Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



$62.53 million raised; 78.2% of $80 million goal

grapes with the apes

Current Activities

Use of wild cattle to enhance village welfare and reduce illegal harvest of wildlife in the Chin Hills of Myanmar

Smithsonian Staff Lead: William McShea
Collaborating with Friends of Wildlife, Natmataung National Park, Forest Department (Nature and Wildlife Division), and Khyne U Mar from the University of Sheffield, we will work with villages around and within Natmataung National Park in the Chin Hills of eastern Myanmar to foster a relationship that enhances their ability to own and care for wild cattle (mithan) in return for reduced wildlife hunting.

We are conducting a pilot study at two villages where we will use camera-traps to monitor wildlife abundance around the village and provide both mithan and veterinary care to the villages. Friends of Wildlife will arrange the mithan exchange program while the reserve staff will conduct the wildlife monitoring.

Managing Human-Elephant Conflict

Smithsonian Staff Leads: Peter Leimgruber and Melissa Songer

Beginning in spring 2014, our staff will use state-of-the-art research and management tools to advance human-elephant conflict management.

In this year-long program we will work with Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry staff to satellite-track conflict elephants to:

  • Better understand factors affecting their interactions with humans
  • Conduct outreach surveys to impacted communities
  • Test mitigation strategies
  • Develop standardized techniques for managing and reducing human-elephant conflict throughout the country

Contact Us

Email Melissa Songer, Myanmar Team Lead.