Posted on 08th August 2018 by Media Relations
There has been recent interest in wild birds at Taronga Zoo Sydney, and we think this is a wonderful opportunity to talk about our breed-to-release conservation programs.
In the early to mid-1970s, Taronga Zoo Sydney received as many as six pairs of Australian White Ibis from Healesville Sanctuary, which lived in our grounds. The small population of Ibis living in Taronga coincided with the emergence of other populations of wild Sacred Ibis across the Sydney basin, which came across from the NSW wild. One of the key factors drawing the Ibis to the Sydney area is the abundance of food waste. Traditionally, the Ibis is a migratory species, however they have adapted to remaining and breeding in urban areas in Sydney where food is readily available for them.
It’s a privilege to live in Sydney where we share our city with many other native wild species. The Ibis is a native species, such as the Rainbow Lorikeet, Kookaburra and Magpie, all of which make Sydney their home. In addition to these birds, other wild native species make Taronga Zoo Sydney their habitat, and these include the Bandicoot and Water Dragon.
We have a responsibility to look at the way we live, and how we share our city with our wildlife. This includes responsibility for the management of our food waste, so that we can live sustainably with birds in our city.
In stark contrast to species such as the Ibis, some Australian native species aren’t doing so well, and we are working hard to give them a helping hand.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia is part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Saving Our Species and Rewilding NSW programs to restore critically endangered native species through breed-to-release conservation programs.
Each species faces a different challenge – the Bilby has been extinct in the NSW wild for more than a century. Corroboree Frog populations have been devastated by a lethal fungus, and today only 50 adult Southern Corroboree Frog individuals have been recorded in Kosciusko National Park. Approximately 1,500 Regent Honeyeater and as few as 250 Plains-wanderer birds are remaining in the NSW wild due to habitat loss.
Taronga is working with other conservation organisations and the Office of Environment and Heritage to breed self-sustaining populations of these species that are released back into the wild, to ensure that these animals have a future. These species all play vital roles in the NSW ecological system, because without them the environment begins to fall apart.
Taronga is committed to conducting research and education with communities to secure a shared future for wildlife and people. We hope that this is what our guests take away from their experience at Taronga’s Zoos when they see the wild animals that choose to make our zoo their habitat.