This September, the EDGE of Existence team are looking forward to hosting 7 EDGE Fellows from our 2015-2017 cohort. They will attend a two week Conservation Leadership course at ZSL to provide them with the skills necessary to scale up their projects following the end of their fellowship. They will learn conflict resolution, communication, fundraising and project leadership skills, as well as have the opportunity to network and collaborate with ZSL’s conservation experts.
Meet the Fellows!
Since its discovery in 1974, the Hooded Grebe has suffered population declines of over 80% with fewer than 1000 left in the wild. Carlos (‘Kini’) is using solar-powered tags, citizen science, and traditional field surveys to determine the threats that affect these birds during their annual migration across Argentina, to resolve how these might be mitigated.
The Taita Hills in Kenya contain many threatened endemic species including the Sagalla caecilian, a limbless burrowing amphibian, endangered by loss of indigenous forest. Basil is leading widespread native tree replanting schemes to reconnect disparate forest fragments, whilst training farmers in sustainable water and soil management to prevent further degradation.
The mountainous star coral provides critical habitat for important fishery species, but population declines of 50% over the last 30 years look set to continue. Robin is assessing the health of colonies and engaging local communities in the importance of coral for marine livelihoods.
Taylor’s salamander is endemic to the highly saline and alkaline waters of Lake Alchichica in central Mexico but is threatened by water extraction and pollution from human waste and agrochemicals. Alfredo is identifying negative effects associated with these threats and evaluating the presence of infectious diseases.
The Chacoan peccary is a pig-like mammal that inhabits hot, semi-arid forest and steppe environments. It is severely threatened by habitat loss, hunting, disease and predation. Micaela is working closely with local communities to build a local framework for its conservation.
Baird’s tapir is a primitive mammal that has changed very little in the last 35 million years, but there are now thought to be fewer than 5,000 left in the wild. Esteban aims to establish the population status and ecology of Baird’s tapir in the highlands of Costa Rica, to determine road mitigations and inform national conservation policies.
The majestic Philippine eagle is one of the world’s largest, most powerful birds of prey yet each pair requires an area of forest bigger than the city of Oxford to rear a single chick, so deforestation is a huge threat. Kahlil is collecting distribution, range, habitat, breeding and prey data, vital for declaring the Mingan Mountains a ‘Critical Habitat’.