2015/2016 Annual Report

Letter from GWC Chief Scientist and CEO Wes Sechrest

Our home, Earth, is undoubtedly a special place. The planet harbors millions of complex forms of life as different as a Sumatran Rhino is from a Praying Mantis is from a Borneo Rainbow Toad, a Blue Whale from a Tasmanian Devil from a Monarch Butterfly. This biodiversity is wholly unique to our planet — when we lose it, it’s gone forever.

That’s why at Global Wildlife Conservation we explore wilderness areas to inform decisions on what, where and how to save the most imperiled species and ecosystems. We engage people in the most biodiversity-rich and resource-poor regions of the world to protect their natural resources. And we protect rare species and vital habitats by creating and managing nature reserves.

In FY 2015 and FY 2016, we helped establish the groundwork for a powerful partnership that will bolster our success protecting rare species and vital habitats: the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Partnership. Through this ambitious Partnership of 11 leading conservation organizations, we will identify, map and monitor vital habitats for threatened species around the globe at an impressive scale. This includes the Critically Endangered Geometric Tortoise, which is left with only 3 percent of its original habitat in South Africa.

But KBAs don’t cover all of the planet’s remaining wilderness, so we have focused on protecting biodiversity even beyond KBAs. In Papua New Guinea, for example, we helped expand the first Community Conservation Area (CCA) to safeguard habitat for the Critically Endangered Eastern Long-beak Echidna and the Endangered Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo. With a matching donation, we helped protect 40,000 total acres of tropical montane forest habitat that will reduce the threats of deforestation and poaching to these endangered species and many others.

We look forward to continuing these and more important efforts to protect biodiversity and ecosystems across the world.

Our world. Our home.


Dr. Wes Sechrest
GWC Chief Scientist and CEO


Our unique planet is home to all life as we know it. Humans need the diversity of life for everything from clean air and water, soil quality, food, fuels, fibers, crop pollination, erosion control, coastal protection, climate stabilization, medicines, to technological advances — and importantly emotional wellbeing, happiness, critical thinking skills, social interactions, and spirituality. Humans would not exist without nature.

However, humans and our activities have pushed many species and ecosystems to extinction and many others are on the brink. Without swift and bold action, we risk losing significant parts of our global life support system.

That’s where GWC comes in. GWC targets species and ecosystems at imminent risk of disappearing forever, for the benefit of nature and society. Our strategy focuses on three main areas:

1.Creating and managing parks in the most irreplaceable sites worldwide.
In 2015 and 2016, we protected habitat targeting some of the world’s most endangered species, including species listed as Data Deficient and Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In 2016 alone, we protected more than 75,000 acres of habitat for more than 25 endangered species. We protected habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Sumatra, Mexico, Australia and Colombia, among other irreplaceable places.

2. Developing and implementing wildlife recovery plans for key Threatened species.
In 2016, we focused most of our anti-poaching efforts on endangered wildlife in Southeast Asia and Central America. We deployed one ranger team in Laos, initiated training for three teams in Vietnam and provided oversight for three teams in Nicaragua. We’re working to implement SMART software at these sites, which will provide detailed metrics on threat removal and patrol efforts to be available soon to support operational decision making to ensure our efforts are effective at stopping poaching activities.

3. Engaging and empowering current and future conservation leaders — global guardians — worldwide.
In 2015 and 2016, GWC continued to train and inspire future global guardians as environmental stewards and conservation leaders in their local communities. We supported a Colombian University of Texas Ph.D. student in protecting threatened species. We supported an Indian-American Ph.D. student at the University of Texas in surveying for threatened birds in the foothills of the Himalayas in northeast India. We supported a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University on her work looking for the lost-to-science Santa Marta Tora, in collaboration with a local partner. And we supported an emerging conservation leader working on survey work for two endangered turtles in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Statement of Financial Position

FY 2016 Funding from Grants to GWC Programs

FY 2016 Use of Funds

FY 2015 Funding from Grants to GWC Programs

FY 2015 Use of Funds

Looking Ahead

Humans are the single biggest threat to our planet’s future; but we’re also in a unique position to be save the species we share our home with. Thanks to the momentum of the last few years, GWC is thriving and growing. In the coming year, we’ll continue to directly save and protect endangered species in imminent risk of extinction around the world, while improving the protection and management of some of the planet’s top biodiversity-rich habitats.

We’ll focus on continuing to build capacity and continuing to work with Nicaragua’s indigenous Rama and Afro-descendant Kriol people to conserve Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve, home to Baird’s Tapirs, Jaguars and White-lipped Peccaries. We’ll look for opportunities to bolster the work of partner Devil Ark, which is building an insurance population of Tasmanian Devils in Australia to someday return to the wild. We’ll investigate securing habitat for the Critically Endangered Saola in Laos and Vietnam. And we’ll strive not only to build up our Global Guardians, but to ensure that together we’re changing the conservation narrative from that of doom and gloom to that of hope.

P.O. Box. 129
Austin, TX 72767 USA