It’s an important part of what modern zoos do.
As well as the conservation work we do through our breeding programmes, we partner with several conservation organisations and charities to help the wild cousins of our animals.
It’s not just about raising money, although we do that too. It’s about raising awareness amongst you, our half a million visitors, about the threats facing animals and what you can do to help. Here’s some of the people we’re doing great things with.
Wildlife Vets International (WVI)
We’re supporting WVI’s Amur leopard reintroduction project. There are fewer than 35 Amur leopards left in the steppes, or grasslands, of Russia. The biggest threats they face are poaching, habitat destruction and infectious diseases transmitted from domestic animals, such as dogs.
The money we’ve raised has funded air travel for zoo vets and bought vital equipment to health check the wild population.
Barbary Macaque Awareness and Conservation (BMAC)
We’ve been supporting BMAC’s work in Morocco for a number of years. The Barbary macaque, which you can see at Folly Farm, is at risk of extinction in the wild. The biggest threat facing them is being illegally taken from the wild for the exotic pet trade.
All of our macaques were illegally taken from the wild and kept as pets before joining us as part of a rehoming project from a sanctuary in the Netherlands. Sian Waters is the volunteer executive director for BMAC and she’s from South Wales. Sian and her team carry out vital work with children in Morocco to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the macaque and not accepting money to steal them.
We help fund the ‘Monkey Bus’ which goes around schools and communities to spread the conservation message and their vital field surveys to monitor the wild population of macaques.
Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC)
Registered charity number: 1174029
We’re helping NARC conserve the marine wildlife off our very own coast here in Pembrokeshire. NARC’s volunteer divers have undertaken over 100 underwater clean up’s collecting marine litter. They’ve pulled up everything from fishing tackle, lost lobster pots, car batteries, bikes and even the kitchen sink! We help fund some of NARC’s dives and we also welcome them on park as part of our World Penguin Day event to raise awareness and additional funds.
Safina Lion Conservation Fund
Registered charity number: 1172709
We’re helping the Safina Lion Conservation Fund to raise awareness of, and funds for, lion conservation. Safina works with several conservation organisations working to protect lions in the wild. Their first project was working with Lion Guardians. The Lion Guardians approach involves recruiting young, traditionalist Maasai and other pastoralist warriors to learn the skills needed to effectively mitigate conflict between people and wildlife, monitor lion populations and help their own communities live with lions. We’re pleased Safina is using the funds we’ve raised to sponsor one of these warriors by donating the money needed to pay their yearly salary. Safina’s current Lion Guardian is Kuya Kipampa.
Red Panda Network
Registered charity number: 261103671
We’re lucky to have a breeding pair of red panda at Folly Farm as part of a European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP), so we’re already doing our bit for the captive population. But helping their wild cousins is an equally important part of our conservation work. We’ve partnered with the Red Panda Network to raise awareness of, and money for, the vital work they do to monitor and protect the declining population of wild red pandas.
Our Forest Guardian
We’re proud to sponsor Menuka Bhattarai, a thirty year-old local from Phawakhola village in Taplejung, a remote hilly district in Eastern Nepal and one of the major habitats of endangered red pandas. As a ‘Forest Guardian’, Menuka is employed by the Red Panda Network to monitor and protect red panda habitats, as well as educate communities on red panda conservation.
Menuka admits that locals, including herself, were not aware of the importance of red pandas and the threats they face through human disturbance to their habitats. Locals feared this species and used to throw stones at them when they entered the villages. Now, she not only works to protect the red panda but she’s also an ambassador for female conservationists worldwide as the subject of the award-winning film, ‘The Firefox Guardian’.
World Land Trust (WLT)
The World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity that takes direct action to save rainforest and other wildlife habitats. They were founded in 1989 and through their work nearly half a million acres of rainforest and other threatened habitat have been saved with a further 2.5 million acres now under protection agreements. The WLT depends on public donations.
Save the Rhino
Save the Rhino is a large organisation who work with partners to support endangered rhinos in Africa and Asia. Their aim is to protect and increase rhino numbers and population distribution. One of the ways in which they help is by ensuring that local communities in key rhino areas benefit from employment, education, outreach and the sustainable use of natural resources to try and reduce the demand for rhino horn.