Habitat conservation - ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo occupies an area of 245 hectares and offers a range of important habitats for wildlife including ancient woodland, chalk downland and wetland.
The site supports 20 mammal species and over 200 bird species. The majority of the chalk downland area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is particularly important for wildlife.
ZSL is working to link the existing woodland areas within the site by strategic planting of new woodland, gapping up existing and planting new hedgerows. In addition, this progect aims to manage the existing woodland for wildlife and to educate the visiting public about practical native species conservation through interpreting this work.
The landscape connectivity theme has also been extended outside the artificial boundaries of the site, with transboundary planting schemes being developed in conjunction with the National Trust at Dunstable Down to encourage bird and bat movement.
ZSL is very concerned about the drastic decline in numbers of all 16 British bat species in recent years, so has created five new bat hibernacula at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.