23 Feb. 2002 breaking news @ monachus-guardian.org

A message from the International Marine Mammal Association

As most of our readers will know, it is a rare conservation or animal welfare organization that has sufficient funds to do absolutely everything that it, its staff, and its supporters might want it to do. Any organization with limited resources, including government agencies, must from time to time re-examine priorities to ensure expenditures remain in line with available funds. Hard decisions must sometimes be made and, it is fair to say, I think, that there is rarely unanimous support when any budget gets cut.

IFAW has recently gone through such an internal review. Given the economic climate, it was necessary to make a number of significant cuts in programs, campaigns, and grant support to third parties. Among those cuts was a project that funded the production of www.monachus.org and The Monachus Guardian (TMG).

On 3 January 2002, Patrick Ramage, IFAW's Director of Public Affairs issued the following statement:

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been a proud supporter of The Monachus Guardian for the past four years. Over this period, Monachus has established itself worldwide as the only dedicated source of information regarding monk seals and threats to their populations and habitat. The response has been tremendous. Monachus now enjoys a readership of some 10,000 individuals in more than 50 countries.

In addition to providing financial support for this unique publication, IFAW and the IFAW Charitable Trust have also been pleased to underwrite the design and maintenance of the monachus.org website, through its affiliate organization, the International Marine Mammal Association, Inc. The website now serves up to 400 visitors per day seeking up to date scientific and regulatory information related to monk seals. IFAW has also contributed to the production of three hardcopy annual volumes of The Monachus Guardian.

The progress and development of these unique information sources are due in no small measure to the tireless efforts of Monachus founder and editor William (Bill) Johnson, and production editor Matthias Schnellmann. Bill has worked with IMMA executive director, and IFAW science advisor, Dr. David Lavigne, on various monk seal conservation initiatives for the past decade.

As Monachus enters its 5th year of publication, new sources of financial support are urgently needed to maintain and expand this unique source of information. While IFAW and IMMA will continue to contribute content, research and editorial support to The Monachus Guardian, budgetary constraints and expanding international obligations have forced IFAW to suspend its direct financial support for this publication and website.

In coming weeks, Bill and David will be working to identify new sources of financial support for Monachus. IFAW encourages you to consider the ways in which you as an individual, and the institutions with which you are working, together with other interested parties, can help ensure this unique and vital journal continues to be produced. Thank you for your interest and support.

Patrick Ramage
Director of Public Affairs
International Fund for Animal Welfare (www.ifaw.org)

3 January 2002

As Bill Johnson has written elsewhere, IFAW has been a significant player in international monk seal conservation for more than a decade, supporting the establishment of Madeira's Desertas Islands reserve, funding research and vital guarding activities in the Northern Sporades Marine Park in Greece [see IFAW provides funding bridge & All at Sea] and, through its affiliate organization in Canada - the International Marine Mammal Association (IMMA Inc.) - leading two successful, international, campaigns to prevent the capture of monk seals for dubious captive breeding programs [see IMMA publications, Monachus Library].

While IFAW has, for the moment, "had to suspend its direct financial support" for www.monachus.org, and The Monachus Guardian, it has not "abandoned" monk seals. IFAW still intends, for example, to contribute content, research, and editorial support to The Monachus Guardian, and - together with Bill Johnson, TMG's founding editor - work to identify new sources of financial support to maintain TMG into the future.

Thank you for your recent expressions of support. We will keep you posted!

David Lavigne
Executive Director, International Marine Mammal Association (IMMA), and
Science Advisor, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

23 February 2002

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This petition is in support of The Monachus Guardian @ monachus.org, the world's only Internet journal and Internet site dedicated to the study and conservation of monk seals, their shrinking habitat, and the forces threatening their survival...

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Petition closed May 2002

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