Take a look at previous EAZA Conservation Database Snapshots

September 2021: Corals and Sponges

2021 09 snap coral 3
  • EAZA Conservation category: Habitats
  • Habitat: Marine Neretic
  • Country: Tanzania

Coral reefs around the world are under massive pressure. After El Niño hit and destroyed over 50% of the corals near Zanzibar in 2015, Basel Zoo has been supporting the NGO Marinecultures in its commitment to marine protection. Together with the local population, they develop projects for the protection and reforestation of corals, build sponge farms and advocate for sustainable fishing.

A project for the reforestation of damaged coral reefs was initiated in 2017. Corals are cultivated in a lagoon that can cope better with increased water temperatures. Strict attention is given to maintaining a high level of diversity. Once the corals are ready for replanting, the farmers drill holes in dead coral structures, where they fix securely the cultured corals.

The process allows the transplantation of about 8000 to 10,000 corals per year!

Today, the coral farms and some of the reforested reef structures are among the most visited tourist sites in the Jambiani Lagoon because of their higher diversity and density of marine life compared to many other sites.

Buy a bathing sponge in Basel Zoo’s giftshop to help support this project!

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.


August 2021: Wētāpunga programme

2021 08 snap wetapunga 3 white
  • EAZA Conservation category: Habitats, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Forest 
  • Country: New Zealand

Once widespread across the New Zealand, the wētāpunga (Deinacrida heteracantha) is today found naturally only on Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island), because of the combined impacts of drastic habitat loss and mammalian predators introduced when humans arrived there.

Auckland Zoo, with the blessing of the guardians of Hauturu - the iwi (Maori tribe) Ngāti Manuhiri - and support of the Department of Conservation (DOC), collected 12 founder animals from Hauturu to begin a breed-for-release programme in 2012.

It followed a pilot project by DOC and Butterfly Creek who developed early husbandry parameters and carried out the first small-scale releases onto Hauraki Gulf islands in 2010-2011.

Fast-forward to 2021, and Auckland Zoo has now bred and released more than 6,000 wētāpunga from three separate cohorts of founders, onto eight predator-free islands - five in the Hauraki Gulf (Motuora, Tiritiri Matangi, Motuhoropapa and Otata in the Noises group, and Motuihe). Since late 2020, wētāpunga have also been released onto Northland’s Ipipiri islands; Urupukapuka, Moturua, and Motuarohia – after more than 180 years of absence!

Surveys carried out at carefully timed intervals have confirmed successful establishment on the first four islands. The team anticipates similar success on the remaining islands over coming years, resulting in an eight-fold increase in distribution locality and a significantly reduced extinction risk.

Thanks to this dedicated restoration programme, the largest terrestrial invertebrate of the country is now making a comeback.

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.


July 2021: Coffee and Primate Conservation

2021 07 snap coffee white LR
  • EAZA Conservation category: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research 
  • Habitat: Forest 
  • Country: Indonesia 


Since 2016, Ostrava Zoo, later joined by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore group, have been supporting the Indonesian NGO SwaraOwa and its “Coffee and Primate Conservation Project”. 

This project seeks to protect silvery gibbons (Hylobates moloch) and other endangered endemic primates on the island of Java, which are threatened by deforestation (habitat loss) and illegal pet trade.  


To help these species and preserve their habitat, the project aims to: 

  • conduct applied research, eg assessment of current statuses of species and habitats 

  • encourage young primatologists,  

  • and support the sustainable development of small medium enterprises for local communities to produce coffee - “Owa Coffee” brand - as well as honey and other forest products in an environment-friendly way 


Ostrava Zoo uses 2 Czech crowns from every visitor admission fee to support conservation projects.  

Following this success, another similar project - Kukang Coffee project - using eco-friendly coffee production and community development support was also launched to protect slow lorises in Sumatra. 


To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database. 


June 2021: Artificial Nest Structures

2021 06 snap greater stork
  • EAZA Conservation category: Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Savanah
  • Country: India


Several EAZA Members* have supported the NGO Aaranyak in their Artificial Nest Structure project for Greater adjutant storks (Leptoptilos dubius) since 2017.  

Once common in India, the species has been decimated in the last century. The estimated global population counts only 800 - 1,200 individuals with half of them nesting in three adjacent villages in Assam, India. Extensive community work has been done to garner community support for this bird which was previously considered a nuisance. 


The project aims to increase the amount of nesting possibilities and provide higher quality nests in locations further away from villagers.   

Nesting structures are made with locally grown bamboo and using local labor. The Hargila Army, a rural women’s group dedicated to stork protection, monitors the nests. A prototype nest platform erected in 2018 was the first to be used to rear a chick. 

In 2020, 10 nest structures were constructed despite the pandemic. All platforms were visited and 5 were used for nesting with chicks hatching in all occupied nests. The goal is to build 20 structures in 2021, so more support from the EAZA community is welcomed. 


*Thanks to Paignton Zoo/Wild Planet Trust, Lagos Zoo, Leipzig Zoo, Stuttgart Zoo, Amersfoort Zoo, Paris Zoo, Beauval Nature Association, Berlin Zoo and Tierpark, Rotterdam Zoo, Zoologischen Gesellschaft für Arten und Populationsschutz (ZGAP) for their support and to Marlow Bird Park for facilitating collaborations. 

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database. 


May 2021: Palawan Pangolin Conservation

2021 05 snap pangolin
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research 
  • Habitat: Forests  
  • Countries: Philippines 

The Katala Foundation Inc.'s Palawan Pangolin Conservation Programme (PPCP) has been supported by Wildlife Reserves Singapore since in 2012 to help the Critically Endangered Palawan or Philippine pangolin. These elusive and nocturnal animals are difficult to track and little is known about their biological, ecological and conservation needs.  

Hunters in the Palawan islands have used dogs to sniff out pangolins, so the PPCP has been working on site since 2019 to train dogs to detect wild pangolins in the forest without harming them 

Three Philippine mixed-breed puppies, known locally as Asong Pinoyor, were selected from a litter of ten in 2019. Bruce, Max and Pantas started basic obedience training with their dedicated handlers at four weeks oldand completed an intensive month-long training programme with professional dog trainer.  

This year, the focus is on transferring training from home to the forest so that hopefully, one dog at least can participate in pangolin abundance surveys.  

If successful, it will be a breakthrough in pangolin research and conservation through the use of local pangolin sniffer dogs. 

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.


April 2021: White Rhino Communication

2021 04 snap white rhino
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research 
  • Habitat: Savanah, grassland  
  • Countries: Uganda, Germany 


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. 


Mars 2021: Stichting Painted Dog Conservation

2021 03 snap painted dogs
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building, Advocacy  
  • Habitat: Savanah, grassland, forest and semi desert
  • Countries: Zimbabwe

When GaiaZOO reopened in 2005, the new zoological director became the EEP Coordinator for the African painted dog (Lycaon pictus). To participate also to the in situ conservation of the species, Gaia Nature Fund, later joined by other EAZA Members*, decided to sponsor the Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) Project in Zimbabwe.  

The PDC project has a broad approach focusing both on animals and local communities and each year is dedicated to a new focal area. Their activities have ranged from rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned painted dogs to training sniffing dogs to help the anti-poaching units.  

Gaia Zoo’s support has for example allowed children to participate to PDC’s educational bush camps. They also donated materials to schools, uniforms to the project employees and facilitated an international PDC symposium. 

Last year, when many sponsors had to pull back their donations due to the pandemic-caused financial crisis and when poachers were more active than ever, Gaia Nature Fund donated extra money to support the work of anti-poaching units. 

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.

*Contributors 2019-20: Antwerp Zoo, Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin-FriedrichsfeldeNorth of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo)Copenhagen ZooBeauval Zoo, Lisbon Zoo, Basel Zoo, Doue-la-Fontaine Zoo, Wuppertal ZooLeipzig Zoo, Wroclaw Zoo


February 2021: Okapi Conservation Project

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Habitats, Research
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: The Democratic Republic of Congo

Since the first okapi (Okapia johnstoni) arrived at Antwerp Zoo in 1919, the zoo has worked hard on conserving the species both in and ex situ. The Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) was established in 1987, and for more than 30 years, European zoos have supported the project in its efforts to save the okapi’s home in the Ituri forest and the Congo River Basin.  

The OCP assists local communities in developing sustainable ways to coexist with endangered wildlife, while still addressing their own aspirational needs. Education programmes and events have been implemented to promote appreciation for the okapi and its habitat to children, the leaders of tomorrow, and make them understand the importance of fighting against poaching, illegal mining and slash-and-burn agriculture. 

Among other things, they promote model programmes in sustainable agricultural practices that reduce the need to convert rainforest into agricultural land, and income generation programmes that reduce and eliminate the need to be involved in illegal activities such as mining and bush meat poaching.  

The project continues to work hard to protect nature while benefitting the local populations, thanks to the support of many EAZA Members* 

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.

*Contributors 2019-20: Antwerp Zoo, Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin-FriedrichsfeldeNorth of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo)Copenhagen ZooBeauval Zoo, Lisbon Zoo, Basel Zoo, Doue-la-Fontaine Zoo, Wuppertal ZooLeipzig Zoo, Wroclaw Zoo


January 2021: African Grey Parrot rehabilitation

2021 01 snap parrot
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity Building, Advocacy
  • Habitat: Forest, Savanna
  • Countries: Cameroon

Marlow Birdpark has been working together with the Limbe Wildlife Center in Cameroon since 2019 to rehabilitate and reintroduce confiscated African grey parrots. These birds are in rapid decline due to habitat degradation, poaching, and the illegal wildlife trade.

This government-led project - also supported by Branféré ZooParrot WorldGivskud ZooErlebnis Zoo HannoverHellabrunn ZooZGAP and other partners – successfully rescued 3,372 parrots between 2003 and 2019 and currently has 300 in their care. 

The center’s core missions are to support law enforcement efforts, engage the local community in nature conservation, and to raise awareness of the value and fragility of biodiversity. 
As people involved in illegal trade are often not convicted if the birds are released or die before the end of the trial, the initial support focused on aviary design, diet and assessing the age of the birds by eye colour and then on building permanent aviaries for rehabilitation and mobile aviaries for soft-release trials. The programme also aims at using genetic testing to build a database for the Government of Cameroon, making it possible to identify bird origin and trafficking routes and ultimately halt wildlife trade.

To read more about the project, click here or visit the EAZA Conservation Database.


December 2020: Operation Jaguar

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity Building, Advocacy
  • Habitat: Forests
  • Countries: Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana

Since 2018, ARTIS has been supporting Operation Jaguar to combat poaching and illegal trade in jaguars (Panthera onca) in Latin America. With the drastic decrease in tiger populations, jaguars have become an alternative for poachers to provide feline teeth, bones and other body parts to black markets mostly in Asia.

In collaboration with IUCN NLIFAW and Earth League International, their activities include helping local conservationists, going undercover within the criminal networks to expose them, putting pressure on policymakers to combat these illegal processes and training the police.

One of the ways to help make smuggling of products difficult is the use of detection dogs at airports. Due to corona, air traffic stopped, so the new dogs could not be trained with intercepted contraband. Artis provided a solution to the trainers of Scent Imprint Conservation Dogs: blankets that had spent some time in the jaguars' enclosure in the zoo as well as their faeces and urine. The dogs could be familiarized with the scent of the felines and will be operational as soon as air traffic starts again!

This is one of the many examples of partnerships made possible when zoological institutions become members of their national or regional IUCN networks.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.


November 2020: A future for the Tamaraw

2020 11 snap tamaraw
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Advocacy, Conservation Education and Capacity building, Fundraising/Grants, Habitats, Research, Species and Populations
  • Countries: Philippines

Tierpark Berlin has maintained large populations of wild cattle since its beginnings. Since 2016, the zoo also protects the Critically Endangered tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) on recommendation of the IUCN SSC Asian wild cattle specialist group by supporting the d'Aboville Foundation. The NGO, based in Manila, Philippines, actively promotes the protection of the tamaraw by involving local communities.

The tamaraw, also called Mindoro dwarf buffalo in reference to the island it is endemic to, lives in remote mountain areas in only a few locations. As there are no other populations outside of Mindoro, the remaining population – approximately 470 individuals – is under constant threat of extinction with infectious diseases or natural disasters being able to wipe away the entire species. No zoo outside of the Philippines has ever kept these bovids.

Tierpark Berlin supports ongoing field surveys to estimate current population sizes and gather data on habitat usage. In 2018, one of the field excursions led to the discovery of an important and previously unknown sub-population outside of Mounts Iglit–Baco National Park.

D’Aboville Foundation will continue to gradually develop Mounts Iglit–Baco National Park and increase the size of protection zones for the animals thanks to the support of other EAZA Members as well - AFdPZ, Chester Zoo, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and ZGAP.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.


October2020 : Saving Stone Crayfish

2020 10 snap ecrevisse
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Countries: France

Since 2017, Besançon Museum has been involved in the conservation of the French Endangered endemic crayfish named "Stone crayfish" (Austropotamobius torrentium) which can only be found in two streams in France.

Because of their great experience in the breeding of autochthonous crayfish, the Besançon team was contacted by the Natural Park of the Vosges du Nord – supported by the French Office of Biodiversity - to establish a breeding population and help safeguard the species.

In addition to getting many juveniles to reintroduce, they monitor the breeding of crayfish to better understand its requirements. They have obtained the complete cycle of reproduction, have sucessfully bred young and reintroduced a few hundreds of crayfish! They next step is now to manage a production in larger quantities.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.


April 2020: Helpsimus Bamboo Lemur

2020 04 snap Helpsimus
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Madagascar

La Palmyre Zoo and Helpsimus have been partnering in protecting Greater Bamboo Lemurs in Madagascar since 2012. Endemic to a biodiversity hotspot, this species is one of the most threatened lemurs, with slightly more than 1,000 individuals left in the wild.

With the support of several EAZA Members*, Helpsimus aims to find a long-lasting balance between the lemurs’ needs, in a non-protected and densely populated area near Ranomafana National Park, and those of local communities.

For example, they are working on:

  • identifying the priority zones for conservation and community-based development,
  • reducing human/lemur conflicts (eg Greater bamboo Lemurs frequently raid paddy fields),
  • implementing activities securing the products of communities’ harvests and increasing their yields,
  • developing new Revenue Generating Activities such as handicraft and ecotourism.

Helpsimus is also facilitating access to education for the children from the nearby partnering villages by paying the teachers’ salaries, building and renovating schools, donating supplies and organizing awareness activities. La Palmyre Zoo is actively involved in this last part as its Education Manager is in charge of training Helpsimus’ environmental educator and creating learning materials she uses during school activities.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

*Thank you African Safari, Jardin Zoologique de la Ville de Lyon, La Vallee des Singes, Parc Zoologique du Museum de Besancon, Parc animalier de Sainte-Croix, NaturZoo Rheine, Le Parc de Félins, Zoo des Sables, Kolner Zoo, Zoo de Jurques, Parc de Clères, Zoo de Montpellier, Zoo Boissière du Dorée, Natur Zoo Mervent, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Zoologiques Augeron - CERZA!

May 2020: Asiatic Elephants in Kaeng Krachan NP

2020 snap asiatic elephant
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Habitats
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Thailand

Since 2009, Zoo Zurich in partnership with WCS Thailand and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have been supporting an integrated conservation project for the Endangered Asiatic elephants (Elephas maximus) within Kaeng Krachan National Park (Thailand), a region crucial for the survival of both elephants and tigers within the next 50 to 100 years.

The project aims at reestablishing the traditional elephant migration corridor in the Tenaserim Moutain range.

On the one hand, they get involved in the neighboring villages. With the goal that people and elephants live peacefully side by side, they set up an elephant conservation centre, educative school programmes and train the junior staff of the Forest Deparment and National Park service.

On the other, they support the fight against poaching and illegal logging in the national park by installing alarm fences and permanent fences as well as implementing a SMART patrol.

So far Zurich Zoo has contributed CHF 1,523,000 (> € 1,446,680) to this project!

June 2020: Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust

2020 06 snap partridge
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research, Habitats, Advocacy, Fundraisong/Grants
  • Countries: Ireland

Since 2009, Dublin Zoo - later joined by Fota Wildlife Park - has been supporting various projects coordinated by the Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust (IGPCT) that promotes scientific research for the conservation and management of endangered native species and especially ground-nesting birds.

Dublin Zoo first supported a study on subspecies identification and genetic diversity of the red grouse, leading to the development of a long-term conservation plan for the species.

Then funding was provided to create suitable habitat for breeding and establish guidelines for farmers wishing to reintroduce the grey partridge on their land. These guidelines have helped with the re-introduction of grey partridge to several locations in Ireland.

Other projects focus on Charadriiformes research, in particular curlew, lapwing and redshank – all populations have suffered dramatic declines in Ireland the past decades, due to are loss of suitable breeding habitat and predation at breeding sites. A number of government-backed initiatives have been implemented at key breeding sites for these species, but little research assesses the efficacy of these initiatives. Funding from Dublin Zoo has enabled the IGPCT to start carrying out such research on chick survivorship and causes of mortality at these key breeding sites.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

July 2020: Proyecto Mono Tocón

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Research
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Peru

In 2007, La Vallée des Singes (through Le Conservatoire pour la Protection des Primates) initiated a project for the Critically Endangered San Martin titi monkey (Plecturocebus oenanthe) in Peru, leading to the creation of the local NGO Proyecto Mono Tocón in 2009. The activities first focussed on research on the distribution and conservation status of the species, but expanded quickly to educational programmes and direct conservation actions involving local communities, such as the management of several protected areas and the training of local young students who are now working as conservationists for other organisations.

The NGO has brought the fate of the San Martin titi monkey under the attention of local governments and conservation associations, resulting in a wide array of conservation measures and the creation of several conservation areas, which also benefit other primate species.

The EAZA Ex situ Programme of the Red titi monkey (Plecturocebus cupreus) adopted the project and a large number of European zoos* and international conservation associations are providing support and taking responsibility for nature conservation.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

*Thank you La Vallée des Singes, Blackpool Zoo, Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques, Apenheul Primate Conservation Trust, Sainte-Croix Biodiversité, Avifauna, Boissière Mervent Conservation, Mulhouse Zoo, Thoiry-Peaugres Conservation, Parc des Pyrénées, ZooParc de Beauval for their support in 2019 and to all others contributing in the previous years!

August 2020: Elasmobranch Bycatch Project

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Research, Species and Populations, Habitats
  • Habitat: Marine Oceanic
  • Countries: Spain

Since 2017 and inspired by the work of Sharklab-MaltaFundación Oceanogràfic and Associació Lamna have collaborated on the Elasmobranch Bycatch Project aiming to rescue otherwise discarded shark and ray eggs and give them a second chance at survival.

Sharks and rays are among the most threatened vertebrates of the world. Every day, hundreds of sharks are fished with viable eggs inside, or eggs already laid are accidentally removed from the sea when caught in different fishing gears. This project focuses on repairing the broken cycle: via close communication with local fishermen communities, they recover the eggs, keep them in tanks under appropriate temperature, water quality and lighting conditions. After an average of three months, embryonic development is completed, and the newborns are ready to be released back to the sea where food and shelter are available.

This project allows the project team to contribute to the conservation of elasmobranchs in three key ways:

  1. transforming a fishing discard into a resource for direct conservation,
  2. raising awareness to fishermen and the general public about the situation of sharks and rays in the world,
  3. generating knowledge about embryonic development and husbandry of sharks and rays, both useful in the academic field and the zoos and aquaria community,

encapsulating the three objectives of Foundation Oceanogràfic and the EAZA community - Conservation, Research, and Outreach.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

September 2020: Maasai Olympics

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Grassland
  • Countries: Kenya

The Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of Kenya comprises of 1.5 million acres of unfenced wilderness, home to over 40% of Kenya’s remaining lions and other wildlife, as well as over 100.000 Maasai and their livestock. Predator-livestock conflict is historically high, and the Amboseli Maasai have a long tradition of killing lions, for livestock protection but also as part of the warrior’s ascension to manhood.

Since 2002, Chester Zoo has supported the rangers protecting the black rhino population in Chyulu National Park who are employed by BigLife Foundation like hundreds of local Maasai - more than 30 permanent outposts, 14 patrol vehicles, 2 tracker dogs, and 2 planes for aerial surveillance. In 2012 the scope of these actions expanded into the first Maasai Olympics.  

Established at the request of the Maasai elders, they offer a way for the young Moran (warriors) to display their prowess without killing lions. Organized every two years, several qualifying events and a high-profile finale, coupled with the awarding of a significant cash prize for the village that has contributed most to local conservation over the year, create an excellent platform to raise awareness about conservation and sustainable co-existence between Maasai and wildlife.

The 2020 Maasai Olympics were postponed due to the CoViD-19 pandemic but Chester Zoo, later joined by Basel Zoo and other partners continue to provide financial support and design awareness material so that this project can continue to be a success in the future. 

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

October 2018: Long-horned beetle conservation

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations; Habitats; Research
  • Habitat: Forest; Grassland
  • Country: Sweden

Since 2006, Nordens Ark, supported by County Administrative Board of Stockholm, launched a project focusing on Long-horned beetles (Plagionotus detritus), a local species, listed as endangered – on the Swedish Red List - due to the loss of forests.

After developing breeding methods and creating an ex situ population, their goal is to annually reintroduce the species into suitable habitat in recently restored areas - Kalmar and Uppsala - and in the long-term create a self-sustaining population.

So far, around 300 adult beetles have been released. In addition, oak trunks from the zoo have been placed at the reintroduction localities; they contain larvae ready to hatch the same season or the year after.

A survey will be launched in the next few years using an artificial pheromone - developed by Nordens Ark and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – to attract the beetles and assess the development of the population. 


March 2019: Montseny brook newt

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: Spain

Since 2011, Barcelona Zoo and regional administrations have carried out conservation efforts for the endemic Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), an endemic species of a very small area in the Iberian Peninsula - less than 8 km2 in total - described in 2006 and listed as ‘critically endangered’. With less than 1,500 adults remaining in the wild and easily affected by human activities and climate change effects, it’s one of the most threatened amphibians in Europe.

Their 4-year LIFE project includes the following goals:

  • Ensuring genetic conservation of the species and expanding its geographic distribution via breeding and reintroduction of adults, juveniles and larvae,
  • Monitoring its conservation status regularly and increasing scientific and technical knowledge for its protection and management,
  • Establishing proper legal coverage at national and European level via the involvement and engagement of stakeholders.

September 2018: Wild Forest Reindeer LIFE

  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Country: Finland

seven-year (2016-2023) project was launched by our Finnish Members Helsinki (Korkeasaari)Ähtäri and Ranua Zoos, in collaboration with the European Union, Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland and The Finnish Wildlife Agency.

It aims at reintroducing wild Forest reindeers (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) - a slow-breeding species with a poor distribution capacity and a vulnerability to traffic and predation - to their native habitat in South Suomenselkä, Finland, as the current world population is 4500 with half located in Finland.

In addition to reintroducing individuals, currently bred by the three zoos, in the Seitseminen and Lauhanvuori Natura 2000 network sites, several goals have been set such as :

  • the achievement of a “favourable” conservation status for the Finnish forest reindeer by 2023,
  • the assessment of landscape utilization and habitat requirements of wild forest reindeer by following individuals equipped with satellite collars,
  • decreasing the inbreeding of the ex situ population,
  • raising awareness of Forest reindeers and of this project within local zoos.

August 2018: Lowland Tapir Conservation

  • EAZA Conservation categories: Research; Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forest; Shrubland; Wetlands
  • Country: Brazil

Since 2002, Chester Zoo has been supporting the work of the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Cerrado. Over the years, other EAZA Members, such as Copenhagen zooGivskud Zoo – ZOOTOPIAZooParc de BeauvalParc Animalier d'Auvergne, have joined the project and/or support LTCPI through the EAZA and AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Groups.

The LTCI uses tapirs as ambassadors for catalysing habitat conservation and protection, environmental education, outreach and awareness, training and capacity-building, and scientific tourism initiatives. Coordinated by Patrícia Medici of Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, tapir research and conservation programmes are carried out in all four Brazilian biomes in which they are found, and to develop and implement biome-based Tapir Action Plans. National communication and outreach initiatives, such as campaigns, are organised to apply their scientific findings.


July 2018: The Kukang Rescue Program

  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations; Research; Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Country: Indonesia

Since 2014, Ostrava Zoo has been supporting the Kukang Rescue Program and was joined by Olomouc Zoo and Liberec Zoo one year after. The main goal of this project is to reduce illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia, with a special focus on Greater slow lorises that are sold as pets in North Sumatra.

Activities of the Program include:

  1. cooperation with local government agencies on enforcement of laws protecting slow lorises,
  2. operation of a rescue and rehabilitation centre for confiscated animals,
  3. raising awareness of the illegal trade and of nature conservation via operation of a free English-environmental school and environmental libraries for local children, awareness-raising events and campaigns such as the “I Am Not Your Toy!” campaign,
  4. community engagement activities such as sustainable agriculture, waste sorting, solutions to human-wildlife conflicts,
  5. setting up an Indonesian team which will implement most of the project's conservation activities in Sumatra.

June 2018: Songbirds projects

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations; Research; Conservation Education and Capacity building; Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Indonesia

As you may know Silent Forest, the EAZA Campaign 2018-2019, focuses on Asian Songbirds. More than 160 institutions from 27 countries have joined us so far to raise awareness of these species. Many EAZA institutions are working on conservation projects related to them. In June, the EAZA Conservation Database counts seven updated projects involving Songbirds. They are especially supported by Berlin zoo, Chester zoo, Zoo Heidelberg, Liberec zoo and Zoo Ostrava. Thank you for your support!

If you have not signed up to the Silent Forest Campaign, please join today!


May 2018: Tenkile Conservation Alliance

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  •  EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Papua New Guinea

Since 2007 Krefeld Zoo (Germany) has a close relationship with the in-situ field-work of Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA). This NGO was founded in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2001 by Jim and Jean Thomas, who used to work at Melbourne Zoo. The TCA researches three endangered species of tree kangaroos co-existing in the Torricelli Mountains in the north-West of PNG: the Tenkile (Dendrolagus scottae), the weimang (Dendrolagus pulcherrimus) and the grizzled tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus inustus). It also conducts education and alternative livelihood projects within more than 50 local communities in the Torricelli Mountain Range to increase public awareness and involvement in conservation of tree kangaroos and their habitat. TCA improved the livelihood of the neighboring communities and delivered much needed services to remote rainforest communities including alternative protein sources, water tanks, hygiene and sanitation education and school programs, teacher training and gardening workshops – meanwhile more than 12,000 people are benefiting from this program. Besides collecting money to support this NGO Krefeld Zoo also organized tours for Jim and Jean Thomas visiting zoos and also schools in Germany to present the aims of TCA.

A 2nd Tree Kangaroo Meeting will take place at Zoo Krefeld in May 2018, bringing together zoo and field people representing both ex-situ and in-situ work to enhance the international cooperation with the long-term protection of these remarkable ambassador species of the rainforests of New Guinea and Australia.


April 2018: AboutEel - The Eel in a Bottleneck

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Research; Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Marina coastal
  • Countries: Denmark

The Nordsoen Oceanarium is dedicated to conveying knowledge about the North Sea to the public, including how to protect marine life and exploit the sea sustainably. Together with the Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), they developed the project “AboutEel”, aiming at communicating on the European eel (Anguilla Anguilla), a prime example of species in need of conservation efforts due to declining population trends and increasing demands on the global food market.

This educational project is centered around the “EEL-HATCH” project, where scientists work to establish breeding and hatchery technology for future commercial production of eels, leading to sustainable eel aquaculture and reducing pressure on the endangered wild population.

For instance, “The Amazing Eel” a public exhibition was opened in February 2018 to create awareness of the conservation status of this species. Nordsoen also developed educational material and programmes on Eel biology and population monitoring for schools.


Snapshots prior to April 2018 are available here

November 2018: Pond Turtle reintroduction

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  •  EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: France

Since 2009, Mulhouse zoo, supported by the Bas-Rhin Departmental Council and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), has been involved in the breeding and annual reintroduction of European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis), whose populations are greatly declining due to river drainage and competition with Red-eared sliders.

In collaboration with a natural reserve, la Petite Camargue Alsacienne, more than 400 5-year old turtles have been released in the past four years – including 200 in 2018 - in Lauterbourg, where the species used to live several decades ago.

In addition to collecting behavioural data, the CNRS is closely monitoring the animals to assess how well they deal with their new environment. So far, the results are really promising!


January 2019: Corncrake conservation

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Grassland
  • Country: Czech Republic

Since 2010, Plzen zoo and its partners have launched a joint Czech–German research project, with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund, focusing on Corncrake (Crex crex) Conservation in Czech Republic, where the species - living in cultivated meadows and waterlogged areas - is listed as critically endangered.

The project aims at studying the little-known biological aspects of these birds, as well as quantitatively monitoring the population with satellite telemetry and increasing collaboration with farmers to find new areas of management for the protection of this species.

The results so far showed that tagged birds stayed in restricted areas until migration if some suitable habitat remained. Where meadows were harvested very early, the males left. Delayed mowing or leaving patches of uncut meadow could thus be a compromise to ensure good agricultural production and the breeding biology of this species.


December 2018: Western Derby eland

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitat: Savanna
  • Country: Senegal

Through seven projects and since 2006, Derbianus Conservation and its partners have been involved in the conservation of the critically endangered Western Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus), in Senegal.

The last wild population of this antelope inhabits the Niokolo Koba National Park with estimated size of 170 individuals. Semi-captive breeding population was established in 2000. Currently two natural reserves provide safe home for 115 individuals.

In addition to the launch of local educational programmes promoting healthy and functioning ecosystems, the NGO provides scientific expertise to management and staff of reserves and supports conservation actions making sure the population stays genetically and demographically viable. This includes identifications of new born calves and transports of animals within herds.

The current state of the populations was evaluated this year and future management options are discussed to eventually reintroduce the elands in the Niokolo Koba national park.


February 2019: Save the Drill

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Lowland, Submontane rainforest
  • Country: Nigeria

Due to the bushmeat and pet trades, the Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is considered one of the most endangered primate species in the world. Since 1996, Wilhelma Zoo – joined later by other Members, such as Opel Zoo, Parken Zoo and Tierpark Hellabrunn - has been supporting the non-profit organization ‘Save the Drill’ which helps financially and materially Pandrillus and the Afi-Mountain-Reserve in Nigeria, where confiscated drills live in big troops after being nursed back to health.

Community protection patrols using local hunters to discourage shooting and trapping of “The Big Three” – gorilla, drill and chimpanzee - have been set up, as well as educational programmes in the 17 villages surrounding the mountain, bringing the communities together with a common interest group for the first time.

Follow their updates on Pandrillus Facebook page.

April 2019: Silky anteater

  • EAZA Conservation categories: Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Lowland forest, Mangrove forest
  • Country: Brazil

Zoo Dortmund has been housing anteaters and tamandua for decades and coordinates the Giant anteater EEP. Since 2016, the zoo also supports their conservation in the wild via Projeto Tamanduá.

Close relationships with field scientists, conservationists and zoologists were developed to ensure the best husbandry, feeding protocols and handling of these fascinating species.

Another action involves the monitoring of the wild polulation of the Pygmy anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) in the Northeast of Brazil where the main population lives 1000 km away from the population in the Atlantic forest! The mangroves build the bridge between both and it is therefore crucial to protect this habitat. 


May 2019: Wild Bactrian camel

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Desert
  • Countries: China, Mongolia

Since 2015, Knowsley Safari Park, in collaboration with Cotswold Wildlife Park and Prague Zoo, have been involved in the conservation of wild Bactrian camels (Camelus ferus), which are Critically Endangered and genetically distinct from the domestic species popular in zoos.

In addition to funding and ex situ education, they signed a five-year memorandum of understanding to co-operate with the Wild Camel Protection Foundation on the management of captive wild camels at the Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia. Among other things, they offer practical husbandry and veterinary support to the centre that breeds wild individuals in human care. They train herders to tag calves, implement body condition scoring and parasitology checks.

This herd may be crucial to the future of the species as a source of individuals for reintroduction projects, for instance.


June 2019: Local Biodiversity in Sigean

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats
  • Habitat: Shrubland, Grasslands, Wetlands
  • Countries: France

Opened in 1974 in the South of France, the Sigean African Reserve is responsible (in addition to the zoo area) for 200+ hectares of fields, wetlands, scrublands and alluvial forests, of which three quarters are wild habitats. Well aware of the high biological value of these habitats, in a very touristic and heavily cultivated region (vineyards), they want to make sure the property is managed to the benefit of the local biodiversity.

In 2018, they joined forces with two local independent nature-protecting associations, Aude Claire and the Aude LPO, to carry out floristic and faunistic inventories covering birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and resulting in a 117-page document.

For instance, 230 species of birds have been identified, of which 86 are breeding, including 38 belonging to the regional or national IUCN Redlists.

Following these results, they wrote an ecologically responsible 10-year management plan for the Reserve with recommendations ensuring its conservation.


July 2019: Grevy’s Zebra Project

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Shrubland
  • Countries: Kenya

Since 2013, Marwell Wildlife and partners have been involved in Grevy’s zebra monitoring and conservation via the involvement of local communities.

Twenty scouts use camera traps and GPS enabled smartphones to collect information on the zebras and other wildlife in the area.

Conservation clubs are organised for schools and “herders” - children who cannot attend school as they look after sheeps and goats during the day - to empower the younger generations in wildlife conservation.

Collaborations with local NGOs, community institutions and Kenya Wildlife Service take place to develop a cohesive management plan for wildlife, specifically Grevy’s zebras, in the remotest part of their Kenyan range.


August 2019: Treasure Island

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Advocacy
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Countries: Indonesia

Since 2015, Zoo Liberec, supported by Zoo Heidelberg and Cologne Zoo, have been involved in the protection of a “Treasure Island” in Sumatra via the NGO Ecosystem Impact. This nesting site for two sea turtle species is the last reservoir of a viable population of the Nias Hill Mynas.

In addition to monitoring the birds with camera traps and GPS tracking, they have been trying to change the status of the island from tourist park to natural reserve, to increase regular costal and terrestrial patrolling and involve the local population in the ranger team and education programs.

This project is part of the six pre-selected projects for which the EAZA Silent Forest campaign is raising money.

Find more details about their latest projects in the EAZA Conservation Database and visit the Silent Forest website if you haven't done so yet.


September 2019: White Stork Project

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitat: Grassland
  • Countries: England

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, alongside the Knepp Estate and other partners are involved in the conservation of White storks (Ciconia ciconia).

This pioneering partnership between private landowners and nature conservation charities aims to restore a population of at least 50 breeding pairs in Southern England by 2030 through a phased release programme over the next five years.

24 young white storks have been tagged and released in West Sussex last month. They have unique coloured rings on their legs, so anyone who spots a stork in the British countryside can report their sightings on the project website and help scientists to understand the movements of the birds. In addition, eight birds carry a GPS tracker transmiting data on a regular basis. Researchers can follow their flight paths and find out if they stay in the UK or whether fly South for the winter.


October 2019: Belize Forests

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats
  • Habitat: Forests, Wetlands
  • Countries: Belize

Since 1989, the Papiliorama Foundation and the Royal Burgers’ Zoo have taken part in practical tropical forest conservation through the acquisition of 9,000 hectares in Belize (Central America) – which became the Shipstern Nature Reserve, home of jaguars, pumas, Baird’s tapirs and over 300 species of birds - and the creation of the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative to manage it. It protects the last stronghold for the endangered semi-deciduous and dry forests of Belize.

Supported later by other partners, such as Walter Zoo, Wilhelma Zoo and Cologne Zoo, CSFI developed co-management agreements with the Government of Belize, and now also protects the Honey Camp National Park and the Freshwater Creek Forest Reserve. The North Eastern Biological Corridor, the first of its kind in the region, was created to link all reserves protected by CSFI - close to 400 km2.

CSFI, with a team of over 30 employees, manages the protected areas, implementing 24/7 surveillance, biological monitoring, fair conservation tourism, and education outreach.

Find more details about their latest projects in the EAZA Conservation Database.


November 2019: Free The Bears

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forests
  • Countries: Cambodia

Since 2011, Colchester Zoo and its charitable arm, Action for the Wild, later joined by Parc Animalier d'Auvergne, Zoologischer Garten Köln and Wroclaw Zoo, have supported Free the Bears by raising awareness of the threats bears face in Southeast Asia and funds for rescue operations.

Free the Bears is fighting against the practice of bear bile farming in Laos (an estimate of 152-185 bears currently being held in these farms) and provides safe sanctuaries and life-long care for animals rescued by government authorities.

They have helped rescue over 950 bears, and currently care for 230 bears in their sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, so far.

With the help of the Luang Prabang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office, the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary is currently being developed to welcome Malayan sun bears, Asiatic black bears and any other rescued animals on a 25-hectare area, as the government may begin the process of closing all bear bile farms in Laos.


December 2019: European Souslik

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Grasslands
  • Countries: Czech Republic

Since 2008, Prague Zoo supports the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (AOPK) for an Action Plan for the conservation of European Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus citellus)Hluboká ZooBrno Zoo and the Rescue Center Vlašim have joined the project since 2015.

Considered a pest until the 1950s, a decline in the wild population was then observed throughout Europe with the species going extinct in Germany anPoland in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively

The action plan coordinated by the AOPK focuses on habitat restoration and on usage of captive-bred individuals to establish stable wild populations.

In 2016, 57 wild animals from Slovakia were brought to Czech zoos, where their breeding is carefully managed. The young are then released in monitored areas, where holes have been dug and are protected by cages. The squirrels can dig themselves out or choose to stay in these tunnels. A total of 285 animals have been released so far!


January 2020: Proyecto BOTOs

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Research
  • Habitat: Marine coastal
  • Countries: Brazil

Since 2002, Zoo Nuremberg-based conservation NGO YAQU PACHA is supporting Proyecto Botos, dedicated to the South Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus) - one of the most endangered Tursiops population worldwide.

Their total number is estimated to less than 600 wild individuals, threatened by habitat destruction and by-catch in fishing nets. In collaboration with KAOSA and ECOMEGA (the oceanographic institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande), the project aims at studying the bottlenose dolphins (monitoring of the population, by-catch estimation, genetics, habitat use, bioacoustics, threat analysis) and find solutions to protect them, such as the establishment of a regional fishery restricted area.

The dolphins at Zoo Nuremberg are ambassadors for their wild counterparts to sensitize visitors about the urgent need to learn more about the species and develop strategies to protect it.


February 2020: Angel Shark Project

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Marine oceanic
  • Countries: Spain, Canary Islands

The “Angel Shark Project: Canary Islands” is a collaboration between the Zoological Society of London, the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig and the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, working with local and international organizations and supported by Oceanário de Lisboa, among other institutions, since 2017.

The project aims to safeguard the future of Critically Endangered Angel sharks (Squatina squatina) in their unique stronghold, the Canary Islands, with a multidisciplinary approach engaging local communities, researchers and government to raise awareness and deliver conservation action.

A few examples of their actions include:

1)    Repeated snorkel surveys to identify and monitor possible nursery areas as well as tagging juveniles and taking tissue samples to understand the genetic connectivity within the population;

2)    Training commercial and recreational fishers in handling techniques to increase Angelshark survival when returned to the water after accidental encounters;

3)    Co-developing the Angelshark Action Plan in 2016 and driving legislative changes – such as the inclusion of the species on the Spanish Endangered Species List in 2019 - where necessary.


March 2020: Support to the IUCN SSC CPSG

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  • EAZA Conservation categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Advocacy, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Other
  • Countries: European

In 2002, Copenhagen Zoo was officially requested by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) to establish “CBSG Europe” in order to bring CBSG and its conservation tools closer to our continent. Since then, several other EAZA Members* have joined the support of the group, that was renamed Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG) in 2017 to better align with the central focus on species conservation planning.

CPSG Europe aims to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder species conservation planning workshops, carry out population modeling as a component of this, develop new planning tools and methodologies, and build capacity in the above. The group intends to spend more time closer to home, working with European governments and partners, to help ensure that every European species that needs conservation action is covered by an effective action plan.

From its inception, CPSG Europe has worked closely with EAZA in a mutually beneficial relationship. This has among others resulted in more capacity for planning facilitation and in the rise of important methodologies, such as the development of EAZA’s new Population Management Structure and the multi-species planning process “Integrated Collection Assessment and Planning” (ICAP) – both designed to optimize the ex situ conservation contribution of zoos and aquariums.  A wealth of opportunities lies ahead for further collaborations with EAZA and its Members to further the conservation of European species.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database and the project page to find out more.

*Thank you Banham Zoo, Colchester Zoo, Dublin Zoo, Givskud Zoo, Twycross Zoo, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Zoo Aquarium Madrid, Zoo Heidelberg, Zoo de la Palmyre and Zoo Zurich!