Posted In Conservation | 8th December 2022

Dublin Zoo launches new Conservation Master Plan

Protecting Ireland’s Wildlife at the heart of new conservation plan from Dublin Zoo
New plan will position Dublin Zoo as a global conservation leader

Today, Dublin Zoo is pleased to announce the launch of its Conservation Master Plan which, once complete, will position the organisation as a global conservation leader. The Plan, which sits under the overall ‘Dublin Zoo 200: Vision 2021-2031’, identifies 42 actions across 7 strategic areas necessary to achieve the Zoo’s ambition of becoming a zoo-based conservation organisation of national and global significance over the next decade.

With a worsening global outlook for wildlife, like over one million species now being considered threatened with extinction, an integrated and collaborative approach is needed to effectively tackle the complex and inter-related threats to biodiversity, both in Ireland and around the world. The new Conservation Master Plan includes seven strategic areas of conservation where Dublin Zoo has the potential to increase their impact and achieve measurable conservation successes:
1. Conservation Breeding and Reintroduction
2. Protecting Ireland’s Wildlife
3. Protecting Wildlife Globally
4. Evidence-Based Conservation
5. Conserving Genetic Diversity
6. Behaviour Change and Empowerment
7. Creating Conservation Scientists

Each of these strategic areas is underpinned by a set of clear actions, which will help tackle the threats to biodiversity and support both national and international conservation initiatives, such as Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan. Actions include:

– Create an IUCN National Centre for Species Survival at Dublin Zoo, with the capacity for species conservation assessment, conservation planning and action.
– Increase the proportion of species in Dublin Zoo’s care that are part of conservation breeding programmes, or for which they support conservation planning or field conservation activities, from currently 54% to at least 75% over the lifetime of this plan.
– Develop Ireland’s first National Wildlife Biobanking Hub at Dublin Zoo, which will collect and preserve genetic samples from not only Ireland’s zoos and aquariums, but also native Irish wildlife.
– Create a new partnership model with local universities to jointly develop third-level programmes in conservation science at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, cultivating the next generation of conservationists.
– Increase the financial support available from the Zoo for field conservation projects in the wild through the new Dublin Zoo Conservation Fund.

Speaking at the launch of the Conservation Master Plan, Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Dublin Zoo, said:
“This new Conservation Master Plan is a bold and ambitious statement that reflects Dublin Zoo’s long-term commitment to wildlife conservation, both in Ireland and around the world. Working with the global zoo and aquarium community, we have a duty to use our collective social, political and financial resources to become an integral force for the conservation of global biodiversity. The actions outlined in this plan will help us achieve significant conservation impact, and will position Dublin Zoo as a global conservation leader, with the help of our partners and supporters. We are Dublin Zoo. We save wildlife and inspire a passion for nature – one person, one family at a time.”

Dublin Zoo aims to become a national focal point for species conservation in Ireland, while also working with conservation partners and supporters, and governments globally to create a world where people live in harmony with nature.

Dublin Zoo is already a significant supporter of conservation, contributing to biodiversity conservation through the breeding of threatened species, support for conservation and research projects in the wild, and their conservation education and advocacy work.

Dr. Andrew Mooney

Dr. Andrew Mooney, Conservation and Research Officer at Dublin Zoo, added:
“This plan is both bold and ambitious, however as we face a global biodiversity crisis, we need to take action for wildlife, and become a global leader in biodiversity conservation. We can do more, and this Conservation Master Plan is the first step on that journey.”

For more information and to view the Dublin Zoo Conservation Master Plan, click here.