Zoos Victoria is committed to ensuring that no Victorian terrestrial verterbrates go extinct on our watch. To meet this goal, we have identified 20 priority threatened species to protect through the establishment of insurance populations and breeding programs.
Project Cost: $2 million
Total Raised: $380,000
Remaining: $1.6 million
Each of our three great Zoos is helping fight extinction as we establish insurance populations of threatened species. In particular, the Threatened Species Precinct at Healesville Sanctuary houses 10 of these priority species - Mountain Pygmy Possums, Tasmanian Devils, Helmeted Honeyeaters, Orange-bellied Parrots, Spotted Tree Frogs, Southern Corroboree Frogs, Northern Corroboree Frogs, Guthega Skinks, She-oak Skinks and Leadbeater’s Possums – holding an average of 432 animals throughout the year.
The Leadbeater’s Possum is Victoria’s faunal emblem and is classified as Endangered. Major threats to the species include wildfire and the loss of mature trees with hollows that provide dens. This captive breeding program at Healesville Sanctuary will assist the development of husbandry techniques to maintain key wild behaviours in captive possums, and in so doing ensure that young born in captivity are fit for release to the wild.
Zoos Victoria is also taking a leading role in the management of a group of disease-free Tasmanian Devils as part of a larger insurance program for the Endangered species. The Sanctuary has committed to housing 120 Devils for the next 50 years, with the provision of a grant to help fund the installation of modular free range enclosures. These enclosures will help to maintain wild behaviours in Devils, whilst providing a cost-effective method of housing the group into the long-term.
The annual operating cost of the Threatened Species Precinct is $2 million. Our focus is on fighting extinction through our captive breeding programs with the aim to rerelease when wild habitat is stable and external threats are reduced.