In this Issue:

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


Programme Manager's Message

Seasons greetings! Welcome to our December newsletter, which will give you a snapshot of what has been happening in the past few months through the impressive efforts of our global network. In this issue, teams are reporting from 24 countries as they undertake high-priority conservation projects on everything from fish to trees; from primates to amphibians; and birds to bats!

As a network of like-minded conservationists fighting to protect the earth’s precious biodiversity, it’s good to take stock every now and then and to recognise that we are making a difference. Looking at individual efforts, it might only seem like small changes; but when you put it all together, you can really see the amazing impact of all our hard work. I hope you get a sense of that when you read this issue, as I did!

Over the past year we’ve seen lots of programme growth and development. We changed our name from the BP Conservation Programme to the Conservation Leadership Programme; we hosted a successful international training course in South Africa, where we had the opportunity to work with 26 new and inspiring award-winning teams and projects.

Additionally, we participated in the SCB Annual Meeting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where high-achieving CLP alumni were everywhere you turned; we successfully completed a round of Research Fellowship Program grants (and another round is nearly complete!); we awarded 3 scholarships; and 7 CLP interns are working in Brazil, China, England and Malaysia; and to help us with all this work, we hired a new CLP Assistant!

Right now there is no time for rest and reflection. After receiving 150 applications for our 2008 team awards, we are currently working through the review and selection process, enlisting plenty of help from our expert partners. Results of the awards will be announced in late March.

Looking forward to 2008, we’re excited to be working with you all again, and perhaps we’ll see you at the Society for Conservation Biology Annual Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the USA next July, where we will again have a strong presence. It would be great if we could see as many of you there as possible!

The Conservation Leadership Programme team and partnership wishes you all the best for the holiday season and we hope 2008 brings health, happiness and success to you all!

Marianne Carter,
CLP 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

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

16 January 2008 Deadline for Abstract Submission, 2008 SCB Annual Meeting

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

13 – 16 February 2008 4th International Partners in Flight Conference, McAllen, Texas, USA

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

24 - 29 November 2008 VIII Latin American Herpetology Congress, Topes de Collantes, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba

Latest News

  • New Reserve Created to Conserve Endangered and Endemic Species in Colombia
  • Read the full artcle...

  • Planting Seeds in Memory of Kate Stokes, CLP Programme Officer
  • Read the full article...

  • Join the CLP Facebook Group!
    The Conservation Leadership Programme is now on Facebook! Join the group by logging on to – if you aren’t a member of Facebook, you’ll need to create a profile; once you are a member, go to ‘Applications’ and click on ‘Group’ then search for ‘Conservation Leadership Programme.’


    News From the Field

    Team Awards are granted to teams of three or more individuals who are undertaking high-priority conservation projects. The awards are arranged in a tiered system to allow for progression and include the Future Conservationist Award, Conservation Follow-up Award and Conservation Leadership Award.


    Chameleons for Conservation: Surveying and Monitoring in Menabe Central, Madagascar (2006)
    A survey of chameleons was undertaken in nine forest sites, representing varying degrees of human disturbance. The structure, distribution and abundance of chameleon populations were described using distance sampling along nocturnal transects.

    Operation Mohéli, Comoros (2006)
    Last month, Operation Mohéli team members Chris Poonian, Mouzidalifa Yssouf Bounou and Miroirdine Kamardine Mabrouk attended the 5th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Symposium, held in Durban, South Africa. For Mouzidalifa and Miroirdine, this was an especially exciting occasion as it was their first time overseas.

    Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Rwanda (2002)
    The Association for the Conservation of Nature in Rwanda (ACNR) received a grant to carry out a study aimed at conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in south-eastern Rwanda. Biodiversity surveys were conducted in the marshes of Nyabarongo and Akanyaru, both Important Bird Areas.

    Impacts of Plant Exploitation on Lowland Gorilla Population and Habitat in the Itombwe Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo (2002)
    The aim of this project was to study the impact of plant exploitation on habitat and lowland gorilla populations in the Itombwe Forest, globally recognized as a priority conservation area due to its rich biodiversity and endemism.

    Read more about projects in Africa...


    Conservation of Herpetofauna in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Indonesia (2007)
    The Conservation of Herpetofauna in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, South Sulawesi was conducted from July to September 2007. The project consisted of three main programs: herpetofauna surveys, conservation education for elementary to high school students and herp methods training.

    Assessment and Conservation of Threatened Bird Species at Laojunshan, Sichuan, China (2007)
    Laojunshan Nature Reserve is located in the Sichuan Province of southern China in the Liangshan mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot and Important Bird Area. The local virgin alpine subtropical deciduous forests are abundant and harbor tremendous diversity of plant and animal species.

    Conservation of Threatened and Migratory Birds in the Eerguna-Midflow Trans-boundary Wetland in China and Russia (2007)
    Studies focused on the assessment, viability and conservation status of important habitats for migratory, breeding and post-breeding bird populations in the Middle Eerguna Basin, with emphasis on 5 threatened species: Red-crowned Crane, White-naped Crane, Swan Goose, Great Bustard and Greater Spotted Eagle.

    Developing a Community Buffer for the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, India (2007)
    With the festive spirit in the air, it is a good time to reflect on the achievements of the months gone by. The Bhimashankar team aims to study the patterns of deforestation around the Bhimashankar sanctuary, define a buffer zone and initiate a process of buffer zone management with the active participation of local community groups.

    Conservation of Mustache Toad, China (2007)
    Fieldwork conducted in October and November reveals that conditions for the Mustache Toad (Vibrissaphora leishanensis) continue to worsen, as numerous remains of camp fires and empty bottles of agricultural poison along the surveyed streams were frequently encountered.

    Calayan Rail Project, Philippines (2007)
    A six-foot-tall Calayan Rail was seen walking and dancing around the island. He was said to be black with a red-orange beak, long legs and red eyes. He is cuddly, friendly and is the newest addition to the Calayan Island family.

    Frogs of Gede-Pangrango: Conservation of Frogs in West Java, Indonesia (2006)
    Amphibian monitoring was carried out between December 2006 and April 2007. The team found 18 species of frogs from six families. In addition, they also recorded a caecilian from Bodogol, Ichthyophis hypocyaneus, in January 2007.

    CROC Project, Philippines (2005)
    In his book “The Future of Biodiversity,” biologist Edward O. Wilson writes that the Philippine crocodile is only “one hundred heartbeats away from extinction.” A powerful metaphor that is, and sadly enough, firmly grounded in reality. In fact, scientists estimate that there are less than 100 Philippine crocodiles surviving in the wild.

    Extending Chelonian Research, Education and Conservation in Cambodia (2005)
    Research activities for the project have been very successful. In 2004 the team documented a new record for impressed tortoise and big-headed turtle in Virachey National Park in northern Cambodia.

    Action Tayam-peh, Nicobar Islands, India (2004)
    Action Tayam-peh is a community-based conservation project in the Nicobar Group of Islands with the aim of determining the ecology and threats to the Nicobar flying fox (Pteropus faunulus), an endemic species of flying fox restricted to the North and Central Nicobar Islands.

    Small Carnivore Conservation in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam (2006)
    The Small Carnivore Conservation team has been very busy over the last few months working in the Mekong Delta. During the first research phase the team conducted interviews with local people and rangers about the status, ecology and main threats to carnivores and pangolins inhabiting the study area.

    Nepenthes Project, Indonesia (2001)
    Team members Nana and Q-ting attended the Sarawak Nepenthes Summit last July and presented two papers entitled "Assessment of the Habitat Condition and Conservation Status of Nepenthes in Sumatra” and “The Natural Hybrid of Nepenthes in Sumatra”.

    Conservation of Spot Billed Pelican in North Central and Central Provinces of Sri Lanka (2003)
    The spot-billed Pelican became a candidate for the IUCN Red Data list in 1988 and is the second pelican listed as threatened. The known breeding populations of SBP are now confined to India (c.2000 birds), Sri Lanka (500-3000 birds) and Cambodia (more than 5000 birds around Tonle Sap Lake). However the situation of Spot-billed Pelicans in Sri Lanka is poorly documented.

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


    Refugial Forest of the Western Lesser Caucasus, Georgia (2007)
    During the fieldwork phase, 17 expeditions took place within the study area to locate target species in the Meskheti Mountain Range and adjacent regions of Georgia, including the Trialeti range and Great Caucasus Mountains. At each locale, the team collected data to model habitat range and identify sites of high endemism.

    Darevsky’s Viper, Armenia (2007)
    In September 2007 the Trans-boundary Joint Secretariat (TJS) for Southern Caucasus began actions to move forward with the creation of a trans-boundary national park “Arpi Lake.” The team is working with international conservation organization WWF Germany and has implemented joint expeditions to determine boundaries for the national park.

    Assessing the Current Status and Distribution of Imperial Eagle and Lesser Kestrel, Azerbaijan (2007)
    Our most recent phase of fieldwork has been intense and exciting. We conducted research on the Imperial eagle in the northwest part of Azerbaijan. After 9 days of surveying, we found 30 active territories (25 nesting pairs), putting Azerbaijan among the top 6 countries for this globally threatened species. This data is absolutely new for the country.

    Supporting Conservation of the West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasica), Georgia (2006)
    The aim of this project was to promote the conservation of the West Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica), a highly endemic and endangered species in Georgia. Hunting has been the main threat to the species over the past century, but current data is scarce on the habitat, main threats and population status of the species.

    Fish of the Morača River System
    The recent description of a new freshwater fish species from the River Morača system (Barbatula zetensis (Šorić 2000)) and Lake Skadar (Scardinius knezevici) in Montenegro suggests that a general taxonomic revision of the local ichthyofauna is necessary.

    Read more about projects in Eurasia...


    Advancing Seabird Conservation in Artisanal Fisheries through Education and Research, Peru (2007)
    The most important news this year for the waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) was the review of its conservation status and resulting change from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘critically endangered’ on the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Conservation Field Training for Young Park Rangers in Argentina (2007)
    One of the last remaining continuous blocks of the Atlantic Forest is found in Misiones Province, Argentina and it needs skilled park rangers to adequately protect and attend to the complex environmental, social and economic needs of this endangered ecoregion. The Conservation Field Training Project aims to address this issue.

    Conservation of Cuban Cacti (2007)
    The aim of the Cuban Cactus Conservation Program is to promote the conservation and sustainable management of Melocactus actinacanthus – the flagship species for the Cuban Cactus Conservation Program – and its habitat in Cuba. Only 4 adult species and around 30 juveniles exist in the wild.

    Seabirds Argentina (2007)
    As a first phase of this continuing project, the Seabird Argentina team created the "Coastal Observers Team of Marine Fauna and the Environment" for their network of observers. From July to October the team focused on developing an image for the project with a new logo, and created a website to share information about their work.

    Environmental Planning and Education in Cerro Verde, the first Coastal-Marine Protected Area in Uruguay (2007)
    School teachers can be amazing researchers. Since the beginning of this year, we have been sailing in a ship made of trust, love and respect for nature. The sea was made of primary schools and the crew was not only us, biologist and conservationists, but also school teachers and kids who decided to join us in this adventure.

    Assessment of Conservation Status of the Newly Rediscovered Southern Horned Curassow and Associated Biodiversity in Peru (2006)
    Thanks to a CLP Follow-up Award, we returned to the Sira Mountains to continue studying the Peruvian Horned Curassow (Pauxi unicornis koepckeae).

    Mannophryne olmonae: An Ecological Assessment in Tobago (2006)
    Observations made by Project LEAP indicate a population decline for Mannophryne olmonae, otherwise known as the bloody bay poison frog. To effectively manage this species, further study is required to monitor population status and trends.

    Titicaca Flightless Grebe, Bolivia (2006)
    Over the past few months, the team has been evaluating populations of Titicaca Flightless Grebe (Rollandia microptera) by conducting ongoing censuses during the dry season, leading into the wet season.

    Marsh Deer Argentina (2005)
    The project team has been working hard to build a network of researchers and organisations to carry out a marsh deer survey on the Parana-Paraguay river basin. The objective of this survey is to locate unknown marsh deer populations and to stimulate local groups that support marsh deer conservation in the future.

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


    Dracaena ombet Monitoring and Assessment Project, Egypt (2007)
    The team has completed a Dracaena ombet tree survey and population assessment. The results of this phase indicate that this flagship species has a fragmented distribution with subpopulations showing varying degrees of vigor.

    WCS Research Fellowship Program

    The aim of the Research Fellowship Program is to provide promising young individual conservationists with an opportunity to conduct advanced and applied biodiversity conservation research to develop key research and associated skills (planning, problem-solving, communication) necessary for conservation practitioners.

    2007 RFP Recipients

  • Dependence of Tibetan Foxes on Plateau Pikas, China, Qunxiu Liu

  • Population Status and Behavioral Ecology of the Critically Endangered Brown Spider Monkeys (Ateles hybridus) in Colombia, Andres Link

  • Woodpeckers in Modified Dipterocarp Forests in Sub-Himalayan India: An Investigation into Habitat Relationships and Survey Methods, Raman Kumar

  • Using Landscape Species as Indicators of Functional Corridors in the Brazilian Amazon, Fernanda Michalski

  • Anoa Ecology and Conservation in Buton, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, Asri Dwiyahreni
  • Read RFP Project Updates...

    CLP Internship Program

    The aim of CLP internships is to provide future conservation leaders with on-the-job training and exposure to day-to-day workings of conservation NGOs, whilst providing programme partners with talented individuals. Interns are selected by and work with program partners in their respective organisations.

    2006/2007 CLP Interns

  • Delineation of Key Biodiversity Areas in China, Wang Dezhi and Zhang Lu

  • Delineation of Key Biodiversity Areas in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Rafael Carvalho

  • Biodiversity, climate change and biofuels, Saulo Andrade and Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto

  • Madidi Landscape Conservation Program, Bolivia, Glenda Ayala

  • Intensive behavioral study of Callicebus ollallae, an endemic Bolivian titi monkey, Jesus Martinez

  • Estimating population density of elephants in Taman Negara, Malaysia, Jessica Tay Mui Li and Lalita Gomes
  • Read Intern Updates...


    Programme Alumni: Where are they now?

    A ‘Bright’ Light in African Conservation: Catching up with Bright Boye Kumordzi, Ghana

    By Lynn Duda, CLP Programme Officer

    As most members of the CLP family can attest, one of the greatest benefits of being part of the Programme is meeting like-minded people from all over the world. Those who have met Bright Boye Kumordzi from Ghana will agree that his warm, cheerful smile seems to mirror his name. At the SCB meeting in 2007, I sat on the lawn of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to catch up with Bright under his native African sun.

    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

  • Assessment of Conservation Status of Newly Rediscovered Southern Horned Curassow and Associated Biodiversity in Peru (2006)

  • Assessment and Conservation of Threatened Bird Species at Laojunshan, Sichuan, China (2007)

  • Chameleons for Conservation: Surveying and Monitoring in Menabe Central, Madagascar (2006)

  • Conservation of Spot Billed Pelican in North Central and Central Provinces of Sri Lanka (2003)

  • Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Southeastern Rwanda (2002)

  • Conservation of Threatened Migratory Birds in the Eerguna-Midflow Trans-boundary Wetland, China & Russia (2007)

  • Ecology and Conservation of the Endemic Nicobar Flying Fox in the Nicobar Islands, India (2004)

  • Ecology and Conservation of Gangetic Dolphin in Brahmaputra River, India (2006)

  • Frogs of Gede-Pangrango: Conservation of Frogs in West Java, Indonesia (2006)

  • Mannophryne olmonae: An Ecological Assessment in Tobago (2006)

  • Siloy Project, Philippines (2007)

  • Studying Impacts of Plant Exploitation on Lowland Gorilla, Itombwe Forest, DRC (2002)

  • Supporting Conservation of West Caucasian Tur (Capra caucasica) in Georgia (2006)


    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)
  • Calayan Rail, Philippines 2007
  • Conservacion Argentina, Argentina (2006)
  • Community Centered Conservation (C3), Comoros (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)
  • Seabirds Argentina (2007)
  • Sea Turtle Research and Conservation, Venezuela (1999)
  • Soul of the Andes, Argentina (2003)
  • Tandroy Conservation Trust, Madagascar (2003)