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.
Project BioBrasil was launched in 2001 by the Antwerp Zoo Centre for Research and Conservation, with the aim of contributing to the long-term survival of Golden-headed lion tamarins (GHLTs) in Brazil. The objective of the project is to contribute to the development and implementation of a science-based conservation action plan for the species, in collaboration with all key stakeholders.
The establishment of the project was instigated by the 1997 PHVA for Leontopithecus, which revealed that safeguarding habitat and increasing forest connectivity was key to the long-term survival chances of GHLTs. However, developing an efficient action plan required more information on GHLT biology and their ecological requirements. Since most GHLT populations live in highly fragmented and disturbed forests or shaded cocoa plantations, targeted research was considered a priority. To this end, Antwerp Zoo developed a multidisciplinary research programme aimed at investigating the effects of habitat fragmentation and disturbance on GHLT ecology, and to gather the information needed to develop efficient conservation actions. In addition to conservation research and assisting the development of an action plan, BioBrasil is running an environmental education program with local communities, to strengthen them as key stakeholders, and encourage participation in the elaboration and implementation of future conservation plans.
Picture credit: Kristiaan D'Août