Endangered Species Day at Zoo Atlanta
Conservation action is at the core of a day highlighting species under threat on May 12.
Join a day devoted to some of the planet’s rarest animals – and the everyday actions individuals can take to help save species and their habitats – at Zoo Atlanta’s observance of Endangered Species Day on Saturday, May 12, 2018.
Family activity stations around the Zoo will focus on conservation action and many of the simple lifestyle habits that encourage preservation of natural resources and promote positive change for wildlife. Highlights will also include special Keeper Talks; children’s crafts; and meet-and-greets with costume characters, including Zhu Zhu the giant panda mascot and Turbo the tiger mascot.
Zoo Atlanta will also reveal the three new projects that will benefit from the 2018-2019 program year of Quarters for Conservation, which contributes 25 cents of every Zoo admission ticket to conservation programs. Projects benefiting from the 2017-2018 program year are the East Africa Vulture Project, the Tiger Conservation Campaign and Project Bush Dog.
More than 60 of the species in the Zoo’s care are classified as critically endangered, endangered or threatened. Critically endangered species represented at Zoo Atlanta include but are not limited to the African slender-snouted crocodile; Bali mynah; black-and-white-ruffed lemur; bog turtle; Bornean orangutan; lemur leaf frog; lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo; Pan’s box turtle; Sumatran orangutan; Sumatran tiger; and western lowland gorilla. One species at Zoo Atlanta, the Panamanian golden frog, is considered extinct in the wild.
To protect the long-term viability of animal populations housed in North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta is an active member of many AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) programs. SSPs exist to ensure that zoological populations remain healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining for future generations.
Conservation programs and partnerships supported by Zoo Atlanta are at work now for species and their habitats in countries around the globe. Zoo Atlanta has contributed more than $10 million in support of wild giant pandas in one of its longest-term investments in wildlife conservation. The Zoo serves as the headquarters of its longtime partner in gorilla conservation, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, and the Zoo provides pro-bono space and resources to support the Fossey Fund’s work in the field for gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Zoo Atlanta is a Platinum Supporter of the AZA Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Conservation Initiative, a collective effort to preserve wild ape populations and to increase and sustain financial support from zoos for their conservation.
In addition to Quarters for Conservation, which was launched at the Zoo in 2016, Zoo Atlanta 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 around the world.
Programs and partnerships are not limited to those on other continents. Zoo Atlanta supports the Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s Jekyll Island Causeway Conservation Program by rearing native diamondback terrapins at the Zoo until they are old enough to be returned to the wild on Jekyll Island. The Zoo is also a longtime collaborator in a multi-organizational effort to reintroduce native eastern indigo snakes to the wild in Alabama’s Conecuh National Forest.
Endangered Species Day activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and are free with general admission; free for Zoo Atlanta Members and children under 3. Visit zooatlanta.org for full event details. For more on conservation efforts at Zoo Atlanta, visit here.