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ExxonMobil Strengthens Commitment to Tiger Conservation; Company Has Committed $9 Million to Tiger Conservation Save The Tiger Fund Conservation Grants Announced

ExxonMobil Strengthens Commitment to Tiger Conservation; Company Has Committed $9 Million to Tiger Conservation Save The Tiger Fund Conservation Grants Announced

Published 04-28-00

Submitted by ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation today announced that the Save The Tiger Fund has awarded an additional $525,000 in grants to ten international tiger conservation projects.

The Save The Tiger Fund, an initiative launched by ExxonMobil and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 1995 to help preserve the endangered tiger, has provided more than $7.3 million in support of 112 conservation projects in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

The announcement of the new funding complements ExxonMobil's recent opinion-editorial page advertisement concerning the urgency of tiger conservation. The op-ed, part of ExxonMobil's series on current issues, is one of several tiger conservation initiatives the company and the Save The Tiger Fund will undertake in 2000.

"We hope that the compelling op-ed and the scope of the Save The Tiger Fund grants will generate awareness that the loss of the tiger in the wild is an important wildlife conservation issue," said Kenneth Cohen, ExxonMobil's vice president for public affairs. "Efforts to save the tiger also help preserve its habitats and the many other species that live there. This preservation is an important element in maintaining biodiversity."

Tiger conservation is of special concern to ExxonMobil. The tiger has been the marketing symbol for the Exxon brand for nearly 100 years. The company has committed more than $9 million through 2003 to help save the endangered tiger. The centerpiece of this commitment is the Save The Tiger Fund, which supports international projects in field research, habitat protection, anti-poaching and tiger conservation education programs. In addition, the public has contributed more than $1 million to support these efforts. The Fund invests in projects which foster cooperation, conservation leadership in tiger-range countries, and projects that deliver effective community-based conservation.

"To save tigers, we have to work with people," said Whitney Tilt, Director of Conservation Programs, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. "The Save The Tiger Fund has been successful in funding projects that work constructively with the communities that live around tiger habitats, in addition to supporting the critical field research that yields information about the tiger and its habitats."

Achievements of the Save The Tiger Fund include the following:

International Conservation Projects

To further its conservation objectives, the Save The Tiger Fund recently awarded the following grants:

-- Field Research:
Center for Wildlife Studies (India) - Panna National Park and
Bhadra Tiger Reserve: to determine how much prey the tiger needs
in these two areas in order to develop habitat management plans.

University of Minnesota - Cambodia: to support monitoring and
protection programs in selected locations; to train wildlife
technicians; to conduct education workshops.

-- Habitat Protection:
Prakratik Society - Ranthambore National Park, India: to increase
community awareness for conservation of forests and support of
tiger conservation.

King Mahendra Trust - Chitwan National Park, Nepal: to support
successful habitat regeneration programs in park to restore 400
hectares of lands to productive forest.

-- Anti-Poaching:
WildAid - Khao Yai National Park, Thailand: to develop educational
programs; to monitor tiger and other wildlife in response to
anti-poaching efforts.

Fauna and Flora International, Kerini Seblat National Park,
Indonesia: to support park's anti-poaching program in Sumatra's
premier wildlife area.

-- Conservation Education:
Wildlife Conservation Society - China: to continue support to
raise awareness regarding the use of tiger-based products in
traditional medicines.

WildAid - China: to continue support for educational program to
reduce use of tiger parts and other endangered species in
traditional medicines.

Minnesota Zoo - 5Tigers Web site: to continue support of this
comprehensive educational resource on tigers and international
conservation programs.

Highlights of Efforts to Increase Public Awareness

Public awareness programs sponsored by ExxonMobil and the Save The Tiger Fund have helped generate more than $1 million in public donations to the Fund. Key initiatives include:

Television Commercials: Three commercials are currently running on broadcast and cable networks in the U.S., which identify the threats facing tigers, and highlight field research supported by the Fund.

International Conferences: Sponsorship of major conservation conferences has enabled diverse international organizations and governments in tiger-range countries to coordinate their tiger conservation efforts.

In 1997, ExxonMobil underwrote the proceedings of Tigers 2000, an international conference at the Zoological Society of London. A grant from the Save The Tiger Fund supported the publication, foreign language translation and distribution of the conference proceedings in book format, entitled, Riding The Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-Dominated Landscapes, vital information resource for tiger conservationists.

In 1998, the Year of the Tiger Conference in Dallas was the largest international tiger conservation conference ever held, convening more than 100 conservation experts from 18 countries.

In 1999, the Fund sponsored an international symposium on tiger conservation, organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City.

Conservation Education Activities: Exhibits and special events at museums and zoos continue to generate awareness for tiger conservation:

"Tigers In Crisis" - an interactive traveling exhibit, developed by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums and funded by Save The Tiger Fund, will travel to nine cities over three years.

"Great Cats" - a multi-media exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. features hands-on educational displays and Tiger Tracks, a 250-foot long educational journey.

"Tigers!" - a diorama at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is modeled after a typical scene in Nepal's Royal Chitwan National Park.

Tiger Awareness Activities: ExxonMobil will sponsor a Tiger Awareness Day in May at the Houston Zoo. Previous events have been held in Tokyo, Memphis, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baton Rouge.

Educational Materials: "Habitats: Realm of the Tiger," produced by the National Geographic Society and sponsored by ExxonMobil, is a multi-media conservation educational kit for educators and students grades 5-9. Additionally, the Save The Tiger Fund supports an award-winning educational Web site www.5tigers.org.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of natural resources -- fish, wildlife and plants. Its goals are met by forging partnerships between the public and private sectors, and by supporting conservation activities that pinpoint and solve the root causes of environmental problems. The Foundation invests Congressionally appropriated funds to match private sector funds. None of the Foundation's grants support lobbying or political advocacy. To date, NFWF has supported more than 3,100 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and 27 foreign countries, and has leveraged more than $423 million for effective conservation activities in the last 14 years.

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