The survival of endangered species in the wild is increasingly more reliant on the sustainability of zoo populations. By working together and investigating factors that could negatively impact on the reproductive success of our animals, we can make informed management decisions to boost the numbers of our threatened species.
By managing zoo populations effectively we’re also maximising the chances of captive bred individuals being successfully reintroduced to the wild. In some cases, conservation breeding centres need to be established in the field and the knowledge and skills of zoo staff is critical in ensuring the success of these centres for re-establishing populations in the wild.
What DZS is doing…
Dartmoor Zoological Society (the charity) recognises that an ever increasing demand for natural resources is putting tremendous pressure on our planets ecosystems.
The charity is committed to improving environmental performance in all its business operations. This is realised by adhering to our Environmental Policy and striving to meet its continual improvement goals, in particular to educate the public about the Earth’s conservation and natural resources through projects and initiatives dealing with the conservation and protection of living animals and their habitats. The charity aims to spread the message of conservation, to maintain a green purchasing policy and to reduce CO2 emissions. The charity also endeavours to minimise the environmental impact of all its activities, products and processes. This is to be achieved by applying the most economically viable application of the best available technology to ensure the protection of the environment and the reduction of environmental pollution.
To achieve such improvements in environmental performance, the charity has set and will maintain, review and revise environmental objectives and targets with the aim of continually improving our environmental performance.
We are working closely with Green Tourism, inspiring the highest standards of sustainability, efficiency and working practices. We use the latest technologies such as LED lighting, efficient boilers and we are completely zero to landfill. Our restaurant and shop is dedicated to using local suppliers and to have a range of ethical products, plus all our food waste is recycled to help feed a local biomass boiler.
Sustainable Palm Oil
The palm oil industry is huge, and the unsustainable production of palm oil is one of the biggest threats facing the rainforests and wildlife of Borneo and Sumatra. The production and demand is increasing. Palm oil can be found in over 50% of products on supermarket shelves, which is contributing to the loss of our rainforests.
We can make a huge difference in protecting wildlife by tackling the production of unsustainable palm oil. We are currently working with our partners to promote sustainable palm oil production, but YOU can also make a difference. Dartmoor Zoo is a sustainable palm oil site, therefore everything we sell, and produce is made from certified sustainable palm oil.
Saving our local wildlife
Dartmoor Zoo sits on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. Keeping the zoo connected to our local wildlife is so important to us. We create safe spaces for our most precious local wildlife and we would like you to get involved too.
All you need to do is make a wildlife friendly space in your garden and keep a note of the wildlife you have spotted.
By creating wildlife-friendly spaces we can create highways through our neighbourhoods and protect the precious creatures that we love.
Wildcats Conservation Alliance
The WildCats Conservation Alliance’s mission is to save wild tigers and Amur leopards for future generations by funding carefully chosen conservation projects. We are so proud to house both Amur Tiger and Amur Leopard at Dartmoor Zoo.
We were fortunate to welcome our Amur Leopard, Freddo, in November 2023 after years of planning and fundraising. There are fewer than 80 Amur Leopards in the wild making them one of the rarest cats on Earth. Our aim in the future is to contribute towards the ex-situ breeding programme that is in place to help increase their numbers in the wild. Freddo is a great start towards achieving that aim.
Our Amur Tiger, Dragan, arrived in 2016. Listed as endangered, there are now between 480 and 540 of these Tigers left in the wild, with around 100 of these know to be cubs. Dragan is not currently participating in a breeding programme at the zoo, due to his brother already representing his family genes in a breeding programme elsewhere. He is however raising vital awareness of the work we need to do to save Tigers. We are so pleased to support the charities work and have raised over £8000 for them.
Mantella aurantiaca is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This species has a very restricted distribution in high altitude swamps in Madagascar.
The main threat to the Golden Mantella is habitat destruction and fragmentation of the population. We house a group of these at Dartmoor Zoo and are doing our best to breed them to continue to increase their numbers.
Our bachelor group of wolves have been on the lookout for a female friend. Unfortunately, only a few zoos in the country have Iberian wolves and the key is to find a zoo elsewhere in the world that has a female unrelated to our boys. As soon as that happens, we will be in business. The plan for the boys has been to settle them into Dartmoor Zoo and raise awareness for Iberian Wolves. Unlike their close relatives, the grey wolves, Iberians come from the warmer mountains of Portugal. Here they are threatened by habitat loss and local farmers who shoot them to protect their herds of sheep as they enter private farmland.