Above: Previous Avicultural Society funding, in memory of its former council member Stewart Pyper who was keen on promoting aviculture in all its forms, has helped wild southern ground-hornbills (Bucorvus leadbeateri) and their conservation. Read more about this project at: http://ground-hornbill.org.za © Shutterstock.com/Johan Swanepoel


AVIAN CONSERVATION ORGANISATIONS can apply for a grant of up to £500 via the Avicultural Society’s (AS) Stewart Pyper Conservation Fund.

2020 funding applications are now welcome for the yearly programme which is funded through a legacy left by Stewart Pyper, AS council member and well-known foreign bird breeder and judge, who died in 2011.

Since the institution of the Stewart Pyper Conservation Fund in 2017, which offers funding of up to £500 – and in exceptional cases up to £1,000 – it has supported a wide range of avian conservation projects.

“In 2017 we provided an incubator for the Mabula Ground Hornbill project in South Africa to help with their rear and release programme,” explained AS chairman, Nigel Hewston. “More recently we have supported the development of the Sumatran Songbird Sanctuary, a new breeding centre for threatened species, through our contributions to the EAZA Silent Forest campaign.”

The funding is available to organisations anywhere in the world to pay for an item or items for a conservation project, “preferably but not exclusively with an avicultural element”, Mr Hewston added.

The society will cover the cost of the whole item, not a contribution, part payment or money towards a project. Applications close at the end of October, for consideration and funding by the end of the year. One or two applications are usually approved each year by the AS council.

Simon Matthews, an AS council member who initiated the Stewart Pyper Conservation Fund, said: “The AS is happy to receive applications from any organisation or project which is working on conserving avian species, though projects with avicultural aspects will stand a higher chance of being awarded the grant.

“There are no taxamonic restrictions within birds, so anything from penguins to pigeons, hornbills to turacos, finches to parrots are welcome.”

Application forms are available from Simon Matthews, email: simonjmatthews@hotmail.com

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