Wildlife destruction makes us see red
Published: Dec 2, 2014Keepers, other staff and volunteers abandoned their blue uniforms and wore red for the day to highlight the plight of endangered species and the vital role conservationists play in protecting them.
The event was part of Red November – a month-long celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
The celebration is being hosted by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). As the world’s most comprehensive inventory of threatened species, the Red List is used to gauge the risk of extinction faced by the world’s animals and plants.
Newquay Zoo is a BIAZA member and is part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust – a conservation, education and research charity which strives to protect species and habitats for future generations.
The Zoo’s Animal Collection Manager John Meek says: “Besides offering our visitors a great day out, we also feel it’s important to do all we can to draw people’s attention to the critical issue of the world’s rapidly declining wildlife. We’re playing a key role in the international effort to protect vulnerable animals from extinction and we need as many people to support that effort.”
Newquay Zoo is home to nine species classed as critically endangered by the Red List – they include Sulawesi crested black crested macaques, yellow-breasted capuchin monkeys and black and white ruffed lemurs. The Zoo is involved in many international conservation breeding programmes and is supporting the programme to protect the Owston’s civet which is in danger of becoming extinct, according to the Red List. The beautiful cat-like mammals have been successfully bred at the Zoo since 2004 and last year two male civets were sent back to their native Vietnam with the aim of their future offspring being released into the wild.
Zoo Director Stewart Muir was in Vietnam earlier this month advising on the project. Other Red November activities at the Zoo include special activity trail sheets, with red goody bag prizes, to encourage youngsters to learn about the need to protect the planet’s threatened wildlife. Red paw prints have been painted around the Zoo, leading to the enclosures of its most endangered species.
Join the conversation at #BIAZARedNov