Zoo awards $24,600 in grants for Northwest conservation

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 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.

To support the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts, visit oregonzoo.org/wildlife-partners.

The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian | 503-220-5714 | hova.najarian@oregonzoo.org

Kelsey Wallace | 503-220-5754 | kelsey.wallace@oregonzoo.org