2022 Quarters for Conservation programs
Just in time for World Wildlife Day, Zoo Atlanta announces that projects for Angolan colobus monkeys, western lowland gorillas, and African vultures are the beneficiaries of the 2022 program year of Quarters for Conservation, an initiative that directs 25 cents of every general admission ticket to conservation programs for wildlife.
“It’s very important to us that our visitors know that in making the decision to visit Zoo Atlanta, they are doing more than enjoying a memorable experience and connecting with species from around the world,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “Those are certainly vital benefits of the Zoo Atlanta experience, but through programs like Quarters for Conservation, we are able to help our guests also understand that by visiting, they are helping to provide direct support for wildlife and wild places, far beyond Atlanta.”
Each general admission automatically generates a deposit to the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. The level of funding for each project is tiered based on vote totals from guests. Guests may vote for their project of choice by scanning the QR codes located on the Quarters for Conservation signs on Zoo grounds.
Quarters for Conservation supports three new projects in each annual cycle. Projects are proposed, vetted, and championed by Zoo Atlanta team members.
Quarters for Conservation projects for 2022
Colobus Conservation, Kenya: Rapid development following road construction exposed wildlife to new threats of habitat fragmentation, increased traffic, and exposed power lines. As a result, the local population of Angolan colobus monkeys, a species currently classified as Vulnerable, declined. Colobus Conservation works in partnership with Kenya Wildlife Services to deliver conservation awareness campaigns, mitigate wildlife traffic accidents, protect wildlife habitat, and provide economic opportunities to local communities.
Quarters for Conservation support from Zoo Atlanta will help to maintain 32 “colobridges” that allow colobus monkeys to safely access forest areas on either side of the road.
The Zoo Atlanta Quarters for Conservation Champion for Colobus Conservation is Small Primate Keeper Kathryn Grace. Zoo Atlanta is home to a thriving breeding troop of Angolan colobus monkeys, housed in the Monkeys of Makokou complex in the Zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest.
Project Gorilla Fernan-Vaz (PGFV), Gabon: Western lowland gorillas could become extinct in as few as 20 years if the current trend of population decline continues. The biggest threats to their survival are habitat loss, poaching, and disease.
PGFV works to study and protect local gorilla habitat and operates a sanctuary that provides daily care to orphaned and displaced gorillas.
Quarters for Conservation support from Zoo Atlanta will help to enable conservation research, education outreach, and daily operations of the PGFV gorilla sanctuary.
The Zoo Atlanta Quarters for Conservation Champion for PGFV is Gorilla Keeper Sara Fee. Zoo Atlanta is home to one of North America’s largest populations of western lowland gorillas and has risen to international leadership in the care and behavioral study of these great apes.
VulPro, South Africa: African vultures are in crisis. As a result of poisoning, poaching, habitat loss, and power line collisions, most vulture species native to southern Africa face a high risk of extinction in the wild – introducing an equally high risk for the ecosystems in which these birds are vital players.
VulPro aims to protect vulture populations through rehabilitating injured birds and bolstering wild populations by releasing birds bred in human care back into the wild.
Quarters for Conservation support from Zoo Atlanta will help to enable the expansion of VulPro’s breeding program to include hooded vultures and lappet-faced vultures. Zoo Atlanta is home to both species. Hooded vultures are classified as Critically Endangered; lappet-faced vultures are classified as Endangered.
The Zoo Atlanta Quarters for Conservation Champion for the program is Lead Keeper of Ambassador Animals Christina Lavallee.
Projects previously supported by Zoo Atlanta through Quarters for Conservation are Asociación Armonía (Bolivia); Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (Borneo); Drill Ranch (Nigeria and Cameroon); the East Africa Vulture Project (Kenya); Elephants for Africa (Botswana); Giraffe Conservation Foundation (Africa); the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (Brazil); Lion Guardians (Kenya and Tanzania); Project Bush Dog (Argentina); Project Golden Frog (Panama); Rainforest Trust (Madagascar); Save the Giants (Guyana); the Tiger Conservation Campaign (Sumatra); the Turtle Survival Alliance’s Radiated Tortoise Reintroduction Project (Madagascar); and the Xerxes Society of Invertebrate Conservation’s Pollinator Conservation Program (United States).
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.