The summer seems to have passed in the blink of an eye and now, with schools reopening next week, it’s an ideal time to reflect on the last few months. So, how’s the North Yorkshire summer treated us this year? Well, in between the rain, blue skies prevailed, bringing glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high twenties!
The animals have been moving in and out with the changing weather. The ducks loved the rain, as did the hippos, who were delighted to roll around in the resulting mud! However, the rhinos and giraffes proved themselves once again to be dedicated sun worshippers.
Our zookeepers saw the birth of a camel calf and two Humboldt penguin chicks, plus two ring-tailed lemurs who are already fantastic climbers...
Good zoos are now powerful forces for conservation and some of the world’s most extraordinary species would not be surviving without them! Flamingo Land’s Director of Conservation, Dr Andrew Marshall, has played the lead role in creating a list of the top ten species most reliant on zoos.
The work was carried out on behalf of the British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), which promotes the value of good zoos and aquariums. The top ten list includes species on the very brink of extinction including two that are close to our hearts at Flamingo Land. The Scimitar-horned Oryx, now extinct in the wild, is thriving at Flamingo Land, where we reared yet another calf this year. Verdcourt’s Polyalthia tree is also on the list, an endangered plant from Tanzania, protected as part of Flamingo Land’s forest conservation initiative, the Udzungwa Forest Project.
Last month Flamingo Land’s Director of Conservation Dr Andy Marshall, Zoo Manager Ross Snipp and Tropical Conservation Research Assistant Jennifer Archer (myself) visited Tanzania to work on the Zoo’s conservation project, The Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP).
Flamingo Land has been supporting the project in its conservation, research and educational work in rural Tanzania for the past four years and is aiming to break new ground for zoo-funded conservation.
For Ross and me it was a fascinating first visit, full of new experiences. We participated in all things UFP, including environmental education classes with schoolchildren, forest restoration work and monkey surveys. The highlight of the trip was the project’s annual UFP Day in one of the local villages, packed full of fun and educational environmental activities, presentations and school performances...