Take a look at previous EAZA Conservation Database Snapshots

May 2024: TANGO2 study of benthic communities

2024 05 snap TANGO2
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Research
  • Habitats: Marine Oceanic
  • Country: Antarctica

In 2023, Lucas Terrana, Collection manager at the Natural History Museum & Vivarium of Tournaijoined the TANGO2 project - an interdisciplinary network* funded by the Belgian Government through the BRAIN-be 2.0 research action. 

The project's aim is to collect data onthe organisms living in shallow parts of the fast-warming region of the Southern Ocean, the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), and understand how they are impactedby and responding to the differences in glacial regime.The “glacial regime” describes the way glaciers melt and move.It includes changes in seawater temperature, salinity, ice-shelf collapse and more. 

During the last expedition, Lucas was the head of all scientific diving activities. He was planning and managing the dives, collecting samples and using different types of instruments, doing gear maintenance, taking care of all safety procedures and helping everyone onboard. Using a special type of sampling platform (the steel hulled fully rigged motor sailor), the team has sampled understudied areas which are usually not accessible to icebreakers. Accordingly, the researchers will be able to learn more about the biological and habitat diversity levels in shallow areas of the WAP. 

At the end of the expedition, the team hadcollected more than 4,000 physical samples. Thesewill now be analysed back in Belgium, helping the TANGO2 team solve the mystery of how climate change and the modifications of ice regimesareimpactingvarious parts of the ocean(atmosphere, water column, seafloor) at various spatial scales. 

Find out more about this project in the EAZA Conservation Database or on the TANGO website. 

including experts from University of GentUniversité Libre de BruxellesUniversity of LiègeRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesUniversité de Bretagne Occidentale and the Natural History Museum & Vivarium of Tournai


April 2024: Ex situ conservation of Rhone strebers

2024 04 snap rhone streber
  • EAZA Conservation Category: Species and Populations
  • Habitats: Freshwater
  • Country: Switzerland

Since 2019, EAZA Member Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium de Lausanne has been involved in the conservation of the Rhone streber (Zingel asper).This relatively small, benthic fish lives in six disconnected populations in Europeone of which is found in the river Doubs in Switzerland and the other five in the Rhône basin in the South of France. 

The fish is an umbrella species for its habitat, which means its protection will ensure the survival of the entire river ecosystemThe populations of the Rhone streber have been declining dramatically since 2000 and the species is now classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red ListIn summer 2021, the aquarium team searched for the fish in the river Doubs and spotted only one individual! 

A strategy for an ex situ breeding programme was discussed in collaboration with many stakeholders* and presented to the Swiss authorities in December 2022. As a result, the female from the Doubs was transferred to Aquatis for breeding. As no males were found in the river in 2023, males with a broad genetic background originating from France were transferred to Aquatis from EAZA Member Citadelle de Besançon 

The multiple conservation projects that have taken place in France since 1998 provided useful insights helping Aquatis to breed the Rhone streber in their aquarium. After successful breeding in March 2024, around 600 hatchlings are currently being raised there 

As part of the Swiss National Action Plan for the Rescue of the Doubs, the government is in deliberation to release part of the ex situ-bred population into the river this year. Other initiatives in this Action Plan include the improvement of water quality and the protection from excessive tourism.

To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and the Doubs Vivant website.

Basel ZooMuseum Citadelle de Besançon, ProjetDoubs Vivant (Swiss Association for Fisheries, WWF Switzerland and Pro Natura), EAWAG, University of Bern, Natural History Museum Bern and University of Lausanne 


March 2024: Ecotoxicological studies on seals

2024 03 snap grey seal
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitats: Marine interdidal, Marine coastal
  • Country: Latvia

Since 1986, Riga Zoo in collaboration with the Nature conservation agency of Latvia has been rescuing animal casualties, such as grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Seal pups are often stranded on the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. Between 1983 and 2017, 138 seal pups were brought to the zoo, of which 66 were rehabilitated successfully: released back to the sea, sent to other zoos or included in the zoo’s group.

Since 2019, Riga Zoo and the Oceanosphera research group of the University of Murcia (Spain) have been studying the pollution of the Gulf of Riga using samples of the grey seal pups they encounter on the shores. Led by Dr. Di Marzio, science lead of Riga Zoo, in collaboration with the zoo's vets, the team collects samples from both live animals (fur and blood) and dead specimens (liver, kidney, fat, muscle, brain, bone). In Murcia, the researchers analyse the level of polluting substances, such as trace elements and persistent organic pollutants, present in the samples.

These studies are important, because the Baltic Sea is among the marine ecosystems with the highest reported pollutant concentrations globally. The Gulf of Riga is one of the least studied areas of the Baltic Sea. These results can be used as an early monitoring system of threats to humans living in the area. This is in line with the “One Health Approach”, which is based on the notion that humans, animals and ecosystems are closely interlinked, and the health of either one influences the health of the other.

In combination with the ecotoxicological study, Riga Zoo has also done GPS tracking of released seals that proves their ability to return to the wild. Many pups need to be rescued due to human disturbance; therefore, public education campaigns to promote seal friendly behaviours are another vital part of ensuring the best chance of survival for this beautiful species.

To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and Riga Zoo's website.


February 2024: Blue-throated hillstar

2024 02 snap hillstar
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitats: Rocky areas
  • Country: Ecuador

The Blue-throated hillstar (Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus) is one of the rarest hummingbirds in the world. The species was only discovered in 2017! Only 80 to 110 individuals remain in the wild, and the bird only lives in areas higher than 3,500 meters in the Andes in Ecuador. So far, researchers have only been able to identify the bird at five sites, all of which are threatened with destruction.

Accordingly, the protection of these sites is vital for the restoration of the Hillstar's habitat. EAZA Member Basel Zoo collaborates with the Ecuadorian foundation 'Jocotoco' to coordinate restoration activities in the 'Cerro de Arcos' nature reservethe only protected area in the Blue-throatehillstar’s range. With Basel Zoo’s support, two park rangers are employed to monitorand protect the rare hummingbirds in Cerro de Arcos.

The rangers register sightings and nest locations in an app, providingimportant information on the species’ distribution, population size and reproduction. Together with other staff, they also reforest the nature reserve with various flowering plants, such as the Chuquiraga bush. They collect seeds on site, grow them in the greenhouse and carefully plant them in the partially destroyed areas. This way, more food will be available for the birds. Lastly, the rangers place more fences around the reserve to ensure that no cattle from the neighbouring pastures can enter and trample the delicate vegetation.  

Since the appointment of the rangers last year, the natural vegetation in Cerro de Arcos has been recovering, resulting in a more stable ecosystem. The project thus sustains food sources and habitats, not only for the Blue-throated hillstar, but for other threatened species as well.  

To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and Basel Zoo's webpage.



January 2024: Selamatkan Yaki

2024 01 snap sulawesi macaque
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity Building, Advocacy, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitats: Forest
  • Country: Indonesia

Selamatkan Yaki (SY) is an integrated conservation, research and education programme dedicated to the protection of the remaining populations of Sulawesi crested black macaques (Macaca nigra) by mitigating the threats they face – mainly habitat loss and consumption as bushmeat – through a holistic and multi-faceted series of projects across the region. Based on long-term ongoing research, the programme comprises education and outreachprotected area management, coexistenceefforts and sustainabledevelopment. 


Many EAZA Members and other partnershave been supporting this programme 

For example, the very energetic group of Macaca nigra present at Dublin Zoo has become one of their flagship species, being a firm favourite with visitorsThe zoo is contributing to their conservation not only through the EAZA Ex Situ Programme, but also in the wild by supporting SY since 2010in the development of their Education and Awareness Raising Strategy (EARS). This multi-year plan aims to connect macaque conservation efforts with local community leaders and educationalreligious and cultural institutes. The EARS team have previously organised events such as pride campaigns throughout North Sulawesi, encouraging pro-conservation behaviours amongst local communities. In 2017, Dublin Zoo staff also visited SY anobserved many aspects of their work firsthand.  


Borås Zoo has also chosen to support several projects of SY because of their holistic approach to conservation. Recently they have helped the launch of SY´s community-based conservation model “Forum Masyarakat Konservasi Hutan” (FMKH)in a new area where Macaca nigra has been reported to live but that currently has a low level of protectionThe FMKH strategy is built upon key steps to grow a successful collaborative governance model in conservation activities and projects. It focuses on the engagement with local communities and connections of different stakeholders (local community leaders, government officials, etc.), while developing strategies for each involved village to address village-specific environmental issues and supporting the members in developing activity plans independently. 


To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and Selamatkan Yaki’s webpage. 


* Such as, according to the EAZA Conservation Database: Antwerp Zoo / Planckendael ZooBorås Zoo, CERZA Zoo, Drayton Manor Park, Dublin Zoo, Givskud ZooMandai Wildlife ReserveMulhouse ZooNewquay Zoo (Wild Planet Trust)Paignton Zoo (Wild Planet Trust)Rotterdam Zoo and the Indonesian State Electricity Corporation (PLN)



November 2023: Kākāpō Recovery

2023 11 snap kakapo
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Species and Populations, Research, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitats: Forest
  • Country: New Zealand

The Kākāpō Strigops habroptilus is a large, nocturnal and flightless parrot. Endemic to New Zealand, the species is listed as Critically Endangered and it survives only as a very small population on three offshore islands. Main threats include competition with invasive alien species and diseases. 

EAZA Member Auckland Zoo has been supporting the conservation of Kākāpō for three decades. In 1992, the zoo achieved a world-first, successfully hand-rearing kākāpō chick, which was transferred there when poor summer weather impacted rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) tree fruiting. 


Since 2008, the Veterinary Services team has been a principal veterinary advisor to the New Zealand’s Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery.Exsitu veterinary support (>6,000 hours in the last 10 years!) has involved the hospitalisation of sick kākāpō for advanced diagnostics and treatment at the Auckland Zoo’s New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine, with hospitalisations ranging from 24 hours to 12 months. Year-round technical advice is provided on topics including preventative medicine, disease investigations and risk analyses. 


An especially critical period for ex situ support was during the 2019 outbreak of aspergillosis outbreak (a fungal respiratory disease). The zoo contributed an extra 2,000 staff and volunteer hours alone and WAZA institutions contributed a further 2,000 person hours as part of the zoo’s emergency response. The team at Auckland Zoo assessed 27 of the 48 birds that required diagnostics. Of the 21 birds found to be affected, 6 were successfully treated by them (another 6 elsewhere, while others were fatally impacted).  


The in situ species recovery work includes artificial incubation and hand-rearing, annual transmitter changes and veterinary health checks on wild birds. Since 2012, the in situ work by veterinary and specialist birdkeeping staff has reached 10,244 hours, and to date the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has contributed $112,500 to support kākāpō conservation in the wild, primarily on Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island). 


To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and Auckland Zoo’s webpage. 


October 2023: SOS Stork

2023 10 snap sos stork
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitats: Grassland, Wetlands, Artificial - Terrestrial 
  • Country: Croatia

In 2015 EAZA Member Zagreb Zoo started a partnership with Stork Switzerland, NGO committed to the conservation of white storks (Ciconia ciconia), Croatia's most iconic migratory birds.

The project SOS Stork uncovered behavioural shifts among European storks migrating the Western route, with many now wintering in Spanish dumps due to the abundance of organic waste. In response, the team aims to explore how shifts in waste management impact stork movements. 

Their goal encompassed comparing migration behaviours on Eastern and Western routes, identifying threats along the Eastern migration path, understand wintering areas, migration timing, and the triggers behind behavioural changes during migration. We also examined whether landfills similarly influenced both routes. 


This collaboration stressed the importance of an international network of project partners* across Eastern and Western Europe. A central focus was on raising public awareness about the challenges storks face during migrationZoos, with their extensive outreach, play a crucial role in achieving this goal. 


Since 2015, Zagreb Zoo has tracked 34 storks. Preliminary findings including migration timing, routes, habitat preferences, resting sites, potential threats and accidents, have underlined the project's effectiveness in nature and species conservation. 


Unluckily, a monitored male stork called Tesla was shot during his autumn migration in Lebanon. His death triggered a citizens’ initiative to demand strict and consistent application of the Lebanese hunting law 580/2004. This movement resulted in a historic political meeting and in the new hunting lawalso known as Tesla’s lawwhich prohibits hunting of any bird species after January 2018. 


To read more about this project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and the Zagreb Zoo webpage. 


Including Storch Schweiz, Association BIOM, Lonjsko Polje Nature Park and the EAZA Member Basel Zoo, according to the EAZA Conservation Database.


September 2023: Crayfish Hatchery

2023 09 snap2
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Species and Populations
  • Habitats: Wetlands
  • Country: United Kingdom

EAZA Member Wingham Wildlife Park (WWP) crayfish hatchery project started mid-2021, aiming to help breed the white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobiuspallipes), an endangered freshwater crustacean. It is the only native crayfish in the UK, but in the last decade its population has halved, mostly threatened by invasive alien crayfish species.

 The first 30 juvenile arrived from Bristol Zoo, another partner of the project*, and spend the first few months at WWP in a temperature-controlled hatchery. They were then brought back to the countryside around Bristol and released to reproduce in their natural habitat. Since 2021, WWP has supported the project by having over 250 young crayfish! Recently they were able to release enough individuals to realistically increase the local range from a 1 km to 2 km stretch of river.

 In addition to the hatchery and rearing centre, WWP works with the East Kent Stour White Clawed Crayfish group, to co-ordinate local population surveying, environmental DNA analysis to check for native populations and crayfish plague in local river systems, as well as habitat restoration. WWT also developed new equipment for moving the animals: 3D printed tubes made of sustainable printing resources, providing refugia for crayfish to stay away from each other during transport.

 The next step is breeding this year’s youngsters from the Bristol area to have an even bigger impact on wild numbers.


To read more about this project, stay updated in the WWT keepers blog webpage and visit the EAZA Conservation Database. 

As part of the Bristol Zoological Society with Bristol Zoo Project (Wild Place) 


August 2023: ObsTortueMed

2023 08 snap sea turtles
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitats: Marine intertidal, Marine intercoastal
  • Country: France

Since 2012, Marineland Antibes, through the Marineland Association, has been running the programme ObsTortueMed (Observation of Sea Turtles in the Mediterranean) in collaboration with key partners* to monitor sea turtle populations along the French coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. 

The project aims at identifying the threats, specific to a region particularly impacted by human activity, and fostering the protection of three species whose populations are decreasing: loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

ObsTortueMed is organised in 4 subprogrammes:

  1. Observations at sea: a citizen science campaign based on the sightings of sea turtlesoff the coast of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. Between 45 and 140 observation reports have been compiled every year, documenting the presence, abundance and geographical distribution of the three species. Additional data was gathered thanks to two aerial flyover campaigns, conducted in 2015 and 2017. 
  2. Detection, monitoring and protection of loggerhead turtles’ nests. 
  3. Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre: opened in July 2017 by the Marineland Association and benefiting from Marineland's specialised stafficares for turtles stranded or found in difficulty off the French coasts until they can be released back into the wild. 
  4. Autopsies of turtles found off or on the French coasts, to identify the causes of death and the threats to these protected species. Biological samples, analysis of the digestive contents and data collected by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre are enriching databases used for scientific studies and for the monitoring programme of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as well as the European INDICIT programme.


To read more about this vast project, visit the ObsTortueMed webpage and the EAZA Conservation Database.

including the French Herpetological Society, its national stranding network (RéseauTortues Marines de Méditerranée Française, RTMMF) and the French Office for Biodiversity. 


July 2023: European pond turtle in Austria

2023 07 snap pondTurtle
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: Austria

Vienna Zoo has been supporting the conservation of European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) since 2007, when a fruitful collaboration with the Donau-Auen National Park (North-East Austria) started. The programme focuses largely onprotecting turtle clutches from predators, such as foxes, by placing metal grids on top of freshly laidclutches.   

European pond turtlesused to have a wider distribution. In Austria it was hunted and served as a popular dish, and nowadays it is threatened mainly by habitat loss. One single stable Austrian populationremains in the Donau-Auen National Park, where the turtles find suitable riverine systems as well as necessary dry areas to lay their eggs. The survival of the species in Austria is therefore heavily dependent on the preservation of this local population and its habitat. 


Vienna Zoo offers and organises turtle clutch sponsorships to provide financial support for the project. They also take care of hatchlings from damaged or poorly placed clutches and injured turtles and release them back into the wild, once treatedFinally, the team raises awareness and educates people on this endangered species: the turtles hosted at Vienna Zoo become ambassadors of key messages for their conspecifics in the wild.  


The programme successfully protected 164 nests with sturdy grids last year. It is estimated that the population size in the Donau-Auen National Park saw a 5-fold increase within the last 25 years, also due to a successful nest-adoption programme! 


To read more about this project,visit theEAZA Conservation Databaseand have a look at Vienna Zoo’s website and video! 


June 2023: Arctic fox project in Slottsskogen

2023 06 Snapshot Arctic fox
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Conservation Education and Capacity building, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Grasslands
  • Country: Sweden

In 2020Slottsskogen Zoo started to get involved in the conservation work of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) in cooperation with the Arctic fox project “Fellesfjellrev and WWF Sweden 


The Arctic fox is found in Arctic and subarctic areas around the northern hemisphere – in Siberia, North America, Greenland, Svalbard - a Norwegianarchipelago -and Iceland. Relatively common in both the Norwegian and Swedish mountains up until the start of the 1900sthe species became endangered in Sweden due to extensive huntingThe population hasn’t recovered yet and still faces challenges such as small and isolated populations, climate change, competition with the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and disturbances from people. 


Slottsskogen Zoo does not present the species, however it receives many visitors and thus is able to increase knowledge and awareness about the species’ threats and how they can be reduced. The staff created an information station for adults and a thematic exploration trail for children. They arrange thematic days for children and lectures for adults. The species has also been included in one of the zoo’s school programme that focuses on climate change.  


Finally, visitors are encouraged to make donations contributing to WWF’s fieldwork where they, among other things, supply the foxes with food to improve the survival of litters. The Felles Fjellrev project activities also involve mapping of dens, annual inventories and control of regenerations, and reduction of the number of competing red foxes in certain arctic fox areas. So far the results have been positive! 


To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database and the  “Fellesfjellrev” website! 


May 2023: Protection of wolf and lynx in Poland

2023 05 Wolf
  • EAZA Conservation Category: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building, Advocacy
  • Habitat: Forest, Shrubland, Rocky areas
  • Country: Poland

Poland has a population of nearly 38 million inhabitants and is in the top 10 most populated countries in Europe. In a country that includes vast natural areas, how can human-wildlife conflict be effectively managed when dealing with large carnivores such as the wolf and lynx?

Since 2016, EAZA Member Wroclaw Zoo and its DODO Foundation have been supporting the Association for Nature Wolf (AfN Wolf) to protect the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus) and the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Poland.

AfN Wolf carries out research, conservation and education with special attention to conflict resolution. Results of their studies and long-term monitoring are used not only to sustain wildlife population and develop conservation programmes, but also to raise awareness, communicate, train, and educate the public about large carnivores.

For example, since 1999 AfN Wolf has been running a project to deliver effective methods for protecting farm animals against wolf attacks, thanks to the introduction of the Polish Tatra Sheep dog breeds and special fences in southern Poland, in the Silesian region and the Żywiec Beskid mountain area.

But the conflict with wolves dates back in time and in human culture. In Poland, the wolf is still feared as a “bloodthirsty beast”. AfN Wolf travels to many places with training and educational activities addressing not only the ecology and biology of the wolf, but also the public perception and the misguiding news that media often publish. Although poachers are still a big problem in Poland, the overall attitude is becoming more positive, and the government provides financial support and compensation for livestock losses.

What happens when people learn more about the wolf? As we know in conservation education, a higher level of knowledge generally leads to a more pro- conservation attitude. In Wrocław Zoo, visitors can enjoy an up-close look at the wolves in their new 2,800 sq.m. enclosure. The visitor area allows the public to get to know the wolves, thanks to many educational displays, 3D figures, sound stands, a diorama, as well as engaging educators’ and keepers’ talks.

You can learn more about the conservation of the wolf and the lynx in Poland by visiting the AfN Wolf project website and watching their videos!

December 2021: AFRESH - Freshwater fishes

2021 12 snap afresh 3
  • EAZA Conservation category: Research
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: Greece

Following several projects in collaboration with ZSL and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) in Greece, as well as the project “Greek killifish” and the foundation project “Fish Net Greece” supported by the European Union of Aquarium Curators since 2005, a long-term partnership for freshwater fish conservation now exists in the EAZA zoo and aquarium community.

The AFRESH project is the latest in a series of projects involving a collaboration with EAZA Members and the HCMR that demonstrates the benefits of partnerships for conservation of threatened species that may otherwise be ignored.

Led by the Bristol Zoological Society, it started in January 2021 for a 2-year duration and includes activities such as:

(a) data collection on the current population status of six threatened species of Greece as well as two top alien invasive species, targeted with both conventional fish sampling and eDNA method

(b) the creation of a breeding habitat to act as a refugia in the wild for the Critically Endangered Corfu killifish (Valencia letourneuxi) as well as back up aquarium stocks of two other threatened species

(c) to further disentangle native-alien species interactions, in particular the impacts caused by direct aggression and other stressors through a detailed behavioural and quantitative study

(d) to provide a European-wide project dissemination and knowledge-sharing through the organisation of workshops and the participation in conferences

(e) to reach a wider audience of conservation practitioners working in freshwater habitats in Europe and beyond, via a project website that charts the project’s accomplishments and activities.

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

January 2022: WCA - Kerinci Seblat Project

2022 01 snap tiger
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research
  • Habitat: Forests
  • Country: Indonesia

WildCats Conservation Alliance (WCA) is an initiative of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation channeling public and zoo support for wild tiger and Amur leopard conservation projects. Out of their 103 WCA projects in 5 tiger range countries within Asia, the Kerinci Seblat Sumatran Tiger Protection Project is carried out in Indonesia, led by Fauna & Flora International.

It is estimated that 350 – 400 Sumatran tigers survive in the wild, of which more than 150 are found in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP). This project, funded by zoo contributions* since 2000, strives to secure a sustained, natural increase in this tiger population by reducing the threats to the tigers, their prey, and their habitat.

Working in collaboration with park authorities, police and local communities, this project has combatted illegal trafficking of tigers and their parts, mitigated human-wildlife conflict, responded to wildlife emergencies, and worked to secure key tiger habitat in and around the park. Thanks to the support of zoos, the project saw a stabilisation and increase in the population of Sumatran tigers since it began!

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database. And don’t forget, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger: the perfect occasion to learn more about tiger conservation!


* These EAZA Members supported WCA’s projects in 2020/2021 (as reported in the Conservation Database): ZSL London Zoo, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, La Barben Zoo, Parco Natura Viva, Wilhelma Zoo, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Paradise Wildlife Park, Bellewaerde, Kolmården Zoo, Besançon Zoo, Orsa Zoo, Walter Zoo, Zoo des Sables d'Olonne, Mulhouse Zoo, Knowsley Safari Park, Tallinn Zoo, Parc Animalier d'Auvergne, NaturZoo Rheine, Shepreth Wildlife Park, Drayton Manor Park, Banham Zoo, Aalborg Zoo.

February 2022: Giraffe Conservation Foundation

2022 02 snap giraffe2
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Fundraising/Grant, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Savannah
  • Country: Uganda

Many people are unaware that giraffes are more endangered than African elephants, with their numbers dropping by almost 30% since the 1980s. 

For several years, Blair Drummond Safari Park - through their Link to the Wild fundraising initiative - and other EAZA Members* have been supporting the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) - an African-based international charity dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations in the wild and supporting conservation programmes in 16 African countries.

The large mammal keepers at the park raise money and awareness for GCF through talks and event days since 2014: £8,500 were donated so far and more funds are to be disbursed later this month.

Amongst other activities, the funds are used for translocation of individuals - a valuable tool in helping to successfully establish new giraffe populations in the wild. Fifty-five giraffes were successfully translocated in 2020/21.

They also helped develop a National Giraffe Conservation Strategy in Uganda. Thanks to these efforts, Uganda is now home to over 1,650 Nubian giraffe! GCF also recently reported that giraffe numbers throughout Africa are showing a positive upwards trend, so there is hope!

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

* These EAZA Members reported in our Conservation Database their support to GCF’s projects for 2020/2021: Blair Drummond Zoo, Parco Natura Viva, Wilhelma Zoo, Dresden Zoo, Beekse Bergen, Overloon Zoo, Zoo Boissière du Doré, RZSS, Fota Wildlife Park, Bellewaerde.

March 2022: Conservation Research for Amphibians

2022 03 snap amphib 3
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation and Capacity building
  • Habitats: Forest, Shrubland, Wetlands
  • Country: Cameroon, Uganda

Amphibians and reptiles are among the most threatened animal groups worldwide. They are extremely sensitive to environmental change and are therefore often considered to be good indicators of wider ecosystem health.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has worked with the Budongo Conservation Field Station since 2005 and supported conservation in the Highlands of Cameroon since 2006, to shed light on little known species and their habitats. For instance, snake-like caecilian amphibians are very rarely studied and without help may disappear before we can find out much more

A primary aspect of their work involves training conservationists and facilitating students in country. The scientists are working with incredible species like the Lake Oku clawed frog (Xenopus longipes), a Critically Endangered species which only lives in one small lake, and studying the disturbing collapse of numerous mountain frog species in Cameroon.

Exploring these under-studied forests can help speed up species descriptions, refine taxonomy and understand the evolutionary relationships of amphibian species so conservation action can be better prioritised.

Their research into amphibians and reptiles also extends into a partnership with the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda where the dedicated team has collected detailed, long-term data. Together, they made surprising discoveries, including new species, and helped develop an understanding of the consequences of forest loss and disturbance on amphibians and reptiles.

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

These activities are conducted in partnership with ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF), Tridentino Museum of Natural Science, Berlin Natural History Museum and London Natural History Museum.

April 2022: Chances for Nature - Kirindy

2022 04 snap 3
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Advocacy, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitats: Forest, Wetlands, Marine intertidal
  • Country: Madagasar

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot. The Kirindy Forest in particular is one of three remaining dry forest areas, home to over 200 different species of woody plants, 15 amphibian, 54 reptile, over 80 bird and 30 endemic mammal species! The financial and political future of Madagascar is linked to the sustainability of its unique fauna and flora.

Marlow Birdpark has supported Chances for Nature since 2015 and was later joined by Berlin and Augsburg Zoos. Their projects focus on environmental awareness supporting sustainable livelihoods in and around the Kirindy Forest.

Originally with a mobile cinema, activities now also include the development of educational material and running an environmental education program called Little Rangers which enable 100-200 children and youth to participate in a three-day ecotourism camp in the middle of the forest every year.

Recently a mobile environmental library was developed and boxes full of modern books, exciting workshops and self-learning reading sessions bring the topic of nature conservation into the schools. In 2021, the mobile library enabled over 350 excited pupils to become ambassadors for their local environment.

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

* Further non-EAZA supporters include Fundation Yves Rocher, Little Sun, Manfred Hermsen Stiftung, DPZ Madagascar and locally through Centre National de Formation et Recherche en Environment et Forestier (CNFEREF) based in the Kirindy Forest.


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.

October2020 : Saving Stone Crayfish

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  • 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.

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.

December 2020: Operation Jaguar

2020 12 snap artis jaguar
  • 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.

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.

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

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

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. 

May 2021: Palawan Pangolin Conservation

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  • 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.

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. 

July 2021: Coffee and Primate Conservation

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  • 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. 

August 2021: Wētāpunga programme

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  • 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.

September 2021: Corals and Sponges

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  • 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.

October 2021: Mountain ungulates in Tajikistan

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  • EAZA Conservation category: Conservation Education and Capacity Building, Advocacy, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: Rocky areas, Other
  • Country: Tajikistan

The mountain ungulate conservation and sustainable use programme of ANCOT has been supported financially by the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) since 2008, joined by Zoo DresdenNeunkircher Zoo and many others.

The project aims at preserving endangered but often neglected ungulate species in Tajikistan, such as the Urial, Argali, Markhor and Asiatic Ibex. Their protection helps their natural predators too - the snow leopard and striped hyena.

Despite strict legal regulation of hunting and formal protection of Endangered species, the numbers and ranges of these animals have declined significantly since the Soviet era. The main threats are poaching and habitat degradation, as well as the risk of disease transmission from domestic to wild animals.

The approach used empowers local traditional hunters to take on the legal aspects and responsibilities of sustainable wildlife management. In addition to moral and cultural considerations, direct benefits can derive from the presence of healthy ungulate populations.

These initiatives have supported the creation and development of wildlife-based sustainable livelihoods for local communities and promoted wildlife conservation. For instance, the markhor population has doubled since 2012!

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

November 2021: Humboldt penguins in Chile and Peru

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  • EAZA Conservation category: Conservation Education and Capacity Building, Research, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Marine
  • Country: Northern Peru and Central Chile

Zoo Landau is a founding member of Sphenisco and has been supporting their conservation work since 2008, as many other EAZA institutions do*.

They work with local partners to protect the habitat of the Endangered Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) along the coast of Chile and Peru. Environmental education is provided to local communities as well as in European zoological parks. They also initiate and (co-)finance research projects with international participation.

One of their current focus aims at establishing a marine protected area (MPA) in the Coquimbo region (Northern Chile) - home to about 80% of the wild Humboldt penguin population and many more Endangered and partly endemic species – which is highly covetted for economic interests.

Two harbour construction projects are still standing in the way of the establishment of this MPA, so Sphenisco has started an international online petition to enforce it. If you want to help the penguins, feel free to sign it!

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

* These EAZA institutions supported the project in 2020/2021: Landau Zoo, Peak Wildlife Park, Marlow Birdpark, Ouwehands Zoo, Dresden Zoo, Krefeld Zoo, Berlin Zoo | Berlin Tierpark, Landau Zoo, Munich Zoo, Frankfurt Zoo. Thanks!


May 2022: Chaparri Ecological Reserve

2022 05 snap chapurri 3
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Country: Peru

Located in the heart of the dry forest ecosystem, the Chaparri mountain (Peru) is home to remarkable biodiversity, including the spectacled bear, the only bear species in South America. The local community and wildlife photographer Heinz Plenge created the Chaparri Ecological Reserve, managed through the Tu Tierra and ACOTURCH associations to protect this unique ecosystem and help local populations by promoting a sustainable and positive cohabitation.

Among their many activities, they monitor spectacled bear but also Andean condor, white-winged penelope, collared peccary, Guayaquil squirrel, Tayra, deer and small-eared fox populations.

They acquired a herd of free-ranging llamas and built an ecomuseum, interpretation centre and vivarium as a place to raise awareness of local biodiversity among local communities.

They started ecotourism activities, such as ecolodge, visit of the reserve and the Ruta de los Encantos (a pilgrimage path).

They also developed beehives in favour of Melipona bees, fighting against the cutting of trees to recover honey, allowing a passive restoration of the dry forest ecosystem and developing an income generating activity.

For more than 20 years, Bioparc Doué la Fontaine has been the major financial supporter of Tu Tierra. They also sent staff to Peru for administrative support, helped publish a book about the biodiversity in Chaparri, produced the documentary "Nature in heritage" to be broadcasted this year, and raise awareness of the bears among their visitors through events.

Tatiana Beuchat will explain more about the bee project at the EAZA Conservation Forum 2022. If you are attending the event, don’t miss her talk!

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

* EAZA Members Ecozonia and Maubeuge Zoo also supported the project in 2021.

June 2022: Projeto Pato-Mergulhão

2022 06 snap 3
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: Brazil

The Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) is a Critically Endangered species and one of the most endangered waterfowl in the world. Originally occurring in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, the population is currently only found in Brazil and was estimated to be ~250 animals in 2014.

Since 2014, Zooparque Itatiba has been running Projeto Pato-Mergulhão, a breeding project in human care aiming at increasing the ex situ population by offering better survival chances for the ducklings, establishing a secure genetic breeding and later releasing the offspring into their natural habitat.

Zoo Schmiding, Prague Zoo, ICMBio and other partners are supporting the project by providing expertise and financial help. Aviaries and supporting facilities were built to provide a protected environment for the chicks. A study was conducted to investigate behaviours during breeding and raising of the chicks. It was for instance observed that chicks start fishing themselves at day 4!

The team is currently searching for the most suitable release areas for the mergansers. What an exciting next step!

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

July 2022: Giant Armadillo Conservation

2022 07 snap armadillo
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Wetlands
  • Country: Brazil

Since 2012, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has been working with the Wild Animal Conservation Institute (ICAS)’s founder, Dr Arnaud Desbiez, and his team to safeguard endangered giant armadillos and giant anteaters and their threatened habitat.

The Giant Armadillo Conservation Project - the first long-term ecological study of this species - investigates this mysterious giant, relatively unknown to science until then. The team studies the ecology and biology of the species using radio transmitters, camera traps, burrow surveys, resource monitoring, mapping and interviews with local people. Other EAZA Members* are supporting the project.

Initially a lone pioneer, Arnaud now employs 17 people and works across three different Brazilian biomes, the Pantanal, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. The species is now an indicator for the creation of protected areas in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Each discovery made by this dedicated team better equips conservationists to protect these elusive species from extinction.    

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

* EAZA supporters in 2020/21 and listed partners according to our Conservation Database: RZSS, Beauval Zoo, CERZA, Augsburg Zoo, Chester Zoo, Association of French Zoological Parks (AFdPZ), Wrocław Zoo, Parc Animalier d'Auvergne and Wilhelma Zoo

August 2022: Promoting Pollinators

2022 08 snap pollinator
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Grasslands
  • Country: Sweden

Since 2021, Slottsskogen Zoo and local partners in the city of Gothenburg, supported by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, have developed a project promoting threatened pollinators and raising awareness of their importance within ecosystems.

As part of a larger nature park, the zoo has many good opportunities to carry out management measures for pollinators, such as the development of fruit groves, the creation of meadows and sand beds, or the decision to leave dead wood.

To create a management plan, more knowledge is necessary. A major inventory of species and habitats is thus currently carried out. Previous studies conducted by university students showed, among other things, that there are 397 insect-pollinated plant species in the park*. A low proportion of these bloom in early spring and early autumn, meaning one measure to promote pollinators could be to increase the number of plants with such flowering pattern.

To inspire others to act and increase efforts for pollinators, the project also includes communication actions: an information path was created, lessons for school classes and thematic days for the public are organized. World Biodiversity Day on 21-22 May 2022 was the perfect occasion to directly involve them in pollinator conservation by making seed bombs and insect hotels, attending guided tours etc.

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

* The report is published on the University of Gothenburg’s website.

September 2022: Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation

2022 09 snap hippo croc 3
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building, Research, Advocacy
  • Habitat: Forest, Savanna, Shrubland, Wetlands, Caves and subterranean, Artificial - Aquatic 
  • Country: Swaziland

When planning their Immersion Exhibit „Hippodom“ in 2009, Cologne Zoo started collaborating with Big Game Parks, the National Wildlife Authority of Eswatini (former Swaziland), to support their in situ project for the two focus species of the exhibit: the common hippopotamus and Nile crocodile, both Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

The project aims to mitigate human wildlife conflict in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Indeed due to habitat destruction, crocs and hippos live close to populated areas, destroying sugar cane fields, eating farmers’ cattle and killing people.

Activities include building or acquisition of capture equipment (traps and trailers to move them) and management structures (storage, bomas), but also the renovation and creation of artificial water bodies - dams, ponds - to provide safe habitats for these "problem" animals to be moved to within reserves.

The team focuses on these two species but their activities also benefit other wildlife and threatened taxa (such as two rhino species, roan antelope and suni antelope) in the reserves and national parks managed by Big Game Parks - under the auspices of the King.

The last two years were challenging with no income coming from tourism. In August, Alexander Sliwa, Curator at Cologne Zoo was finally able to return on site and catch up with the project team.

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

* Wuppertal Zoo also supported the project in 2021 according to the EAZA Conservation database.


October 2022: Wild forest reindeer LIFE

2022 10 snap reindeer
  • EAZA Conservation categories: Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building, Research
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Country: Finland

The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, with populations left only in Finland and north-western Russia.

Since 2016, Ranua Wildlife Park - the most northern EAZA Member of EAZA - has been involved in planning and executing the Wild Forest Reindeer LIFE project coordinated by Metsähallitus Parks&Wildlife Finland. EAZA Members Helsinki Zoo and Ähtäri Zoo are also involved together with a variety of partners*.

The EU-funded project aims to conserve wild forest reindeer population and their habitat with a wide array of actions, including gathering of detailed information about the species’ habitat preferences and raising of awareness about the species itself.

Ranua Wildlife Park participates in the reintroduction of the species to their historic range in Western Finland, by providing expert knowledge on animal transportations, veterinary care and management of wild forest reindeer, but also individuals to the breeding facilities, located in the reintroduction sites in Seitseminen and Lauhanvuori National parks. So far, six animals have been released to the wild after an adaptation period and the females have produced 10 calves - first in human care, then in the wild. 

The “breeding in human care” phase of the project has just ended in July 2022 – both reintroduction sites now host new wild populations of 40 – 50 individuals. Reintroduced animals are monitored via aerial censuses and tracking of movements using their satellite collars.

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

including Paliskuntain yhdistys, Luonnonvarakeskus, Suomen Riistakeskus , WWF Suomi / WWF Finland , Väylävirasto , Metsähallitus Metsätalous Oy.

November 2022: Conservation of Chilean flamingos

2022 11 snap flamingos 3
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitat: Marine Intertidal, Other
  • Country: Peru

Bioparc Doué-la-Fontaine launched Nature Projects in 2001 to sustain conservation projects where community empowerment creates positive impacts for both local stakeholders and biodiversity. One example is run by the Peruvian NGO Tu Tierra* to improve the management of wetlands, aligning the support of the local communities and the monitoring of flamingos through a citizen science approach.

Peru has nearly 20 million acres of wetlands hosting remarkable biodiversity and providing people with water, protection from floods and droughts, food and livelihoods. The rural community of San Martin de Sechura (Piura region) is actively engaged, together with scientists and other experts, in the valorisation of hypersaline wetlands located in their area.

Monitoring the flamingo population is one of the first steps of their plan to strengthen the environmental management of wild species and terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Data is lacking regarding the population size of the Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) - Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List - in the Piura region. Thus, the citizen science group organised the first - in Peru and in the whole South America! - accurate census of the species in June 2022.

In total, 12,431 flamingos were counted, including adults, sub-adults and juveniles of the year 2022! The census was carried out using both direct observations in the field and aerial survey, to monitor also those vast and remote desert landscapes where flamingos are scattered.

A lot of activities are foreseen for the near future. By the end of this year another flamingo census will be run, also looking at the proportions of migratory and resident individuals of the colony. Such data are feeding the computation of the spatial-temporal distribution of flamingos. The action plan for this project has already been drafted and it will be submitted to the Peruvian government as soon as possible! 

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

December 2022: protection of Eurasian hoopoe

2022 12 snap hoopoe

EAZA Conservation Categories:Habitats, Species and Populations, Conservation Education and Capacity building
Habitats: Shrubland 
Countries: Czech Republic 

The Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) is a charismatic and well-known bird, positively perceived by the public. It is also an umbrella species: it shares the habitat with many other animal and plant species that will benefit from its protection. Despite being classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, the Eurasian hoopoe is threatened in some countries, for example it is rare in the Czechia.

There, since 2017, Brno Zoo has been coordinating and promoting a project to support the local hoopoe population, with the help of ČSOP Morava Czech Association and other partners.

This colourful bird lives in an open landscape dominated by pastures and grasslands, interspersed with groups of trees or open forests that provide nesting holes. Since it is not able to carve its own holes, the hoopoe population is largely dependent on the number of available tree cavities. This habitat is severely endangered by the decline of traditional, small-scale agricultural practices (mainly grazing) that leads to undesirable overgrowth. What is Brno Zoo carrying out?

  1. Increasing the number of available nesting cavities, by providing man-made nesting boxes that have been so far placed in 7 carefully chosen localities. The maintenance of nesting boxes is a must.
  2. Actively managing the hoopoe’s feeding habitat, which includes mainly shrub clearing and grass cutting of meadows and pastures combined with extensive grazing. Such measures must be planned and performed ideally on a large scale and in the long term.
  3. Collecting data in the field, to monitor the hoopoe population.
  4. Organising educational activities, for example inviting school classes to guided trips to the nesting sites’ localities.
  5. Fundraising. Fundings may come from local donors, Brno Zoo’s own budget, international funds and landscape care programmes.

Thanks to the project, there are now hectares of managed land and tens of hoopoes raised in nesting boxes!

January 2023 : The turquoise dwarf gecko

2023 01 turquoise dwarf gecko
  • EAZA Conservation Categories: Habitats, Species and Populations, Fundraising/Grants
  • Habitats: Forest
  • Countries: Tanzania

The turquoise dwarf gecko Lygodactylus williamsi is an example of species that used to be affected by very high demand in pet trade. In the mid-2000’s, it also boomed in Europe, which is when the EAZA Member Erfurt Zoo (Germany) started focusing on the protection of this charming reptile. 

The turquoise dwarf gecko is endemic to Tanzania and lives exclusively on the screwpine tree Pandanus rabaiensis in the tropical Forest Reserves of Kimboza and RuvuForest fragmentationthe expansion of the invasive tree species Cedrela odorata and serious exploitation for international pet market are jeopardizing the survival of species, listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List. 

Due to the small remaining main habitat of about 4 km² at Kimboza Forest, it soon became clear to Erfurt Zoo that the focus had to be on habitat conservation and restoration. In 2020 Erfurt Zoo launched the “Kimboza Forest Gecko Project” together with the Sokoine University at Morogoro (Tanzania) as the in situ coordinator, whilst the German Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) collects donations from zoos, museums and botanical gardens and managing the administrative duties, and the Vivaristische Vereinigung e. V. provides the main contact to private gecko breeders in Germany. 

The project has two main aims for the present time 

  1. The creation and management of 10 km fire breaks around Kimboza Forest, to stop fires from adjacent fields before reaching the Forest. Due to local climate conditions, those breaks need to be cleared twice a year. After fires (usually arson, set on purpose), the invasive Cedrela odorata germinates and grows very quickly. These invasive tree saplings must be picked by hand. Thanks to this activity, about 50 hectares of Kimboza Forest are cleaned every year! 
  2. The training of forest rangers. They now patrol the forest areas to fight poaching and detect illegal forest fires. All the work is done either by locals (paid by the project) or by students attending forest ecology studies at the local University. The project finances transport, accommodation and food during their work in Kimboza

The project will be enlarged in the near futureEcotourism is foreseen to be brought in, and the creation of a tree nursery for native plants (including 13 endemic tree species) is planned. Locals will be the first ones profiting from this conservation projectas well as the turquoise dwarf gecko and whole Kimboza Forest!  

Finally, Erfurt Zoo has launched a conservation donation campaign to fund the Kimboza Forest Gecko ProjectIf you want to receive more informationyou can write to Dr. Heike 

And what about the pet market? Fortunately, the threat has been reduced. Unlicensed collection of the species had been strictly prohibited in Tanzania since 2002Nowadays, 

the turquoise dwarf gecko is also listed in the CITES Appendix I and the EU has banned its importsThe last seizure by customin Europe took place in 2015 at Heathrow Airport (UK). Many other species need a stronger protection against illegal, unsustainable and/or unethical trade: we hope that the turquoise dwarf gecko case can inspire other positive actions!


February 2023: European mink in Estonia

2023 02 European mink
  • EAZA Conservation Category: Habitat, Species and Populations
  • Habitat: banks of rivers, lakes and creeks
  • Country: Estonia

European mink (Mustela lutreola) is a semi-aquatic small carnivore that is on the brink of extinction. The species was widespread in Europe in the first half of the 20th century, but less than 5% of its original range remains today. In Estonia, the last wild mink was recorded in 1996.

European mink conservation has long historical roots in Tallinn Zoo, dating back to 1980s when first actions were undertaken both in the wild and ex situ. In order to preserve the species and restore the natural population, the European Mink EEP (EAZA Ex Situ Programme, formerly known as European Endangered Species Programme) was created in 1992, and Tallinn Zoo has been coordinating it ever since. The Zoo holds around a hundred mink throughout the year and actively participates in the mink reintroduction project, together with other partners such as the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre and Lutreola Foundation.

The first European mink translocation project in Estonia was launched in 2000 in Hiiumaa Island. Since then, nearly 600 European minks from Tallinn Zoo have been reintroduced there. Annual monitoring of the mink and its food sources on Hiiumaa Island continues: it is estimated that a stable European mink population has been established and is in good health since the last translocations! A similar project was launched in 2019 on a second Estonian island, Saaremaa. First steps here were an inventory of suitable habitats, mink food sources and predators, and the building of pre-release enclosures. The first minks were released there in the summer of 2022.

Neither of these two islands had previously been inhabited by the European mink.Therefore, habitat restoration, the removal of the invasive American mink from one of the islands, and communication with the local inhabitants are paramount activities to be carried out. Scientific research, both in human care and in the wild, is another crucial part of the EEP, with a focus on the ecology, behaviour, reproduction and genetics of the species.

The breeding centre and conservation lab have largely been financed by European Union funds. In January 2023, they received an important visit by the European Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Estonian Minister of the Environment and their delegations!

March 2023: Manta Catalog Azores

2023 03 Manta ray
  • EAZA Conservation Category: Research

  • Habitat: Oceans

  • Country: Portugal

The Manta Catalog Azores” is a scientific and conservation project founded in 2012 and supported by Oceanário de Lisboa since 2017, together with local and international organizations, such as Manta Trust, Save our Seas Foundation and Fondation Yves RocherIt aims to study the occurrence and population dynamics of the elusive Mobulid rays (Mobula spp.) in the Azores and the Eastern Atlantic. 


Azores boasts an extremely unique environment with many endemic animal and plant species. It is also one of the few places in the world where the Sicklefin devil rays (Mobulatarapacana) gather in large groups during summerWhy these seasonal aggregations happen is still a mystery… However, while observing the rays, researchers learnt how to better identify not only the species but also the individuals, thanks to their unique ventral markings. From here, the idea of a Mobulid raysphotographic ID database, where images are used just like fingerprints! 


Most of the work of Manta Catalog Azores has been conducted in collaboration with local dive operators and their guestsas Citizen Scientiststhey support the project by providing photos they capture on their dives and information on their devil ray sightings. In addition, genetic samples are collected and analysed, to study Mobulid ray population structure and assess connectivity between different regions of the globe.


Mobulid rays are highly migratory animals and might travelover big distances between archipelagosthe project has recently extended to the Canary Islands, another key location for data collection to better understand and protect the species 

Education is also a valuable pillarof the project and several initiatives are regularly developed, together with the sharing of outreach materials.  


Oceanário de Lisboa has recently created the “Manta Conservation Experience”, an immersiveinitiative that provides participants with the opportunity to discover more about the devil rays, learn about techniques of photo-identification while directly participating in conservation activities in the Azores. This initiative is also helping fund the other project activities. 


Do you want to get involved and learn how you can support this project? You can find more information at and 

April 2023: Biodiversity Conservation in Cambodia

2023 04 Angkor
  • EAZA Conservation Category: Habitats, Species and Populations, Research, Conservation Education and Capacity building
  • Habitat: Forest, Grassland and Wetlands
  • Country: Cambodia

The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) is the first nature conservation centre in Cambodia. Located near the famous temple of Angkor and the Phnom Kulen National Park, it was founded 30 years ago, in a sandy plain with shrubs, by the Allwetterzoo Münster and Dr. Stephan Goetz. It is now a woodland area and a natural habitat for several species like the clouded monitor Varanus nebulosus and the blunt-headed burrowing frog Glyphoglossus molossus, both listed as Near Threatened.

The Centre, managed by Allwetterzoo Münster with the support of the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) and other partners, runs a diversity of conservation actions. It hosts about 1000 individuals and nearly all the species are threatened, many of them Critically Endangered. The ex– and in–situ conservation focus is mainly on birds, like the giant ibis Thaumatibis gigantea, the white-shouldered ibis Pseudibis davisoni, the greater adjutant Leptoptilos dubius and the Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis, as well as chelonians like the Southern River terrapin Batagur affinis, the elongated tortoise Indotestudo elongata and the giant Asian pond turtle Heosemys grandis.

Rewilding projects are managed together with local and international partners, accompanied by research activities. For example, a conservation study is being carried out on the endemic Tonlé Sap water snakes, vulnerable species disappearing due to overfishing in one of the world’s most biodiverse lake, the Tonlé Sap.

ACCB is also a rescue centre for confiscated and injured wild animals: most animals arriving there have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. They include langurs, gibbons, otters, raptors, monitor lizards and snakes, and are reintroduced if possible.

Last but not least, education is among the priorities of ACCB and the environmental education programme is targeting local communities, visitors and tourists. Recently, educators have been working together with Buddhist monks on animal welfare and conservation in Cambodia.

You can follow ACCB news and events on their social media (

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

TCA snap2
  •  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!