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8 ASAP Species Conservation Grants awarded in 2021

For the second year running, the ASAP Species Conservation Grants opened for applications in 2021 to support conservation efforts for ASAP species with a focus on species that receive less conservation attention. We received an overwhelming response with over 60 pre-proposals and are excited to share the recipients of the ASAP Species Conservation Grants and their efforts to save 11 ASAP species from the brink of extinction.


© Azil Agustino

Organisation: Yayasan Kolaborasi Inklusi Konservasi (KONKLUSI)  

Location: East Kalimantan, Indonesia 

Species: Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis  

Project summary:  It is estimated that less than 1000 mature Siamese Crocodiles remain across its range in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, the species was known only from a single locality in East Kalimantan in the Mesangat-Suwi wetland. A second site in the Bongan Wetlands has been overlooked despite having a high possibility of supporting a population of Siamese Crocodile. This project aims to establish a new conservation initiative in the Bongan Wetlands and support ongoing Siamese Crocodile conservation by:  

  • Collecting baseline ecological data for the species   
  • Understanding the socio-cultural and political contexts of local communities to carry out effective conservation education 


© Ivan Sarenas / Balete Conservancy

Organisation: Balete Conservancy 

Location: Tawi-Tawi Island, Philippines 

Species: Sulu Hornbill Anthracoceros montani; Blue-winged Racket-tail Prioniturus verticalis; Sulu Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba menagei; Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia  

Project summary: Tawi-Tawi Important Bird Area (IBA) is important for the conservation of threatened and restricted-range bird species of the Sulu archipelago Endemic Bird Area with four ASAP species found on Tawi-Tawi island: Sulu Hornbill, Blue-winged Racket-tail, Sulu Bleeding-heart, and Philippine Cockatoo. This project is a first step towards securing protected status for the forests of Languyan on Tawi-Tawi Island by reducing habitat loss and strengthening biodiversity protection with a focus on:   

  • Raising awareness to gain wider support for conservation and protecting forest habitat
  • Engaging with the local government to increase support for conservation and habitat protection 
  • Supporting and establishing Forest Community Nurseries 



Organisation: PROGRES 

Location: Salibabu Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia 

Species: Talaud Bear Cuscus Ailurops melanotis 

Project summary: Salibabu Island is one of the last strongholds for Talaud Bear Cuscus. However, its last remaining population occurs in an unprotected forest and faces the constant threat of land conversion due to small scale agriculture. PROGRES aims to conserve Talaud Bear Cuscus through community engagement and Community Conserved Areas with a focus on: 

  • Establishing priority areas for the Talaud Bear Cuscus and designating Community Conservation Areas 
  • Conducting regular community-based monitoring and a hunting ban of the species 
  • Replanting degraded areas with native tree species utilised by Talaud Bear Cuscus 

Sheherazade, Co-Executive Director of PROGRES, is a participant in the ASAP Women in Conservation Leadership Programme. Read more here 


© Chen Pelf Nyok

Organisation: Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia  

Location: Terengganu, Malaysia 

Species: Southern River Terrapin Batagur affinis  

Project summary: Southern River Terrapin populations face drastic declines in Malaysia, with the major causes being collection and consumption of eggs, entanglement in fishing gear, and critical nesting habitat loss due to sand mining. This project aims to elevate the survival prospects of the species by enhancing reproductive success of wild Southern River Terrapin with a focus on:   

  • Collecting eggs for incubation, hatching and head-starting 
  • Tagging and releasing healthy individuals with post-release monitoring to assess survival rates 
  • Engaging and recruiting local villagers who formerly consumed eggs as Terrapin Guardians 
  • Removing abandoned fishing gear during routine surveys 

Chen Pelf Nyok, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia, is a participant in the ASAP Women in Conservation Leadership Programme. Read more here. 

Organisation: Yayasan SwaraOwa

Location: Java, Indonesia 

Species: Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo euryzona  

Project summary: The Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher was only discovered in 2018 in Petungkriyono, a mountainous area which still holds a sizeable remnant of lowland forest. There is a need to locate the species in other potential suitable habitat along the upstream area of the Sengkarang River. This project aims to conserve the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher and its river habitat by:  

  • Conducting surveys to determine species distribution and population status  
  • Understanding the species’ habitat requirements, diet, ecology and threats  
  • Raising awareness on the importance of forest river protection by promoting bird-friendly tourism activities targeting river-based tour operators 


© Scott Trageser / NatureStills LLC

Organisation: Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) 

Location: Banteay Srei, Cambodia 

Species: Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata  

Project summary: ACCB maintains an assurance colony of Elongated Tortoises founded from individuals obtained through wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts. The aim of the project is to repatriate captive-bred, head-started tortoises to a protected area, with a focus on:   

  • Assessing and selecting a release site within a protected area  
  • Preparing tortoises for release: disease screening and pre-release acclimation
  • Conducting post-release VHF monitoring for dispersal and survival 

Christel Griffioen, Country Director for ACCB, is a participant in the ASAP Women in Conservation Leadership Programme. Read more here. 


© Sasi Kirono

Organisations: Chester Zoo and Bogor Agricultural University 

Location: Java, Indonesia 

Species: Bleeding Toad Leptophryne cruentata  

Project summary: Studies on the distribution of Bleeding Toads in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park have been ongoing for 15 years, but little is known about microhabitat requirements for this species. In line with the Species Action Plan objectives, this project aims to develop an ex-situ Bleeding Toad breeding programme, with a focus on:  

  • Collecting microhabitat and breeding ecology data  
  • Designing captive breeding facilities to house Bleeding Toads and other species of the same genus 
  • Increasing capacity for amphibian keepers and herpetologists through husbandry training 


© Yerian Ramadhan

Organisation: Wildlife Rescue Centre Jogja – Yayasan Konservasi Alam Yogyakarta (WRC Jogja) 

Location: Java, Indonesia 

Species: Malayan Giant Turtle Orlitia borneensis  

Project summary: WRC Jogja currently holds a population of captive Malayan Giant Turtles that were confiscated from the illegal pet trade. The species has been depleted across much of its range and is threatened by illegal trade and habitat loss. The species has suffered large population declines in the wild and therefore building assurance colonies through conservation breeding is recognised as an important conservation step. The aim of this project is to establish a healthy and genetically viable assurance colony of Malayan Giant Turtles, with a focus on:   

  • Identifying founder individuals for the assurance colony 
  • Developing appropriate housing facilities and husbandry management approaches 

Irhamna Putri Rahmawati, Conservation Programme Supervisor of Wildlife Rescue Centre Jogja, is a participant in the ASAP Women in Conservation Leadership Programme. Read more here. 


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