Taronga is dedicating the next 100 years to the conservation of 10 critical species. Five are native to Australia and five are on the brink of extinction in Sumatra – a biodiversity hotspot of critical natural importance right on Australia’s doorstep.
Find out more about Taronga’s centenary plans here.
[Image: Rick Stevens]
Platypus, the iconic state animal of NSW and emblem of Taronga Zoo, are vulnerable in the wild as a result of habitat loss, pollution of waterways with plastics, predation by feral animals and bycatch (accidental capture) in fishing nets and yabby traps.
Taronga is committed to supporting research into alternative yabby traps to reduce the accidental capture and death of Platypus, and Platypus breeding programs. Additionally, Taronga has developed education programs designed to empower school kids to become advocates for Platypus by raising awareness and helping their families and communities to change their attitudes and behaviours towards their local environment, to help protect Platypus.
[Image: Rick Stevens]
Australia’s iconic Bilbies are extinct in NSW, and vulnerable Australia-wide. Bilbies improve their environment, improving soil quality and thus plant growth while they dig. Bilbies are threatened in the wild by habitat loss and by predation by feral animals, particularly cats and foxes.
Taronga has committed to extending our successful Greater Bilby breeding program in Sydney to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, so that more Bilbies can be bred and released each year. Taronga also works in conjunction with our partners to ensure that Bilbies are safe in the wild, by releasing them into predator-free managed sanctuaries.
Six out of seven of the world’s Marine Turtle species live in Australian waters, playing a vital role in maintaining the health of our precious oceans. Marine Turtles – who love to eat jellyfish – mistake rubbish like plastic bags, balloons and bottle tops for food, often with fatal consequences. This has led to a dramatic reduction in turtle numbers. Without our help, turtles are in trouble.
Taronga is committed to keeping our oceans plastic free, by working with the NSW government to reduce the impact of plastics in our oceans, and by encouraging our community to choose reusable shopping bags. Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital will continue to treat and rehabilitate injured Marine Turtles and our commitment to scientific research, tracking and monitoring them after they’re released through our satellite tracking program.
Sun Bears are the smallest of all the bears in the world, but despite their size they’re strong and can run amazingly fast. Sun Bears are threatened by illegal wildlife trade, where their body parts are used for traditional medicines or food, and by the loss of their habitat in South East Asia.
Taronga has committed to protecting Sun Bears in the wild by supporting Wildlife Protection Units in Sumatra, and by working in partnership with TRAFFIC to combat illegal wildlife trade through our Wildlife Witness app and by funding a Wildlife Crime Analyst in TRAFFIC’s office.
Pangolins are one of the most endangered animals in the world and are often reported as the world’s most trafficked vertebrate species. Critically endangered, they are poached for the illegal wildlife trade, and also suffer habitat loss in their wild home, Sumatra. Pangolin skins have been used to manufacture boots, shoes and other leather items, while their scales have been used in the preparation of traditional medicines.
Taronga has committed to protecting Pangolins in the wild by working in partnership with TRAFFIC to combat illegal wildlife trade through our Wildlife Witness app and by funding a Wildlife Crime Analyst in TRAFFIC’s office.
[Image: Corrine Symon]
Once seen in flocks of hundreds, the striking yellow and black Regent Honeyeater is now elusive in the wild. Extinct in South Australia, with only small populations left in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, these beautiful birds have been rapidly disappearing from their native habitat in the forests of the Great Dividing Range at an alarming rate, due to loss of their Box-Ironbark forest homes and the food that they need to survive.
Taronga has committed to expanding our successful breed and release program in Sydney to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, with almost 200 Regent Honeyeaters bred at Taronga already released into the wild. Additionally, Taronga is working to rebuild honeyeater habitat in the Capertee Valley, planting trees every year and monitoring wild honeyeater populations.
There are as few as 50 Corroboree Frogs left in the wild. These tiny frogs, well known for their striking appearance, have suffered an alarming decline as a result of chytrid fungus. Found only in a small area of the beautiful Kosciuszko National Park and adjacent ranges, these little amphibians need our help to have a chance of surviving in the wild.
Taronga is committed to saving this striking frog through our large research and breeding program, having already successfully released hundreds of frogs and thousands of eggs to prevent the extinction of this species and increase their wild population.
[Image: Chris Kara]
The Sumatran Tiger is one of the most magnificent animals on the planet, and they are in critical danger. If we don’t act now, these incredible big cats could be gone forever. There are as few as 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, brought closer to extinction every day by the threats of poaching, and habitat destruction as a result of unsustainable development. Poaching is one of the biggest threats to the Sumatran Tiger, which is illegally hunted in the wild for its skin and body parts – falsely believed to have medicinal powers.
Taronga is committed to saving the Sumatran Tiger by supporting Wildlife Protection Units in Sumatra to create a safe and secure wild home; working with local communities to improve sustainable living practices and engage them in tiger conservation; and maintaining an insurance population of Sumatran Tigers through participation in the global breeding program. Taronga is also working in partnership with TRAFFIC to combat illegal wildlife trade through our Wildlife Witness app and by funding a Wildlife Crime Analyst in TRAFFIC’s office.
[Image: Rick Stevens]
If we don’t act now, the magnificent Asian Elephant could disappear from the world’s forests in as little as 20 years. Asian Elephants are endangered as a result of rapidly shrinking habitat in Sumatra and across Asia, as a result of deforestation for logging, palm oil plantations and agriculture, illegal wildlife trade, and human-elephant conflict.
Taronga is committed to protecting Asian Elephants by funding wildlife protection units and elephant guard towers, working with governments and other organisations to increase the size of protected wild areas in which elephants can survive and thrive, and continuing our successful participation in the global breeding program. Additionally, Taronga is working in partnership with TRAFFIC to combat illegal wildlife trade through our Wildlife Witness app and by funding a Wildlife Crime Analyst in TRAFFIC’s office.
[Image: David Kirshner]
There are fewer than 100 Sumatran Rhinos left in the wild. Rhino numbers have plummeted dramatically over the past few decades – and there’s a very real chance we will lose them forever. Listed as critically endangered as a result of poaching for the illegal wildlife trade in which their horns are sold as traditional medicine, and habitat loss, the smallest and hairiest of all the Rhino species will not survive without our help.
Taronga is committed to saving the Sumatran Rhino by supporting Wildlife Protection Units in Sumatra to create a safe and secure home in the wild, and by providing veterinary treatment and relocation assistance for rhinos at risk. Taronga is also working in partnership with TRAFFIC to combat illegal wildlife trade through our Wildlife Witness app and by funding a Wildlife Crime Analyst in TRAFFIC’s office.