The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA Forms Partnership with The Peregrine Fund
Focus on Global Conservation Efforts of Birds of Prey
NEW YORK – (March 28, 2011) – As far back as the 1480s – as outlined in the famous poem from the Boke of St. Albans, the regal peregrine has been associated with Princes, so it is truly fitting that the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has teamed up with The Peregrine Fund, Inc to focus on present day conservation efforts. To mark this collaborative partnership, aMemorandum of Understanding between the US chapter of thePrince’s Foundation and The Peregrine Fund has been signed.
The main purpose of the MoU is to underscore the relationship between the two organizations and agree to the co-ordination of future projects, knowledge-sharing, and fund-raising activities and events.This two year, renewable agreement will see the Foundation and the Fund each appoint a representative to a coordination committee to oversee joint activities in the fields of raptor conservation, climate change including renewable energies, water management and sustainable development
“Protection of biodiversity is one of the three key objectives of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Therefore, as part of the efforts to develop its actions in the United States, it is important for the Foundation to join forces with internationally renowned organizations such as The Peregrine Fund to increase awareness on the importance of safeguarding emblematic bird species, “said H.E. Mr. Bernard Fautrier, Vice President and CEO, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
"In our ongoing commitment to achieving the goals of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, this alliance with The Peregrine Fund, a renowned US conservation organization, will enable us to undertake conservation projects of importance to both our organizations. Raptors, like the polar bear, are at the top of their food chains. Ensuring their survival requires protection of the entire ecosystem to support that food chain. In our efforts to protect raptors and polar bears, we learn important lessons on protecting the ecosystems that support the top predator of all, humans." said Mr. John B. Kelly, III, President, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – USA.
“The Peregrine Fund is pleased to bring its conservation expertise, proven success, and focus on birds of prey to this joint initiative with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Birds of prey, as far-ranging, top predators are acutely sensitive to environmental change and serve both as sentinel species that reveal conservation needs, and as umbrella species that help protect biodiversity,” said Mr. J. Peter Jenny, President, The Peregrine Fund, Inc.
“An exceptional synergy exists between both these distinguished organizations and, it is hoped that our
complementary resources and mutual compatibility will result in lasting benefits to many threatened birdlife populations,” said the Hon. Maguy Maccario, Consul General of Monaco and Vice President, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – USA who, along withDr. Richard T. Watson, Vice President and International Programs Director, will make up the co-coordination committee.
Among those Peregrine Fund initiatives which may be jointly funded or supported include:
1) a climate change initiative focused on the Gyrfalcon, a species that breeds exclusively in the Arctic where the effects of climate warming are predicted to be greatest and have already raised mean annual temperatures by 3°C;
2) a biodiversity initiative in Madagascar to develop sustainable community-based conservation areas that will protect critical habitat for endangered species which exist only on this island nation and nowhere else on earth; and
3) a species restoration project to save the critically endangered Ridgway's Hawk on Hispaniola, Dominican Republic, a Caribbean island that is rapidly losing its natural biodiversity resources.
The Peregrine Fund's recent major conservation successes have included
- Progress in restoration of the critically endangered California Condor in the United States, a species that was extinct in the wild and sustained only in captivity for a period in the 1980s, which is now soaring back from the brink through a program of captive breeding and release. The major hurdle remaining for the species' survival in the wild is lead poisoning from spent ammunition which could be solved by the use of non-lead bullets and shot by hunters. The Peregrine Fund's work also revealed the risk of lead exposure to people who eat game harvested with lead-based ammunition.
- Research and discovery of a pharmaceutical drug, diclofenac, used in veterinary practice, as the cause behind the catastrophic collapse of vulture populations in South Asia. Safe alternative drugs were found, diclofenac was banned from veterinary applications in Pakistan, India, and Nepal, and vulture populations are beginning to stabilize.
- Assisting the creation of Madagascar's largest national park based in part on the ecological needs of the Madagascar Serpent Eagle, a species once thought to be extinct but rediscovered by The Peregrine Fund on Masoala Peninsula. Additional successes there include the rediscovery of the Madagascar Red Owl and Madagascar Pochard (a diving duck), and discovery of two lemur species entirely new to science. Sustainability of conservation effort has been assured with development of local capacity for conservation by training 20 Malagasy graduates and post-graduates, and has led to the implementation of cutting edge community-based conservation initiatives to protect habitat critical for endemic species.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation works internationally to support ethical and sustainable projects related to preservation of biodiversity and has undertaken numerous bird and animal life preservation projects including:
- In the Mediterranean Basin: Bonelli’s Eagle, a Mediterranean bird, is one of the most endangered birds of prey, there being no more than 28 pairs in France. Within the framework of a restoration plan piloted by the League for the Protection of Birds, the Foundation is supporting a program for breeding young eagles in captivity which will be reintroduced in Israel, France and Spain. The monitoring of the released birds will be carried out, from 2009, by telemetric tracking via satellite using an Argos beacon attached to the birds.
- In the Polar Region: Polar bear: Pollution and climate change are a major threat to the Arctic and the species living there – this project is focused on the assessment of the state of health of polar bears on a circumpolar scale, based on the combined study of the physiological effects of pollutants and the impact of the destruction of their habitat due to global warming.
- In Africa: Niger Giraffes: This project aims to scientifically monitor giraffes, oversee population management, protect the tiger bush (the giraffe’s food supply) and combat poaching; and to resume and implement local development programs for the rural communities in the giraffe region.
About The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation was established in 2006 by His Serene Highness Prince Albert to continue the Principality’s legacy of environmental stewardship and its commitment to conserve the world’s natural environment. The Foundation supports sustainable and ethical projects especially in the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar regions and the world’s least developed countries. Its focus is on three main challenges: climate change,; combating the loss of biodiversity; and water management. It has opened chapters in France, Switzerland, the UK, Italy and Germany, in Canada and, in 2008, the USA. www.pa2f.org
About The Peregrine Fund, Inc
The Peregrine Fund is an American conservation organization, founded by Tom J. Cade, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Cornell University, and four other founders, dedicated initially to the restoration of the peregrine falcon across the North American continent with the principal work completed in the United States. The recovery of the peregrine falcon was completed in 1999, when it was removed from the list of endangered and threatened species, and recognized as the greatest conservation biology success story of the Twentieth Century, Peregrine Fund recovered the Mauritius kestrel on the Island of Mauritius; worked to conserve the raptors of Africa in Kenya and South Africa, established field facilities in Central America for work on neo-tropical raptors, and other major conservation projects worldwide. Peregrine Fund is restoring the endangered California condor to Arizona and the endangered Aplomado falcon to Texas and New Mexico. Peregrine Fund’s goal is to maintain healthy raptor populations worldwide, monitor threats to raptors, their prey species and habitats and to educate people to the value of raptors in native ecosystems. www.peregrinefund.org
Susan Whaley, (The Peregrine Fund, Inc) email@example.com 208-362-8274
Elle Berdy (Consulate General of Monaco, New York)firstname.lastname@example.org 212-286 0500