Zoo awards $21k in grants for Northwest conservation

November 13, 2015 - 4:06pm

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

Monarch butterflies, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Olympic mudminnows and other species native to the Pacific Northwest got some much-needed help this week as the Oregon Zoo Foundation awarded $21,000 to five 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 more than 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:

  • High Desert Museum: $3,500 to enhance understanding of Deschutes National Forest carnivores, including the Sierra Nevada red fox, wolverine, Canada lynx, American marten and Pacific fisher.
  • University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences: $5,000 to assess the conservation status of the Olympic mudminnow — the only known freshwater fish endemic to Washington.
  • The Xerces Society: $5,000 for workshops on maintaining monarch butterfly habitat and restoring native milkweed — the monarch caterpillar's host plant — on public lands in the western United States.
  • Sandy River Basin Watershed Council: $2,500 for the enhancement and conservation of Sandy River Delta habitat, where a colony of western painted turtles is threatened by vegetation encroachment and recreation impacts.
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: $5,000 for re-establishing the pygmy rabbit population and enhancing reintroduction techniques in central Washington's Columbia Basin.

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.

"Support from our community is helping the zoo make an impact all across our region through the Future for Wildlife program," said Jani Iverson, foundation director. "Given the growing challenges facing our natural world, the need for this community support is greater than ever before."

To make a contribution to the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts, call 503-220-5738 or visit the Wildlife Partners page.