EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future. Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate and coordinate cooperation and communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database.
Since 2014, Kolmarden Wildlife Park has been used as a test-site for Project Ngulia, a pilot project in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Kenya, that implements an innovative, cost-effective and bottom-up technological platform. The goal is to digitalize the workflow of the rangers and provide super-eyes and super-ears to the rangers by modern sensor technology, a solution that can also be scaled and replicated in other protected areas. The sensor technology that has been tested in Kolmarden includes thermal cameras, radar, drones, microphone arrays and radio detectors. This has been tested and will be long-term evaluated at Kolmarden before implemented in the field.
A nice concrete example is a new foot-mounted GPS tag that has been evaluated on Kolmarden’s rhino Namakula for more than a year. The software has been updated and the housing made more robust. Both the tag and its influence on Namakula have been checked about twice per week, as part of the husbandry training. As a public demonstrator, a surveillance camera is controlled by the GPS position to follow Namakula and give close-up live video on her all days. Namakula is also a great ambassador for reaching out to the visitors with the otherwise complicated technology information. The Ngulia project is funded by Kolmarden fundraising foundation (KIS).
Picture credit: Kolmarden Zoo