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Indianapolis Zoo Launches $1 Million Saving Species Challenge to save species at-risk of extinction

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Posted at 6:56 PM, May 04, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo has launched a $1 million saving species challenge that hopes to increase the survival chances of a species that is at-risk of extinction.

The Indianapolis Zoo Saving Species Challenge will award a $1 million grant to one organization that can develop and execute a plan that will have impact the survival of an at-risk species.

Field conservationists from around the world can apply and present a plan to identify an animal species that is currently threatened and create a program that would lead to an improvement in the specie's status.

The animals need to be recognized as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

“The Indianapolis Zoo searched for a big idea to make a real difference and support field conservationists to make a measurable change in the future of a species,” Michael Wells, Trustee and Chair of the Indianapolis Zoo’s Conservation Committee, said.

According to the zoo, the grant has a two-stage application process.

Pre-applications must be submitted by June 4. Those selected need to present a full application by Dec. 3.

“We know that reversing the decline of a species takes time. If we trust the science and stay focused, we will save a species. This challenge will serve as a model for other conservation organizations to follow,” Dr. Rob Shumaker, President and CEO of the zoo, said.

A jury of international animal conservation experts will choose the winner of the challenge.

The winner will have five years to begin the program and show progress.

The zoo will announce the winter in Feb. 2024.

For more information on the challenge or to apply, click here.