“In this pivotal 100th year, in addition to our existing programs we are setting a grand course to make a lasting and positive impact on the future of several charismatic and vitally important animal species,” said Taronga Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr. “Taronga has committed to support 10 species for the next decade, and over this time effectively turn around their fate so they can thrive for another 100 years.”
He also said: “The ongoing support of our ambassadors is critical in engaging the community to join us in the challenge.”
Pitching in for Taronga Zoo’s Centenary in 2016 are the zoo’s ambassadors: Sir David Attenborough, Dr Jane Goodall, John Cleese, Rove McManus, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jimmy Barnes, Adam Spencer, Ken Sutcliffe, Rick Stevens, Amber Sherlock, Simon Reeve, Beau Ryan, Jean Kittson, Adam Ferrier and Kerryn Baird.
Globally recognised primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, sent a special video commending, thanking and challenging Taronga in the Zoo’s Centenary, concluding it with a personally delivered chimpanzee call of welcome.
“Our Centenary ambassadors, like Zoo supporter and Goodwill advocate Kerryn Baird, film and comedy star John Cleese, and comedian Jean Kittson, represent a broad cross-section of the community. Some have very specific links, such as media personality and admitted Twitcher or bird watcher, Rove McManus, and actor Liev Schreiber, who has helped bring attention to the plight of the Tasmanian Devil and Taronga’s involvement in its conservation.”
How You Can Help
You can help Taronga Zoo to take action on behalf of the 10 Legacy Species that are under threat, by becoming a zoo parent and adopting your favourite animal.
Zoo Parent animal adoptions fund Taronga’s work, including international research and education programs focusing on endangered species around the world, as well as assisting with the conservation, breeding and preservation of wild animals and their habitats. From just $48, adopting an animal also makes a great gift for animal lovers!
In addition to knowing you are helping Taronga Zoo’s vital conversation work, Zoo Parents get great benefits including:
- Personalised adoption certificate for your chosen animal.
- Subscription to Wild Life, Taronga’s exciting magazine all about the Zoos and the work they do.
- Detailed information about your adopted animal.
- Monthly email updates on what’s happening at all of Taronga’s Zoos.
- 100% tax deductibility on your Zoo Parent adoption (eDopt, Savannah, Horizon, Jungle and River levels).
- Plus many more benefits for higher levels, including the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Zoo!
In 2016, Taronga launches its legacy for the future and for the wild. We’re dedicating the next 10 years to the conservation of 10 critical species. Five are native to Australia, like the Platypus and the Bilby, and five are on the brink of extinction in Sumatra – a biodiversity hotspot of critical natural importance right on Australia’s doorstep.
You can adopt one or more of 17 animals including the 10 Legacy Species: Greater Bilby, Pangolin, Regent Honeyeater, Corroboree Frog, Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant, Sun Bear, Platypus, Marine Turtles, and the Sumatran Rhino.
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 fragmentation and loss, and by predation by feral animals, particularly cats and foxes. Taronga has committed to extending their 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 their partners to ensure that Bilbies are safe in the wild, by releasing them into predator-free managed sanctuaries.
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 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 the biggest threat to the Sumatran Tiger, which is illegally hunted in the wild for its skin and body parts – falsely believed to have medicinal powers and act as a strong talisman due to the tiger’s power and strength.
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.