To ensure the survival of endangered species, zoos from around the world have to work in close cooperation. In international and regional StudBooks data is collected for over 1,000 animal species worldwide – from tropical snail species to the Asian Elephant. As part of this cooperation zoos make decisions about which species individuals should be included in and exchanged for breeding programs. In this way zoos help to ensure that significant genetic diversity remains so as to strengthen captive populations and to ultimately contribute to the survival of that species. One of the cooperating zoos is responsible for keeping the respective StudBook.
Zoo Leipzig is responsible for: the International StudBooks for Tigers (since 1973), for Anoas (since 1986) and for Maned Wolves (since 2010),
Zoo Leipzig supports the „Endangered Primate Rescue Center“ (EPRC) in the Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. Since 1993 the EPRC has been confiscating illegally kept and often critically endangered primates and rehabilitating them for reintroduction to the wild. Initially, several zookeepers from Leipzig helped to set up the project and since 2002 Zoo Leipzig gave financial support. Since 2007 Zoo Leipzig has been involved in training local keepers and fully adopted the responsibilty for the station in 2013.
Since 2001 Zoo Leipzig has been a member of the „Wild Chimpanzee Foundation“ (WCF) and supports the Foundation with regular donations. The founder of the WCF is Professor Christoph Boesch from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. For over 20 years he has been conducting research on the chimpanzees of the Tai National Park on the Ivory Coast – and aims to create an appreciation of these great apes among local inhabitants living within the National Park. A theatrical play about the impacts of hunting bush meat regularly attracts thousands of spectators. The conservation education effort seems to be taking effect as confirmed by follow-up questionnaires.
Small animal species also need to be conserved when threatened with extinction: There are only two known species of Darwin’s Frogs (measuring only a few centimetres) in its homeland of South America. One is considered to be extinct while the other is classed as critically endangered. Since 2005 Zoo Leipzig has therefore been supporting a research project on Darwin’s Frogs – and since 2009 it has been operating a breeding and research station at the University of Concepcion (Chile). Preliminary results are promising: Up until the beginning of 2013 over 160 Darwin’s Frogs had been bred in captivity.
The Sabah rhino is critically endangered with probably less than ten individuals of this subspecies of the Sumatran rhino remaining in the world. Its distribution is now restricted to two protected areas on Borneo. Zoo Leipzig together with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (IZW) supports a breeding station for Rhinos in Sabah (Malaysia). The provincial government in Sabah have also recognized the importance of protecting this species. In addition to the breeding program, ecotourism is being encouraged so that the project can continue to run independently. Furthermore, Zoo Leipzig is supporting a reforestation project
Compared with the number of threatened animal species, there have only been a handful of successful reintroduction projects. Due to the fact that these need to be accompanied by scientific research over many years, they can be very complex and expensive. Zoo Leipzig has been supporting this work for decades by maintaining species gene pools with significant genetic diversity and providing surplus animals for reintroductions. In this way Zoo Leipzig has already been able to provide animal species from Leipzig for reintroductions including the European wild cat, the Eagle Owl, the Little Owl, Przewalski’s Horse, the Oryx dammah and the White Stork.
There has been a dramatic increase in human intervention with nature. Mankind has destroyed the habitats of many animal species or threatens their very existence by hunting and overfishing. Without an intact environment the existence of mankind is also threatened. Consequently, the conservation of biodiversity has become one of the most pressing topics of our time. Learn how Zoo Leipzig has been committed for decades to the global conservation of species and how you can help.
Every donation helps!
Support the conservation of global biodiversity with your donation. Contribute to our work on species conservation at Zoo Leipzig. Upon request we will send you a receipt for your donation.
Our bank account for donations:
Bank: Sparkasse Leipzig
IBAN: DE 26 8605 5592 110 0152 110