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FUNDING conservation

EDGE Fellows posing with NGS flag

National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowship  

To help save wildlife and sound the alarm for lesser-known species at risk, the National Geographic Society and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) created the National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships. The program provides funding, training, and capacity development to three cohorts of Fellows from Africa, Latin America and Asia who are working to protect some of the regions' most at-risk animals that are featured in the Photo Ark.

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Meet the Edge Fellows

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Christine Kouman
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Christine Kouman
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Christine Kouman is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the West African slender-snouted crocodile. She is a Ph.D. student at Nangui Abrogoua University in Côte D’Ivoire. Prior to her Ph.D. studies, Christine was a teaching assistant with the Ivorian Office of Parks and Reserves, teaching others about crocodile capturing and radio tracking as methods for conservation. Christine’s fellowship project aims to advance the science and practice of reintroducing crocodiles into the wild as a conservation strategy, using rigorous ecological evaluation and community support.

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John Lyakurwa
Lecturer and Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
John Lyakurwa
 Lecturer and Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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John Lyakurwa is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the turquoise dwarf gecko. He is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and received an M.Sc. in life sciences from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. He has taken part in various field-based projects studying herpetofauna throughout Tanzania. John’s fellowship project aims to improve the conservation of the turquoise dwarf gecko by collecting data on its distribution and population, improving the current understanding of its habitat preferences, and raising awareness in local communities about the conservation needs of this charismatic species.

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Kudzanai Dhliwayo
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Kudzanai Dhliwayo
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Kudzanai Dhliwayo is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the lappet-faced vulture. Kudzanai is a Ph.D. student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where she has also been the assistant curator in the ornithology department at the Natural History Museum Zimbabwe since 2015. Kudzanai’s fellowship project aims to explore the cultural value of vultures to local communities living in the communal areas of Gonarezhou National Park, as well as these communities’ attitudes toward and perceptions of the species. She also plans to study the ecology and status of vultures in her study area, by assessing the main threats to the species and investigating its breeding habitats and behaviors.

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Maholy Ravaloharimanitra
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Maholy Ravaloharimanitra
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Maholy Ravaloharimanitra is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the Madagascar big-headed turtle. Maholy is a national representative for the Aspinall Foundation in Madagascar, where she has worked in various roles since 2008. Maholy’s fellowship project aims to increase knowledge about the Madagascar big-headed turtle and the threats to its conservation, and to develop and establish a sustainable community-led conservation strategy.

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Micah Nneji
Conservationist & Researcher, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Micah Nneji
 Conservationist & Researcher, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Micah Nneji is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the Cameroon slippery frog. Micah works as a research assistant at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Kunming China, where he also earned his Ph.D. in genetics. Prior, he received an M.Sc. in zoology from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Micah’s fellowship project aims to improve conservation management of the Cameroon slippery frog in Nigeria through ecological research and community-based conservation programs. He plans to examine the abundance and distribution of the Cameroon slippery frog, develop a species distribution model, enact a conservation management plan, and engage in conservation education programs in local communities

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Michael Akrasi
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Michael Akrasi
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Michael Akrasi is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the Togo slippery frog. A conservation officer with Herp Conservation Ghana, he earned a B.Sc. in natural resources management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Michael’s fellowship project aims to contribute to the long-term survival of the last remaining populations of the critically endangered Togo slippery frog. He plans to use species distribution modelling tools and bioacoustic techniques to identify populations and determine population density of the species. He also hopes to engage local school children through a conservation after-school program.

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Rio Heriniaina
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Rio Heriniaina
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Rio Heriniaina is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the indri. He is the project coordinator for the Lemur Conservation Project in Madagascar, and a technical advisor for Fanamby, a Malagasy NGO based in the Mangabe New Protected Area. Rio has an M.Res. in primate biology, behavior and conservation from the University of Roehampton in England. His fellowship project aims to prevent the extinction of the indri and ensure their long-term survival. He is working to estimate population size and density of indri in the Mangabe New Protected Area and Andasibe National Park, collect ecological research data, and engage local schoolchildren in conservation education activities.

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Rotsinomena Andriamisedra
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Rotsinomena Andriamisedra
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Rotsinomena Andriamisedra is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the aye-aye. Rotsinomena has been working with GERP (Groupe d’étude et de recherche sur les primates), an association focused on the conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs, since 2015. Prior to this, she assisted in various research projects within the Manombo region of Madagascar. Rotsinomena’s fellowship project aims to maintain active conservation monitoring for the aye-aye in the Manombo Special Reserve, by deploying camera traps and carrying out night surveys. She also plans to raise awareness of aye-aye conservation through education outreach in local schools.

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Victor Agyei
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Victor Agyei
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Victor Agyei is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the leatherback turtle. Victor is an M.Phil. student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. Before starting his M.Phil., Victor worked as a teaching and research assistant at KNUST, and also served as a project assistant for the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana. Victor’s fellowship project aims to significantly contribute to sea turtle conservation and successful protection of the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site in Ghana. He plans to map distribution and nesting sites of leatherback turtles, document threats to the species, and engage the local community in conservation education.

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Samson Zelleke
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Samson Zelleke
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Samson Zelleke is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the Egyptian vulture. Samson is a communications officer at the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society. He has an M.Sc. in environmental science from Addis Ababa University. Samson’s fellowship project aims to understand the current population and threat status of migratory and sedentary vultures in Ethiopia. He plans to assess the abundance, distribution, and composition of both sedentary and migratory populations, identify major threats, and build local capacity for vulture conservation efforts.

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Sidney Shema
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Sidney Shema
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Sidney Shema is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the secretarybird. A project manager for the Kenya Bird Map Project, he received a B.Sc. in wildlife management and conservation from the University of Nairobi. He also regularly contributes data as a citizen scientist to the Global Raptor Impact Network. Sidney’s fellowship project aims to improve understanding of the foraging movements of secretarybirds in Kenya to identify important foraging grounds. Back
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Tsigereda Dessalegn
Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
Tsigereda Dessalegn
 Conservationist, National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow
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Tsigereda Dessalegn is a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow focusing on the hooded vulture. She is a Ph.D. student in zoological sciences at Addis Ababa University. Prior to her Ph.D. studies, she was a lecturer and researcher in ecology and wildlife conservation at Wachemo University in Ethiopia. Tsigereda’s fellowship project aims to develop effective in-country conservation capacity to better understand and ensure the survival of hooded vultures. For her project, she intends to estimate vultures’ population density and abundance, assess potential threats to them, and work with local communities to enhance public awareness about and develop community-based efforts to conserve the species.

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Zoo Success Stories

Picture of Photo Ark Zoo kiosk rendering

Zoos and wildlife sanctuaries around the world are home to some of the most critically endangered species. Some of these species are no longer found in the wild and programs at zoos and wildlife sanctuaries may be the last hope for saving them. Research and fundraising conducted by conservationists at these facilities help to not only protect the animals in their care, but also those in the wild. Thanks to this important work, zoos and wildlife sanctuaries are beacons of hope for species at risk.

Find a Photo Ark exhibition near you.

National Geographic EDGE Fellows: Robin Moore

Help Us Save Wildlife

Thousands of species are at risk and time is running out. Join National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore as he leads the Photo Ark project to document our planet’s biodiversity and find innovative solutions to help save threatened species and protect their critical habitats.