Since 2001, Stiftung Artenschutz has been committed to the conservation of existentially threatened, often less well-known animal species and their habitats.
Stiftung Artenschutz is working in close cooperation with many zoos, nature conservation organizations and committed private individuals. The main part of our projects is dedicated to the in-situ conservation of species within their natural habitat. These projects are often accompanied by socio-economic poverty-reducing measures and contribute to international understanding. We also support ex situ conservation breeding programs, scientific research, CO2 compensation measures, and environmental education measures.
Stiftung Artenschurz supported a project of the Guatemalan nature conservation organization PROEVAL RAXMU. In cooperation with UPROBON, the Chelemhá Private Nature Reserve in Guatemala acquired cloud forest areas. Since the areas are located directly between three already existing protected areas, further habitat fragmentation is avoided. The purchase of these areas is therefore extraordinary important for the long-term conservation of the cloud forests and the quetzal population in the region.
A further project objective was to monitor the bird populations, their distribution, breeding season and migration time of the Quetzal. For this purpose, local Maya were trained in bird identification and mapping techniques.
Poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, the destruction of the natural habitat, along with persecution by farmers due to loss of crops pose great threats to the survival of the last Lear's Macaws.
In order to prevent conflicts with local farmers and improve the food supply for the birds, Stiftung Artenschutz supported the planting of Likuri palms, which represent the main food source for the birds. The seedlings were planted in the region of the "Serra Branca" - a private-owned, well-protected and largely intact breeding area. Stiftung Artenschutz also supported awareness raising measures and the work of local rangers.
Stiftung Artenschutz supported a study in San Guillermo Natinal Park in Argentina – the park encompases ca. 150.000 ha surrounded by one of the most ecologically intact areas of South America. It harbors virtually intact plant and vertebrate communities that are seriously altered almost everywhere else in southern South America. The research aimed to understand the effects of puma predation on vicuña demographic parameters, evaluate if the predator-prey interaction between pumas and vicuñas plays a crucial role in promoting biological diversity and to highlight the importance of conserving populations of top predators and their native prey.
The study shouldcontribute to understanding how these species relationships operate throughout a vast area. This
knowledge will allow wildlife and land management agencies to set targets for the restoration of these species and their interactions (such as threshold levels for functional relationships between predator and prey, existence of predator pits, trophic cascades) for other areas where recovery of camelids and/ or pumas is desired.
In 2008, during the International Year of the Frog, Stiftung Artenschutz and its partners started the initiative "Sei kein Frosch-Hilf uns!" ( Don't be a frog - Help us!) for the conservation of amphibian species worldwide. Two years later, in 2010 that was declared by the UN as the International Year of Biodiversity, Stiftung Artenschutz supported a project, aimed at the conservation of native amphibians in fishing waters.
The main focus of the project "Amphibian Conservation in Fishing Sies" was the structural improvement of fishing waters. Supported by the Westfalian and Lippe Fishery Association, the project offered advanced training seminars to fishery associations in the region and advised on the planning and implementation of amphibian conservation measures.
In 2010 Stiftung Artenschutz supported a project for the reintroduction of the European Mink in Germany. This project was established with the close cooperation with the Wildlife and Species Conservation Station in Sachsenhagen, the Steinhuder Lake Ecological Conservation Station and the non-profit associaion EuroNerz.
Stiftung Artenschutz provided financial means to the Wildlife and Species Conservation Station in Sachsenhagen for the construction of two semi-natural enclosures where european minks were raised and prepared for subsequent reintroduction in their natural habitat at Steinhuder Lake.
In addition, Stiftung Artenschutz supported the European Mink reintroduction project in Estonia. Our long-standing partner, the Lutreola Foundation, started up a trial release programme at Hiiumaa Island in western Estonia in 2000. Since then further releases and ongoing monitory was taking place. The ongoing programme of captive breeding in Talinn Zoo ( also supported by Stiftung Artenschutz) and release on Hiiumaa from 2000–2015 has resulted in a population that may be described as ‘established’.
Stiftung Arenschutz provided support to the Tigris Foundation:
- Anti-poaching activities aiming at reducing poaching of leopards and their prey. Establishing and financial support forfire-fighting teams and anti-poaching brigades
- Habitat conservation measures
- Environmental education
- Support for scientific studies and population monitoring in Russia and China
In 2016 Stiftung Arenschutz supported the WCS monitoring program in the Chinese Hunchun Nature Reserve. The nature reserve, which was established in 2001, is considered of great importance for the Amur leopards conservation, as it adjacent to the Russian National park "Zemlja Leoparda". The study included population monitoring by camera traps and trace identification, habitat use analysis, behavior and movement patterns of the Amur leopards and Amur tigers. It also promoted cross-border cooperation between Chinese and Russian experts.
Stiftung Artenschutz supported the Riverine Rabbit Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT). This included population studies in order to increase the still knowledge of the ecology and biology of the riverine rabbit, environmental education and awareness raising campaigns for the local communities , and the development of a habitat management plan.
The Species Conservation Foundation supported the Philippine Eagle Owl Programme for over ten years. The first Philippine eagle owls (Bubo philippensis) moved into the NFEFI-BBC (Negros Forests & Ecological Foundation Inc. -Biodiversity Conservation Centre) in 2002. The first ever captive-bred Philippineeagle-owl‘Bubo’ was born November 2005. 2015 NFEFI-BBC had to be relocated, as the site has increased in value and should be used as building land . The animals were therefore transferred to the Talarak Foundation Inc. (TFI), that got officially involved in the Philippine Eagle Owl Conservation Programmewhen since October 2012. The the world's first F2 generation hatched in 2016. The new aviaries were completed with the financial support of the Stiftung Artenschutz.
The Bawean warty pig (Sus blouchi) is an endemic pig species confined to the 192 km2 large island of Bawean in the Java Sea, Indonesia.There was a lack of quantitative ecological research, understanding of natural history and conservation requirements of the species.
Stiftugn Artenschutz funded the first-ever ecological study of the Bawean Warty Pigwhich provided the first assessment of population and habitat preferences by using camera traps.
Transmittable diseases, such as rabies and canine distemper, pose a severe threat to the last remaining Ethiopian wolves. Deavastating outbrakes that decimated up to 75% of the population have taken part in 1990, 2003, 2009, 2014 and in 2016.
Stiftung Artenschutz supported the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) in its extensive efforts for disease control. EWCP launched a domstic dog vaccination programme and vaccinates wolves reactively whenever a disease outbreak is confirmed. 2018 EWCP has implemented the first oral vaccination campaign to pre-empt outbreaks of rabies among Ethiopian wolves.
The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) - the first nature conservation centre in Cambodia, - was found in 2003 and is one of the oldest projects of Stiftung Artenschutz The ACCB aims to contribute to the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity in Cambodia. ACCB is a conservation breeding, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility, as well es research and educational centre.
Among the most recently funded measures was the establishment of a "langur nursery".
In 2018 the Münster All Weather Zoo took over the sponsorship of the project.
Rio Aripuanã is home to a rich flora and fauna, including several large mammalian species that haven't yet been scientifically described. In 2006, in cooperation with the Brazilian organisation Hiléia, Stiftung Artenschutz supported an expedition to explore the unknown species in this unique habitat.
On 21th of June 2006, the government of the Amazonas State in Brazil declared part of the region as a "Sustainable Development Reserve" (RDS). The new 589,611 ha protected area is called "Juma" - named after a right tributary of the Rio Aripuanã, which flows into Santa Eliseia. Part of the area was placed under strict protection. Local communities were still allowed to use the natural resources in a controlled way, but moving in of new residents and the commercial agriculture were not permitted.
The Stiftung Artenschutz supported the following measures:
- Providing a pontoon boat for the protected area guards
- Forest rangers training
- Education measures for the local communities, including sustainable use of natureal resources and generating alternative income opportunites
- introducing beekeeping as an alternative income source
- introducing permaculture as a sustainable alternative to slash-and-burn farming
In 2006, Stiftung Artenschutz funded in cooperation with Hiléia an expedition to explore the unknown species in the Rio Aripuanã region. A great success was achieved even before the survey was completed: The study area was declared a "Sustainable Development Reserve" (RDS).
Stiftung Artenschutz supported supported Mari-it and the Biodiversity Conservation Centre of Negros Forests & Ecological Foundation Inc. (NFEFI-BCC) - two rescue and breeding centers in the Philippines, keeping confiscated endemic Waldon's and Tarictic Hornbills.
These facilities were the first ever to sucessfully breed these bird species in captivity.
We supported the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) and the conservation measures for the critcally endangered rolloway monkey (Cercopithecus roloway).WAPCA is an initiative of several European Zoos, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) and its French Partner organization Conservation des Espèces et des Populations Animales (CEPA). The main goal of WAPCA is to effectively preserve primate habitat in the Upper Guinean Rainforest of West Africa, which is under serious threat of destruction. WAPCA has been promoting the protection of endangered primates in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire since 2001