Fewer than 1,850 wild Asian elephants remain in Myanmar. Habitat loss, conflicts with farmers, illegal capture, and poaching have caused Asian elephant populations to fall by more than 70 percent—a number that could dramatically increase throughout the next decade. We refused to sit idly by and let this beautiful creature disappear. With our Nation behind us, Conservation Nation provided funding to Dr. Peter Leimgruber, head of the Conservation Ecology Center at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, to purchase GIS tracking collars that use satellites to monitor these elephants. The collars allow Dr. Leimgruber and his team to establish a real-time tracking system that helps mitigate human-elephant conflict, poaching, and illegal capture. With your help, we are playing a key role in ending the threat of extinction for Asian elephants.
Andean bears are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, with a likely decline of more than 30 percent within the next 30 years. Threatened by habitat destruction, human conflict, and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, it is estimated that around 200 Andean bears are killed by humans each year. Smithsonian scientists, including Dr. Don Neiffer, Chief Veterinarian at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, are working tirelessly to save these bears. Along with our supporters, we're right beside them. With Conservation Nation's funding, Dr. Neiffer and his team traveled to remote Peru to help foreign colleagues manage the INKATERRA Machu Picchu Spectacled Bear Project, an effort designed to recover bears that have been affected by human impact and to reintroduce them to their natural habitat. With our Nation of supporters, we are committed to helping the Andean bear thrive in the wild.
There are 35 species of canids, including the maned wolf, dhole, African painted dog, and the critically endangered red wolf. Smithsonian scientists have been working to preserve these species using a comprehensive approach which includes educational outreach and monitoring in home ranges, studying the biology, genetics, and behavior in individuals housed in zoos, and developing reproductive technologies to support 'insurance' populations, as a hedge against extinction and a source of animals for reintroduction. Recently, we produced the first litter of puppies made by in vitro fertilization, and with support from Conservation Nation, will work to translate this and other accomplishments to endangered canid conservation globally.
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