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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Chester Zoo: Another zoo leading the way in conservation

Chester Zoo logo
 England's Chester Zoo is another excellent zoo which makes a huge conservation difference globally.  Originally opened in 1931, since its earliest days Chester's zoo technology and thinking has been cutting edge.  Chester also has one of the most comprehensive and largest zoo conservation commitments globally.  Chester trains and assists people who save endangered species in situ (within their native lands), captive breeds animals ex situ (not within their native lands; i.e. at Chester Zoo if non-native species), assists captive bred endangered species reintroductions, sponsors research regarding endangered species biology, and minimizes threats through educational program formulation.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme: Protecting the Most Endangered Dog in the World

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme logo
Researcher Claudio Sillero (who also helped found the Andean Cat Alliance) founded the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) during 1995 to reverse the Ethiopian wolf's Canis simensis headlong plummet towards extinction.  The Ethiopian wolf is the most endangered canid (dog)- less than 450 are alive today.  The Ethiopian wolf's greatest threats are human encroachment and all that brings: habitat loss, road building, domestic dogs' diseases, and human hunting which eliminates perceived threats to livestock.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Peregrine Fund: Saving the birds of prey of the world

The Peregrine Fund logo
The Peregrine Fund was founded in 1970 by Tom Cade, an ornithology professor at Cornell University, to save the peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, which had nearly disappeared through the western United States, and reintroduce it back into the eastern United States.  A captive breeding program including offspring reintroduction was initiated and was wildly successful.  Consequently, the Peregrine Fund now can focus their energies towards saving other birds of prey species and has helped save ~100 raptor species (and also some non-raptors, like the critically endangered Madagascar pochard Aythya innotata).  The Peregrine Fund run the World Center for Birds of Prey (WCBP), a breeding center and a zoo which only has birds of prey (much like the International Crane Foundation has a breeding center and zoo which specializes just on crane species) and breed large numbers of species like California condors Gymnogyps californianus, Aplomado falcons Falco femoralis, bald eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Mauritius kestrels Falco punctatus, and many more.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

BirdLife International: They speak for the birds

BirdLife International logo
The good people at BirdLife International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) have been protecting endangered birds since 1922.  BirdLife is an alliance(the largest conservation alliance globally) of many different conservation and scientific organizations (like the National Audubon Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) banded together so BirdLife can unite resources, determine important directions within research and conservation to pursue and give the bird conservation community a stronger lobbying position.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wildlife Conservation Society: 5 zoos and 116 years as one of the largest conservation organizations on Earth

Wildlife Conservation Society logo
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society with a mandate to promote wildlife conservation, promote zoological study, and create a zoo (the Bronx Zoo).  WCS immediately heartily embraced all three goals.  WCS runs the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium, also manages protected wild lands (more than 200 million acres globally), is engaged among over 500 field projects through 60 countries, and employs over 200 scientists.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: Over a century of saving birds

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds logo
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is extremely well known throughout the UK, but I include it because it is much less well known outside the UK although it is expanding more and more into international conservation projects, and also because it is an excellent example showing how a local conservation organization can be run extremely successfully.  The RSPB has focused its efforts into three main arenas: protect habitat through their 200+ reserves scattered around the UK, initiate programs which build up endangered species numbers, and use their political clout (through their more than one million members) to effect positive change regarding wildlife and native habitats.
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