Blank Park Zoo is proud to be an organization committed to conservation. Blank Park Zoo Continually works to raise funds to support organizations and projects around the world dedicated to the same conservation ideals.
The Blank Park Zoo is involved in AZA’s SAFE program, which allows for all AZA accredited zoos and aquariums to work together to save species on the brink of extinction.
AZA SAFE will focus on 10 different species, saving them from extinction: African penguins, Asian elephants, black rhinoceros, cheetahs, gorillas, sea turtles, sharks, vaquitas, Western pond turtles, and whooping cranes.
Blank Park Zoo is proud to be an organization committed to conservation. Blank Park Zoo continually works to raise funds to support organizations and projects around the world dedicated to the same conservation ideals.
Here are many of the projects we have supported and the animals we are saving in the WILD.
The International Rhino Foundation helps to protect threatened rhino populations in the wild, as well as supports research improving the chances of long-term survival of all rhino species. Black rhinos remain critically endangered in the wild, but help from zoos is allowing for conservation messages to be spread all across the United States and even the globe. In May 2013, the Blank Park Zoo opened the Jaama Kwa Africa exhibit, which highlights the Prairie Meadows Rhino Savanna. Ayana and Kiano are the two black rhinos that act as the Zoo’s ambassadors to their wild black rhino counterparts.
Prairies for Agriculture was added to the Blank Park Zoo’s Coins for Conservation program in 2016. Tallgrass Prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth. Although Tallgrass Prairies used to blanket thousands of square miles of central North America, less than 4% of this ecosystem remains. In states such as Iowa and Illinois, less than 0.1% of Tallgrass Prairies are left, and the few remaining small patches face enormous problems.
Prairies for Agriculture is working to improve Midwestern farms and the environment by increasing the use of diverse, native prairie plantings to create agricultural and environmental benefits including the production of biofuels.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations and (sub) species in the wild.
Blank Park Zoo provides financial support to GCF through Coins for Conservation. These donations support the ongoing work on the Giraffe Conservation Status Report. This project gathers current and historical data on giraffe numbers, distribution and threats from across their range in Africa, working collaboratively with African governments, NGOs, Universities and independent researchers.
Blank Park Zoo is a proud partner of 96 Elephants. This program is named for the ninety-six elephants that die every day in African due to poaching. If current trends continue, African forest elephants will be extinct in less than 10 years. The United States is second, only behind China, in its demand for ivory.
We have the ability to save elephants and rhinos, even here in Iowa. The Blank Park Zoo is currently working to raise awareness and ‘political will’ to decrease the demand for ivory and rhino horn in our state and nation-wide.
The Hornbill Research Foundation works not only to protect Thailand’s hornbills, but to also empower local communities in their success. Former poachers, with extensive knowledge regarding the illegal trade as well as the hornbill species, are now employed by the foundation to protect hornbill nests and gather research.
Monetary support of the Hornbill Research Foundation, provided by the Blank Park Zoo, pays for the “adoption” of hornbill nests, protecting them and ensuring survival.
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is an action-oriented global partnership that is committed to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century. To achieve this, the TSA:
Conservation Fusion is an international non-profit organization. Established in September 2010, Conservation Fusion engages with individuals and communities in education about the world's unique biodiversity. Conservation Fusion’s current focus is the island of Madagascar. Grant funds from the Blank Park Zoo were put to good use at the Itampolo village. This area is one of the few strongholds for the beautiful radiated tortoise. Sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs also are found in this area, and Conservation Fusion used Blank Park Zoo funds to create a mural on the local school and purchase supplies for environmental education. The children of Itampolo village made tortoise puppets, learned songs with environmental messages, role played with the lemur puppets, and danced like the sifakas.
Health in Harmony is an organization protecting the biodiversity of rainforests by educating Bornean children about the importance of the rainforests and how their choices impact these important lands. It fosters a healthy world by investing in the link between human and environmental health at the community level. The project empowers local communities to preserve threatened natural resources while serving their health needs.
Funds from the Rainforest Parking meter go to the Center for Ecological Survival and 100% is used to purchase land in the rainforest or areas of coral reef. For Blank Park Zoo’s participation in this program, we received an AZA Conservation Award.
The International Snow Leopard Trust is the world’s leading authority on the study and protection of the endangered snow leopard. They have seen amazing success working with local communities to eliminate poaching, provide positive economic solutions for sustainable income and protect the habitat of the endangered snow leopard.
Blank Park Zoo has provided monetary support (since 1997), which has assisted in upgrading Snow Leopard Information Management System (SLIMS), one of the most important tools available for researching these elusive cats, as well as to support educational conservation programs in the villages of Inilchek and Ak-Shyirak in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Blank Park Zoo has joined forces with Iowa Department of Natural Resources to trans-locate 100 greater prairie chickens from Nebraska per year, for five years to southern Iowa and northern Missouri. When this project first began, there were an estimated 30 birds remaining on public and private lands. Blank Park Zoo funded GPS tracking devices to conduct research on prairie chicken populations.
The Blank Park Zoo supports the Tiger Conservation Campaign through financial means as well as helping with education efforts so that tigers will be around for many years to come. The Tiger Conservation Campaign is a conservation program that is working on gathering resources, research, and information about the diseases that affect tigers and are trying to find ways to prevent disease outbreak. They are also working on anti-poaching efforts, tiger-themed education and outreach while trying to combat wildlife crime and human conflict.
The Ruaha Carnivore Project works together with local communities and the Tanzanian authorities to develop effective conservation strategies for large carnivores in the globally important Ruaha landscape.
Blank Park Zoo supports the Marine Mammal Center in honor of our seals and sea lions. Their mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Their core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community.
Dr. Dee Boersma, with her students, has studied the largest Magellanic penguin colony in the world. Monetary support helped purchase satellite tags needed to follow the migration and breeding success of these birds. Such information is critical to penguin survival as it aids in understanding their needs as well as human impacts.
In celebration of Blank Park Zoo's first flamingo chick, the Zoo sponsored a simultaneous census by flamingo researchers in South America. They attempted to survey the James, Andean, and Chilean flamingos as they wintered in the Andes Mountains.
Polar Bears International is the world's leading polar bear conservation group—dedicated to saving polar bears by saving their sea ice habitat. While protecting the habitat, animals such as the harbor seal are also provided protection.
In the field, much of the research conducted by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center focuses on nesting loggerhead sea turtles through nest monitoring, saturation tagging, and human impact assessments. They also participate in a regional genetics study led by University of Georgia researchers, as well as helped establish a diamondback terrapin study.
The Seafood Watch Guides assist consumers in making ocean-friendly seafood selections. This is something we can do, right here in Iowa, to help keep our oceans healthy!
The Foundation's core values are the protection, extension and recovery of Australia's natural areas, with particular focus on rainforests.
These core values are pursued through land acquisition, rehabilitation and resale to forest guardians, re-vegetation of critical forest linkages and through the training and education of people in conservation and land management.
Blank Park Zoo participates in breeding and releasing species back into our local environment. The trumpeter swan re-introduction program is one that has been a success at the Zoo. To date, thirty-six trumpeter swans have been hatched and released from Blank Park Zoo.
Green Gully, 13,000 hectares of rugged wilderness in Australia, is home to an amazing variety of threatened plants and animals. This area is also the largest remaining stronghold of the threatened Brush-tail Rock-wallaby. The Brush-tail Rock-wallaby has been pushed towards extinction by habitat loss and introduced predators. Funds provided by Blank Park Zoo assist in purchasing this land, establishing it as a national park, and thus providing a permanent home for the wallabies.
The work of the Red Panda Network is community-based and benefits the livelihoods of the local people. They partner with local non-profits and community organizations throughout the implementation of red panda conservation programs.
This project was funded by Blank Park Zoo, in honor of Dr. Ben Beck. Funds provided went to support the Associacao Mico-Leao Dourado’s efforts for conservation of golden lion tamarins and their Atlantic Forest habitat in Brazil. This organization is working to reach a viable population of golden lion tamarins in their native habitat in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The program is also working to develop partnerships with local communities to plant forest corridors, linking isolated patches of forest where the tamarins live.
The Rodrigues fruit bat is the most endangered bat in the world. These bats are found only on the tiny island of Rodrigues in the southwestern Indian Ocean. This island has seen terrible destruction of habitat by humans. This project supports environmental education on the island to assist the native peoples with conservation efforts and to teach the importance of native species of plants and animals. Blank Park Zoo received our second AZA Conservation Award for our participation in this project.
Conservation organizations throughout Iowa, assisted by the Iowa DNR, have been working to re-establish the osprey population in the state. Warren County Conservation Board joined the osprey project in 2009. Their Annett Nature Center Osprey Project planned to place four osprey chicks, relocated from Wisconsin. As the chicks were being collected, however, a nest was discovered that had recently been visited by a Great Horned owl. The chick collected from this nest became the unexpected fifth osprey chick at the Annett Nature Center. The chick, referred to as Baby Blue, was a welcome addition, however, funds had only been raised for four chicks. The Blank Park Zoo Conservation Committee was proud to become Baby Blue's sponsor and aid the conservation organization
Project Golden Frog is a conservation consortium among scientific, educational and zoological institutions in the Republic of Panama and the United States joining forces to better understand and protect the declining Panamanian Golden Frog populations. The project also looks for this charismatic species to rally public support for amphibian conservation throughout the Neotropics
Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) sanctuaries have been created throughout Africa to accommodate the staggering numbers of orphaned chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and other endangered primates. They all unite under common ideals, including integrity, transparency, fairness as well as personal and institutional commitment to conservation. Monetary support as well as keeper uniforms and tools have been donated to the sanctuaries.
The Center for Great Apes provides a sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees in need of lifelong care. Many of the center’s residents have been pets by private owners, in the entertainment industry or served as research subjects. As the center was in need of an anesthesia machine, John and Kathy Krogmeier of Blank Park Zoo delivered a machine our clinic no longer needed.
Partners in Conservation is a grass-roots project focusing on conservation and humanitarian programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project also provides educational programs for children and adults addressing local populations and wildlife. During the 2007 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Regional Conference, hosted by the Blank Park Zoo, participants were given handmade bags purchased from Partners in Conservation by the Zoo to support the project and raise awareness.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund provides financial support for conservation and related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA accredited institutions. Projects include those focused on animal health, animal welfare, breeding and reintroduction, education and field conservation.
Uganda’s Kibale National Park is rich in biodiversity that includes many endangered and endemic species of plants and animals. The locals, in search of firewood, began to log illegally within the park boundaries destroying its delicate habitats. The Kibale Community Fuel Wood Forest Project works to protect Kibale National Park by introducing local communities to native, fast-growing species that they can produce as alternate firewood, energy innovations to conserve firewood and also providing education about nature and conservation.
The African Predator Conservation Research Organization is comprised of researchers, primarily in veterinary medicine and genetic fields. The organization is dedicated to the protection of African carnivores including lions, leopards, African wild dogs, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and jackals. Members examine the current viability and health of these animals to evaluate the potential for long-term survival.
The California Wolf Center is dedicated to increase awareness and conservation efforts to protect all wildlife and wild lands by focusing on the history, biology and ecology of the North American Gray Wolf. The center offers education programs, exhibition and reproduction of endangered species as well as studying captive and wild wolf behavior.