Local Conservation Projects Supported by SCI Chapters
Many SCI Chapters support conservation projects all around the world. SCI Foundation doubles the impact by awarding matching grants to these local efforts, increasing our on the ground footprint and diversity of conservation work. These projects range in scope from popular game species in SCI members’ backyards to anti-poaching operations and partnerships with state agencies or research institutions.
Thanks to all those SCI Chapters involved in this year’s matching grant program!
SCI’s Southwest Ohio Chapter made a valuable donation of night vision optics to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, an agency currently facing high poaching rates and funding shortages. This equipment will be used by game wardens to build cases against illegal wildlife activity. The Southwest Ohio Chapter has previously contributed to the financial incentives for Ohio’s Turn in a Poacher program.
The Treasure Valley Chapter contributed funding for the purchase of a new forensic DNA sequencer for the Idaho Fish & Game’s Wildlife Health and Forensic Laboratory. This lab, one of few in the country, has been responsible for handling hundreds of forensic cases over the past twenty years, including DNA matching, gender determination, and other identification tests. This genetic information can be used in problem animal control, evidence for poaching cases, illegal wildlife trade, and other law enforcement.
Chapters across the country support SCI Foundation’s core North American conservation projects. In Arizona, SCI members are supporting the continued study of the reintroduced desert bighorn sheep population in the Santa Catalina Mountains near SCI headquarters in Tucson. Funding from the SCI Arizona Chapter was specifically used for collars fixed to sheep to track habitat use and mortality, especially by the area’s mountain lions.
The many Michigan SCI Chapters, including the Detroit, Mid-Michigan, and West Michigan Bowhunters Chapters, are continuing their support for the state’s Predator-Prey Project, SCI Foundation’s longest running conservation initiative. Combined with funding from the Michigan chapters, SCI Foundation support helped initiate this statewide collaborative effort over a decade ago.
SCI Chapters in the Washington, DC region, including the Mid-Atlantic Bowhunters, National Capital, and Washington Metro Chapters, are supporting a new SCI Foundation proposal, the Virginia Predator-Prey Project. Research with Virginia Tech will be expanded in western Virginia counties to collar black bears and better understand their impact on the white-tailed deer population. With local SCI Chapters involved, a field day will be organized for folks to come out, volunteer with bear work ups and learn more about the project firsthand.
Stay tuned to the First for Wildlife blog for an introduction to the Virginia Predator-Prey Project and more highlights from SCI Chapter matching grant projects.
Thank you to the SCI Arizona, Detroit, Flint, Georgia, Michigan, Mid-Atlantic Bowhunters, Mid-Michigan, National Capital, NOVI, Southwest Ohio, Treasure Valley, Washington Metro, and West Michigan Bow Hunters Chapters!