Past Projects

EAZA 2008-2009 European Carnivores Campaign

© Miha KrofelMission: To make people conscious of the diversity of wildlife that still survives both in their own country and also in this crowded continent. Then to make them appreciate it, value it, be proud of it and want to preserve it; to raise public awareness of the expansion in both numbers and range of a number of large carnivore species and of the steps needed so we can accommodate them in the future; to draw attention to the way our life styles and activities can lead to the habitat loss, fragmentation and pollution which endangers the future of many of our rare and endangered carnivore species; to explain why the presence of carnivores is a good indicator of the health of our environment; to teach EAZA members and the public that conservation is needed at home and not just in the far flung corners of the earth and that environmental protection begins with them, their life styles and their attitudes.

Species: Arctic fox, brown bear, Eurasian otter, Eurasian lynx, Eurasian wildcat, European mink, golden jackal, grey wolf, Iberian lynx, marbled polecat, polar bear, wolverine, eastern imperial eagle, Spanish imperial eagle, harbour porpoise, black vulture and Egyptian vulture.

Location: Europe

Support: 2008-2010

Amount donated: £9,000 funds will support these endangered carnivores.

Background: The EAZA European Carnivore Campaign 2008/2009 focuses on 'Living together', with the aim of raising awareness for nature in Europe, focusing on large carnivores in particular. Europeans often forget about the beautiful, endangered carnivore species that live on our doorstep. In Europe, carnivores are confronted by two contrasting groups of problems; one relating to an increase in carnivore numbers and the other from a decline. On the one hand it means acting to facilitate the survival of threatened and endangered carnivores and, on the other, learning to live with those which are actually increasing in number, encroaching on human territory and generating conflict. We therefore need strategies to integrate the presence of carnivores into our modern lives on a crowded continent.

The campaign is focussing on the 'Dirty Dozen'; twelve charismatic species used as ambassadors to promote the conservation of European carnivores. The twelve species range from the well known polar bear and timber wolf to the lesser known marbled polecat and Arctic fox. Overall the campaign aims to raise €750,000 for the conservation of these carnivores. The first round of funding will be spread over ten projects; working towards establishing new carnivore populations or eradicating the effects of human conflict.

While continuing to raise funds for projects covering all campaign species, in 2010 the campaign has narrowed its focus to the specific problems caused by the illegal use of poison to control predators. This practice has a major negative impact on populations of endangered carnivores and on the conservation initiatives working to preserve them.

Achievements: As of the end of 2011 the European Carnivore Campaign had raised a total of €436,630. The Campaign has increased the awareness of European wildlife both amongst EAZA membership and for EAZA visitors. Good contacts have been established with a number of conservation organizations, which will form a good basis going forward for new European conservation initiatives by EAZA members.

Action for the Wild is Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm

Action for the Wild became a charity in 2004

Action for the Wild has donated over £2 million to animal conservation to date