The Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund

The Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund annually awards grants to projects that enable Zoo Atlanta to expand its conservation actions and contributions.

Projects are proposed by team members across the Zoo and are selected by a review committee based on relevance to the Zoo’s animal population; conservation status and needs of the species in question; conservation significance; inclusion of education outreach; and professional development opportunities for the Zoo team.


2022 programs slated for support from the Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund


Caretta Research Project (loggerhead sea turtles)

Funds will support the Caretta Research Project’s efforts to reverse decline in loggerhead sea turtle populations through population monitoring, data analysis, and initiatives to protect the nesting population in Georgia’s Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge. The project was proposed by Joe Mendelson, PhD, Director of Research.


A curious red panda standing on a bridge peers into the camera fieldEstablishment of a reforestation nursery for Plant a Red Panda Home (red pandas)

This project will support the Red Panda Network in establishing a reforestation nursery in Jaubari, Nepal, to supply native seedlings of red panda food and shelter tree species, as well as Non-timber Forest Product (NTFP) seedlings for planting and reforestation of this core habitat. The project was proposed by Kenn Harwood, Associate Curator of Mammals.  


Health assessment and investigation of methods for successful translocation of eastern box turtles following displacement by development in north Georgia (eastern box turtles)

Funding will contribute to a partnership between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of North Georgia, and Elachee Nature Center to evaluate the success of translocating native eastern box turtles threatened by commercial development in north Georgia, as well as develop baseline health parameters and determine infectious disease prevalence for this turtle population. The project was proposed by Megan Watson, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Associate Veterinarian.

One Health approach to conserving coexistence in Congo (gorillas and humans)

Support from Zoo Atlanta will assist the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project in assessing mammal biodiversity in northern Congo; assess the diversity of specific viral and bacterial pathogens known to affect gorillas and local human populations in West Africa; and provide educational outreach focused on zoonotic disease and prevention. The project was proposed by Jodi Carrigan, Associate Curator of Primates.

Protecting endangered drills through sustainable community agriculture in Cameroon (drill monkeys)

Funding will support the Green Project, a collaborative, community-focused project that incentivizes long-term and sustainable community engagement with conservation to protect the biodiverse habitat, including the fragile drill population residing in the Mount Cameroon National Park. Zoo Atlanta support will specifically fund efforts by the Limbe Wildlife Centre, a member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, in creating alternative, sustainable livelihood alternatives to hunting and animal trading for people living in the buffer zone of the park. The project was proposed by Patti Frazier, Lead Keeper of Primates.

Saving the last population of giant armadillos in the Atlantic forest (giant armadillos)

This funding will help support the Giant Armadillo Conservation Program, a long-term project that has been conducting research for 10 years in Brazil to promote conservation measures for key habitats for giant armadillos, a species currently classified as Vulnerable. The project was proposed by Christina Lavallee, Lead Keeper of Ambassador Animals.

Veal Pi Ranger Station (clouded leopards)

Funds from Zoo Atlanta will support Wildlife Alliance’s efforts to protect the clouded leopard population in southwestern Cambodia via the Veal Pi Ranger Station. The station patrols the Cardamom Rainforest to reduce the impact of snaring on clouded leopards and other native cat species and uses camera traps to assess animal activities. The project was proposed by Michelle Elliott, Mammal Keeper III.