“SCI Foundation embraces the conservation ethic of hunters and promotes hunter stewardship of wildlife resources.”
SCI Foundation’s Conservation team funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation. Each program region – North America, Africa, and Asia – have specific areas of focus, from predator-prey interaction to wildlife genetics and anti-poaching to applied management. We work closely with SCI Chapters and members to advance hundreds of local, regional, and global wildlife conservation projects each year. Chapters around the world are involved in projects to promote the conservation of wildlife.
SCI Foundation has funded over 80 wildlife conservation projects in more than 27 countries.
Learn more about SCI Foundation Conservation Programs and their impact by clicking the button below.
SCI Foundation Helps Markhor Make a Remarkable Recovery
With critical support from SCI Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has developed a long-term conservation program to help protect the markhor and its habitat and restore this magnificent mountain monarch to its proper place of pride in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
The most impressive global indication of this success has been the recent 2015 IUCN Red List down-listing of markhor from ‘Endangered’ status past the next level (“Vulnerable”) to “Near Threatened.” This almost unprecedented two-step down-listing shows the extent with which this form of community based conservation can succeed, as local people have taken responsibility for successfully protecting markhor as their iconic emblem of these mountains.
The program has helped to create 65 resource committees, nearly double the total from a few years ago. WCS markhor conservation work now encompasses more than 80% of markhor habitat and population in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan along with over 80% of natural forests in the Province.
During the last year’s grant period from SCI Foundation, the project has focused on building true sustainability into hunting capacity of these community conservation organizations. Community ranger surveys have shown that populations of flare-horned markhor are making a remarkable comeback, with numbers estimated at having experienced over a 70% increase from a little over a decade ago.
As a result – one of the community-managed markhor conservancies established by WCS and local Government – managed the first successful hunt of the year. This is the second successful hunt of markhor in the Kargah Conservancy. A hunt of markhor also occurred in Sakwar valley of Jutial Conservancy. Although the international hunter did not succeed in the hunt, he acknowledged the hospitability and conservation efforts of the conservancy by donating $ 5,000 to help strengthen their anti-poaching system. Just another example of how hunters are the driving force behind worldwide conservation efforts.
Through the legally mandated 80% community share of the hunting funds, the communities are strengthening their anti-poaching system for conservation of wildlife and habitat and improving their socio-economic situation under the guidelines of the Conservancy’s plans and agreements.
The WCS Pakistan program has made significant progress over the past six months in helping to protect and return markhor to their proper place of pride in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Help SCI Foundation help those who are working on the frontline to conserve the Markhor in its native habitat. Our continued efforts are making an impact as the population continues to improve through strict management.
Learn more about this program by visiting the full First for Wildlife blog article at http://wp.me/p2AKuX-1fT
Help continue this and other SCI Foundation wildlife conservation projects by making a tax-deductible donation today. Visit SafariClubFoundation.org to learn more.
The Newfoundland Caribou Project released its final report, culminating in decades of research on the island’s woodland caribou population and predator dynamics that has produced over 50 scientific publications. Results will be incorporated in future management plans.
Reintroduction of Desert Bighorn Sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tuscon AZ, was successful. The new herd, of now 60 sheep, has been fitted with radio collars to be tracked for management and research.
The Tanzania Lion Project, in collaboration with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the University of Mississippi Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, is producing innovative results on improved study design, more effective survey techniques and variables in lion abundance modeling in the Serengeti National Park. This research will be used to further assess the status of African lions in other range states with the most accurate data available.
The 14th African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF), hosted by South Africa in November 2015, had the highest attendance on record. Delegates from 11 African nations, USFWS, CITES Secretariat, Professional Hunting Associations, NGOs, and wildlife scientists all participated. Topics included land-use planning, anti-poaching and the importance of hunting to conservation across Africa.
A comprehensive report on the economic benefit of trophy hunting to conservation and communities in Africa is expecting completion in the spring of 2016. Results are showing that hunting generates necessary revenue for conservation, contributes to national economies and local communities, and creates employment opportunities in rural areas.
SCI Foundation is currently formulating a response to the USFWS African lion final rule. Under the new rule, lions are divided into two subspecies, with Panthera leo leo in India and West and Central Africa listed as endangered and Panthera leo melanochaita in East and Southern Africa listed as threatened. The USFWS will also require an enhancement finding for importation of lion trophies. SCI Foundation is working to protect the conservation benefit of hunting to lions.
Conservation staff attended the CITES Animal Committee in September and will be attending the Standing Committee in January.
SCI Foundation submitted comments to USFWS on proposed CITES approaches, including recommendations not to propose an Appendix I uplisting for African lion or polar bear, and to maintain the current listings for African elephant and black and white rhinos.
Comments were also submitted to USFWS in response to its 5-year status review of polar bears, and SCI Foundation recommends that an ESA listing is inappropriate based on the best available science. The status of polar bears has actually improved with more stable or increasing subpopulations.
SCI Foundation Conservation staff will be presenting in January at the European Union Parliament’s Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside Intergroup Meeting to emphasize the conservation benefits of sustainable use hunting to policy makers in the EU as the EU develops its strategic objectives in preparation for CITES CoP17 in September, 2016. The EU is the largest voting bloc of CITES and a number of European countries have enacted or are considering regulations that restrict importation of hunting trophies.
In the face of unprecedented challenges in 2015, SCI Foundation continues to defend the conservation benefits of sustainable use by conducting scientific-based wildlife research projects worldwide. SCI Foundation’s Conservation Department has more expertise than ever before. We look forward to funding another year of successful projects and reporting on more achievements in 2016.