Over the past 12 years the El Paso Zoo has been working to increase its conservation impact in support of field conservation projects. Funds raised by the El Paso Zoological Society combined with round up revenues at Service Systems and Associates gift shops and restaurants, have helped us to support projects to save endangered species around the world.
Our Conservation Committee focuses on supporting projects that involve both staff and conservation partners. Recent examples include sending a zoo keeper to Madagascar to help rescue over 10,000 critically endangered radiated tortoises that were confiscated from poachers planning to sell them for the pet trade, and sending a team of four zoo staff members to help with a Mexican black bear habitat restoration project at Big Bend National Park.
When we want to have an impact and sending staff to help a project is not feasible, we support others working on the ground with funding to help save critically endangered Amur leopards in Russia, orangutans and Asian elephants in Indonesia and painted dogs in Africa. Recent conservation organizations we have supported and partnered with include the Painted Dog Research Trust, the Giraffe Foundation, Orangutan Foundation International, the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
One of the most important keys to the success of our conservation efforts is maintaining and developing relationships with conservation partners including people working on the front lines around the world. For example a staff member is actively involved with the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan and attends meetings in both the US and Mexico. Another staff member works closely with the Turner Endangered Species Fund helping with a bolson tortoise reintroduction project in New Mexico. Another member of the team networks with people in Africa and has been involved in conservation efforts to save mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes region.
Maintaining relationships with people working in National Parks helped the Zoo have a voice at an International Workshop on Transboundary Conservation at Glacier National Park. Networking at that meeting later resulted in the El Paso Zoo piloting an America’s Keystone Wildlife Grant partnership with Big Bend National Park. To further maintain working relationships with the conservation community last year the Zoo hosted a Chihuahuan Desert Conference that brought together park managers and researchers from across the Southwest and Mexico.
To learn more about the El Paso Zoo and our field conservation efforts check out the stories we have posted on this blog. To support our conservation fund contact the El Paso Zoo Conservation Committee by using our contact us form.
El Paso Zoo Conservation Projects
Chihuahuan Desert Conference
Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta
Coahuilan Box Turtle
Mexican Black Bear
Przewalski’s Wild Horse
Transboundary Conservation at Big Bend National Park