ST. LOUIS, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a non-profit foundation dedicated to wildlife conservation, research, education and animal rescue, today announced spring grants totaling more than $250,000. Nineteen conservation and research organizations on six continents will benefit from the grants. "By the end of this year, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund will have made grants of more than $1.2 million," said Fund President Virginia M. Busch. "It is gratifying to know that our donations will help researchers and conservation groups around the world continue their critically important work." Spring grant recipients vary widely in their area of scientific focus as well as geography -- from preserving steller sea lions in Alaska to tigers in Sumatra and whales off the coast of New Zealand. The Fund conducts grant awards twice each year and anticipates total funding for 2005 to approach $700,000, Busch said. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund was created in part to allow visitors to the nine Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, as well as members of the general public, to supplement the more than $2.5 million currently earmarked for conservation by the company. Recipients of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Spring 2005 Grants The Pan-African Sanctuaries Alliance (PASA) will receive $10,000 to help fund a veterinary healthcare workshop in Cameroon. Primates in Africa face an urgent threat of extinction from hunting, disease and habitat loss, while the conservation centers that comprise the PASA have become inundated with orphaned apes and monkeys, the majority of which are a direct result of these factors. PASA will also receive $17,100 to fund chimpanzee repatriation efforts in the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. Cardiff University in Wales in the United Kingdom will receive $45,000 over three years to fund post-release monitoring of wild-born orphan chimpanzees in the Conkouati-Douli National Park, Republic of Congo. WildAid, a San Francisco-based group dedicated to ending the illegal trade in exotic wildlife, will receive $17,500 to provide potable water to rescued animals at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center in Cambodia. The International Rhino Foundation will receive $15,000 for black rhino rescue and poaching intervention in Zimbabwe. Wildlife in Need Foundation, Inc. will receive $9,900 to help fund a whale and dolphin stranding workshop in the Philippines, home to 22 cetacean species. Moorpark College's Exotic Animal Training and Management Program will receive $3,000 to fund an outreach education course focusing on wildlife conservation. The course will benefit students in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California. Fauna and Flora International (FFI) will receive $15,000 for an education program for indigenous peoples in Belize that reinforces the importance of watershed protection. FFI will also receive $20,000 for their Visayan leopard cat conservation and research project in the Philippines. Conservation International (CI) will receive $20,000 to fund a program intended to reduce the illegal trade in exotic animals in Asia. CI will also receive $20,000 over two years for a program to conserve Javan gibbons in Indonesia. The World Wildlife Fund Latin America will receive $5,000 to reduce leatherback sea turtle egg poaching from nesting sites in Costa Rica. WWF will also receive $19,000 to fund anti-poaching programs for tigers in Sumatra. The National Wildlife Federation will receive $25,775 for a program to conserve amphibians in the United States. The St. George, Alaska Traditional Council/Kayumixtax Eco-Office will receive $10,000 to help fund the use of remote video cameras and monitors to protect a portion of the habitat of endangered steller sea lions. Texas A&M University at Galveston will receive $10,000 to fund a study of movement patterns and habitat preference of the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Wildlife Trust will receive $14,500 for a project intended to reduce watercraft-related deaths of endangered manatees in Belize. The New Zealand Department of Conservation will receive $7,000 to study techniques to reduce injuries to seabirds who feed off the catch of longline fishermen. The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami will receive $3,500 to study the biology and conservation of selected whale and dolphin species in the Philippine's southern Tanon Strait. The Marwell Zimbabwe Trust will receive $13,000 for research into the distribution, status and behavioral ecology of the cheetah in Zimbabwe. The Northern Rangelands Trust will receive $15,000 for a surveillance and monitoring program for endangered Grevy's zebras in the Melako Conservancy in northern Kenya. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will receive $9,720 to study the feline leukemia virus in an endangered subspecies of the Florida panther. The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County California will receive $5,000 to study a serious dietary deficiency of unknown causes among black-crowned night herons and great blue herons. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is a registered non-profit foundation. Its mission is to work with purpose and passion on behalf of wildlife and habitats worldwide, encouraging sustainable solutions through support of species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation and conservation education. Busch Entertainment Corp., the family entertainment subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., operates nine U.S. theme parks: SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Calif. and San Antonio, Texas; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa.; Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.
SOURCE Busch Entertainment Corporation