Conservation

We have worked hard over the past few years to make a concerted effort towards doing more for conservation, both within our park and for the global animal and wildlife communities. If you would like to read our full conservation policy it is available here. However this page is designed to summarise that work and show how the policy is having a real world impact.

Membership organisations

We have worked hard to be incorporated as members within various membership organisations which make a positive impact on wildlife conservation, whether through streamlined information sharing, animal management policies or educational outreach:

Studbooks

Studbooks are what help zoos ensure that the animals which they keep and breed remain of the highest possible genetic caliber. Through working closely with other zoos and organisations, sharing information and adhering to breeding recommendations we are able to help make a positive impact on the captive population of a number of endangered species. The most common of these programs are the European Endangered Species Programs (EEP), European Studbooks (ESB) and International Studbooks (ISB). At present we are working with the following 21 managed programs (7 x ESB species & 14 x EEP species):

Common NameScientific NameProgram Level
BinturongArctictis binturongEEP
Black crested mangabeyLophocebus aterrimusESB
Bornean orangutanPongo pygmaeusEEP
ChimpanzeePan troglodytesEEP
Clouded leopardNeofelis nebulosaEEP
Common squirrel monkeySaimiri sciureusEEP
Cuban crocodileCrocodylus rhombiferESB
Eastern black and white colobusColobus guerezaESB
Eurasian lynxLynx lynxESB
Gila MonsterHeloderma suspectumEEP
Goeldi's monkeyCallimico goeldiiEEP
JaguatPanthera oncaEEP
MandrillMandrillus sphynxEEP
Mexican Beaded LizardHeloderma horridumEEP
Northern Luzon cloud ratPhloeomyz pallidusESB
Red pandaAilurus fulgensEEP
Spiny hill turtleHeosemys spinosaESB
Visayan warty pigSus cebifrons negrinusEEP
West African dwarf crocodileOsteolaemus tetrapisESB
White cheeked gibbonNomascus leucogenysEEP
Southern cheetahAcinonyx jubatus jubatusEEP

Furthermore we do not only work with these programs but also try to get involved with the bureaucratic side of trying to coordinate all of these animals on an international level. As such we also have the following studbook involvements:

Common NameScientific NameManagement LevelOur InvolvementWho Is Involved
Savu Island pythonLiasis mackloti savuensisESBCoordinatorMarkus Wilder

In-Situ Work

Most of our in-situ conservation work (work which is done with certain animals and / or habitats in the wild) is done with partners as this allows us to better understand and deploy the work required on the ground, especially when this is carried out in a different country. The work which we are currently carrying out around the world includes:

Asian In-Situ Conservation

Khe Nuoc Trong

Forests in Vietnam (in this case Khe Nuoc Trong) are threatened by degradation due largely to illegal logging, farming and other land conversion uses. We are supplying funding to aid with the work which our partner, World Land Trust carries out in the region with a third partner called Viet Nature. Read more about this work here

African In-Situ Conservation

Bwindi chimpanzee enhancement program

It is thought that on an average day 383,656 people are born around the world, whilst the death rate is much lower at 159,160 people per day.  As a result the global population increases by 1 person every 0.38 seconds.  We need to try to find new places for as many as 224,496 new people on the planet to live and to produce food for them.  This inevitably puts a strain on the planet and the limited resources it has. We are collaborating with our partner, the Population Sustainability Network whom we support financially with £15,000 per year to allow them to run their USHAPE project (Uganda Sexual Health & Pastoral Education).   Read more about this work here

Other Conservation Work

The majority of our conservation work is in the field of conservation education, through meeting school classes and giving them animal or class room talks to meeting our visitors in the park at our touch table displays and just by providing signs on our habitats to show them important information about animals in the wild. However some of the more specific projects which we are involved in include:

Lobbying

When we feel passionate about a specific project or cause then we will tell the people and institutions involved how we feel, and if we are very passionate and this appears to be by-passing those decision makers, we may even get our visitors to help with our lobbying efforts. Two of our most prominent and on-going of these are our lobbying efforts to improve the RSPO certification for palm oil and encouraging supermarkets to look deeper in to their supply chain regarding palm oil.

Sustainability policies

This is one of the easiest ways in which you too can make a difference to conservation, by living more sustainably. For a business such as ours it is a long process to change our ways and ensure that we are as sustainable as possible in all things we do, whether it is energy consumption or plastic use. Our general sustainability policy can be found here, however where we feel like we take the biggest strides and try to go above and beyond what most organisations do is with our palm oil policy.

Research

Conservation research can be as varied as looking at improving husbandry techniques for certain species (both in captivity or the wild) to seeing how effective a sustainability certificate is. We try to get involved with as many of these kids of research projects as possible and you can read our full research policy here. However an overview of all of the research with which Wingham Wildlife Park has been involved can be seen below:

YearAuthorsLevelTitle
2016Barbanera, F., Moretti, B., Al-Sheikhly, O. F., Guerrini, M., Theng, M., Gupta, B. K., Haba, M. K., Khan, W. A. & Khan, A. A.PhDPhylogeography of the smooth coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata): distinct evolutionary lineages and hybridization with the Asian small clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus)
2017Dibb, A.MscForaging preferences of 6 habitat generalist bird species
2018Baker, H.BscHuman audiences and captive chimpanzees: a study on the effect of visitors and the impact it creates on their behaviour. Is their welfare compromised?
2018Samuel, A.BscHow do captive ring tailed lemurs respond to unfamiliar (visitors) and familiar (keepers) humans in a walk through enclosure?
2018Paleira Rebelo, E. M.MscManagement, quality of life and veterinary care in ageing zoo animals
2018Attree, E. & Collins, M.MscCoprological survey of gastrointestinal parasites in canine carnivores
2018Bellward, L.PhDInteractive technology use with captive great apes
2018Hooper, E.MscEnriching the Lives of Wolves (Canis lupus)
2018Eckley, L.PhDAvian malaria in zoos - research survey
2018Dibb, J & Dunn, J.BscAn evaluation of semi-wild and captive populations of barbary macaques
2018Oliver, L.BscAn evaluation of public opinions of education and interpretation methods used in zoos
2018Halligan, J.BscAmbient temperature modulates locomotion in the Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
2018Saliveros, A. & McAusland, F.MscSocial Learning and Anti-Predator Behaviour in Otters (subfamily Lutrinae)
2019Richardson, S.BscHow does the presence of zoo visitors affect chimpanzee (pan troglodytes) behaviour and welfare?
2019Harris, B.BscInvestigating grief and bereavement behaviour in response to the death or removal of cohabiting individuals in captive apes.
2019Chissick, E.BscVisitor effects on the enclosure use and activity of tufted capuchins
2019Wouldham, C.BscEnvironment and visitor number effects on faecal cortisol levels and behaviour in captive cheetahs.
2019Wilder, M., Aldred, L & Rennie, K.InternalDo consumers understand the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification process and associated Trademark scheme
2019 (ongoing)Wilder, M., Trevethick, C., Tamburrini, N., White, J., Williamson, J., Collins, J., Reale, A. & Easter, S.InternalCan long term social network analysis be used to aid with implementing preemptive captive management processes and husbandry alternations to combat seasonal stressors in a group of captive chimpanzees
2019O'Malley, O.MscFood presentation methods for fish-eating ESB/EEP species held in BIAZA collections
2019Doris, D.BscIs there a difference in stress levels (with cortisol as an indicator) between cloud rats living individually and those in a group?
2019Hammerton, R.MPhilKeeper perceptions of captive primate diets: Nutritional and welfare perspectives
2019Bartlett, H.BscAn Investigation into the Incidence of Dystocia and Follicular Stasis in Bearded Dragons (Pogona)
2019Loram, J.DiplomaThe difference between normal and abnormal behaviours in captive and wild ring-tailed lemurs
2019Couto, H.MscThe role of the amphibian species held in modern zoo collections and quantifying their conservation impact
2020 (ongoing)Wilder, M.InternalCholesterol granuloma in meerkats and the ability to decrease risk through dietary changes