2019/2020 Quarters for Conservation
Blue-throated macaws, giraffes and radiated tortoises will benefit from the Zoo’s commitment to direct 25 cents of every admission to saving species.
Field conservation projects for blue-throated macaws, giraffes and radiated tortoises are the three newest beneficiaries of the 2019-2020 program year of Quarters for Conservation at Zoo Atlanta. The initiative contributes 25 cents of every general admission ticket to conservation programs for wildlife.
Zoo Atlanta launched Quarters for Conservation in 2016 with a goal of further increasing the Zoo’s impact on global conservation support. The 2019-2020 programs are Asociación Armonia, Giraffe Conservation Foundation and Turtle Survival Alliance.
“We’re excited to introduce a fourth year of Quarters for Conservation. One of the most important takeaways we want our visitors to have is the fact that just by visiting the Zoo, they are directly supporting conservation by helping Zoo Atlanta do even more to save species and their habitats,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “Quarters for Conservation is one more way we have of making that direct connection – that our guests are making a personal contribution, just by walking through our gates.”
Quarters for Conservation supports three new projects in each annual cycle, with projects proposed, vetted, and championed by Zoo Atlanta team members. Visitors may vote for the project they would like to see receive the highest level of conservation support by visiting the digital Quarters for Conservation kiosk just inside the Zoo entrance. The kiosk features videos, information and touch-screen voting.
Quarters for Conservation projects for 2019-2020
Asociación Armonia, Bolivia: Immediate conservation action is crucial for the critically endangered blue-throated macaw. Wild populations number only around 400 individuals. Threats include habitat loss, lack of viable nesting sites and illegal pet trade. Asociación Armonia has established Barba Azul Nature Reserve, the world’s first protected habitat for the blue-throated macaw in northern Bolivia. Preserving this critically endangered ecosystem protects this and other species, including jaguars, pumas and maned wolves. The association’s community-centered approach works to educate and engage local people in protecting macaws from poaching, rather than exploiting the birds in the illegal pet trade and decorative feather trade.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Africa: Giraffe numbers have plummeted by 30 percent in the wild over the past three decades. Threats include habitat loss, habitat degradation as a result of growing human populations, and illegal hunting. Even though some giraffe subspecies are considered to be among some of the planet’s most threatened large mammals, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation is the only organization in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of wild giraffes. The foundation works closely with local governments and other partners to preserve giraffe populations and facilitate education programs across Africa.
Turtle Survival Alliance Radiated Tortoise Reintroduction Project, Madagascar: Once one of the most abundant tortoise species in the world, the radiated tortoise could face extinction in the next 10 to 20 years. Slash-and-burn agriculture and mining in Madagascar have diminished habitat for this now critically endangered species. An additional estimated 200,000 radiated tortoises are poached annually for the illegal pet trade and meat. In 2018, unprecedented confiscations of over 18,000 radiated tortoises were rescued and are cared for by the Turtle Survival Alliance. The goal of the Turtle Survival Alliance’s Radiated Tortoise Reintroduction Project is to reintroduce these poached tortoises back into safe and suitable habitats in the wild with the support and involvement of local people.
Projects previously supported by Zoo Atlanta through Quarters for Conservation are Drill Ranch (Nigeria and Cameroon); the East Africa Vulture Project (Kenya); Elephants for Africa (Botswana); the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (Brazil); Lion Guardians (Kenya and Tanzania); Project Bush Dog (Argentina); Project Golden Frog (Panama); Rainforest Trust (Madagascar); and the Tiger Conservation Campaign (Sumatra).
In addition to Quarters for Conservation, conservation programs and partnerships supported by Zoo Atlanta are at work now for species and their habitats around the world. Support from Zoo Atlanta has influenced conservation projects in more than 20 countries. The Zoo also helps to fund other organizations working in the field through its Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund to make a meaningful impact on reversing species decline.
Visit zooatlanta.org/conservation to learn more about Quarters for Conservation and other highlights of conservation efforts at Zoo Atlanta.