EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future. Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate and coordinate cooperation and communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database.
Since 2016, Rotterdam Zoo has been calling all their visitors, schools and local businesses to hand in their old mobile phones to help recycle col-tan, a mineral used in many electronics like mobile phones and laptops. The mining for this mineral in countries like the Republic of Congo, causes the destruction and loss of habitat for gorillas and many other species. Rotterdam Zoo is invested in the conservation of gorillas and raises awareness for the gorilla sub-species affected most by the col-tan mining, the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei).
Next to that they also to raise funds and link their conservation action to the gorilla sub-species they have in their own care, the western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). The funds raised support the Mbeli Bai Study - the longest running study on the social organization, life history and demographics of this species in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) (Republic of Congo). The funds are much needed for rebuilding part of their research camp, after it was destroyed by elephants last year.
Picture credit: Rob Dolaard