Zoo awards $25K in grants for Northwest conservation

October 3, 2013 - 2:14pm

Zoo foundation's Future for Wildlife grants aim to help region's threatened species

Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, California condors, Oregon spotted frogs and other species native to the Pacific Northwest got some much-needed help recently as the Oregon Zoo Foundation awarded $25,000 to nine conservation efforts around the region through its Future for Wildlife grant program.

"The Future for Wildlife program is designed to help protect threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems in which they live," said Nadja Wielebnowski, the zoo's conservation and research manager. "For the past 15 years, the Oregon Zoo has been providing grants to help save animals as small as butterflies and as big as elephants. A portion of these funds is dedicated to helping species in our own backyard here in the Pacific Northwest."

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

      • Cascadia Wild: $1,086 to support rare Washington carnivores such as the red fox, wolverine, Canada lynx and wolf.
      • Coastal Raptors: $3,192 to assess contaminant levels in avian scavengers (turkey vultures, bald eagles, ravens, etc.) feeding on carcasses along the Oregon and Washington coasts.
      • Oregon Native Turtle Working Group: $2,830 to survey native turtle and amphibian populations in the Portland metro region.
      • Portland State University: $2,100 to investigate differences in microhabitat use between endangered Oregon spotted frogs and invasive American bullfrogs.
      • PSU and Pacific University environmental science programs: $4,000 to assess contaminant levels in stranded Steller sea lions and harbor seals.
      • U.S. Geological Survey: $4,000 to help determine the status of pikas — a mammal especially sensitive to climate change — in the Columbia River Gorge.
      • Ventana Wildlife Society: $1,086 to monitor condors' lead exposure in central California.
      • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: $3,500 to help re-establish Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit populations in their historic range.
      • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: $3,206 to verify species and determine population of origin in egg masses presumed to belong to Oregon spotted frogs.

To learn more about the Future for Wildlife program and how to apply for grants, contact nadja.wielebnowski@oregonzoo.org or david.shepherdson@oregonzoo.org. To learn more about supporting the program, contact the Oregon Zoo Foundation at 503-220-2493.

"Future for Wildlife projects are at the heart of the zoo's conservation efforts, and donors have played a crucial role throughout this program's history," said Jani Iverson, OZF director. "With more species and habitats being threatened each year, the need for funding is greater than ever."