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A Place for Wild Animals

Wilderness areas are vanishing and there is less and less room for wild animals. The goal of our projects is to ensure that their natural habitat is protected - both now and in the future. We are working to do this across Africa, south-east Asia, South America and Europe.

Orang-Utans – OUR CLOSEST RELATIVES

Of all the great apes, orang-utans have the closest similarity to us. We are deeply moved by their behaviour, their gestures and facial expressions, and many people are fascinated by the "thinkers of the jungle."

The Sumatran rainforest, the natural habitat of the red-haired orang-utan, is disappearing at a rapid pace. Increasing amounts of natural forest are giving way to oil palm plantations. We are conducting a major reintroduction programme for captured orang-utans in Bukit Tigapuluh in central Sumatra.

 

Of all the great apes, orang-utans have the closest similarity to us. We are deeply moved by their behaviour, their gestures and facial expressions, and many people are fascinated by the "thinkers of the jungle."
Orangutan Project on Sumatra

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS - GENTLE GREAT APES

There are now around 880 mountain gorillas in two populations. One of them lives on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes in the area where Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo meet, the other in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Rwanda.

The natural habitat of the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in DR Congo is under great threat. Political unrest, rebellion and countless people fleeing into the national park to escape violence and poverty are endangering the gorillas' habitat. 

 

There are now around 880 mountain gorillas in two populations. One of them lives on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes in the area where Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo meet, the other in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Rwanda.
Gorilla Protection in Virunga

ETHIOPIAN WOLVES - ELEGANT HUNTERS

The long-legged and red-furred wolves feed primarily on rodents and are at home in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Increasing numbers of people are moving into the highlands of Ethiopia, settling in the previously wild tablelands where they graze their cattle or cultivate their crops. This is the only habitat of the scarcely 500 Ethiopian wolves, and it is getting smaller and smaller. 

 

This, in turn, is increasing their risk of being infected with rabies by stray dogs. The long-legged and red-furred wolves feed primarily on rodents and are at home in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Saving the Ethiopian Wolf

ELEPHANTS - THE AFRICAN GIANTS

They are the largest land mammals alive today. But their impressive ivory tusks are proving to be their curse - around 20,000 elephants are poached each year.

In Africa, poaching has reached dramatic proportions. It is not only depriving the local population of their livelihood, it is also destabilising entire countries. Between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants are killed each year by poachers looking to sell the tusks on the international black market. We are fighting alongside our partners in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to improve the protection of their habitats and to create a better future for elephants.

They are the largest land mammals alive today. But their impressive ivory tusks are proving to be their curse - around 20,000 elephants are poached each year.

 

Project: Conservation Programme in Serengeti (Tanzania)

Project: Protection of Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe)

Project: Conservation in Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania) 

 

RHINOS - UNDER GREATER THREAT THAN EVER

They look like relics from a time long forgotten. Rhinoceroses began to develop roughly 50 million years ago. Today there are 5 species of rhinos.

In Asia, rhino horn is regarded as an expensive status symbol and as a universal remedy despite scientific proof that it has no effect whatsoever. The tragic consequence in Africa is that even in the well-guarded national parks, which were previously regarded as safe havens, poachers hunt down the animals and kill them for their horn. 

The black rhino in particular only survives now in very small populations and the poaching of even just a few animals. They look like relics from a time long forgotten. Rhinoceroses began to develop roughly 50 million years ago. Today there are 5 species of rhinos.

 

Reintroduction of Rhinos in Zambia

SAIGA - EUROPE'S ANTELOPE

The central Asian steppes are the home of the saiga. This antelope with a large nose is a tough character: in summer, the steppes are swelteringly hot and in winter temperatures plummet to -40 degrees Celsius.

The steppes of Kazakhstan were once described as the "Serengeti of the East," because herds of saiga consisting of hundreds of thousands of animals used to migrate across the vast plains. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the border to China, there was a great increase in poaching. The saigas were killed for their meat but also for their horns which are valued in traditional Chinese medicine. Saiga antelopes vanished almost entirely around the turn of the millennium.


Together with our partner organisation ACBK we are running the Altyn Dala Conservation Project aimed at protecting the saigas and their habitat. The conservation efforts are slowly bearing fruit as the numbers of animals in Altyn Dala have now grown to more than 80,000.

 

Protection of the Saiga in Altyn Dala

GIANT OTTERS - THE RIVER WOLVES

They can be found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon lowlands, they live together in families and they are regarded as highly sociable animals. Giant otters are predators. They grow to lengths of up to 2 metres and can weigh up to 20 kilograms.

FZS began its involvement in Peru in the 1990s with a survey of giant otter numbers in Manu National Park in the south east of the country. We have been monitoring the Manu giant otters ever since and have already gathered extensive data on the individual families. This knowledge helps us to optimise the conservation measures, as the giant otter counts as a highly endangered species. 

They can be found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon lowlands, they live together in families and they are regarded as highly sociable animals. Giant otters are predators. They grow to lengths of up to 2 metres and can weigh up to 20 kilograms.
Giant Otter Protection in Peru

Andean Bear

Paddington bear became famous, but the real Andean Bear´s life is far from glamorous. In South Eastern Peru, the bear faces habitat destruction and an ongoing conflict with its human neighbours.

The Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the only bear species in South America and a flagship species of the region. Little is known about this elusive mammal except for the fact that it is endangered in each of its range countrys. Manu National Park is home to the Andean Bear. But deforestation due to agricultural expansion and grazing, as well as traditional Peruvian beliefs are serious threats to this solitary bear. 

They are not exactly welcome in the rural villages and settlements and they have been the subject of numerous accusations. FZS has just started working in the highlands of Manu National Park and the buffer zones, undertaking an ecological study on the species and setting up an action plan for a better co-existence between humans and bears.

 
FZS Peru Programme