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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20130811028 |
|Title:||YWP’s Role In Helping Protect Mamals|
|Subtitle:||Top Ten Mammal Most Reliant On Zoos For Survival|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Park |
|ID & Publication:||20130811028 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
AWARD WINNING Yorkshire Wildlife Park today reveals plans to bring an endangered leopard to the park to breed as an official report praised its efforts to save the species.
Eighteen-month-old Amur leopard Freya will arrive from Tallinn Zoo in Estonia in the Autumn.
When she is old enough she will be paired with current YWP resident Drake – potentially giving the most endangered big cat in the world a big boost.
News of the arrival came as a report was published praising the walk through park's role in protecting their future.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) study revealed the Amur Leopards are revealed as one of the top ten animals staving off extinction thanks to the help of the work of organisations like YWP.
The report praises YWP and others for safeguarding the future of our planet’s wildlife and their habitats.
Dr Andrew Marshall, of BIAZA’s Field Programmes Committee, who co-ordinated the compilation of the list with input from conservation experts based at BIAZA zoos, said: ‘With only around 50 wild leopards left their future depends on funding and direct field involvement of zoos, who are currently planning what will be the first big cat reintroduction using cats bred in zoos.’
He added: ‘Without the indispensable conservation and breeding work of many of our member zoos and aquariums, many threatened species such as these may be lost to extinction forever.
‘Modern zoos are evolving and improving rapidly and increasingly are acting as the driving forces behind major conservation, research and education initiatives. We want our visitors to know that in visiting their zoo they are not simply enjoying a great day out, but are contributing to an ever-increasing conservation effort.’
YWP custom built their spectacular Leopard Heights enclosure for their current three Amur leopards, who arrived in March 2012 and are part of the European Breeding programme.
With only 220 kept in captivity and less than 45 remaining in the wild the arrival of Freya in the Autumn offers fresh hope to the species.
Director Cheryl Williams said;’Conservation is at the heart of all we do and we are delighted to play such a pivotal role protecting the beautiful Amur Leopard.
‘We can’t wait for Freya to arrive in the Autumn. There are no guarantees, of course, but we hope she will be successfully paired with Drake.Ultimately, we would like play a role in plans to re-introduce captive bred Amur back into the wild.’
YWP’S £300,000 Leopard Heights is the biggest leopard enclosure in the world and is– Dimitri, Drake and Denzil– who have the run of the 6000 square meters enclosure.
Leopard Heights allows visitors an almost unparalleled view of the leopards whilst giving the cats the best possible living environment. From an 8m high viewing platform animal lovers come face to face with the leopards as they scale their 10m high climbing frames. At ground level there is a viewing area with a 10m long glass wall to complete the spectacular creation.
Out of public view there are two large off exhibit areas for the leopards as well as quiet breeding dens for future use.
The BIAZA study was designed to show the importance of work done to establish reserve populations and promote reintroductions, conservation, education and support for local communities, as well as wildlife habitats.
YWP, located in Branton just outside Doncaster, is also home to endangered Amur tigers Vladimir and Sayan who can be seen at The Land of the Tigers, where visitors have amazing views of the tiger reserve with its woodland and waterfalls from a 150m walkway.
BIAZA Top Ten Species Most Reliant on Zoos
1) Amur leopard – one of the most endangered large cats in the world with less than 50 individuals remaining in the wild.
2)Blue-eyed black lemur – this Critically Endangered mammal is restricted to a very small area of around 2,700km² in northwest Madagascar and only a small total population remains.
3)Scimitar-horned oryx – the Scimitar-horned oryx is Extinct in the Wild, so completely dependent on captive breeding for survival.
4)Sumatran tiger – there are only 300-400 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild.
5)San Martin titi monkey – this Critically Endangered primate is not kept in zoos, but BIAZA zoos are important partners in the only conservation initiative working to protect this species.
6) Grevy’s zebra – this endangered equid has experienced one of the largest reductions of range and numbers of any African mammal.
7)Livingstone’s fruit bat – one of the largest bat species in the world with less than 1,100 individuals remaining in the wild.
8) Pied tamarin – the most Endangered Amazonian primate found in a very small region of the Brazilian rainforest.
9)White-naped mangabey – listed as one of the 25 Most Endangered Primates in the World. Only 15% of their original habitat remains.
10) Western lowland gorilla – the Western lowland gorilla is under threat of extinction from specialist hunting and habitat loss.
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