TORONTO, ON, Thursday, July 14, 2016 - In 1997, the wild population of Eastern loggerhead shrikes in Canada had decreased to only 18 known pairs. At that time, 43 nestlings were collected from wild nests in Ontario to found a captive population and rebuild the population of this species at risk.
Over the last two decades, 198 young have been hatched out at the Toronto Zoo with the majority being released to the wild. Last year alone, the Toronto Zoo hatched 38 shrike, of which 30 birds were released to the wild. In total that year, the breeding program in Ontario, which includes other breeding facilities in the province, produced 96 shrikes with 73 released into the wild.
This season, we have nine breeding pairs and all are producing young. They started nesting early enough in the year that some of them might be able to start a second clutch. Either way, this promises to be a bumper year for the Eastern loggerhead shrike; the Zoo anticipates they will surpass their ambitious goal of seeing 50 fledglings raised this year!
"The loggerhead shrike is a striking bird with some remarkable behaviours. Sadly, although this species is found widely throughout North America, it is in decline continent-wide," said Dr. Kevin Kerr, Curator of Birds and Invertebrates, Toronto Zoo. "The eastern population has already disappeared from a few provinces and is just barely hanging on in Ontario; a different subspecies is found in the Prairie Provinces but it too is threatened. It would be a shame to see this unusual species disappear from Canada entirely."
This program continues to successfully see members of this imperiled species released into the wild and the Toronto Zoo is proud to partner with Wildlife Preservation Canada and other local breeding facilities on such an important conservation initiative. Various specialists and departments at the Toronto Zoo, including Wildlife Health and Wildlife Nutrition, work together on this program and commit hours of care and observations to support the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Program.
to learn more about Toronto Zoo's Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Program.
to learn more about the Eastern loggerhead shrike.
TORONTO ZOO - FIGHTING EXTINCTION
"WHY WE ARE HERE"
Watch Toronto Zoo's full "Why We Are Here" video
LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS TO CONNECT WITH CONSERVATION?
Don't forget to check out the following activities taking place throughout the Summer!
Parks Canada and Toronto Zoo - Summer Activities NOW through Sunday, August 14, 2016
Toronto Zoo and Parks Canada are working together to protect wildlife and have joined forces to help educate visitors on Canadian wilderness, heritage, biodiversity, and culture. Meet Parks Canada Staff at the Front Entrance Courtyard Kiosk and various locations around the Zoo to take part in interactive activities to learn how the Toronto Zoo and Parks Canada are working together to protect wildlife. NEW! - Xplorers Booklet - Pick up your copy of this interactive scavenger hunt at the Parks Canada Front Entrance Courtyard Kiosk and practice your skills in observing and appreciating your wild neighbours. Return your booklet there for a special souvenir!
CURRENT ZOO HOURS :
9:00 am - 7:00 pm daily
Last admission one hour before closing.
The Toronto Zoo is open year round (except Dec. 25th).
General Admission (13-64): $28
Seniors (65+): $23
Children (3-12): $18
Children (2 and under): FREE
Prices include tax as applicable
Parking is $12 year round
For more information, contact Amanda Chambers at (416) 392-5974.
Events and admission prices subject to change without notice.
For general information visit
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo and a national leader in saving wildlife to ensure the rich diversity of nature for future generations. More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.
Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) and AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Look for these logos whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit caza.ca and aza.org