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 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. Click here to visit the EAZA Conservation Database (Members only)
After almost 30 years of successfully breeding white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum), Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen started the research project “What Are They Talking About?” in 2012. In collaboration with the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, they study the behavioural and vocal repertoire of the Southern white rhinoceros both in the German zoo and in Uganda.
By researching and understanding better the social behaviour of the white rhinoceros, they aim to improve husbandry systems and breeding management in human care. They analysed the different call types of young and adult rhinos as well as social structures within changing rhino groups. Data collected at the Serengeti Park and in the wild were compared to assess differences and commonalities between ex situ and in situ populations.
These results can also be of importance for the protection of wild rhinos as bioacoustic methods could be used for population monitoring. For example, the number of rhinos in a distribution area and possibly their age structure and the gender ratio could be determined through individual differences in the sounds.
To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.