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How membership supports wildlife

Posted on: 19 January, 2024

You might already know that Bristol Zoological Society membership helps to save wildlife and habitats in crisis. But what does that really mean?

To give you an idea of how membership supports our work as a conservation and education charity, here are five amazing things our members do.

1. Save endangered species

Bristol Zoological Society is at the heart of many breeding and conservation programmes to help save species threatened with extinction. This means that the animals you love can be appreciated by generations for years to come.

Some species, such as Socorro doves, are now Extinct in the Wild and are totally reliant on zoos to survive, which is why the success of captive breeding programmes is so important.

Breeding these endangered animals isn’t always easy, but with the help of members and supporters, we can work with breeding programmes across the world to give wildlife the best chance of survival.

At our Bristol Zoo Project site, we will create a new Conservation Campus, providing animal breeding facilities for highly threatened species, and conservation and veterinary medicine facilities for teaching and animal welfare.

We’ve been saving wildlife for 185 years and with our members’ support we’ll continue to look after it for many more.

2. Rewild woodland

From ancient oaks and sycamores in Bear Wood at Bristol Zoo Project, to helping to grow and plant out over 15,000 saplings at Sahamalaza Iles Radama National Park in the Philippines, members help protect woodlands worldwide.

Woodlands provide a crucial habitat for animals. Bristol Zoo Project is home to a wealth of British wildlife in ancient woodland. We have a badger sett on site, deer species in the woods and blooming wild plants, as well as rare species, including great crested newts and white-clawed crayfish.

Thanks to members, we are able to conduct weekly wildlife surveys to monitor populations of birds, insects, mammals and plants.

3. Fight illegal hunting

Illegal hunting is second only to habitat destruction as a threat to species survival.

Bristol Zoological Society works closely with communities in the Philippines, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Tanzania and Cameroon to develop a variety of techniques to overcome illegal hunting.

From training eco-guards to monitor illegal activity, creating better access in parks for patrols, to drone tracking and installing wildlife cameras, members help to restore nature from hunting pressures.

A young child looking at a cheetah through glass

4. Connect people to nature

Connecting with nature is good for us. It boosts our health and wellbeing, and encourages us to protect and save the amazing wildlife all around us.

Membership helps supports the running of Bristol Zoo Project, so that people can see breath-taking animals in amazing habitats and enjoying learning about wildlife conservation.

Bristol Zoo Project has acres of nature to explore, with woodland walks, meadows to run through, educational trails and family play areas. Thanks to members, wild spaces are protected, and even flourishing.

And there’s so much fun to be had, from seeing amazing animals from around the world and experiencing the changing seasons, to looking for bugs and making wild art!

5. Create conservationists of the future

Conservation zoos have an important role in educating communities and inspiring people to connect with nature and take action to save animals and habitats under threat.

The support from members means that it’s possible for us to deliver fun and interactive educational visits for all ages and for those with additional needs, including funded sessions though our Access to Nature Appeal.

Members helped to deliver more than 500 public engagement and learning sessions to over 9,000 schoolchildren who visited in 2023.

And if you want to give your little wildlife adventurer more opportunities to discover animals and the great outdoors, child membership could inspire the next generation of conservationists.

Our mission is focused on saving wildlife, not alone, but together, with people like you.

Ready to join?

Become a member today for a year of wild adventure, and help protect the animals and habitats you love by supporting our conservation charity.