DZG is included in a top ten list released today of species most reliant on zoos for survival.
Compiled by The British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) the list features animals on the brink of extinction.
Crayfish chat: Listen in to DZG Presenter Caroline Howard’s live interview with Radio BBC WM’s Gareth Evans http://www.bbc.co.uk/wm between 3.30-4pm.
BIAZA Field Programmes Committee member Dr Andrew Marshall said: This list highlights ten prevailing examples of how zoos are working to save these and many other species from extinction. Without the valuable conservation and breeding work of many of our member zoos and aquariums, many at risk species such as these may be lost to extinction forever.
Drawing up the shortlist was not straightforward because there were hundreds of zoo-funded conservation projects to choose from; however we put together strict criteria and we hope our final shortlist will draw attention to just how important the work of zoos is.
The criteria for selecting the top ten included choosing species associated with ongoing field initiatives by zoos. Particular importance was given to initiatives which included a management role, rather than just providing funds. Species chosen are currently listed as Endangered, Critically Endangered or Extinct in the Wild on the International Union for Conservation of Natures (IUCN) Red List. Priority was also given to species conservation projects that include habitat, education and/or livelihood development.
The top ten list of species most reliant on zoos underlines the importance of zoos not only in captive breeding for reserve populations and reintroductions, but in the role they play in conservation in the wild from fund-raising to research, education and support for local communities, as well as wildlife habitats.
BIAZAs top ten species most reliant on zoos:
1. Mountain chicken one of the worlds largest species of frog and critically endangered.
2. White-clawed crayfish around 95% of the population of Britains only native freshwater crayfish has been lost.
3. Blue-crowned laughing thrush only 250 mature birds of this Chinese species left in the wild.
4. Amur leopard&nb