Zoos and aquariums play a vital role in biodiversity conservation by raising awareness of conservation issues, maintaining collections of endangered species and supporting in situ conservation. The Wild Spaces Programme by the World Land Trust (WLT) offers zoos, aquariums and their associations an opportunity to help save wildlife in the wild.
One exciting aspect of this programme is the collaboration between the WLT and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), who work together to raise funds through BIAZA members and their visitors to support wild (in situ) conservation.
BIAZA Keepers of the Wild
The new focus for BIAZA members fundraising is BIAZA Keepers of the Wild, launched at the BIAZA AGM in June 2012. This programme will initially support rangers in five project areas, working through WLT's overseas partners in Brazil, Borneo, Armenia, Mexico and Zambia. (Funding will be used to support full and part-time ranger salaries, uniforms and vital equipment.)
Reserve ranger, Abel Reséndiz, is supported by WLT's Keepers of the Wild programme launched in 2011. He works for our Mexico partner, GESG, to protect nature reserves in the remote wilds the Sierra Gorda mountain range. Abel no longer has to work as a migrant in the USA thanks to his first secure job with GESG. Abel said: "I feel proud of my work because we are protecting special places that were being destroyed or were under pressure from logging, ranching, frequent wildfires and poachers.".
Funds raised through this programme will ensure ongoing and increased monitoring and protection for reserves already owned by WLT project partners. Rangers tell their stories and take photographs and they will share their experiences from the field with supporters through updates from WLT.
Land Purchase: The BIAZA Reserve, Brazil
Between 2007 and 2010, BIAZA members raised over £120,000 towards the purchase of 1,651 acres (668 ha) of Atlantic forest, or Mata Atlântica. Known as ‘The BIAZA Reserve’ this property is now owned, protected and managed by WLT project partner REGUA.
With only seven per cent of the original Atlantic Forest remaining, the creation of the BIAZA Reserve is a great conservation success.
Ranger Support: Phase 2
Following successful land purchase, the next phase of the programme was to ensure the future protection of the reserve. Between 2010 and 2012, BIAZA members donated towards funding two reserve rangers to protect the Guapi Assu Reserve.
More information on the Wild Spaces Programme
- Photos of REGUA on Wildlife Focus »
- Videos of Brazil on Wildlife Focus »
- Wild Spaces Programme News »
- Supporters of the Wild Spaces Programme »
More information for Zoos and Aquariums
For more information about the Wild Spaces Programme and ways in which WLT can help you develop and achieve your conservation targets, please contact us.