines (Silver Award 2003)
The second remaining forest patch on Dumaran Island is now locally declared a protected area. This is a significant outcome that has come about as a result of the surveys conducted by Katala Quest.

Read more about projects in Asia and the Pacific...


Developing Conservation Measures for Darevsky's Viper, Armenia (Gold Award 2005)
The results of monthly field trips that covered the south-eastern slopes of the Javakheti ridge in the Caucasus have allowed the team to clarify the distribution area of Darevsky’s viper.

Monitoring and Conservation of Globally Threatened Species, Azerbaijan (Gold Award 2004)
Azerbaijan is a country struggling with the process of political and economic transformation. A biodiversity hotspot, the country has a variety of landscapes rich in biodiversity ranging from high alpine mountainous areas to steppe and semi-arid deserts in the lowlands.

Read more about projects in Eurasia...


YARÉ: Yariguíes Assessment and Research of Endangered species, Colombia (Silver Award 2005)
Proyecto Yaré aims to gather scientific data necessary for the development of a long-term conservation strategy for Serranía de los Yariguíes.

Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullata) Research and Conservation Programme (Bronze Award 2005)
The Red Siskin team recently met with the district council to arrange a document allowing members of the group access to any Amerindian land in the area for their research.

The Green Corridor: Linking Landscapes, People and Institutions in Atlantic Forest, Argentina (Follow-up Award 2004)
The project team has been working successfully in Misiones Province for nearly four years monitoring birds and small mammals in forest fragments between the Urugua-í and Foerster Provincial Parks, supporting sustainable agricultural alternatives, and providing conservation education activities locally.

Ecology and Conservation of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations in the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil (Silver Award 2004)
Results from the Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations project supported proposals for new marine protected areas (MPAs) within the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

Conservation of Cuban Cactus Melocactus actinacanthus, Cuba (Bronze Award 2004)
The First National Workshop on Reproductive Biology of Plants was held in the Cuban National Botanical Garden 18-19th October 2005.

Integrated Approach Toward Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (Follow-up Award 2003)
The FaunAgua Giant Otter team published a 2006 calendar for the Iténez region to promote conservation in the region and specifically of the giant otter.

Read more about projects in Latin America and the Caribbean...


Syrian Serin, Lebanon (Gold Award 2005)
In only six months, the Syrian Serin (Serinus syriacus) team made conservation history in Lebanon by implementing a new technique and modifying existing data on the Syrian Serin.

Read more about projects in the Middle East...


Programme Alumni: Where are they now?

Surveying Underground Bat Habitats in Romania with Zoltan Nagy

It doesn’t take long to get drawn into Zoltan Nagy’s story. Not only is he from Romania, but working in Transylvania with, of all things, bats. Legends aside, Zoltan’s team has recognized a very real problem with this shadowy species, due to the rise of tourism in the area: “They are using the natural resources like the caves to get as many visitors as they can,” Zoltan explains. “In some places we see that the tourists and the bat populations in the same place [are] working very well. But it depends very, very much on your relationship with the local administration.”

As a younger man, Zoltan enjoyed exploring the many caves in the western part of Transylvania. One of the first times he entered them, he saw a large mass of bats, and the next thing he knew he was at university studying biology. “First I just liked them, and after then I started to be more and more interested in their lives. We don’t know too much because they are nocturnal animals; there are very few places, for example caves, where you can see a very big mass of them,” he said.



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.

  • Conservation of Gangetic Dolphin in Brahmaputra River System, India, 2004

  • Ecology and Conservation of Frogs of Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, 2004

  • Ensuring Effective Conservation For Endangered Grassland Birds in Uruguay, 2004

  • Monitoring of Globally Threatened Bird Species in the Tengiz Lakes Region, Kazakhstan, 2003

  • Monitoring and Conservation of Globally Threatened Species, Azerbaijan, 2004

  • Green Corridor: Linking Landscapes, People and Institutions in the Atlantic Forest, Argentina, 2004


    Project Websites

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

  • Bat Census in Crimean Caves, Ukraine (Bronze Award 2004)
  • Conservation Comoros, Comoros Islands (Bronze Award 2005)
  • 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)
  • Mpingo Conservation Project, Tanzania (Consolidation Award 2004)
  • Project Chicamocha, Colombia (Bronze Award 2004)
  • Project Hapalopsittaca, Colombia (Gold Award 2002)
  • Project Karumbé, Uruguay Gold Award 2001)
  • Project Knuckles, Sri Lanka (Silver Award 2005)
  • 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)