Baby rhino sniffing the grass

Conservation Partners

Move closer to our conservation work by making a specific gift to one of our projects and make a real change for animals.

Giving a major gift is much more than a financial transaction it is inspiring others to give, changing animal’s lives for the better and helping move species off the critically endangered list.

Working alongside one of our personalised Relationship Managers, we can help you tailor a meaningful gift that also reflects your passions.

You will receive invitations to our exclusive events for Conservation Partners and behind-the-scenes experiences that will take you backstage at the zoo.

Learn more about becoming a Conservation Partner by reading our brochure or watch a video where eight of our partners share their inspiring stories on why they became Conservation Partners

Levels of support

Conservation Fighter


Conservation Champion


Conservation Hero


Conservation Influencer


Conservation Leader


Conservation Visionary 


As we navigate through new, unprecedented challenges, we need your help to continue our conservation work.

Contact us to become a Conservation Partner

Lori Kravos
Relationship Manager Philanthropy
Phone: 03 9340 2717


Seal opening its mouth for the keeper to do a health check.

Current fundraising projects

Upgrading the Melbourne Zoo veterinary facilities

The veterinary team at Melbourne Zoo are responsible for providing expert care to an extraordinarily diverse range of species.

It is not unusual on any given day to see orangutans, tigers, meerkats, snow leopards and gorillas treated at the centre.

Patients vary between animals already in our care, as part of our captive breeding programs or in some cases, rescued wildlife.

Melbourne Zoo currently lacks hospitalisation facilities that enable the team to manage such a variety of animal healthcare in a flexible manner. 

Melbourne Zoo is 157 years old and the current veterinary facilities, although they have had updates internally, certainly come with some historical restraints.

In many situations, the team find their treatment rooms and quarantine facilities at capacity. Adding to the complexity of caring for a variety of animals with various needs is the outdated facility design.

How you can help

Make an ongoing pledge and support our hospital into the future, or invest in infrastructure that will save animals.

Item  Estimate ($)
 Phase 1 - Vet holding facility   $1,567,000
 Phase 2 - Outdoor holding yards  $681,000
 Phase 3 - Animal treatment Centre, staff utilities & nurse reception  $384,000
 Phase 4 - Nurses’ office  $23,000
 Phase 5 - Additional areas to outdoor holding  $217,000
 Total $2,872,000

* Facilities assume construction of some new areas and repair and/or modification of some existing facilities.

Detection Dogs

In 2018, Zoos Victoria finalised Phase 1 of a trial to test the effectiveness of Detection Dogs in locating critically endangered species in the wild.

With dogs having up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in humans, we found that Detection Dogs have the capacity to survey large areas far more efficiently, and in many cases, have proven to be more accurate and less invasive than traditional survey methods.

Their keen senses allow the dogs to locate both live species and the indications of their presence, such as scats.

This provides opportunities to conduct broad-scale surveys across a species’ historical distribution, to secure diverse genetics for critical captive breeding interventions, and to provide insights into the prevalence and movements of introduced predators, such as foxes and feral cats across the landscape.

We are now poised to launch Phase 2 of our Fighting Extinction Dog Squad, expanding the Detection Dog program alongside our current Guardian Dog Program.

Our Dog Squad will harness the relationship between humans and dogs that has been forged over thousands of years and applying the very latest advances in animal training and care, it will be a game changer for threatened species conservation.


How you can help

Make an ongoing pledge and support our Detection Dogs program into the future. Invest in infrastructure and training that will enable our Detection Dogs to join the fight against wildlife extinction.

Item Estimate ($)
Biological dog training and in-situ surveys to complement monitoring and collections. $150,000
Maintenance of Zoos Victoria’s Detection Dogs program $1,105,000
Training and development for detection of additional Fighting Extinction target species $275,000
Development and launch of a detection dogs program at Healesville Sanctuary $45,000
Feral predator scat detection surveys $115,000
Social community and private land engagement – Detection Dogs as a novel vehicle for telling the stories of Fighting Extinction Species and finding common ground with community members and private land holders $50,000
Establish fighting extinction schools detection dog science incursions - aiming to increase care for and knowledge of our most Critically Endangered species and boost community support for the use of conservation dogs as tools for saving wildlife $20,000
Total cost over five years $1,760,000