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Our involvment

Since many years, Doué la Fontaine’s BIOPARC stands up for the biodiversity conservation. By considering their animals as ambassadors of their wild cousins, the BIOPARC initiates or supports actions in the field: these are called Nature Projects.

Implemented by local operators, these Projects are devoted to the preservation of wildlife and of ecosystems under threat. To guarantee their success and to stand the test of time, the Projects account for the human communities of the concerned area, through finding sustainable and development-oriented solutions.

The Nature Projects materialize through various and complementary actions:
• Protection of the fauna (count, reintroduction, scientific monitoring…)
• Sustainable management of the habitats (reforestation, creation of reserves, community-based management…)
• Raising awareness (school workshops, radio broadcasts, Environmental Festivals…)
• Economic input (training and job creation, micro-credits, tourism…)
• Social input (water access, health access…)

It is essential that people feel responsible for the conservation of nature and to help them to reap the benefits. The relationship between man and animal is both a promise of our lasting conservation actions and the condition of their success.

In the course of our travels, exceptional people have guided our commitment: “If you want to save the animals, you have to save the men first.”

These projects receive financial support from revenue generated by the visitors’ entrances and by donations from partners we have enlisted, and since 2011, by everyone who wants to contribute to the Bioparc Conservation endowment fund.
20 Nature projects supported in 2014
There are three categories, with different levels of involvement:

• Landmark Nature Projects
These are very long-term projects almost entirely funded by the Biopark, but also daily support provided to the teams, from both a human and strategic viewpoint (advice, human resources, training, etc.) and from a resources viewpoint (identifying additional funding, logistics, communication, etc.). The Bioparc is the european representant of these projects.

MADAGASCAR Sustainable conservation of an isolated primary forest in north-eastern Madagascar

The NGO Antongil Conservation, set up in 1999 with the aid of the Doué-la-Fontaine Bioparc, is dedicated to the protection of Antongil Bay. By promoting biodiversity, involving locals and contributing to development in the area, this organisation has quickly made a positive impact on the site. In 2006, the government of Madagascar endorsed the important work done by Antongil Conservation by entrusting it with the management of 1,600 hectares of Farankaraina forest that became an officially recognized regional conservation area in 2009. With its 15 strong team led by Thorel Alexis, Antongil Conservation operates through:
• Education on the environment and support for local development (building of micro-dams, eco-tourism, production of essential oils, etc.).
• Actions for protecting and rehabilitating the environment and management of the site (surveillance, scientific monitoring, reintroduction projects, etc.) in the Farankaraina forest, working together with the nine neighbouring villages.

NIGER Protection of the last herd of West African giraffes in Niger

With the aim of protecting the last herd of West African giraffes, the Association to Safeguard the Giraffes of Niger (ASGN) has been working alongside the local populations in the Giraffe Zone on a permanent project that started in 2001. One of the founding principles of its work is to encourage the sustainable coexistence of men and giraffes for safeguarding these animals. The ASGN and its team work through:
• Support of local communities by setting up revenue generating activities, improving farming production, building collective infrastructure, enhancing the technical capabilities of communities, health support, etc.
• Developing awareness by providing, for example, workshops for villages and schools, and by setting up environmental clubs.
• Direct contribution to the protection of giraffes and their habitat through monitoring and surveillance of the area.

PERU Revival of the dry forest ecosystem in north-western Peru

Tu Tierra is an association established by Heinz Plenge, a renowned naturalist and photographer in Peru, with the aim of preserving and developing the ecosystem of the equatorial dry forest in the Tumbès region of the country. Set up in 2010, it now operates in three geographical zones: Mount Chaparri (a 34,412 hectares nature reserve set up by the local community in an area of equatorial dry forest), the coastal area of Media Luna (a narrow strip of desert coastline 15 kilometres from the town of Chiclayo) and the Illescas coastal area (70,000 hectares of coastline in the Sechura desert). Since 2008, Frenchman Clément Laronde has been working on behalf of the Doué-la-Fontaine Bioparc on a project for protecting the Humboldt penguins in the Media Luna area.

• Emblematic Nature Projects
These are medium-term projects that the Bioparc supports financially with fairly large sums of money. These projects concern emblematic animals species of the Bioparc.

- Conservation of the cheetah in Namibia
- Okapi conservation project in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Conservation of the red-fronted macaw in Bolivia
- Conservation of the red-headed spider monkey in Ecuador
- Protection of the Andean condor in Argentina.
- Reintroduction of the gibbon in Indonesia
- Conservation of the red panda in Nepal
- Protection of the snow leopard in Mongolia
- Safeguarding the Sumatran tiger in Indonesia
- Reintroduction of the Waldrupp ibis in Spain
- Strengthening of the Egyptian vulture populations in France
- Reintroduction of the Eurasian vulture, cinereous vulture and Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria

• Helping-Hand Nature Projects
As their name suggests, these are projects that the Bioparc only supports from time to time, even if it does not hold the species concerned. This support is generally provided through associations, via annual contributions.
Through the French Association of Zoos (AFDPZ) :
- Conservation of the Roloway monkey in Ivory Coast
- Conservation of the large bamboo lemur in Madagascar.
- Conservation of the white-footed tamarin in Colombia
- Conservation of the giant armadillo in Brazil.
Through the Lemur Conservation European Association (AEECL) :
Conservation of the blue-eyed lemur in Madagascar