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Bristol Zoological Society - Strategy to 2035

Saving wildlife

Strategy to 2035 - Bristol Zoological Society.

Strategic plan


1. Saving wildlife

Conservation breeding and reintroduction


We will continue to develop and lead conservation breeding programmes, particularly those that aim to bolster wild populations of target species through reintroduction and other conservation translocations, such as the white-clawed crayfish in southwest England and Partula snails in French Polynesia. The development of the new Bristol Zoo presents a unique opportunity to take a completely fresh look at our species plan and ex-situ conservation activity. We will develop the Society’s species plan to increase its direct contribution to ex-situ conservation, to at least 90% of the species that we keep. We will work with International Union for Conservation of Nature Specialist Groups and other stakeholders to assess the need for captive assurance populations, bring about mandates and make space available for such programmes.

Magabeys in the trees in-situ
Western lowland gorilla cradling its infant at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Conservation genetics


We will develop the Bristol Zoological Society Conservation Genetics Laboratory as part of our Institute of Conservation Science and Learning and, through this, enhance the population viability analyses for our target species with genetic information. We will use our in-house laboratory to determine the taxonomic status of animals of unknown origin, thus enabling their inclusion into European Association of Zoos and Aquaria studbooks.

Child playing with tree interactive at Bear Wood
Student holding a hissing cockroach during an education session at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Conservation medicine


We will establish a world-class Conservation Medicine Centre at the new Bristol Zoo, including the capacity for European residencies. We will integrate conservation medicine into our existing field conservation projects as appropriate, and continue to supervise post-graduate students in conservation medicine projects. We will lead on the development of a standard methodology to assess animal welfare, replicable across all zoos, and ensure that the species in our zoo continue to receive the highest standards of animal husbandry and welfare.

Field conservation and science


We will actively monitor the status of species we aim to conserve in each field project, and aim to improve their conservation assessment on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

We will identify causes of habitat loss in our key project sites, and work with other stakeholders to implement habitat restoration activities. We will maximise the value of the new Bristol Zoo site for the conservation of native species through integrated ecological site management, and develop a native species strategy.

We will work in constructive partnerships with other organisations in our field conservation and science projects, including universities, other conservation organisations, governments and other stakeholders, to undertake conservation action on the ground to target the threats facing wildlife at our project sites. We will make our conservation work easily accessible to colleagues, visitors and the wider community and develop a Bristol Zoological Society Conservation Index that easily conveys how our conservation activities are performing.

A white clawed crayfish held up by a member of the native species conservation team
Rangers with camera trap on Negros island, Philippines