Conservation, the work of the Trust
Our work at Shaldon Wildlife Trust is vital to the long-term survival of many animals which are at risk of extinction in their natural habitat. None of our animals have been taken from the wild; the majority were born in our zoo or come from other collections taking part in specific breeding programmes to ensure their survival.
Our mission is...
"To be a proactive contributor to the preservation of the wildlife of the planet"
We achieve this by...
The sustained breeding of rare and endangered species in our care
Raising awareness through community education to the widest possible audience
Instigating and facilitating appropriate research to improve our animals' welfare
Supporting and encouraging the conservation of species within their natural habitats
In addition to our work conserving some of the world's most endangered animals both here in the UK and overseas we actively work to conserve local native species, visit our Native wildlife conservation page to find out more.
We work closely with other zoos, wildlife parks and conservation bodies to try and ensure the long-term survival of our animals. Shaldon is a member of the British and European Zoo Associations (BIAZA and EAZA). These organisations are there to ensure high standards of practice within zoos, coordinate breeding programmes and aid zoos in maximising their conservation involvement.
The majority of animals kept at Shaldon are part of the European coordinated endangered species breeding programmes (EEPs and ESBs). These programmes help to manage species as a self-sustaining population. This is important for species that are very close to extinction in the wild, and provides a safety-net population. Zoos can also provide individuals for reintroduction projects, providing plants or animals to put back into the wild.
Each species has a studbook keeper and programme co-ordinator who recommends suitable pairings to prevent inbreeding, maintain maximum genetic diversity and ensure the captive population is genetically healthy.
The majority of animals kept at the Trust are part of coordinated breeding programmes, designed to ensure a wide genetic diversity for that species. This way, by having a safety-net population, we can safeguard the wild populations in case of a major natural event causing local extinction. Many animals are already benefitting from this kind of work including the Bali starling, Golden lion tamarin and Przewalski's horse. Also we have recently sent a male Owston's civet from Shaldon to Vietnam, where we hope that his offspring will be released into a protected area of forest.
Shaldon Wildlife Trust is known as the small zoo making a big difference. Not only do we support conservation projects across the world but we also care for some of the most endangered species on the planet. One of those is the Ownston's palm civet, a species kept in only 6 zoos outside of Vietnam. We were fortunate to breed this species back in 2016 but despite the best care possible the offspring didn't survive. Here is a video explaining more about the amazing work we do with some of our animals.