The Prospect Park Zoo is part of an effort to save wildlife that began 120 years ago with the creation of the New York Zoological Society, an organization founded on science and hope which has since grown to become the Wildlife Conservation Society.
If you have visited us, or are a fan of Animal Planet’s The Zoo, you might be familiar with some of the ways in which our parks have helped to protect species in the wild. The Prospect Park Zoo was the first AZA accredited institution to successfully propagate the endangered Chinese big-headed turtle. The geographic distribution of big-headed turtles includes China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In 2008, members of the PPZ animal care team spearheaded an effort to unravel the life history and ecology of the Chinese big-headed turtle, and, after several years of work, celebrated the first successful hatching in 2013.
Currently, members of Prospect Park Zoo’s animal care and veterinary program are participating in the WCS Myanmar and Turtle Survival Alliance efforts to save several freshwater turtle and tortoise species. In 2018, a veterinary team visited two facilities in Myanmar to conduct assessments to characterize overall population level health in the population of the Burmese roofed terrapin. Members of the team are joining WCS Myanmar staff to develop a breeding center for Chinese big headed turtles to build upon the work developed at the zoo in Brooklyn.
WCS’s story stretches far beyond the boundaries our New York parks.
Our conservationists work in forests, deserts, mountains, plains, and oceans across the globe. We have boots on the ground in some of the planet’s most threatened habitats, focused on species facing the greatest dangers, including great apes, big cats, elephants, sharks and rays, marine mammals, turtles, and many others.
OUR TEAM, MORE THAN 4,000 STRONG, WORKS EVERY DAY IN NEARLY 60 COUNTRIES AND ALL THE WORLD’S OCEANS TO SAVE WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES.