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

Welcome to this edition of the CLP newsletter. Since we last wrote, there has been a hive of activity across our network. Read on to find out more about the individuals working across the globe for conservation!

As for the CLP team, Lynn and I were happy to have the opportunity in January to visit our partners and many of the teams and projects we’re supporting in India. The experience really opened our eyes to the incredible beauty and diversity of wildlife found there and hit home the problems that come with intense human population growth in these precious places.

In February, Paul and Robyn traveled to Brazil for a similar trip to raise awareness of the Programme. Whilst they were there, Martin Fisher (Editor of Oryx Magazine) provided a very well received 2-day training course for a group of Brazilian award winners on ‘Writing for Publications’. We’re all very grateful for being looked after so well on our trips and we learnt a great deal!

In March, we selected our 2008 team award winners (listed below) and we are very excited about meeting them and other alumni in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA in June and July for our International Winners Training and the Society for Conservation Biology Annual Meeting.

We are currently working on a new CLP website, and look forward to being able to announce the launch of that in time for the meeting in Chattanooga. We hope the new features we’re developing make it more interactive and easier to use. Keep in touch. We love hearing from you!

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

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

22 – 25 June 2008 Asian Wetlands Symposium 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam

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

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

17 – 22 August 2008 6th World Congress of Herpetology, Manaus, Brazil

5 – 9 October 2008 International Scientific Conference: Tropical Forests and Agroforests under Global Change, Bali, Indonesia

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

2008 Conservation Leadership Programme Team Awards Announced

Spot-billed Pelican Team Receives 2008 Kate Stokes Memorial Award

Staff Training for Protected Areas in Azerbaijan: Reporting back on the Kate Stokes Award


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.


Bringing Bats off the Brink: Conservation Action for the Critically Endangered Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat (2006)
The aims of the ‘Bats on the Brink’ project were to establish the population status, distribution and ecology of this Critically Endangered bat, identify possible causes of decline and put forward a species recovery action plan for the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat.

Operation Mohéli, Comoros (2006)
Björn Alfthan, a former intern from the Community Centred Conservation team (C3), recently presented a poster entitled "Development of a Blueprint for a Western Indian Ocean Regional Dugong Conservation Strategy" at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, held at the University of Cambridge, England.

Conservation Comoros: Biodiversity Assessment and Environmental Awareness (2005)
The follow-on project from the 2005 CLP supported expedition aims to work towards sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation by implementing a long-term participatory process that empowers local communities to direct sustainable development opportunities.

Read more about projects in Africa...


Conservation of Mustache Toad, China (2007)
The team has been establishing closer links with Leigongshan Nature Reserve and the Southwest Forestry College. Through small workshops and practical field experience, staff have gained knowledge in writing scientific research papers and proposals, tips on monitoring endemic amphibians and chytrid fungus infected individuals, skin swabbing and radio tracking.

Developing a Community Forest buffer for the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, India (2007)
We are in an interesting, yet challenging phase of our project here at Bhimashankar. Our surveys are done, we successfully completed a problem tree analysis in 5 villages, our international team member was here in February to help us with mapping and GIS and Marianne Carter, CLP Executive Manager was here as well!

Turtles and Tortoises of Northeast India: Saving them from Extinction (2006)
Over the past year, numerous turtle surveys have been conducted in Barail Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas National Park and Mizoram State. The Barail survey covered low- to mid-elevation hill ranges of the Barail Range falling in and around the Barail Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, Northeast India. Herpetofaunal surveys were also conducted in Nagaland State, but no turtles were encountered.

CROC Project, Philippines (2005) – Operation Free Isabela
In 1999, a small crocodile lay on our desk, just 40 cm long. A fisherman had caught her accidentally in Disulap River. It was the start of a conservation program for the Philippine crocodile. A lot has happened in the last eight years.

Extending Chelonian Research, Education and Conservation in Cambodia (2005)
In December 2007, a community ranger program was established to conduct patrols in selected areas. This was initiated by the Cambodian Turtle Conservation Team in collaboration with Conservation International, Fishery Administration (FiA) and financial support from the Conservation Leadership Program.

Bat Count Philippines (2006)
Bat Count Philippines worked with the Negros Oriental Wildlife Conservation Coordinating Committee (NOWCC) to celebrate Negros Island Wildlife Conservation Month. A range of activities were held in both Negros provinces in collaboration with the respective provincial government units, agencies and other local partners.

Distribution, Habitat Preference and Conservation Status of Endemic Giant Rats Solomys ponceleti and S. salebrosus on Choiseul Island, Solomon Islands (2005)
The aim of this project was to study the distribution, habitat preference and conservation status of native terrestrial murid rodents around Choiseul Island. The study was carried out in at different sites around the island of Choiseul including the montane areas above 700m on Mt Maetambe.

Turtle Population Survey and Conservation Planning for Pulau Pasoso Reserve, Indonesia (2003)
Here in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we would like to share with you some of our news and plans. In February we established a Coral Triangle Centre (CTC), which aims to involve local and global communities in coral reef and coastal research and conservation initiatives.

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


Darevsky’s Viper, Armenia (2007)
After receiving a CLP Follow-up award, we have continued our research on the distribution of the critically endangered Darevsky's viper (Vipera darevskii) in Armenia. To raise awareness amongst local people, we produced brochures that are currently being distributed to local people from the Shirak region, conservation organizations and scientists.

Conservation of Threatened Birds in Azerbaijan (2006)
The rich diversity of landscape types in the territory of Azerbaijan creates favorable conditions for high numbers of globally threatened species. The aim of this study was to collect data on the current distribution of globally threatened bird species of Azerbaijan, to establish regular monitoring activities and identify the main threats for these species, and to raise awareness and build capacity for conservation activities.

Number and Distribution of Rare Birds in Western Siberia, Russia (2006)
Studies carried out over the past year have allowed us to create a map of the white-headed duck distribution range in Barabinskaya lowland and northern Kulunda. We identified a number of important nesting sites on water bodies that previously were not identified.

Read more about projects in Eurasia...


Amburana cerensis Project, Argentina (2007)
The overall goal of this project is to achieve the long-term conservation of the Yungas through sustainable use of resources and strategic land planning. In this project we assess the population status of Amburana cearensis and identify areas that harbor population remnants to develop conservation plans for the species.

Fernando de Noronha's Shark Project, Brazil: participative fisheries monitoring (2007)
The project was initially met with scepticism by the local fishermen's association (ANPESCA) and a lack of interest in implementing a fisheries monitoring programme. After further explanation that our activities would help them collect data to manage their fisheries resources and learning about the benefits they would experience, the fishermen were attracted by the idea and agreed to participate in the monitoring plan.

Atelopus Project, Colombia (2007)
Atelopus carrikeri is a toad of uniform black color, inhabitant of the paramos in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The last report of the species was in 1994 at El Paramo de Macostama, Colombia, until early February of 2008 when the Atelopus team reported the population back with the detection of abundant tadpoles and the discovery of a red morpho in adults of Atelopus carrikeri.

Advancing Seabird Conservation in Peru’s Artisanal Fishery through Education and Research (2007)
Our team kept very busy over the last year with the expansion of our seabird on-board observer program, the initiation of trials with time-depth recorders, the increase number of beach walks to assess seabird mortality, several educational talks conducted with the aid of a 'fisherman ambassador', and participation in multiple international meetings.

Conservation Field Training for Young Park Rangers in Argentina (2007)
The project “Conservation field training for young park rangers” in Misiones, Argentina intends to provide innovative theoretical and practical tools to contribute to the training of students, teachers, park rangers, NGO members and provincial and national governmental institutions involved in conservation of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest.

An Integrated Approach Toward Giant Otter Conservation in Bolivia (2003)
FAUNAGUA has been very active with work on Giant otters, freshwater dolphins and caiman. The team is advancing with giant otter research and was chosen as an IUCN representative for giant otter in South America, together with Miriam Marmontel from WCS.

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

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.

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.

2008 CLP Interns

  • Eugenio Coconier, Americas IBA Programme, Birdlife International
  • Herovan Alfin, Curbing Forest and Wildlife Crimes through Policy and Regulation Improvement, WCS
  • Yufang Gao, Development of a Community Education Network with WCS China


    Programme Alumni: Where are they now?

    Catching up with Matt Shirley: Mentor Extraordinaire

    By Lynn Duda, CLP Programme Officer

    In 2003, Matt Shirley won an award for his proposal to study “The Birds of Río Muni” in Equatorial Guinea. While Matt’s CLP project focused on birds, he admits, “Growing up I was always very much into herps, and crocodiles are of course king of the herps and so ancient that it’s hard not to be fascinated by them.”

    Knowing that central Africa was home to two of the most unknown crocodilians in the world, Matt took some time to search for them when he wasn’t surveying for owls at night. “I went out twice looking for them but was only successful in capturing a single individual. This encounter sparked Matt’s interest in African crocodiles and so upon his return from Equatorial Guinea, he hit the ground running, determined to return to Africa to study crocs for his master’s degree.

    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 of African Wild Dogs in Northern Mozambique (2005)
  • Conservation of Threatened Birds in Azerbaijan (2006)
  • Conservation of the Syrian serin, Lebanon (2005)
  • Distribution, habitat preference, and conservation status of endemic giant rats Solomys ponceleti and S. salebrosus on Choiseul Island, Solomon Islands (2005)


    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)
  • Bat Conservation Madagascar (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)
  • Marsh Deer Project, Argentina, (2005)
  • 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)