Conservation

Conservation starts at the Zoo

Conservation starts at the Zoo

The Gulf Breeze Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation through public education, captive breeding programs, habitat preservation, and providing financial aid and assistance to projects in the wild. Gulf Breeze Zoo has provided aid in 25+ countries around the globe. Trying to solve the world’s continually changing wildlife concerns, the Gulf Breeze Zoo collaborates with other zoos and field experts to support Rhinoceros and Elephant anti-poaching units, install artificial nest sites for wild Penguins, and translocate Giraffe across the Nile to boost sustainable genetics. Conservation is important not just for the species in foreign countries but also for many of our local animal friends. Our goal is to assist in the conservation of local and national species, by giving them as much attention as we do to the larger, more well-known species.

The Gulf Breeze Zoo is privately owned and receives zero tax dollars. Funding for conservation programs are made possible through the continued support of zoo guests. Conservation is fundamental in our daily operations and visitors are encouraged to join us in making a difference on this journey.

2018 Conservation Grant Recipients

2018 Conservation Grant Recipients

The Gulf Breeze Zoo partnered with the Zoological Association of America for some of our 2018 Conservation Grants. We are pleased to announce this year’s grants were awarded to the International Rhino Foundation, International Elephant Foundation, and the Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

 

International Rhino Foundation operates in all areas of the world where rhinos live in the wild.

Program Highlights:

·        South African programs implement heightened protection, enhanced intelligence, strategic translocations, dehorning, and digital radio systems that lowered rhino poaching.

·        Zimbabwe’s Rhino Conservation Awareness Program works with 145 schools in buffer zones, providing school supplies in exchange for successful local rhino conservation results.

·        Javan Rhino Protection Team’s maintained zero rhino losses due to poaching for 20+ years

·        Camera traps showed two new Javan Rhino calves born in 2017 at the Ujung Kulon National Park.

·        The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary expansion completed new roads, gates, fences, quarantine facility, and upgraded laboratory for the new Rhino Research and Breeding Center.

 

International Elephant Foundation supports elephant management, protection and scientific research.

Programs Highlights:                                                                                       

·        Sumatran Elephant Conservation Response Units (CRUs)

·        Mounted Horse Anti-Poaching Patrols, Mount Kenya

·        Big Tusker Project provides aerial surveillance for law enforcement and rangers in Tsavo, Kenya

·        Building local support for conservation, Tanzania

·        Fostering Human-Elephant Coexistence, India

·        Anti-Poaching Units in the corridor between Nepal and India

·        EEHV Genomics Research to understand this deadly virus in hopes that one day a vaccine may be produced  

 

Grevy's Zebra Trust conserves the endangered Grevy’s Zebra and their fragile habitat.

Programs Highlights:

·        Grevy’s Zebra Scouts trains locals to monitor herds and report back

·        Holistic Rangeland Management helps manage grazing cattle and land management

·        Grevy’s Zebra Ambassadors hires local tribesman to assist with data collection and security

·        Education and Outreach Scouts go into communities and perform conservation storytelling

Ongoing Conservation Programs

Ongoing Conservation Programs

Giraffe Conservation Foundation                                                                   

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is the only organization in the world that concentrates solely on the conservation and management of Giraffe in the wild throughout Africa. The GCF focuses on increasing Giraffe numbers through anti-poaching units, educational awareness, translocating animals for improved genetics, research, and equipment. There has been a 40% decline in wild Giraffe populations since 1999 due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, human population growth, and illegal hunting (poaching.) The Gulf Breeze Zoo is committed to protecting Giraffe and participate in captive breeding programs. Zoo guests assist us in this mission each time they participate in our Giraffe encounter program or by attending the annual World Giraffe Day celebration.

 

International Rhino Foundation                                                         

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) began in 1989 as the International Black Rhino Foundation in response to organized poaching decimating Black Rhino populations. In 1993, the organization recognized the escalating crisis facing all five Rhino species, expanded their mission, and changed their name. The IRF works in habitats across Africa, Indonesia, and India solving issues with poaching, forest loss, agricultural development, and human settlement conflicts. Dedicated to the survival of the world’s Rhino species through conservation and research, IRF provides technical (scientific, educational, administrative) and financial resources necessary to facilitate the conservation of rhinos. The Gulf Breeze Zoo is honored to house and breed White Rhinos, while participating with the Zoological Association of America’s Southern White Rhino Animal Management Program. Our Rhino ambassadors also raise awareness and financial support for their wild counterparts through our encounter programs.

 

Penguin Conservation; Dyer Island Conservation Trust                                

Founded in 2006, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is located on the southern tip of South Africa, to address the growing issues facing local wildlife. The Dyer Island ecosystem is home to thousands of seabirds including the iconic African Penguin, Cape Fur Seals, Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales. Many of these species have been labeled as Endangered, (likely it will become extinct.) Populations are threatened by pollution, decline in fish abundance, coastal development, and oil spills. The Gulf Breeze Zoo works with the Zoological Association of America’s African Penguin Animal Management Program and provides financial assistance to the Dyer Island Conservation Trust to help save wild Penguin populations.

 

Cheetah Conservation Fund                                                                           

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was founded in Namibia in 1990 and has become a world class research facility providing groundbreaking research in the biology, ecology, and genetics of the Cheetah. With a 90% loss of Cheetah populations in the last 100 years, organizations like CCF are imperative for Cheetah survival. The majority of Cheetahs are found outside protected areas in areas populated by humans. Saving Cheetahs requires innovative conservation methods that address the welfare of both Cheetah and human populations. CCF is a global leader in Cheetah conservation and has been able to effectively stabilize and even increase the wild Cheetah population in Namibia.

 

Schmidt’s Guenon

Current population trends for the Schmidt’s Guenon are not well known, the last assessment of population numbers was in 2008. It is estimated that there are still healthy wild populations but they are facing growing concerns due to deforestation and over-exploitation through hunting and predation. The Schmidt’s Guenons at the Gulf Breeze Zoo were bound for the bush meat trade in Africa when they were rescued and received a new home in beautiful sunny Florida. The Gulf Breeze Zoo partners with the Zoological Association of America’s Schmidt’s Guenon Animal Management Program to maintain healthy guenon populations.

Conservation Grants

Conservation Grants

 The Zoofari Parks Conservation Grants (ZPCG) support both wildlife and habitat programs in the U.S. and abroad. Eligible projects focus on research, education, and local involvement. Grants vary in size depending on the project needs, from $100-$5,000. Conservation grants are awarded in the following categories;  native Florida wildlife programs, programs spanning singular or mulitple locations within the United States, and programs internationally based.

Grant submissions should be addressed to Katy Massey, Corporate Conservation Coordinator at conservation@zoofariparks.com. The 2019 submission deadline is September 1, 2019.