Western pond turtles, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Sierra Nevada red foxes and other species native to the Pacific Northwest got some much-needed help this week as the Oregon Zoo Foundation awarded $25,000 to seven conservation efforts around the region through its Future for Wildlife grant program.
"The Future for Wildlife program works to protect threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems in which they live," said Dr. Nadja Wielebnowski, the zoo’s conservation and research manager.
Grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Woodland Park Zoo: $2,500 to explore how human development east of Seattle affects local carnivores such as bobcats, cougars and coyotes.
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: $5,000 to support pygmy rabbit recovery in the Columbia Basin.
- Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council: $4,330 to enhance habitat for western pond turtles.
- High Desert Museum: $3,500 to improve understanding of Deschutes National Forest carnivores, including the Sierra Nevada red fox.
- U.S. Forest Service: $3,345 to evaluate the effects of aspen restoration on populations of migratory birds such as warblers, wrens and woodpeckers.
- Oregon State University: $3,600 to promote the conservation of a unique freshwater sideswimmer found only in the Portland metro area.
- Wildlife Ecology Institute: $2,725 to assess resource selection and habitat use of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Oregon.
"Thanks to the zoo’s Quarters for Conservation program and generous individual donors throughout our community, we’ve been able to provide grants for more than 15 years to help save animals as small as butterflies and as big as elephants," Wielebnowski said.
“With the support of our community, the Future for Wildlife program is helping the zoo make a positive impact across our entire region,” said Mark Loomis, interim foundation director. “Our natural world is facing ever increasing challenges, and so the need for this ongoing community support is greater than ever before.”
Learn more about supporting the Oregon Zoo's conservation efforts