Annual Report 2020
Conservation during human crisis
As Covid-19 became more widespread in 2020, its affects on conservation activities were apparent among our grant recipients who were unable to enter the field or lost revenue from dwindling ecotourism. The MBZ Fund took decisive action in 2020 to support these struggling conservation organizations by offering Covid-19 Relief Grants.
The year started normally. Hardly anyone outside China paid attention to the respiratory illness that was causing severe disease, mass hospitalizations, and state-imposed social distancing; however, within a few months the world had entered a crisis. Businesses were being shuttered. Borders closed. Travel dwindled. Our cities quieted and species conservation activities came to a halt. A survey of our grant recipients in May 2020 revealed that conservation was in crisis, too.
Conservation philanthropy required a new approach. Although the MBZ Fund provided support for direct species conservation activities through June 2020, the Fund changed course for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 to help supplant small conservation organizations’ loss of revenue. The MBZ Fund began providing grants for core costs like rent, utilities and salaries. In this report we highlight some examples of how the MBZ Fund Covid-19 Relief Grants provided respite from the punishing loss of revenue experienced by many cherished conservation organizations without whom species conservation would not be possible. While the tragic events of 2020 were devastating, we continue to be impressed with the resilience of nature and the conservation organizations working so passionately to protect it.
Razan Al Mubarak
The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund seeks to empower species conservation efforts and programmes across the globe, embodying the deep-rooted commitment of both the government and the people of Abu Dhabi to the preservation of our natural heritage.
WHY SPECIES CONSERVATION?
Species-level conservation today does not enjoy the same prominence in the environmental/conservation sphere as it once did. Many of the original global conservation organisations were established with a strong species focus, but over time much of the emphasis and funding has moved to other environmental priorities and grown in scope to include other disciplines.
Whereas the primary activities of species conservationists (many of whom were originally hunters, animal lovers or simply enthusiastic amateur naturalists) involved weeks and months in the field, a significant portion of conservation today takes the form of lab work, or conservation planning and analysis conducted in offices. Whilst these are all pursuits that are vital to the goals of global conservation, the decline of field-based species conservation as a discipline within the evolving environmental movement is an alarming trend that must be resisted.
How did COVID-19 affect The Fund?
The effects of Covid-19 were being strongly felt by Spring 2020. Countries in Europe and North America were more affected by the virus than countries on other continents; however, the measures to reduce the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and travel restrictions, were becoming commonplace.
In May 2020, the MBZ Fund surveyed its grant recipients to better understand how these prevention measures were affecting them. The survey (Click Here to Read the Report) found the pandemic had affected the ability of 83 percent of conservationists to conduct critical fieldwork, while 70 percent said their planned conservation activities had been canceled or postponed. Many organisations reported loss of revenue due to closures of parks, zoos, aquariums, and a severe decline in ecotourism.
As a relief measure for conservation organisations experiencing significant financial losses because of the pandemic, the MBZ Fund temporarily switched its focus from funding direct species conservation activities to helping support core costs, such rent, utilities, and/or salaries. This change in focus would apply to applications received between 1 July and 31 October, as well as those received between 1 November and 28 February 2021. After this, the MBZ Fund would go back to prioritizing support for direct conservation action.
The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund provides financial support in the form of small grants of less than $25,000 to conservation projects worldwide. The small grants programme is as much for the species as the conservationists and organisations working passionately to protect them.
Thousands of these small-scale species conservation projects have reached all corners of the globe, from Argentina to Vietnam, offering targeted support to enthusiastic conservationists and researchers in the field.
These intrepid individuals and organisations are the first line of defence against species extinction – passionate people who have dedicated their lives to the conservation of the creatures and plants they love and we depend on to retain our planet’s unique biodiversity.
Keeping Research Island AfloatAn island is usually the first land mass to be affected by a tidal wave. When that tidal wave is a global pandemic and the island is Utila Island, Honduras, the problem is exacerbated. Because Utila is home to a few Critically Endangered species, most notably the Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana and the Bica Anole, two reptiles that Tom Brown of Kanahau Utila is especially worried about. Kanahau Utila is part of Kanahau Wildlife Conservation, a newly registered NGO in Honduras. It is a non-profit network of environmentalists focused on biodiversity research and conservation. Its goal is to research the terrestrial biodiversity of Utila Island, cataloguing species occurrence as well as assessing population status and promoting the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems. The COVID-19 pandemic threatened the continuation of the study of the two above named species, as well as the bureaucratic organisational structure of the NGO owing to a loss of tourism revenue as a result of necessitated government restrictions. Pandemic-related travel restrictions crushed the ecotourism revenue model on which this conservation work was based. The Bica anole and Utila Spiny-tailed iguana are both listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red...
The Guardians Starry Night over Colombia
The Guardians Starry Night over Colombia
Ensuring the conservation of the threatened Starry Night Harlequin toads (Atelopus) in the Key Biodiversity Area Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.
View Case Study
Stepping Back to Safety
Stepping Back to Safety
Conservation of the Steppe Eagle breeding population in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion, Russia.
View Case Study
Keeping Research Island Afloat
Keeping Research Island Afloat
Subsidising core operational costs for long-term species conservation objectives, invasive species management and novel environmental education initiatives on Utila
View Case Study
The Fall of The Mighty Mahseer
The Fall of The Mighty Mahseer
Community-based conservation of the Critically Endangered Wayanad Mahseer, Neolissochilus wynaadensis in the Western Ghats.
View Case Study
Fishing For Water Cats
Fishing For Water Cats
Investigating the distribution and threats to the Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) in the Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces of Pakistan
View Case Study
Small grants supported 2020
IUCN Red List classifications
|Type||IUCN||Vernacular Name||Scientific Name||Name||Name of Organization||Country, Continent||Funding|
|Plant||EN||Pokemeboy||Vachellia anegadensis||Nancy Pascoe||National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI)||British Virgin Islands, North America||$20,000|
|Plant||NE||Orchids||Orchidaceae||Tatiana Arias||Sociedad Colombiana de Orquideologia||Colombia, South America||$20,000|
|Plant||CR||Parana Pine||Araucaria angustifolia||Carl Gakran||AEIUFSC||Brazil, South America||$20,000|
|Plant||CR||Almanegra de Ventanas||Magnolia polyhypsophylla||Carlos Mauricio Mazo||Corporacion Salvamontes Colombia||Colombia, South America||$19,000|
|Invertebrate||DD||Native Bees/ Non-apis bees||Hymenoptera - Apidae||Yeshwanth H M||University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bengaluru -560065||India, Asia||$15,000|
|Invertebrate||VU||Cameroon Spiny Katydid||Pantecphylus kamerunus||Charly OUMAROU NGOUTE||IUCN SSC Grasshopper Specialist Group||Cameroon, Africa||$15,000|
|Invertebrate||VU||Galaxea astreata||Galaxea astreata||Natalie Andersen||Kwanini Foundation||Tanzania, Africa||$19,000|
|Fish||EN||Greenback parrotish||Scarus trispinosus||Pedro Pereira||Projeto Conservação Recifal (PCR)||Brazil, South America||$20,000|
|Fish||CR||Naked Characin||Gymnocharacinus bergii||Federico Kacoliris||Fundación Somuncura||Argentina, South America||$20,000|
|Fish||CR||Great Hammerhead||Sphyrna mokarran||Chaitanya Krishna||Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy & Learning (FERAL)||India, Asia||$20,000|
|Amphibian||EN||Southern Darwin's frog||Rhinoderma darwinii||Andrés Valenzuela-Sánchez||Asociación Ranita de Darwin||Chile, South America||$23,900|
|Amphibian||EN||Lake Junin giant frog||Telmatobius macrostomus||Luis Castillo Roque||GRUPO RANA||Peru, South America||$16,000|
|Reptile||CR||Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana||Ctenosaura bakeri||Tom Brown||Kanahau Wildlife Conservation Organization NGO, Utila Island, Honduras||Honduras, North America||$15,225|
|Reptile||CR||Philippine crocodile||Crocodylus mindorensis||Merlijn van Weerd||Mabuwaya Foundation||Philippines, Asia||$22,000|
|Reptile||CR||Northern River Terrapin||Batagur baska||Shailendra Singh||Turtle Survival Alliance||India, Asia||$19,000|
|Reptile||CR||Central American River Turtle||Dermatemys mawii||Jacob Marlin||Belize Foundation for Research & Environmental Education (BFREE)||Belize, North America||$20,000|
|Bird||CR||Lear's Macaw||Anadorynchus leari||Glaucia Drummond||Fundacao Biodiversitas||Brazil, South America||$11,000|
|Bird||CR||Black Breasted Puffleg||Eriocnemis nigrivestis||Wendy Willis||Fundación Jocotoco||Ecuador, South America||$24,460|
|Bird||EN||Marvelous spatuletail hummingbird||Loddigesia mirabilis||Constantino Aucca Chutas||Asoaciación Ecosistemas Andinos - ECOAN||Peru, South America||$25,000|
|Bird||CR||Horned Curassow||Pauxi unicornis||Bennett Hennessey||Asociacion Armonia||Bolivia, South America||$17,500|
|Mammal||EN||Okapi||Okapia johnstoni||John Lukas||Okapi Conservation Project||Congo, Democratic Republic of (Congo-Kinshasa), Africa||$15,000|
|Mammal||EN||Baird's Tapir||Tapirus bairdii||Esteban Brenes-Mora||Costa Rica Wildlife Foundation||Costa Rica, North America||$15,000|
|Mammal||EN||Indus River dolphins||Platanista Minor||Haroon Rasheed||Indus Conservation Society||Pakistan, Asia||$15,000|
|Mammal||CR||Western Lowland Gorilla||Gorilla gorilla gorilla||Nicholas Bachand||Projet Gorille Fernan-Vaz||Gabon, Africa||$17,000|
|Mammal||EN||Sclater’s guenon Monkey||Cercopithecus sclateri||Ikponke Nkanta||Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRCC)||Nigeria, Africa||$15,000|
|Mammal||CR||White-thighed Colobus||Colobus vellerosus||Christopher Dankwah||A Rocha Ghana||Ghana, Africa||$15,000|
|Mammal||CR||Niger Delta Red Colobus Monkey||Piliocolobus epieni||Rachel Ikemeh||SW/Niger Delta Forest Project||Nigeria, Africa||$19,500|
|Mammal||EN||Andean cat||Leopardus jacobita||Juan Carlos Huaranca||Andean Cat Alliance||Bolivia, South America||$10,000|
|Mammal||VU||Fishing cat||Prionailurus viverrinus||Tiasa Adhya||Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance||India, Asia||$11,000|
|Mammal||EN||Fishing Cat||Prionailurus vivverinus||Arjun Thapa||Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation||Nepal, Asia||$16,085|
|Reptile||NE||Turtles and Tortoises||Order Testudines||Tomas Diagne||African Chelonian Insitute||Senegal, Africa||$4,500|
|Reptile||CR||Siamese crocodile||Crocodylus siamensis||Herdhanu Jayanto||Yayasan Kolaborasi Inklusi Konservasi (KONKLUSI)||Indonesia, Asia||$5,000|
|Fungi||VU||Fomitiporia nubicola||Fomitiporia nubicola||Genivaldo Alves da Silva||Federal University of Santa Catarina||Brazil, South America||$11,600|
|Fungi||EN||Lemon-colored Antrodiella||Flaviporus citrinellus||Reda Iršėnaitė||Nature Research Centre||Lithuania, Europe||$7,500|
|Plant||DD||Disa satyriopsis||Disa satyriopsis||Blessings Chingagwe||Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi||Malawi, Africa||$5,000|
|Plant||CR||Malabar Rotala||Rotala malabarica||Shijith Puthan Purayil||Mahatma Gandhi Government Arts College, Mahe||India, Asia||$5,000|
|Invertebrate||NE||Javan Threadtail||Prodasineura delicatula||Hening Triandika Rachman||Indonesia Dragonfly Society||Indonesia, Asia||$4,995|
|Fish||CR||Alfred’s Liquorice gourami||Parosphromenus alfredi||Wentian Shi||Parosphromenus Project||Malaysia, Asia||$4,800|
|Fish||EN||Daisy Stingray||Fontitrygon margarita||Justina Ekuwa Annan||Bushmeat Crisis Foundation-Ghana||Ghana, Africa||$10,000|
|Amphibian||CR||Bogota Harlequin Toad||Atelopus subornatus||Lina Valencia||Global Wildlife Organization||Colombia, South America||$8,400|
|Amphibian||CR||William’s bright-eyed tree frog||Boophis williamsi||REBECCA DE SALEM FANOMEZANTSOA EMERALDA||N/A||Madagascar, Africa||$4,600|
|Amphibian||CR||Harlequin Poison Frog||Oophaga histrionica||Gissella Pineda||N/A||Colombia, South America||$5,000|
|Amphibian||CR||Canasi Frog||Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi||Yaira López Hurtado||Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática||Cuba, North America||$4,500|
|Bird||CR||Newell's Shearwater||Puffinus newelli||Holly Robertson||American Bird Conservancy||United States, North America||$9,000|
|Bird||CR||Red-fronted Macaw||Ara rubrogenys||Tjalle Boorsma||Asociacion Armonia||Bolivia, South America||$13,000|
|Bird||CR||Blue-billed Curassow||Crax alberti||Andrés Montes Rojas||Fundación Proyecto Primates||Colombia, South America||$7,550|
|Bird||CR||Fuertes Parrot /Indigo-winged parrot||Hapalopsittaca fuertesi||Maria Clara Díaz González||´Fundación Vida Silvestre||Colombia, South America||$4,750|
|Mammal||EN||Baird's tapir||Tapirus bairdii||Jorge Rojas||PhD Student at the University of Georgia, Costa Rica Wildlife Foundation (CRWF) & Nai Conservation||Costa Rica, North America||$5,000|
|Mammal||EN||Arunachal Macaque||Macaca Munzala||Sonam Wangyel||Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Trashigang, Bhutan||Bhutan, Asia||$4,992|
|Mammal||CR||Delacour’s langur||Trachypithecus delacouri||An Le Thanh||Center for Nature Conservation and Development (CCD)||Vietnam, Asia||$7,000|
|Mammal||VU||Fishing cat||Prionailurus viverrinus||Zafeer Ahmed Shaikh||Fishing Cat Working Group||Pakistan, Asia||$4,850|
|Mammal||VU||Fishing Cat||Prionailurus viverrinus||Ganesh Puri||N/A||Nepal, Asia||$4,940|
|Mammal||VU||African golden cat||Caracal aurata||Badru Mugerwa||Embaka-Saving African golden cat||Uganda, Africa||$15,070|
|Mammal||VU||Oncilla||Leopardus tigrinus oncilla||José Daniel Ramírez-Fernández||Costa Rica Wildlife Foundation||Costa Rica, North America||$6,500|
|Invertebrate||CR||Bei-Bienko’s Plump Bush-cricket||Isophya beybienkoi||Soňa Nuhlíčková||Comenius University, Faculty of Natural Sciences||Slovakia, Europe||$23,100|
|Fish||CR||Wayanad Mahseer||Neolissochilus wynaadensis||Anoop V K||Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies||India, Asia||$23,900|
|Plant||EN||Lebombo Cycad||Encephalartos lebomboensis||Angelina Martins||Eduardo Mondlane University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Science||Mozambique, Africa||$13,000|
|Plant||CR||kamakahala||Geniostoma helleri||Seana Walsh||National Tropical Botanical Garden||United States, North America||$10,000|
|Plant||EN||Salmia||Salvia taraxacifolia||Abdellah Aghraz||Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA)||Morocco, Africa||$16,000|
|Plant||EN||Câu điệp Evrard||Bulbophyllum evrardii||Huong Bui Van||Department of Nature Conservation, Vietnam National Museum of Nature||Vietnam, Asia||$5,000|
|Plant||CR||Ginger||Etlingera doliiformis||Anggra Alfian||Center for Biodiversity Study, Muhammadiyah University of Palopo||Indonesia, Asia||$6,000|
|Invertebrate||CR||Madeiran land snail||Leiostyla cassidula||Dinarte Teixeira||Instituto das Florestas e Conservação das Naturezas, IP-RAM||Portugal, Europe||$10,000|
|Invertebrate||NE||marisco de rio||Leila blainvilleana||Cristhian Clavijo||BIVAAS South American Freshwater mussels, National Museum of Natural History and Vida Silvestre NGO||Uruguay, South America||$8,000|
|Invertebrate||NE||Tarantula||Haplocosmia nepalensis||Kiran Thapa Magar||N/A||Nepal, Asia||$5,000|
|Invertebrate||EN||Potamonautes platycentron||Potamonautes platycentron||John Kochey Kipyegon||National Museums of Kenya||Kenya, Africa||$5,000|
|Invertebrate||VU||Madeiran Green Bush-Cricket||Psalmatophanes barretoi||Howon Rhee||IUCN SSC Grasshopper Specialist Group||Portugal, Europe||$16,000|
|Fish||CR||Karomo tilapia||Oreochromis karomo||Tausi Khitentya||Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI)||Tanzania, Africa||$10,325|
|Fish||EN||T-Bar cichlid||Amatitlania sajica||Arturo Angulo||Asociación Costarricense de Acuarismo para la Conservación de los Ecosistemas Dulceacuícolas||Costa Rica, North America||$4,500|
|Fish||CR||Agaria||Haplochromis Argenteus||Paul Okalo||Teso Women Development Enterprise Ltd||Uganda, Africa||$11,875|
|Amphibian||CR||Starry Night Harlequin toad||Atelopus arsyecue||Jose Luis Pérez González||Fundación Atelopus||Colombia, South America||$9,000|
|Amphibian||EN||Mount Bamboutos Wolterstorff Toad||Wolterstorffina mirei||Arnaud Marius Tchassem Fokoua||Laboratory of Zoology, University of Yaoundé I / CWCS (Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society)||Cameroon, Africa||$8,000|
|Reptile||CR||Okoloma worm lizard||Cynisca gansi||Lotanna Micah Nneji||Kunming Institute of Zoology, China||Nigeria, Africa||$9,000|
|Reptile||CR||Lygodactylus mirabilis||Lygodactylus mirabilis||Radosoa A. Andrianaivoarivelo||Aro Velona||Madagascar, Africa||$8,000|
|Reptile||CR||Geometric Tortoise||Psammobates geometricus||Ross Kiester||Southern Africa Tortoise Conservation Trust||South Africa, Africa||$6,500|
|Reptile||CR||Forsten's Tortoise||Indotestudo forstenii||Asnim Alyoihana Lanusi||PROGRES (Prakarsa Konservasi Ekologi Regional Sulawesi)||Indonesia, Asia||$4,500|
|Reptile||EN||Big-headed turtle||Platysternon megacephalum||Kalyar Platt||Turtle Survival Alliance||Myanmar (Burma), Asia||$9,000|
|Reptile||CR||Rote Island snake-necked turtle||Chelodina mccordi||Jimmy Helgesson||Nordens Ark||Indonesia, Asia||$4,500|
|Bird||CR||Giant Ibis||Thaumatibis gigantea||Samnang Eang||Birdlife International Cambodia Programme||Cambodia, Asia||$17,700|
|Bird||EN||Yellow-throated apalis||Apalis flavigularis||Tiwonge Mzumara-Gawa||Malawi University of Science and Technology||Malawi, Africa||$6,000|
|Mammal||EN||Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew (Sengi)||Rhynchocyon chrysopygus||Markéta Antonínová||Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest||Kenya, Africa||$12,500|
|Mammal||EN||Baird’s tapir||Tapirus bairdii||Diego Gómez Hoyos||Soy Conservación||Costa Rica, North America||$8,000|
|Mammal||EN||Eld’s Deer||Rucervus eldii siamensis||James Lyon||Rising Phoenix Co. Ltd.||Cambodia, Asia||$11,500|
|Mammal||EN||African Wild Dog||Lycaon pictus||Marc Collins||Space for Giants||Kenya, Africa||$12,500|
|Mammal||CR||Brown-headed spider monkey||Ateles fusciceps fusciceps||Felipe Alfonso-Cortes||Proyecto Washu / Fundación Naturaleza y Arte||Ecuador, South America||$12,500|
|Mammal||EN||Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT)||Leontopithecus rosalia||Luis Paulo Ferraz||Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado||Brazil, South America||$12,500|
|Mammal||CR||Myanmar snub-nosed monkey||Rhinopithecus strykeri||Sharon Bamberg||Fauna & Flora International (FFI)||Myanmar (Burma), Asia||$12,500|
|Mammal||VU||Common leopard||Panthera pardus||Kinley Tenzin||Department of Forest and Park Service||Bhutan, Asia||$7,000|
|Fungi||NE||Brown-capped mushroom||Russula cellulata||Basile Gbètondji Hounwanou||Laboratory of appleid ecology||Benin, Africa||$6,500|
|Fungi||NE||Fisherman's Dream||Usnea angulata||Jessica Allen||Eastern Washington University||United States, North America||$17,000|
|Plant||EN||Angona||Dioscorea orangeana||Rajaonah Mamy Tiana||Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre||Madagascar, Africa||$17,000|
|Plant||CR||Ellen’s Paphiopedilum||Paphiopedilum helenae||Van Dinh||Center for Nature Conservation and Development (CCD)||Vietnam, Asia||$9,500|
|Plant||EN||Titan Arum||Amorphophallus titanum||Angga Yudaputra||Center for plant conservation and Botanic Gardens||Indonesia, Asia||$7,500|
|Plant||CR||Wailua River yellow loosestrife||Lysimachia iniki||Ben Nyberg||National Tropical Botanical Garden||United States, North America||$8,500|
|Plant||CR||Horstrissea dolinicola||Horstrissea dolinicola||Christini Fournaraki||CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh)||Greece, Europe||$11,000|
|Plant||CR||Aloe||Aloe boscawenii||Fredrick Ojija||Mbeya University of Science and Technology||Tanzania, Africa||$5,000|
|Invertebrate||EX||Rocky Mountain locust||Melanoplus spretus||Jeffrey Lockwood||University of Wyoming, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies||France, Europe||$15,000|
|Invertebrate||NE||Cozumel's cave sea star||Copidaster cavernicola||Fernando Calderon Gutierrez||Texas A&M University at Galveston||Mexico, North America||$4,950|
|Invertebrate||EN||Freshwater pearl mussel||Margaritifera margaritifera||Javier Balset||Observatorio de Malacología y Ecología Fluvial (OMF)||Spain, Europe||$5,000|
|Invertebrate||CR||Cika mountain grasshopper||Peripodisma ceraunii||Michèle Lemonnier-Darcemont||GEEM||Albania, Europe||$7,750|
|Invertebrate||NE||Firefly beetles, Glow-worms, lightning bugs, kelip-kelip||Lampyridae||Choong Hay Wong||Malaysian Nature Society||Malaysia, Asia||$7,500|
|Fish||CR||Syr-Darya Shovelnose Sturgeon||Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoi||Bernard Kuhajda||Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute||Uzbekistan, Asia||$7,970|
|Fish||CR||Bowmouth Guitarfish||Rhina ancylostoma||Andrea Marshall||Marine Megafauna Foundation||Mozambique, Africa||$10,550|
|Fish||CR||Ningu||Labeo victorianus||Mark Olokotum||National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)||Uganda, Africa||$11,130|
|Fish||CR||Baringo lampeye||Aplocheilichthys sp. 'Lake Baringo'||Pedro Bragança||South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity||Kenya, Africa||$7,250|
|Amphibian||CR||Salamandra del Pital||Bolitoglossa synoria||Raúl Ernesto López||Iniciativa Bosques y Anfibios de El Salvador (IBAES)||El Salvador, North America||$13,000|
|Amphibian||NE||Phrynomedusa dryade||Phrynomedusa dryade||Delio Pontes Baeta da Costa||UNESP and National Musem - UFRJ||Brazil, South America||$6,800|
|Reptile||CR||Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana||Ctenosaura bakeri||Ana Daniela Sansur Pavon||Kanahau Utila Research and Conservation Facility||Honduras, North America||$9,000|
|Reptile||EN||Asian Giant Softshell turtle||Pelochelys cantorii||Ayushi Jain||Wildlife Institute of India||India, Asia||$5,000|
|Reptile||VU||Indian Softshell Turtle||Nilssonia gangetica||Shailendra Singh||Turtle Survival Alliance-India||India, Asia||$12,000|
|Reptile||CR||Nubian flapshell turtle||Cyclanorbis elegans||Luca Luiselli||N/A||South Sudan, Africa||$12,000|
|Plant||CR||Nepenthes aristolochioides||Nepenthes aristolochioides||Firham Yasra||HERBARIUM ANDA of Andalas University||Indonesia, Asia||$4,000|
|Invertebrate||CR||Guamuhayan Stick-Insect||Malacomorpha guamuhayaense||Sheyla Lazara Yong Quintero||Sociedad Cubana de Zoología||Cuba, North America||$3,800|
|Invertebrate||NE||Neorthacris acuticeps acuticeps||Neorthacris acuticeps acuticeps||DHANEESH BHASKAR||IUCN SSC Grasshopper Specialist Group||India, Asia||$5,000|
|Fish||DD||Guatopote del balsas||Poeciliopsis balsas||Lluvia Ramírez Navarro||Conservation Research Group, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado||Mexico, North America||$4,600|
|Amphibian||EN||Austral Andean Water Frog||Telmatobius contrerasi||Tomás Agustín Martínez||Gabinete DIBIOVA, UNSJ||Argentina, South America||$5,000|
|Amphibian||CR||Leopard skunk frog||Aromobates leopardalis||Enrique La Marca||Rescue of Endangered Venezuelan Amphibians (REVA) Conservation Center||Venezuela, South America||$5,000|
|Amphibian||CR||Patagonia Frog||Atelognathus patagonicus||Rodrigo Calvo||La Plata Natural Science Museum||Argentina, South America||$4,800|
|Amphibian||EX||Northern Gastric-brooding Frog||Rheobatrachus vitellinus||Conrad Hoskin||James Cook University||Australia, Oceania||$4,900|
|Reptile||CR||Darevsky’s Viper||Vipera darevskii||Konrad Mebert||Institute of Development, Ecology, Conservation and Cooperation||Turkey, Asia||$4,965|
|Reptile||CR||Cuban Khaki Trope||Tropidophis hendersoni||Tomas Michel Rodríguez Cabrera||Sociedad Cubana de Zoología||Cuba, North America||$4,500|
|Reptile||CR||Gharial||Gavialis gangeticus||Mina Shrestha||N/A||Nepal, Asia||$3,000|
|Bird||EN||White-breasted Thrasher||Ramphocinclus brachyurus sanctaeluciae||Lisa Sorenson||BirdsCaribbean||Saint Lucia, North America||$10,825|
|Bird||EN||Sakalava rail||Zapornia olivieri||Sama Zefania||University of Toliara,Institut Supérieur de Technologie de Menabe (ISTM), enceinte du Port Morondav||Madagascar, Africa||$8,946|
|Bird||CR||Príncipe thrush||Turdus xanthorhynchus||Estrela Matilde||Fundação Príncipe||Sao Tome and Principe, Africa||$7,782|
|Bird||CR||White-rumped vulture||Gyps bengalensis||Sunny Joshi||Himalayan Institute for Sustainable Environment and Reseach Society||India, Asia||$5,000|
|Bird||EN||Steppe Eagle||Aquila nipalensis||Igor Karyakin||RRRCN||Russia, Asia||$5,000|
|Bird||CR||Blue-bearded Helmetcrest||Oxypogon cyanolaemus||Sara Lara||Fundacion ProAves||Colombia, South America||$6,000|
|Bird||CR||Townsend’s Shearwater||Puffinus auricularis auricularis||Federico Mendez Sánchez||Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C.||Mexico, North America||$5,000|
|Bird||CR||Royal Cinclodes||Cinclodes aricomae||Rodrigo W. Soria-Auza||Asociación Armonia||Bolivia, South America||$9,400|
|Bird||CR||'ōmāma'o||Pomarea nigra||Caroline Blanvillain||Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie||French Polynesia, Oceania||$24,900|
|Mammal||CR||Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey||Rhinopithecus avunculus||Dang Nguyen Xuan||Centre for Resources, Environment and Climate change||Vietnam, Asia||$25,000|
|Mammal||CR||Riverine Rabbit||Bunolagus monticularis||Bonnie Schumann||Endangered Wildlife Trust||South Africa, Africa||$12,000|
|Mammal||DD||Silver-backed chevrotain||Tragulus versicolor||Andrew Tilker||Global Wildlife Conservation||Vietnam, Asia||$8,000|
|Mammal||EN||Baird's tapir||Tapirus bairdii||Francis Castro||Bluefields Indian and caribbean University BICU||Nicaragua, North America||$12,000|
|Mammal||EN||African wild dog||Lycaon pictus||Whitney Hansen||University of California Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies Department||Botswana, Africa||$8,800|
|Mammal||CR||Kolar leaf-nosed bat||Hipposideros hypophyllus||Rajesh Puttaswamaiah||Bat Conservation India Trust||India, Asia||$12,500|
|Mammal||CR||Black Rhinoceros||Diceros bicornis||Mick Reilly||Big Game Parks||Eswatini, Africa||$12,500|
|Mammal||VU||Gursky's Spectral Tarsier||Tarsius spectrumgurskyae||Sharon Gursky||Texas A&M University||Indonesia, Asia||$8,000|
|Mammal||CR||White-thighed Colobus||Colobus vellerosus||Christopher Dankwah||A Rocha Ghana||Ghana, Africa||$10,500|
|Mammal||CR||Preuss’s red colobus monkey||Piliocolobus preussi||Epérance Atemkeng Mamekui||Society for Conservation Biology – Cameroon Chapter||Cameroon, Africa||$6,200|
|Mammal||EN||Buffy-tufted-ear marmoset||Callithrix aurita||Rogério Cunha||Universidade Federal de Alfenas||Brazil, South America||$9,800|
|Mammal||VU||African golden cat||Caracal aurata||Franklin SIMO||The University of Yaoundé I||Cameroon, Africa||$7,300|
|Mammal||VU||African Golden Cat||Caracal aurata||Patrick Dauda||Gola Rainforest Conservation Limited by Guarantee (GRCLG)||Sierra Leone, Africa||$5,000|
|Mammal||NT||Marbled cat||Pardofelis marmorata||Giridhar Malla||Wildlife Institute Of India||India, Asia||$4,986|
|Mammal||VU||Fishing Cat||Prionailurus viverrinus||Sagar Dahal||Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation||Nepal, Asia||$7,962|
Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor, entered a three-year partnership with the MBZ Fund to support conservation initiatives around the world. Through the partnership, Mubadala Investment Company will provide the MBZ Fund with US $1.5 million annually to be directed towards supporting endangered flora and fauna in Africa, Asia and South America.
Mubadala Investment Company Grants
Large Projects, Sponsored by Mubadala
Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor, has entered a three-year partnership with the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to support conservation initiatives around the world.
Through the partnership, Mubadala Investment Company will provide the MBZ Fund with US $1.5 million annually to be directed towards supporting endangered flora and fauna in Africa, Asia and South America; particularly in countries where Mubadala Investment Company has portfolio companies including Colombia, Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand – representing some of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
These grants, while larger in scope and longer in duration than the traditional MBZ Fund small grants programme, complement the Fund’s already significant support for species conservation globally, and the Fund’s policy of supporting hands on, field conservation activities. These “Mubadala Grants” are implemented by our trusted and experienced local conservation partners, supported by Mubadala and its assets, and managed by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund. All the partners in this effort are dedicated to conserving the species that form the building blocks of life on earth and by applying their passions for conservation will help turn the tides against the extinction crisis.View website
The MBZ Fund manages a portfolio of Abu Dhabi's philanthropic interests related to species conservation that extends across the world and across different species.
Supporting Panthera and global wild cat conservation
Through its international partnerships, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund seeks to support major efforts to ensure the wellbeing of species under threat across the globe. One such example is the Fund’s strong and ongoing support for Panthera – the only organisation that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.
Powered by the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements conservation strategies for large cats – including Cheetahs, Jaguars, Leopards, Lions, Pumas, Snow leopards and Tigers – as well as for the world’s most threatened small cat species. Panthera’s activities include the following major programmes.
Mapping the future of the Jaguar in the Americas
This bold, regionally-focused initiative will pave the way for further international cooperation and awareness regarding Jaguar protection initiatives.
Ending poaching in Africa
In southern Africa, Panthera has made great progress in reducing intensive poaching of Cheetahs, Leopards, Lions and their prey in Kafue National Park, Zambia, and Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. Panthera also supports anti-poaching efforts in Gabon’s Batéké Plateau National Park.
Tigers on the rebound in South Asia
Thanks to intensive protection and innovative community programs initiated at Panthera’s ‘Tigers Forever’ sites in India and Nepal, survey results released in 2018 showed that Tigers are bouncing back, providing hope for their recovery in other areas, too.
Saving Snow Leopards with Tourism in India
In Ladakh, northern India, Panthera works with the Snow Leopard Conservancy–India Trust to improve local livelihoods and transform the image of Snow leopards from livestock killers to valuable assets.
The financial reporting of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund focuses on the performance of its endowment, as well as the reporting of an independent auditor who ensures compliance with financial standards set by the government of Abu Dhabi. View our 2020 Audited Financial Statement
The endowment of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund was created in April 2009, with an initial allocation of $27.5m. Since then, it has been managed in such a way as to provide for the financial needs of the small grants programme in perpetuity.
The long-term objective of the endowment, as described in its Investment Policy Statement, is:
- to make annual distributions for the benefit of species conservation, in accordance with the MBZ Fund’s spending rule;
- to preserve the capital in US dollars over a 10-year time horizon; and, to the extent that these two objectives are met;
- to grow the capital by having financial returns in excess of the distributions made.
The endowment’s capital has risen from $27.5m (initial allocation) to $31.1m at the end of 2020, while $16.7m have been distributed in grants over the same period, achieving all three of the endowment’s goals.
Distributions for 2020 were actually $1.5m but the last $0.1m were taken from the endowment bank account in January 2021, after the reporting period; and at the beginning of the reporting period, there were $0.5m of withdrawals linked to 2019.
The Fund’s Investment Policy targets a long-term rate of return on assets of 5% net, measured in USD and using a total return approach (income as well as capital gains). Since inception, the annualised net performance of the endowment has been +5.2% (MW), in line with the target.
During the year 2020, the Microfinance bucket continued to be reduced when liquidity was needed for Private Equity capital calls. The Private Debt bucket and the Hedge Fund bucket were progressively merged, to increase the investment universe. In September, after the first three full years of the Goldman Sachs mandate, the Equities bucket managed by the bank was completely revamped, in order to optimize performance.
At the end of the year, the endowment was managed by Goldman Sachs, Banque Pictet, Oaktree Capital (Private Debt) and PGIM (Real Estate).
Markets and performance in 2020
2020 proved to be a tumultuous year for global financial markets, with the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent policy responses leading to major swings in asset prices. By late February, as it became clear that the pandemic was not going to be contained within China, markets saw some of the biggest sell-offs since the global financial crisis, as lockdowns led to shuttered businesses and people were forced to adapt to a new way of living. But although the pandemic and ensuing global recession could have proved a disaster for markets, the unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus that was unleashed helped to support a strong recovery in asset prices.
In this context, the MBZ Fund portfolio delivered a net performance of +10.9% (MW). The “traditional” portfolio (equities and fixed income) managed by Goldman Sachs delivered +11.5% while the “alternative” portfolio (private equity, private debt, hedge funds and real estate) mostly managed by Banque Pictet delivered +12.0%.
It is worth noting that the Private Equity bucket (managed by Banque Pictet) achieved a record +36.2% net annualized IRR from inception to end 2020.
Distribution of funds
Distribution of proceeds
In 2020 the Fund supported 145 projects selected from 1,792 grant applications. There were fewer grants in 2020 compared to years past because the final round of grant giving in 2020 was dedicated to our ‘Covid-19 Relief Grants’ which helped conservation organizations pay for core costs (salary, utilities, rent, etc.) during the pandemic.
Distribution of funds by species type
Distribution of funds by continent
Distribution of Funds by IUCN Red List
The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund remains dedicated to fulfilling the vision of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support species conservation efforts in all their forms across the globe. Inspired by this vision, and the dedication of the many conservationists, researchers and scientists working in the field to assess and protect our most vulnerable flora and fauna, the Fund is committed to preserving the extraordinary biodiversity of Earth for generations to come.
The Mohamed bin Zayed Species
P.O. Box 131112
United Arab Emirates