- Published 31/10/2017 It’s looking a lot like Christmas … at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoological Society is helping to safeguard some of the world’s most endangered bird species, which are benefiting from work done by zoos and aquariums.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), has compiled a list of the top ten birds benefitting from the work of zoos and aquariums in the UK and Ireland.
Bristol Zoological Society plays a significant role in helping to protect seven of the 10 species on the list: African penguin, Bali starling, blue-crowned laughing thrush, Edward’s pheasant, Ecuadorian Amazon parrot, Socorro dove, and Visayan tarictic hornbill.
As well as caring for a population of African penguins at Bristol Zoo, last year the Society held an urgent appeal to fundraise for the wild population, which is endangered. The appeal helped to rescue and rehabilitate nearly 1,000 orphaned penguin chicks last winter, of which 750 were recently reintroduced back into the wild.
Now extinct in the wild, the Socorro dove can be seen at Bristol Zoo Gardens, which is part of a coordinated conservation breeding programme trying to prevent the total extinction of the species.
Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Conservation at Bristol Zoological Society, said: “This report demonstrates the importance of zoos and aquariums not only for conservation breeding of at-risk species, but also for their contribution to funding and management of conservation projects in the wild, including research, education and support for local communities, as well as protection of crucial wildlife habitats.”
Dr Kirsten Pullen, CEO of BIAZA, said: “This year’s Top Ten report is the fourth in a series which highlights the contribution of good zoos and aquariums to the conservation of the natural world. This time, the focus is on birds.
“Zoos and aquariums are an active part of the global conservation community. They can marry up active field conservation with the ‘Ark Concept’ of captive breeding programmes.
“The birds in our latest Top Ten report are all species that are reliant on captive breeding to complement field initiatives.”
Strict criteria were used to select the top ten. All the birds proposed had to be associated with current field initiatives by zoos and/or essential conservation breeding in zoos.
Particular importance was placed on initiatives which included a management role in the species’ conservation, rather than just providing funds. Priority was also given to species listed as threatened on the international IUCN Red List of threatened species.
The top ten list demonstrates the importance of zoos and aquariums not only for conservation breeding of safety-net populations, but also for their contribution to funding and management of conservation projects in the field, including research, education and support for local communities, as well as protection of crucial wildlife habitats.
To find more information about all of these species, read the full report here.
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