The Buttonwood Park Zoo is involved in a variety of local and international conservation efforts.
Coins for Conservation
Your vote can change the world!
Coins for Conservation is an exciting initiative that greatly enhances our wildlife conservation work. Through this program, we’ll provide funding for new and existing wildlife conservation projects. This program provides an opportunity to engage our staff and our community while also significantly expanding our contributions to wildlife conservation in our backyard and around the world.
Make a donation today that goes directly towards Coins for Conservation and the support of critical wildlife conservation programs!
Since its inception in 2015, Coins for Conservation has raised over $70,000! The following projects have received funding thanks to the Zoo’s dedication to wildlife conservation and the generosity of our visitors.
- Atlantic White Shark ConservancyThe Conservancy’s vision is to increase knowledge of Atlantic white sharks and change public perception to conserve the species and ensure biologically diverse marine ecosystems.
- Australian Bushfire Crisis Fund
With the current drought and bushfire crisis in Australia, reports now estimate 800 million native animals affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis in New South Wales and more than one billion nationally, with many injured or displaced and facing a tough time ahead. In response to this crisis in Australia, the Buttonwood Park Zoo is raising funds for the Zoo and Aquarium Association, Australasia (ZAA) Wildlife Conservation Fund. The funds raised will be allocated appropriately by the Wildlife Conservation Committee to focus on: Rescue and rehabilitation of drought and fire-affected Australian native wildlife with the specific end-goal of returning healthy rehabilitated animals back to the wild; Restoration, rehabilitation and ongoing care and resilience improvement of drought and fire-affected Australian native habitats; Science and research geared toward reassessing species status, habitat regeneration and other science-related projects; Activities that continue to support or help establish federal and/or state endorsed, targeted breed for release conservation activities.
- Belize Audubon Society
Working alongside other AZA zoos, we have been able to support the Belize Audubon Society in hiring two staff for the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary that was established for the protection of jaguars. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve as well as a reservoir for biodiversity.
- Birds Caribbean
This organization helps conserve Caribbean birds and their habitats. The Zoo’s donation will help us to grow their flagship outreach and education programs, train and mentor conservation professionals, support research and monitoring, and help carry out local level conservation actions.
- Brazilian Merganser Recovery Program
The elusive Brazilian Merganser not only ranks among the most endangered of all waterfowl, but rarest of all birds as well. Possibly fewer than 250 birds remain, making this Critically Endangered species in need of our help. The river habitat required by the Brazilian merganser has suffered from staggering deforestation and permanent flooding from dams. Sylvan Heights Bird Park and the International Wild Waterfowl Association are helping Brazilian organizations who work with this species by successfully hatching and raising wild Brazilian mergansers to help bolster wild populations in the future.
- East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership
This dynamic program works to save and protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them. There are currently 35 Partners including 17 countries, 6 intergovernmental agencies, 11 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and one international private enterprise. The Buttonwood Park Zoo currently supports the Scaly-sided Merganser Task Force by funding non-invasive video monitoring of artificial nest sites. The Zoo will continue to support this task force with various projects through an annual donation.
- Elephant Family Asian Elephant Conservation
The Elephant Family, a conservation organization, based in London exists to save this iconic animal from extinction in the wild, along with tigers, orangutans and all the other animals who share their habitat. Working with local people and partner non-government organizations, they currently fund 20 projects across Asia and invest where they are needed most: to protect habitat, prevent conflict and reconnect the forest homes of the endangered Asian elephant.
- National Marine Life Center of Cape Cod
The National Marine Life Center in Bourne, MA is a marine animal hospital and science and education center dedicated to rehabilitating for release stranded sea turtles, seals, dolphins, porpoises, and small whales, and to advancing scientific knowledge and education in marine wildlife health and conservation.
- Proyecto Titi
Proyecto Tití works to conserve the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin through a multi-disciplinary on-site conservation program that combines field research, education initiatives and community programs to make the conservation of natural resources economically feasible for local communities in Colombia. The Zoo has supported this organization by purchasing titi posts which not only saves critical tamarin habitat, but reduces and recycles plastic in the environment. The Zoo’s gift store also sells bags, bracelets and stuffed animals made by the local communities to generate an income and build successful eco-friendly businesses.
- Red Panda Network
Red Panda Network is the world leader in red panda conservation. Conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat is done through research and monitoring, policy and advocacy, community-based conservation, education and outreach, and sustainable livelihoods. In 2019, the Zoo became a Partner in Conservation by becoming a significant contributor to the Plant a Red Panda Home campaign. This campaign will restore a minimum of 32 hectares in Eastern and Western Nepal. These degraded locations have been identified as core habitat for red pandas and are critical to their survival. The project includes plantation of native trees (red panda food/shelter species, and NTFPs), installation of fencing to protect tree saplings, and purchase of land for restoration (Eastern Nepal only).
- Save the Golden Lion Tamarin
Their main goals include filling suitable forests with golden lion tamarins, planting forest corridors to reconnect forest fragments, educate and involve the local community, and monitor and protect all wild golden lion tamarins and their forest. The Zoo has helped support this organization by growing approximately 100 trees to help reforestation efforts in Brazil.
- The Center for Research and Conservation of Sea Turtles (CICTMAR)
This conservation education program focuses on protecting sea turtles at their nesting grounds on the Paira Peninsula, on the far eastern edge of Venezuela. Leatherback, loggerhead, green and hawksbill sea turtles are protected while they make their way to the nesting sites. Once the eggs are laid, they are transferred to fenced hatcheries to protect them from high tides and poachers. In addition to protecting and releasing the hatchlings, females are also tagged and measured for participation in a long-term study.
- The Muriqui Project of Caratinga
The northern muriqui is one of the most critically endangered primates as the result of hunting and widespread destruction of its forests. Today 300 muriquis live at the privately owned and federally protected reserve near Caratinga, Brazil, up from 50 in 1983. The Muriqui Project helps regenerate the forest, create corridors to connect forest fragments, and preserve and manage all conservation, research and education activities at the preserve.
- Vaquita Rescue Project
The vaquita porpoise is on the verge of extinction with fewer than 30 remaining due to drowning in illegal fishing nets. The Buttonwood Park Zoo, along with many AZA accredited zoos and aquariums, joined together to support the AZA’s SAFE program in an effort to save this species from extinction.
- Vietnam Elephant Initiative
The Vietnam Elephant Initiative is committed to supporting the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre to protect a sustainable wild population of elephants in Vietnam, provide high standards of care for captive elephants, and end the use of elephants for riding, circuses and shows. The Zoo has purchased a portable scale to help manage and care for orphaned elephants.
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Program
The Zoo provides professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals so they can be returned to their natural habitat or be provided with a safe forever home here at the Zoo. Your donation helps offset the cost of the medicine, supplies, and staffing needed to allow for these animals to flourish once again. When release is not an option, our Animal Ambassador Program allows them to become an instrumental component of our wildlife education programs and provides a home to many native animals that would have otherwise not survived in the wild.
Species Awareness Days
During these special species awareness days, zoo staff highlights the species by bringing special attention through additional keeper talks, education programs, and enrichment activities highlighting important facts and conservation messages
- Endangered Species Day
- World Oceans Day
- Vulture Awareness Day
- International Red Panda Day
- National Elephant Appreciation Day
- World Wildlife Day
Frog Watch USA
FrogWatch USA is AZA’s flagship citizen science program that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads.” – AZA FrogWatch. The Frogwatch program began in response to a noticeable decline in frog and toad populations across the country and around the world. The idea was to gather scientifically creditable data to prove such a decline was in fact occurring while at the same time educating the public about amphibians and the probable causes for their recent declines. The Buttonwood Park Zoo supports the Frog Watch initiative by hosting public training sessions. Please visit our Frog Watch page for more information.