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December 31, 2013 > Conservation program raises funds for animals in the wild

Conservation program raises funds for animals in the wild

Submitted By Nicky Mora

The Bay AreaÕs Oakland Zoo is proud to announce that Quarters for Conservation, a program to promote wildlife conservation efforts, has raised more than one hundred thousand dollars. Three of the ZooÕs conservation partners, ARCAS Animal Rescue in Guatemala, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, and the Bay Area Puma Project are the main beneficiaries of the proceeds, which were collected from each Zoo admission fee. The remaining funds will support Oakland ZooÕs other conservation partnerships and efforts.

ÒOur many thanks to Oakland Zoo and the entire zoo community,Ó said Colum Muccio, ARCAS Administrative Director. ÒTheÊQuarters for Conservation program is an amazing example of how we can all connect across the globe to protect endangered wildlife.Ó

ÒOakland ZooÕs Quarters for Conservation funding will provide vital support for the Bay Area Puma Project, a long term research and conservation project focusing on mountain lions, essential ecosystem members, at the wildland interface,Ó said Zara McDonald President, Felidae Conservation Fund. ÒHealthy mountain lion populations are threatened by an increase in human activities and development in the San Francisco region and the support of the zoo will make a difference for our lions.Ó

For the past twelve months, twenty-five cents of every Zoo guest admission has been collected and put into a Quarters for Conservation Fund, aimed at saving species in the wild; therefore, each visit a guest has made to the Zoo resulted in a twenty-five cent donation to conservation. Through a voting station, where visitors cast their votes for their favorite project, $13,221 was raised for ARCAS animal rescue in Guatemala, $16,272 was collected for the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, and $21,357 was gifted to the Bay Area Puma Project.

Quarters for Conservation began in 2011 and over the past two years the program has raised over $200,000 for Zoo conservation partners and projects. Each year during the month of October, three new organizations are chosen to be the main beneficiaries of the fundÕs proceeds. Oakland Zoo staff members and volunteers vote to determine which conservation programs to highlight and take great pride in helping save species in the wild. Guests of the Zoo are given a special voting token upon entering the Zoo. The token is then used for voting at the conservation station located in the ZooÕs Flamingo Plaza. The votes determine how much funding will go to each project. During 2011-2012, Zoo visitors voted to help protect chimpanzees in Uganda, conserve African elephants in Kenya, and to help keep the California condor alive in the wild.

For 2013-2014, guests of Oakland Zoo are encouraged to Leap into Action for the Mountain Legged Frog (Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Project), Reach High for Reticulate Giraffe (The Reticulated Giraffe Project), or Look Out for Lions (Uganda Carnivore Program).

Leap into Action for the Mountain Yellow Legged Frog. Once an abundant native of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the mountain yellow-legged frog is now facing extinction due in part to the highly lethal chytrid fungus. However, thanks to the anti-fungal baths developed by San Francisco State UniversityÕs Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Project, there is hope for these frogs and amphibians around the world.

Look Out for Lions. ÒThe King of the JungleÓ is in trouble. African lion populations have declined from 200,000 in the 1980s to under 30,000 individuals today due to human development and the resulting human-wildlife conflict. Through research, education, and providing sustainable income opportunities for people in and around UgandaÕs Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Uganda Carnivore Program aims to create a habitat fit for a king.

Reach High for the Reticulated Giraffe. The tallest mammal in the world is in serious decline. Reticulated giraffes have had an 80 percent drop in numbers in the last decade due to poaching and habitat loss. The Reticulated Giraffe Project in Kenya aims to discover what giraffes eat, how their family groups function, and where they go when roaming the savannah. Through the power of information, help for this iconic figure of Africa is within reach.

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