Zoos are crucial in the fight against extinction!

Colchester Zoo is delighted to read this week’s position statement from the IUCN Species Survival Commission, recognising the importance of zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens in conserving wild animals, fungi and plants.

Colchester Zoo has been supporting and delivering conservation programmes in the UK and globally for many years as part of UK, European and international Zoo networks. In recent years, highlights include;

  • Using our 4 elephants to teach computer software how to recognise the thermal image of an African elephant, so rural communities living alongside elephants in Africa and Asia can install a system that tells them when elephants are nearby at night.

These and many other conservation programmes, alongside our research and education efforts, put us at the frontline of the fight to stop extinction.

Rebecca Moore, Colchester Zoo’s Zoological Director said, “This statement from the IUCN is most welcome at a time when we are facing some real and imminent threats to our environment. We have always worked with conservation as our driving force here at Colchester Zoo, and as we evolve into the charity, Colchester Zoological Society over the next year, we will be looking at ways to play a greater conservation role, as well as highlighting more of our work to our supporters and involving them in our mission to save species and habitats from extinction”.

The statement is essentially a call to action for all organisations working in conservation to work with zoos to achieve a greater understanding of the threats faced and how we counter them. A view echoed here by IUCN President Razan Al Mubarak“I have been personally involved in efforts for reversing population declines and improving the conservation status of species, and the inspiring success stories I have seen give me hope. It is never too late. Species can recover in the wild, if given a chance in well-managed captive populations such as those maintained by zoos, botanic gardens and aquaria. 
The IUCN Species Survival Commission Position Statement on the Role of Botanic Gardens, Aquariums, and Zoos in Species Conservation recognizes the leading role that these organisations already play in the science and practice of conservation, and invites others to reach their full potential, working alongside governments and key partners to collectively achieve IUCN’s One Plan Approach.” 

For more information about Colchester Zoo’s conservation work please visit: https://www.colchester-zoo.com/about-us/conservation-at-the-zoo/ and www.actionforthewild.org

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