• Similar burdensome regulations hinder the fund’s international recovery efforts.In the United States, the permitting process as administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service often takes months, which in turn hinders the timing of deliveries to match reproduction periods and adds to transportation stresses.Fortunately, entrepreneurs such as Tom Cade have the energy to keep working despite these hurdles.These rare and beautiful creatures from Central and South America emit loud screeching sounds whenever a stranger enters their domain.Elgas says that the hyacinths’ shrill cries may one day be silent in their old haunts in the Amazon Basin in South America and in the rain forests of Central America.For example, in the last fifteen years the population of macaws has dropped from a quarter million to 5,000 under the green canopy of the Amazon Basin in Brazil.Bob Elgas is trying to ensure that hyacinth macaws and other rare birds will be around in the future.He has no formal education in the study of birds but is not deterred.’I just read and studied,’ he says.His lack of formal training has not hampered the success he has had rearing macaws and other rare birds on his refuge.He also has Tule geese, whose genus carries his name.When he first started studying geese, none of the professionals believed that they were a separate species.Elgas finally got permission to study them in California and, after five years, captured a live one and supervised the detailed analysis that showed it was a separate species.The Smithsonian described the goose and named it ’Anser albifrons elgasi’ after the Big Timber, Montana, aviculturist.Elgas followed his California fieldwork with an expedition to Cook Inlet in Alaska, where he found the geese breeding ground and obtained goslings for future breeding.Today descendants of those original birds roam the refuge grounds.Elgas has recently cut back on the flock of captive birds he keeps on the refuge so he can devote more time to breeding macaws, whose future he believes is dim.The birds hatch their own eggs and take care of the chicks for the first two weeks.Then Elgas takes them away to rear under conditions designed to increase survival.For example, he uses old incubators obtained from a local hospital in Billings to keep the chicks warm until they reach an age when they can generate their own body heat.He feeds them by filling a syringe with the concoction and shooting it down their throats.According to the International Wild Waterfowl Association, an organization established in 1958, some 500 members take an active role in private captive breeding programs for rare waterfowl and other rare species of birds.For Elgas, conserving birds is a labor of love.He pays for care of his macaws and other birds through the sale of common parrot species raised on his refuge and through the sale of his wildlife paintings.He has spent the better part of his adult life rearing rare birds with much success.Both he and his wife, Elizabeth, were recently inducted into the International Wild Waterfowl Association’s Waterfowl Breeders Hall of Fame.Still, he is quite humble about his accomplishments.’You can cover a lot of sins by being determined,’ he says.Spoken like a true entrepreneur.Out of Africa and into TexasJim Jackson and Christine Jurzykowski and their staff of naturalists and veterinarians run the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, located about eighty miles south of Dallas.Its 2,700 acres of rolling hills and grasslands make it an ideal sanctuary for beleaguered wildlife from around the globe.The white rhino, threatened by poaching in Africa, finds safe haven at Fossil Rim.The Fossil Rim staff hopes that these animals are taking their first steps toward recovering in the wild.Research and breeding programs there focus on saving species before they are lost to future generations and one day repopulating them in the wilds.Fossil Rim’s record speaks for itself.Since receiving its first pair of red wolves in 1989, the facility has had nineteen surviving births, paving the way for the red wolf’s successful reintroduction into the wild.This is impressive, considering that worldwide, more cheetahs die than are born every year in the wild.Many Fossil Rim cheetahs have been given to zoos or other captive breeding programs so that those groups will not take wild cheetahs for their stocking programs.Fossil Rim also has successfully bred addax antelope into a herd of 100, believed to be the largest in the world.Though most of its efforts focus on animals in trouble, Fossil Rim also devotes resources to conservation efforts in native habitats.The story behind Fossil Rim is one of both altruism and entrepreneurship.In the early 1970s, oilman Tom Mantzel purchased 1,400 acres of what was then Waterfall Ranch, an exotic game ranch.He wanted to turn it into a sanctuary for a growing list of rare animals and soon gathered sixteen nonnative or endangered species on the property.Fossil Rim Wildlife Ranch, as Mantzel renamed it, became the first ranch to participate in the Species Survival Plan of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.By 1984, however, the American petroleum industry had collapsed, and the Texas economy was suffering.Mantzel needed money to support his hobby, so he opened the preserve to the public for a fee.He added a snack bar and a souvenir store.Mounting oil losses forced Mantzel to take on two partners.At first, they supplied funds to keep the ranch operating, but in 1987 they bought Fossil Rim outright.Under their direction, Fossil Rim has made great strides.Not all are endangered, but all serve to bring in paying tourists to support the refuge.On the staff are naturalists and veterinarians who carry out a variety of groundbreaking projects.For example, the staff is working to perfect reproductive technologies to create a larger gene pool for the addax antelope.They also carry out captive breeding research of white rhino, using a ’teaser’ male in one enclosure to encourage breeding by a male in an adjacent one.Fossil Rim researchers are testing techniques for reversible contraception that controls animal populations in captivity but that can be reversed when they are released into the wild.To finance this work, Jackson and Jurzykowski use their entrepreneurial imagination to capitalize on various revenue sources.There is the Foothills Safari Camp, packaged especially for ’safari’ goers.Its seven tents accommodate a maximum of fourteen adult guests, except on special family weekends when children are allowed.This camp is not exactly an African safari of old.Meals are taken in a pavilion with large windows for viewing wildlife.Weather permitting, campers enjoy gourmet meals around the campfire.Rates are $150 per tent per night.In 1992, revenues from tourism topped $2.2 million, but Jackson and Jurzykowski still had to make up the $400,000 difference between revenues and expenses.In 1996, Fossil Rim made its first profit.Adopt a PotholeWith nesting habitat the key, the problem for North American waterfowl is how to make farming compatible with waterfowl production.Potter recognized a need to act when he noted a precipitous decline in migratory duck populations.Between the 1950s and the 1980s, North American duck migrations fell from over 100 million to less than 50 million.This decline has been of grave concern to hunters and biologists.Ironically, the decline has occurred despite years of increasingly stringent hunting regulations, as well as the establishment of 430 national wild refuges, totaling some 90 million acres, in the continental United States.Research indicates that duck populations dwindled because of the loss of nesting habitat, mainly on thousands of private farms in the upper midwestern United States and in southern Canada.This area, known as the prairie pothole region, covers some 300,000 square miles and is one of the world’s richest agricultural regions.Because it is dotted by millions of Ice Age depressions that create small ponds, the prairie pothole region produces the majority of North American ducks.Delta Waterfowl is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the trend in North American duck populations by stopping the loss of habitat.The organization believes it can make a difference through research and education and by creating economic incentives for farmers to produce ducks as well as crops.Over the last sixty years, the station has made many critical contributions to the study of waterfowl and wetlands in North America.For example, research at the station developed new surveying and banding techniques and improved methods for increasing waterfowl nesting success.The station was the brainchild of James Ford Bell, chairman of General Mills during the 1930s and avid duck hunter and conservationist.In the late 1920s, he purchased a significant portion of Delta Marsh as a private hunting preserve and wild duck hatchery.Miles Pirnie, a professor in wildlife management at Michigan State University, and Aldo Leopold.This program has studied new soil and water conservation practices that are both economically and biologically sound.Because Delta Waterfowl understands its programs will not be adopted by farmers if they are not economical, it always emphasizes profitability.Through this program, Delta Waterfowl contracts with farmers to produce ducks by protecting the nesting habitat around prairie potholes on their land.This approach differs markedly from the federal government’s strategy of acquiring land for refuges or regulating private wetland use.Delta Waterfowl believes that the Adopt a Pothole program can make a significant impact because 95 percent of the ducks raised on the prairies of the upper Midwest and southern Canada are produced on private farmlands.Prior to the program, landowners had little or no economic incentive to maintain or restore pothole habitat and may have even faced a disincentive from government farm programs that subsidized draining potholes.5 As a result, over the last fifty years, hundreds of thousands of acres of potential duck factories have been lost.Delta Waterfowl believes that farmers must be sent a different message, one based on positive incentives, and it has done this through its Adopt a Pothole program.This program is a classic example of envirocapitalism because it takes advantage of all aspects of entrepreneurship.First, the Delta entrepreneurs discovered a niche that was not being filled by existing public and private waterfowl conservation programs.Second, Adopt a Pothole created a way of raising capital from hundreds of individual contributors in the United States and Canada by giving them a sense of ownership in a pothole.Each contributor receives an aerial photograph of his or her adopted pothole, a quarterly reports on its status, and an annual estimate of duck production.Third, Adopt a Pothole achieves its goal through innovative contractual arrangements consisting of multiyear land leases and production contracts.The land leases pay farmers approximately $7 per acre to maintain pothole habitat and $30 per acre to restore pothole habitat.Production contracts pay directly for duck production, thus giving the farmer an incentive to invest in improving nesting habitat.These sites are located on farms in Manitoba, Minnesota, and North Dakota, providing nesting habitat for mallards, canvasbacks, shovelers, bluewinged teals, greenwinged teals, gadwalls, lesser scaups, redheads, and pintails.They are fast becoming North America’s duck factories.For instance, nest density is twice as great for adopted sites compared to unadopted sites, and nesting success averages 51 percent for adopted sites compared to 1015 percent for unadopted ones.Such early accomplishments have earned the program accolades from the conservation community.Going Private

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