Earth's 'last edens' receive $20 million boost

November 29, 2001

NEW YORK -- The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today a $20 million challenge grant from philanthropist Robert W. Wilson to manage and protect some of the most biologically important wild areas left on earth. Among the field sites targeted by WCS are: the Ndoki-Likouala rain forest in the Republic of Congo, the Sikhote-Alin and East Manchurian Mountain Ecosystem shared by both China and Russia, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the U.S.

Upon receiving the grant from Mr. Wilson, WCS President Dr. Steven Sanderson said, "These areas truly represent some of the last and most important wild landscapes on earth. Through Mr. Wilson's visionary generosity, the Wildlife Conservation Society will be able to save them and their wildlife."

Ten initial sites (to view list go to http://wcs.org/3422/50897) identified by WCS form the basis of a new approach to conservation called "Living Landscapes" - areas with largely intact ecosystems as well as a full complement of wildlife. In most instances, they contain "landscape species" - wide-ranging animals whose influence on their surroundings is extensive, both biologically and culturally. Forest elephants in the Congo rain forest and bison in Yellowstone are apt examples.

In total, WCS has identified more than 25 Living Landscapes worldwide. Importantly, these regions are also places where humans and animals have the potential to clash. The Living Landscapes approach brings together local peoples, governments and the private sector to strike a strategic balance between the needs of wildlife and humans.

"I'm delighted to be able to support the Wildlife Conservation Society's efforts to protect these extraordinary regions," Mr. Wilson said. "The organization has an outstanding track record of saving wildlife and wild places around the world.

"I have made this gift as a challenge grant to inspire other donors to join me in supporting WCS's innovative efforts." Dr. Sanderson said, "Mr. Wilson's extraordinary grant will allow the Wildlife Conservation Society to build on its model conservation programs at these important sites. The support enables us to focus on long-term, sustainable management, and to develop close working relationships with the people who live there. Working for the long-term and building alliances will result in more powerful conservation solutions."

Many of the areas included in the Living Landscapes initiative already contain protected areas. However, the biological needs of landscape species - seasonal migration patterns, for example - often take them outside existing parks and reserves to areas where logging, mining and agriculture predominate.

The Living Landscapes approach specifically targets these areas beyond park boundaries. Through analysis of resident human population requirements, coupled with a thorough understanding of the needs of landscape species, the Wildlife Conservation Society can effect successful action. Its conservationists have spent decades establishing the science and trust necessary to make this new approach work.

The Wilson grant will also be used to help fund a variety of other WCS conservation efforts. The organization supports some 350 projects in more than 50 countries.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands. We do so through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together, these activities change individual attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in sustainable interaction on both a local and global scale. We believe our ability to perpetuate such a world is intrinsic to the integrity of life on Earth.
-end-
CONTACT: Patrick Milliman at 718-220-7166; pmilliman@wcs.org, Stephen Sautner at 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org), Linda Corcoran at 718-220-5182; lcorcoran@wcs.org

Wildlife Conservation Society

Related Yellowstone Articles from Brightsurf:

Discovery of ancient super-eruptions indicates the yellowstone hotspot may be waning
Throughout Earth's long history, volcanic super-eruptions have been some of the most extreme events ever to affect our planet's rugged surface.

Reintroduction of wolves tied to return of tall willows in Yellowstone National Park
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is tied to the recovery of tall willows in the park, according to a new Oregon State University-led study.

Bison in northern Yellowstone proving to be too much of a good thing
Increasing numbers of bison in Yellowstone National Park in recent years have become a barrier to ecosystem recovery in the iconic Lamar Valley in the northern part of the park.

What happens under the Yellowstone Volcano
A recent study by Bernhard Steinberger of the German GeoForschungsZentrum and colleagues in the USA helps to better understand the processes in the Earth's interior beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano.

Fearing cougars more than wolves, Yellowstone elk manage threats from both predators
Wolves are charismatic, conspicuous, and easy to single out as the top predator affecting populations of elk, deer, and other prey animals.

What drives Yellowstone's massive elk migrations?
Yellowstone's migratory elk rely primarily on environmental cues, including a retreating snowline and the greening grasses of spring, to decide when to make the treks between their winter ranges and summer ranges, shows a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Aftershocks of 1959 earthquake rocked Yellowstone in 2017-18
A swarm of more than 3,000 small earthquakes in the Maple Creek area (in Yellowstone National Park but outside of the Yellowstone volcano caldera) between June 2017 and March 2018 are, at least in part, aftershocks of the 1959 quake.

Resilience of Yellowstone's forests tested by unprecedented fire
The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Monica Turner and her team describe what happens when Yellowstone -- adapted to recurring fires every 100 to 300 years -- instead burns twice in fewer than 30 years.

Yellowstone elk don't budge for wolves say scientists
Elk roam the winter range that straddles the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park with little regard for wolves, according to a new study illustrating how elk can tolerate living in close proximity to the large predator.

Researchers find broad impacts from lake trout invasion in Yellowstone
The scientists analyzed data spanning more than four decades and concluded that the impact of lake trout in Yellowstone Lake -- in particular, the decline of native cutthroat trout -- has cascaded across the lake, its tributaries and the surrounding ecosystem.

Read More: Yellowstone News and Yellowstone Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.