We're flying high after praise in BIAZA national report

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21/08/2015

Blackpool Zoo’s vital work as species champion for one of the world’s most endangered birds has been celebrated in a new report

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) has compiled the document, which outlines the top ten bird species surviving because of zoos.

The list includes the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis, five of which call our zoo home.

With only around 600 left in the wild, the species has undergone huge decline in the past 30 years due to habitat loss and disturbance of its breeding grounds.

We support already established projects and uses the work of Birdlife International and RSPB to educate our visitors on this and many other endangered species.

As its name suggest, the Northern Bald Ibis doesn’t have any feathers on its head. It genus name, ‘Geronticus’ is derived from Ancient Greek and means old man, referring to its wrinkly, bald face and head.

Richard Wardle, Bird Keeper at Blackpool Zoo and BIAZA Northern Bald Ibis species champion, said: “Our conservation work for animals across the world is vitally important to the survival of species under severe threat of extinction.

“The number of Northern Bald Ibis remaining in the wild is extremely worrying and the European zoo community, under the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums umbrella, work together to ensure a genetically diverse bloodline within the captive population through a carefully managed breeding programme.

“Recent conservation projects have even seen captive bred birds being released into the wild, which is a cause for huge celebration.

“The BIAZA report will create further awareness about the excellent work carried out by BIAZA members every single day of the year.”

The top ten list of birds surviving because of zoos:

Northern Bald Ibis
Bali Starling
Madagascar Pochard
Socorro Dove
Visayan Tarictic Hornbill
African Penguin
Edwards’s Pheasant
Oriental White-Backed Vulture
Ecuadorian Amazon Parrot
Blue-crowned Laughing Thrush