Helping to sustain populations of declining zoo animals
Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global announce a new a partnership to replenish animal populations facing threats to their numbers. The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife will devise strategies to ensure sustainable populations of unique and endangered zoo animals. Located in New Orleans, the Alliance will be a haven for more than two dozen mammal and bird species that are declining in population.
“San Diego Zoo Global is delighted to partner with the Audubon Nature Institute to set up a breeding center for unique and endangered species that we hope will be a model for collaborative efforts in the future,” said Douglas G. Myers, president of San Diego Zoo Global. “This collaboration unites organizations located at opposite ends of the United States in a joint effort of preservation.”
The Alliance will be housed on a 1,000-acre property at Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center. It will be equipped with enclosures for species that have declining populations including whooping cranes, okapis, bongos and Masai giraffes. In the future, Alliance partners envision the facility will become an international center for creating populations of animals that will be self-sustaining.
“This groundbreaking partnership between the San Diego Zoo and Audubon Nature Institute will allow us to establish a one-of-a-kind resource for zoos and aquariums to rebuild animal collections that are in danger of disappearing,’’ said Audubon Nature Institute president and CEO Ron Forman. “By joining forces on this project, we will put to work our shared expertise in assisted reproduction techniques and behavioral sciences to develop breeding and husbandry protocols that ensure long-term success.’’
The Alliance’s creation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the zoo and aquarium industry by ensuring that the animals that instill a lifelong appreciation for wildlife and conservation today will engage and inspire future generations of visitors. Construction is underway now, and the breeding program is anticipated to begin sometime in 2014.