Helping to sustain populations of declining zoo animals
September 28, 2017
Groundbreaking conservation partnership between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global launches in New Orleans.
The Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife is a partnership between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global to devise strategies to ensure sustainable populations of unique and endangered zoo animals. Located on the West Bank of New Orleans at Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, the Alliance is a haven for more than two dozen mammal and bird species that are declining in population. It consists of large natural-habitat enclosures for groups of herding animals and large-bodied birds that provide spaces more amenable to large-herd and forest breeding while preserving existing naturally wild areas.
The project echoes the original purpose of the Survival Center, which opened in 1993 as an off-site breeding and research facility. While the West Bank campus spans more than 1,000 acres, the ASW occupies approximately 425 acres of the space. It is equipped with enclosures for species that have declining populations including whooping cranes, okapi, bongo, and giraffe.
Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global are using our shared expertise in assisted reproduction techniques and behavioral sciences to develop breeding and husbandry protocols to ensure long-term success. Through this groundbreaking partnership, we are establishing a one-of-a-kind resource for zoos and aquariums to rebuild animal collections that are in danger of disappearing. Since opening in 2017, ASW has welcomed the births and hatchings of whooping cranes, giraffe, eland antelope, sable antelope, eastern bongo, yellow-backed duiker, and more.
ASW will continue building on its success by adding species, expanding habitats, and refining reproductive techniques. Alliance partners established the facility with the long-term goal of becoming an international center for creating self-sustaining animal populations and a model to other conservation organizations.