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

The BP Conservation Programme becomes the Conservation Leadership Programme!

We are excited to announce that the BP Conservation Programme has officially launched its new name – the Conservation Leadership Programme – at the 21st Annual Society for Conservation Biology meeting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (1st - 5th July 2007).

The new name clearly reflects what this successful, long-running initiative is trying to achieve and marks the end of a considerable period of development. Over the past year, the Programme has made some key changes to focus on the development of biodiversity conservation leaders in a set of 20 focus countries that are of significant business interest to BP.

With more emphasis on capacity building, the initiative now supports an increased range of support – from the well-known team awards, to research fellowships, scholarships, internships, training and networking opportunities. This set of offerings will help awardees gain skills and move up the conservation career ladder. It may take some time to get used to our new name, but please spread the word!!

As of June, a new Programme Assistant has joined the CLP team. Maina Macharia is based at BirdLife International and will be offering assistance to project teams, and he will be providing much needed administrative help. He is from Kenya, but has been studying in the UK for the past seven years and is a keen birdwatcher and committed conservationist. He gained practical experience working in the field in Kenya prior to coming to the UK and is looking forward to assisting CLP award winners!

We finally had the opportunity meet 27 of this year’s winning team representatives for our annual training in South Africa at the end of June. The training course offers an opportunity for participants to gain skills and reinforce knowledge of multi-disciplinary conservation methodologies in areas including project planning, long-term sustainable management, education and communications. It also links participants to a strong, professional network and facilitates future collaboration.

After the training, over 70 CLP grant recipients (current and past) attended the SCB Annual Meeting in Port Elizabeth, with about half of them giving oral or poster presentations.

Please note the next team award deadline is 23rd November 2007. Visit for information on how to apply.

Marianne Carter, Executive Manager

Quarterly newsletter for the Conservation Leadership 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.

Diary Dates

19 – 31 August 2007 Economic Tools for Ecosystem Conservation Training Course, Palo Alto, CA

29 August – 24 October 2007 SCB Annual Meeting 2008: Call for symposia, discussion groups, workshops and short courses

17 – 28 September 2007 Field Techniques for Conservation Research Training Course, Washington, DC

30 September – 6 October 2007 II Latin American Parks and Protected Areas Congress, Bariloche, Argentina

14 – 21 October 2007 4th International Symposium on Galliformes, Sichuan, China

18 – 20 October 2007 Bolivian Ornithology Congress, La Paz, Bolivia

31 October – 16 January 2008 SCB Annual Meeting 2008: Call for contributed papers, posters & speed presentations

26 – 28 November 2007 4th International Conference on Environmental Education, Ahmedabad, India

6 – 16 January 2008 Leadership and Communication Tools for Environmental Management Training Course, Washington, DC

19 – 26 January 2008 28th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, Baja California Sur, Mexico

13 – 16 May 2008 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, Honolulu, Hawaii

7 – 11 July 2008 11th Annual Coral Reef Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

13 – 18 July 2008 SCB Annual Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

5 – 14 October 2008 World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, Spain


News From the Field


Chameleons for Conservation: Surveying and Monitoring in Menabe Central, Madagascar (2006)
The Chameleon Conservation Project started in December 2006 with the preparation of materials and meeting with our partner, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Fieldwork was undertaken from 26th January to 7th April 2007 and chameleons were surveyed at nine different sites within the Menabe Central region, an area that has been designated as a new protected area and represents the largest forest block in western Madagascar.

Operation Moheli, Comoros (2006)
During the month of May, the C3 field team was stationed in Mitsamiouli to conduct intensive seagrass surveys and mapping throughout the northern region. Seagrass beds are the primary food source and habitat for the endangered dugong and green sea turtles, and provide important nursery grounds for juvenile fish.

A Participatory Wildlife Count in the Maasai Steppe of Northern Tanzania
Fortunata Msoffe, WCS Research Fellow (2006)

The Tarangire-Simanjiro ecosystem is a wildlife-rich area in Tanzania and an important tourist destination, which includes Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, Mkungunero Game Reserve and several game control areas (GCA) for tourist and resident hunting.

Bat Conservation Madagascar (2005)
Madagascar is a priority area for biodiversity conservation based on the high degree of endemic species and ongoing habitat degradation. Although bats make an important contribution to biodiversity in the tropics, they were neglected by scientists in Madagascar for many years. Capacity building projects to address this situation were successful in creating a group of skilled Malagasy bat workers but didn’t establish an organization from where this unique team could operate.

Conservation Comores (2005)
After months of manoeuvring and hard work, Conservation Comores is finally moving ahead. We have completed our initial project, and through the Bristol Zoo Gardens and with the support of academics from the Universities of Oxford and East Anglia, team leader Hugh Doulton will be heading out to the Comoros in October.

Mpingo Conservation Project, Tanzania (2004)
Working with local foresters and using the East African Blackwood, one of the world's most valuable timbers, as a flagship, the Mpingo Conservation Project (MCP) has been making great strides in their efforts to develop sustainable forestry practices in Tanzania under the management of local communities.

Rugezi Wetland, Rwanda (2002)
Rugezi swamp is a large wetland covering almost 6735 ha in northern Rwanda. It is known as a host of the very large population of grauer swamp warbler, Bradypterus graueri, an endemic bird in the Albertine Rift high mountain swamps. The wetland was appointed in July 2005 as the first Ramsar site of Rwanda and is now benefiting from legal protection. However, the protection of the wetland, which lies within a highly populated area, can’t truly be protected unless alternative livelihood opportunities are developed.

Read more about these projects in Africa...


Conservation of Threatened Migratory Birds in the Eerguna-Midflow Trans-boundary Wetland, China/Russia (2007)
In April, relevant bird experts and researchers gathered data throughout the northeast part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region – the intersection point of China, Russia and Mongolia. The key species in this region include Red-crowned crane, White-naped crane, Swan goose and Great bustard.

Ecology of Threatened Bird Species at Laojunshan, Southern China (2007)
Laojunshan is national nature reserve, as well as a Global 200 Ecoregion (WWF) and an Important/Endemic Bird Area. The local subtropical broadleaf forests are threatened by conversion to agriculture, exploitation for timber, construction and tourism. However, information about its avifauna and the status of endangered species found here is quite limited.

CROC Project, Philippines (2005)
The CROC project has worked with rural communities and local governments to conserve the endemic crocodile in its natural freshwater habitat. It all started in 2002 with a gold award of the BP Conservation Program. Six years later, through follow-up support, a lot has been achieved. Three breeding sites are now protected by local communities and village councils have banned fishing with dynamite, chemicals and electricity.

Extending Chelonian Research, Education and Conservation in Cambodia (2005)
Chey Koulang, a master student from the Royal University of Phnom Penh has joined the project for monitoring the vulnerable impressed tortoise Manouria impressa first found by the team in Cambodia in 2004. The team recently visited to the site to conduct interviews and a short field survey to look for the species and attach a radio tracking device for further monitoring.

Otter Conservation in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam (2006)
Vietnam supports four otter species, including the hairy-nosed otter, smooth-coated otter, Eurasian otter and oriental small-clawed otter. Their current status is uncertain and they are significantly threatened by habitat disturbance and hunting for skins, medicine and meat.

Distribution, Abundance and Conservation Status of the Fijian Ground Frog (2003)
The University of the South Pacific is currently attempting an island eradication of cane toads. This effort is headed by Dr. Craig Morley, our advisor for the Fijian ground frog project. Through our project we were able to raise awareness for the endemic ground frog (Platymantis vitianus) and it has become a national icon.

Pelican Conservation Project of Sri Lanka (2003)
This is the 4th successful year for the project and they have moved into the southern part of Sri Lanka with the aim to complete an island-wide field survey while raising awareness on pelicans.

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


Supporting Conservation of West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasica) in Georgia (2006)
The team is currently working on their final report after analyzing results from community meetings and expeditions and assessing conservation issues for the West Caucasian Tur.

Darevsky’s Viper, Armenia (2007)
The Transboundary Joint Secretariat (TJS) for the Southern Caucasus was recently established to facilitate cooperation for biodiversity conservation initiatives in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The TJS will oversee the establishment of three new national parks – Samur Yalama in Azerbaijan and in the Javakheti regions of Armenia and Georgia.

Read more about these projects in Eurasia...


Advancing Seabird Conservation in Peru’s Artisanal Fisheries through Education and Research, Peru (2007)
The Pro Delphinus team was recently granted a Follow-up Award by the CLP to continue their efforts toward seabird conservation in Peru. Results from the team’s 2005 CLP supported seabird project and previous research brought to light significant threats to the waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata).

Conservation of Cuban Cacti (2007)
In May 2007 the Programme organized an exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History to increase public awareness about the diversity and distribution of cacti in Cuba and worldwide, as well as to identify the main threats and economic importance of these plants.

Project Atelopus, Colombia (2007)
The Project Atelopus team recently had the exciting discovery of a species new to science – the Andean poison frog species of the genus Ranitomeya from the Cordillera Oriental region of Cundinamarca municipality. This new species has been described and named “Rana Dorada de Supata”.

Bloody Bay Poison Frog, Trinidad & Tobago (2006)
The project’s most significant finding to date is the detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in our target species Mannophryne olmonae. The significance of this cannot be understated because it is believed to be one of the main factors responsible for the global decline in frog species.

Rethinking Participatory Management & Biodiversity Conservation: Toward an Ecoregion-based Design in Trinidad & Tobago
Ainka Granderson, RFP Grantee (2006)

The South American marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Philippi 1893, monito del monte) is the only living representative of Microbiotheriidae. This family constitutes one of the oldest lineages of marsupials. Morphological, chromosomal and molecular studies of D. gliroides suggest that this living fossil shares greater phylogenetic affinity with the Australian marsupials than with other South American marsupials.

Titicaca Flightless Grebe, Bolivia (2006)
In April 2007 the team participated in a bi-national meeting with numerous stakeholders from Peru and Bolivia to present the project aims and objectives and the management activities that are being carried out in the area for the purpose of developing a strategy for integrated conservation of the Lake Titicaca basin and the Polylepis Forest.

Soul of the Andes, Argentina (2003)
Since 2005, the Soul of the Andes project for the conservation of the Andean cat has focused its activities in the Argentine region of Las Chinchillas Provincial Reserve, bordering Bolivia and Chile. In this region, the field team is now carrying out a new intensive photo trap survey aiming to provide the first population density estimate of the extremely elusive cats occurring in the high altitude Andes.

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


Project Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Sarigol National Park, Iran (2006)
As a result of a camera trapping survey in Sarigol National Park during the winter of 2006 – 2007, a total of 5 different leopards have been captured, which is near the preliminary estimate of 6 to 8 animals within the park before using the camera traps. Meanwhile, a seven-month long awareness raising campaign recently came to an end and a total of around 1000 students from 9 villages with the highest level of conflict with the park have been educated about the leopards in the National Park. Now back at home after finishing the field surveys, the team is busy analyzing data and samples to conclude their reports.


Programme Alumni: Where are they now?

Coming Full Circle with Two Programme Alumni in Malaysia
By Lynn Duda, CLP Programme Officer

Reuben Sharma and Sumita ‘Sumi’ Sugnaseelan won Conservation Leadership Programme Awards in 1999 for two projects focusing on the conservation of tortoises in Peninsular Malaysia.

As we sat sipping tea in the tropical heat of the courtyard at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), where Reuben and Sumi are currently both junior lecturers, I asked them where they were ten years ago. They looked at each other, smiled, and replied, “Right here!”

Back then they were undergraduates in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and now they have returned as Dr. Reuben Sharma and Dr. Sumita Sugnaseelan to teach the next generation.

Read the full story...


Final Reports Received

These recently concluded projects have had some exciting results. For a copy of the full report, send an email request to

  • Conservation Comores, Comoros (2005)
  • Bat Conservation Madagascar (2004)
  • Bat Census in Crimean Caves, Ukraine (2004)
  • Project Matsutake, China (2005)
  • Action Tayam-Peh, Nicobar Islands (2004)
  • Finding Napo, Marshall Islands (2004)


    Project Websites

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

  • Assessment of Seabird Bycatch, Peru, (2003)
  • Bat Census in Crimean Caves, Ukraine (2004)
  • Conservacion Argentina, Argentina (2006)
  • Conservation Comoros, Comoros Islands (2005)
  • CROC, Philippines (2005)
  • Ecology and Conservation of the Chilean Dolphin (2002)
  • Giant Otter Conservation, Bolivia (2003)
  • Iranian Cheetah, Iran (2006)
  • Katala Quest, Philippines (2003)
  • Mpingo Conservation Project, Tanzania (2004)
  • Project Hapalopsittaca, Colombia (2002)
  • Project Karumbé, Uruguay (2001)
  • Project Knuckles, Sri Lanka (2005)
  • Sea Turtle Research and Conservation, Venezuela (1999)
  • Tandroy Conservation Trust, Madagascar (2003)