Posted on 05/09/2016 at 10:53 AM by Blog Author
Your Zoo is Saving Animals From Extinction.
We are facing one of the greatest extinction events since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Extinction is a natural process occurring at a natural “background” rate of about 1-5 species per year (Center for Biological Diversity). However scientists now estimate that rate has been amplified by 1,000 to 10,000 times to where we are now loosing dozens of species every day. 30 to 50 percent of all species could be heading toward extinction by mid-century.
So what can zoos and aquariums do? The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) have 230 accredited members. Across that AZA community, “we have more wildlife experts, more animals and a greater opportunity to engage the public than any other entity,” (aza.org). AZA institutions have 750,000 animals that represent 6,000 different species, reach an average of 180 million visitors every year and invest over $160 million annually towards field conservation to save animals in the wild. We also have a proven track record with 30+ species such as the American bison and California condor brought back from the brink of extinction.
Because of this, AZA rolled out a new campaign in 2014 called SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction. The mission of this campaign is to focus the conservation efforts of the 230 accredited zoos and aquariums to saving 100 of the most vulnerable species from going extinct, 10 species at a time.
By pooling together all of our resources and concentrating on a specific set of species, we believe we can get the highest return for our efforts, and since many species have the same threats (habitat loss, poaching, pollution, over fishing, etc.) saving one species can lead to saving several others. The first 10 species on the list are:
Blank Park Zoo is proud to be a part of this campaign. To learn more about SAFE and these 10 species, come to our Members Only event: Endangered Species Night on May 20th for fun games and educational activities! And remember, each time you visit Blank Park Zoo, a portion of your admission prices goes directly to save animals in the wild!