Overfishing is an growing problem for seals and many other marine animals. Many fish stocks around the world are on the verge of collapse, because humans are taking too many fish from the sea and using unsustainable fishing methods. Marine pollution is the other key threat to species such as the Australian Sea-lion, and is often caused by common items of rubbish, which are left to wash into our waterways.
Coltan is a metallic ore that is mined in Africa and elsewhere. It is used within electronic devices including many mobile phones and is in huge demand in today’s high technology industries. The illegal mining within the Congo River Basin is pushing gorillas and other species towards extinction.
Habitat destruction and introduced animals have left the Fijian Crested Iguana critically endangered. This spectacular, vivid green lizard once inhabited at least 14 islands in western Fiji, but it is now only thriving and protected on a single island – Yadua Taba. On all other islands it population continues to decline.
The bushmeat industry, the pet trade and habitat clearance all threaten wild Chimpanzees. These apes are only found in west and central Africa, from Senegal to Tanzania, where they inhabit tropical forests, woodlands and savannahs. The conservation of this species has been hampered by ongoing civil unrest in most of the Chimpanzee’s natural range.
Taronga's Chimpanzee family is recognised internationally as one of the most significant in the world. The Zoo was one of the first to house and exhibit chimpanzees as a group and has an extremely successful breeding record.
The Przewalski’s Horse was declared extinct in the 1960s and the small number of horses that reside in zoos have become pivotal in ensuring their on-going survival. The re-establishment of Przewalski’s Horse in the wild relies on the sound management of zoo-based herds. In their native homeland of Mongolia, where they are called Takhi, the first reintroductions occurred between 1992 and 2004. While hunting caused the Przewalski Horse’s extinction, the main threats to the reintroduced animals are hybridisation with domestic horses and competition for food and water with livestock.