Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center
Since 1993, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center has worked to boost dwindling populations of disappearing animal species. In large, minimally-developed enclosures, species such as sandhill cranes, whooping cranes, several species of endangered storks, clouded leopards, Mexican grey wolves, red wolves, bongo antelope and eland have lived and bred in seclusion.
The Survival Center is operated by Audubon Nature Institute and sits on 1,200 acres of U.S. Coast Guard and City of New Orleans land along the Mississippi River. It includes undeveloped acreage around Wilderness Park, a protected archaeological dig site and it is also home base for programs such as Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, where reproductive research produced dozens of world’s firsts in areas such as breeding of wild felids.
The newest program to launch at the Survival Center is Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife, a partnership between Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global. This program will devise strategies to ensure sustainable populations of zoo animals as a haven for more than two dozen mammal and bird species that are declining in population. Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife is located on 400 acres of the Survival Center campus. It plans to enclose large natural-habitat holding areas for groups of herding animals and large-bodied birds with minimal disruption to the surrounding forest while preserving existing naturally wild areas.
Other programs at the Survival Center include:
- Audubon Aquatic Center — Providing support to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas for quarantine, breeding programs and animal rehabilitation in conjunction with the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program.
- Coastal Wildlife Center – Protecting, conserving and promoting the Gulf coast and its wildlife.
- Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) – Working to assure our region’s seafood is sustainable and providing leadership in the field of responsible management.
- Mississippi Sandhill Crane Recovery Program – The Survival Center has dedicated approximately eight acres to house, breed, and raise Mississippi sandhill cranes, assisting in preventing the extinction of this rare North American crane subspecies.
- Whooping Crane Program – Ongoing work in rescuing North America’s most endangered bird earned Audubon Nature Institute and three other organizations a prestigious award in 2016—the North American Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Whooping Crane Recovery Program sparked encouraging progress for this species through collaboration in innovative conservation science and breeding. Generous donors like Chevron, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Audubon Nature Institute have been longtime leaders in whooping crane conservation and recently expanded their partnership with the goal of developing a self-sustaining population of whooping cranes in Louisiana. This partnership is an example of state agencies, non-profit organizations and private industry collaborating to leverage their strengths to achieve measurable conservation results and make a significant, historic impact on the future of this endangered species.