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Zoo awards $24,600 in grants for Northwest conservation

Sept. 27, 2019, 1:09 p.m.
Topic: Oregon Zoo Foundation, Conservation and species recovery
Sea otters Juno and Uni Sushi in Steller Cove.

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

Sea otters, pond turtles, vesper sparrows and other species native to the Pacific Northwest got some much-needed help this week as the Oregon Zoo Foundation awarded more than $24,600 to support conservation efforts through its Future for Wildlife grant program.

"The Pacific Northwest Future for Wildlife program works locally to protect threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems that we all share," said Dr. Nadja Wielebnowski, the zoo's conservation and research manager.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Portland State University: $772 to study nest-height preferences among cavity-nesting bee species, and $5,000 to help understand how removal of American bullfrogs might affect declining populations of the Oregon spotted frog.
  • Klamath Bird Observatory: $5,000 to study dispersal and survival of Oregon vesper sparrows, the rarest of four vesper sparrow subspecies.
  • Cascade Forest Conservancy: $3,850 to survey martens, fishers and other carnivores at Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
  • Turtle Survival Alliance: $5,000 to support invasive bullfrog mitigation and western pond turtle recovery in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • High Desert Museum: $2,500 for monitoring carnivores in the Deschutes National Forest.
  • Elakha Alliance: $2,500 for efforts aimed at restoring sea otters to Oregon.

"Generous gifts from our members and supporters help the Oregon Zoo advance its significant wildlife conservation and education programs locally and globally," said Julie Fitzgerald, executive director of the Oregon Zoo Foundation. "The Future for Wildlife grants also receive support from the zoo's historic Quarters for Conservation program, which directs a portion of each admission ticket toward helping Northwest species."

To learn more about the Future for Wildlife program and how to apply for grants, contact or To learn more about supporting the program, contact the Oregon Zoo Foundation at 503-220-2493.

To support the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts, visit