The war against extinction
Today human activities are causing serious disturbances in natural ecosystems : by destroying forests, hunting animals (yet protected by laws) for their meat or for commercial ends, intensifying economic and industrial activities that cause pollution and degrade ecosystems, and over-exploiting natural resources, humans are weakening the environment and endangering wild animal and plant life. Biotopes are being destroyed, species are dying out. One bird in 8, 1 mammal in 4 and 1 amphibian in 3 are currently endangered. Sadly, for some it is already too late. For others, all is not lost: in situ* conservation projects combining habitat protection, fight against poaching, scientific research and the sustainable development of local communities are contributing to the protection of species that are in a bad state.
Zoos, including La Palmyre, play an active role in the conservation of endangered species, by helping finance such programs and by providing them with scientific, technical and/or logistical support (sending zoo vets, keepers or educators to work with them, help for buying equipments, for creating educational materials...).
The programs have different methods but their aim remains the same: to conserve animals whose survival is directly endangered in the short term by deforestation, hunting, increased human activity, habitat destruction....
The Zoo de La Palmyre has a special interest in several in situ conservation programs. Most of them involve primates, both because these represent 1/3 of the species at the zoo and because they are among the most endangered animals in the wild.
We support programs that aim to protect an animal species weakened in its natural environment, usually but not always one represented at the zoo itself, to improve living conditions for local populations and to raise their awareness about the conservation of their environment.
*: in their natural environment
Photo credit: ©Florence Perroux.