Now is a great time to reflect on successes and establish goals for the coming year. Judging by the goals of some of our members below, 2018 is set to be a huge year!
- Continue to build on our visitor experiences and to progress the amazing animal training and husbandry approaches of the Brooklands Zoo Keeper team.
Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
- Continue with wild devil recovery releases of devils from Maria Island into areas requiring population supplementation.
- Progress Founder Project – identifying genetics of devils from the south west Tasmania to determine genetic makeup of devils across Tasmania.
- Our goal in 2018 is to actively promote more zoos and aquariums to pool their tiger conservation efforts through 21st Century Tiger to ensure a 5-10 year funding commitment of their vital activities in Sumatra.
- Our goal in 2018 is to continue to apply the findings of the Living Koala Gene Bank pilot project to provide lasting futures for urbanized koala populations that are suffering from habitat fragmentation, poor health and inbreeding depression using zoo based techniques in small population, disease management and artificial insemination.
Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
- Unfortunately we will be closing our doors for the last time 28th January 2018 after more than 50 years.
- Lots of Orange-bellied parrots on the perch at the end of the breeding season.
- Increasing our involvement in other threatened species programs.
Orana Wildlife Park
- Native Developments – A Maud Island Frog facility is in the final stages of completion. This exhibit will feature a range of amazing amphibians. This will be something special for Orana to hold such precious native fauna for captive breeding research as part of the Recovery Plan. Concept plans for the Park’s next major capital development – a New Zealand Native Centre – are with our architect. This precinct will significantly increase Orana’s capacity to further contribute to native fauna conservation and advocacy.
- Continued exotic species collaboration – This year Orana, Auckland and Monarto collaborated to transfer 6 cheetah into the region from South Africa. We intend to build on such partnerships for further collaboration to facilitate more exotic species transfers for the benefit of the region during 2018 and beyond.
- Opening the Warrawong Sanctuary to the public.
- Selling Peel Zoo.
- Celebrating Perth Zoo’s 120th birthday. The evolution of the Zoo from a menagerie to an organisation committed to saving wildlife will form the basis of community celebrations in 2018.
Pukaha Mount Bruce
- Deployment of another 500 GoodNature A24 self-setting Traps. Not only is Pukaha Mount Bruce at captive breeding and tourist facility, but we also back onto the 942 hectares of the Pukaha reserve. The reserve has been a focus of restoration through the reintroduction of endemic New Zealand species and the protection of remnant populations with focussed pest control (rats, weasels, stoats, ferrets, cats). In addition to the 600 traditional “DoC” traps in the reserve, in 2016 we deployed another 160 GoodNature A24 self-setting traps. As the name suggests the A24 self-resetting multi-species kill trap targeting rats and stoats and only needs to be checked every 6 months compared to monthly with all other traps. This year Pukaha received funding from “Pub Charity” to enable us to purchase another 500 A24’s. We are currently deploying these units around known kokako (a New Zealand wattle bird species) territories to protect nesting birds from both ship rats and stoats. Our goal is to have all the units in the reserve by early 2018!
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
- Raising awareness of the plight of Spotted Handfish with the fish going on display, supported by media and PR activity throughout the year.
- Captive breeding of the Spotted Handfish and writing the husbandry manual with the longer term aim of a breed for release following habitat improvements in the following years.
Taronga Conservation Society
- In 2018, TWPZ and TZ will be finalising our ethical framework for presenting animals with dignity and respect. Taronga‘s vision is to secure a shared future for wildlife and people. With over 4500 animals in our care and 1.7 millions guests visiting annually, we take this vision and our commitment to conservation and animal welfare seriously. Inherent within that, is caring for and presenting wildlife with the greatest respect and dignity, whilst delivering engaging and transformational guest experiences. Taronga believes that all individuals and species have intrinsic value and should be treated with honour and care. To support this philosophy and approach, Taronga has developed key criteria to ensure all animals in our care are presented with respect and dignity. These criteria apply to all aspects of animal-guest experience including: animal encounters, shows, keeper presentations, animals in exhibits, functions, overnight experiences, educational workshops, tours as well as off-site interface such as media, website, and outreach programs.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
- NSW and Taronga has a strong commitment to saving threatened and priority species in the State. In 2017, TWPZ secured funding and commenced work on the development of a 110-Hectare predator – proof sanctuary. The site provides the perfect location for seeding extinct mammal rewilding efforts in NSW and supporting national recovery efforts, such as the National Bilby Recovery Plan. The goals for 2018 will be to finalise licensing for the site and to begin to introduce Bilby selected to maximise genetic and demographic objectives of the Recovery Plan. This site also houses a bank of 30 Plains-wanderer aviaries in support of the Recovery Plan for this species. Early 2018 will see us establishing a population of Plains-wanderer at TWPZ.
- A major goal for 2018 will be highlighting the plight of the African Lion and surrounding communities through the launch of ‘Lion Pridelands’ at TWPZ. With as few as 20,000 lions remaining in the wild and an increase in the conflict between lions and humans, TWPZ is aiming to highlight this to our guests and supporters through a new experience due to be opened in early 2018. The experience features a large 3.5-hectare open expanse where the lion pride of 10 to 15 lions will roam. It will also feature a safari drive experience for visitors in a purpose-built vehicle. The visitor area replicates an African Masai village setting and tells the story of conservancies that are supporting both lions and communities. Lion Pridelands will highlight the importance of balance and coexistence with nature.
- Taronga will launch the Taronga Institute Science and Learning in 2018. The goal of the Taronga Institute is to be a global centre of excellence for conservation science and learning. The project will enable Taronga to build on existing strengths in science and education, transforming the Zoo’s capability to undertake leading research and inspire individuals and communities to secure a future for the wild. 2018 will be about inspiring the community with the vision of developing future scientists and conservationists through the Institute. Taronga will also launch a partnership with a NSW university to develop and co-deliver both an undergraduate and post graduate degree in Conservation Science. The Institute and the courses are looking really exciting!
- In 2008, the Yellow-spotted Bell Frog was sighted for the first time after having been considered extinct for over thirty years. Since then, six individuals have been brought to Taronga due to the experience and expertise of the Herpetofauna keepers and science team in amphibian conservation. Since this time, the team have trialled and tested different approaches and in early November, the males in Taronga’s care began calling – the strongest indication that the frogs might breed since they were transferred to the zoo nearly seven years ago. On 12 November, Herptofauna keepers discovered that two females had laid eggs and since then, these have developed into tadpoles and the other females appear to be gravid. This is hugely exciting news for the last of a species and the result of tireless work trialling different strategies and enclosure designs. Under the Recovery Program for the Yellow-spotted Bell Frog, the intention is to breed for release in early 2018.
- Hosting the ZAA Regional Conference in May 2018.
- Redevelopment of the Wellington Zoo Chimpanzee Park for improved animal welfare and visitor experience.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Progress the funding and detailed planning for the Master Plan.
- New look visitor engagement team and strategy launched.
- Looking for new opportunities to enhance the provision of educational experiences.
- Introducing ideas arising from the animal welfare accreditation process and assessing change in animal wellbeing.
- One of our goals for 2018 is to finalise plans for the expansion of Monarto Zoo, including unique safari-style accommodation which will give our visitors an authentic safari experience.
- Our paws are crossed that 2018 brings with it the first Giant Panda cub to be born in the southern hemisphere. After three successful artificial insemination procedures, Wang Wang and Fu Ni have a better chance than ever of becoming parents. 2017 marked our fourth genuine attempt at an artificial insemination, and we are excited to be closer than ever before to achieving our ultimate goal of welcoming a Giant Panda cub to Adelaide Zoo.