Australian Breeding Programs

By working in partnerships, zoos and other conservation agencies can achieve real results in the wild.

Involvement in Recovery Plans, State and Federal, is the embodiment of the Taronga's commitment to conservation in Australasia. Recovery Plans are multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted and invariably aimed at recovering biodiversity, whether by ameliorating direct threats to a species, or recovering habitat by planting trees or removing weeds. They are usually led by the relevant wildlife agency but the team determines whether the recovery plan needs a captive component, and the nature of that need.

Zoo involvement in the recovery effort is not restricted to captive breeding, though when release to the wild is being contemplated the development of husbandry protocols and genetic management of the captive population may be the primary zoo role. In some instances, however, zoo involvement is precautionary; the recovery team may recommend setting up a captive population just to make sure that enough is known about the process to ensure the knowledge and techniques are available if there is a crisis and the wild population must be augmented.

Taronga currently assists with a range of other programs

Tasmanian Devil Breeding Program

This large carnivorous marsupial is found only in Tasmania. The species has been ravaged by a contagious facial tumour disease and the population has dropped 60 per cent since 1996.

Corroboree Frog Breeding Program

This small amphibian is easily recognised by its striking yellow and black markings. It is found only high in alpine bogs and ponds of Kosciuszko National Park.

Little Penguin Breeding Program

This smallest species of penguin has beautiful blue feathers on its back and is found as close to Taronga Zoo as North Sydney Harbour, where human activity threatens its breeding colony.

Malleefowl Breeding Program

Malleefowl are losing habitat to agriculture and the remaining birds are under threat from pets. Taronga Zoo has joined with the NSW government to save this wonderful native species.

Regent Honeyeater Breeding Program

By asking retailers where their firewood comes from and saying “No” to timber from Box-Ironbark trees – the disappearing home of Regent Honeyeaters. If you have space, plant Box-Ironbarks on your land.

Long-nosed Bandicoot Breeding Program

Like many animals that live in urban areas, the Long-nosed Bandicoot is at risk from cars and pets. Taronga is planning a breeding program that will help replenish their numbers.

Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby Breeding Program

During the early 20th century hunters slaughtered this wallaby, killing it for fur and as a farm pest, but Taronga’s breeding program means the 21st century will be brighter for the species.