Contribution of Parques Reunidos Foundation to Conservation

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Parques Reunidos Foundation

Parques Reunidos Foundation is a private non-profit organisation with the following aims:

• The defense of the environment and biodiversity, promoting sustainable development and use of the resources, conservation of natural heritage and social awareness about these matters.

• The conservation and protection of threatened or endangered species favouring the reproduction of threatened animals.

• To spread the knowledge of the different animal species and the different ecosystems and their conservation process.

• Child protection and defence of the democratic principles of tolerance and the education of values.

• Promoting education on the previously enunciated matters.

• Promoting volunteering programs and social action.

Since our origins we have been developing numerous projects to fight for the preservation of the most vulnerable species and natural ecosystems. Among all of them, the most important ones are probably the ‘In situ’ Conservation Projects. These projects consist in reintroduction or protection studies or programs carried out in the areas of origin, where the problems that biodiversity faces are more critical.

Through numerous activities the Parques Reunidos Foundation contributes daily to education in countless science-related fields. Formation and awareness-raising go together when dealing with educational and conservational aims, coordinating actions with different European parks and with different international organisms.

The priorities are both to defend the environment and biodiversity and to promote the sustainable development preserving the natural heritage. In the centres of Parques Reunidos Foundation the threatened or endangered species are conserved and protected through their reproduction and reintroduction.

Conservation and investigation projects focused on the conservation in which Parques Reunidos Foundation participates:

• Investigation project about the behaviour and the reproduction of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in Zoo Aquarium de Madrid: study of the behaviour and the reproduction of this critically endangered species according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

• ‘In situ’ conservation project of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): economic collaboration with the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) in their multiple projects of koala conservation in Australia.

• Investigation project of assisted reproduction techniques in wild animals and creation of a germplasm bank in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA).

• Participation in the awareness-raising projects about the conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the Cabo Blanco peninsula and the reintroduction of the Mohrr gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr) in the centre of acclimatization of Mauritanian fauna in Nuakchot (Mauritania) in collaboration with the CBD Habitat Foundation.

• International program for the conservation of the Silvery-brown tamarin (Saguinus leucopus) in Colombia, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Asociación Colombiana de Parques Zoológicos y Acuarios (ACOPAZOA).

• Collaboration with the CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group) program of the IUCN that promotes, through education and conservation, the formation of a commission that lays the basis and supervises the management guidelines of the ‘ex situ’ conservation projects.

• Collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute in the ‘Recycle your cell’ campaign. The aim is to recycle certain metals that are in the components of these devices in order to reduce the need to extract these metals from their natural deposits whose exploitation are endangering the survival of chimpanzees in Africa.

• Direct support to reproduction programs of endangered Iberian species by providing facilities and technical knowledge for the endangered species reproduction programs of the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino.

• Collaboration with the Consejería de Agricultura de la Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha in the development of ‘ex situ’ conservation actions through captive reproduction programs, investigation activities and environmental education.

• Collaboration with the Veterinary School of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) with the aim of organizing investigation and formation activities with the animal parks of Parques Reunidos Group, as well as to cooperate professionally at a technical level and in veterinarian assessment.

• Collaboration with FAPAS (Fondo para la Protección de los Animales Salvajes) for the development of different activities such as the monographic courses of the Zoo related with the conservation of Iberian species.

• Collaboration with the non-profit organisation Great Bustard Group, which aims to establish an auto-sustainable population of great bustard (Otis tarda) in the United Kingdom and to create practical conservation measures for the conservation of the bustard in Saratov, Russia. In this specific case, the organisation recollects bustard eggs in agricultural areas of Castilla-La Mancha, where nests have been destroyed.

• Education and conservation projects for autochthonous tortoises in collaboration with CITES, FIEB (Fundación para la Investigación en Etología y Biodiversidad) and UCM.

• Collaboration with ZAWEC: study about the welfare of the common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of Parques Reunidos. In addition to the establishment of basic data and parameters about animal behaviour and welfare in this species, the aim is to establish parameters related with husbandry, care, reproduction and training that authorities should use as advice, since there are none specific legislation in the European Union.

• Collaboration with the Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales (OAPN) with the aim to popularise Spanish national parks among the visitors of amusement parks, to improve the educational contents about environment and biodiversity in our parks and to develop educational activities.

• Collaboration with the Comunidad de Madrid and the Centro Integral de Acogida de Animales de la Comunidad de Madrid (CIAAM) in the holding of activities related with the awareness-raising about pet abandonment, promotion of adoption and the responsible care of animals.

• Collaboration with the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente in the holding of activities related with the abandonment of exotic pets and their potential damage as invasive species, promoting the responsible and the legal aspects about the acquisition of these species.

• Collaboration with SEO BirdLife (Sociedad Española de Ornitología): Parques Reunidos Foundation collaborates with this association, which has developed a manifesto with the aim of defending a fair, caring and sustainable world compromised with the conservation of the natural spaces and the fair distribution of essential resources.

• Collaboration with the ‘in situ’ conservation project of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) in Isla de Flores, coordinated by the EAZA-EEP and leaded by Chester Zoo.