Nashville Zoo is actively engaged in conservation projects around the world sending experienced animal care staff to places like Thailand where they work to save endangered clouded leopards. Reptile experts from the Zoo traveled to Haiti, Jamaica and the Komodo Islands to conduct research on endangered lizards, and to China for work with giant salamanders. Closer to home, Nashville Zoo experts create gene banks, breed and conduct field surveys on hellbenders. Zoo staff makes significant improvements to the Mill Creek watershed and conduct population monitoring for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in this watershed for the federally endangered Nashville crayfish.
At Nashville Zoo, more than a dozen endangered animals are successfully bred as part of a nation-wide Species Survival Program. The Zoos on-site research projects are revealing new ways to help slow the decline of rare animals like red pandas, giant anteaters, the Haitian galliwasp, hellbenders and African elephants. In addition, green initiatives like recycling stations, biodegradable food containers and composting lighten the Zoo’s environmental footprint.
Educating the public about conservation permeates throughout the Zoo’s daily operations. From posted information at the Zoo’s animal habitats to education programs and amphitheater shows to daily keeper talks, the Zoo strives to provide their guests with opportunities to learn and discover ways to make positive contributions through activities in their daily lives.
When Nashville Zoo can’t be actively involved, many efforts are made through financial support. More than $53,000 has been donated to a wide array of environmental protection programs including jaguar habitats in Bolivia, tapirs in Brazil, the Madagascar Fauna Group, the International Elephant Foundation, hurricane relief in Louisiana, Walden’s Puddle and Tennessee’s Parks and Greenways.