Conservation Science

Taronga aims to make a significant positive impact on the conservation of all species, particularly those under threat of extinction, including but not limited to those in its collections. Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos’ diverse collections and research strengths, provides an opportunity to monitor changes in population and habitat viability and help provide information needed to guide management of habitats and wildlife.

Healthy ecosystems provide food and materials for shelter, control pests, purify water, recycle nutrients to the soil and convert carbon gases to oxygen. These services are essential to our own health, the health of all other species, the global economy and our resilience to climate and environmental change.

Taronga uses scientific excellence, collaboration and education to:

  • increase knowledge of basic animal biology and requirements
  • determine species role in habitats
  • identify threats to species health, well-being and conservation status
  • inform best practise for conservation action to preserve ecosystem health

Taronga focuses its research in the following areas

The Taronga Conservation Science Initiative

With the generous support and vision shown by Gretel Packer, a Governor of the Taronga Foundation and Founding Paton of the Taronga Conservation Science Initiative Taronga’s contribution to conservation science has expanded markedly.

Wildlife Health

Through its Wildlife Hospitals, Taronga has a unique opportunity to collect data on the health of wildlife, which will in turn help in the treatment and conservation of wild animals.

Marine Science Centre

With three quarters of the Australian population living within 50km of the coast, what we take out what we and put back in are of vital importance to the health of marine creatures.

Australian Shark Attack File

Australia is known for its sharks, but the stats tell us that these magnificent creatures don’t deserve their reputation for aggression.

Terrestrial Ecology

The beauty and unique features of wildlife species capture our imaginations – but they also form ecosystems upon which we all depend. Taronga Zoo works to help preserve that balance.

Nutritional Physiology

Appropriate food is a key element in animal health and well-being, so Taronga’s Zoos go to great lengths to ensure the nutritional health of their animals.

Population Dynamics and Viability

Because handling wild animals to assess their well-being can affect the factors you are trying to measure, Taronga’s experts have developed some ingenious, remote methods to do this job.

Behavioural Ecology

Studying animals’ behaviour is vital for learning more about them and their needs. Taronga’s Behavioural Studies Unit helps the Zoos’ animals lead rich, stimulating lives.

Social Learning

Staff at Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos aim to impart a deep understanding of wildlife and conservation issues to all their visitors.

In addition to each of these dedicated programs, our animal collection and staff expertise are available for collaborative research with external scientists upon approval from the Society’s Animal Ethics Committee , chaired by Dr Rebecca Spindler.

Researcher Profiles

Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos have attracted some of the best scientific minds in the world. Working together they are making a positive difference for wildlife.