Earth's 'last edens' receive $20 million boost

NEW YORK -- The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today a $20 million challenge grant from philanthropist Robert W. Wilson to manage and protect some of the most biologically important wild areas left on earth. Among the field sites targeted by WCS are: the Ndoki-Likouala rain forest in the Republic of Congo, the Sikhote-Alin and East Manchurian Mountain Ecosystem shared by both China and Russia, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the U.S.

Upon receiving the grant from Mr. Wilson, WCS President Dr. Steven Sanderson said, These areas truly represent some of the last and most important wild landscapes on earth. Through Mr. Wilsons visionary generosity, the Wildlife Conservation Society will be able to save them and their wildlife.

Ten initial sites (to view list go to http://wcs.org/3422/50897) identified by WCS form the basis of a new approach to conservation called Living Landscapes areas with largely intact ecosystems as well as a full complement of wildlife. In most instances, they contain landscape species wide-ranging animals whose influence on their surroundings is extensive, both biologically and culturally. Forest elephants in the Congo rain forest and bison in Yellowstone are apt examples.

In total, WCS has identified more than 25 Living Landscapes worldwide. Importantly, these regions are also places where humans and animals have the potential to clash. The Living Landscapes approach brings together local peoples, governments and the private sector to strike a strategic balance between the needs of wildlife and humans.

Im delighted to be able to support the Wildlife Conservation Societys efforts to protect these extraordinary regions, Mr. Wilson said. The organization has an outstanding track record of saving wildlife and wild places around the world.

I have made this gift as a challenge grant to inspire other donors to join me in supporting WCSs innovative eff

Contact: Stephen Sautner
Wildlife Conservation Society

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