Conservation Programmes (2016 - 2020)

Western Pond Turtles Released Into the Wild as Part of Head Start Programme.

27/08/2020

Thanks to the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project, a head start programme started in 1991, 29 more Western pond turtles were recently released into the wild. Every year, a portion of eggs is collected from the wild, and looked after at Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo. Once the hatchlings grow to a predator-safe size, they are released in areas within their natural range!

Endangered Captive-Bred Louisiana Pine Snakes Reintroduced into the Wild

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Earlier this month, 41 Louisiana pine snakes were released into the wild, part of a collaborative programme to restore the wild populations of this endangered species. Several zoos are partners in this project, including Audubon Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Ellen Trout Zoo, Phoenix Zoo and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

Critically endangered Zoo-Bred Regent Honeyeaters Released Into the Wild

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Twenty captive-bred regent honeyeaters were reintroduced into the wild, in New South Wales (Australia). This species is critically endangered & Taronga Zoo Sydney's breeding programme, integrated with in-situ efforts by BirdLife Australia, aims to boost the population numbers in the wild.

Captive-Bred Bearded Vultures Reintroduced into the Wild

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Four captive-bred bearded vultures were released back into the wild, in the Grand Causses - the eight release in the area since 2012. These reintroduction efforts are part of the LIFE GypConnect project by Vulture Conservation Foundation & partners, which include EAZA and Tierpark Berlin & Parco Natura Viva, where three of the released vultures were bred.

Chester Zoo Reintroduces Captive-Bred Butterflies Back Into Manchester's Peatlands

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Last week, Chester Zoo reintroduced captive-bred large heath butterflies back into the wild, in Manchester's peatlands, where this species went locally extinct over 100 years ago. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, partner in this project, has been restoring this species habitat for years.

Marine Conservation: Florida Aquarium is Working to Protect & Restore World's Third Largest Barrier Reef

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The Florida Reef Tract is the third largest barrier reef in the world, and it is in danger! But not all is lost... The Florida Aquarium's Coral Conservation Program aims to protect and restore this reef, using a "Protect ➡️Reproduce➡️Care➡️Restore" approach!

Captive-bred Pygmy Hogs Return to the Wild in India

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⚠️More pygmy hogs returned to the wild! The Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme, in partnership with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust & others, has released 14 captive-bred pygmy hogs in Manas National Park, India.
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This species is highly threatened and the reintroduction of captive-bred animals, which started in 2008, is essential for its conservation!

Rotterdam Zoo's Contributions to Red Panda Conservation Highlight the Power of Zoos

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#ZooConservation in ACTION!
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Diergaarde Blijdorp / Rotterdam Zoo not only manages the EEP for the endangered red panda, but also contributes to the conservation of this species in the wild. A partner of Red Panda Network, this zoo has contributed to several conservation, research and education initiatives for this species.

RZSS's New Web Series Features their World-Wide Conservation Work

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⚠️Are you in lockdown and in need of some inspirational #ZooConservation stories? The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has put together a web series based on their conservation work around the world... Check it out!

Chester Zoo Reintroduces 800 Critically Endangered Snails Back Into the Islands of Bermuda

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GOOD NEWS to lighten up these dark times! Chester Zoo has reintroduced 800 critically endangered Bermuda snails back into the islands of Bermuda. This species was believed to be extinct in the wild for over 15 years, as habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive species decimated the remaining populations. 

Four Critically Endangered Dama Gazelles Moved to Protected Reserve to Join Resident Population

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Desperate times call for desperate measures... Less than 100 Dama gazelles remain in the wild, in Chad and Niger. The NGO Sahara Conservation Fund, in partnership with several institutions (zoos included), captured four genetically-important wild Dama gazelles and moved them from an unprotected area to a reserve, where they joined the resident population of around 40 individuals.
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Zoo-bred gazelles may be released in this reserve later on, to further boost this population.

Zoo-Supported Conservation Effort Reintroduces Critically Endangered Addax into the Wild

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Last month, 15 critically endangered addax were reintroduced back into the wild, in Chad. The animals were bred in captivity, in the United Arab Emirates, in a conservation project that aims to rescue this species from the brink of extinction.
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Saint Louis Zoo is one of the several zoos providing support and technical assistance to this important project!

Zoos as Vital Agents in the Conservation of Bearded Vultures in Europe

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Since 1986, over 300 captive-bred bearded vultures have been reintroduced across Europe, thanks to the conservation efforts of the Vulture Conservation Foundation. These fantastic results would not have been possible without the contribution of zoos... By providing individuals for release, funds, expertise, and educating the public, zoos are vital agents in the future of this species in Europe!

Captive-bred Madagascar Pochards Breed in the Wild Just a Year After Release

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Remember the captive-bred Madagascar pochards reintroduced into the wild a year ago? They have already bred! Two broods (of eight and four ducklings) have been spotted, "ahead of schedule", as they were not expected this soon.
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WWT, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and partners are behind the conservation efforts for this critically endangered species.

ZAA 2019 Wildlife Reintroduction Highlights

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With 2019 coming to an end, the Zoo and Aquarium Association has highlighted some of the achievements of their members throughout the year, in breeding and releasing native threatened species back into the wild!

Photo credit: Adelaide Zoo (Orange-bellied parrot)

Endangered Zoo-Bred Numbats Reintroduced into Nature Reserve in Western Australia

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More conservation news from Perth Zoo ! Nine zoo-bred numbats were released into a nature reserve (Dryandra Woodland) last Monday, as part of the breed-for-release programme for this endangered species. 

European Funding Secured for a Scottish Wildcat Reintroduction Centre at RZSS

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Great news for the Scottish wildcat! European funding has been secured to develop a reintroduction centre for this species, based at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)'s Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig. The Scottish wildcat no longer has viable populations in the wild, due to hybridisation with domestic & feral cats, and the reintroduction of captive-bred animals is a vital step in the conservation process.

Extinct-in-the-Wild Spix's Macaw to Return to Brazil

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The Extinct-in-the-Wild Spix’s macaw will soon return to its natural habitat, as captive-bred animals will be sent to Brazil in February next year. In a first step, they will acclimatise in an enclosure in Brazil before they go back to the wild. This is the result of a collaboration between several institutions: Pairi Daiza, Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots e.V., ICMBio & Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar.

Lisbon Zoo Sends GPS Collars to Conservation Project in Madagascar

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Lisbon Zoo has sent three GPS collars to Madagascar, to aid a conservation project by Antongil Conservation​, an NGO that aims to protect the Farankaraina forest and its biodiversity. The collars will fit three critically endangered red ruffed lemurs as they are translocated to protected areas. The zoo supports this project since 2007.

First Global Center for Species Survival Will Open in 2020, Based at American Zoo

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The first Global Center for Species Survival will open in 2020 and will be based at Indianapolis Zoo. This is the result of an agreement between the zoo and the IUCN Species Survival Commission, signed last week.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that every significant conservation project in the world will be touched by the Global Center for Species Survival,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, president of Indianapolis Zoological Society.

Zoo-Bred Pink Pigeons Return to Native Island of Mauritius

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Three pink pigeons bred at Jersey Zoo were sent back to the island of Mauritius, to integrate a local breeding programme with the aim of boosting the wild population. Gerald Durrell started the first ever captive breeding programme for this species in Mauritius and also brought some of these (at the time very endangered!) animals to the zoo in the 1970s, in order to keep an insurance population safe from local disease outbreaks.

Extinct-in-the-Wild Partula Snails Return to the Wild Thanks to Conservation Breeding Programme

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Here are some exciting zoo reintroduction news to start off the week in the best way!

 

Two extinct-in-the-wild species of Partula snails have now been reintroduced into their natural habitat, in the French Polynesian islands, thanks to a multi-institutional conservation breeding programme for these animals. Several zoos contributed the captive-bred snails that were released this year, including ZSL Whipsnade ZooChester ZooZSL London ZooARTIS and Edinburgh Zoo.

Critically Endangered Mountain Chicken Frogs Reintroduced in the Wild for First Time

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Groundbreaking achievement in amphibian conservation! In a world's first, 27 captive-bred mountain chicken frogs have been reintroduced in the wild, in Montserrat. This critically endangered species was almost wiped out by the deadly chytrid fungus, but there is now hope thanks to the united conservation & research efforts of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust/Jersey Zoo, ZSL, Chester Zoo, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Nordens Ark & Government of Montserrat.

Conservationists Gather at Brazilian Zoo To Form Plan to Save Two Critically Endangered Bird Species

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Wildlife conservationists from all over the world gathered at the Brazilian zoo Parque Das Aves for an workshop to develop an emergency plan to save two Brazilian species from extinction. Both the Blue-Eyed Ground-dove and the Alagoas Antwren are critically endangered and have tiny population estimates (20 and 12, respectively). The developed action plan includes both in-situ and ex-situ conservation measures! 

Scientific Breakthrough at Floring Aquarium After World's First Spawning Induction in Threatened Coral

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⚠️Scientific breakthrough at The Florida Aquarium! In a world's first, scientists from the aquarium's Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach induced spawning in the Atlantic pillar coral, a threatened species. This is a huge milestone in the conservation of the coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean.

Detroit Zoo Announces Switch to Wind Energy and the use of 100% Renewable Energy

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Detroit Zoo has announced it will run on 100% renewable energy by 2020, as they switch to wind energy! This is a great example of a zoo's commitment to sustainability - they have already implemented several other measures to reduce their carbon footprint, such as solar/electric vehicles for transportation within the zoo and the production and use of biogas from animal waste and food scraps.

Groundbreaking Procedure Takes Northern White Rhinos a Step Further Away from Extinction

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Great news for rhino conservation! In a groundbreaking procedure, 10 eggs have been collected from the last two Northern white rhinos on the planet! These females cannot carry a pregnancy but it is hoped southern white rhinos (the other white rhino subspecies) can be surrogate mothers for the future embryos that will be produced from artificial insemination, using these eggs and frozen sperm from a Northern white rhino male. 

Two Zoo-Bred Cinereous Vultures Reintroduced in Bulgaria

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The Vulture Conservation Foundation has reintroduced two cinereous vultures into the wild, bred as part of the Eurasian Black Vulture EEP and donated by ZOO Planckendael & Parc des Oiseaux. The Bulgarian population of the cinereous vulture went extinct in the 20th century but this reintroduction programme is a vital step to return this species to its former range.

Darjeeling Zoo in Preparations to Release Four Red Pandas Into the Wild

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Four red pandas at Darjeeling Zoo are being prepared for reintroduction into the wild, in the Singalila National Park. The release is planned for October, when the animals will first have a period of acclimatisation to their new environment. Radio collars will be used to track and monitor the reintroduced red pandas. 

Photo credit: Sandeep pai1986 (Wikimedia Commons, red panda at Darjeeling Zoo).

Canadian Zoo Reintroduces Critically Endangered Butterflies into the Wild

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And here is another #ZooReintroduction story! Assiniboine Park & Zoo has released 13 zoo-bred, critically endangered, Poweshiek skipperling butterflies in the wild, in the Nature Conservancy of Canada / Conservation de la nature Canada's Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in Manitoba. It is estimated that less than 100 of this species remain in Canada, and therefore this zoo's research and conservation effort is vital for the future survival of the species.

Zoo-Bred Boreal Toads Released Into the Wild By Denver Zoo

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Over 620 zoo-bred boreal toads have been released into the wild last month, by Denver Zoo. The amphibian extinction crisis is a real issue and the boreal toad, a species resident in the southern Rocky Mountains, has suffered severe declines in its populations in the last twenty years. Denver Zoo is working with other zoos and governmental agencies to save this species from extinction.

Disney Using New Lion King Movie to Campaign for Lion Conservation

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The new The Lion King movie will be out next week, and Disney's Animal Kingdom is using this opportunity to campaign for lion conservation in Africa! Since the release of the original movie, 25 years ago, half the African lion population has disappeared... The Lion King "Protect the Pride" campaign aims to support the Wildlife Conservation Network's Lion Recovery Fund, and Disney has already donated $1.5 million to the cause! 

Project by an RSPO member and Copenhagen Zoo Shows Initial Evidence that Palm Oil Can Be produced in Harmony with Nature

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A project by United Plantations Berhad (member of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - RSPO) and their partner Zoologisk Have has so far suggested it is possible to produce palm oil in an environmental-friendly way! This project started in 2010 and it is gaining strength, and it has already produced positive results regarding the measurement & control of water quality and tracking species.

Zoo-Bred Tapirs Reintroduced Into Nature Reserve in Rio de Janeiro!

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Zoo Sorocaba has reintroduced a pair of three-year old lowland tapirs into a nature reserve in the Mata Atlântica, in Rio de Janeiro. This is part of a "rewilding" project to bring the species back to its native habitat and restore the ecosystem it is part of.

Photo credit: Sandra Fonseca / Prefeitura de Sorocaba

Prague Zoo Sends Three More Przewalski's Horses to the Wilds of Mongolia!

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Three more zoo-bred Przewalski's horses are now back into the wild in Mongolia, bringing that local population to around 270 individuals. A total of 34 animals have so far been taken from Europe to Mongolia by Prague Zoo, in cooperation with the Czech Army. Zoo conservation in action!

Zoos and Aquariums Are Helping the Fight Against the Amphibian Extinction Crisis!

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There is an on-going amphibian extinction crisis but zoos and aquariums throughout the world are working to protect many of the most threatened amphibians! The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums has put together 14 species that are being protected with the help of zoos and aquariums.

Five European Zoo-Bred Black Rhinos will Soon Be Heading to Africa for Reintroduction into the Wild!

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Zoo Reintroduction News ⚠️ It has been a few months since five eastern black rhinos were grouped at Zoo Safari Park Dvur Kralove Czechy​ in preparation for an exciting trip to Africa, to be reintroduced into the wild!

The time has now come and in a few days (Sunday) they will be heading to Rwanda in the largest ever Europe-Africa translocation of rhinos!

All five rhinos were bred as part of the EAZA​'s breeding programme (EEP) for the species, coordinated by Chester Zoo​ - three are from the Czech zoo, one came from Flamingo Land Resort​ (UK) and the other from Ree Park Safari​ (Denmark).

Cordoba Zoo & Andalucia Government Partnered to Protect the threatened Iberian Imperial Eagle!

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A collaboration between Zoo de Córdoba and Junta de Andalucía aims to help boosting the populations of the Iberian Imperial eagle in the wild! Three chicks have been taken to the zoo to be raised and released back into the wild, increasing their chances of surviving until adulthood.

Zoo-Bred European Bisons Head to the Wild in Azerbaijan!

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Reintroduction in Action! Tierpark Berlin and WWF are working together to reintroduce zoo-bred European bisons into the wild, to restore this species to their natural habitat. Several were released in Romania last year, and four more headed to Azerbaijan in the end of May, where they are habituating in a fenced area, preparing for release in the summer. Two of the animals have been at the German zoo for a while, one came from Prague Zoo and the other from ZOO Plzeň.

Once-Thought-Extinct Greater Bermuda Land Snail Returned to the Wild by Chester Zoo!

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Zoos Saving Species indeed! Chester Zoo has released almost 4,000 greater Bermuda land snails into the wild, a species that was considered extinct until a small group was found in 2014.   Zoo Conservation at its finest!

Zoo-Bred Endangered Sage-Grouses Released Into the Wild!

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A captive breeding programme by The Calgary Zoo has resulted in the release of 66 greater sage-grouse into the wild. This species is listed as "Near Threatened" globally, but it is endangered in Canada, as 80% of the population has disappeared in the last 30 years.

Chester is World's First Sustainable Palm Oil City, Thanks to Chester Zoo's Work!

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Thanks to Chester Zoo’s involvement and commitment, Chester is now the world’s first Sustainable Palm Oil City!

Barcelona Zoo is Helping to Save Critically Endangered Newt!

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Zoo de Barcelona’s conservation efforts for the critically endangered Montseny brook newt are highlighted in EAZA’s March Conservation Database Snapshot.

Hope for Critically Endangered Dove as Conservation Action Plan is being Decided!

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Milestone achieved in the conservation of the critically endangered Negros bleeding-heart dove, as a transfer between the two centres that breed the species has been agreed!

Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the institutions supporting the ex-situ and in-situ conservation efforts for this species in the Philippines, and they will help writing a Conservation Action Plan for its protection!

Zoo Community Provides 75% of WildCats Conservation Alliance's Annual Income!

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WildCats Conservation Alliance get around 75% of their annual income from zoos! This money comes from both smaller and bigger zoos, and therefore all supporters provide a valuable contribution to the conservation of wild tigers and Amur leopards.

London Zoo Sends Four Northen Bald Ibis for Reintroduction in Spain!

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Four Northern bald Ibis have been sent to Jerez Zoo from ZSL London Zoo, for further reintroduction into the wild, in southern Spain. This species disappeared from Europe almost 300 years ago and it is estimated that only 600 individuals remain in the wild.

World Zoo Contributions to the Conservation of CITES-Listed Species

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Zoo Conservation in Action! Have a look at how zoos throughout the world are working to saving CITES-listed species!

Antwerp Zoo is Working to Save Asian Elephants... in the Wild!

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How's Antwerp Zoological Society (ZOO Antwerpen and ZOO Planckendael) working to save Asian elephants in the wild? By supporting the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation., they are helping to reduce human-wildlife conflicts and protecting the habitat of this endangered species in Kerala, India.

Novel Acoustic Technology Allows ZSL & Others to Monitor Reintroduced Birds!

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A reintroduction programme is returning the threatened stitchbird (hihi) to its former range, in New Zealand. In order to monitor the reintroduced birds, ZSL scientists, in partnership with other institutions, are using a novel acoustic method that allows them to "eavesdrop on their conversations".

Zoos Supporting Rescue & Rehab of Orphan Wild Flamingo Chicks in South Africa!

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When wildlife is in trouble, the international zoo & aquarium community goes to the rescue! With over 1800 abandoned lesser flamingo chicks in Kamfers Dam (South Africa), due to water shortage, zoos and aquariums stepped in to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these animals.

Photo: SAAMBR

Greenville Zoo Supports Amur Leopard Conservation Through Donations & Education Programmes!

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Zoos for conservation! Greenville Zoo has donated US$16,437 to WildCats Conservation Alliance, to support their conservation projects on Amur leopards.

The money, which was raised from ticket sales and memberships, is just part of this zoo's conservation initiative, as their educational sessions and keeper talks have also inspired many of their visitors to take action!

Biodiversity-Rich Forest in Tanzania Becomes Protected Area Thanks to Zoo Support!

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The Magombera Forest, an unique and species-rich area in Tanzania, will now be part of a protected nature reserve! This is the result of the scientific work and financial support of several institutions, including the UK zoo Flamingo Land Resort, which implemented the conservation Udzungwa Forest Project in the area in 2007, in partnership with the University of York and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group. Amazing news for the world's wildlife!

Photo: Magombera chameleon, one of the unique species discovered in the area (by Dr. Andrew Marshall).

Once Extinct In the Wild, the Arabian Oryx Was Saved By Zoos & Other Institutions!

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The Arabian oryx went extinct in the wild in the 1970s but a captive breeding programme by zoos and private reserves saved the species! Thanks to the reintroduction programme that returned this species to the wild, there are now over 1000 wild Arabian oryx plus many more in semi-captive conditions, which resulted in the downgrade of the species' threat status to "Vulnerable". More evidence that #ZoosMatter.

Critically Endangered Madagascar Pochard reintroduced into the wild!

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Thanks to the conservation efforts of WWT and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in partnership with other institutions, the critically endangered Madagascar pochard has been reintroduced back into the wild! Amazing zoo conservation work!

Zoo-Supported Insititution is Helping to Protect Tigers like Raj Bhera in the Wild!

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The BBC's #Dynasties has come to an end, but what a fabulous final episode, getting to know the tigress Raj Bhera & her family, and learning about some of the challenges tigers are currently facing in the wild!

The zoo-supported WildCats Conservation Alliance is working to protect tigers in India through their "Indo-Bhutan Transboundary Tiger Monitoring" project... 

Photo: BBC

Find out More About the Zoo-Supported "Projeto Tamandua" in this World Tamandua Day!

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Happy #WorldTamanduaDay! Brazil is home to three species of anteaters and Projeto Tamanduá Brasil aims to ensure the future survival of these species (and others!) in their native range, through research and conservation initiatives in the wild and captivity. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Zoo Dortmund are some of the partners in this important project.

Photo: Giant anteater at Zoo Dortmund

Artificial Nests Implemented by Zoos in Wild African Penguin Colonies Show High Success So Far!

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Thanks to the funds raised by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and their members, and the efforts of Dallas Zoo & partners, 200 artificial nests have been installed in colonies of the endangered African penguin, to optimise their breeding success in the wild... The results so far speak for themselves: 96% have been occupied at some point, with 65% and 43% of them having eggs in each of the colonies.

"Dynasties": The plight of the African lion and San Diego Zoo's Commitment to its Protection!

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Did you all enjoy the third episode of BBC Earth's #Dynasties as much as we did?

Human-wildlife conflicts are one of the main threats that African lions are facing in the wild. San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy supports the "Mama Simba" conservation project, which aims to address this and other problems affecting the threatened population of lions in Kenya.

Thousands of Trees Planted in the South of Portugal Thanks to Zoo Initiative

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Thanks to the Operação Montanha Verde 2018 initiative by Zoomarine Algarve, Portugal, 21 000 trees have been planted across four different areas in the south of the country. Over 1000 volunteers joined forces to help reforesting these areas, which is a very important step for the preservation of the local biodiversity, especially after the wildfires that have affected the country in the last summers.

Five Critically Endangered Black Rhinos Were Gathered at Czech Zoo for Future Reintroduction Into the Wild

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Five critically endangered eastern black rhinos have been gathered at Zoo Safari Park Dvur Kralove Czechy, where they will be trained and prepared to be reintroduced back into the wild, in Rwanda. Ree Park Safari and Flamingo Land Resort were the other zoos that donated the animals for further reintroduction. 

This ambitious project is the result of extensive cooperation between the zoos above mentioned, EAZA, Chester Zoo (responsible for the EEP for this species) and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Photo: Zoo Safari Park Dvur Kralove

Conservation by European Zoos & Aquariums: Explanatory Video!

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Find out how EAZA and its members are helping to protect species and their habitats.

Zoo-Born Black Rhino Sent For Future Reintroduction into the Wild!

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Flamingo Land Resort has sent a female eastern black rhino to be reintroduced back into the wild! Olmoti will join four others of her species at Zoo Safari Park Dvur Kralove Czechy before being sent to Rwanda, where they will add genetic diversity to the critically endangered population in the wild.

Captive Breeding: Benefits & Challenges (Article by The Guardian)

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Captive breeding has helped saving many species from the brink of extinction, and it will likely help many more, but these programmes are also very challenging and expensive... The benefits and challenges of captive breeding are discussed in this article from The Guardian. 

Woodland Park Zoo Increases Turtle Numbers in the Wild Through Recovery Project and Captive Breeding

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One of the many wonderful facets of zoos are their captive breeding and reintroduction programs. All too often, a combination of loss of habitat and over harvesting cause the decline, and sometimes even inevitable extinction, of so many species in the wild, as occurred with the Western Pond Turtle. 

 

Nestled in the rainy state of Washington in the Untied States, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has had many success stories, one of which is the Western Pond Turtle. Once found in the lowlands of Washington into Baja, California, this charismatic turtle species has been largely wiped out from a bulk of its range, with estimates at one point pinning it at a mere 150 individuals in the wilds of Washington by 1980. Today, thanks to a meticulous captive breeding and a successful, ongoing reintroduction program by the Woodland Park Zoo, there are now an estimated 800 wild individuals in the entire state's territory. 

RZSS Reintroduces Zoo-Bred Snails Back into the Wild!

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Pond mud snail populations have declined drastically in the UK due to habitat loss, and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is working with other Scottish conservation institutions in order to protect this species. Over 80 snails, bred at Edinburgh Zoo, have been released into a special area of habitat created for them, near Pentland Hills.

A great example of the vital contribution of zoos to the conservation of native species!

All Ready to Reintroduce Near-Extinct Madagascar Pochards Back into the Wild!

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WWT is getting all ready for the release of critically endangered Madagascar pochards back into the wild! Floating aviaries have been made and sent to Lake Sofia, which will soon be home to the world's rarest duck!

What is the EAZA's EEPs and how can they help Saving Species?

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Effectively managing captive populations is a challenging task. The European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) explains some of the work behind their European Endangered Species Programmes (EEPs).

Zoo-Bred Black Rhino Moved to Tanzania for Breeding Programme!

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A male East African black rhino was moved from San Diego Zoo Safari Park to Tanzania, to promote breeding of this critically endangered species.

Three US Zoos Partners In Reintroduction Project to Help Saving the Texas Horned Lizard

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The Texas horned lizard is one of the over 1.300 threatened species in that state. On top of habitat management and restoration, a reintroduction programme has been set to help boosting this species' numbers, in partnership with Fort Worth Zoo, San Antonio Zoo & Dallas Zoo.

British and Irish Zoos and Aquariums Start New Pact to End Wildlife Trafficking

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British and Irish zoos and aquariums have joined forces with the UK government and wildlife crime agencies to put an end to wildlife trafficking, the first pact of this kind.

Well done to BIAZA and its members for showing again an outstanding commitment to wildlife conservation.

Photo: Chester Zoo

Zoos Support Jaguar Conservation in Brazil

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The jaguar (also “onça-pintada” in Brazil) is a near-threatened big cat species whose populations are declining in the wild because of habitat loss, hunting and conflicts with humans. Many institutions are working together to protect this species, including zoos such as Chester Zoo and Parque Das Aves!

Zoo-Bred Reintroduced Mouse Deer Adapting Well to the Wild!

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Seven captive-bred Indian mouse deer were released into Amarabad forest last month and, according to camera trap footage, they are adapting well! These animals were born at Nehru Zoological Park and they are now back into the wild!

Captive-Bred Tasmanian Devils Reintroduced Into the Wild!

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Captive-bred Tasmanian devils have been reintroduced into the wild! These animals were bred under the Zoo and Aquarium Association's species management program, which aims to boost the numbers and the genetic diversity of this species's population in the wild...

White storks May Breed in Britain Again!

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Thanks to a reintroduction scheme, with the involvement of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, white storks may breed in Britain again!

Four more captive-bred Przewalski's horses are now living in the wild!

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Four more zoo-bred Przewalski's horses have been released back into the wild! This species was once extinct in the wild but thanks to the work of Zoo Praha, other zoos and institutions, it is making a comeback!

IUCN's "Global reintroduction perspectives : 2018" has been Released!

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Reintroduction programmes... challenging and complex but responsible for saving many species throughout the world! The IUCN has just released the sixth edition of "Global Reintroduction Perspectives: 2018", featuring 59 case studies.

San Diego Zoo's Southern White Rhino Pregnant Through Artificial Insemination!

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Great news from San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy: for the first time in their history, one of their southern white rhinos has become pregnant through artificial insemination. This is a massive step towards the conservation of their cousins, the northern white rhinos, which are on the brink of extinction, with just two females left in the world.

Texas State Aquarium Funds Wildlife Conservation & Research!

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Zoos and aquariums for conservation! Texas State Aquarium will be giving $150.000 to wildlife conservation and research projects!

Prague Zoo Is Hand Rearing a Critically Endangered Magpie with Help from a Puppet!

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Conservation puppeteers? Zoo Praha is hand-rearing a critically endangered Javan green magpie, using a puppet! This technique is used to avoid imprinting on humans by the young, which would drastically reduce chances of future breeding. This zoo has been very successful breeding this species over the years, an important achievement, considering there are less than 50 animals left in the wild.

Zoos Take Part in Rescue Operation for Illegally Kept Critically Endangered Tortoises

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Zoos to the rescue! Animal experts from over 20 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, plus others from all over the world, have travelled to Madagascar to conduct an operation to rescue nearly 11.000 critically endangered radiated tortoises that were illegally kept in poor conditions.

Zoo-Bred Griffon Vultures Released Into the Wild!

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Two zoo-bred griffon vultures have been released into the wild last weekend, in Sardinia, after they have left the temporary aviary they were housed in. Both these animals were born at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo: one of them is the famous chick that was raised by a couple of male vultures, the other one is the offspring of a wounded pair found in Spain. Zoo conservation and reintroduction in action!

"Animal trainers are teaching wildlife to conserve themselves" by Mongabay

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Training animals... to be wild! Animal trainers can help captive-bred animals learning the behaviours they need to survive in the wild. Not an easy task, but a very important one, especially considering the great importance of captive breeding and reintroduction programmes in the conservation of many threatened species.

World Wildlife Day: Big Cats - Predators Under Threat

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In this #WorldWildlifeDay, the theme is "Big Cats: Predators under Threat"... To help saving these charismatic species from extinction, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its members have spent nearly $9.9 million on field conservation projects and $1.5 million on felid-focused research, between 2014 and 2016. 

BIAZA & World Zoo Community Fund Conservation Breeding Centre for Critically Endangered Saola

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BIAZA has donated $70.000 towards a conservation breeding centre for the critically endangered Saola, in Vietnam. BIAZA has therefore joined the rest of the zoo community, which, all together, have donated over $350.000 towards the conservation of this species.

 

“Zoos have been some of the greatest supporters of saola conservation over the years,” said Barney Long, Global Wildlife Conservation’s director of species conservation and chair of the Saola Working Group Steering Committee.

Bison Calf Produced From Transferred Embryo at The Toronto Zoo

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Great achievement by The Toronto Zoo! A wood bison calf, produced from an embryo sent from a lab at the University of Saskatchewan and transferred into a surrogate, has been born at the zoo! Wood bison were once common in Canada but their populations have declined drastically thanks to over-hunting and disease. This recent success represents great news for the conservation of this threatened subspecies.

Zoo Community Reinforces Commitment to Tackle Widlife Trafficking

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The Association of Zoos and Aquariums further reinforced its commitment to tackle wildlife trafficking, by making the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance one of its programs!

“There’s a lot of work that the zoos are already doing to combat illegal trade, and we should be highlighting those more” said Sarah Walker, former executive Director of USWTA and now AZA's senior advisor on wildlife trafficking.

Five Creative Conservation Ideas, By Species360

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Species360 have put together a summary of conservation ideas that were presented during the 2018 ZACC Conference. Great to see the international zoo community discussing ideas to further promote their involvement in wildlife conservation... Go zoos & aquariums!

Captive-Bred Endangered Frogs Released Into the Wild as Trial for Future Reintroductions

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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has released 500 captive-bred variable harlequin frogs into the wild, as a trial for future reintroductions. The success of this reintroduction programme may be the last hope for this critically endangered species, which was pushed to the brink of extinction by the chytrid fungus. This is part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (PARC), a partnership between several US zoos.

Zoo-Bred Griffon Vultures Sent To Be Reintroduced Into the Wild

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Two young griffon vultures that hatched at ARTIS zoo last year were sent to Sardinia today, to be released back into the wild later this year. One of these chicks was raised by a pair of males, the other is the offspring of a pair found wounded in Spain. Griffon vultures are one of the four species of vultures found in southern Europe and they are threatened by several human activities, such as poisoning and electrical power lines.

AZA's SAFE Programme Has New List

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Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) are one of the newest additions to the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums's Saving Animals from Extinction® (SAFE) initiative. Species selected as part of the SAFE program are at risk of extinction and have active recovery or conservation plans. Apart from radiated tortoises, the new list includes giraffes, African vultures and black-footed ferrets, bringing the total number of SAFE Species to 14.
 

Photo by: Garden State Tortoise

Prague Zoo is One of the Zoos Fightings Against Palm Oil Crisis

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Still under the theme of our latest blog post (check it here if you haven't)... Did you know that Prague Zoo is one of the institutions committed to stop the palm oil crisis that is devastating habitats and driving species to extinction? From raising awareness, using educational campaigns, to a signed commitment to promote the use of sustainable palm oil, this zoo is clear in its conservation message.

US Zoos Working to Save the Black-Footed Cat From Extinction

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Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's Director of Reproductive Sciences, Dr. Herrick, is one of the scientists working to save the threatened black-footed cat from extinction. In partnership with Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, they are perfecting artificial insemination techniques, in order to inseminate captive females using semen collected from wild males, which would give a boost to the captive population's genetic pool. This zoo is also supporting in-situ research efforts for this elusive species.

AZA's SAFE Programme on the Rise!

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The Association of Zoos and Aquariums's SAFE programme is on the rise! The new stats show more conservation projects being supported, more AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums on board and more funding provided to the original SAFE species.

Do you want to get involved with this programme? Find out what you have to do in the link below.

"Can aquariums save corals?" by Species360

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Can aquariums save corals? Coral reefs may disappear by 2050, according to some scientists, but aquariums have a role to play in their protection!

 

US Zoos Join Forces with Other Institutions to Rescue Wild Cold Stressed Manatees

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Another great example of how zoos and aquariums contribute to wildlife conservation! Experts from several institutions carried out a 3 day rescue operation to save 10 stranded manatees in the tides of the Cooper River, South Carolina. Every animal was examined and nine were deemed fit to be released back into the wild in Melbourne, Florida. A female manatee showed signs of cold stress and is still being held for treatment.

This successful operation was a joint effort between Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium , SeaWorld , Sea to Shore Alliance , Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens , Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

São Paulo Zoo is Pioneer in In-situ Conservation in Brazil

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Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo reinforced its commitment to wildlife conservation in 2015, after creating "NAIS", an initiative to promote in-situ conservation efforts. They are now involved in over 20 in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects, in partnership with several institutions and researchers.

Hawaiian Crow Returns to the Wild Thanks to Captive Breeding

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Feral predators and habitat loss drove the Hawaii's alala, or Hawaiian crow, to extinction in the wild in 2002 . But that was not the end... San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy started a complex breeding and reintroduction programme, in partnership with other institutions, and the first captive-bred individuals have now been released into the wild. There is still a long way to go but, for now, the future looks promising for this species!

Zoo-Bred Numbats Reintroduced into the wild!

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Nineteen zoo-bred numbats were released into the wild yesterday, in the second largest feral predator-free area in Australia. This captive breeding programme, the only one for this species, was established in 1987 by Perth Zoo and since then 200 animals have been reintroduced into the wild, helping to re-establish four populations of this endangered species.

Chester Zoo Works to Save Elephants at the Forests of India

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Human-wildlife conflict is a major threat for the future survival of the endangered Asian elephant. Chester Zoo is working with Ecosystems-India to reduce these conflicts in the forests of Assam, one of the last strongholds for the species.

Endangered Captive-Bred Butterflies Reintroduced Into the Wild

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Over 1700 captive-bred larvae of the Quino checkerspot butterfly have been released into the wild. This endangered species has drastically declined in the wild but this conservation programme, a collaboration between San Diego Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Conservation Biology Institute aims to boost its populations.

"SAFE" - AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums Work Together Against Extinction!

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Conservation Action, Public Engagement, Wildlife Expertise.

Three weapons against wildlife extinction... And they are being used by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its members, through the "Saving Species from Extinction - SAFE" initiative.

Jurong Bird Park Joins Efforts to Save Endangered Brazilian Parrots!

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Jurong Bird Park (Wildlife Reserves Singapore) has welcomed two threatened parrot species: the endangered Lear's macaw and the critically endangered (possibly extinct in the wild) Spix's macaw. Both these species are native to Brazil and have suffered drastic declines due to habitat loss and poaching. Reintroduction of captive-bred individuals may be the last hope for these species!

Zoo-born, Cross-Fostered, Mexican Wolf Thriving in the Wild!

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A cross-fostered Mexican wolf pup born at Brookfield Zoo was found alive and well in the wild. Born in May at the zoo, this pup and her sibling were transferred to a litter of similar age in the wild, while two wild-born pups joined the zoo's litter. The objective is to improve the genetic health of the wild population.

Captive Breeding Programme Helps Boosting Population of Endangered Prairie Chicken

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Zoos saving species... again! The Attwater’s Prairie Chicken is a highly threatened subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken. It is estimated that less than 100 individuals remain in the wild... Thanks to a captive breeding programme, managed by Houston Zoo, 90 Attwater's prairie chickens were reintroduced in 2016, and there was a 25% increase in the wild population. XCa

Aquariums Fund New Research on Critically Endangered Population of Belugas

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Georgia Aquarium and Shedd Aquarium have joined forces with universities and other institutions to understand the reasons why a critically endangered population of Alaskan belugas has not recovered in the last 20 years. This new research will investigate the habitat use, foraging behaviour and the impact of noise pollution on these animals.

Russian Ministry, EAZA & IUCN SSC Join Forces to Reintroduce Persian Leopard In the Wild!

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The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRE), EAZA and the IUCN SSC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the 72nd WAZA Conference, in Berlin. They have agreed to bring together all the expertise and resources for the reintroduction of the Persian leopard in the western Caucasus, in order to restore a sustainable population of this threatened subspecies.

Zoo-Bred Polynesian Tree Snails Sent for Reintroduction Into the Wild

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Zoo-bred Polynesian tree snails were sent back to their native island of Tahiti, to be reintroduced into the wild. These snails were decimated in the 1970's, after the introduction of an invasive, predatory snail species. Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of several UK & world zoos and institutions, these tiny snails will have another chance to thrive in the wild.

Sixty-Nine Zoo-Bred Dibblers Reintroduced into the Wild!

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Sixty-nine captive-bred dibblers have been reintroduced into the wild, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Perth Zoo and Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia. Nearly 250 animals have been released since 2001, resulting in five established populations of a species that was once thought to be extinct.

Omaha's Zoo Releases 82 Critically Endangered Frogs Into the Wild

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Eighty-two captive-bred dusky gopher frogs were released into the wild, in Mississipi. Fewer than 75 adults of this critically endangered species remain in the wild, but this ex-situ programme, a partnership between Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Memphis Zoo and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, aims to save this species from extinction.