Whipsnade Wild Animal Park scoops top award in the 2004 Zoo Federation Awards.
Wednesday 17 November 2004
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park received one of the top awards from the zoo world following a prestigious awards ceremony attended by Elliot Morley MP, Minister for Environment
Honoured alongside other leading zoos across the UK, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park won the Zoo Federation Conservation Award in recognition for its pioneering Species Recovery Programme for the Corncrake. The award was presented by Dr Miranda Stevenson, the Director of the Zoo Federation, now known as BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
This award particularly highlights Whipsnade's efforts in tackling the issue of species conservation. This now award-winning programme has led to the successful reintroduction of the Corncrake within the UK, although they still remain on the ICUN red list as vulnerable. It is a clear demonstration of how modern zoos can be a powerful force for conservation, addressing such issues as species extinction in the wild.
Chris West, Zoological Director comments, "Throughout the Corncrake reintroduction programme the dedication of those involved has been unparalleled. This award is a credit to everyone involved, and should be seen to further highlight the Corncrakes plight and the conservation effort that is needed in order they and many other species are conserved for future generations."
Whipsnade was one of twelve winners chosen from a record 91 entries. Held annually for over a decade, the Zoo Federation Awards recognise outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of wildlife conservation, advances in animal welfare and husbandry, sustained breeding programmes, marketing, PR, education, research, enclosure design and individual outstanding achievement.
Dr Miranda Stevenson, Director of BIAZA comments, "The award-winning and commended programmes under the spotlight today demonstrate the huge investment of energy and resources made by our leading zoos to support conservation and prevent species extinction in the wild. Conservation within zoos and aquariums is no longer a matter of choice and these awards recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that our members are making to conservation and education each year. Equally, they are standard bearers for excellence in animal husbandry and welfare".
For further information and images please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- ZSL has been working on the Corncrake Project in collaboration with the RSPB and English Nature since 2002 and one year on were able to release a number of hand-reared birds into the Nene Washes.
- Corncrakes are migratory birds that travel from Africa to breed in Great Britain.
- The birds are rarely seen in the wild as they live in thick vegetation in grassland and field corners camouflaged by their brown feathers.
- Historically, the corncrake would have been a familiar farmland bird found across the majority of Britain and Ireland. However, changes in agricultural techniques have forced the bird out of many areas.
- Corncrakes are now only found in the Hebrides and the Corncrake Project aims to reintroduce them to the English Countryside.
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 world-wide.
— ENDS —