Perth Zoo is widely known as a unique events and functions destination and can offer a host of amazing experiences. The Zoo’s summer events season is one of the highlights of Perth’s events calendar. Every summer, thousands of visitors come to the Zoo not only to see the animals, but to be entertained by the many and varied events held in the Zoo’s spectacular setting.
The role and purpose of zoos have changed enormously in recent decades. As a modern zoo, Perth Zoo aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to encounter the natural world and to become involved in conservation action.
Our vision, which inspires and directs our work, is for a world where diversity of species and habitats is secure.
Our purpose as an organisation is to actively contribute to conservation. This is done through our research activities, support for wildlife projects, our animal breeding programs particularly breeding animals for release into the wild, wildlife rehabilitation, and partnerships with other groups and organisations. Perth Zoo also actively contributes to conservation through the work of its staff in field conservation, wildlife veterinary training, education programs and interpretation.
We actively work to connect our visitors with ways that they can contribute to conservation. We do this by using the Zoo as a resource and a learning environment about conservation and environmental sustainability and by providing opportunities for visitor involvement.
Our aims include connecting people with nature, inspiring in people a passion for conservation, and providing links and practical means for people to be active in conservation programs here at the Zoo and beyond our borders.
ZOO CONSERVATION BEYOND ITS BORDERS
The Board and management of Perth Zoo see an increasing role for the Zoo in actively supporting conservation in the wild.
In line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy which calls on zoos and aquariums to expand their support for field conservation activities and to integrate all aspects of their work with conservation activities, Perth Zoo aims to further expand its support for conservation in the wild.
This includes building on our breeding-for-release program for threatened native species by supporting international release programs for threatened exotic species. In doing this, Perth Zoo will be proactive in cooperating not only with other zoos but also with human development agencies, other conservation and research organisations, government departments and local communities.
In recent years, we have established close working partnerships with in-situ conservation projects in which our staff are actively involved. These include the Australian Orangutan Project, the Silvery Gibbon Project, Painted Dog Conservation Inc and the Asian Rhino Project. In addition, we support staff projects in research and conservation of Sandhill Dunnarts and Gilbert’s Potoroo.
In-situ conservation projects necessarily highlight factors such as habitat destruction, poor environmental management, inequity and poverty. A successful project can make a real difference not only to conservation outcomes but also to associated human communities by improving employment, education and basic living conditions, as well as helping to change people’s attitudes to the importance of the natural world.
See the Conservation & Research section for details of field conservation work supported by Perth Zoo.
OASIS IN THE CITY
Just minutes from the heart of the city, Perth Zoo provides a beautiful natural haven. As an ‘oasis’ within the city, the Zoo attracts numerous species of wild birds and is a nesting site for Great White Egrets (Ardea alba) and Nankeen Night Herons (Nycticrorax caledonicus hilli). Local wild Australian Pelicans have also been known to nest here. Carnaby’s Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea and tenuirostris) are also regular and noisy visitors to the Zoo grounds.
Our animal collection is diverse, comprising around 190 species and 1100 animals. Importantly, our modern exhibits emphasise and encourage natural animal behaviours. Given this approach, we encourage visitors to “wait, watch and listen” in order to view the animals. Living in exhibits that are as naturalistic as possible allows the animals to interact with visitors and each other on their own terms and promotes the animals’ physical, psychological and social well-being.
The gardens are also an integral part of the Perth Zoo experience with many significant plantings including trees over 100 years old. The grounds include an impressive collection of local flora including Western Australian wild flower displays in spring (from September through October), as well as a Rainforest Retreat containing more than 5,000 plants and one of the finest collections of palms in southern Australia.
Given the above, it is not surprising that around 98% of surveyed Western Australians believe that Perth Zoo plays an important role in the community.
ZOO AND AQUARIUM ASSOCIATION ACCREDITATION
Perth Zoo is an accredited member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA). The accreditation program assesses facilities and standards in zoos and ensures that ZAA members meet agreed standards.
The accreditation program aims to establish, maintain and raise standards of operation in the zoo and aquarium community and provide an opportunity for independent review and validation of their efforts and achievements in meeting these standard.
Perth Zoo achieved accreditation in January 2008 and was one of the first zoos in Australasia to do so. The accreditation assessment confirmed that Perth Zoo and its staff are operating at a high standard and that there is a strong commitment from all levels of the Perth Zoo team to its goals in conservation.
Accreditation of zoos through ZAA gives the general public and zoo visitors confidence in their zoos and aquariums in not only animal welfare but also their work for conservation. It also provides accredited zoos like Perth Zoo the opportunity to work with other zoos to improve standards and practices.
To ensure that high standards are maintained, the accreditation is reviewed every five years.
To demonstrate Perth Zoo’s commitment to the accreditation program, three Perth Zoo staff members have trained as Accreditation Officers.
For more information about ZAA and accreditation, visit www.zooaquarium.org.au.
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