This fund has made a remarkable contribution to conservation

Bird species on the brink of extinction are among the beneficiaries of new grants given by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

In its latest round of grants, the Abu Dhabi-based organisation is providing vital funds for on-going conservation projects around the world for two birds previously believed to be extinct and another whose population is estimated at just 50.

Thought to be extinct, the Jerdon’s courser was rediscovered in 1986 in a wildlife sanctuary in India, though no further sightings have been recorded since 2009.

Bermuda’s national bird, the Bermuda petrel, was also thought to be extinct centuries ago, before a tiny breeding colony was discovered in 1951.

Another species, the fatu hiva monarch, found in Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, has seen its kind gradually rise after its population had fallen to as low as 50.

Through on-going conservation projects, experts are hoping to increase the number of these species through research, monitoring and habitat management, including eliminating threats in their natural environment and introducing satellite tagging to monitor the movement of the birds.

Two further grants will support additional projects dedicated to the black-capped petrel, with four known colonies in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Dominica and Caribbean, as well as the African white-backed vulture, a Tanzanian-based vulture now classified as endangered due to the poisoning of animal carcasses.

Since its creation in 2008, the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has allocated over $18m (about AED 66 million) to 1,924 conservation projects to protect various species and sub-species of plants and animals.

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