Des Moines, Iowa November 1, 2007 Officials with Great Ape Trust of Iowa, a world-class scientific research facility in Des Moines, announced today the organization will award nearly $127,000 this year to 22 international conservation efforts. Dr. Benjamin Beck, director of conservation at Great Ape Trust, said the funding represents a 46 percent increase over 2006 levels. In the past four years, The Trust has awarded nearly $300,000 for conservation initiatives that support orangutans in Asia; bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas in Africa; and golden lion tamarins in South America.
All of the apes are endangered, some critically endangered. They are a crucial component of our natural heritage, and key species in the rain forest ecosystems in which they live, said Beck. If the great apes die, the forests die, and we lose priceless services such as maintenance of air quality, security of fresh water sources, control of erosion and siltation, temperature and climate stability, and pollination of domestic crops. The ensuing poverty and desperation undermine world peace and the quality of life of people everywhere, including Iowa. This is not simply somebody elses problem.
Great Ape Trust conservation grants support a variety of grassroots efforts that include studies of orangutans at a new field site in Sumatra, a sanctuary for orphaned bonobos in Democratic Republic of Congo, a first-of-its-kind natural history museum in Uganda, and reintroduction efforts of golden lion tamarins in Brazil.
With todays announcement, Great Ape Trust has awarded $297,239 for international conservation efforts over the past four years:
Most of the 2007 conservation grants came from the Great Ape Trust operating budget but nearly $22,000 was generated from the 2nd Annual Bowlathon for Great Apes and individual don
|Contact: Al Setka|
Great Ape Trust of Iowa