London Zoo raises funds for Atlantic Rainforest
Tuesday 29 October 2002
London Zoo is currently celebrating after visitors helped raise £10,000 for the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Rainforest Campaign 2002
The campaign, launched in September 2001, aimed to raise awareness about the conservation needs and programmes in the Atlantic Rainforest, with particular emphasis placed on the lion tamarins, a small primate that in found in Brazil.
Over ninety EAZA zoos registered for the EAZA campaign raising in total £93,791. With The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), of which London Zoo is a part, achieving the accolade of being one of the top fundraisers with £19,000 raised. The funds raised will go towards the Lion Tamarin of Brazil Fund which will use the money to adopting a corridor of land to link fragments of forest holding populations of golden lion tamarins.
The Rainforest is currently ranked in the top five of the world's 25 most threatened areas, with only 7.5% of its former range remaining. Currently five times smaller than the Amazon Rainforest the Atlantic Rainforest carries 1.4 times as many mammal species as its cousin. This area of Brazil is home to five of the world's 25 most endangered primates including various species of tamarin.
Money was raised by visitors to the Zoo paying 50p each to throw a dice and play 'Tamarins in Trouble', the aim of the game being to construct a 'corridor of forest' linking two fragmented forest patches, therefore allowing the tamarin groups to meet and mate!
Chris West, Zoological Director said, "We've exceeded all our expectations and our visitors have shown great generosity and willing throughout the campaign. It really has been a phenomenal success of which we should all be proud. The money raised was a prime opportunity for us all to support in situ-conservation work. We look forward to taking part in next years campaign which is for tigers."
During August, London Zoo also hosted a Rainforest Roadshow where visitors could learn about the exciting rainforest environment bringing it to life, by using extraordinary genuine artefacts, live invertebrates and personal experiences. The show also focused on the lifestyle and culture of tribal people, environmental issues, and our impact on the tropical rainforests.
Maria Lolita Bampi, General Co-ordinator for Fauna for the Brazilian Environment Agency (IBAMA) passed on "the sincere gratefulness of the Brazilian Government to EAZA zoos for the significant contribution to the conservation of lion tamarins".
Notes to editors:
- In the wild lion tamarins are only found in the Atlantic forests in the Bahia State, Brazil where they are listed by CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) as endangered due to habitat destruction from logging and the creation of plantations and cattle ranches. They are currently part of an ongoing conservation programme that includes captive breeding, education programmes within Brazil and field studies into the species ecology and behaviour
- Currently all golden headed lion tamarins are the property of the Brazilian government
- Rainforests are the most biological diverse ecosystems on the planet, and it is thought that millions of species remain undiscovered. Their main threats include habitat destruction and fragmentation due to logging, agriculture, urbanisation and industrialisation. The hunting/wildlife trade and the collection of flora from the forest
- Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide
For further information please contact the ZSL Press Office
Leana Rochman, Press Officer
Tel: 020 7449 6361 / out of office mobile: 07889 043843
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