Endangered Species DayMay 15, 2015
*This article was updated in July,2016 to reflect current numbers.
As we celebrate Endangered Species Day today, it serves as a reminder of the vital work that zoos and aquariums are doing worldwide, as well as how much further we must go to protect the endangered species that that are so important to our ecosystems.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has introduced a campaign to raise awareness for that pupose. SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction will focus on preserving extinct species, while restoring them to healthy and sustainable populations in the wild. This campain aims to "[engage] the 180 million annual aquarium and zoo visitors and partners across the world to protect habitat, decrease threats, and restore populations to sustainable levels."
There are 230 zoos and aquariums linked together through AZA- accreditation, creating a diverse network of facilities, knowledge, and practice. The Calgary Zoo is one of them, and we are proud to care for three critically endangered species, nine endangered species, as well as 15 vulnerable species and nine near-threatened species. We also participate in a large number of SSP (Species Surival Plans). In fact, 37% of the animals at the Calgary Zoo are involved in an SSP breeding program.
Are your favourite animals at the zoo endangered or threatened? Check the list below.
Critically Endangered: (4)
Western lowland gorilla
Vancouver Island marmot
*The Bactrian camels in our care are a different species than the wild ones that are critically endangered.
Endangered species: (9)
Northern rockhopper penguin
East African grey-crowned crane
Siberian (Amur) Tiger
Przewalski's wild horse
Vulnerable species: (15)
Three-toed box turtle
Giant Asian pond turtle
African pancake tortoise
West African dwarf crocodile
Southern rockhopper penguin
Hartmann's mountain zebra
Siberian musk deer
Greater sage grouse
African straw-coloured fruit bat