Take a look at previous EAZA Conservation Database Snapshots
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.
*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!
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.
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.
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 Zoo, Brno 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 and Poland 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
A 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 :
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 zoo, Givskud Zoo – ZOOTOPIA, ZooParc de Beauval, Parc 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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.