The animals at the Welsh Mountain Zoo should be viewed as part of a much wider population in Zoo’s throughout the world.
They are part of a conservation insurance policy, should reintroduction opportunities present themselves, and to maintain a genetically diverse captive population.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo’s commitment to the conservation of species is not restricted to captive breeding. The Zoo actively pursues a policy of giving assistance, where possible, to projects aimed at conserving natural habitats. For example, the Zoo has provided financial support for Lemur conservation in Madagascar whilst one of our team members is the current Species Co-ordinator for The British Isles Breeding Programme for Red Squirrels, as well as supporting Red Panda Network, Wild Cat Alliance and Snow Leopard Trust.
Here be Dragons
The £6million ‘Here be Dragons’ scheme represents a world-class development which uses the immediate appeal of rainforest wildlife under a large tropical dome to draw in and capture visitors’ attention. The facility will lead visitors through a story which highlights the wonders of the tropics, combined with the wonders of Wales, immersing visitors into the world of scientific research and knowledge acquisition.
Considered the new 'Tropical House' for the National Zoo of Wales, the scheme sits within the perimeter walls of the existing walled garden, designed in the early 20th century by the celebrated landscape architect Thomas Mawson. The new insertion respects the remaining features of the original composition while bringing to the Zoo a sustainable and modern building.
North Wales Seal Rescue Centre
The Welsh Mountain Zoo has now become synonymous with the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of grey and common seals found around the Irish Sea coasts. Most are from North Wales but sometimes come from as far away as the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, swept up in rough seas with pups often separated from their mothers.
The Zoo’s excellent record in the care of seals dates back to the early 1960s. This work was formalised in 1997 with the construction of the North Wales Seal Rescue Centre at the Zoo. This custom-built facility, with intensive care units and two rehabilitation pools, was funded by two animal welfare organisations and public donation.
This has been an excellent example of a co-operative partnership; different organisations working together for the benefit of the animals.
Red Squirrels Trust Wales
Our longest running conservation project, which began in 1989, is dedicated to the conservation of the Red Squirrel in the British Isles.
The project includes captive breeding at the Zoo, the coordination of a UK-wide cooperative Red Squirrel breeding programme, research into methods of reintroduction to the wild and, in recent years, the impact of virus disease on Red Squirrel conservation.
The reintroduction research at the Zoo was a key part of the successful re-establishment of Red Squirrels, carried out with conservation partners, on the island of Anglesey. All aspects of the Zoo’s Red Squirrel project are in need of funding support to help save this most iconic of British species.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo supports field conservation project, ‘Madagasikara Voakajy’ in the Mangabe Forest region of Madagascar, dedicated to the conservation of native vertebrates and their habitats in Madagascar.
Snow Leopard Trust
The Snow Leopard Trust operates in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan which are home to 75% of the world’s population of wild Snow Leopards.
The organisation has forged alliances and partnerships with relevant bodies in each of these five countries to carry out vital research into the species, introducing community lead conservation programs and negotiate policy decisions with local authorities.
Snow Leopards are under threat from locals, fearful of attacks on livestock who retaliate by killing or poaching, posing significant threat to the number of animals living in the wild. The Snow leopard Trust is exploring ways to work with local communities, promoting a common habitat and identifying ways in which the two can co-exist.
Wildcats Conservations Alliance
A partnership between the Zoological Society of London and Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation, the Wildcats Conservations Alliance is an international organisation whose over-arching aim is to preserve wild Tigers and Amur Leopards, supporting and funding carefully chosen conservation projects.
Current census figures suggest that there are around 100 Amur Leopards in the wild with only 4000 wild Tigers following years of decline. Both of these figures have stabilised in recent years following sustained conservation efforts, however, there is still much work to do.
Zoos are recognised as the most important source of support to the Wildcats Conservation Alliance and have donated over £2.7m to Tiger and Amur Leopard conservation since 1997 (through previous incarnations).
Red Panda Network
The Red Panda Network is committed to the conservation of wild Red Pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities. There are as few as 2500 Red Pandas living in the wild today.
The vision of the organisation is to ensure the survival of wild Red Pandas and preserve their habitat by working with and empowering local communities through a programme of community-based research, education, and sustainable development.
The Red Panda Network continues to introduce conservation programmes in countries within which the Red Panda originates including Nepal, India, China, Bhutan, and Myanmar. First launched in Nepal, the conservation programs are designed to become locally owned and managed within five years of introduction and replicated across all other countries.