While working hard to conserve endangered species worldwide it is easy to over look what's on our own doorstep. We have projects aiming to conserve the biodiversity of the local area.
Conservation at Drayton Manor
Modern zoos serve as shop windows for the many dedicated conservationists throughout the world who are battling to save species and habitats. We are currently experiencing the planets sixth and worst extinction crisis but this is the first one caused by one species – us!
Many experts believe that we could lose 50% of the world's animals and plants within the next 50 years, over 150 species a day are becoming extinct. Iconic habitats such as the Amazon rainforest, which is an important source of our oxygen, is being cut down at the rate of one and a half acres per second! Even if you have little interest in wildlife, these statistics are truly shocking and will threaten our own survival – we are sawing off the very tree branch we are sitting on.
How do Zoos Help?
Zoos have both a legal and ethical responsibility to conserve species and are an increasing part of the ‘one plan’ approach to conservation where a range of interested parties come together to save species. Zoos employ multi skilled scientists, veterinarians and animal specialists who can greatly assist conservation projects. British and Irish Zoos alone provide over £11 million to field conservation work each year, this figure is growing and is an increasingly important source of reliable funding for global conservation. Ask anybody who works in a zoo why they do their job, inevitably it is because they are passionate about conservation.
Captive Breeding Programmes
Captive breeding programmes have one goal which is to maintain genetically healthy populations of animals. Animals are carefully managed to ensure that only unrelated animals are permitted to breed, the population size is controlled to match the number of zoos that can keep the animals and has balanced numbers of males and females of the right ages. Often, the aim is simply to keep a self-sustaining population of zoo animals so that zoos will not have to go to the wild to collect animals to place on exhibit. If the animal is in danger of becoming extinct in the wild, zoos can maintain a ‘safety net’ population, this is particularly true if the factors causing the extinction in the wild are not able to be controlled. Occasionally, zoos provide animals to be reintroduced into the wild, this must be done very carefully but some good examples of species that have been helped include Scimitar horned oryx, Golden lion tamarins, Socorro doves, Edwards pheasants, Partula Snails and many more.
People enjoy visiting well cared for, happy animals, particularly if there is a conservation story to tell – after all that is why 24 million of us visited British and Irish Zoos last year. Studies have shown that zoo visitors do learn about animals and their conservation and hopefully feel empowered to make choices that will benefit wildlife. In addition to lots of information about the very special animals we care for at Drayton Manor, we draw our guests’ attention to issues such as invasive species e.g. the Asian Hornet and Palm Oil. We have an education team that run clubs and taught sessions on a range of subjects including conservation. It is particularly important that we motivate the next generation to become conservation advocates.
Habitat Destruction – Global biodiversity is declining and habitats are being degraded and fragmented, this puts tremendous pressure on wildlife. Most living things are dependent upon other living things as part of the web of life. Cutting down a single tree has an impact not only on the tree but thousands of other creatures that depend on that tree for their existence. Oceans, forests, deserts and even that arctic ice caps are being further compromised by pollution placing even more pressure on wildlife.
Invasive Species – Animals and plants that are introduced into places where they do not normally occur can cause havoc with native ecosystems and have been responsible for many extinctions. Cats, rats, rabbits, goats, brown tree snakes, cane toads are just some of the very long list of invasive animals and plants that are responsible for wiping out species and habitats.
Over Exploitation – Natural resources such as water, fossil fuel, timber & fish are frequently harvested at unsustainable levels. With a rising global population of 7.5 billion people there is a growing demand for resources.
Global Warming – it is an accepted fact that the world is getting warmer and this is being caused by mankind, notably the burning of fossil fuels. The result is rising sea levels, shrinking rainforests and expanding deserts that will impact many of the world’s poorest people. Animals and plants that cannot adapt to the changes in our climate will be forced to migrate or will simply die out.
We currently provide financial support for the following conservation organisations linked directly to our living collection:
- WildCats Conservation Alliance (formerly 21st Century Tiger)
- Red Panda Network
- Selematkan Yaki
- Projecto Titi
- IPE – Lowland Tapir Initiative
- World Parrot Trust
- Save the Gouldian Fund
- Asian Turtle Programme
- EAZA Silent Forest Campaign
- BIAZA Helping Habitats
A small proportion of your entrance ticket, fundraising events and money placed in our wishing well and money spinners all contribute to the vital conservation work being carried out by our conservation partners.
Woodland Nature Reserve
As part of the DMP ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ we have been restoring a 17 acre woodland site on the estate which was once home to the ‘Duck Decoy’ of Sir Robert Peel. We have removed thousands of invasive non-native plants such as Rhododendron and planted over a thousand native trees. All wildlife using the woodland is recorded and increasingly we are using this area for school children to learn about our amazing native wildlife. In addition to woodland birds, there are otters, grass snakes and numerous wild flowers that call this area home.
Barberry Carpet Moth
DMP is a key partner in a project to help the Barberry Carpet Moth, now restricted to a small number of sites in the UK, we are planting its main food plant the Barberry on our estate and this is part of a coordinated planting scheme involving roadsides, canals, zoos and botanic gardens to join up the isolated populations so that this special little moth can thrive once more in the UK.
Look carefully and you will see nest boxes, bat boxes, insect hotels and other examples of how we try to give wildlife a helping hand.
What can you do?
The truth is we all need to do something; this is a global crisis! If everybody did a little, the impact of millions of people working together would be enormous.
- Recycle – DMP is ‘zero to landfill’
- Use less fuel,
Give wildlife a home
No matter the size of your home, there is always some way of proving a home for wildlife. Ponds, small patches of weeds, piles of twigs all provide valuable habitat for native species. Certain plants such as Buddleia, provide nectar for insects such as butterflies, nest boxes and bat boxes also attract wildlife. Lots of websites give great ideas about attracting wildlife to your backyard.
Shop smart – we do
The websites of most companies state their green credentials – if they don’t care about the future of our planet – don’t give them your business
Many consumer goods such as fish, timber products, tea and coffee, palm oil (which is in many foods, make up and toiletries) all have certification schemes
There are lots of conservation organisations large and small battling hard to save species and habitats, give them whatever you can spare. When you visit the zoo, put your spare change in our conservation wishing well – it all gets sent to the conservation projects we support . If you prefer to volunteer your time, there are lots of local conservation projects looking for volunteers to help them out. Lastly, you can sign petitions and become an advocate for conservation from the comfort of your own home, let your MP or councillor know that you care about conservation and it will influence the way you vote.
Some conservation quotes:
“Only the most arrogant, short-sighted, and spiritually bereft of our species would say that, at any cost to other species, we need only worry about our own.”
― Timothy Walker, Plant Conservation: Why It Matters and How It Works
“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”
― Edward O. Wilson
“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
― Rachel Carson
“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”
― David Attenborough
zoo work experience
Work Placements & Volunteering
Applications for work experience placements and volunteering opportunities are currently closed until further notice. Information regarding our requirements and the application process will be detailed soon, please check back regularly.
Please note: to be eligible for a work experience placement you must be 18+ and currently studying towards an animal related course at college (second year of level 3) or university. We do not offer veterinary clinical placements.
Any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research at the Zoo
At Drayton Manor we encourage college, undergraduate and postgraduate students to carry out research projects based in our zoo.
Research can range from Animal Behaviour to Environmental Enrichment. Research is important to us as a zoo, as it allows us to understand how to provide the animals with the best level of care possible and make sure that our animals are both physically and mentally healthy.
Some animals at Drayton Manor Zoo; Lar Gibbons, Ringtail Lemurs, Sumatran Tigers, Marmosets and Tamarins, Brazilian Tapirs, Northern Lynxes, Fishing Cats, Meerkats, Snakes, Lizards, Kirk's Dik Dik Tortoises, Parrots and many more.
If you would like to carry out research at Drayton Manor Zoo, we would encourage you to read through our research guidelines as well as the research guidelines published by BIAZA* (www.biaza.org.uk) first.
If you have any questions about conducting a research project at Drayton Manor Zoo or any other queries relating to research please feel free to contact Anne Fletcher, Research Officer by email: email@example.com
*Drayton Manor Zoo is a member of BIAZA - The British and Irish Association of zoos and aquariums.
This is a registered charity working together for wildlife.
Their aims are:
- Inspire people to help conserve the natural world.
- Participate in effective co-operation conservation programmes.
- Deliver the highest quality environmental education training and research.
- Achieve the highest standards of animal care and welfare.
New information coming soon