London Zoo: 2020 offers fresh hope for wildlife conservation
PUBLISHED: 10:10 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:10 23 January 2020
As it celebrates 194 years of working for animals, the Zoological Society of London's fundraising director finds hope for the new decade in its many conservation projects around the world
As we start a new decade, it's a time to look forward but also a time to reflect.
The last ten years has shown us that nature is being pushed to the very brink by unstainable human activity.
Our Living Planet Report, published by WWF in 2019, points to a 60 percent decline in global populations of vertebrate species in less than 50 years. Freshwater species, hit the hardest of all, have suffered 76 percent loss.
These statistics make for grim reading. But if we act now there is hope - change is afoot.
With a multitude of scientific discoveries and conservation successes to our name, the Zoological Society of London will be celebrating a phenomenal 194 years of working for wildlife in 2020.
In the past year, our Zoos welcomed nearly two million visitors, including 150,000 school students, encouraging people to build lasting connections with wildlife and inspiring future generations to connect with wildlife and support conservation.
Our conservationists work with local communities around the world - including Nepal and Cameroon - to empower people to take action, develop sustainable livelihoods and protect their wildlife.
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With our help, 150 scimitar-horned oryx - classified as extinct in the wild in the 1990s - are now living wild in Chad.
We continued our efforts to safeguard the angelshark, the world's second most threatened family of shark.
With support from the players of the People's Postcode Lottery we were able to address the plight of freshwater fish and work to conserve these fish as well as helping to foster sustainable relationships between wildlife and people to help tackle wildlife crime.
We contributed to a reintroduction of northern bald ibis in Spain, a critically endangered species bred at
London Zoo. The Regent's Park zoo is also now home to four critically endangered Chinese giant salamanders who are being cared for after being rescued by the UK's Border Force.
And, through our EDGE of Existence programme, we supported 44 budding conservationists in 23 countries to create projects to protect the planet's most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species.
We launched our first ever EDGE list for sharks and rays; identifying the most important species for protection.
These animals still need our help.
Together we can create a world where wildlife thrives, and we can continue to share the wonderful stories of our conservation successes.
To find out how you can support us and donate to ZSL, please visit zsl.org to learn more.