4 ways ZAA-accredited zoos celebrated Threatened Species Day


ZAA-accredited zoos across Australia celebrated National Threatened Species Day in a variety of ways to inform and incite action from the community to help save our incredible range of native wildlife. Here are just four ways zoos and aquariums marked National Threatened Species Day:


Special tours and talks

The National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra held a range of community activities, including a colouring in competition, stalls and keeper talks throughout out the day. They also gave visitors the chance to win two nights accommodation at Aussie Ark’s – Devils Retreat!  Proceeds on the day went towards Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.

Oakvale Wildlife Park also held an event with fun activities for the family, conservation talks and animal experiences aimed at creating awareness about the plight of our threatened species in Australia.

The message was enhanced by having four local conservation groups, Sea Shelter, Tilligerry Habitat, Port Stephens Koalas, Wildlife in Need of Care (WINC), set up around the park on the day providing further information on what visitors can do as a local resident to help native species.

In Queensland, Rockhampton Zoo took a different approach, offering a special threatened species tour via Facebook video to include and educate a wider audience than just those could be at the zoo on the day.

Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania ran their educational talks this year with specific attention given to their work to help particularly vulnerable species like the Tasmanian devil and eastern quolls. 

The team at Oakvale Wildlife Park ready for their special event on Threatened Species Day

Taronga Keeper Dean Purcell releases a blue-tailed skink into the wild

Zoos Victoria's ice sculpture of a mountain pygmy-possum in Melbourne CBD

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese (left) and Threatened Species Commissioner Sally Box with Aussie Ark's Scott Ryan.

Releases to the wild

Taronga Conservation Society celebrated Threatened Species Day in conjunction with Parks Australia with the release of 150 critically endangered blue-tail skinks born and bred at Taronga Zoo. The skinks were released onto Pula Blan, a tiny island just two metres above sea level at its highest point, which is part of the archipelago making up the Cocos (Keeling) Islands 2,150 kilometres off Australia's north-west coast.

Zoos Victoria also marked the day with a release. They released 36 helmeted honeyeaters into the wild that will hopefully do wonders to help boost the wild population in Victoria.


Art and engagement

Territory Wildlife Park celebrated Threatened Species Day on September 7 and Biodiversity Month throughout September by revealing a new series of art installations through its ‘Sculpture and Art in the Park’ event.

Each week during the month of September they unveiled a new artwork somewhere in the park to help raise awareness of the importance of protecting native flora and fauna.

Meanwhile in Victoria, an 800kg mountain pygmy-possum ice sculpture sat melting at Melbourne's Bourke St Mall. Zoos Victoria’s giant possum made of ice attracted attention from CBD commuters and attracted news media to the plight of the mountain pygmy-possum. The melting sculpture symbolised the possums waking from hibernation and helped to get Zoos Victoria’s message out about the them looking for nutritious Bogong Moths to eat, which aren't arriving in their normal numbers. Check out the Bogong Moth Tracker that they're using to track the moths migration.


Politics and advocacy

The team from Aussie Ark spent the day sharing the plight of Australia native wildlife at Parliament House in Canberra.

Members of Parliament such as Threatened Species Commissioner Sally Box, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, were able to meet some of the threatened species and learn more about the work of Aussie Ark.