NEW YORK, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the 1480s mention in the famous poem from the Boke of St. Albans, the regal peregrine has been associated with Princes, so it is fitting that The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation - USA (www.pa2f.org) has partnered with The Peregrine Fund, Inc. (www.peregrinefund.org) to focus on present-day conservation efforts. Marking this collaborative partnership – and coinciding with the Fund's annual board meeting this week in Abu Dhabi -- a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them has been signed.
The two-year renewable agreement underscores their common goals and provides for joint projects, knowledge-sharing and fund-raising, and will see each organization appoint a representative to a coordination committee to oversee activities in the fields of preservation of biodiversity and raptor conservation.
"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. Bernard Fautrier, vice president and CEO, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
"In our ongoing commitment to achieving the goals of the Prince's Foundation, this alliance will enable us to undertake conservation projects of importance to us both. 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 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 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 of the Foundation's US chapter, who, with Dr. Richard T. Watson, vice president and director, International Programs, will make up the co-coordination committee.
Among the Fund's initiatives which may be jointly funded or supported include:
- 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 degrees C;
- 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
- a species restoration project to save the critically endangered Ridgway's Hawk on Hispaniola, Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean that is rapidly losing its natural biodiversity resources.
One of the Peregrine Fund's recent major conservation successes was progress in the restoration of the critically endangered California Condor, a species that was extinct in the wild and sustained only in captivity for a period in the 1980s, but which is now soaring back from the brink through a program of captive breeding and release.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation works internationally to support ethical and sustainable projects and has undertaken numerous bird and animal life preservation projects including a breeding program in the Mediterranean Basin for the endangered Bonelli's Eagle; an assessment of the polar bear health in the polar regions; and the monitoring, in Africa, of the Niger Giraffes.
SOURCE Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation - USA