For Immediate Release
|For More Information
Contact Kathy Jury
At (416) 392-5939
| PDF Version
April 22, 2004, Toronto, Ontario:
"ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS TAKE ACTION" -CHECK IT OUT!
Launching Innovative Ways to Learn about the Conservation of Canadian Species
(While Having Fun)
Zoos and Aquariums Take
Action, a collaborative project among Canadian zoos, launched today to highlight
the fact that some Canadian species are urgently at risk, that Canadian zoos are
doing something about it – and that you
Zoo and Aquariums Take Action uses three components to inspire
individuals to become more environmentally responsible and
actively involved in the conservation of Canadian species. A key element
is a new, hands-on, permanent Touch Table with interesting and rare objects,
displays, and graphics. A computer is a component, so kids and adults can check
out Zoo and Aquariums Take Action’s 2nd element, a fun, interactive
. Staffed by dedicated Zoo Volunteers, the new Touch Table is located in the Zoo’s
Americas Pavilion. There’s a 3rd element yet to come – a unique travelling
display packed with lots of intriguing and interesting information, touchables,
and ideas for positive action.
Canadian Zoos and Aquariums
"The Government of Canada, through the Museums Assistance
Program, a part of the Department of Canadian Heritage, is proud to provide
financial assistance to Zoos and Aquariums Take Action." By making it possible
for Canadian zoos to highlight their conservation projects, dialogue and share
information, Zoos and Aquariums Take Action performs another vital service.
"There are so many amazing animal artefacts, fun, games, and
activities you can't help but be inspired to take action for conservation!"
comments Kelly Armstrong, the Toronto Zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator and
Coordinator of the Zoos and Aquariums Take Action project. "Getting Canadians in
touch with their natural heritage and introducing them to the amazing
conservation work of their local zoos and aquariums is so important and this
project does just that."
Due to habitat loss and degradation, over collection – hunting
and fishing - the introduction of exotic species which threaten native animals,
and to the pollution of their environment, many Canadian species are at risk.
These include the humpback whale, the grizzly bear, the Polar bear, the
Vancouver Island marmot and the Eastern spiny softshell turtle, to name just a
Want to learn more? Check out the Zoos and Aquariums Take Action Touch Table
in the Americas Pavilion, go online at
www.zooaction.ca, or wait for the travelling
display to hit your area!
- 24 accredited Canadian zoos/aquariums, from British Columbia to New
Brunswick, form the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA)
- CAZA members develop and participate in hundreds of conservation projects
- CAZA Institutions participate in over 100 Species Survival Plans, North
American breeding-management plans, operated by the American Association of Zoos
and Aquariums (AZA)
- Toronto Zoo is Canada’s largest zoo with over 14,000 animals and 710 acres of
exhibits, trails, and natural space
- Bowmanville Zoo, in Bowmanville, Ontario is Canada’s oldest private zoo,
dating back to 1919
- Ontario has the most CAZA zoos (seven) but has no aquariums!
- Toronto Zoo released 15 black-footed ferrets back into the wild in 2003, as
part of its on-going black-footed ferret breeding and reintroduction program.
The remaining 9 ferrets born in 2003 will be used in the breeding program.
- Vancouver Island marmots are the most endangered animals in North America.
There are fewer than 30 Vancouver Island marmots left in the wild today. In
2002, 13 Vancouver Island marmot pups were born at Toronto Zoo and are destined
to return to their native habitat
- The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre provides veterinary care and rehabilitation
to injured turtles in Ontario. They treated 66 turtles in 2003, many of which
will return to the wild this summer
- Over 18 000 Puerto Rican crested toadlets were returned to the wilds of
Puerto Rico in 2003 as part of the Puerto Rican crested toad breeding program
- Volunteers for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, organized by the
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, clean over 950km of shoreline and
collect almost 50,000kg of garbage at this yearly event!
- The Pacific Leatherback Turtle Awareness and Sightings Network and the Nova
Scotia Leatherback Turtle Working Group collect turtle observations from
Canadians on the east and west coasts through the Internet. In the summer of
1998, members of the Nova Scotia Leatherback Turtle Working Group logged 171
sightings of these turtles, establishing the species as a seasonal visitor to
Atlantic Canada. Turtle "Jesse" was tagged in August 2003 and has travelled over
4000km since then – all the way to South America!
- Kids 4 Turtles was started by a group of youngsters concerned about turtles
crossing roads. The group raised funds for permanent turtle crossing signs and
has grown into the successfully Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, a veterinary
hospital dedicated to injured wild turtles. It just goes to show – anyone, no
matter what age they are can make a big difference!