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 whooping cranes, Mississippi sandhill 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, operated by Audubon Nature Institute, is located on 1,200 acres of U.S. Coast Guard and City of New Orleans land along the Mississippi River. It includes undeveloped acreage around Audubon Wilderness Park and it has served as home base for conservation 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 devises 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. ASW is located on 400 acres of the Survival Center campus. It includes 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.
ASW includes Audubon’s longstanding whooping crane program. With generous donors like Chevron and partners like the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Audubon Nature Institute has been a longtime leader in whooping crane conservation. Efforts to save North America’s most endangered bird from extinction earned Audubon Nature Institute and three other organizations the prestigious 2016 North American Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Audubon recently expanded its program with the goal of developing a self-sustaining wild 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.
Other programs at the Survival Center include:
- 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.
- Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN) – Protecting, conserving and promoting the Gulf coast and its wildlife.
- Audubon Aquatic Center — Providing support to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas for quarantine, breeding programs, and animal rehabilitation in conjunction with the Coastal Wildlife Network.
- 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.
- Mississippi Sandhill Crane Recovery Program – Assisting in preventing the extinction of this rare North American crane subspecies by dedicating approximately eight acres to housing, breeding, and raising Mississippi sandhill cranes for wild release.